"Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the Holocaust" in Poland and "self-focus bias" in coverage of global events: And other new research publications.
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"Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the Holocaust" in Poland and "self-focus bias" in coverage of global events

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By Nathan TeBlunthuis, Piotr Konieczny and Tilman Bayer

A monthly overview of recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, also published as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter.

"Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the Holocaust"

Reviewed by Nathan TeBlunthuis

English-language Wikipedia, so influential in shaping collective memory in today's world, has been presenting systematically misleading information about Nazi Germany’s genocide of the European Jews, by "whitewash[ing] the role of Polish society in the Holocaust and bolster[ing] stereotypes about Jews." Showing this is the important contribution of "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust,"[1] a scholarly essay by Jan Grabowski and Shira Klein published in The Journal of Holocaust Research. In the past few weeks, this publication has already sparked a response including media coverage and a new arbitration case. This review's purpose is to summarize the essay and its contributions and to reflect on its merits and significance, and it will not engage the widespread debates in this area more than necessary (see also coverage in this and the previous issue of The Signpost).

A photo that (in this version) is featured as figure 1 in the paper, with the caption "Photograph of a sign in Białystok, wrongly captioned by Poeticbent [one of the editors described as having "a Polish nationalist bent"] as a Jewish welcoming banner for the Soviets" (referring to this edit)

Grabowski and Klein's central claim is twofold. First, Wikipedia articles often support a narrative of Holocaust distortion (not denial) with four elements: (1) overstating the suffering of Poles in comparison to Jews during World War II, (2) understating Polish antisemitism and Nazi collaboration while overemphasizing the rescue of Jews by Poles, (3) insinuating that Jews "bear responsibility for their own persecution" because of their communism and/or greed, and (4) exaggerating the role of Jewish-Nazi collaboration. The result misrepresents the Polish nation's role in the Holocaust and contradicts mainstream historiography, as Grabowski and Klein show by citing prior scholarship.

Grabowski and Klein provide very strong support for this first claim, that Wikipedia bolsters each form of distortion. They offer myriad examples where articles ranging from Stawiski, Warsaw Concentration Camp, Naliboki massacre, History of the Jews in Poland, Collaboration with the Axis Powers, to Rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust, and Polish Righteous among the Nations have supported the distortion narrative by including claims backed by dubious sources or overemphasizing facts aligned with the distortion narrative while ignoring or underemphasizing facts that do not support it. Many of the errors Grabowski and Klein identify, and their role in the narrative, are not obvious to non-experts, and so an important contribution of this scholarship is to make the pattern of distortion clear.

Wikipedia's distorted coverage is harmful, Grabowski and Klein persuasively argue, because "Wikipedia plays a critical role in informing the public about the Holocaust in Poland." It is important that Wikipedia not reproduce it because misremembering the Holocaust can increase the risk of future antisemitic violence and genocide. Many Poles believe elements of the distortion narrative which Poland's current government has taken legal and administrative steps (e.g., creating monuments for apocryphal Poles who rescued Jews) to popularize. To be clear, critiques of distortion do not blame the Polish for the Holocaust. No one is confused that Nazi Germany is at fault. Still, Grabowski and Klein cite evidence that Polish antisemitism was common during, before, and after WWII, and that Poles (without direct Nazi coercion) committed atrocities against Jews during the war as well as afterward when Jews returned to Poland and attempted to reclaim their stolen property. Although they are not entirely clear about why distortion is popular, this juxtaposition suggests that it relieves a sense of national guilt.

The second part of Grabowski and Klein’s thesis is that a small group of committed Wikipedians "with a Polish nationalist bent" have persistently and successfully defended both the distortion narrative's claims and sources advancing it. The essay argues that these editors are substantially responsible for the observed distortion pattern, citing article diffs, excerpts from on-wiki discussions, and edit counts. It also relies on interviews with some of the editors that it describes as "distortionists", their opponents, and involved Wikipedia administrators.

Grabowski and Klein persuasively argue that these editors heavily worked on Wikipedia articles that (typically in versions from early 2022) included the four types of distortion, and in doing so often cited uncredible sources that contradict historical scholarship. These editors surface again and again throughout the topic area and its controversies, defending the source-validity of dubious authors while attacking "well-known experts on Holocaust history" that contradict them. In a striking quantitative description of the distortionist editors' outsized influence, Grabowski and Klein argue that Wikipedia cites two authors they view as distortionist (Richard C. Lukas and M. J. Chodakiewicz) much more than the mainstream experts (Doris Bergen, Samuel Kassow, Zvi Gitelman, Debórah Dwork, Nechama Tec) even though the former have far fewer academic citations than the latter according to Google Scholar.

Two of the editors criticized as distortionists, Piotrus and Volunteer Marek, have defended themselves in terms of the essay's omissions and possible errors, only some of which are actual errors. One notable inaccuracy is that the method for counting citations using Google Scholar is imprecise and today surfaces many more citations to Richard C. Lukas than Grabowski and Klein reported. Yet, even this inaccuracy does not change the broader conclusion that Wikipedia relies too heavily on Lukas' work (also, Klein has uploaded a table with updated numbers (.csv) which continue to support the original conclusion). The title of his most-cited work, The Forgotten Holocaust, refers to the suffering of Poles under Nazi occupation. The Nazis indeed had a murderous colonial policy to "Germanize" Poland (see [supp 1]), but this is distinct from the Holocaust, which refers to the genocide of European Jews. Lukas' title thus insinuates a false equivalence between Polish and Jewish suffering. Arguably, Wikipedia should not reference this at all, at least not without blinding clarity about how it contradicts mainstream sources.

From these editors' defensive responses, it is clear Grabowski and Klein have interpreted their actions unsympathetically to the extent that they overlooked their many valuable contributions to Wikipedia, some of which involved removing distortion. This omission is mostly understandable. A thorough account of these editors' Wikipedia careers (spanning more than 18 and 17 years, respectively) would have distracted from identifying and accounting for the Holocaust distortion on Wikipedia. In this reviewer's view, even if we take these defenses on board, Grabowski and Klein's possible errors are small relative to their abundant evidence that this group, comprising around a dozen or so editors, helped secure a foothold for the Holocaust distortion in Wikipedia articles.

That said, we should recognize how this case surfaces some of Wikipedia's more fundamental problems. At its core, this was a conflict about which Holocaust narratives belong on Wikipedia exemplified by questions such as: "Should Wikipedia include elements of Polish heroism?" and "How should facts about Poles rescuing Jews from the Holocaust be sourced, emphasized or positioned relative to facts about Polish atrocities or complicity in the Holocaust?" These questions are broad, complex, and require subject-matter knowledge and historiographic consideration to answer.

In their essay's final and most thought-provoking section, Grabowski and Klein describe how Wikipedia administrators and arbitration committee (ArbCom) members responded to the conflict. They are sharply critical of ArbCom members who "don't do the homework it takes to recognize distortion" and "wish to avoid fights in this area." It is standard practice on Wikipedia for administrators to avoid questions like those above by bracketing them as content disputes (which community members are normally supposed to resolve on their own) rather than misconduct (which administrators are normally empowered to address). This practice means that transforming a broad conflict about a content area into a series of narrow misconduct cases can be an effective strategy for winning (or at least dragging out) the conflict about content. Many times, administrators dismissed reports about the distortionists for being about content not conduct. On three occasions reports resulted in arbitration cases and even sanctions such as topic bans on distortionists and a discretionary "reliable-source consensus" requirement (WP:APLRS) intended to empower administrators to intervene against controversial sources. Efforts to enforce such sanctions, however, were themselves dismissed as content disputes and the topic bans were ultimately reversed (once ahead of schedule).

Emerging from this administrivia is a picture of Wikipedia's highest institutions straining under the complexity of this case. Strikingly, steps taken to simplify administrators' tasks shift the burden of proof onto the parties of a conflict. Short word-limits in case statements were too constraining for defenders of historical accuracy to be able to explain to non-experts the problems with distortion in the articles (indeed; it takes Grabowski and Klein most of 50 pages), but provided enough space for distortionists to deflect the accusations. Thus advantaged, the authors argue, distortionists skilled in wikilaywering effectively steered the content-dispute-averse administrators away from the fundamental conflict over historical narratives and toward the particular conduct of individual editors, which is easier for the ArbCom to address.

As noted above, Grabowski and Klein may have made errors, yet these barely undermine their central argument. An audience of Wikipedia scholars is more likely to feel underwhelmed by the essay's sparse engagement with the existing Wikipedia research literature beyond the amount needed to demonstrate Wikipedia's influence and importance to collective memory. Better positioning this case study within Wikipedia scholarship could have shed new light on Wikipedia's fundamental limitations. Past scholarship has discussed systematic flaws in Wikipedia's dispute resolution processes[supp 2] (cf. our review: "Critique of Wikipedia's dispute resolution procedures") and the damage when disagreements about article content turn into conflicts about bureaucratic process and individual conduct [supp 3]. In the Gamergate Controversy, for example, the ArbCom's decision to punish editors who were defending against a coordinated anti-feminist brigade similarly reveals how Wikipedia administrators' myopic focus on civil conduct and procedural fairness can distract from a fundamental conflict about content—and even become an effective tool for disingenuous actors[supp 4]. Yet other research finds that Wikipedia can be remarkably resilient to partisan misinformation because conflicting partisans hold each other to the same policies[supp 5] (cf. our review: "Politically diverse editors and article quality"). We might ask: What (if anything) was special about this Holocaust case such that it reveals Wikipedia’s limitations so starkly? Or: How (if at all) should Wikipedia's institutions for dealing with content disputes evolve? This case presents an important opportunity to consider such questions. Grabowski and Klein, content to draw attention to this case and document it in great detail, have left this to future work.

"Let's Work Together! Wikipedia Language Communities' Attempts to Represent Events Worldwide"

Reviewed by Piotr Konieczny

The paper[2] addresses the issue of systemic bias, and focuses on English, Chinese, Arabic and Spanish Wikipedias. The authors study the production of seven years of news on these projects (from the "In the news" (ITN) section on the Main Page and its equivalents), and conclude that while there is an indication of self-focus bias, there is also strong evidence of a global representation of events. Self-focus, here, refers to focusing on one's home region or culture, and past studies found that about a quarter of most Wikipedias are about "self-focused topics".

The authors ended up with the dataset of a total of 6730 articles... 2064 in English, 1379 in Arabic, 1527 in Chinese and 1760 in Spanish which correspond to 2064 events, 172 in Arabic-speaking countries, 115 in Chinese-speaking areas, 114 in Spanish-speaking regions, 445 in the US, 472 in other English-speaking countries and 746 in [other] areas. The events were also coded by topic covered, which resulted in the 192 events classified as Science & Nature, 714 in Notable Person, 337 in Sports, 299 in Politics, 231 in Man-made Incidents, and 291 as Other categories. To compare Wikipedia's coverage to global media coverage, the author also associated their dataset with that of the GDELT Project.

Some specific findings suggest that English Wikipedia suffers from a slight under-representation of events in Arabic-speaking countries. The Arabic Wikipedia project on the other hand does not show much self-bias; instead it over-represents events that happen in English-speaking countries (but not the United States). The Chinese and Spanish Wikipedias, the authors argue, have a stronger self-focus bias than the Arabic and English projects, although still, over 90% of events covered by the news sections of these projects are about items not related to these countries. The authors also find, perhaps unsurprisingly, that larger Wikipedias will react to breaking news faster and update their news section more promptly.


Other recent publications

Other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue include the items listed below. Contributions, whether reviewing or summarizing newly published research, are always welcome.

Compiled by Tilman Bayer

"Digital divides in the social construction of history: Editor representation in Wikipedia articles on African independence processes"

From the abstract:[3]

"The present study examines how [Wikipeda's] editor geography is reflected in the editing of articles (participation, impact and success) about the independence of former French colonies in Africa. The analysis is based on 354 Wikipedia articles; by geolocating 75% of the editors (N = 23,408), we show that the majority of edits are made by users located in France. This imbalance is also reflected in the overall share of text they contribute over time. However, when looking at the individual user level, we find that editors from France are only slightly more successful in maintaining their contributions visible to the reader, than editors from African successor states."

"A Wikipedia Narration of the GameStop Short Squeeze"

From the abstract:[4]

"This paper examines the usefulness of Wikipedia pageviews as indicator of the performance of stock prices. We examine the GameStop (GME) case, which drew the investors’ and scholars’ attention in 2021 due to the short squeeze, and its skyrocketing price increase since 2021. [...] The results show strong statistical evidence that increased number of Wikipedia pageviews for COVID-19, which represents the fear of the pandemic, has a negative impact on the GME performance. Moreover, the findings show that the increased interest in information regarding the short squeeze, as expressed by the increased number of pageviews of the relative Wikipedia page, is positively linked with the GME price. The econometric analysis shows that the interest indicator of GME has a positive coefficient, but it is not confirmed at significant statistical level."


  1. ^ Grabowski, Jan; Klein, Shira (2023-02-09). "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust". The Journal of Holocaust Research. 0 (0): 1–58. doi:10.1080/25785648.2023.2168939. ISSN 2578-5648.
  2. ^ Li, Ang; Farzan, Rosta; López, Claudia (2022-12-03). "Let's Work Together! Wikipedia Language Communities' Attempts to Represent Events Worldwide". Interacting with Computers: –033. doi:10.1093/iwc/iwac033. ISSN 1873-7951. closed access Data: https://github.com/LittleRabbitHole/WikipediaLanguageCommunity
  3. ^ Schlögl, Stephan; Bürger, Moritz; Schmid-Petri, Hannah (2022). "Digital divides in the social construction of history: Editor representation in Wikipedia articles on African independence processes". In Andreas M. Scheu; Thomas Birkner; Christian Schwarzenegger; Birte Fähnrich (eds.). Wissenschaftskommunikation und Kommunikationsgeschichte: Umbrüche, Transformationen, Kontinuitäten. Münster: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft e.V. pp. 1–12.
  4. ^ Vasileiou, Evangelos (2022-05-25), A Wikipedia Narration of the GameStop Short Squeeze, Rochester, NY, doi:10.2139/ssrn.4119961{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
Supplementary references and notes:
  1. ^ "Polish Victims". encyclopedia.ushmm.org.
  2. ^ Ross, Sara (March 1, 2014). "Your Day in 'Wiki-Court': ADR, Fairness, and Justice in Wikipedia's Global Community". doi:10.2139/ssrn.2495196 – via papers.ssrn.com.
  3. ^ Arazy, Ofer; Yeo, Lisa; Nov, Oded (August 10, 2013). "Stay on the Wikipedia task: When task-related disagreements slip into personal and procedural conflicts". Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 64 (8): 1634–1648. doi:10.1002/asi.22869 – via DOI.org (Crossref).
  4. ^ Famiglietti, Andrew (October 31, 2015). "ADIEU WIKIPEDIA: UNDERSTANDING THE ETHICS OF WIKIPEDIA AFTER GAMERGATE". AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research – via journals.uic.edu.
  5. ^ Shi, Feng; Teplitskiy, Misha; Duede, Eamon; Evans, James A. (April 10, 2019). "The wisdom of polarized crowds". Nature Human Behaviour. 3 (4): 329–336. doi:10.1038/s41562-019-0541-6 – via www.nature.com.

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<edits violating 500/30 policy (and others) removed>

<edits violating 500/30 policy (and others) removed>

Richard C. Lukas

It is worth noting that Richard C. Lukas' book The Forgotten Holocaust, along with another of his works, is part of the "Background Information" reading list provided on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) website.

It is described on that site as follows: An account of the systematic persecution of the Polish nation and its residents by the German forces. Features endnotes, a bibliography, appendices including lists of Poles killed for assisting Jews, primary source documents, and an index.

I respectfully disagree with the review author's opinion that a work recommended on the USHMM website should not be suitable for citation in Wikipedia. --Andreas JN466 11:52, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure those are recommendations so much as a bibliography of books in their collection about the topic. It's in a section of the website called "Bibliographies" and the page you linked says (emphasis in the original) "The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to selected materials on Poles during the Holocaust that are in the Library’s collection." Levivich (talk) 13:10, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What they are trying to say there is that the bibliography is not exhaustive: "The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to selected materials on Poles during the Holocaust that are in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive."
They also say that the listed items are "selected materials", i.e. selected from the titles they have in their library. So the book was not included just because they have a copy of it but because the curator of the list thought it was appropriate to include it and guide visitors of their library to it (hence the alphanumeric codes following the titles, which are call numbers for the Museum's Library). Andreas JN466 13:53, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ewa Kurek is also on that list. She's the one that said COVID was an attempt to replace Western culture with Jewish culture. I don't think that is a list of "recommended" works. Levivich (talk) 14:18, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They have one 1997 work of hers in their list, written well before she went off the deep end. Andreas JN466 16:56, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would be careful with reading too much into what it means that a specific book was listed on a particular website. "Selected" may not necessarily mean "we had a ton of books, read them all, and these are the ones we recommend". It may just mean "these are the ones we had" or "these are the ones we got to", and the one-sentence summary is both generic and detailed at the same time. I've written those things, I've made indexes and annotated bibliographies, and I would not read recommendations in them, unless that's specifically mentioned. Drmies (talk) 18:22, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For what it's worth, Lukas' book is also included in the Further Reading and Additional Sources appendix of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum book "Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust".
In that appendix, there are only five books listed for the topic area of "Polish and Soviet civilians, and Soviet prisoners of war". Lukas is the author of two of them. (And yes, Kurek's 1997 work "Your Life Is Worth Mine: How Polish Nuns Saved Hundreds of Jewish Children in German-Occupied Poland, 1939–1945" is also listed in the Appendix, for the topic area "The Destruction of European Jewry", notwithstanding her more recent views.)
We can't use the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a gold standard source throughout Wikipedia's Holocaust coverage and at the same time maintain that they are casually recommending fringe sources that do not deserve to be cited in Wikipedia.
(On citation numbers see also [1].) Andreas JN466 19:15, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why do you think they're "recommending" a work just because it's listed in a bibliography? That is not a reasonable inference. Levivich (talk) 19:16, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When a book by the USHMM that covers a topic of such national and international importance and appears to have been quite carefully curated lists just five books as Further Reading and Additional Sources for a subtopic (in itself vast) like "Polish and Soviet civilians, and Soviet prisoners of war", why would anyone think that they are just listing random books, including two that are shite? I would say that is not a reasonable assumption.
By the way, I meant to reply to you earlier on that other point we were discussing in the Newsroom ... I had written quite a lot and then found the discussion had been archived. To cut a long story short: you were right; while the USHMM site covers Nazi victims in general, their use of the term Holocaust on the site applies to Jewish victims only. Apologies and regards. Andreas JN466 19:36, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the record, Andreas already raised this point in the pre-publication discussion, which interested readers can peruse to understand why the reviewer decided to still keep the remark about the book in light of other evidence. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:37, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For the record

Since Groceryheist's review of Grabowski and Klein's "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the Holocaust" has been featured *despite* objections from multiple uninvolved editors (other than me), and *despite* the fact that these editors pointed out both stylistic and factual errors in the review, I do feel the need to say that

Volunteer Marek 15:44, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Especially as part of a publication where the Editor in Chief of the Signpost wasn't available, including a divisive article that got put up a day before the deadline, instead of holding it to next issue at the minimum, was irresponsible. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.2% of all FPs. Currently celebrating his 600th FP! 18:44, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The review draft was posted on the day of the writing deadline (March 4), which we have always been communicating to "Recent research" reviewers and Signpost contributors in general for this very purpose. (Also, it had been publicly decided on February 10 already that Groceryheist would contribute this review for this issue - despite Volunteer Marek trying to make us believe back then that even a link to the paper would put us in violation of policy - and we announced the upcoming review in last issue's "In the media".) Either way, publication actually happened not on March 5 but on March 9 due to other reasons, and as Bri pointed out elsewhere, in the days inbetween March 4 and March 9 the review saw more pre-publication scrutiny and discussion than any Signpost story in recent memory. So it is entirely unclear why you claim that it should have been held up for even more discussion.
The Signpost's writing deadline has been set one day ahead of the publishing deadline for many years (Template:Signpost/Deadline. If you feel that this is "irresponsible" and should be changed, please start a discussion. But do not post misleading claims about the Signpost's process here. Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:18, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose it is too late to add those responsible for publishing this hit-piece to the ArbCom case? It definitely isn't too late to start asking why Signpost exists, if it is going to be used as a platform to preempt ArbCom decisions. Wikipedia's coverage of the Holocaust is a significant matter, and Wikipedia absolutely must consider itself fair game for external criticism, but this fawning piece of uncritical regurgitation of content demonstrably derived from a globally-blocked former contributor is a disgrace to Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:12, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's important to say here that criticizing the Signpost for the publication of one article or even two articles during an active ArbCom case is probably a bad precedent to set. The signpost is as close to an independent press as Wikipedia has (with Wikipediocracy serving as its resident tabloid), and independence of that press is pretty important. I think I can agree that publishing this was an unwise decision, but I cannot agree that it should be a disallowed one. We also should not set a precedent to place a "gag order" on the Signpost during ArbCom cases. Since these are some of the most important things that happen on WIkipedia from an admin perspective. It's an important part of editor-facing news, and ignoring it would also be a pretty glaring hole in coverage. A good and functioning press will, from time to time, post something we disagree with. Doesn't make it a bad thing that must be extinguished. — Shibbolethink ( ) 20:10, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Signpost is absolutely not 'independent' and it is ridiculous to present it as such. External criticism of Wikipedia is essential, and should be welcomed. Actual external criticism, not Wikipedia contributors role-playing journalists in order to present one side regarding a highly controversial topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:50, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:Groceryheist [2] is not role-playing journalist. He has a PhD and has published multiple peer-reviewed works about Wikipedia (among other topics). He's not role-playing, this is in his professional wheelhouse (as I understand it). And I don't think we welcome criticism by welcoming critics to an arbcom case. Levivich (talk) 21:00, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Signpost piece wasn't peer reviewed. I sincerely hope it wouldn't get past one. And when someone with a PhD Writes on Wikipedia, they do so on the same terms as anyone else. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:14, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
G&K was peer-reviewed but that doesn't stop you from calling it poor scholarship, etc. So peer review isn't really the thing that persuades you. Levivich (talk) 21:15, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's right, I called it poor scholarship. Because it is. I try (no doubt not always successfully) to make such assessment on the quality of the material itself, rather than on the basis of whichever PoV it is promoting. If the basis for my evaluation was my own PoV, untainted by the obvious fact that G&K was derived from Icewhizz's partisan toxicity and endless bullshit, I'd probably agree with a general suggestion that Wikipedia's coverage of the Holocaust in Poland has been tainted by (amongst other things) Polish nationalist politics. Coverage of the Holocaust is difficult, anywhere. On Wikipedia, with all its inbuilt structural flaws, even more so. Poor scholarship isn't going to fix that. Good scholarship, from people willing to engage in deeper research than regurgitating Icewhizz, just might help, a little. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:56, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Publishing this was an extremely poor decision. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested transmissions °co-ords° 19:34, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For what is my opinion worth here ... I also agree, it was an unwise decision to post this extremely flawed review. - GizzyCatBella🍁 22:30, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To focus on just one distortion of facts here:
Volunteer Marek claims that Groceryheist's review misrepresents my own response and objections to the paper [...] by focusing on a minor and really inconsequetial potential error in the paper - number of citations for Richard Lukas: Actually that part of the review is about both Piotrus' and Volunteer Marek's response pieces. Whatever VM may think about the Google Scholar citations count issue, Piotrus devotes over 600 words to it, also arguing that it affects way more data than just the number of citations for Richard Lukas. Based on his writeup, I think it's also safe to say that Piotrus does not share VM's assessment that this was a a minor and really inconsequetial potential error in the paper. (As mentioned in the review, it may in the end not have been an error because Google Scholar changed their citation counting methods since Grabowksi and Klein retrieved their numbers back in August 2022. But the discrepancy to the current counts is large and Piotrus was correct in pointing that out.) What's more, this citations analysis was one of the few quantitative arguments in this humanities paper (it's an interesting way to analyze potential bias, by the way, which I think could warrant a closer look to see if it could somehow made into a tool for use by Wikipedians; but I digress). So Groceryheist as a researcher with several peer-reviewed publications about Wikipedia that feature extensive quantitative analysis was very well disposed to examine this particular issue in his review. Yet this choice ends up as fodder for yet another of Volunteer Marek's wild accusations.
btw, Groceryheist, Klein's "updated table" link doesn't work - thanks for pointing that out (the link was mangled during copyediting), I fixed it.
*despite* the fact that these editors pointed out both stylistic and factual errors in the review - Groceryheist listened to and addressed a lot of input in the run-up to publication. Which specific stylistic and factual errors pointed out by editors other than yourself remain in the current, published version?
Regards, HaeB (talk) 21:04, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the thing HaeB. You - and GroceryHeist (who apparently made only 8 edits all of last year and 3 this year before this article came out - why exactly did you ask THEM to write the review?) keep focusing on this very minor "Lukas citations" issue but you willfully and - it looks like - purposefully ignore much more substantial rebuttals and criticisms of G&K. Like for example the fact that Grabowski and Klein, again, following Icewhiz, accuse Piotrus of attempting to "discredit (Anthony) Polonsky" when in fact Piotrus shows pretty conclusively that that's simply false. Yes, your (and GroceryHeist's) combined attempts to both pretend like you "presented the other side" and at the same time completely ignore and omit what this other side said appears to be problematic, manipulative and unethical. Volunteer Marek 17:08, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There seems to me to be a key point here. HaeB writes above that "...it had been publicly decided on February 10 already that Groceryheist would contribute this review for this issue...". [3] From the evidence publicly available, all that seems to have happened was that Groceryheist stated that he had read the article, and HaeB then asked Groceryheist to write a review. If this was the sum total of the way the decision was arrived at, 'publicly decided' seems to mean nothing more than 'unilaterally decided by HaeB, in public'. Is this the way Signpost normally operates? Handing the megaphone to whoever you fancy, without any clear explanation as to why they have been chosen, even while the topic is under intense discussion? How is this even remotely compatible with acting as "a balanced and impartial news source" [4] AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:41, 11 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
why exactly did you ask THEM to write the review? - why, of course because he was the most polonophobic reviewer I could find, the perfect tool for my dastardly plan to smear the great Polish nation! No. What happened was simply that on February 10, right after someone else had posted on the Signpost suggestions page saying that the Signpost should cover this paper, Groceryheist weighed in there saying that he had already read it - so I reacted there by saying We'll definitely aim to cover it in some form in "Recent research" as with all Wikipedia-focused research papers from such academic journals (Groceryheist you would be welcome to contribute a review). I'm surprised that you - Volunteer Marek - don't appear to be aware of this, considering that you 1) went through the trouble of inspecting Groceryheist's recent edits when writing your comment, and 2) you had repeatedly commented in that February 10 discussion yourself (among other things trying to convince us that merely linking to the paper would be a severe policy violation, a stance that has not been adopted by the community by the way, to put it mildly).
This far AndyTheGrump's description is largely correct too. But it leaves out that I happened to know that Groceryheist is an accomplished postdoc researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications about Wikipedia and other wikis (which VM should be aware of by now), and that he had already contributed a good review to "Recent research" before. Both are honestly more important in this regard that someone's edit count in 2022. (And for the avoidance of doubt, beyond what Groceryheist had said there on February 10, I didn't know anything about his stance about the paper, Poland, antisemitism or any other related topics when I made that invitation.)
This response is yet another example of what another editor has called your (Volunteer Marek's) "distraction tactic": When being called out on one of your many distortions and unsubstantiated accusations, you simply ignore that and try to deflect by bringing up different claims. Others then again have to spend time debunking your new claims or pointing out that they lack evidence. In this case, in the comment you are replying to, I had debunked one of your distortions of fact in detail, and asked you to provide evidence for another accusation. You ignore both (perhaps because you have no good answer to either) and instead pivot to "just asking questions" about the reviewer choice and scolding him for not having highlighted some particular example. In case you haven't noticed, this review is a high-level overview. It also gives no room to any of G&K's many concrete examples of what they see as problematic in your and Piotrus' actions - even though that might have persuaded quite a few of those readers who haven't read the paper that there is a there there. Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:27, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The editor you are citing about these "distraction tactics" is involved up to their ears in this whole mess. It's like quoting Eric Trump to support Donald. I have not made "many distortions and unsubstantiated accusations" and since you're now saying this in your own voice, you really need to watch WP:ASPERSIONS and personal attacks, especially since you appear to love to lecture others about this. You have not "debunked" anything, you just started Wikilawyering about whether the words "added" and "introduced" meant the same thing or something like that (it was so inane and pointless that I'm probably not even remembering it correctly). And "distraction tactics"? HaeB, there's absolutely nothing here that is stopping you from addressing my main point rather than CHOOSING to respond to a parenthetical (literally) side comment of mine. YOU are the one who decided to write three paragraphs about your choice of GroceryHeist. I'm not making you do it. YOU chose to do it. And then you have the nerve to accuse ME of using "distracting tactics". Volunteer Marek 05:50, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure which comparison is more insulting: son of Icewhiz or Eric Trump. Levivich (talk) 07:06, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google scholar discussion

Since I keep being mentioned here, I'll just note, for those who are interested, that "Piotrus devotes over 600 words to it" here, section 20. Miscount of Lukas is not the only problem with that, although I do agree with the authors that some scholars may be overcited compared to others. I am still working on that section (recounting data myself, etc.). Btw, Google Scholar changed their citation counting methods - citation/clarification needed? I'd love to learn how Google Scholar counts things, exactly, and how did it change? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:30, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wouldn't say precisely that Google Scholar "changed their counting methods" only that the numbers changed. They can change for all sorts of reasons, perhaps the index expanded? Or Google fixed a parsing bug that affected Lukas more than other authors? Google Scholar isn't very public about their methods, to my understanding. Groceryheist (talk) 05:42, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(ec) Thanks for the convenience link. (Btw, have you considered subsection headings for those 27 points? Might make it easier to navigate and link to.)
Regarding a change in Google Scholar's citation count methods, note that I mentioned that with a "may" - it's just one possibility. But comparing the August 2022 and March 2023 columns in Klein's updated table (OK, OK, this time I'll pull the convenience link from the review for us: [5]), it seems pretty probable that this was a systemic change - it is clear that the citation counts drastically increased for all seven authors in their analysis:
Google Scholar citation count, August 2022 Google Scholar citation count, March 2023
Richard Lukas 108 652
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz 322 403
Doris Bergen 1161 1844
Samuel Kassow 834 1326
Zvi Gitelman 2367 3690
Deborah Dwork 1362 1887
Nechama Tec 644 1398
(By the way, did I misremember this or had you also checked the authors' numbers for other authors than Lukas? If not, then it would honestly have been a bit quick to jump to conclusions that this discrepancy is evidence of bias against Lukas.)
PS: In the aforementioned email thread yesterday where Klein had reached to Groceryheist to address his criticism of this issue in the draft review (which he looped me into), we also pointed out that their counting method was not well documented, as you surely have noticed yourself (they mentioned using Advanced Search in Google Scholar but not how). She has since fixed that too. We also pointed out that it would be good to provide the citation counts for the individual publications of each author (before summing them up), as well as screenshots to document the raw search results at the time they were retrieved.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:54, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@HaeB I did check the authors' numbers for other authors than Lukas. I don't think the error in their initial data was intentional, it seems to me more of a copy paste error (108 is the number you still get from this query for Chodakiewicz - coincidence?). It would be best if they provided a link to query or queries used; although those can change over time so screenshots are ideal (but also a major PITA to record/keep/share). I actually recorded Gitelman's number as 3689 last weekend - seems he gained a citation since :) Their current numbers appear to be roughly correct when I compare them to mine (I use a bit different methodology). Setting aside the undercounting of Lukas (which does affect their Chart 3 a bit...), and the unaddressed issues, from methodological to technical, such as
1) their way of counting citations on Wikipedia - all undercounted too, as I note in my response (point 20, I'll consider adding subheadings to them, good idea), since insource:"Doris Bergen " =/= insource:" Bergen Doris", plus
2) the authors count not the total number of citations to these authors but just the number of Wikipedia articles those scholars are mentioned in - stress, mentioned, that doesn't even mean they are cited in them... our insource search sucks, btw)
3) Why compare these particular authors and not others?
4) How to account for GScholar weakness in counting non-English publications and citations?
5) Who added those citations? (User:Jayen466 already did a quick check and found out that it doesn't appear to be me of VM: [6])
6) Perhaps most fundamental, something I am just starting to look at - are citations to Lukas or Chodakiewicz used to support a particular ("Holocaust distorting") narrative? I mean, the first citation to Chodakiewicz (arguably, a much more controversial scholar than Lukas) I checked, following [7] which lead me to History_of_the_Jews_in_Poland#cite_ref-179 is used to... debunk an antisemitic stereotype (Other historians have indicated that the level of Jewish collaboration could well have been less than suggested). It's ironic, really, all things considered. The second cite to him (in the same article) is used to source a number of Jewish casualties, perhaps controversial (lower range?), ideally likely replaced by a more respected scholar, but the sentence it is referencing to is just terrible anyway, peppered with citations needed for other numbers - click and weep (History_of_the_Jews_in_Poland#cite_ref-Chodakiewicz-212_257-0). Perhaps this entire sentence should be deleted. Use 3 in Article 2 is just a list of his book in further reading in Invasion of Poland. Use 4 at Occupation_of_Poland_(1939–1945)#cite_ref-Chodakiewicz_146-0 seems to have nothing to with Polish-Jewish history. Use 5 at History_of_Poland#cite_ref-The_Warsaw_Rising_1944:_Perception_and_Reality_337-0 is also not related to Polish-Jewish history. Use 6 is the same as Use 4 I think, copypasted sentence, not related to PJH (Gulag#cite_ref-Chodakiewicz_70-0). Uses 7-8 (two citations in the article) is, again, not related to PJH (Home_Army#cite_ref-Chod_142-0). Use 8 (Vistula#cite_ref-chodakiewicz_43-0), again, just generic military history. Use 9, ditto (History_of_Poland_(1939–1945)#cite_ref-Chodakiewicz_96-0, History_of_Poland_(1939–1945)#cite_ref-Chod_120-0). Uses 10 plus few more in Article 9 (he is cited 8 times in that article I think), again, not PJH but about Soviet partisans in Poland (Soviet_partisans#cite_note-MJC-76 and several others). Article 10 has two citations to him, Nazi_crimes_against_the_Polish_nation#cite_ref-Chodakiewicz-Between_51-0 (mentions Jews but is an uncontroversial way I think? The Einsatzgruppen were also responsible for the indiscriminate murder of Jews and Poles during the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union) and the second citation is once again not related to PJH (Nazi_crimes_against_the_Polish_nation#cite_ref-120). This is just 10 out of 100+ articles he is used for, but I think this demonstrates a major fallacy in the assumption by the authors, that such sources are used to advance some "Holocaust distorting" narrative. Here I just showed that out of 10 articles he is cited for, only in one article he is used in the context of PJH, and even there it's not obvious he is used to support some claims of the "Polish heroic/nationalistic narrative" (maybe the second use there would qualify?). So in summary, while G. and K. may be right that Chodakiewicz, for example, is overcited on Wikipedia, they should prove first that he is usually cited in ways that advance the "Holocaust distorting" narrative. As I show above, it is likely this key assumption is not met, and if this is the case, well... this entire argument that said narrative is actually "winning" starts looking a bit dubious.
Instead, a number of alternative hypothesis should be considered. For example, H1: Polish military(?) history is covered on Wikipedia better than some other topics, so there will be more citations to scholars writing about this topic than to scholars in another random field (ex. general Holocaust history). H2: The number of citations to particular scholar is correlated more to his works availability in Google Books and open access and such rather than to the narrative they are associated with (FUTON bias?). This is just from some quick brainstorming. A proper research piece should discuss all of the above in the limitations section - a section that doesn't exist in that essay (nor does it have a methodology section...). Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:42, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Piotrus: It is starting to look like you are seriously misrepresenting several things about this issue, here and in your rebuttal page.
I did check the authors' numbers for other authors than Lukas - OK, thanks for confirming my earlier recollection. However, the reason that above I had momentarily doubted myself about this was that in your rebuttal piece (at least at the time I wrote that second comment) you only pointed out that discrepancy - "ridicolously [sic] low number", "clear factual error" - for Lukas, not the other authors; thus making it appear that this had specifically disadvantaged him in the analysis. That seems rather selective. What's more, as I pointed out above, this may well not have been an error after all. And most egregiously, you are now writing on your page Note: the authors seem to have acknowledged the error in citations regarding Lukas as of early March; see discussion at [this talk page]. But that is not true, Klein has (to my knowledge) not acknowledged that they made an error there and I didn't say so above when drawing your attention to their updated table. Rather, she argues that the counts on Google Scholar have changed in the meantime. You should retract your claim.
I don't think the error in their initial data was intentional, it seems to me more of a copy paste error (108 is the number you still get from this query for Chodakiewicz - coincidence?). - I don't see how you get the number 108 from the linked query, can you elaborate? Also, given that we now know that the current numbers for all 7 authors are now much higher that stated in the paper (not just for Lukas), are we to assume that such a copypaste error was made for every single one of them?
1) their way of counting citations on Wikipedia - all undercounted too, as I note in my response, 2) the authors count not the total number of citations to these authors but just the number of Wikipedia articles those scholars are mentioned in: Uh, in the paper they actually do not say they are counting "citations on Wikipedia". Instead, these numbers are clearly described as "mentions" instead (see Chart 3, left hand side). So I don't think your criticisms here is valid. Or is there another part of the paper where they indeed incorrectly describe these numbers as citation counts?
3) Why compare these particular authors and not others? - the authors actually provide a rationale (Nechama Tec, Samuel Kassow, Doris Bergen, Deborah Dwork, or Zvi Gitelman, to name some well-known experts on Holocaust history). One can criticize that rationale, e.g. for not using a more narrowly defined sampling population or defining a more systematic sampling strategy. But fairness would demand that you first seek out and quote what the paper itself says to your question.
5) Who added those citations? (User:Jayen466 already did a quick check and found out that it doesn't appear to be me of VM: [8]) - True, you and Volunteer Marek were not among the editors that Jayen466 found as having added that particular source. However, Poeticbent was, and also a sockpuppet of Poeticbent - as I had already pointed out in a response to Andreas, noting that actually it looks like Andreas [=Jayen466] has been unearthing additional evidence in favor of Grabowski and Klein's thesis here. So I am not exactly sure why you think that this example undermines G&K. (For others reading along, as already mentioned in the review, Poeticbent was one of the group of "around a dozen or so editors" whose actions are criticized by G&K. It's also worth observing how selectively Piotrus quotes from that discussion with Andreas.)
Regarding 6): So in summary, while G. and K. may be right that Chodakiewicz, for example, is overcited on Wikipedia, they should prove first that he is usually cited in ways that advance the "Holocaust distorting" narrative. - I don't see where G&K state or imply that he "is usually cited in ways that advance the 'Holocaust distorting' narrative" on Wikipedia. Rather, their criticism regarding Chodakiewicz has a different angle. I searched the paper's text for his name and these seem to be the relevant parts (I have redacted some sentences for brevity, marked by curly brackets to distinguish from the papers's own square brackets; if I have left out or overlooked relevant statements, let me know):

In another example of legitimizing weak sources, the distortionist group has extolled the historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz. Chodakiewicz’s 2003 book, After the Holocaust, engaged in copious victim blaming, stating, ‘violence against Jews stemmed from a variety of Polish responses to at least three distinct phenomena: the actions of Jewish Communists … ; the deeds of Jewish avengers … ; and the efforts of the bulk of the members of the Jewish community, who attempted to reclaim their property … ’110 {...} This type of writing garnered scathing critiques from experts in the field {here G&K cite several examples}.
Chodakiewicz’s edited 2012 book Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold, a crusade against Jan Gross’s book Golden Harvest from earlier that year, echoed the same tropes.115 While Gross’s book was published by Oxford University Press and won the Sybil Halpern Milton Book Prize, Chodakiewicz’s volume was published by Leopolis, a press run by Chodakiewicz himself.116 It therefore completely flouted academic publishing standards requiring rigorous and blind peer-review, and of its fourteen authors, only seven had PhDs, only two were faculty at universities (two more worked at the IPN), and one – Mark Paul, on whom we shall expand further on in this essay – maintained anonymity through a pseudonym. Riddled with grammatical errors, Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold exaggerated Jewish profiteering and collaborationism, downplayed Polish antisemitism, and smeared not only Gross but other prominent historians, such as Piotr Wróbel and John Connelly.117 {...} In his introduction to the volume, Chodakiewicz writes about ‘Jewish gangs pulling out gold teeth from the victims at KL [concentration camp] Sachsenhausen, stealing part of the loot for themselves, later enriching the ‘chiefs of this enterprise’ – the SS guards.’121
Chodakiewicz’s dislike of minorities extends beyond Jews. In line with European right-wing nationalists who regard the LGBTQ + community as a threat to family and nation,122 Chodakiewicz has gone on record with blatantly homophobic remarks. ‘Nothing offends God more than throwing semen into the feces,’ he stated at an IPN {[Institute of National Remembrance} event (available to watch on YouTube) held in Warsaw, in July 2019, and went on to claim that his ex-girlfriend, a nurse, once pulled a hamster out of a man’s rectum.123 {...}
Despite editors repeatedly raising concerns about Chodakiewicz, the distortionist group has adamantly defended using his work as a valid source for Wikipedia content. When confronted with the fact that Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold bordered on self-publication, Piotrus feebly protested, ‘it’s … still [an] academic press,’ ‘the essays seem to be well referenced,’ ‘no ‘red flags’ have been identified in the text, i.e. it makes no outlandish claims,’ and ‘it’s a reliable source that can be cited.’ Volunteer Marek gave even less of a justification, simply claiming that the volume was ‘an academic source and easily qualifies for reliability’ and adding, for good measure, ‘the notion that it’s not reliable is ridiculous.’126 In 2018, several editors added a number of scathing reviews of Chodakiewicz’s work to his Wikipedia biography, not before ensuring that these abided by Wikipedia’s policies on ‘Biographies of Living Persons’ (BLP in Wiki parlance), which requires that criticism of living persons relies on trustworthy sources, takes a conservative and a disinterested tone, and does not represent the views of small minorities.127 Volunteer Marek deleted them wholesale, citing in his edit summaries {...} ‘this article [is] full of BLP vios [violations]’ and ‘stop trying to turn Wikipedia articles into attack pages on authors whom you disagree with.’128
Chodakiewicz’s work continues to be cited freely and frequently on Wikipedia. Although enough uninvolved editors weighed in to oppose citing Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold,129 his other publications proliferate on Wikipedia far more than works by mainstream scholars. Like Lukas, his numerous mentions on Wikipedia (119 times)130 bear no relation to his modest visibility outside of the online encyclopedia (Chart 3).
Volunteer Marek often prefers to protect his colleagues’ edits and purge changes made by other editors, than to add new material. In Chodakiewicz’s biography, Volunteer [sic] made 37 edits, 36 of them deletions, including removal of critiques made by Michlic and Piotr Wróbel.244

Unless you can point out where G&K state or imply here that Chodakiewicz "is usually cited in ways that advance the 'Holocaust distorting' narrative", I think your whole point 6) and your criticism of a major fallacy in the assumption by the authors is invalid. Rather, they appear to argue that an author like this should not be cited at all on Wikipedia, regardless of topic.
PS, apropos (somewhat offtopic, but since you are likely to bring it up): I have read your attempted rebuttal of that Chodakiewicz section and I do not find it convincing overall, for several reasons. E.g. yes, G&K do use some perhaps overly opinionated and strident language at times, such as when criticizing you for "feebly" protesting Icewhiz' concerns about whether that Chodakiewicz-edited book satisfies WP:RS. But honestly, reading through that RSN discussion, I agree e.g. with K.e.coffman's criticism of your and Volunteer Marek's arguments in favor of that source (and yes, basically all arguments you put forth there yourself are in favor of it). K.e.coffman is an editor who is well-known for her persistent and successful efforts to combat misinformation in related topic areas. I also think she had a point in that RSN discussion pushing back against Tatzref (another one of the editors whom G&K criticize as distortionist) for trying to dismiss the Southern Poverty Law Center as "a thoroughly discredited and corrupt organization" whose assessments of Chodakiewicz [9][10] should be regarded as "worth zero".
Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:27, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Err. Regarding 1) The number for Lukas was misrepresented by ~1:5. For other authors, by much less (~1:2 or less, I think). If they argue that "the counts on Google Scholar have changed in the meantime", well... it is their right; unfortunately, this claim cannot be verified and we can only accept it in good faith. I agree that GS counts change in the meantime, but by 80%? Anyway, if you think they don't admit that this is an error, I will correct this is my piece. I have not been following this discussion in that much detail and maybe I overinterpreted something; if you can point me to an official statement by them, I can quote that, otherwise, I can quote or paraphrase what you said.
Re 2): "I don't see how you get the number 108 from the linked query". Look at the top left below the search bar, I still get "About 108 results (0.03 sec)".
Re 3): "citations" vs "mentions". The graph does indeed say "mentions", something I think I did not notice until much later, but the accompanying text says "It is telling that the volume of Lukas’s citations on Wikipedia is inverse to the volume of citations he enjoys on Google Scholar". This is the sentence I was referring too and I quoted it already in 20.4.
Re 4): "some well-known experts". My point is why chose those experts and not "some other well-known experts", including the ones they mention in the text? I do quote their text on "some well-known experts" in 20.1 already.
Re 5): It is not my intent to defend Poeticbent's socking (or Tatzref's criticism of SPLC, which I consider a generally reliable source). The issue is guilt by association. Poeticbent did something. I did not. I am lumped together with him. This is the gist of the problem. And my quote of Andreas mentioned Poeticbent already. I don't see any "selective quoting", but if you think I should add something to that quote, please let me know. In the meantime, I'll add a note that Matalea was P.'s sock, it is a good catch. Nothing is white and black.
Re 6): Err, look at the paper's title? This is the primary issue. I mean, if not for the extremely serious accusation of "Holocaust distortion", would we be having this conversation anyway? Anyway, you say "their criticism regarding Chodakiewicz has a different angle" and that "they appear to argue that an author like this should not be cited at all on Wikipedia, regardless of topic". I don't think that there is any different angle here (title, again - and why shouldn't we use this author if not b/c of that particular angle?), but I concur they likely would agree that he shouldn't be used as a source at all. Whether they are right or not is for RSN to determine. Personally, I'll note that my views on Chodakiewicz's reliability evolved over time; initially I was not aware of any criticism of him and considered him to be just an ordinary historian - obviously, today I am much more familiar with that, more so than I was in 2019 (and correspondingly, my opinion of his reliability is getting more and more negative). However, as I show in 20.81, much of his use on Wikipedia relates to milhist, for example, I initially encountered him, IIRC, in the context of Soviet partisans in Poland. I don' think G&K make any substantial comment on why he is an unreliable source in a general milhist context (although I'd be cautious and probably advise against using him in the context of Soviet-Jewish partisans, for example). Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:59, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding 1) [...] if you can point me to an official statement by them, I can quote that - see the comments in Klein's updated data table that was already mentioned in the review, also quoted in 2) below. I'm surprised that you apparently haven't yet looked at it, even though you have been busy penning lengthy critiques of G&K in that regard, both above and in your document.
Re 2): "I don't see how you get the number 108 from the linked query". Look at the top left below the search bar, I still get "About 108 results (0.03 sec)". - thanks for clarifying that. However, now we have an even bigger problem here with your claims about G&K: It appears that you assume that they used the total number of results when searching for publications by this author (108 in this case). That wouldn't have made sense though - this is not about counting his publications, but about counting citations of these publications. And in any case it's not what G&K did, according to the methodology description they have now provided in their updated supplementary materials (my bolding, and excuse the encoding issues - not sure if it's my computer or that university server):

Data aggregated on 8 March 2023. Statistics from Google Scholar were tallied using the same method as in August 2022, searching author's name in Advanced Search, "Return articles authored by," with no quotation marks.
For each author, in both August 2022 and in March 2023, we tallied the total number of citations for each one of the author's publications, whether book, journal article, etc, regardless of language. We counted only citations to publications on European history (excluding, for example, citations to Tec�s sociological studies on gambling in Sweden, but including citations to Dwork�s work on British childhood history, Kassow�s work on Tsarist Russia, and Lukas's work on the Cold War).
For Gitelman, we used Google Scholar's automatically tallied citation totals, since this author has a Google Scholar profile. For the other authors, we tallied the citations manually, as provided by the �cited by [number]� field.
As reader will note, Google Scholar citations have increased across the board, though unevenly, between August 2022 and March 2023, owing to Google Scholar�s constant updates.

(To be extra clear, in the case of your Chodakiewicz query, that would mean adding up 75 for the first search result (since it says "Cited by 75"), 44 for the second, 14 for the third, and so on.)
Re 3): "citations" vs "mentions" (I think you may have meant "Re 1) and 2)")
The graph does indeed say "mentions", something I think I did not notice until much later, but the accompanying text says "It is telling that the volume of Lukas’s citations on Wikipedia is inverse to the volume of citations he enjoys on Google Scholar" - OK, but actually the very sentence you quote here is 1. preceded by another sentence that again specifically talks about "mentions" instead:

Wikipedia mentions Richard C. Lukas 82 times, more than it mentions Nechama Tec, Samuel Kassow, Doris Bergen, Deborah Dwork, or Zvi Gitelman, to name some well-known experts on Holocaust history.

and 2. is also accompanied by a footnote (no. 109) where G&K clearly define how they quantify this "volume" on Wikipedia (my bolding):

109 These figures were calculated by tallying citation counts on Google Scholar for each historian, and comparing them to the number of mentions on Wikipedia, using https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=&title=Special:Search&go=Go

I.e. the authors were entirely transparent about counting mentions, making your protestations about alleged data errors or miscounting/undercounting rather odd in that regard.
This is the sentence I was referring too and I quoted it already in 20.4 - my remarks here were referring to what you had posted above, not to your document. And isn't 20.5 (not 20.4) the section in your document where you accuse them of undercounting of all numbers cited for Wikipedia? Either way I don't think it would be OK to quote this sentence out of context, i.e. to leave out the authors' own definition of what they mean by the words in the sentence.
Are there more sophisticated ways of counting citations and examining citation biases? Most definitely. (I reviewed a related paper myself just last month in "Recent research".) And I'm not here to defend - or criticize - the G&K paper; recall that I'm not the reviewer. Instead, my aim right now is to examine the validity of your criticisms of the paper as you have been posting them on this talk page. And my impression so far is that there are so many problems with them that people should not rely on the rest of your rebuttal document either without independently checking your claims.
Re 4): (I think you may have meant "Re 3)") [...] I do quote their text on "some well-known experts" in 20.1 already. - Good on you, however I was not commenting on the text in your document, but on what you had written above, where you were creating the mistaken impression that G&K did not provide any rationale.
Re 5): It is not my intent to defend Poeticbent's socking (or Tatzref's criticism of SPLC, which I consider a generally reliable source). The issue is guilt by association. Poeticbent did something. I did not. I am lumped together with him. This is the gist of the problem. I understand the concern of not wanting to be accused of something you did not. But you are changing the subject here - you would need to quote the specific claims from the paper where G&K "lump" you together with Poeticbent regarding "The Forgotten Holocaust" and create "guilt by association", and we could then discuss their validity. I'm ready to believe that you didn't always agree with Poeticbent, but then again it would be extremely surprising if a dozen people always agreed on everything for years.
And my quote of Andreas mentioned Poeticbent already. - I was referring to your claim above under 5), where you did not mention Poeticbent. Either way, my point under 5) was that Andreas' finding does not undermine G&K's overall thesis; to the contrary, he appears to have unearthed some additional evidence for it. HaeB (talk) 12:21, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True, you and Volunteer Marek were not among the editors that Jayen466 found as having added that particular source. However, Poeticbent was, and also a sockpuppet of Poeticbent - as I had already pointed out in a response to Andreas, noting that actually it looks like Andreas has been unearthing additional evidence in favor of Grabowski and Klein's thesis here. So I am not exactly sure why you think that this example undermines G&K. (For others reading along, as already mentioned in the review, Poeticbent was one of the group of "around a dozen or so editors" whose actions are criticized by G&K. It's also worth observing how selectively Piotrus quotes from that discussion with Andreas.) and I understand the concern of not wanting to be accused of something you did not. But you are changing the subject here - you would need to quote the specific claims from the paper where G&K "lump" you together with Poeticbent
Are you really trying to pretend that G&K are not "lumping" myself and Piotrus in with Poeticbent, or for that matter, any "Polish" user that has ever had a disagreement with Icewhiz? And let's see look at exactly what you do here - first you say "Poeticbent was one of the group of "around a dozen or so editors" ", which is YOU "lumping" Poeticbent in with others, then in your next response you're all like "you have to prove that you're being lumped in with Poeticbent". So which is it? A lumped together "group" or individual editors? You pick and choose and twist and wikilawyer and contradict yourself as you try to justify your own really bad decision and continued advocacy for this terrible paper.
And Andreas is NOT "unearthing additional evidence in favor of G&K". Andreas explicitly says "Among the first 15 articles I have reviewed, there is not a single one where Lukas' name was first added by either Piotrus or Volunteer Marek." and you take that and somehow managed to get "that's more evidence in favor of G&K!" out of that. I mean... wow. Who's the one that's "quoting selectively"?
BTW this was the *exact* same tactic Icewhiz tried in the 2019 case. Even the same editor. He presented diffs of Poeticbent's edits and then tried to pretend that somehow I was responsible for them. Because, you know, all Polish people are a hive mind clones and if one does something then all others are responsible. Or something. Volunteer Marek 15:16, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You defended Poeticbent's "Jewish welcome banner" hoax as recently as last week here. Levivich (talk) 15:30, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, no I didn't. Stop making false statements (you link to another gargantuan discussion as your "proof", knowing full well that no one's going to read the whole thing to check if you're telling the truth or not). Stop trying to deflect and derail conversations that you are not actually part of by jumping in with some side comments which don't actually address the issue being discussed but rather are designed to antagonize others. You really need to stop engaging in these distraction "tactics" so much. Volunteer Marek 15:33, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, you did defend Poeticbent's "Jewish welcome banner" hoax, here (suggesting it was not intentional), here (it was an honest mistake), here (it was not a hoax), here (it was already stale when raised), here (it was reported by Icewhiz), and here (there are worse diffs by others). Levivich (talk) 15:51, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I didn't. What I said was this (mistake, not intentional) was the actual finding of the Arbitration Committee. This is not "defending Peticbent's Jewish welcome banner hoax". But you know all this already and yet here you are showing up to repeat your false claims. And you don't think that what you're doing here - antagonizing, pestering, making false accusations, derailing, battlegroundin', misrepresenting statements - you don't think that this isn't transparent to others?
Now. Can you PLEASE find a different conversation to derail. Volunteer Marek 16:04, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What you've just quoted is defending Poeticbent's "Jewish welcome banner" hoax. It would be nice if, at least once, I could read you say something like, "That 'Jewish welcome banner' caption was antisemitic Holocaust distortion, and I can understand why many people would be shocked, upset, or hurt by it." Levivich (talk) 16:07, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, no it isn't. Please find a different conversation to derail. Volunteer Marek 16:08, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I legit pity you for being unable to admit the "Jewish welcome banner" caption was shocking, upsetting, and hurtful Holocaust distortion. You must have so much hate and pride in your heart that you seem unable to spare even a drop of empathy. Levivich (talk) 16:10, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strike that. This is your chance. Volunteer Marek 16:11, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is as I said a relatively minor point in the overall scheme of things, but I do feel compelled to point out that Zvi Gitelman's main area is the History of Jews in Russia and Soviet Union so it's not surprising that's he's not cited much in Wikipedia's articles on Holocaust in Poland. If he's undercited in the topic area Holocaust in Soviet Union then that should be raised with whoever is working on that. I have no idea why Grabowski and Klein decided to throw him in there, maybe to "inflate" the numbers or, since at least one of them is writing outside their area of expertise, due to ignorance. BTW, Gitelman's work on the Jewish Labor Bund is really good and I recommend this book he edited The Emergence Of Modern Jewish Politics: Bundism And Zionism In Eastern Europe (particularly his article) for anyone who wants to fix the under-cited-on-Wikipedia situation. Volunteer Marek 17:22, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website [11] (my bolding):

For his J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship [at the Holocaust Museum, in 2005-2006], Professor Gitelman conducted research on “East European and Soviet Jewry before and during World War Two.” [...] While in residence at the Museum, Professor Gitelman gave an evening lecture on “Why They Killed Their Neighbors: The Myth of ‘Judeo-Bolshevism’ and Holocaust-Era Pogroms in Eastern Europe.”

Those research topics seem pretty relevant in the context of Grabowski and Klein's paper. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:11, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least 2/3 of Gitelson's citations at Scholar are for works whose titles indicate they are on Soviet matters. I counted them. At least another 10% don't seem to be about Eastern Europe either. This is an illustration of why relying only on crude totals is unscientific and doing it properly would need a lot more work. Zerotalk 10:19, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least 2/3 of Gitelson's [sic] citations at Scholar are for works whose titles indicate they are on Soviet matters. - accounting for potential confounders is a different issue (see also my general remarks about stats below). The comment you were replying to was to show that Gitelman is considered an expert on topics that are within the focus of G&K's paper - well, considered an expert by the Holocaust Museum at least; apparently not by Volunteer Marek. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:04, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Haeb, what you're doing here is really just showing that you're completely unfamiliar with this historian's work aside from just doing a google search. Obviously "Holocaust in Soviet Union" is going to be related to "Holocaust in Poland" but that doesn't change the fact that Gitelman's area of expertise is the former not the latter, so it's not at all surprising that he isn't cited much in Wikipedia's articles on the latter. Anyway. I think Zero0000's point and observation that it looks like G&K chose these authors in particular for comparison precisely because they are less cited than Lukas, while there are many other scholars that are cited way more than Lukas makes this whole discussion kind of moot. It's just data manipulation and data mining with a methodology that would get laughed out of any decent journal (at least in Social Sciences). Volunteer Marek 15:30, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Obviously "Holocaust in Soviet Union" is going to be related to "Holocaust in Poland" but that doesn't change the fact that Gitelman's area of expertise is the former not the latter - I'm not sure what that has to do with my comment, which didn't talk about "Holocaust in Soviet Union" at all. Rather, I had observed that (e.g.) "The Myth of ‘Judeo-Bolshevism’ and Holocaust-Era Pogroms in Eastern Europe" is pretty relevant in the context of Grabowski and Klein's paper (Poland is in Eastern Europe, and G&K talk about both this myth and Holocaust-era pogroms in Poland). This was in response to your claims that you have no idea why Grabowski and Klein decided to throw him in there, maybe to "inflate" the numbers or, since at least one of them is writing outside their area of expertise, due to ignorance. At the very least we can conclude that your claims about Gitelman's alleged lack of expertise contrast sharply with the Holocaust Museum's judgement, who invited Gitelman to do research on this as part of a scholar in residence fellowship, and to give a talk about it.
So your speculations about the alleged intellectual inferiority of Grabowski and/or Klein in this area lack evidence. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:04, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@HaeB: So can I write and publish a rebuttal or not? And don't tell me "submissions is that way". I'm not going to waste my time writing something just to have the rug pulled out from me by you (which I think under circumstances is a legitimate concern on my part). People can of course discuss and debate whatever I write but given that you just published what is basically a hit piece against strong consensus, I'd expect some leeway here. Volunteer Marek 20:06, 11 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We're entering WP:ICANTHEARYOU territory. As I already told you here, that decision is not up to me, and will depend on the content. And while I still stand by my earlier suggestion I think it could be a good idea for the Signpost to offer [Piotrus and Volunteer Marek] (and/or other editors covered) to write a response, to be considered for publication as an opinion article (which you tried to misrepresent later, one of your many distortions of facts in that pre-publication discussion), I will also point out that since I floated that idea on February 10, the Signpost (Andreas) has already prominently featured your and Piotrus' objections in the last Signpost issue's "In the media", as discussed above. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:26, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So far as I know, there is no way to check Scholar's citation counts at a past moment. I also think this is irrelevant to the question, since the claim is that Scholar's citation counts show a problem in Wikipedia now, and to the (highly dubious) extent this is even a valid method of analysis there is no reason to not use the present counts. If the present counts don't support the hypothesis, then the hypothesis should be discarded. But I think this method of analysis is fundamentally invalid anyway.

But...it is totally impossible that Lukas' actual (as opposed to Scholar) citations jumped by more than a factor of 6 in 7 months, especially given that his most cited works are quite old. There must be another explanation. A clue can be gained from Gitelman's jump from 2367 to 3690. Looking at Gitelman's Scholar profile, we see 3693 citations but in the sidebar we see that only 115 of them were for all of 2022 and 2023. So Scholar is now saying that Gitelman's count at Aug 2022 was at least 3693-115=3578, much higher than 2367. (These numbers can change by the day.) There are multiple possible explanations: maybe the two searches were not made in exactly the same way, maybe the semantics of the search engine changed, maybe Scholar got better at identifying citations in sources, maybe Scholar got better at telling when two authors are the same person, maybe Scholar added a large number of additional sources in which to look for citations, maybe Scholar's algorithm is broken somehow. Zerotalk 08:33, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed that the actual citations can't really have increased that much. But to clarify just in case, it doesn't seem anyone has said or conjectured that. G&K themselves write about this that Google Scholar citations have increased across the board, though unevenly, between August 2022 and March 2023, owing to Google Scholar's constant updates (excerpt from their updated data documentation that was already quoted above). Regarding the possibility that maybe the two searches were not made in exactly the same way, G&K pretty much rule that out in that documentation. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:04, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Piotrus asked why G&K chose the particular scholars they did for their plot. Haeb claimed they gave a rationale: "Nechama Tec, Samuel Kassow, Doris Bergen, Deborah Dwork, or Zvi Gitelman, to name some well-known experts on Holocaust history". But that only defines the group and not the selection, so the question remains unanswered.
Looking at who was not chosen may help. Of those scholars they named approvingly in their article, Browning, Gross and Polonsky each have far more Wikipedia mentions than any of those they selected. In fact Christopher Browning, who they correctly describe as "one of the world's top Holocaust scholars", has more wiki-mentions than all of the five scholars they selected put together. Then there are other famous Holocaust scholars not named who could have been selected, such as Yehuda Bauer, David Cesarani, Efraim Zuroff and Yisrael Gutman, all of whom are mentioned in Wikipedia more times than any of those they selected. This is very strong evidence that the choice was made to fit the desired result. Bearing this in mind and reading carefully, G&K actually do give a rationale: "Wikipedia mentions Richard C. Lukas 82 times, more than it mentions ... to name some well-known experts on Holocaust history." In other words, as the numerical evidence indicates, these five people were selected because they are mentioned less than Lukas. What has the superficial appearance of a little statistical experiment is nothing of the sort. Zerotalk 15:24, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The fact that he's not mentioned the most doesn't mean he's not mentioned too much. Levivich (talk) 15:26, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's true, but I haven't ever commented on how much Lukas should be cited. The purpose of my posting here is to show that the pictorial evidence given by G&K fails basic statistical principles. Zerotalk 02:38, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Outstanding and very notable observation Zero0000. That indicates, these five schoolar were simply selected because they are mentioned less than Lukas. (How didn’t I see that first? 🤦🏻‍♀️) Thank you Zero0000. - GizzyCatBella🍁 15:38, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Um. I think it is entirely fine to point out that this is not a sophisticated statistical analysis with p-values, confidence intervals or such. (In fact I had already said so myself above, mentioning I had reviewed a paper with a more elaborate analysis of citation bias just in the preceding issue of "Recent research".) But G&K don't present it as such! And the review merely calls it a "quantitative description". In a humanities research publication, it is - for better or worse - frequently acceptable to make a point by examining a few convincing examples. See e.g. these publications about related research topics that we covered previously: "Framing the Holocaust in popular knowledge: 3 articles about the Holocaust in English, Hebrew and Polish Wikipedia", "Holocaust articles compared across languages" (But in this particular case, that list of examples could conceivably also be interpreted as solid statistical evidence in a somewhat more rigorous form of hypothesis testing, see below.)
Besides, you are yourself attempting a formal probability argument here (claiming very strong evidence / numerical evidence), and your own statistical reasoning goes awry. For example by leading your argument with outliers: In fact Christopher Browning, who they correctly describe as "one of the world's top Holocaust scholars", has more wiki-mentions than all of the five scholars they selected put together. - if you don't know anything about the distribution of citation counts among the group of Holocaust scholars (or whatever you are taking as the population here), then this is no evidence at all that those five scholars were selected to have below-average counts. I think you should either retract that claim or back it up with better evidence.
Lastly, even if one were to go along with your argument that this part of the paper is meant to be a rigorous statistical analysis and should be held to such standards: In all this you seem to assume that G&K's null hypothesis - representing a lack of (evidence for) bias - was something like "Lukas has as many wiki-mentions as the average reputable Holocaust scholar" or such (and that they try disprove/reject it using a "sample" from that group of scholars who all have fewer wiki-mentions). But given their evidently low opinion of Lukas' scholarly reputation (you or I don't have to agree with that; this is just about illustrating what an actual statistical argumentation on the paper's own terms might look like), I would find it more reasonable to assume that they might claim that an unbiased editorial process would have resulted in fewer wiki-mentions or citations for Lukas than any from the comparison group ("average reputable Holocaust scholar" or however one may want to define it; and one might also replace "fewer than any" by being in some small percentile). And that kind of null hypothesis can in fact be rejected by showing that it is violated by just a small number of deliberately chosen non-random examples; the details would depend on the such as the size of the comparision group and (again) assumptions about the underlying probability distribution; and for causal conclusions one would also need to discuss potential confounders etc. Again though, this is all speculation, as the paper doesn't claim the weight of a rigorous statistical analysis for this argument.
PS, regarding Haeb claimed they gave a rationale [...] But that only defines the group and not the selection, so the question remains unanswered. - Zero0000, that's what I had already said in that same comment myself, so I'm not sure why you were calling me out for it. (Or maybe I have just internalized WP:CLAIM a bit too much and you didn't actually mean it as criticism.) And as I had already indicated above, my comments weren't about defending - or criticizing - the G&K paper; recall that I was not the author of the review. Instead, I was focused on examining the validity of the criticisms of the paper Piotrus had posted above. And in this case they were lacking basic due diligence, by raising a question about the paper but not actually checking whether it was already answered there (whether the answer is to the critic's satisfaction or not). This is in addition to other misrepresentations of the paper, some of which I have since also entered as evidence for the ArbCom case.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:04, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having studied what I wrote before, and your response, I stand by everything I wrote. (1) G&K did not eliminate the possibility that the jump in Lukas' citations was due to their error, but only stated their opinion that it wasn't. (2) You claimed that G&K gave a rationale for their choice of 5 historians, but you did not quote them giving such a rationale. (3) G&K provided their chart in order to give a particular impression to their readers, but they could have given an entirely different impression by choosing different examples. This by itself entirely eliminates any evidentiary value. It matches the way they cherry-picked diffs that suited their case while omitting other diffs that didn't. (4) Sorry, but your statistical musings are not correct. One cannot reject any null hypothesis by "a small number of deliberately chosen non-random examples", except in trivial cases (e.g., "all humans are shorter than 1m" can be rejected with a sample of 1, but "humans are shorter than 1m on average" cannot be.). Hypothesis testing is about sampling from a probability space, which is in contradiction to "deliberately chosen non-random examples". Zerotalk 14:50, 28 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of comments from this talk page

@Piotrus and Volunteer Marek: Regarding your deletions of comments from this talk page here, here and [12]:

I appreciate the concern and your disagreement with these harsh criticisms of the "Distortion of the Holocaust" review (speaking as the editor of this Signpost section who supported its publication despite strenuous objections from some people). But WP:TPO sets a pretty high bar for deletion of comments and I think that as long as it doesn't reach the level of WP:NPA, we can deal with criticisms like that we are spreading "lies of Grabowski" or furthering "histeria [sic] introduced by Icewhiz and his Jewish friends", however factually wrong they may be.

And seeing that this review might be attracting considerable critical attention from a non-Wikimedian Polish audience, I would not like us/the Signpost/Wikipedia being accused of censorship, especially given that Volunteer Marek's cryptic rationale "500/30 policy" will not likely be intelligible to many. Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:51, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WP:TPO is irrelevant here as the relevant policy is this Arbitration Commitee Motion [13]. This has been explained several times already.
Oh and NOW you're going to start paying attention to Wikipedia policies like NPA and TPO, *after* you violated policy by going through with the review in opposition to WP:CONSENSUS which is a policy? Please explain - which Wikipedia policies actually apply and which don't apply to the Signpost? Or is it that the policies only apply to some editors and not others? Volunteer Marek 15:54, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And there's nothing "cryptic" about my rationale. I provided the link. Several times. Also, these accounts have already been blocked [14] [15] etc. Volunteer Marek 15:57, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Volunteer Marek Oh and NOW you're going to start paying attention to Wikipedia policies like NPA and TPO - not sure what you think is inconsistent here compared to the pre-publication discussion, where no comments were removed, also none of your own 50 (even though you falsely accused Grabowski and Klein of lying there, for example), and civility was a in fact a topic of discussion there including by myself (such as when I called you out on your mocking dismissal of a past ArbCom sanction against you regarding incivility, in an attempt to nudge you toward a more constructive discussion style in that debate).
And no, the Signpost didn't violate any policy with the publication of this review. WP:CONSENSUS does not mean "the Signpost must not publish views about a peer-reviewed academic paper that do not align with my own opinion about it" (besides, we already prominently featured your own view in the last Signpost, and Groceryheist again acknowledges it in his review).
Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:31, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Not interested in going through previous arguments again, but no, you didn't show that I "falsely" did anything - you just engaged in playing semantic word games as a way of justifying your own decision to run this very bad review.
  • "As the old lawyer's line says, if the facts are on your side, pound the facts; if the law is on your side, pound the law; if neither are on your side, pound the table. I'd add: and demand “civility.” " - Paul Krugman. Your own responses in those discussion were a constant barrage of taunting and sniping at me so there's your "incivility" right there.
  • WP:CONSENSUS does not mean "the Signpost must not publish ... Nobody said that's what CONSENSUS means. CONSENSUS does mean that when there's a whole bunch of uninvolved editors telling you "this is really bad, don't publish it", you respect their opinion rather than ignore it or try to WP:WIKILAWYER it away. Was there or was there not significant opposition to the publication of this review? If this had gone to WP:RfC, which it really should have but I guess it's too late now, how do you think it would've been closed?
  • besides, we already prominently featured your own view in the last Signpost Um, this "prominently featured" was a single sentence " Volunteer Marek, another editor named in the essay, has also published a multi-part response in English on his Substack." in a 600 word essay (for the record I'm not blaming Andreas since that wasn't the purpose of his essay). "Prominently"? You're saying this in all seriousness? Volunteer Marek 16:43, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Um, this "prominently featured" was a single sentence - The very headline of that story was Wikipedians rebut paper alleging "intentional distortion" of Holocaust history ("Wikipedians" referring to Piotrus and yourself), so yes, I call that "prominently".
    Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:01, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you think that headline reflected the content of the piece accurately? Volunteer Marek 17:23, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't write this headline and I have in fact some concerns about, given that the "rebut" vs. "alleging" wording seemed biased against G&K / in favor of you and Piotrus (see the conversation between Andreas and myself in the pre-publication discussion, right above "Arbitary break 2").
But anyway, what is your point here? That the headline is not a prominent part of a Signpost article? That this headline contains factual inaccuracies? (Which?) Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:32, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And regarding And there's nothing "cryptic" about my rationale. I provided the link. Several times - uh, actually only after I made that comment.
And in any case, the note that readers now see on top this talk page (<edits violating 500/30 policy (and others) removed>) is without any link and unintelligible to anyone except those editors most familiar with the community's internal controversies about the content area that is the topic of the first review in this issue and the corresponding ArbCom ruling.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:53, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS: I see that since [16], Piotrus has since had the sockpuppeting allegation confirmed for one of the commenters (Wierch Wisełka), so yes, that comment should be removed under policy. Still, even there, the link it provided is informative about what kind of pushback Grabowski, Klein and Wikipedia are receiving from certain corners. Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:03, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just blocked another one, and revdeleted a comment. HaeB, I see no positive value in leaving that kind of material on the page or even in the history. Drmies (talk) 16:07, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's kind of the rhetorical trick here though, isn't? "Some bad people criticize X, therefore all people who criticize X are bad, so we can just dismiss all criticism out of hand". Based on this common fallacy. Volunteer Marek 16:09, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The next Signpost could have an article about this talkpage. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:16, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Heh, yes. Also, basic economics teaches us that monopolies are usually inefficient and incompetent. Unfortunately costs of entry are very high so doubt that will change anytime soon. Volunteer Marek 16:18, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The costs of entry to compete with the Signpost are very high? How much do they charge you to create a new page on Wikipedia? Levivich (talk) 18:27, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, see more basic economics: Opportunity cost. Most of which is "time". You really think that just throwing up an alternative to the Signpost would be simple and easy? Volunteer Marek 18:37, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ramblings about "Jewish lies" are not legitimate criticism. Removing trolling and disruption, which this unquestionably is, is explicitly allowed by TPO; you don't need to prove block evasion for that. --Blablubbs (talk) 16:22, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These edits were specifically fair game to remove. I have to question whether it was wise for Marek to be the one to do so, but an uninvolved editor could do so without issue. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:38, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely agree those comments were very evident SOAPBOXing from SPAs. I think if I were VM, I would have waited for others to remove them given my own involvement, but I think the removals were correct. I also do not think VM's removal should be sanctioned or met with any admin actions. — Shibbolethink ( ) 20:04, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Full transparency, I was told about this article by someone offsite, but I don't believe commenting here is canvassing. Complaints such as histeria [sic] introduced by Icewhiz and his Jewish friends are a straightforward violation of WP:NPA since they implicitly target all Jewish people by being anti-semitic. It's possible to say the G&K article as being full of lies without taking one's comments to an anti-semitic place. Volunteer Marek's comment did an excellent job of criticizing the article without resorting to antisemitic canards. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 21:03, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ECP applied

Per WP:APLECP, extended confirmed protection has been applied to this page. This action as been logged at [17]. --Jayron32 16:58, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The chronology on Wikipedia suggests that a progenitor/related concern was first acknowledged through a list of arbitration committee findings in 2009 (with indicators of the source issues and concerns going back to 2005). The current arbitration "revisits" and references a prior arbitration that occurred in 2021. "I know you are but what am I" or "My facts are more correct that your facts" does not negate the process and governance concerns which remained open and thus unaddressed for 13-19 years. I think the current arbitration committee might want to look back to 2009 and prior. Flibbertigibbets (talk) 01:41, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A more trivial question

I don't intend to join in the intensely substantive discussion among my more informed colleagues, but is this sentence possibly missing a word or two? "Many Poles believe elements of the distortion narrative which Poland's current government has taken legal and administrative steps (e.g., creating monuments for apocryphal Poles who rescued Jews) to popularize." Jim.henderson (talk) 00:43, 11 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "which" should be a "that" in the current current sentence structure so as to be grammatically correct. Moving the parenthetical part to after "to popularize" would also improve clarity. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 05:28, 11 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zooming out

Thanks. Another clou in this cough-in.Nishidani (talk) 08:07, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent and accurate comment, Elinruby. The "true believers" of a non-neutral point of view often win in disputes about content.Smallchief (talk) 12:11, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for weighing in and providing another perspective. Without disputing (or endorsing) your other points, and assuming you are talking about the paper that is the topic of this Signpost review, I don't think the following is plausible: Grabowski mocks Piotrus for saying that a source was reliable, but does not appear to understand the term of art as it is used in Wikipedia. It is entirely possible to my mind that the problem with that assessment was Wikipedia's misconceptions about print sources [...]
Grabowski and Klein explicitly quote Wikipedia's WP:RS policy:

Unreliable sourcing
In theory, Wikipedia’s policy on sourcing serves as a safeguard against editors who falsify information. The site requires that ‘articles should be based on reliable, published sources,’103 disqualifying data from unreliable sources. In most areas of the encyclopedia, this provision serves its function: if an editor comes across an unreliable source, they can remove it, and if another Wikipedian repeatedly restores it, administrators (editors with special privileges) can impose sanctions against the offending party. However, the distortionist editors in the area of Holocaust history in Poland abuse this system by contesting the very definition of reliable research. They spend a considerable amount of time legitimizing nonacademic sources and authors, and, conversely, delegitimizing trustworthy works and authors. So, when uninvolved editors or administrators arrive to settle an editing conflict, they have a hard time telling right from wrong.

(Footnote 103 refers to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reliable_sources .)
The paper also extensively covers discussions from the Reliable Sources notices board (WP:RSN), as already discussed in another thread above.
So I think it's safe to assume that the authors were aware that the term "reliable" has a policy meaning on English Wikipedia. Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:46, 9 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You'd think so, wouldn't you. And yet, there is indeed a point where Piotrus is quoted talking about RS policy (my reading, anyway) and Grabowski starts talking a wrier's scholarly reputation. I'll dig it out if you insist but I think a good reporter should be able to find it Elinruby (talk) 22:32, 9 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure what your argument is here. Scholarly reputation (or lack thereof) is regularly an argument on WP:RSN when evaluating specific sources against the general WP:RS definition (even if, of course, the latter is a more general concept). So I don't see how this example would support your claim that Grabowski does not appear to understand the term of art as it is used in Wikipedia. Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:59, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Grabowski may or may not understand what "reliability" means on Wikipedia, but the question is irrelevant since Grabowski did not attempt to judge Piotrus or anyone else by the Wikipedia standard. Grabowski uses "reliable" in the standard manner of historians, namely "reliable" means "approved by Grabowski" and "unreliable" means "disapproved by Grabowski". Zerotalk 18:00, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Right, this is my point exactly. I am coming at this from knowledge of some of the parties in another subject area deemed off topic, and editing experience in this one that is limited, pre-February 2023, to School of Paris, which only slightly overlaps. Therefore I have been reading, but not debating, the finer points of Polish historiography, which others seem to know much better than I do. But. Is there doubt in anyone's mind that if he told a student that it was ok to use a source for non-controversial matters, he was tactfully saying (to a student editor) that the source was not wonderful but met the reliable sources policy? Is this in any way behavior that should be sanctioned? If an editor is correctly implementing policy and the result is not considered ideal, perhaps the policy needs refining. If so, then I submit that if we let Grabowski determine our policies, why not just knuckle under to the Kremin too? How we do things should start by determining what result *we* want, and that should be accuracy in *my* opinion at least. I very much share MVBW's concern about external vectors. Elinruby (talk) 23:41, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Narrative and admins

I don't edit that much on controversial topics. But I rather dislike the concept of wikipedia articles being criticized for being consistent with a narrative. Such criticisms feel like they give people carte blanche to censor facts and content because it isn't in line with the "correct narrative to be". I feel as if editorial policies should constrain themselves to what is due and what accurately represents the sources and be very cautious about these "narrative" arguments. It all feels like it's part of a "misinformation creep" game, which defines "does not support every aspect of the viewpoint that I would like" as misinformation. I heard people trying to describe undue emphasis as "misinformation".

I also doubt that admins can or should deal with subtle content disagreements. It feels like this vague and fruitless hope that someone if you have enough authority and make your authority good enough it can solve all problems, whereas in reality the more powerful your authority is and the more subtle the issues it deals with the more inclined it is to be captured. Some things just have to play out in a haphazard way rather than be dealt with through process. Talpedia (talk) 00:25, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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