Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship

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RfA candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report
RfB candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report

No RfXs since 23:07, 9 December 2014 (UTC).—cyberbot I NotifyOnline

Latest RfXs update
Candidate Type Result Date of close Tally
S O N
Sarahj2107 RfA Successful 5 December 2014 102 0 0
Czar RfA Successful 29 November 2014 97 3 2
Samwalton9 RfA Successful 28 November 2014 101 0 2
Northamerica10002 RfA Successful 21 November 2014 108 38 17
Thomas.W RfA Withdrawn 21 November 2014 54 28 4
I JethroBT RfA Successful 16 November 2014 156 0 3
Jackmcbarn RfA Successful 5 November 2014 137 25 3

Current time: 17:47:14, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Purge this page

RfAs created for test purposes[edit]

Do we have a policy on RfAs created for test purposes? I've found Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Benfxmth, which the eponymous user has been working on for just over a week. If submitted as a formal RfA, it'll surely be WP:NOTNOW closed (and not just because of it's demonstrably untrue claim of 3600 edits in a period of 3 years, both figures being approximately 30 times the true values of 112 edits in 38 days); so should it be left, or WP:G2ed? --Redrose64 (talk) 17:38, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

I would just leave it. As is, it's not harming anyting. If the user makes it live, it will almost certainly be closed per NOTNOW after a few opposes. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 17:41, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd contact the user, inform them of their chances of success and point them to relevant areas (i.e. not now and tag it. This might make it less harsh on the user, which we all would rather have. Dusti*Let's talk!* 17:44, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
We should definitely try to stop this RfA from being opened, as the user was blocked for vandalism just 10 days ago. It will probably be a rather brutal experience. --Biblioworm 18:05, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've left a (hopefully) friendly note on the user's talk page. --Biblioworm 18:14, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm inclined to say let it go per WP:BITE. If this user were to go through RfA it would surely be worse, except that it would surely be closed very quickly. Seems a moot point now anyway. Ivanvector (talk) 19:03, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Dealt with in a manner appropriate for the user's editing history. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:17, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Forgive me, Kudpung, but that block seems a little harsh. "(Disruptive editing: in particular wasting community time by creating fake RfA)" - actually they didn't waste any community time, because they never submitted the RfA. Redrose just happened to notice that they were creating it, and brought it up here. The trend in discussion here seemed to be: warn them away from RfA and let it go. --MelanieN (talk) 19:26, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, I see that another admin has confirmed the block, so I am mistaken. --MelanieN (talk) 22:28, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm somewhat confused - the RfA was never submitted. Is that really disruption per se? Dusti*Let's talk!* 22:55, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the block seems a bit harsh, but I'm not going to waste much time defending someone who creates an RfA with inaccurate claims. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 00:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The user is WP:NOTHERE with already a string of recent blocks to their name. They waste users' time because their antics are on peoples' watchlists, and an admin has to intervene to do all the research (which the commenters here evidently have not). Any more complaints, or have y'all got time to run for adminship? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:40, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not complaining @Kudpung: nor am I saying you've done the wrong thing. I didn't consider the RfA to actually be disruptive and yes, I have done done some research on the user. I see that they have some good contributions and that they've created an RfA but haven't submitted it. Granted, it'd be better suited in their namespace but it just seemed a little premature. I tend to be a lot more lenient than most but that's perhaps just my nature. In any sense, the TL;DR is that I wasn't assuming bad faith on your part and I did do my due diligence. Time will tell if the user wants to come back for the right reasons or not as you've stated. Dusti*Let's talk!* 19:56, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Just to recap (for those who didn’t do any research, or who may not have been aroundon Wikipedia for very long):
  1. User has been blocked four times now by four different admins in just over a month since registering: 24 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 60 hours.
  2. Block appeal declined by a fifth admin.
  3. The current block, 60 hours, is not excessive; probably indef for CIR may even have been appropriate at this stage.
  4. The RfA was clearly not a test edit. It was made ostensibly in open defiance of a proposal at the VP.
  5. The fake RfA in its most recent cast before deletion was a disruptive piece of work if not actually vandalism.
  6. User has still only made a total of 118 edits (mainspace 65), most of which were unnecessary or unhelpful.

The complaints comments about this block are typical of the everyday mudslinging that active admins have to put up with, which after the RfA process itself, is the next main reason why users of the right calibre are reluctant to be admins. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:11, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

I assume "who may not have been aroundon Wikipedia for very long" is a reference to me. Well, what I said is that 'the block seems a bit harsh, but I'm not going to waste much time defending someone who creates an RfA with inaccurate claims.' If that qualifies as mudslinging, I guess everything is mudslinging. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 00:37, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

To address the original, general question of "Do we have a policy on RfAs created for test purposes?", I believe the answer is no; however, from the discussion above (I can't see the actual page anymore, obviously), it doesn't seem like a "test RfA", as Kudpung says. In any case, I don't think that there's any restrictions on having an incomplete RfA in someone's userspace, though I feel that if it isn't intended for submission it should be clearly marked as such (of course I only say that because I did). ansh666 02:28, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

@Ansh666: It wasn't in userspace... it was a subpage of Wikipedia:Requests for adminship and so likely to be picked up by templates, scripts and bots. The page was clearly created by using {{subst:RfA}} so I presume that they were going through WP:RFA/NOM#To nominate yourself, and had carried out instructions 2 through 6 inclusive, but had ignored instruction 1.
The nom statement was
Benfxmth is one of the users that makes 3600 edits in a period of 3 years.
Answers to the 3 standard qs were:
  1. Immediate administrative work I perform in the areas of protection.
  2. I favor adding new content. I Have created 9 pages.
  3. I have had disagreements at times regarding editing, but they have occurred relatively infrequently over the last one month, and are not what I would term as conflict per the definition of the word. Regular contributors to Wikipedia will typically experience some editing disagreements. I don't become stressful when disagreement occurs,
and a fourth q had been added
4. Please provide diffs of some speedy-deletion tagging.
A: I have tagged 10 pages for speedy-deletion.
If I were to create a fake question, I would at least make sure that the answer matched it - where are those diffs that he asked himself for? All but one may be produced by any non-admin - excluding two self-reverts, the user has in fact marked five pages for speedy deletion, and always using WP:CSD#A7, regardless of namespace or what was actually on the page. Of these, three were declined; one (User:Benfxmth, their own user page, which was blank at the time) was deleted under G7, which was valid, although it had been marked {{speedy deletion-significance}}; and one (User talk:75.108.76.68, which was also marked {{speedy deletion-significance}}) was actually deleted even though A7 doesn't apply to pages outside mainspace (I later undeleted it partly because of the inapplicable criterion, but also it contained valid comments to 75.108.76.68 from a user who wasn't Benfxmth).
But worst of all, they had removed the comment at the top that includes "WHEN CLOSING THIS RFA, REPLACE THIS PART" and replaced it with the text "Note:As has been noted, this RfA falls within the discretionary range. Upon careful review of the discussion I find sufficient consensus to promote Benfxmth to become administrator." which is blatant falsification.
This page might have belonged in userspace, but I don't think that it should have been left as a subpage of Wikipedia:Requests for adminship indefinitely. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:38, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yes, now I see that, not sure how I didn't before. If it was clearly not intended for submission, it probably should have been moved to userspace, but seeing it now I don't think that this was, and agree that it should have been deleted. Maybe we should have something on WP:RfA or another related page about this - "Don't create an RfA which you do not intend to submit" or something?
Side note: I didn't get pinged by that comment, I think because you didn't sign at the end of the line that the {{replyto}} was on. Echo is silly. ansh666 06:15, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

"Testing the waters" for three changes to RfA[edit]

I've been thinking about three changes to RfA that might make the admin system a bit better. However, I thought it would be better to post here first and test the general opinion before going for the full-blown RfC route. Here are the ideas:

  1. Change RfAs to have two phases. The first phase would be for questioning, and the second phase would be for voting. Each phase would be seven days, thus extending a single RfA to last two weeks. Doing this would allow !voters to get a better picture of the candidate, as the candidate would have had time to give thought out and detailed answers to the questions. (This is sort of how the ArbCom elections work.) With the current system, candidates are rushing to answer the questions while the voting is going on. It can also get pretty messy, as voters will begin in one section, and then they'll strike their vote and move to the opposite section "per the candidates answer to question X". This change would make RfAs less stressful for the candidates and more organized for the !voters.
  2. Implement !voter prerequisites. As of now, completely new users are allowed to !vote on RfAs, and this should not be. If a user registers, and then his first edit is !voting on an RfA, you know that it's a SPA and up to no good. This could be avoided by setting a reasonable but somewhat lax requirement, such as at two weeks experience and 50 edits. This would allow us to see whether or not the user is acting in good faith; if it's not, it will probably be blocked before it reaches the necessary !voting requirements.
  3. Now, this is the largest change. I propose that we implement "probationary adminship" for candidates who get less support. If you get 75% or more support, you become a full admin, and candidates who get only 50-74% support become "probationary admins" for a period of three months. Probationary admins would be under tighter restrictions, and a 'crat could desysop at their discretion if they feel that the user is repeatedly showing poor judgement. If no major issues arise during the trial period, the user will become a full admin, and can no longer be desysopped at the discretion of a single 'crat. This system would allow potentially good admins to demonstrate that they can be trusted with the tools, without the community fearing that the candidate will be "un-desysoppable" (I made that word up).

These ideas can be modified as issues and suggestions arise. Thanks for your input. --Biblioworm 19:20, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, idea 3 has been repeatedly rejected in the past, see Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Hierarchical structures. And for the rest of the changes, you'll need an awful lot of consensus before they are implemented. Rcsprinter123 (natter) @ 20:40, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
With the way things are now, perhaps it's time to give some of those perennial proposals another chance. --Biblioworm 21:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
1 and 2 seem good, but 3 is unlikely to pass through an RfC. What about administrator "mentors" for admins that get only 50-74% support? --AmaryllisGardener talk 20:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment #2 seems resonable and I think would garner sufficient support to pass an RfC. #3 is dead on arrival as a proposal for reasons already mentioned. And bluntly anyone who can't muster 70% support in an RfA should not get the tools. Period. #1 is more problematic. I think it has some merit, but my big hangup is that RfA is already a week of intense stress for candidates. I am loathe to extend that stress unnecessarily. -Ad Orientem (talk) 21:20, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As I recall, #1 was tried some time ago, and it failed miserably. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:43, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
    See Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ironholds 2, preceded by this discussion. LittleMountain5 00:03, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • It seems that we get in infinite cycles of:
    • Agreeing that we need RfA reform
    • Bringing up new proposals
    • Rejecting the proposals
  • If nothing comes out of all this discussion within a few months, I might consider quitting all the reform nonsense and getting back to machine-gunning vandals. --Biblioworm 21:48, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
    • THAT is a quote you can expect to see if you ever run for RFA: "I might consider quitting all the reform nonsense and getting back to machine-gunning vandals." Dennis - 00:05, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
      • True, but I'm not sure that I'll ever run. I might just decide to enjoy my wikiCareer and do things that I will enjoy and get appreciated for, rather than doing thankless admin tasks. :) --Biblioworm 00:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
        • ...or, if I ever do run, it won't be until the community stops opposing people as the result of a single diff. --Biblioworm 00:17, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I support a voter suffrage rule, so long as: 1) ANYONE can pose questions, 2) The bar is kept low, as proposed. — xaosflux Talk 02:07, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strongly against voter suffrage Really? We ditch WP:AGF and just automatically assume bad faith now until a person has edited for some arbitrary amount of time/edits? REALLY? We elect bureaucrats to determine consensus, and now we're going to presume they're incapable of figuring out which editors are up to no good? Really?? Can anyone show ANY rfa that was derailed by new editors 'up to no good'? Come on. Don't add bureaucracy when none is needed. This project was started based on the phenomenally stupid idea that people could be trusted. Oddly, ten plus years on, we seem to have not failed. Maybe it's because assuming good faith IS WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING???? --Hammersoft (talk) 03:01, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • @Hammersoft: Calm down. I'm not wild about No. 2, but it's needed IMO. As a user who strongly believes in AGF and fights for it, users shouldn't start out voting on RfAs. When I first came here in Dec 2012, I knew enough about WP to avoid trouble, I was careful about things, but I didn't think about getting involved in RfAs (I was already nominating articles for CSDs within my first month here, even), and I doubt many new users would. I find the fact that people accuse new editors that vote on RfAs of being a sock more disturbing than this proposed rule. At Commons, (I know, what happens there shouldn't be used as an example for what should happen here) they have something similar to this for users voting on pictures to promote to FP status. --AmaryllisGardener talk 03:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I changed "No. 1" to "No. 2", because that seems to make sense. ansh666 04:13, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Let's not try to fix problems that don't exist: I can recall only one RfA in the last several years where an IP had any significant impact on the outcome of an RfA. IMO, the conduct of registered users -- in some cases, long-time editors -- has been far more problematic in intentionally (and sometimes unfairly) torpedoing RfAs. Where inexperience has sometimes manifested undue influence in RfAs is more often than not found in the pile-on effects. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 04:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Comments (1)The first idea has some merit, but making an RfA last two weeks would make it even more stressful. A less drastic change might be to keep the length at seven days, with questions only for the first two days. Questions could continue as is currently done, but potential voters would see the answers to a number of user questions before voting. (2) The second suggested change isn't really needed, because the RfA is not a strict vote count. The person who closes the RfA is supposed to weigh the arguments and determine the level of community support. Also, even a brand new account may represent an experienced IP editor. (3) Suggestion number three just opens up another can of worms. If ever the community decided that they wanted a probationary period, which is unlikely to happen, it should be for all new admins and not by strict percentages. It would be better to have a more defined process for removing adminship which would apply to all. —Anne Delong (talk) 16:59, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
(1) Sometimes it's useful to ask a question to help a candidate deal with an issue that has been raised in the opposes, if the candidate is avoiding threaded discussion in the oppose section to avoid seeming to badger. Restricting questions to the first 2 days makes this more difficult, and I don't see what is gained. (2) RfA is somewhat a vote count, even if not a strict one. The aim of this one is to prevent some trolling, isn't it? Trolling, as we've seen recently, can generate quite a lot of drama at RfA. (3) Yes. --Stfg (talk) 17:19, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree that questioning should continue throughout the whole RFA. I tried to make this clear by writing "questions could continue", but I guess it wasn't clear enough. —Anne Delong (talk) 11:44, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Anne Delong about the length of RfA. A week is long enough, but I suggest four or even more days for discussion and the balance for voting. The discussion is more important than the voting, really. I would not be opposed to (2), or just permanently semiprotecting RfA so only autoconfirmed accounts can participate - that would exclude some prolific IPs but overall it's a net positive. On (3), why don't we just make all successful RfAs for promotion to a probationary status? Mentoring new admins is a good idea. I like what's happening over at SPI with the clerk training program and I'd like to see it adapted to RfA. Ivanvector (talk) 17:09, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • @Ivanvector: Maybe if we gain additional support for a mentorship program, we can start something, and go to an RfC. I've thought for a while that admin mentorship would be good. It must be hard for a user to go right in to the responsibility of being an admin. On a different note, I agree with Anne that two weeks might be too much for a candidate. --AmaryllisGardener talk 17:18, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I am concerned that leaving only three days for voting may not be fair, since many people are busy in daily life and can't log in every day. —Anne Delong (talk) 11:44, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. For anyone who is wondering, I am not ignoring the feedback here. I am noting all of it, and I also agree with most things that are being said. I'm interested in getting more opinions from other members of the community. --Biblioworm 18:04, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't think there should be a separation between the question and !voting process. Many of the most relevant questions are because of concerns or followup to some of the issues brought forth during the !voting process and most notably the opposes. A two consecutive week RFA period would be unreasonable for candidates. You barely get any sleep and that's even if your RFA is going well. I think there's probably more discussion to be had with probationary periods but for all new admins. Mkdwtalk 18:59, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment As others have said above, prolonging an already agonising wait for the outcome of an RfA places further unnecessary stress on candidates, which is to be avoided. As an alternative to the probation suggestion, it might be a better idea to exclude new admins from certain admin activities for a fixed period—this should also fix criticism of candidate weaknesses in particular areas. The restriction would be honour-based so that no changes are needed to the current process of granting rights.  Philg88 talk 19:28, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
User:Philg88 That is an interesting angle. Can you expand a bit? Irondome (talk) 19:33, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
My immediate thinking is that there are two ways that a restriction on activities might work. a) Fixed: for example no blocks or deletions for a set period or b: Flexible: All activities allowed by default but specific areas restricted for an agreed time based on valid concerns raised at an RfA. The problem with the latter is who is going to decide what's valid and what isn't.  Philg88 talk 19:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
What's the point of being an admin if you are not allowed to use all the tools in your kit? New admins will never learn how to use all their tools unless they're allowed to. —Biblioworm 20:47, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
It is the correct and appropriate usage of them that can be the issue. A good admin uses their "tools" wisely. Often sparingly. The best tools are wisdom and some life experience, and you don't get issued with them post RfA. Often the !voters don't have the innate "toolkit" either, which just compounds the problem. Irondome (talk) 21:32, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Whilst I don't have a huge amount of experience at WP:RFA I thought I might add to this.
Change RfAs to have two phases. The first phase would be for questioning, and the second phase would be for voting. - That was tried once, a few years back. It didn't sit well with the community and I doubt it will again. Why prolong a request? Questions can be asked during the RFA
Implement !voter prerequisites.. No - SPA's get caught easily, and this is simply a layer of bureaucracy. Whose to say someone with 100 edits might not have something rather insightful add to the discussion? And it goes against almost every egalitarian principle on WP.
Probationary adminship. Unworkable - 'crats have no authority to desysop beyond very limited circumstances - so out of their mandate (I suspect the OP does not understand the role of a WP:CRAT). Who defines "poor judgment" anyway?
A good faith set of ideas that are, when thought through, not actually useful. Pedro :  Chat  21:41, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
On the whole I agree with User:Pedro in their reasoning. As I have said before, I think RfA in its present form is the best we can get at the moment. It is an evolutionary change in the whole community, in reading up the history of the debates and all the extensive studies that the community itself has carried out so that behaviours are modified. That is needed and will happen.Irondome (talk) 22:11, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
A doable, and immediate improvement to the RfA thingy would be to add a witty but insightful essay into recommended reading for !voters and candidates. If it doesnt exist in some form at the moment it should be written. Something like WP:The shitty lot of the Administrator. It would give a perhaps understated view on adminship. Every RfA is not a "promotion". Its 3 years in HMP Wandsworth. It would be a reality check. I think any admin candidate should ask themselves, is getting the mop a promotion or a self inflicted punishment for the good of the community? I think the"promotion" camp both !voter and candidate, if it exists, may be part of the problem.If !voters and candidates approached any RfA as a human sacrifice on the alter of WP:Sense of duty, things may change for the better. Irondome (talk) 22:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
"(I suspect the OP does not understand the role of a WP:CRAT)" - I perfectly understand the current role of a bureaucrat, having read the WP:CRAT page multiple times. Just because I'm proposing changes to the current system does not mean that I misunderstand it. --Biblioworm 13:24, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: To answer a couple of Hammersoft's arguments uptopic, first off, WP:AGF isn't a suicide pact. We all ought to assume good faith, but AGF doesn't impose the obligation to ignore bad faith. Your assertion that everything is hunkydory is nonsense: have you taken the trouble to look at the numbers and realize that the number of RfAs has decreased tenfold in just a few years?

    Secondly, as to the notion that bureaucrats exercise discretion over the process: nonsense twice. Looking over the last three years of RfA, every single candidate hitting 75% was passed. Every single candidate who failed to get at least 73% failed. Only four turned up in the "discretionary" band between, two of whom were passed and two rejected. This is absolutely, and always has been (the last time I checked was in 2008, when in the previous year every one of the 331 candidates who hit 75% and didn't withdraw were passed, and none of the several hundred who didn't make 75% were) a pure head count. There has never been, in the whole history of the process, a situation where a bureaucrat has said "Look, she only got 55%, but the hobby horse the Oppose voters rode was bullshit, so she gets the mop anyway" ... and there never will be. Ravenswing 23:14, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong, but if I remember rightly, every one of the reform suggestions in this thread has been tried several times and are now WP:PEREN. The turnout at RfA has significantly increased with 100+ support no longer a rarity. But so has the number of unsuccessful RfA with relatively high turnout of supporters. What we are getting is a community that is now more concerned and more critical of the way we elect our admins and who we elect. @Anne Delong:, @Ymblanter:, @HalfGig: Snottywong's tool is working perfectly. Born out of WP:RFA2011 where he worked tirelessly to provide dozens of tables and charts in analysis of voters and their patterns, it is indispensable when discussing users who participate at RfA.
Today, the tool still clearly demonstrates that among the regular voters, some do indeed appear to generally vote 'oppose' (or only vote when they are fairly confident the RfA will fail). Others who have also voted on more than 200 RfA have a more balanced distribution of their support, oppose, and neutral votes, and what is important is that the vast majority of their votes matched the result whether they voted early or not, or suppport, oppose, or neutral. Early voters are not likely to be swayed by the opinions of other voters, but if they express themselves objectively and well, they can significantly influence the result as can be evidenced by the unresearched pile-ons they precipitate. On the other hand, voters in the 'oppose' section who do not express themselves so nicely often set the tone of the RfA which leads to a pile-on of PA, incivility and other disingenuous votes and comments, thus creating the very drama that puts people off from running.
RfA is certainly less broken than it was in 2011, but as consensus can change, I still see myself sometimes supporting suggestions for changes even if deep down I'm fairly sure they will not gain traction. Give the PERENS a new shot? -Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:26, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Snottywong's Adminscore tool[edit]

Anyone know why Snottywong's adminscore tool hasn't been working and if it can be fixed? No matter which non-admin user name I put in, I get a "504 Gateway Time-out" message. If I put in an admin name it says the user is already an admin (which makes sense). I think the tool is useful but it's not perfect. I have not tried to use it since early this year and back then it worked. HalfGig talk 12:57, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

When I tried to use the "Edit count" tools last week, I received an error message saying that there were issues after database maintenance, and that some Wikis might not work. Maybe the same thing is affecting this tool? It may not be a software issue, but a problem with accessing the necessary data. —Anne Delong (talk) 13:06, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I believe User:JackPotte is maintaining that tool now. The error is probably a result of some change that was made on the WMF Labs servers. That's one of the reasons that I couldn't be bothered to continue maintaining the tools myself; things keep changing that break the tools. Usually, once you've developed a tool and worked out all of the bugs, then you can sit back and relax and just let the tool run. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. ‑Scottywong| prattle _ 16:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done The server performances has evolved since my last tests. Apparently we can't get the account age in a few seconds anymore. So on the 11 wanted criteria, it remains only four ones to get a result in a decent time.
That's why I had asked for some help by merging these scripts into Xtools. JackPotte (talk) 20:34, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
@JackPotte: Another thing, the tool says that the maximum score is 1000, and that over 500 is good, but it doesn't look like it's even possible to reach even 500. Would you mind correcting that? --AmaryllisGardener talk 20:53, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for fixing that JackPotte. @ Kudpung, see, it really was broken ;-) HalfGig talk 13:09, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
JackPotte, the info returned is vastly reduced from early this year. What happened? HalfGig talk 13:11, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I have just tried it on my username - it still returns only four parameters and thus the "score" is very low. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:46, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I thought we were discussing another tool. My bad. Nothing alters the fact that no tools work as well on labs as they used to on the ToolServer. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:55, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, yes. We were sold another bill of goods by the WMF. I believe JackPotte explained it above: the tool can no longer get the necessary info for 7 of the 11 criteria within the time available, so it was timing out and has now been restricted to the available tasks. I at any rate have been seeing the same thing on clicking the "Edit count" link at the bottom of contributions pages - it was a thing of beauty for a while, but the WMF keeps making changes that break it and now it hardly ever works. At least one recent RfA had a note to that effect. Yngvadottir (talk) 14:02, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
What happened to the edit counters is the most disappointing of all. Rather than just port the main one to labs, the individual who took on the migration in good faith obviously bit off more than he could chew, unilaterally deciding to change the look of the whole thing as well, and when the complaints started he retired with some excuse that he is too busy at school. Kinda figures. Perhaps we should leave serious programming to the grown-ups after all. The edit counter is now all but totally unuseable and takes up to 10 minutes to load (if in fact it does). He can't really be blamed though because the whole Labs project is typical of the WMF boldly undertaking something and leaving the volunteers to clean up the mess. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:51, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────+1 to that, Kudpung. But will the Admin score tool be forever unable to access the rest of the criteria, or can it be fixed? That discussion of Jack's tp that was linked said something about xtools, I don't know if that has any significance. (Obviously, I have no idea how these tools work) --AmaryllisGardener talk 14:59, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Czar RfA formatting error[edit]

EuroCarGT kindly informed me that the archiving template I used for Czar's request for adminship did not reach the bottom of the page due to the collapse template used for the sixth question. The trouble is, I'm not sure how to fix it. Could somebody who does possess the know-how fix it, please? Thanks in advance. Acalamari 13:16, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Fixed - NQ (talk) 13:38, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
A number of templates will break if used inside a list. Such templates include {{collapse top}} {{documentation}} {{edit protected}} {{navbox}} {{redr}} and {{reflist-talk}}. Most of them involve HTML block structures like <div>...</div> or <table>...</table> which although permitted inside HTML lists, get messed with on their way from the wiki markup to your browser. The breakage might be a misdisplay of the template itself, or there may be a problem further down the page, such as a box ending early, as in this case. I'm using the term "list" in the broad sense: any line that begins with a colon, asterisk or hash is part of a list, so look for any colons used for indenting a block-type template. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:34, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, NQ for fixing the formatting and thank you, Redrose64, for the tips. Acalamari 20:54, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: Statute of limitations[edit]

I propose a statue of limitations for one year on any candidate's actions. If anyone presents some action taken by the candidate more than one year ago, it should immediately be struck from the record and not considered in closing, or ideally, voting. This recognizes that a candidate that wasn't good in the past might be a better person now, and would make RfA discussions much more civil with crap not being dredged up from the distant past. Whether this should be one year, or something longer of more recent, of course, is something for discussion, and even so, exceptions should be permitted on a case-by-case basis, such as an editor that hasn't recently been very active. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:25, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

A hard time threshold sounds unwise, to me. Surely, whether how and on what schedule an individual might change depends on the individual. When judging someone's character, people ought to be free to exercise their judgement about how to exercise their judgement. --Pi zero (talk) 00:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, what brings this up is largely Jack McBarn's, who had to deal with a whole bunch of people raising a stink about how he edited as an IP is 2006 or something like that. This type of thing is what scares people from RfA. While Jack is a specific example, as a matter of general principle, this type of stale stuff should be kept out of these. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:39, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
While I'm not sure what definite time we should set, we definitely need a way to keep !voters from dragging up diffs from many months or years before. Some candidates may even hear things like: "Oppose. When you were a newb, you made this terrible mistake, and I can't support people who have done that." Of course, some new Wikipedians learn very quickly, and are most unlikely to make the same mistake again. In any case, I've been drawing up some new proposals. In fact, I'm thinking of a very radical proposal that would eliminate "Opposes" completely. There would be admin elections at set times of the year, and the ones who get the most support !votes become admins. However, there would be a "Discussion" section, where people could discuss the candidate and any concerns they may have. Doing something like this would really take a good deal of the toxicity out of the process. --Biblioworm 01:27, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I might support a rule restricting users from citing issues 2+ years old, but 1+ years seems a little strict. --AmaryllisGardener talk 01:36, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I oppose any set rule. It all depends on the severity of the "crime." If somebody went completely berserk 366 days ago, it is relevant. You really cannot wiki-legislate something like this. It is common sense that people evaluating the RfA need to be the judge of each case on its own merits. We have too many rules and bureaucracy already and do not need more, like calling "foul" because somebody brought out some skeleton from the closet, no matter how dusty. Gaff ταλκ 03:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I do not share your confidence in the judgemental skills of some of the !voting pool frankly. As to calling foul to dusty skeletons, sometimes the !voter bringing them should get severely boomeranged. It entirely depends on the motivations of the exhumation, if you get me. Irondome (talk) 03:41, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I proposed a similar idea amongst some other suggestions a while back I seem to recall. I cant remember its fate or my exact words. Cant even remember the thread now. I would support an "unreasonable period" in any wording on this. The problem is quantifying it in a specific time period. Let the community chew on the "reasonable" bone. It provides an entree to the idea which may be more acceptable for a more powerful discussion. It brings up the idea above, that a newbie error made 6 years ago should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Maybe then the community can decide on an actual time limit definition based on this very strong weakness in RfA Irondome (talk) 01:46, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Actions are a very broad class, why would we want to end up with only this:
Support - Thought they were an admin already, has been active in FA's, AFD's and vandal fighting for 5 years the last year. ~~~~
xaosflux Talk 02:01, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
LOL. Good point. OPs idea could be reworded very effectively. Irondome (talk) 02:04, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not always bad to bring up past problems, but it's better done in the form of questions, so that the candidate can then demonstrate how that problem no longer applies, or what he/she learned from it. A compromise would be that problems dating back past a certain time couldn't be used as decline reasons until after the candidate is asked about them and has had a chance to reply. That should cut down on pile-ons. —Anne Delong (talk) 02:11, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • That has merit. Irondome (talk) 02:16, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Contrary to popular opinion, raising a concern is not the same as being uncivil. This proposal approaches critical levels of silliness. – Juliancolton | Talk 05:32, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I am with Juliancolton on this one. I cannot support any sort of "statute of limitations" on what opposes can be based on. First, RfA is ultimately about about trust and you cannot legislate trust by placing artificial restrictions of this kind; ultimately the issue of trust is up to the judgement of individual editors and RfA participants must be allowed to exercise their own judgement regarding whether they trust a particular candidate. This fundamental principle is much more important than preventing some unreasonable opposes. If an oppose !vote is based on a truly weak rationale (such as a minor transgression that happened a very long time ago), it will not generate significant follow-up 'oppose' !votes. Also, the context and the overall pattern are important. E.g. if an 'oppose' is based on some long-term problematic pattern of behavior by a particular candidate, older transgressions may be very relevant - it really depends on a specific case. Plus the severity of a particular transgression is an issue as well. An edit-warring block is one thing, but a pattern of tendentious editing is quite something else, and different RfA participants will (and must be allowed to) have different opinions about how long a period of substantively problem-free conduct must be in order to erase a particular transgression. Personally, I think that there are certain kinds of transgressions (e.g. real-world harassment of another editor) that permanently disqualify (at least in my eyes) an editor from becoming an admin. Nsk92 (talk) 12:46, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Very well said, Nsk92. I like Anne Delong's suggestion about using questions to invite candidates to deal with old worries, too. --Stfg (talk) 13:09, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Personally I would support there being a statute of limitations however I feel it must be more than 1 year, I think 2 or 3 would be sufficient. I know I have done things in my youth here in my first few years that I am not proud of and would affect me if I had run for adminship then but with the benefit of time, then something that happened in 2010 for example shouldn't really be considered in 2014 as a bar to running for adminship. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 13:26, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • But are those early blunders hints of a fundamental character flaw that would prevent you from wielding the mop with grace? If so, there's no way we should be compelled to overlook them; if not, any reasonable person will see that you've improved since then and assess your candidacy fairly. As it is, we very rarely see any legitimate opposition borne of years-old incidents that have not been reflected in recent editing patterns. A statue of wiki-limitations will only serve to make the voter's job harder, and in all likelihood lead to vast swaths of unsubstantiated claims, innumerable elephants in the room, widespread innuendo, and utter confusion. If a user's problematic past must be mandatorily swept under the rug to prevent people from discussing it, then that user should not be an admin. – Juliancolton | Talk 14:06, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • In the interest of fairness and neutrality, we should then add similar limitations to nominators and candidates wishing to point out their merits. If a candidate has done excellent work in Dispute Resolution, but hasn't edited WP:3O for 366 days, we should disregard that activity. The vandal-fighting he/she did as a newbie, before going on to article work, that shouldn't factor into our considerations, surely? And that GA he wrote in 2012 is, sadly, too old to demonstrate an understanding of article creation - what a shame. If we're going to impose this, it would be appropriate to judge all potential admins on only their last year's work, regardless of how long they've actually been here - this puts everyone, new editors and old hands, on a nice even playing field.
(That's an Oppose, by the way...) Yunshui  13:50, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, all of us can agree that we all know more about how things work now than we did a year ago. If the candidate has counter-vandalism experience from over a year ago, then I doubt they've forgotten the rules for it. And so, if the candidate made a bad mistake a year ago, they have probably learned from it. --AmaryllisGardener talk 13:57, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I'm far from favouring digging up diffs from 2007 where a candidate has misplaced a comma and shouting, "Look, they're clearly an ignoramus!". I just don't like the idea of a cut-off date beyond which all previous transgressions are automatically forgiven. I quite like Anne's suggestion, but really, I don't see a need for this - bureaucrats can already choose to disregard comments about ancient history in assessing Oppose votes, so there's no need for a specific rule that forbids bringing such events up for discussion. Yunshui  14:02, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with AmaryllisGardener on this. I semi-support this, but just 1 year seems a bit small - as AG said, 2 years would probably be a better idea. Also, I completely agree about another point that AG made - people know more about how things work now than they did a year ago. -Fimatic (talk | contribs) 00:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Oppose. While I respect that this was proposed in good faith, this a terrible idea. Valid reasons to oppose don't necessarily go away with the passage of time. Townlake (talk) 03:50, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Per Townlake not least of all because he has been around for long enough - years in fact - on RfA and adminship issues to have a far greater insight to their problems than those who are new to the grand perennial adminship debate. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:34, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 2 December 2014[edit]

Please change ``Pakistan Awami Tehrik against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, over claims of governmental manipulations in the 2013 general election.[1] Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri``to Pakistan Awami Tehrik against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Ganja, over claims of governmental manipulations in the 2013 general election.[1] Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri because it does not contain his full name.


Riskybilal (talk) 09:57, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for adminship. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. Stickee (talk) 10:22, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

IPs: This is getting ridiculous[edit]

Recent interventions by IPs have been unhelpful to say the least. Is it time to consider prohibiting anonymous edits on any part of a current RfA page?: Noyster (talk), 15:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

No. Townlake (talk) 15:46, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
No, IPs are people too and should be able to comment, ask questions, etc. I can't think of any "unhelpful" IP interventions that occured recently anyway. --AmaryllisGardener talk 15:49, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Nope, Whilst I agree most IPs here are more vandals than anything I've not yet witnessed any stupidity from any IP on RFA pages so don't see much point banning them, and anyway If IPs do cause shit we simply use Twinkle .... –Davey2010(talk) 15:55, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Diffs would have been useful here. Based on what I've seen recently, though, IP participation isn't a problem. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 16:34, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing this is what Noyster is referring to. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 17:38, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
But we see stuff like that from registered users too. --AmaryllisGardener talk 17:41, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Registration should have its privileges. Notwithstanding the project's history of egalitarian participation by anyone, including IP users, it seems to me that registration is an extremely small burden for the privilege of participating in the selection of the project's sysops. Please note that I am generally not in favor of banning IPs from various topics, but in the context of RfAs I am more inclined to view such a proposal favorably for one simple reason: it will encourage more IPs to register. The second benefit: other RfA participants will be able to understand who is commenting and associate an on-wiki history and reputation with the RfA comments.

As for "unhelpful" RfA comments from IPs, we have witnessed several in the last month, one of which triggered a storm of pile-on opposes and torpedoed a qualified candidate and vandal fighter. In that particular case, the "IP" had no prior edit history and was almost certainly a registered user commenting while logged out. And that does offend my sense of fairness and on-wiki propriety. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 18:06, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

  • My 2 cents There are certain areas where anonymous commentary should not be allowed. This is one of them. -Ad Orientem (talk) 18:28, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm with Dirtlawyer and Ad Orientem on this one. RfA tends to function as an actual non-anonymous election rather than a WP:STRAWPOLL - more than roughly a seven-tenths majority tends to be an automatic pass, for example, and only in a small range of actual vote count results do we pass discretion to the 'crats. For that reason I'm ok with requiring registration, maybe not to comment but certainly for [!]voting. For the record I don't think there's clear evidence that IPs are more disruptive at RfA than registered users, at least not lately. Ivanvector (talk) 19:44, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I do believe that IPs are already not allowed to !vote at RfA. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 19:52, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
IPs can edit and can therefore !vote. We have an editnotice discouraging it, and I assume that any IP that !votes has their edit removed. Since threaded discussion is supposed to be discouraged in active RfAs (and should be on the talk page instead) I'm still okay with a technical restriction from editing RfAs for non-confirmed accounts and IPs. Ivanvector (talk) 22:19, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: No, unregistered users (i.e. IPs) cannot !vote. It's not just in the editnotice, it's explicitly stated at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship#Expressing opinions, first sentence. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
That's what I meant to say. It is technically possible (not prevented by software) for IPs to post !votes, but (I'm assuming) either the 'crats disregard the !votes or the !votes are removed. I haven't seen it happen so I don't know. Ivanvector (talk) 23:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: When reading through old RfAs, I once saw an IP's vote struck and told something like, "Sorry, IPs can't vote on RfAs", so it has happened. --Biblioworm 23:47, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion any IP who magically finds their way to RfA for their first edits is clearly someone logging out of their account to avoid scrutiny. Just like we don't allow votes from accounts created the same day we of course should not allow what is obviously evasion of scrutiny. It is sock puppetry through evasion of scrutiny in a contentious area.

Unlike other debates RfA is essentially vote, let us not pretend it is anything else. Allowing IPs and brand new users is allowing vote stacking.

We need to be stricter about disruption, trolling, and people not using their main accounts to avoid scrutiny.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia anyone can edit, that means we welcome anon users to edit the encyclopedia. Those is not some suicide pact where we have to allow them into every part of our process.

In AfD the closer takes into account the value of each argument as related to article retention policies. In RfA the 'crats have very little discretion. So no, we should not let anonymous people vote. They should have an account and it should be created before the RfA was started.

The only people this will effect are those who know Wikipedia enough to have an opinion on RfA but are abusing multiple accounts or logging out to avoid scrutiny. If you think about it then it is obvious. Chillum 20:02, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Oppose If there is a good reason to either oppose or support and RfA, then anyone should be able to voice it. Gaff ταλκ 20:09, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Should they get more than one vote? Because if we allow anonymous and new users to vote then there is nothing stopping someone from voting with their account and then logging out and voting again. Same goes with users created after the RfA. Chillum 21:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
That's been a risk since the beginning of voting on Wikipedia. It hasn't proven to be a meaningful problem. Townlake (talk) 02:54, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
To me, both you User:Chillum and, say, IP 0123456789, are anonyms. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 09:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
It has not been a problem because we don't let IPs and new accounts vote. By my memory it has been that way since I was made admin in 2006. Chillum 03:01, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Strong oppose We should be able to distinguish between constructive and unconstructive, rather than base our decisions a priori, on the shape of someone's username. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 09:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Support User:Chillum makes some strong arguments. I certainly believe a !vote should at least be dignified by a registered account. It shows respect to the community. An IP with an edit history of just voting in an RfA is concerning. A voter is a member of the Wikipedia community, who has shown some courage in registering, and showing responsibility for their editing career on WP. An IP, by their very reluctance to register, shows an ambivalence to the spirit of the project, and should not be trusted in such a critical community process as an RfA. Sorry if this sounds harsh to IP's of good will reading. So BLOODY REGISTER! Your Wikipedia needs you! :) Irondome (talk) 03:48, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I also want to point out that this in no way goes against our "The encyclopedia anyone can edit" philosophy because admin elections are not part of the encyclopedia. Anyone can edit the encyclopedia but admins are chosen by the actual community. Chillum 03:55, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • IPs aren't allowed to vote, but there's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to offer non-disruptive comment. No one should be allowed to offer disruptive comments, so singling out IPs here makes no sense. (Of course, making a coherent argument for why your friend isn't a good candidate for administration isn't disruptive; it's the whole point). WilyD 12:10, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • The kind of IP participation at RfA recently and which has sparked off this thread smacks of block or ban evasion, and proxy servers. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:13, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose to a disgraceful proposal To summarize: The original proposer proposes to ban IPs from these discussions. The OP does not list any examples of IP "misconduct", and other editors can only think of one. The "misconduct" is an IP editor demanding evidence that the nominee actually is ignorant of CSD as accused. At the time of this writing, that evidence still has not been provided, so the IP has a good point. Meanwhile, various editors accuse the IP of being a banned editor, even though they could be a long-time IP editor whose IP hopped, or a long-time registered editor who forgot to log in. And wouldn't a block evading editor come here to trash the nominee in retaliation for their role in getting them banned? This one is defending the nominee from criticism. Frankly, I consider the IP conduct at the nomination much better than most of the registered users commenting here. Seriously, this is disgraceful, these claims that this guy is evil because of numbers in their usernames. Major WP:AGF violation. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Oiyarbepsy, that's a very strong comment. While you list a lot of relevant reasons why we may be wrong to disapprove of IP particpation on RfA, I feel you have perhaps not only insufficiently examined those arguments, but that you may be stretching our AGF policy a tad too far. Experienced editors have long since learned to recognise and interpret the patterns often associated with IP editors and they have a right to be skeptical. That said, the en.Wiki still has the most lax rules of all the major Wikipedias; perhaps because the others (e.g. de, fr, sp, it, etc.) having been created later, have seen the loopholes in our systems. There is a lot of call for change in our admin (s)election method - essentially what we need is improvement. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:56, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

If someone has to register just to participate in RfA we will be questioning their motives if they have no other edits under that username. The Moose is loose! 07:41, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Judge the post, not the posted, until you have genuinely good reason to believe otherwise. Genuinely good reasons does not include prejudice and stereotypes. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 15:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC
Oiyarbepsy, just to recap: Experienced editors have long since learned to recognise and interpret the patterns often associated with IP editors and they have a right to be skeptical. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:44, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Kudpung, often doesn't mean always, and not all of us are automatically skeptical of IPs. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:42, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Yng, I know it doesn't - it was me who said it and I felt I had to repeat it. But I never said I was automatically skeptical of IPs. That's what I mean by having the experience to recognise the signs. The skill can be acquired of course, but 3 months and 3,000 edits don't cut it. Depends where you work most on Wikipedia, how often you are prepared to spend literally hours untangling intrigues, and how many years you've been doing it. I enjoy that kind of detective work, some don't. Gut feeling and intuition often start with recognising stereotype behaviour. Younger/newer editors tend to be more casual in their approach to such issues whereas old codgers like me are plodders, leaving no stone unturned. That's why we dig up the dirt on RfA - but also give credit when it's due. No wonder we end up sounding cynical ;) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 17:12, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm touchy on the topic. I have quite a bit more experience now than when I passed RfA, including some dark, dark stuff. I just got done reporting yet another incarnation of a long-term cross-wiki vandal who edits both as IPs and as a registered user. But I'm all too aware that some anti-vandal patrollers - many of them relatively new - are unreasonably biased against unregistered editors. And I hadn't realized how bad that was until relatively recently. Patterns are one thing, but bias is real and hurts us in many ways. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:43, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • There are plenty of admins who have a trigger finger when it comes to blocking new accounts or IPs. There's a reason we have stages of {{uw-vandal1}}, {{uw-vandal2}}, etc. But, many admins ignore this and block after too few warnings. So much of our content is contributed by new users or IP editors, yet we casually disrespect them and do not give them the courtesy we tell ourselves we're to give them. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:58, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Allowing IPs to participate invites trolling and double-voting (even if the second vote is not counted, it may create a discouraging atmosphere). RFA noms should be s-protected from their moment of creation. bd2412 T 18:01, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comments from IPs are easy to moderate (we've tolerated far worse disruption from people with actual accounts, if anyone remembers kmweber or a half dozen other RfA trolls over the years). I don't recall that IPs have ever been allowed to vote. I'm okay with this arrangement. Nathan T 18:35, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks to all who have presented good arguments on both sides. Unfortunately, some contributors here assumed the discussion was about whether IPs should vote in RfAs, even though - as Redrose points out - the RfA page states only editors with an account may place a numerical (#) "vote". My post was to ask whether IPs should be permitted to comment in the voting section, or pose questions to candidates. This is not because of any belief that IPs are inherently "evil", but purely from seeing the effect of their particular interventions in recent RfAs. OK, IPs can start new accounts, but these are more easily discounted and can't be covered by "forgot to log in" or such excuses. Anyway, belatedly, here are recent examples as called for. Leaving aside plain vandalism and challenging of legitimate #votes:
[1] Weak attack couched as a question.
[2] Attack couched as a question, had an arguable case but quoted a weak example. The very fact that the question was posed by an IP enabled claims that the RfA had been "derail"ed by a "trolling IP" and led to much ill-feeling.
[3] Obscenity and fake signature. Once reverted, they resorted to sockpuppet accounts and the RfA had to be restricted to auto-confirmed users: Noyster (talk), 18:55, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Desysopping proposal[edit]

At proposer's request, moved to User:Biblioworm/Desysopping proposal --Hammersoft (talk) 00:29, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Well, this is yet another proposal for a desysopping system. I've recently been studying RFA2011 and RFA2013, and it seems quite obvious that reform will never work unless we have a way to remove admins (aside from ArbCom, which is very well known for being slow). Here's the proposal:

  1. Before a case request is filed, the issues must have been extensively (struck "extensively" because it is a rather unclear word; "discussed" should be sufficient) discussed at other venues, such as the admin's talk page and ANI. The issues also cannot be minor. For a case to proceed, the admin must have displayed repeated poor judgement, or have committed a particularly serious violation (in these cases, however, ArbCom is likely to deal with it).
  2. If all the requirements are met, the concerned user may file a case request.
  3. After the case request is filed, two (possibly three; please specify your preference when you comment) completely uninvolved experienced (struck "experienced", as we'll never agree on what "an experienced user" is; any uninvolved user in good standing could probably be trusted to do this) users (possibly admins?) who are in good standing (we'll never agree on what "good standing" is, either) will research the matter, and they will certify the case if they feel that the issues are serious enough to warrant a desysopping case. If the case is not appropriately certified in one week, the case will be closed as stale. If the case is properly certified, the case will proceed.
  4. The discussion will run for two weeks. If a supermajority (67%) (changing to a simple majority (51%) per suggestions in discussion; if you prefer the original number, or something different, please mention that in your comment) support desysopping, the admin will be desysopped by a bureaucrat or a steward, although the former admin may file an RfA at any time.

I expect that this proposal will run into the "excessive bureaucracy" problem, seeing that it involves certifications. However, I'm including the certification because I do not want to see admins desysopped over petty issues, such as an isolated bad deletion or block. Also, in RFCU, the cases were certified by very involved editors, which is not fair, in my opinion. This proposal specifies that the case can only be certified by two experienced, completely uninvolved users. Remember that this is only a very rough draft and is open to major modifications, so if you can figure out a way to make this less bureaucratic while still preserving the "mob protection", please say so. Thanks, --Biblioworm 21:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Reforms will never work unless there is a reason for the reform. I understand that providing examples of bad admins who should be desysopped is a bit sensitive, but that's what has to happen. If there is a problem, please link to a discussion with an outline of the claims concerning an admin so others can evaluate whether a reform is needed, or whether there should be swifter retribution for people who try to grind down those who defend the encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 21:49, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
The idea behind the introduction of a desysopping system is that the community will not be as afraid to make new admins, because they can take some comfort in the fact that the admin can be desysopped if s/he turns out to be worse than they thought. The lack of such a system is probably one of the main reasons why only near-perfect candidates pass RfA. Besides, a community-based desysopping system works for some other Wikipedias, so why can't it work for us? I sometimes think that we just make things hard for ourselves. By the way, click here if you want to see a current example of a questionable admin. The issue probably could have been resolved at a much faster pace if there had been a community desysopping system available. --Biblioworm 22:12, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
That's a well-known case which is the kind of thing that the community would have trouble deciding, and for exactly the same reasons that Arbcom has not yet taken any action. However, Arbcom has the issue well in hand and when the admin returns everything will proceed as quickly as is reasonable. Another case is here and it was quickly resolved by the admin effectively retiring. That's fine—we don't need heads on spikes. Johnuniq (talk) 22:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Here's the question—the only problem explicitly identified by Bioblioworm with desysopping through ArbCom is that it is "slow". Why is it necessarily to develop an entirely new process in order to jam through desysoppings rapidly? (And even the "slow" assertion is questionable. ArbCom cases that involve multiple issues, complicated situations, and – particularly – misconduct by multiple parties certainly take rather a long time to proceed to completion. But those complex situations are ones where we shouldn't be extracting one party to rush one sanction.)
In truth, we already have Step 1 and Step 2 of the above scheme, where Step 2 is filed with ArbCom. In situations where there is clearly-described misconduct by an administrator, the ArbCom has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to act swiftly. The ArbCom will desysop by motion. The ArbCom will desysop on the basis of clearly-established, evidence-driven consensus for that action at WP:AN. The ArbCom will desysop in absentia if an admin doesn't respond to proceedings. Simply filing a clearly-stated arbitration case against an administrator is often sufficient to trigger an under-a-cloud resignation (which has the same effect as desysopping).
A major problem is that few people can be bothered to sit down and do Step 1 properly. Gathering evidence and diffs takes time and effort. Editing evidence into a coherent narrative takes time and effort. That effort won't magically disappear with this new process (or ones like it). At least, I hope that it won't—having mob-driven desysoppings for no clearly-elucidated reason seems unlikely to increase the pool of willing adminship candidates.
Finally, making a good-faith attempt to consider alternative, less-drastic remedies takes time and effort. This last step is important but often neglected. Not every error or instance of misconduct actually requires or deserves desysopping. All too often a vocal minority demands desysopping. When they fail to get it, they blame the process. Sometimes the problem lies instead in their own expectations being out of sync with the community. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I find myself in sympathy with this proposal, although I would rather have a noticeboard where editors could bring concerns about administrators' conduct. One reason is that that would allow for issues to be raised with one part of the admins' actions without it being necessary to imply they were a net negative; another is that it would by being more ad hoc, more easily allow for resolutions short of threatening the admin with desysopping, and encourage broader participation by not being a formal vote. But I'm inclined to prefer non-bureaucratic and informal processes anyway, and that relates to the points about Arbcom. I share Biblioworm's concern about Arbcom being slow, and I don't share the confidence in Arbcom indicated in some responses above. I find Arbcom's procedures impenetrable and see it making decisions that in whole or in part I do not find helpful. I don't have much confidence in it at all at this point. And I believe Biblioworm is spot on: one of the problems with RfA is that editors fear sysopping is almost irrevocable. I recognize that his/her proposal is designed to minimize the risk of the mob attacking a diligent admin for being diligent, but I'd still rather see a more flexible process. Yngvadottir (talk) 23:27, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Support, all of the folks comments here were TL, so I DR skimmed over most of it, but I just wanted to say that this could work. Sometimes, certified users are needed for things, like desysopping. (Whether community driven or ArbCom-like, we just need a better desysopping process.) --AmaryllisGardener talk 23:33, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
And a big thank you to AmaryllisGardener for illustrating so succinctly what would be wrong with this proposed process. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:57, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
And a big thank you to TenOfAllTrades for illustrating so succinctly what is wrong with RfA's community. --AmaryllisGardener talk 00:00, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
That is not a reasonable response. You are supporting a scheme where you dismiss a few paragraphs as TLDR—that perfectly illustrates why a community-based system of attacking admins is not needed. Someone would post a wall of diffs with assertions, and passers-by would support action against the admin without considering whether the diffs actually support the assertions, and without considering the rebuttals that have been made. Johnuniq (talk) 01:11, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Let me say that "skimmed" would be a more appropriate word, because I read all of it, I just read through it quickly. I don't know why I used TLDR. Anyway, thanks for explaining. --AmaryllisGardener talk 01:18, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I was under the impression that this is pretty much how things already worked. We decide issues by community consensus; there is no reason that a policy-backed community consensus to de-admin would not be honored. bd2412 T 01:22, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, although I think a 50%+1 majority should be sufficient to desysop. Everyking (talk) 02:11, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, though I think that the specific percentage should be loosened a little, similar to how it is for an RfA. Such a discussion in effect would be a required reconfirmation RfA. Something like approximately 50% to 70% should require 'crats to weigh arguments and/or depending on the circumstances have a bureaucrat discussion to close. With percentages outside those ranges pretty much a rubberstamp keep or desysop case. Admins will make enemies and we want to avoid loosing admins that are willing to make difficult closes that might make enemies. At the same time we should be able to deal with admins that have taken too much of a partisan view and abusing there admin powers to strength one side even if they have a bunch of like minded supporters. PaleAqua (talk) 02:47, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
    I also think that an admin voluntarily resigning during the course of such a discussion should be allowed to bring it to a close immediately, though of course such resignation would be seen as "under a cloud". PaleAqua (talk) 02:52, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Arbcom desysops people plenty when it is really needed. Admins simply doing their job accumulate people who resent them. Hold a vote and everyone they ever blocked will come out with pitchforks and thinly veiled alternative reasons. An admin could not do their job under a popular vote system because enforcing the consensus of the community is an unpopular job.

    Who are these admins that need to be desysopped but the present system is failing? Where is the problem that this is trying to solve? I took a 3 year break recently and when I left there were 4 admins that I thought should not be. When I came back 3 were desysopped and 1 had cleaned up her act. I say the current system works.

    I would support an administrative conduct noticeboard where issues can be reported and discussed, the discussion there could be used to indicate to arbcom if the community wants the matter pursued. Also there is no rule against admins being blocked, topic banned, interaction banned or just plain banned by the consensus of the community. Chillum 04:01, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Support - The community needs a vehicle by which the community, not Arbcom, may desysop administrators in whom the community no longer has confidence. Furthermore, I strongly endorse the percentage !votes proposed by PaleAqua above: a simple 50% + 1 should be sufficient to desysop any admin. An admin who cannot maintain at least 50% +1 support has clearly lost the confidence of the community. Requiring a super majority of 67% (or 66 and 2/3 %?) should not be necessary -- that would imply that only 33% of the community still has confidence in the admin, a ridiculously low percentage. A 67% super majority to desysop turns the idea of a minimum of 70% support to be promoted to admin on its head. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 04:19, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the community elects admins and the community should be allowed to remove admins as well. Even if this proposal fails, I would recommend the creation of a page where users can recommend that an admin be given a non–binding vote of no confidence. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 04:42, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I think the proposal is too early to support or oppose but I would need to know much more about what we determine to be "uninvolved and experienced editors". Admins but themselves into conflict all the time. If everyone followed the rules and got along and there were no disagreements to be had, then there would be a significantly reduced number of admins. Having any 3 people on the same page, whether they're involved or indirectly is way too low a threshold to trigger a two week community de-sysopping process. Rather than uninvolved and experienced editors, why don't we have bureaucrats review cases filed and they would determine if it should go to a community lead process. Mkdwtalk 06:58, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I would generally support something like this, although I'd prefer a 70-75% rate for desysop (i.e., a mirror RFA). WilyD 11:03, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • @WilyD: As I noted above, a 70–75% affirmative vote to desysop translates as residual community confidence in the admin of only 25–30%. We require minimum community support of 70% to promote an editor to administrator. Do we really want to keep an admin in whom community confidence has fallen to 30% or even less? Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:51, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, until it actually happens a few times, it's a bit tough to guess what the right choice is, of course. Requests for de-adminship is unlikely to be a random sample of the community (much like Requests for adminship), which makes it hard to guess. If you think of it as yes/no, perhaps 50/50 makes sense. But in a more Wikipedia-esque decision space with "no consensus" in the middle, there's also space for "no consensus" to de-admin. It's just a guess, and would be worth tinkering with if people are unhappy with the results. WilyD 16:03, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Wily, I agree that it's a guess, but the historical pattern at RfA has been a high percentage of participation by existing admins, and I would expect that pattern to continue in a vastly more controversial community desysop RfC. If a majority, or even a substantial plurality of admins !vote to remove, the subject admin is a goner; likewise, if a strong majority of admins continue to support, removal is unlikely. Recent re-confirmation RfAs have shown that even controversial admins usually retain community confidence of 60+%. I would expect that attaining super majorities of 67 to 75% for desysopping would be be virtually impossible to obtain short of the admin's conduct being outrageously egregious and/or a complete meltdown, in which case the admin is more likely to resign than wait for the community's axe to fall. Bottom line: getting a 50% +1 majority to agree to remove an admin will not be an easy result to obtain, and getting a super majority of 67 to 75% would be virtually impossible. At the end of the day, this is about accountability, and if an admin no longer has support of 50% of the community, he or she needs to be held accountable. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 16:35, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • For your information, I've made a few changes to the proposal, which are written in small print. --Biblioworm 16:38, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, both of us are merely guessing; neither of us knows how likely people are to show up and support or oppose a desysoping, or with what standards. I think it's wiser to take whatever guess, and make it clear that it's subject to change if the choice is wrong, so people aren't needlessly intransegient in the future. As long as the choice is reasonable, it shouldn't impact whether the proposal is endorsed. WilyD 17:53, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't support the proposal as stands, but I would really like to see a community de-sysopping procedure. There are two significant issues with the current proposal - 1) It's a highly negative process. RfA is difficult for individuals when people start to oppose - this is asking for multiple burnout retirements, whether or not the final decision is for a desysop. Perhaps removing comments from any such vote might improve that, but we should be taking into account the real person behind the keyboard in any discussions here. Even better would be securePoll, if one could be set up. 2) The "starting criteria" are excessively wooly. How long should discussions discussions be to be considered extensive? What time period should they be over? How many events should they cover? How many people should have been involved?

    That said, I do like the idea of the "gatekeeper" being two uninvolved users. I'd suggest three, because a "hung jury" is less likely. There's a balance to be found, and I think this proposal is a step in the right direction. WormTT(talk) 11:28, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Definitely would support a due process. Like any other action on WP, if there is a consensus to do something then this is no different. VegasCasinoKid (talk) 12:12, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in general, but I like the idea of 50%+1 rather than supermajority to prove the admin has lost the community's confidence. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:02, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
    Also, 3 would be better than two, yes. Not more than that. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:52, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support with caveats; I think you need more than two "experienced" users to certify (three? five?). Also, I'd suggest a minimum edit-count for those voting, in a similar way to ArbCom elections (although perhaps not as onerous as that - min. one month & 50 edits?) otherwise I can predict votes being overrun with socks which is just a waste of everyone's time. I'd also agree with 67% - at least - admins make enemies, even when they're doing their jobs correctly. This is especially true of anyone working in controversial area (I/P, fringe medicine, etc etc). Black Kite (talk) 15:13, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Black Kite, I agree that the certification panel should include three (or five) members not two. I regularly draft closely-held corporate and partnership documents, and it is never a good idea to have a decision-making board with an even number of votes: it invites the inevitable deadlock. I also agree that only registered users should be permitted to participate, and with the further caveat that participants must have been auto-confirmed before the case was initiated. On the other hand, I disagree that a 67 to 75% super majority should be required for removal; that translates into continued community support of only 25 to 33% -- and that's a ringing vote of "no confidence" under any circumstances. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 18:58, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • My point was that 67/75 might be required (instead of 50) to offset the "this nasty admin once blocked me / refused my request / wouldn't block the idiot I was edit-warring with / protected an article in the wrong version / etc. etc., despite the fact that it was completely warranted" type of oppose. Even the best admins will, by the very nature of their work, have gathered a list of editors that don't like them. Black Kite (talk) 20:10, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, at this point I'd support pretty much any suggestion for a community desysop process, no matter what the details. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:16, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It may need some work, but this is at least a good starting point. Intothatdarkness 16:39, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Question what is the desysop procedure for other (larger) wikipedias? Dusti*Let's talk!* 18:20, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposal is off topic for this page[edit]

This is the talk page for our process for making new admins. A proposal that brings about a new process and an entirely new class of users need to be discussed in a more public venue like the village pump. This is the talk page for RfA, I don't see it as a relevant place to product a new process to remove admin access.

This venue does not provide the wide attention of the community needed to create a consensus significant enough to enact a change of this magnitude. Chillum 04:27, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm just getting a general opinion right now, as I'm not quite ready to put this at the proposal page. (There's still some things that need to be worked out, such as the percentage that would be required to desysop.) When everything is smoothed out, I'll take this to the village pump. However, I could create a subpage for this in my userspace and have the discussion continue there. --Biblioworm 04:39, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, it is at least tangentially related to RfA. Chillum 04:58, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, WT:RfA is definitely the wrong venue, but I support the proposal in principle because I think it's high time some major RfCs were started on the topic of community desysoping which I broadly support anyway. If the proposal gets laughed out (as one of mine did recently), no harm done - come up with another. It would be good to keep the community on its toes for a while on such an important issue. Sooner or later one idea will gain traction and after a bit of the inevitable tweaking, the community will agree on something. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:22, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

What is an "experienced user in good standing"?[edit]

Since this wording may appear to be vague in the proposal, I want to obtain some opinions on what constitutes an "experienced user in good standing". I would define an "experienced user" to be someone with 3-6 months of active editing, and about 1,500-2,000 edits. A user in good standing would be someone who is not currently under any sanctions and has not been under any for at least 3 months. --Biblioworm 16:43, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

I would say an "experienced user" is a user who's been here 6+ months with 4,000+ edits. just my 2¢. --AmaryllisGardener talk 16:46, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Biblioworm, under your criteria, I wouldn't be an experienced user in good standing, so I'd have to do a NIMBY oppose. :-) Any suggestions on how to loosen it without going to a straight edit-count/time criteria? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:48, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm going to oppose. An experienced user in good standing? What, is this a new rights group or is it arbitrary or ...? We already have autoconfirmed users. If you arbitrarily set this, what means will be in place to prevent an ever increasing benchmark of the subjective assessment of "experienced" and "good standing"? Why not apply this metric as a suffrage benchmark for RfA? If not, why not? The further and further we get away from the principle of "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" the further down into the pit of hell we go. Either you respect all editors who have not proven themselves to be a malicious entity on the project, or you don't. If you don't, then you are opposed to the very foundation on which Wikipedia was founded. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:46, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
    • I've struck "experienced" in the proposal, as we'll never agree on what exactly constitutes an experienced user. Besides, multiple users would have to certify any case, so they would probably keep each other in check. Now, we need to decide what a user in good standing is... --Biblioworm 18:03, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
      • We'll never agree on 'good standing' either. I think good standing, at a maximum, is equivalent to autoconfirmed and not blocked. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:19, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
        • In the interests of simplicity, I've struck both. I've also added a note that admins could take on the role of certifiers. --Biblioworm 23:20, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

A "user in good standing" is either very vague or it is is a new class of user that needs to have a selection process and... a removal process. Sound familiar? I suppose we will have a RfUIGS board to vote them in, and some then people will start to disagree with them and demand a system for their removal. Who chooses which UIGS are used? If one UIGS says it is bunk but 2 UIGS say it is valid is it a question of who gets there first like a race?

Any solution that simply shifts trust around will not work as we will be in the same situation we started in.

I say anything that it worthy of losing your admin bit is worthy of a block. The community just needs to be willing to block admins. Any admin who unblocks themselves will lose their bit. Any admin that reverses a block that was the result of a community consensus will likely lose their bit.

Arbcom can desysop, the community can block and even ban an admin. If we can come to a consensus to desysop then we can come to a consensus to restrain poorly behaved admins. Admins are not special and the community needs to stop making them a special case. Chillum 18:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment neither supporting nor opposing. I support the idea in general, but I cannot support the proposal as now stated. Selection of uninvolved editors will be problematic at best, because even individuals who have had no previous involvement with the admin in question may be perhaps involved in some other way, such as perhaps the admin engaging in dubious conduct with an editor that individual likes on-wiki or off-wiki. Without a fairly clear idea how such people would be selected or drafted, and I might prefer drafting or at least requested to take part from a list of theoretically eligible editors, I can't see how this would have much chance of success. John Carter (talk) 19:07, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  • As stated above, I think having only two random users review a case to trigger a community de-sysopping process is too ambiguous and could too easily be misused or abused. Based upon some of the RFA's I've seen, 3-6 months experience would not be remotely enough time for someone to know whether or not a sysop was abusing their administrative privileges. I believe there should either be an appointed committee to review submitted cases, or it should be given to an existing group that already has community support such as bureaucrats or even other administrators who are appointed by community consensus. Mkdwtalk 21:10, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

This is just a version of WP:RFC/U[edit]

For all the good intentions here, this really just works out to a version of WP:RFC/U..with teeth. It would be part of dispute resolution, two or more people need to certify it, and it remains open for two weeks (instead of four). Sound familiar? We're about to decommission WP:RFC/U in a landslide and landmark decision for what was previously an important part of the project. Now we're going to replace it with what is essentially a clone, but this time with teeth? Ummm... --Hammersoft (talk) 20:06, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Could admins take on the role of certifiers?[edit]

I know there will be objection to this idea, but I wonder if uninvolved admins could be the certifiers for a desysopping case. I'm proposing this because "uninvolved users" might be a point of concern when this proposal is formally proposed, as the community might worry that any user, newbies included, could certify a case. To avoid this issue, do you think the certifiers should be admins? (Then again, we'd be defeating the entire purpose of creating this, as this process is supposed to advance the idea that "adminship is no big deal".) --Biblioworm 23:20, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Nope nope nope nope. This has been thought of before, and soundly rejected because then the idea that admins are a self enforcing cabal comes right forward. Want to desysop an admin? Well, you've got to get two admins to agree with you before it can even go to a vote. It just doesn't fly, and won't fly. See, the vast majority of people agree there needs to be a desysopping process. The problem is the devil is in the details, and nobody has come up with any system that isn't fraught with serious issues. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:36, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I looked at Wikipedia:Requests_for_de-adminship#Proposed_processes and found two processes right off that sound very similar to what you proposed above. Both are from 2005...9 years ago:
  1. This one, in which ten users needed to certify for it to go to a vote.
  2. Wikipedia:Requests_for_de-adminship/Proposal_2#Petition, in which ten users plus three admins had to certify for it to go vote (and users had suffrage requirements).
All this has happened before, and will happen again. Everything old is new, everything new is old. We keep returning to the same proposals, and they keep being rejected for fundamental and/or grave structural issues. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:48, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Refined version[edit]

I've refined the proposal a little, in accordance with some suggestions from the users giving opinions on this. Does it look a bit better now?

  1. Before a case request is filed, the issues must have been discussed at other venues, such as the admin's talk page and ANI. The issues also cannot be minor. For a case to proceed, the admin must have displayed repeated poor judgement, or have committed a particularly serious violation.
  2. If all the requirements are met, the concerned user may file a case request.
  3. After the case request is filed, three uninvolved users will research the matter, and they will certify the case if they feel that the issues are serious enough to warrant a desysopping case. If the case is not appropriately certified in one week, the case will be closed as stale. If the case is properly certified, the case will proceed.
  4. The discussion will run for two weeks. If a simple majority (51%) support desysopping, the admin will be desysopped by a bureaucrat or a steward, although the former admin may file an RfA at any time. (This part of the proposal is still open to modification; for example, should there be a discretionary range?)

--Biblioworm 23:57, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

There are several things that stand out here as being serious structural issues. There are requirements that

  1. Prior to the case being brought, it must have been discussed at other venues. Who decides if it has or not?
  2. The issues must not be minor. Who is the arbiter of what is minor and not minor?
  3. The admin must have displayed repeated poor judgment. Who decides what is poor judgment and what is not?
  4. Once those requirements are met, the case may be filed. Who decides if all the requirements are met?
  5. A case can be certified by three users. Are they the ones that make the above decisions?
  6. Do we checkuser all the certifiers to ensure there is no sockpuppetry going on?
  7. The certifiers must be uninvolved. How do we determine that? The term 'uninvolved' has been embroiled in controversy before. Unfortunately, you're going to have to define 'uninvolved'.
  8. The certifiers are expected to do research into the case. What constitutes research?
  9. Is there an evidence page where people can submit items as evidence? Who decides what is admissible evidence and what is not?
  10. What if three users certify, but three oppose, stating that the case is frivolous?

The whole notion sounds promising...until you look into the details of it. If you're asking me to support the idea that we need a desysop process separate from ArbCom, sure. If you're asking me to support the proposal as worded? The proposal, as is, is empty of significant details to know if this system would work or not. I'm being asked to buy a car without knowing anything about the car, other than it's a car. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:03, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Please continue discussion at User:Biblioworm/Desysopping proposal[edit]

The people who have commented on this thread have brought several issues to light, and therefore, I do not believe that this is quite ready to be formally presented at the village pump. I have copied this proposal to User:Biblioworm/Desysopping proposal, where I will work on it and try to incorporate the suggestions that the commenters have given. Please continue discussion of this proposal on the relevant talk page. (You may want to watchlist the page if you're interested in keeping track of the changes.) Thanks, --Biblioworm 00:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

A very radical proposal - RfAs without an oppose section[edit]

E N O U G H:

I've had enough of the sarcasm and veiled attempts to insult my intelligence ("not even North Korea has thought of that"), just because I brought up a good faith proposal. It's shameful, to be quite honest. (Before someone comes up with a wild idea of using WP:BOOMERANG on me or something, that is not intended to be a personal attack.) Thanks to Kudpung, Dirtlawyer, PaleAqua, and some others I may have missed that actually voiced their opinion about this civilly. Perhaps WT:RFA is more broken than the actual process itself... (By the way, this page has been removed from my watchlist. That doesn't mean I'm storming off in a huff, though.) --Biblioworm 22:44, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So, let me begin by saying that I know this proposal will likely be seen as crazy and will gain no traction, but I just might as well put it out there.
A "toxic environment" is one commonly referenced reason why RfA is a broken process. This could be somewhat solved by implementing RfAs without an oppose section, and candidates would be elected based on how many support !votes they get. It would work something like this:
There would be an admin election once every three months. On an individual RfA, there would be no "Oppose" section. Rather, there would be a "Comments" section, where users could post general comments and possibly concerns they have about the candidate. If you oppose the candidate, you simply do not list yourself in the "Support" section. After the election has ended, the candidates who got the most support !votes (maybe the top five, ten, etc.) will become admins. This may fix the "toxicity" problem, and perhaps make RfAs a bit less stressful, as users cannot post "ridiculous oppose !votes". Instead, they simply leave comments listing their concerns, and if !voters are convinced by those concerns, they can simply choose to not support. (As a side note, this may also indirectly fix the WP:NOTNOW problem, because new users would have to wait for the formal election rather than being able to post an RfA the moment they register.) --Biblioworm 02:07, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

I see no reason to pit candidates against each other. Candidacies should pass or fail on their own merits. GraniteSand (talk) 02:11, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that having a large number of friends and userpage watchers is necessarily the best prerequisite or qualification for adminship. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:16, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The underlying "problem" this would seem intended to address would be a lack of trust in the bureaucrats, since it seems to imply that they do not already weigh "ridiculous oppose !votes" the appropriate amount. But we do trust the bureaucrats to ignore ridiculous oppose rationales, don't we? And without numbers, we'd end up having to trust them all the more. Dekimasuよ! 02:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
It's meant to address the toxic atmosphere more than credit given to lame opposes. But, remember, with Jack McBarn, those complaints about IP editing 7 years ago were mostly in the comments, not the oppose votes, so I'm not sure it would help. That said, a trial wouldn't be a bad idea, but I'm not sure how we would run it. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 04:19, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment (i.e. oppose) Interesting idea but... this seems to trade the real concern of griefing opposers ( which seem in part to be dealt with given the newer policing of questionable comments ) for a battle between candidates. There would be the natural inclination if someone particularly liked one of the candidates ( say they often !voted similar, or were in similar wiki-ideological camps ) to smear the other candidates. And those that would cause problems in the current system could still do the same in the new comments section. The comments section would in practice be an oppose section. I can see such elections being much more off putting then the current system. PaleAqua (talk) 04:11, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I agree with PaleAqua. While oppose discussions can get toxic, they are necessary because adminship and the tools are heavy responsibilities, and careful discernment must be used, as with any job interview/hiring. Not having oppose options in an RfA would be like not having Delete !vote options in AfDs. Softlavender (talk) 04:38, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • LOL I am intrigued by the idea of turning RFA into a classroom popularity contest. It would be absolutely hilarious Wikitheater to watch supposed grown-ups campaign against each other to finish in the monthly Top 5, with Adminship as a prize to be won carnival-style. Townlake (talk) 06:21, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • As the others have said, the only real difference from the current process in terms of what you intended to fix is that people wouldn't bother putting the word "Oppose" in front of their comments. Otherwise, it would create a ton of other problems, and the "election" style is frankly ridiculous. Thanks for the effort you've put into coming up with these proposals to fix this (supposedly) increasingly dysfunctional part of Wikipedia, but maybe it's time to give it a little rest. ansh666 06:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Ill conceived. First of all, WP:NOTNOW isn't a problem, it is a minor irritation easily dealt with. As for "toxicity" caused by oppose votes, this notion ignores the fact that over-rated candidates nominated by over-eager and frequently inadequately researched nomination statements from certain high profile Admin. nominators attract an implausible number of gratuitous support votes even before a single question or solid bit of vetting has been carried out on the candidate. We already have enough "populist" selections without turning RfA into a beauty contest. Leaky Caldron 11:18, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Wherever you set the bar, either some ill-qualified candidates will be above it or some well-qualified candidates will fall below it. Very probably both. The role of the crats in weeding out inappropriate !votes would be undermined. As others have said, this would be a popularity contest. And the suggested "comments" section gives just as much scope for "toxicity". --Stfg (talk) 11:49, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment interesting idea. A possible refinement We split RFA into a two stage process, say the first few days are comment only - kind of like asking "do you think I'm ready for RFA?" this would allow the WP:NOTNOW type candidates an early and dignified exit. After that period it could move into RFA proper. --Salix alba (talk): 12:06, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
    We already have several "preparatory" venues for aspiring administrators, most of which are linked to on the RfA page. GraniteSand (talk) 13:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Many people are saying that this would turn RfA into a popularity/beauty contest, which does have some truth in it. However, I guess who say this may consider going along and ridiculing the ArbCom election style, since it works essentially the same way. (It's worked fine so far, hasn't it?) Anyway, I don't even fully support this idea myself, but I just wanted to see what other people thought about. And, yes, after I finish up my desysopping proposal and propose it at the village pump, I'm finished with all things RfA-reform related for a good while (permanently, perhaps?). --Biblioworm 15:42, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Not at all similar to Arbcom, since there, there is generally a set amount of members with a definite tenure, unlike administrators of which there is no limit to either. ansh666 18:37, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm with Ansh, this is a silly comparison. Put the shovel down Biblio. Townlake (talk) 18:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • A very amusing proposal - that's the most polite thing I can say about it. The proposal rather reminds me of the recent referendum on the independence of Crimea. What Putin and people around him realized that you don't have to give the people the option of voting "no" on a particular proposal - that, of course, ensures the 100% "yes" vote outcome. Quite brilliant, if you think about it. Not even North Korea has thought of that, and during the "elections" there it is still, at least theoretically, possible to vote against the government's candidates. But I see that some folks here took Mr Putin's lesson to heart. Nice. Nsk92 (talk) 16:10, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
    • @Nsk92: "Nice" would be the word used to describe the person who starts comparing someone to Putin for making a good-faith proposal to remove the toxicity they see in the RfA process. G S Palmer (talkcontribs) 16:43, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - I'm not here to rain on anyone's good-faith suggestions to improve RfA's processes or its atmospherics, and all proposals should be considered on their merits. That having been said, the problem of a "toxic" environment will trump whatever process reforms are proposed and adopted -- if we allow it to do so. Traditionally, the community has permitted free-wheeling RfA discussion and debate about the editing history, merits and potential problems of candidates, and the community has allowed relatively wide-ranging latitude in making those comments, more so than anywhere else on-wiki. Undoubtedly some members of the community have abused that privilege by using RfA discussions to vindictively settle old scores, while others have simply nitpicked and exaggerated the perceived flaws seemingly to derail a candidacy. Expectations of perfection are misguided; it is not hard to find a half dozen mistakes or snappish answers in 15,000 or 20,000 edits of virtually any editor. What we need in RfA discussions is balance: mature, temperate discussion of the candidate's positives and negatives -- not exaggerations or intemperate language calculated to start a stampede of pile-ons, and not personal attacks on the candidate's character that would get an editor blocked anywhere else. I might also add that we need to protect the opinions of !voters who voice their good-faith "oppose" rationales temperately, and in a civil manner. I can think of at least two recent occasions where younger members of the community attempted to shout down minority !voters who expressed their good-faith "oppose" rationales temperately and with civility. What are needed are mature discussion participants, who are mindful that we are almost always discussing RfA candidates who are productive and valued members of the community, not criminals to be eviscerated because of some perceived flaw. I might also note that some of the biggest defenders of the current RfA process are also some of those discussion contributors who have a history of pushing the envelope in their comments and criticisms of candidates -- and ironically, are also some of the biggest proponents of greater civility in other discussions. It would be nice if those individuals could apply that same level of razor-edged wit and criticism to their own behavior during RfA discussions and elsewhere. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 17:00, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • "If you oppose the candidate, you simply do not list yourself in the 'Support' section." So essentially, this proposal boils down to renaming the "Oppose" section to "Comments". ‑Scottywong| comment _ 17:33, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment RfA subjects a person to a level of toxicity yes, be being an admin exposes you to a lot of that. Admins need to be comfortable with people criticizing them. Chillum 17:51, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Sure, administrators need to be able to handle heated discussion, Chillum, but there is absolutely no reason why the community should tolerate baseless or even exaggerated attacks and obvious attempts to stampede pile-on !votes during RfAs. RfA candidates have very limited leeway to defend themselves during an RfA, and most of the participating community has recognized that. More often than not, the candidate has virtually no control over what is written, and little ability to affect the RfA outcome for the better. Your "trial by ordeal" theory of RfA is not exactly invalid, but it is also an imperfect paradigm. Frankly, incivility, exaggerated criticism and borderline personal attacks should have no place anywhere within Wikipedia, including RfA, and as a serving administrator of some standing, I hope you would recognize and accept that. I also think it odd that you are such a strong advocate of "trial by ordeal" for new admin candidates, but steadfastly oppose any and all proposals for community-based desysopping. Shouldn't serving admins be able to handle criticism during a community admin review at least as well as RfA candidates? Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 18:45, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • INTENSELY strong comment: The candidate is a known vandal, with a history of abusive behavior, several threads about him at WP:AN/I, and most likely clinical. See the problem? Not being allowed to say "oppose" changes nothing. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:06, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm all in favour of improvement to RfA, I really am, that's why I began what became the largest single reform project and garnered Wales' support with his famous 'horrible and broken process' statement. A "toxic environment" is one which is however commonly misunderstood by today's new proponents for change. Obviously they weren't around four or five years ago but they should do some research before coming up with 'new' ideas and maintaining that RfAs are now still seriously flawed. By comparison with what Dennis and I* and many others went through on our RfAs, today's candidates practically have a walk in the park. No need to make it any easier now. *At least one of the admins who oppposed my RfA has since been desysoped. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:29, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.