User:Seraphimblade/RfA review

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A Review of the

Requests for Adminship Process



Reflect - (Stats)




The Review Process
Methodology - Discussion

Requests for Adminship


When thinking about the adminship process, what are your thoughts and opinions about the following areas:

  1. Candidate selection (inviting someone to stand as a candidate)
    I think this can be a beneficial part of the process. An experienced editor or admin telling someone "I really think you should go for this" may be just what they need to gain the confidence to put in that nomination.
  2. Administrator coaching (either formally or informally)
    I don't see that this needs to be a formal process. More experienced editors helping those with a little less experience should be something we all do as a matter of course, and a bit of training before the person becomes an admin might help them be a better admin once they get there.
  3. Nomination, co-nomination and self-nomination (introducing the candidate)
    However works. I think co-nominations should be more than a "me too" (that's what the support section is for), but if the co-nom wants to speak on something the nominator might not have been aware of, I don't think it hurts us to hear more about the candidate. Self-noms are fine as well, we should judge the candidate on his or her merits, not on who nominated them.
  4. Advertising and canvassing
    I see no problem with the current process. It's open to the public and anyone who wants to is welcome to participate. If we think more participation is needed at RfA, we should canvass in general, encouraging people to participate in the process in a general sense, rather than anyone being asked to participate in a specific RfA.
  5. Debate (Presenting questions to the candidate)
    I see nothing wrong with this. Actual admins are going to be asked "gotcha" and loaded questions, they're going to be asked for their opinion and expertise in tough situations, they're going to be expected to use good judgment in resolving those situations, and they're going to need to keep cool through it all. If the candidate can't even handle that for a week, I would have serious reservations about their ability to handle it with the tools in hand in live situations.
  6. Election (including providing reasons for support/oppose)
    While we shouldn't prohibit anyone from simply placing a "vote", we should certainly weigh more heavily the opinions of those who have expressed a valid rationale. That applies to both supports and opposes.
  7. Withdrawal (the candidate withdrawing from the process)
    I'm not sure what this is meant to ask. If the candidate wants to withdraw, then of course we should let them and close the RfA.
  8. Declaration (the bureaucrat closing the application. Also includes WP:NOTNOW closes)
    I think that this is one of the crucial areas for the community to make up its mind. The status quo is that RfA is essentially an open vote, with those on each side permitted to engage in discussion to try to persuade those on the other side to change their mind. Bureaucrats are given some leeway when it's a very close call, but otherwise we have in effect a supermajority vote process. We could go one of three ways from there, that I see:
    We could make the process a straight vote, with no rationale required or even desired. This may require some minimum "tenure" requirement such as a minimum number of edits to discourage sockpuppetry. At the end of the voting period, the candidate either meets the required percentage, or s/he does not. I don't think this is an entirely palatable idea, as it does discourage discussion and we have no idea why any given person may be supporting or opposing.
    We could continue on with the status quo. On the whole, most of the admins we have who were produced by this method really are pretty good, so this really isn't an entirely unpalatable idea.
    We could encourage the process to be much more of a discussion and much less a vote. The closing bureaucrat, much like an admin closing an AfD, would be responsible for judging the genuine consensus. Strength of numbers would be only one factor in this decision, rather than, as now, the overriding concern.
    Of these, I realistically like the third option the best in an academic sense. Most of what we do is done this way, through discussion rather than voting. Bureaucrats (especially given the difficulty of RfB) are some of the most trusted, levelheaded members of the community, so I'm not sure we should be wasting their demonstrated good judgment by reducing them to little more than tallying machines. On the other hand, this may place more of a load on our small number of crats, may cause more controversy in close cases, and may result in more "no consensus" results. I think, however, that it would be worth at least a trial run of a month or so, to see how it would work.
  9. Training (use of New Admin School, other post-election training)
    I see nothing wrong with training being available to new admins, but it shouldn't be mandatory.
  10. Recall (the Administrators Open to Recall process)
    Again, I see nothing wrong with an individual admin offering to step down under a given set of circumstances, but it shouldn't in any way be a requirement.

When thinking about adminship in general, what are your thoughts and opinions about the following areas:

  1. How do you view the role of an administrator?
    Administrators are responsible, above all, for ensuring that good editors can work in peace and with a minimum of disruption. The way in which this is ensured may vary wildly from situation to situation, and in many cases won't even require the use of admin tools, but the idea should always be to allow and encourage collaborative work, and to minimize and if necessary remove disruption to that work.
  2. What attributes do you feel an administrator should possess?
    All admins should be, in general, civil and levelheaded. They should be able to handle conflict without inflaming it, to treat others with respect (including those who differ in opinion), and to know the difference between strong but legitimate and civil disagreement and disruptive behavior.

Finally, when thinking about Requests for Adminship:

  1. Have you ever voted in a request for Adminship? If so what was your experience?
    I've participated in RfA many times. The experience was generally positive, and most discussions tend to remain civil.
  2. Have you ever stood as a candidate under the Request for Adminship process? If so what was your experience?
    I failed my first RfA, and passed the second. I was not discouraged by the first failure, and thought that I received useful feedback for my continued editing.
  3. Do you have any further thoughts or opinions on the Request for Adminship process?
    I think that bureaucrats should not just be vote-counting machines. We selected them for intelligence and good judgment, we should allow them to use it.