Wikipedia:Admin Accountability Alliance

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NOTE: not everybody agrees with the ideas or opinions expressed below. That is to be expected. The intent of a page like this is to find people that do agree with the idea to be accountable to people other than themselves. This is strictly voluntarily, and not going to be policy, so if you don't agree, feel free to not volunteer. Just don't replace the idea by the politically correct status quo, because we already have that one.

Admin accountability[edit]

It has been suggested various times over the history of Wikipedia that admins should be held accountable for their actions. Many people claim that obtaining adminship is much easier than losing it, and that revoking admin rights should not only be the remit of the arbitration committee. Many other people disagree with this statement, and the suggestion for a de-adminship process has been rejected several times. Nevertheless, the idea that admins should voluntarily be open to recall has become a popular one, and is frequently mentioned on nominations for new admins.

In recent discussion, it was perceived as problematic that the standards for this "recall" are effectively nonexistent. It is entirely possible for an admin who claims to be open to recall to (1) state that whoever is requesting the recall doesn't meet his or her personal standards for making such a request, or to (2) dismiss the request out of hand for arbitrary reasons, and/or to (3) remove himself or herself from the "recallable" category in response. The history of recalls suggests that a majority of the requests have been turned down in this fashion.

This page explores the issues with the older promise of recall, and suggests an alternative.

Problems with accountability[edit]

First, it holds true for every admin that, if you manage to convince him to resign, he will resign. The trick lies in convincing him, as he is not obliged to agree or even listen to you. Thus, it is an empty promise to suggest that one will resign "if X people lodge a formal complaint and those people manage to convince me". Since people are convinced by arguments, not masses or formalities, it is unnecessary to suggest that a mass or formality be used before attempting to convince the person.

Second, because it takes only two people to certify a request for comments, and only one to request arbitration, it is likewise an empty promise to suggest that, if X people lodge a formal complaint, one will request comment or arbitration on oneself. Given good cause, anyone can start an RFC or RFAr, thus the extra suggested requirements are, again, meaningless. Aside from that, traditionally one cannot request arbitration on oneself anyway.

And third, if the only time the admin will step down, other than by ArbCom order, is if the admin is personally convinced to step down, any and all surrounding process is meaningless. As long as the only thing that ultimately matters is the admin's own opinion of himself, he can always choose to ignore the surrounding process, or to dismiss it because he remains unconvinced. For accountability to be meaningful, one has to be accountable to some body other than oneself.

Effectively, this means that an admin who claims to be open to recall because "if eight people, other than trolls, request that I step down, I will open an RFC against myself" is merely making a politically correct statement, because he is in no fashion whatsoever easier to recall than any other admin.

A suggested solution[edit]

To avert the above problems, a list can be created to which admins can add themselves. Admins can only be added by their own personal, voluntary choice. In doing so, they make the solemn promise to step down given sufficient complaints about them, even if they are not convinced themselves. This promise should be considered irrevocable, though the Stewards are unlikely to enforce this.

As usual, the admin's talk page is used to discuss that admin's behavior. The promise comes into play if at least five eligible editors take sufficient issue with said admin that they request him or her to step down, on said talk page. At this point, the admin must either (1) seek immediate reconfirmation at requests for adminship, with the understanding that adminship will be revoked should the RFA fail; or (2) take up to one week to discuss the issue, clear things up, and make amends as desired; if, after one week, there are still five eligible editors that want the admin to resign, his or her adminship will be revoked by one of the Stewards[dubious ]. In either case, the admin may reapply at requests for adminship at any later time.

The editors that are "eligible" to make such a request are the other people on the list. This means it is a fair and equal standard: if they get to judge you, you get to judge them. It would be impossible to give an exhaustive list of "valid" or "invalid" reasons to request that an admin step down, so it must simply be assumed that any request by five eligible editors is considered valid.

The list[edit]

Wikipedia:Admin Accountability Alliance/List

A userbox and/or category can be created as desired. The list above should be protected, since its whole point is that it's only used by admins.


Give your opinion on the talk page. Remember that, if you don't like this idea, nobody is forcing you to join it.