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Most of the heads-on vandal-fighting is done by normal users, despite having limited access to anti-vandal tools. Empowering a user with Community Trust would lift some of those restrictions, permitting access to basic tools like the Rollback button. Such trusted users would be just like any other editors, but have access to some simple tools that allow them to more easily fight vandalism. In the light of recent controversy, we are in critical need of better ways to fight vandalism. Such a system would allow the community as a whole to work together against vandals.
Adding Community Trust
Community Trust would be determined by a short vote process similar to RfA, but with votes limited to administrators. Administrators are generally trusted members of the community, and best empowered to make decisions on the trustworthiness of other editors. In order to request that he or she be trusted, the editor would be asked to meet certain criteria, such as a minimum number of edits and time.
Removing Community Trust
Community Trust could be easily revoked, should the user violate the community's faith in him or her. A quick poll of administrators to determine if the user has abused their access should suffice to do so. Fundamentally, being 'trusted' is no more than getting access to good vandal-fighting tools that would be abused by vandals if freely given to all users.
- Encourage antivandalism: This would encourage users to become more active in vandal-fighting, since it would no longer be necessary to be made a full administrator to benefit from the basic tools. Given the greatly increased ease of reverting vandalism, such users would be much more inclined to revert vandals than if they needed to go through the edit screen every time. This is particularly true in the case of repeat-revert vandals. By providing these tools to trusted editors, vandals would become greatly disadvantaged in comparison and lose some incentive.
- Boost community morale: Bestowing Community Trust on users would bring them into the community by giving them the responsibility and pride of being trusted members. Incentive to be active, improve Wikipedia, and participate with other members would be much increased if they feel they are part of the community instead of merely anonymous contributors with a catchy username.
- Easily abused: With a short audit and vote by a minority of Wikipedians, obtaining Community Trust would be relatively easy, and therefore liable to abuse. This is the problem that minimum requirements are intended to resolve. Hypothetically, if a vandal must be a registered user for a month and have 300 positive edits before even being eligible, what incentive is there? Even should a vandal be on their best behaviour for a full month and obtain Community Trust, they can be blocked just as quickly as any other editor and have their trust removed. We might even encourage vandals to do so; a full month on their best behaviour far outweighs a few minutes of revert warring.
- Cabalism: with only a minority of Wikipedians (administrators) voting, there will undoubtedly be cases of friends giving each other such privileges regardless of qualifications, or opposing removal for the same reasons. The very opposite is in fact true. In the Request for Adminship process, any registered Wikipedian can vote. It's relatively easy to create dozens of accounts ahead of time and credentialise them with a good number of edits. In the case of Community Trust, however, this is practically impossible. Since only those explicitly trusted by the community can vote, sockpuppetry and simple cabalism is very difficult.