Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship

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RfA candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report
Ceradon 20 3 6 87 20:49, 12 July 2015 6 days, 12 hours no report
Cyberpower678 73 16 9 82 00:53, 10 July 2015 3 days, 16 hours no report
Rich Farmbrough 2 95 49 13 66 12:54, 5 July 2015 Pending closure... no report
RfB candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report

Last updated by cyberbot ITalk to my owner:Online at 07:53, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Latest RfXs (update)
Candidate Type Result Date of close Tally
Mdann523 RfA Withdrawn 1 Jul 2015 21 23 6
Ser Amantio di Nicolao RfA Successful 26 Jun 2015 116 6 3
Voidxor RfA Withdrawn 16 Jun 2015 13 22 8
As11ley RfA WP:NOTNOW 10 Jun 2015 1 9 0
NeilN RfA Successful 7 Jun 2015 168 5 5
Weegeerunner RfA Withdrawn 5 Jun 2015 0 7 3
Jacob Lott 8 RfA WP:NOTNOW 27 May 2015 0 5 0

Current time: 07:58:28, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Purge this page

Should the main page of a request for adminship be semi-protected?[edit]

Formerly IPs don't belong here

Part of correcting the RfA process is to keep it as a matter relegated to the Wikipedia community and not open to the general public. IPs fall into the latter category...if they want to become members of our community then they need an account. Wikipedia:IP addresses are not people as an essay states that IPs may not participate in RfA at all but under the heading Expressing opinions on the main RfA page, it states "All Wikipedians—including those without an account or not logged in ("anons")—are welcome to comment and ask questions in an RfA..." <== That needs to be removed. IPs are not Wikipedians because they have chosen to edit but not join our community. I have no problem with IPs editing and commenting in article space and other places on the Wiki but participation in RfA needs to be confined as a benefit to those who have actually joined our community. That would go a long way towards preventing the disruption in this process. IPs commenting here are generally IP socks, indeffed/banned editors or possibly legitimate editors avoiding scrutiny.

I would like to see the main RfA page amended to exclude IPs and "new" editors. Thoughts?
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:09, 7 June 2015 (UTC)


  • I could support being quick with semi-protection at RFA when we get IP disruption, but we should accept constructive IP comments, and not preemptively protect or ban them from the whole process. While we shouldn't make RFA a hazing process, at the same time, future admins are very likely to be targeted by abusive IP editors based on their admin work, and so it seems odd to be overly protective during the RFA process. Monty845 13:40, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Since this has turned into a !vote, let me identify my comment above as an Oppose. Monty845 16:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support IP ban at RFA's - per proposer BH, who makes a compelling case. Jusdafax 13:49, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I could support limiting IPs to commenting only and not !voting - however closing 'crats should be able to disregard any IP/'new' editor who they feel are !voting with poor intentions. GiantSnowman 14:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • For clarity, IPs already cannot !vote. I'm looking to curtail disruption. In the three most recent RfAs which passed as well as the one that ends soon, the majority of IPs were disruptive (several still being blocked). In the thread that kelapstick links to above, JamesBWatson brought up excellent concerns about new accounts. I'm glad that I also mentioned above that "new" editors should be excluded as well. I believe that semi-protection should become standard to prevent new users as well as IPs from participating. Our protection policy disallows preemptive protection for article space and certain other areas but does not exclude preemptive protection from others such as the main page, user pages of deceased Wikipedians etc. Those are full-protected but I'm thinking that semi-protection would be good for the candidate's RfA page. Let IPs and new users comment on the candidate's RfA talk page if they have something constructive to say...and then semi-prot that if it becomes too disruptive there.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:05, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I don't think IPs should participate in any way at RfA. An RfA is a way for the community to decide who they trust with the tools. Someone who has deliberately chosen not to be a member of the community should not participate IMO. I believe enwiki is the only wikipedia that allows IPs to have any role at all in the RfA process. And what do we get with this laissez-faire policy? At a recent RfA, that of User:Ritchie333, there were three separate questions from IPs, and it turned out that all three of them were from the banned "Best known for IP," a longtime enemy of Ritchie's. But... having expressed my opinion, I should note that this same topic was discussed only last month. The proposal was at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Archive 234#IP participation at RfA. It was closed as unsuccessful but was quickly followed by Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Archive 234#IP participation at RfA: observation. So even though I think RfAs IPs should be excluded from any participation at RfA, and enough other people agree that the topic keeps coming up, I have to concede that this proposal does not have consensus at present and should probably be dropped. --MelanieN (talk) 14:45, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • "So even though I think RfAs should be excluded from any participation at RfA" mean IPs? :)
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:05, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks. Hadn't had my coffee yet. 0;-D --MelanieN (talk) 15:31, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
        • I should add: I agree with Berean's suggestion that the ban should also apply to brand new (non-auto-confirmed) accounts. That's a new idea, and it's a valuable contribution to the discussion. Anyone who registers a new account and immediately goes straight to the RfA pages is not a new user. They are likely a sock, or an IP evading the IP ban. --MelanieN (talk) 15:39, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I have mixed feelings about IPs. Allowing somebody to edit an article without a stumbling block of registration to fix minor typos and things, that's fine. If you want to take part in the admin side of things, you should register. It's not hard. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 14:55, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In order to properly achieve consensus on this, please ensure to advertise this discussion. Since many editors have long taken this page off their watchlist, the discussion should (at least) carry an RFC tag and be listed on CENT and at one of the pumps in order for any result to be considered legitimate. –xenotalk 15:06, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per proposer's rationale, and cogent observations by MelanieN. RfA is a discussion among members of the Wikipedia community, and if one wants to participate in RfA discussions, one should take the small step of joining that community. It is a very small step, and might even encourage a few fence-sitters to register. Moreover, when one is a registered user, that user's account comes with a public history that allows us to include the perspectives, biases and past actions associated with that account when we consider how much weight to attribute to that user's opinions expressed at RfA. Bottom line: as I've said many times before, membership has its privileges, and participating in RfA discussions should be one of them. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 15:20, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Question – Would the ban of IPs just cover the "main" page of an RfA (e.g. Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/NeilN)? Or would it include the Talk page (e.g. Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/NeilN) as well?... I can definitely support the former. If it includes the latter as well, I'll need to think about it some more. --IJBall (contribstalk) 15:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It is the latter as well. --kelapstick(bainuu) 15:57, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
      • I don't think so, kelapstick. Berean's proposal clearly says, "I would like to see the main RfA page amended to exclude IPs and "new" editors." IMO there's no reason to ban anyone from the talk page, and I don't see that as part of the proposal. --MelanieN (talk) 16:02, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
        • Sorry, you are correct, I misread what IJBall wrote. No it would not be extended to talk pages.--kelapstick(bainuu) 16:04, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as long as this is the "encyclopedia anyone can edit." Otherwise don't let IPs do anything, require that every post be from a registered account. GregJackP Boomer! 16:05, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, because I am automatically against anything that is justified by the tribalistic meme "not (a) Wikipedian(s)". I'd hazard a guess that there are a half dozen IP editors who have contributed to this encyclpedia more than any of you. I don't understand their refusal to create an account, but saying they're "not Wikipedians", with no objections from the peanut gallery, makes me kind of not want to be one either. --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:09, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose We don't allow IPs to support/oppose at RFAs due to obvious sock/meat-puppetry and vote-stacking concerns. But why would we reject potentially constructive input or evidence about a candidate, just because the person providing it doesn't have a wikipedia account?! Also keep in mind that IP-editors are certainly affected by who we choose as admins, and if a candidate systematically mistreats IP-editors, we would want to know that at an RFA. Other participants at an RFA can use the input when deciding whether to support or oppose, as they see fit. And outright trolling (like in the current RFA) is most easily dealt with on an RFA page that is typically watched by dozens of experienced users,, admins, and bureaucrats who can revert, block, or protect (ideally for very short periods) if necessary. Also second what Floq said. Abecedare (talk) 16:22, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" includes in its remit the ability to comment on RfAs. We (generally) do nothing preemptive to stop IPs vandalizing articles so why should this be different?  Philg88 talk 16:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: Electing an administrator is a privilege far greater than just making edits. I think any editor who wishes to even comment in the process should register. It is not like having to provide documents to cross a border or registering to vote. Fylbecatulous talk 16:47, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per GregJackP, Floq and Abecedare. It is relatively easy to semi-protect a page when there is excessive disruption so this isn't a serious enough problem. It is worth noting that anyone can edit the encyclopedia and that becoming a registered user is merely a convenience. And, of course, when the sock drawer can't stay shut as in the case of the current RfA, it tells us that the candidate is doing something right and will likely make a good admin. All information is useful information!--regentspark (comment) 16:54, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support per nom and others. The argument that it goes against the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit" philosophy doesn't make any sense to me, because RfA is not part of the encyclopedia; it's a governance mechanism. On that argument, you might as well say that IPs can delete articles. Hell, this is no more than a proposal for automatic semiprotection of RfAs. --Stfg (talk) 16:59, 7 June 2015 (UTC) Struck my support. Opposes are somewhat convincing. --Stfg (talk) 21:13, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Restored my support on realising what's going on here. It's not a question of whether IPs are as much people as accounts are. Accounts are accounts, not people, and IP addresses are IP addresses, not people. Neither are people. It's not a question of what kind of people we allow to voteedit the RFA page, but what access mechanisms we allow people to use when they votedo so. Account names can simply be meaningless numeric strings if the account owners want; it's more anonymous than an IP, since an IP can be geolocated. The notion that Wikipedians should be able to voteask questions and discuss other editors' votes on the RFA page without signing into an account in good standing seems absurd to me. I also object to some of the ABF that's been expressed by the opposers. Please forget the notion that people are bad people just because they disagree with you. --Stfg (talk) 19:57, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    They already aren't able to vote. That's not what we're discussing. We're discussing whether they're even allowed to discuss. —Cryptic 20:08, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    Thanks, Cryptic, you're right of course, and I've refactored my comment accordingly. I still support keeping all IP edits from the RFA page. More often than not, the questions and replies are hostile and disruptive, and the use of an IP address probably intended to evade scrutiny. (With others here, I dislike the whole idea of unregistered editing anywhere on Wikipedia. But that's another issue.) --Stfg (talk) 21:18, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - administratorship should be a community decision, and getting an account = joining the community. Also, easy to implement by semi-protecting. So, makes sense and easy to implement. Jytdog (talk) 17:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC) (would want to consider this more, especially in light of comments from Dank. Jytdog (talk) 18:06, 7 June 2015 (UTC))
  • Closer's comment. My preference would be to close this RfC now, with no prejudice against reopening a related RfC after we've had some discussion on the opposers' points. I've never closed an RfC early before; roughly speaking, my arguments for doing it are: 0: Even from the short discussion so far, I think it's likely there's a way to give both the supporters and the opposers the main things that they're looking for; 1: It's very easy to misinterpret the wording of the RfC, and that misinterpretation may make it less likely that the larger community will respond to future RfCs; 2. The opposers are on very solid ground, with policy-based arguments that trump some of the other arguments, and 3. It's entirely possible that, no matter what the outcome is, the RfC will have no lasting effect on RfA, but may contribute to an atmosphere where productive editors feel unappreciated and stop editing.
  • So: is there any objection to closing this RfC and continuing the discussion without the RfC and the WP:CENT notice? - Dank (push to talk) 17:25, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Yes, I object. Please let the discussion run. I see no more validity in the opposers' "policy-based" objections than the opinions expressed in the supporters. This is democracy in action; don't try to derail it. It's a very healthy discussion to have. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 17:49, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
      • With one oppose and no supports to my unusual request, I don't feel comfortable closing it up yet, but that saddens me, that is, I feel a sense of loss here; I hope others will think about what Floq and I have said and consider supporting my request. - Dank (push to talk) 18:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • support early close. Dank has shown good judgement on contentious, community-wide issues like this. We should allow him to shape the discussion. Jytdog (talk) 18:11, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • I agree with Dirtlawyer1, this needs to run its full course. I oppose an early close. GregJackP Boomer! 18:13, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Fair enough. It's too late to stop it at this point, and I've had much more than my 15 minutes in the spotlight lately, so I won't close it, or comment further. - Dank (push to talk) 02:30, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
    • I don't see any point in keeping the RFC or CENT advertisements going, but removing the RFC template (which Bearean can do at any time, should he wish to withdraw the question) doesn't mean that the discussion itself needs to stop. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I know it can seem like they are few and far between but there are IPs that have been productive editors who ARE part of the community over the years. Conversely, there have been plenty of registered editors who have not had the communities best interest at heart. WikiP does not require registration and that applies to the entire project. Along with temp protection the {{spa}} template is always available for use. MarnetteD|Talk 17:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - As per previous editors, IPs are not exactly members of the community, except that many IPs who express strong opinions are not members of the community because they are likely to be socks. The right of IPs to edit should not be a right to edit everywhere. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:31, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, pretty much exactly per Floquenbeam. Opabinia regalis (talk) 17:32, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in light of the clarification posted to my question above – as long as IPs can still comment on the Talk page, I'm comfortable with them not being allowed on RfA "main pages". I mean, let's face it – they're already barred from voting (yes?), so it doesn't make much of a difference. --IJBall (contribstalk) 17:37, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • I'll condition my support in the same way as IJBall: as long as IP users have the ability to edit the candidate's RfA talk page and bring relevant facts to light there, I see no reason why they should be permitted to edit a candidate's RfA page. It is the difference between choosing to join the community and not. Direct participation in RfAs, either by !voting or discussion, should be one of the small privileges of community membership. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 17:49, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Some IP editors are effectively part of the community with their input. I do understand the concerns about them actually voting but nothing beyond that. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 17:55, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose semi-protection may be cheap, but it's not free. As long as IPs are allowed to contribute to Wikipedia, they should be allowed to contribute to the RfA process. While it is entirely logical that they not be able to actually cast a support, neutral, or oppose, they should be able to ask (valid) questions, and not be mandated to do it on the talk page. We are able to block and protect as required, but I don't see the need to preemptively stop IPs. --kelapstick(bainuu) 18:02, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No basis for the proposal. No requirement for a user to sign in or register. Minor4th 18:07, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment on a comment above: WikiP does not require registration and that applies to the entire project.. That's not true. IPs can't create articles, and they can't !vote at RfAs, and I imagine there are other restrictions. This is simply proposing one more. --MelanieN (talk) 18:36, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose this shameful, elitist proposal. IPs already can't cast a !vote at RFA, now we're going to tell them "go away, no matter who you are or what you have contributed to this project, if you don't have an account you aren't a real Wikipedian and your questions or comments are worthless". Really? I don't want to be a part of a Wikipedia that would do that. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:40, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Beeblebrox, they can still comment on an RfA's Talk page. This really is not much of a change, at all. --IJBall (contribstalk) 18:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Oh, sure, they can still comment on another page that nobody looks at, that is used as a dumping ground for flame threads from the RFA itself. That won't imply that we think they are just worthless pieces of shit whose opinions don't matter at all... Beeblebrox (talk) 22:46, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Beeblebrox, you are wrong. Look at the stats for NeilN's RfA talk page. The talk page was seen 724 times and has 81 watchers still. The main RfA candidate page was seen 4735 times. It is hardly a page that no one has seen.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 00:19, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose what would Jimbo think? An encyclopedia "anyone can edit".... Registration is and should be optional. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    IPs are treated like second-class citizens (or worse) over at the good old reference desks, they are generally viewed suspiciously, hunted down, and treated as persona non grata, regardless of their contributions. Some users there seem to use it as a playground to chase and belittle the contributions of our IP editors, ironically while some named users contribute nothing but personal commentary to the encyclopedia. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:02, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Beeblebrox and this is shunting them off to a talk page where 90% of contributors will not see them. Davewild (talk) 18:46, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    Also it gives me no confidence that IP users will be able to comment on talk pages, when at the latest RFA the talk page was semi-protected the day after the only IP who had caused any disruption had been blocked. Davewild (talk) 20:39, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    You are either confused or misrepresenting things. It was protected less than 12 hours before it finished. And it was disrupted on:
    • June 3 disrupted twice by
    • June 3 disrupted talk page (
    • June 5 (no diff because it was oversighted) by but this is the person who blanked AN with the edit summary "i like boobies :D"
    • June 6 by an admitted sock different IP (
    • June 6 (
    • June 6 talk page (
    • June 7 ( less than 12 hours to finish. I semi-protected less than an hour after the last post. Not a single one of those IPs or any other IP for that matter contributed anything constructive.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 00:58, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
    We are talking about different things, the only disruption on the talk page was from, yet it was semi-protected after that IP was blocked. The other disruption was on the main RFA page. My comment above was only about the talk page, not about the main RFA page. Davewild (talk) 06:32, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I started a thread on this subject in April although it was a discussion, not a vote. My concern wasn't voting (because IP votes get quickly removed) but many of the candidate questions, and sort of hostile questions, in the RfA were from IPs. I had the feeling that they might be editors who did have user accounts but wanted anonymity to ask the candidate very challenging and difficult questions. If this is the case, I don't support it as an editor should be willing to be identified if they are going to ask hard-ball questions.
But they could have been blocked or banned editors, too, there is no way to know without CUs. They were the kind of questions though where any answer offered could be criticized, sort of no-win questions, so I was arguing that IP accounts can discuss the RfA but not post questions. But, like this discussion, people had all sorts of different opinions and there was no consensus. Liz Read! Talk! 18:53, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is nothing about being an IP that prevents you from making a valid point in an RfA. To handle people who use IPs to avoid being identified as the questioner, I would not hold it against a candidate who chose to not answer a question or require it be "endorsed" by an active user if it seemed likely the questioner was attempting to avoid identification. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 19:19, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongest oppose: It's much easier to track down IP socks, as all you need is a geolocation and some behavioral evidence; with multiple users, you need a CU. Also, assuming that an IP participating in RfA is acting in bad faith goes against WP:AGF, which this proposal does. Esquivalience t 19:51, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    At my RfA, I answered two IP questions in good faith and ignored the third as it was a "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" question. I don't believe tracking IP socks is easy, maybe if you do a huge rangeblock and forget collateral damage, but I don't think that's working for JarlaxleArtemis / Grawp. I recall a report on Wikipediocracy (I forget the thread) where a now-retired editor tried some fixes as an IP and was shocked at the graveyard of vandalism and warning templates on the IP's talk that had nothing to do with him. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 20:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm going to breakdown my oppose for two reasons. IPs are Wikipedians and I think bringing that into question is almost an entirely separate RFC. Generally speaking, in my experience of participating at RFA over the years, IPs have for the most part been a negative force. They're almost always trolls or editors trying to comment anonymously. I can only think of a few times where it was a legitimate IP, had a solid editing history, and they were actively participating in the discussion (not voting). A ban would save the community time and headache but the fundamental principal of sweeping all the IPs into this rule is not what Wikipedia is about to me. If we were blocking scores of IPs and protecting the RFA talk pages on a consistent basis, then maybe we would need to examine the issue again. At the moment, I just don't see this being a large enough issue to the RFA process that it needs this type of fix. Mkdwtalk 20:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - The arguments that you (the proposer) have made are very weak. You say that "if [editors] want to become members of our community then they need an account," and that "IPs are not Wikipedians because they have chosen to edit but not join our community," but this is only your opinion, one that is not shared by the community. Wikipedia:Wikipedians says that "Wikipedians or editors are the volunteers who write and edit Wikipedia's articles, unlike readers who simply read them. Anyone—including you—can become a Wikipedian by boldly making changes when they find something that can be improved." Hence editors who choose to contribute without creating a username are still Wikipedians, no less so than those who edit under a username. Anyone can write essays like Wikipedia:IP addresses are not people, and these essays do not have to go through the kind of community scrutiny and consensus-building process that the content at Wikipedia:Wikipedians and Wikipedia:Requests for adminship have gone through, which is why the former has content that is at odds with the latter two.

    You have provided no evidence of the disruption that you allege IPs are causing, nor anything to show that these problems are solely because of unregistered editors. You mentioned "IP socks, indeffed/banned editors or possibly legitimate editors avoiding scrutiny", yet all such editors can escape scrutiny more easily by creating an account rather than revealing their IP addresses. Unregistered editors already cannot vote in RfAs, and are otherwise bound by the same restrictions that affect registered editors. Criticism and comments on proposed administrators should be judged on the merits of the comments themselves, not those who made them; why should a candidate escape scrutiny just because the said scrutiny is by an unregistered editor? --Joshua Issac (talk) 21:00, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose I do not think it is fair to lump all IPs into the same bad editor group. Some editors may also be logged out for w/e reasons. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:04, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose IP editors are part of the community too. I don't dispute that there may have been an RFA or two where this has been an issue, I don't remember those RFAs but I don't follow every RFA. However I'm not aware of there being a sufficient problem to merit such a solution. Happy to review my position if someone produces stats to indicate we have a significant problem here. ϢereSpielChequers 21:05, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I've been trying to figure out what exactly this proposal is meant to accomplish. IPs already can't vote here, so that's a non-issue. Interacting with IPs is one of the few things that all administrators have to do, so insulating the candidate from them is actively counterproductive. If there's feeling that early IP comments will poison a discussion, the problem isn't with the IP; it's with the logged-in users whose research consists solely of reading previous votes at RFA. We'd be better off banning them from RFA instead. —Cryptic 21:21, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not because I think IP contributions to RFAs are particularly helpful (most of them are not), but because I don't see the problem this is trying to solve. Any disruption to an RFA can be quickly dealt with using simple protection, which is pretty much what always happens. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 21:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose IP's normally are people, and I suspect that only IP with people behind them are editing on these pages. (I am on of the admins that blocks the non-people IPs.) The process should be as open as possible. If any comments are truly offensive they can be removed. I do not think that disruptions is limited to IPs only. We should assume good faith and allow their contrubition where possible. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:16, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I was initially inclined to support this, but after thinking about it a bit, I believe that restricting IP comments to the talk page will more likely reduce the amount of helpful IP participants - the ones who wish to stir up drama or whatever are more likely to go the roundabout way of commenting on the talk page. ansh666 22:34, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
    • To be clear: I support a full ban and oppose a partial ban (i.e. can post on talkpage). ansh666 23:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons Abecedare has articulated clearly above. WJBscribe (talk) 22:42, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per Anyone Can Edit, the most important tenet of this site. --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 22:59, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible support due to inherent sock puppet security issues. I also think all IP editing should be forbidden, for what it's worth. Registration is free and easy. Carrite (talk) 01:29, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose We are the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit and I see no reason why IPs should be prevented from making constructive contributions to RFA discussions. Also, I know that there are a number of IP editors who have made extensive contributions without ever creating an account, and it seems rather inappropriate to just write them off as not being members of the community. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 03:27, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Four words: IPs are editors too. And all editors have the right to discuss what they believe is right for the encyclopedia. Sure the system could be abused, but we must always assume good faith. Besides, we have plenty of IP editors who are experienced editors. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 03:45, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose IP editors are not an underclass. The abuses of a few individuals should not result in a stigma against the entire group. Altamel (talk) 03:46, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's not a major issue, as IP editors can post to the talk page if they have legitimate concerns. However, I don't think they should have to resort to this by default. They're still members of the community, even if they don't have a user account. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 03:54, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - actually disruptive (questions/comments) should get removed, whether by IPs or registered accounts. Otherwise, that IPs also float in water is not relevant. It was asserted that IPs are generally people engaging in bad behaviour, but no evidence of this was offered. I assume that's because it's just a superstition. WilyD 11:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
    I assume you haven't noticed the disruptive or bad-faith IP contributions at the three most recent successful RfAs. --MelanieN (talk) 14:31, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
    To make it simple, here is what I'm talking about : here, here, ESPECIALLY here, here (and a follow up here) Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:16, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
    data ain't the plural of anecdote; beyond that, those examples show exactly how wrong-headed this approach is - bad faith actions were removed for being in bad faith, which is exactly why they should get removed; not because of some sort of bigotry towards the class of editor in question. WilyD 07:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Emphatic support — I agree with User:Carrite that anonymous editing should not be allowed. At the very least, anonymous input into decision making should be prohibited.David Cannon (talk) 14:09, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Emphatic oppose: The very fabric of Wikipedia is based on the absurd notion that we have an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Anyone. Let that sink in for a minute. The moment you click "edit this page" you become a member of the community. Some have more recognition than others, but an IP is no less a contributor than someone with an account. A very significant swath of the project exists because of the hard work of IPs. Demonizing them helps nothing, and actively works to harm the project. Sure, have an account to vote; we have to avoid stacking. But to comment? Absolutely not. Completely antithetical to what we are trying to do and have done for years. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:35, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While it is frustrating to see off-site agitators and other trolls periodically disrupt processes while hiding behind pseudo-anonymity of an IP address rather than use their regular accounts (assuming they aren't blocked/banned), it is still important that legitimate unregistered editors be given the opportunity to speak. Semi-protecting the page, as happened in the incident that led to this discussion, is the preferable option, imo. And while that would have the same result of largely disenfranchising an IP editor who wishes to leave a good faith comment, we can at least control that on a case by case basis rather than deny all in a blanket prohibition. Resolute 15:37, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. IPs are human too. They are completely a part of the community and often interact with people who would be admins. Their perspective on an admin candidate can be valuable and shed light on how the person in question treats those who are vulnerable. I reiterate my comments here and here. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:28, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per Wikipedia:RfA reform (continued)/Voter profiles#Comparison RfA other Wikipedias. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:26, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, against the unlikely utility of an editor that is currently in ill-odor, or an editor in fear, needs to be a whistleblower and drop us a hint/pointer/evidence that someone is not as appearances would seem. Yes, this is the same as saying we must accept the balderdash the haters and trolls dish out. But we need the escape hatch for "just in case". Makes me sick, but do you really want to enable the situation "I tried to tell you guys, but no..." (which I've seen happen at WP). Shenme (talk) 06:08, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Shenme that wouldn't happen. All the IPs have to do is leave a note on the candidate's RfA talk page. It would certainly be seen. No one is attempting to silence them; the idea here is to prevent IPs from disrupting the candidate's primary RfA page which is what happens most of the time.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Support given Berean Hunter's reminder that 'speaking' (on talk pages) is not impeded by saying IPs can't !vote. Shenme (talk) 04:51, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support IP editors should not be allowed to participate in the background running of the site. They can add (poorly sourced) content, and that's it. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 06:42, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - It is reasonable to limit IPs from doing certain things, like participate in Arb hearings, etc (BTW, I'm the original author of the essay that is misquoted once or twice above). RFA is one more area that would be reasonable to exclude them. We are here to write articles, and IPs are free to write articles (except those protected due to vandalism, which is often done by IPs, ironically). There are no "rights" here, for any of us. To restrict certain processes to registered users is not only reasonable, it is pretty much how every website in existence operates, so doing so here would be far from extraordinary. Dennis Brown - 21:50, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Beeblebrox. Reading this proposal actually made me angry: "members of our community"!??! I thought for a moment that it had to be a troll, but I see it was made in good faith. :( ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 22:03, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Too often IPs are mere shields for the cowards among us without the backbone to leave comments under their actual accounts. It's a shame that leaves out the prolific editors who choose not to register. Chris Troutman (talk) 22:37, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia:IPs are human too is an essay that states that IPs are given the same rights as registered editors in the writing of Wikipedia. It basically says that IPs are also humans. I've seen that even IPs can make useful contributions to Wikipedia. Therefore, they should be able to partake in voting on RFAs, so long as they don't vandalise. Sure, some folks do not wish to sign up for an account for various reasons, even though it's easy to sign up for one, but still wish to vote on RFA. It's like keeping an open government so that everyone's voice can be heard, even if they wish to keep their names aynonomous. (talk) 22:57, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    •, IPs aren't allowed to !vote in RfAs at the present; that isn't what this thread is about. The outcome of this RfC will not affect !voting. Supporters want IPs to place their comments on the candidate talk page rather than in the main candidate RfA page which is the status quo.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:36, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks for the clarification. (talk) 00:27, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support We already limit IP's from doing potentially destructive things like editing semi-protected articles, move pages, create pages, etc. Swaying an election for someone with more dangerous tools should be counted as one of those potentially destructive things. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, not the encyclopedia that anyone can govern, and the bar for creating an account is so low (all you need is a throwaway email address to provide is a username and password, not any personal information). I don't buy the "I want to vote for admins, but I don't want an account for privacy reasons" argument, as a username is arguably much more anonymous than an IP address. That said, if we required usernames our sockpuppet policy would at least provide some recourse for voter fraud, so they are useful. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 23:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: IPs should be allowed to comment and participate in an RfA as much as any registered user. IPs are human too: these are real people who might want to make valid contributions to the discussion; even if it's unlikely or rare, they should still be allowed to do this. Allowing them to comment is the equivalent of allowing them to post on the talk page of a semi-protected article: we shouldn't prevent them from making contributions altogether, but we should prevent any potential damage that would happen if we didn't have these restrictions (i.e. vandalism of article / user making sockpuppet votes to become an admin). The title of this section and original proposal is far too hostile and so are several of the comments, making sarcastic remarks about IPs' "poorly sourced" contributions or otherwise demonstrating the stigmatization we have against people who just don't happen to have created an account. When I started editing with an account, most IPs were probably about as useful as me. Even today, many IPs are just as helpful as me and I've come across many whose contributions have been nothing but positive. WP:AGF applies to IPs, too and saying IPs aren't/shouldn't be part of the community is ridiculous and horrible; many IPs deserve to be part of the community more than most users. — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 17:36, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. When's the last time an IP had something constructive on an RfA page, rather than just stirring the pot? Indeed, it's the ENCYCLOPEDIA anyone can edit. That's the key word. Trying to pick admins and understanding editors isn't building an encyclopedia, but discussing community matters. Someone who chooses not to register, whether because they're sockpuppeting or are trying to hide something, isn't part of that community. No one is saying to ban IPs everywhere, which a lot of opposers seem to claim for some reason. IPs are plenty helpful on articles, but on project space? Virtually never. Wizardman 00:48, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support As per BH who makes a compelling argument.--5 albert square (talk) 00:18, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Abecedare and others above. Some IP edits are disruptive, Tose we can remove, and block the sources of. Many registered users are disruptive also, or at elast unhelpful. We deal with thsoe individually, not as a predefiend class. The very nature of this proposal demonsrates its impropriety. It is proposed to allow IPs to edit the talk page of an RFA page. Why won't they be disruptive there? Is it because no one cares, that page gettign far fewer edits and views, so disruption there doesn't matter? But that only indicates tha tthe commetns ther won't matter (or at least not matter much) either. so the "consession" of letting IPs edit the talk page is shown to be hollow. An admin must interact with IP editors with some frequency. If (as others have said above), a candidate can't do so well, we need to know befre the mop is given out. Any IP editor who has intracted with the candidate shoulod be free to post about that interaction. Moeover, IP editors are part of the Wikipedia community. An often downtrodden part, yes. A perhaps disproportionately unruly part, yes. But also the saource of many many valuable edits. We should not simnply exclude such editors as this proposal would do. DES (talk) 12:09, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - IPs 9 times out of 10 only come here to disrupt the process, As others have said If they wanna participate in RFAs they should create an account, (Personally I believe IP editing should be done away with entirely but we all know that'll never happen) –Davey2010Talk 20:11, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - IPs are not people. If a person has an interest in the project and wishes to vote on admins, vote for Arbcom members, and the like, then a vote needs to be tied to a single identifiable account. I would also strip IP editing away completely if that ever comes to a vote again. Tarc (talk) 20:20, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    Exactly right, Tarc. IPs are not people — they are random screeds of numbers with an uncanny ability to type out coherent thoughts as though they were somehow sentient like you or I. They are faceless, nameless entities whose mere presence creates a cognitive dissonance of sorts, in that there is something almost human-like about them. These mysterious beings lurk within the shadows of our community-based project, tainting its sanctity with their identities of integers. They have no business editing in non-IP namespaces, where only us real editors should be participating. Kurtis (talk) 22:18, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    A shame those stubby fingers flew straight to sarcasm rather than allowing the brain a moment to comprehend the point, which is that the problem with IP editors is identity. There's no certainty that the person posting as 123.123-whatever today is the same person that posts as 123.124-whatever tomorrow. Or that the person who was 123.123. yesterday is now 186.254 today. Establish an identity, stick to it, and join the Wikipedia, or forever be considered a 2nd-class editor. That is what someone who posts by IP faces. Tarc (talk) 12:58, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I do understand your point, I just thought it was a bit comical for someone to say that IPs "are not people". Even without the privileges that come with registering an account, IP editors are still human beings. Kurtis (talk) 18:24, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Rereading my comment, maybe I was being a bit too much of a deadpan snarker. I never meant any offence, and I hope none was taken. Kurtis (talk) 09:02, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Editors (IP or otherwise) who are disrupting the process should be dealt with accordingly. Banning a whole class of users from the main page of the RFA (without evidence [presented] that the whole or a substantial part of the class is disruptive) is the incorrect approach. --Izno (talk) 14:14, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
    I think that's technically impossible - you generally cannot indef an IP, and if they are on a dynamic IP, you cannot deal with them. Just look at some of the lengthy WP:LTA archives. You're describing something that cannot be done without major changes. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 14:38, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
    Jumping to "let's indef an IP" from "dealt with accordingly" is quite the jump of logic. --Izno (talk) 15:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per regentspark, and opposing the idea that IP editors are not real contributors. as long as we can semiprotect a page from disruptive IP editors, this proposal is taking a hammer to solve a problem that needs a screwdriver. better to have some disruption and more dialog, than limit dialog out of fear of potential disruption. I do appreciate the sentiment behind the proposal, and I am blissfully unaware of how bad this disruption may be at times, so i might change from "liberal" to "conservative" if i was "mugged" by an IP vandal..., but probably not. personally, im just afraid of the whole admin scene, including RFA, so i avoid thinking about it. I am convinced i would be torn apart here for every imperfect edit ive ever made (including making this comment! help!)Mercurywoodrose (talk) 15:36, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose — Unless I'm reading this the wrong way, the proposal is to basically semi-protect RfAs so that IP editors cannot post any questions or comments whatsoever. They are already restricted from voting, and there's good reason for that. Otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with them participating in the other aspects of the RfA process, assuming they're doing so in good faith. Kurtis (talk) 18:24, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
    • The proposal is to semi-protect the candidate's main RfA page and then IPs can post to the talk page of the RfA. This is a way of reducing disruptions by IPs but does not shut them out.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 19:37, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - the OP made a good case. I can't see why it's such a big deal to register a user name for loggin in. Atsme📞📧 00:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. This seems like a no-brainer. Either log in and let us know who you are, or join the community by creating an account. No matter how much they edit, IPs will always be outsiders, and they know that and have been told that numerous times. Even the most perspicacious and helpful IP editor can be someone's sock; not to mention, IPs change and it's hard to track their edits or engage them in consistent, meaningful dialogue. It's all-around troublesome and problematic for IPs to pipe up at RfAs. Softlavender (talk) 01:53, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  • OpposeIP's are members of the community. This wikicentric xenophobia has gone way to far when we are barring stakeholders from discussion that effect them. -Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 15:05, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Strongly. The more willing a contributor is to let others know who he or she really is, the more likely others are to trust and respect that contributor. IP editing inherently comes with the impression of secretiveness. A willingness to provide the small amount of transparency that a regular user account requires, comes with the impression of transparency. I'll vote for transparency here. I recently saw a documentary where a certain commercially paid WP editor boasted of running no less than something like 36 socks. We need to reduce socks, not encourage them, especially in such important and sensitive areas as the decision making process of deciding who should be an admin. If one is not transparent enough to merely register, then too bad for him or her. We don't need more secrecy here but less. Scott P. (talk) 16:38, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
    I disagree, Scottperry. As a person who edits without logging in permits easy geolocation, such a person is actaully less anomonous than an editor whose username does not correlate to his or her real identity. If an editor wishes to be obscure (i.e. non-transparent) then s/he should not edit withotu logging in, but rather via multiple useernames, that is, by WP:SOCKing. If we really want to encourage transparancy, we should require all users to identify to the foundation, or at least require use of a non-throwaway email address during registration. That would make creatign sock-puppets a bit harder and more sostly. Of course the costs of doing that would excede any possible benefits. But your reasoning here stikes me as very flawed. In anycase, we should evaluate comments at an RfA (or any other on-wiki discussion) primarily on their content, not on the signature attached. DES (talk) 17:52, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
This discussion between User:Scottperry, User:DESiegel, and several others about the ease of undetectible sock-puppetry and its likelihood of affecting WP admin elections is continued below in the Impact of paid editors and false ip software on admin elections section
  • Comment: Is this a real RFC? If so, it should have been filed properly as per WP:RFC -- was it? Also if it is a real RFC, it should have a neutrally stated headline -- not "IPs don't belong here". Otherwise, there is no way for people to know this is not yet another random endless discussion (especially with that rather snarky title) about a perennial topic, unless they happen to check. Someone needs to change the headline to "RFC: Should IPs be excluded from commenting at RFAs except on Talk pages?" Also, RFAs run for 30 days. Softlavender (talk) 14:07, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
    It wasn't originally posted as an RFC, more of a thoughts?-seeking question; then folks starting !voting on it and I suggested that for consensus to be achieved on such a wide-reaching issue, it should be properly advertised and probably carry an RFC tag - with the unspoken implication that it would be re-formulated into more of a formal RFC format (along with neutral title), this implication apparently didn't carry and someone (in good faith) put an RFC tag above Berean's original post. Perhaps at this point, it may be best to remove the RFC tag and CENT notice and for those who support the policy to reformulate it and present it on a subpage after taking into consideration the opposition. In the mean time, I've re-worded the title the be more descriptive of the actual proposal. –xenotalk 15:17, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support: Newbies aren't going to start editing at an RfA, I can't think of any reason an anon IP would want to weigh in under a cloak of anonymity unless they have a motive to conceal their identity, which often is going to mean they are a sock, a troll or otherwise a restricted user engaging in block evasion. It takes 30 seconds to create an account and a short period of time to get past the new user restriction. Not too much to ask Montanabw(talk) 19:40, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, it seems that most of the time IPs are either sockpuppets or meatpuppets, and we don't need either at RfA. It's not that hard to register. Kharkiv07 (T) 19:43, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Little to be gained by further restricting participation in this manner. HiDrNick! 19:47, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposal is instruction creep. IP edits are no different than normal edits, if they are bad they can be reverted. As to sockpuppetry, its much easier to get a new account than a new IP address. It is my expectation that if adopted this rule would provide no practical benefit and would only introduce another rule for people argue about, thus my oppose. Antrocent (♫♬) 19:57, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose, while there is the logic that says that IP editors are not registered, can still comment on the talk page, IP editors are people too, who have just chosen not to register. While some IP editors may not make strong RfA comments, they should not be banned from letting their opinion be known on the main RfA page for a candidate.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:37, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose IP editors should have a say on requests for adminship. Everybody part of the Wiki community should have a say from newbies to Jimbo Wales to bureaucrats to even IP editors. They shouldn't be marginalised to the talk page if nobody else is. Not giving them the right to vote already avoids sock puppet issues. Why blanket ban when you can always semi-protect a page where the IP contributions to the RfA are more disruptive than constructive pretty quickly? This part of the RfA ain't broke. Gizza (t)(c) 12:08, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose and Trout Berean Hunter This is the Encyclopedia ANYONE can edit. This also assumes bad faith on the part of the IP's, and doesn't take into consideration that some of these IP's might actually be long time users that have never bothered to register for an account. Oppose! KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 16:10, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, and saddened by some of the rhetoric seen here. Any proposal that seeks to lock out a significant proportion of the community from a community process is cause for concern. Admin actions can impact any editor, not just registered ones. Pre-emptive permanent semi-protection for every RfA also goes against the very core of how protection works. The claim this wouldn't shut out nonregistered editors it'd 'only' shunt them off to the Talk page is sheer hokum—when was the last time you used an AfD Talk page? As for the registered user copying over a comment point, if the Talk page wasn't less than adequate there'd be no reason to copy over anything.
Unfortunately many statements here, like "we would never try to allow an IP to run for RFA for example", are rooted more in prejudice than in facts. Not being able to set the sysop bit other than on a login‑account is a technical restriction.
The "Not Like Us" rhetoric is especially disappointing. Comments like "not Wikipedians", "not part of the community", "chosen [...] not [to] join our community" betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is to be part of this Project. Any contributor, unregistered and registered alike, is a Wikipedian. Together, Wikipedians make up and are part of the community. The term Wikipedian belongs to all contributors, registered under a real name, registered under an anon name, or unregistered. It must not be co-opted as the descriptor of any one usergroup or segment. See: WP:WWW, WP:Wikipedians, and m:Wikipedian.
The notion somebody hasn't joined or isn't properly an editor until an arbitrary category is added onto their user/talk page is unfounded. As for the Missing Wikipedians page, it has never said IP users haven't joined or aren't integral parts of the community. Nor that they've "no identity here". In fact the page included an IP editor for two and a half years; it was only removed when the user came back and edited again. Implying they're only good for or ought only be allowed to do minor article edits is simply insulting. – (talk) 23:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose In his first revision of his comment, mentioned my comment on WT:ARB from 6 years ago, in which I pointed to (previously as an example why the idea of locking out IPs regardless of their edits is a bad idea. I don't think anything has changed since then. Those who advocate locking out IPs forget that there are real people behind those IPs and that in real life they would be careful to condemn a group of people based on something they didn't choose to have in common. Judge editors - registered and unregistered - by the quality of their posts, not whether they can or want to register an account. I, too, have edited as an IP from time to time when I was somewhere I didn't want to login (public PCs for example). Are all those edits worth less? As for the "sock"-argument: RfA is a discussion, not a vote, so no matter how often someone uses an IP or a sock to weigh in, their argument is not strengthened by numbers. Regards SoWhy 10:03, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Everybody should be able to ask questions or voice their concerns. This is the only way to ensure that legitimate concerns will be known to the community. !Votes from IP editors, single purpose, newly created accounts, users in bad standing (on probation, with long history of blocks, etc.) should not be included in any counting but they should be able to ask questions and provide information that might (or might not) be of use to the members of community. Alex Bakharev (talk) 00:28, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose As an editor who edited for years as an IP before creating an account I feel offended by this RfC. There are many hard-working editors who just do not wish to create an account and certainly deserve to be considered members of the community much more than registered users who make two edits per year for 10 years, or those who stop editing Wikipedia because of a petty argument. Having an account is a personal advantage, not an advantage of the community, therefore whether one does or does not have an account is totally irrelevant when one′s position as a Wikipedian is questioned.--The Theosophist (talk) 16:28, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Why do people get so upset over trivial matters? People get offended about the strangest things. My advice is a) don't be offended b) nobody's talking about banning IPs from the whole of Wikipedia c) having a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes to register account on some website is in NO WAY comparable with illegal immigration into the UK on striking lorries in Calais and d) don't strike up a conversation with Linus Torvalds. Be cool, people. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:44, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think your point b is true that no-one is making that argument, see the above opinions from Tarc, David Cannon and Carrite for instance. Davewild (talk) 16:48, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Anonymous editors are, by all current Wikipedia policy and practice, members of our community. As a matter of fact, the banning policy states that the only users who aren't part of the community are those that are site-banned—even blocked users are members of the community. Therefore, it is important that they all get an equal opportunity to have a say in community discussions. At RfA, if their comments aren't meaningful, the closing bureaucrat can simply place less weight to their comments in determining consensus—just as any closer would do for the opinion of any member of the community, registered or otherwise, per Wikipedia:Closing discussions. If a particular RfA sees disruption, we can handle that with semi-protection on a case-by-case basis, as we do already. With regards to sock puppetry, I'm not sure how this will solve that problem, as a registered account is just as likely (if not more) to be a sock puppet as an IP address. Mz7 (talk) 03:12, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Conditional support - I believe it should be IPs who are unregistered. Some open registered accounts as an IP. Those should not be excluded. However, as a whole, I don't think drive-by IPs have the knowledge of the process to weigh in on who should have the tools. — Maile (talk) 16:35, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
  • SNOW Oppose The fundamental assertion upon which this measure is predicated -- that IP editors are "not members of our community" -- is incorrect, myopic, and completely in conflict with community overwhelming community consensus with regard to their role in our project and the level of participation that should be accorded to them in community discussion. There are countless editors who have contributed to the project in a productive and good-faith fashion for years on end without registering. Nearly one third of all useful edits made to this project over its collective history have come from unregistered users and the essay utilized by the RfC author is in conflict with our actual policies and broad community consensus with regard to the status of IPs within this community. But even putting those community principles aside for the moment, pursuing this course of action would still be inadvisable and an example of cutting of one's nose to spite the face; do we really want an IP editor who might have useful information about problematic (or admirable) behaviour on the part of an admin candidate unable to supply us with that information simply because of their editing preferences? Having observed countless RfA's, I've never known IPs to impart a level of disruption to any single one that rose anywhere near to the level that would be required to justify disenfranchising a vast number of editors (representing a significant portion of our overall community) from the process altogether.
Restricting !votes is one thing, and a reasonably necessary measure to ascertain that the balance of perspectives is respected, but this proposal is out of sync with policy, community consensus, logic, and the best interests of the project. Bear in mind that at least some of these IPs will eventually register (it took me years, even after I had begun to engage in talk and project spaces), if they aren't run off by the more territorially-minded amongst us. Some of them may be engaged with the project while still being on the outskirts of community involvement, and who knows which discussion it will be which will impress them with the collaborative and open approach we utilize -- an RfA perhaps? At a time when we are hemorrhaging useful editors (registered and not) and new-editor recruitment is drying up to a degree that the very future of the Wikimedia movement is being brought into question, closing doors on the involvement of new users in primary community spaces makes zero sense. IPs are, by and large, members of our community and valuable ones upon which we depend -- not just for vast numbers of contributions across all major spaces, but also to fill the ranks of registered/major contributors. The gradated process by which editors transition from one to the other at their own speed as they internalize our processes is a vital function by which this project remains running and which we cannot afford to hamper at this point in time in particular. Drawing lines in the sand and risking substantial damage to a process that is a major factor in editor recruitment for the sake of addressing a problem that is mostly imaginary (or at worst, a minor nuisance) just strikes me a nonsensical. Snow let's rap 02:33, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose IPs already cannot !vote and I think anything more just creates an unnatural barrier. Some IP editors are drive-by trolls (OK, a lot of them are), but I have run into some who did good content work and talk page discussion. They were as much part of the community as anyone. We are the encyclopedia anyone can edit. I know the proposal is well intentioned, but I fear it will lead to more "us vs them" antagonism that drives off new editors. We cannot afford to become a clique. That was for the principles. Now, on a more practical note, I feel we should not exclude IP editors because they may actually have useful information we don't. I am not saying this applies to anyone, but I feel that if an editor has a pattern of abusive behaviour toward IP editors, this should be able to come up because it is very relevant. The kind of person who (for example) reverts all IPs on sight, or refuses to be civil to them would make a scary administrator. He may be thinking of Wikipedia as a hierarchy he can climb and pick on the lower rungs. This kind of attitude might not even be apparent to other account holders. On the other hand, if he has been treating IPs and newbies well, that makes it likely the power will not go to his head. Now, that being said, I have no tolerance for hazing. If some idiot (pardon my language), with or without an account, decides to go candidate-baiting, or makes personal attacks I am all for some strict sanctions being imposed, up to semi-protection if there is a persistent problem with IPs/newbies. I think we should focus on enforcing civility across the board, rather than excluding segments of our population that may have unique insights. Happy Squirrel (talk) 20:10, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

IP doesn't mean unregistered[edit]

Comment Given that Wikipedia:Sock puppetry specifically uses "logging out to make problematic edits as an IP address" as an example, it is naive and perhaps disingenuous for experienced editors to assume that every edit from an IP address is by someone who hasn't registered. The correct term is not logged in. Whenever I see something from an IP address in an unexpected place such as RfA I always consider the possibility that this is an experienced registered editor hiding behind anonymity for some reason. - Pointillist (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 23:49, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

It is also all to easy tor a registered user to be logged out without intending to be. It has happened to me many times. DES (talk) 11:57, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Quite so, in fact this google search suggests it happens quite often. I've nearly done it several times myself, but I use custom CSS to override signature formatting so it's easier to see when I'm not logged in. You can also use CSS to change the color of the Save button when you're logged in (instructions here). Also, some registered editors routinely contribute without logging in, e.g. "I don't bother to log in for a good 90% of the things I edit", "I often don't bother to log in, so don't judge me by my number of edits.", "for such small stuff, I usually don't bother to log in...", "I don't log in a whole lot so I have quite a few anonymous posts out there.", "I've corrected spelling mistakes etc. in many articles (I don't log in very often though, so it won't show)". This combination of accidental and deliberate edits without logging in means it's impossible to prove whether unregistered users actually make a significant number of useful edits. I think that's more of an article of faith for some people! - Pointillist (talk) 13:23, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Does it matter? The good stuff is still coming from IP addresses. Looking at the survey, I see that 30% of vandalism reverts are from IP addresses. Even banned users are allowed to revert vandalism and BLP violations so introducing this new rule that IPs cannot post on RfA would be a sea change in how this site operates. (talk) 13:50, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying the case for blocking IP comments at RfA has been proven. But I think the statistics at IPs are human too are deeply misleading. The source is eight years old (Feb 2007). The "30%" was incorrectly calculated in the essay: the correct figure is 18% (four cases of vandal reversion by IPs out of 22 instances in total). Anyway the sample size is ridiculously small. If the table had used numbers rather than percentages its weakness as a source would be much clearer. - Pointillist (talk) 14:43, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Analysis of 248 edits to English-language Wikipedia articles from 04:43 to 04:46 UTC on 18 Feb 2007 (Source)
Change type Count of edits by all editors Count of edits by registered editors Count of edit by anonymous editors Percent of all registered edits (n = 159) Percent of all anonymous edits (n = 89)
Substantial content changes 13 10 3 6.3% 3.4%
Minor content changes 71 43 28 27.0% 31.5%
Copyediting/formatting/wikilinking 101 68 33 42.8% 37.1%
Tagging/maintenance 21 16 5 10.1% 5.6%
Vandalism reversion 22 18 4 11.3% 4.5%
Vandalism 20 4 16 2.5% 18.0%

According to this [1] most of the content comes from IPs.

This quote is revealing:

If Wikipedia is written by occasional contributors, then growing it requires making it easier and more rewarding to contribute occasionally. Instead of trying to squeeze more work out of those who spend their life on Wikipedia, we need to broaden the base of those who contribute just a little bit.

Unfortunately, precisely because such people are only occasional contributors, their opinions aren't heard by the current Wikipedia process. They don't get involved in policy debates, they don't go to meetups, and they don't hang out with Jimbo Wales. And so things that might help them get pushed on the back burner, assuming they're ever proposed.

Out of sight is out of mind, so it's a short hop to thinking these invisible people aren't particularly important. Thus Wales's belief that 500 people wrote half an encyclopedia. Thus his assumption that outsiders contribute mostly vandalism and nonsense. And thus the comments you sometimes hear that making it hard to edit the site might be a good thing.

"I'm not a wiki person who happened to go into encyclopedias," Wales told the crowd at Oxford. "I'm an encyclopedia person who happened to use a wiki." So perhaps his belief that Wikipedia was written in the traditional way isn't surprising. Unfortunately, it is dangerous. If Wikipedia continues down this path of focusing on the encyclopedia at the expense of the wiki, it might end up not being much of either. (talk) 19:23, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment responding to "Even banned users are allowed to revert vandalism and BLP violations so introducing this new rule that IPs cannot post on RfA would be a sea change in how this site operates" above: "Sea change" is a good example of the gross exaggeration that has been happening in this discussion, about how big a change this would be in treatment of IPs. In fact the proposal is to go from "IPs cannot create articles, cannot edit semi-protected pages, and cannot !vote at RFAs" to "IPs cannot create articles, cannot edit semi-protected pages, cannot !vote at RFAs, and cannot comment at RFAs except on the talk page." This is not an enormous new form of discrimination against IPs; rather, it's a trivial addition to the discrimination in place now. --MelanieN (talk) 19:53, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for that @, though I think it's describing the old days when 'invisible people' could spend 10 seconds dropping in an unverified claim and what your source calls 'insiders' would then spend hours trying to find references to support it. I was the dutiful insider sometimes on new page patrol/AfD, and maybe this has bleached my rose-tinted spectacles. But anyway, your source can't tell us whether the IPs were people who never registered; or registered after making some productive edits; or had already registered but forgot to log in (examples above); or registered but prefer to edit anonymously (e.g. Clarka who said in January 2003: "WARNING. I often don't bother to log in. This is because I believe that valuable contributions are made by random people who may not be wiki-fanatics.") – arguably a relatively safe decision to make if you have outed yourself as an editor anyway. There are a few editors who specifically claim the edits they made while logged out, like Mercurywoodrose with over 4000 IP edits, JesseW with about 600, etc, but not enough to measure that pattern. The only conclusion is that we just don't know how many valuable edits are currently being made by people who have never registered vs editors who have registered but didn't bother to log in, and we can't predict how people's editing behavior might change if policies were changed in future. The "statistics" and "analyses" we have so far are utterly unreliable. - Pointillist (talk) 21:26, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Glad that my effort to log my IP stats can be useful in some way somewhere, and not just a vanity project. I dont have an opinion yet on this issue, will think about it.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 15:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • It appears that editing patterns have changed since 2007. In terms of contributions that stick around (unreverted, not copyedited away, etc.), IP contributions are much less dominant than they once were. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:36, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • OMG. I made that table. I was surprised enough to see the 'mentioned in the press' tags on its talk page, and now that I look at what links to it, it's apparently been mentioned in all sorts of project discussions. Ugh. Surely the foundation has managed to come up with some better data than a single person looking at a few minutes' worth of edits once in 2007, in the context of a specific ongoing conversation. (FWIW, I would not take the observation that fewer IP contributions stick around than in the past as evidence that those contributions are low quality. People are way more trigger-happy with the reverts these days.) Opabinia regalis (talk) 21:42, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you're at fault: you stated the limitations clearly when you posted your results. It's disappointing how many experienced editors (people presumably capable of assessing sources neutrally) have misused the data. As for the Foundation: perhaps they didn't see any advantage in collecting more precise data than yours? - Pointillist (talk) 22:29, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The foundation has buckets of data on new user retention issues, so I imagine they must have put some effort into figuring out which newcomers are worth retaining. (Though what I can find rummaging around meta looks at good registered newcomers, and anon inducements to register, but doesn't seem to combine the two.) In any case I'd be surprised if that old distribution was really all that far off: 60% tweaks, typo fixes, and good-faith efforts (even if poor); 20% vandalism and stupidity; 20% other stuff. Opabinia regalis (talk) 04:19, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Melanie, discrimination is never trivial, especially when you're suggesting that the people who put their hands into their pockets to keep Wikipedia going shouldn't be allowed to edit the wiki they are funding. The really bad behaviour comes from registered editors - there may be thousands who have been banned, but the number of banned IPs was one the last time I looked.
You also say that newly - registered accounts which go straight to the RfA pages should be banned. How would you allow a long - term IP editor who decides to register, makes eight edits to mainspace and on the ninth goes to RfA, to participate? (talk) 12:36, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
My point was that THIS ADDITION to the existing discrimination against IPs is trivial - compared to the already existing discrimination of not being able to create or move articles, not being able to edit semi-protected pages, not being able to !vote at RfA, etc. I am using the word "discrimination" to acknowledge that's how it looks to unregistered users, even though I agree with the policy. I actually didn't say that non-autoconfirmed users should be banned from RfA, and that wasn't part of the proposal here, but I wouldn't mind if it was. Having made their nine edits, and wanting to participate in RfA, they can simply make a tenth edit somewhere and bingo! autoconfirmed! (assuming they have been here for four days) --MelanieN (talk) 15:14, 12 June 2015 (UTC) P.S. As for "shouldn't be allowed to edit"... there you go exaggerating again. IPs ARE allowed to edit, with a few limitations that I listed here. --MelanieN (talk) 15:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
IP editors are rarely banned indefinitely because most IP addresses change periodically. The list of currently banned IPs is probably less than registered bans because of the accumulation of indef-bans from users over the last dozen-or-so years. Disclaimer: this comment neither suggests that I disagree with the IP I'm replying to nor that I agree with them. It's just me pointing out a flaw in their argument.Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 15:32, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Impact of paid editors and false ip software on admin elections[edit]

(This section continued from post above dated 17:52, 13 June 2015 by User:DESiegel)

In an ideal world, where all do all in "good faith", I would agree with you User:DESiegel. In a world where a saavy paid editor knows how to create 36 socks (through IP's, IP gaming software, or whatever), I believe that we do best to err on the side of caution. For me, WP is far too precious of a process to not take every reasonable precaution against such system gamers. Scott P. (talk) 18:16, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

I doubt very much, Scottperry, that those 36 socks edited in a non-logged-in mode. Did this documentary say that they did? I agree that such paid socking is reprehensible, and detrimental to the project. I don't see how this proposal will do anything to stop it or even slow it down. DES (talk) 18:26, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The documentary was from last year I believe on Deutsche Welle. In it, somehow they dug up a paid editor who was grinning from ear to ear about his "little family" of sock-puppets. The guy was obviously a bit apprehensive about this whole situation. They asked him what he thought about the "ethics" of his "practice" and he just said something like "if they invite me to do it, I will gladly accept their invitation." Obviously such a person would not readily reveal how he did it on TV. Here is an idea for you of how easy it is to game IP's: "IPChanger Software". Scott P. (talk) 18:34, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Recently I am beginning to wonder if the "paid editors" do not outnumber us volunteer editors. A few weeks ago I was speaking with a full time media consultant who was happy to tell me that every politician, marketing company, and product pusher has at least 1 - 12 paid WP editors. Multiply 6 times the number of politicians, product pushers/ corporations/ governments in the world and you might get an idea of the numbers we are talking about here. This is a huge HUGE problem on WP, and unless it is properly addressed, it will eventually destroy WP. If WP is to survive, one day it will have to hold its editors to be far more accountable than it does today. Scott P. (talk) 18:44, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Don't believe everything you're told. Have a look at some of the crud in Category:Politicians and tell me you seriously think these have been written by professional writers. Virtually the only article on a serving politician that's up to scratch is on some guy called Obama. (This is the full list of political biography FAs—note the singular absence of any current politician other than Obama and McCain.) – iridescent 18:51, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Come on now, politics = corruption. They go hand in hand. Advertising = "shape the messge". They go hand in hand. You don't mean to tell me that you honestly believe that politicians and sales people are inherently that honest? Please don't tell me you believe that a few more votes or paid purchases might would almost never justify hiring a paid WP editor? What was it that was born every minute? The guy who told me this does marketing for a living on a global scale. I tend to think he had no reason to lie to me. Scott P. (talk) 18:56, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is getting off-topic — I see no reason for a paid editor to contribute at an RfA (unless they also edit WP as a hobby). I'd also like to say that anecdotal evidence from a random media consultant is not a reason to start a witch-hunt, especially against IPs, who we haven't established are used by paid editors. Additionally, I imagine most (if not all) paid editors are hired by more than one company, so the number of people isn't 6*[stuff in the world] and that evidence from a media consultant in one country should not be scaled up to apply to the entire world. If you want to carry on the conversation, take it somewhere else (maybe someone's user talk). — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 18:58, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

I would be willing to bet $100 that if a study were to somehow be done, we would find that at least 10% of WP editors are paid. How would you do such a study? Actually as it is now set up, it would be impossible to perform. Thus it is all a moot "angels on pinheads" discussion at this point. Still the documentary, and my Media Consultant friend could not be refuted until such a study might first be made possible, then performed. Scott P. (talk) 19:06, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
There is no way 10% of editors are paid. Even if that were true, per the Pareto principle, they might not make much of an impact anyway. Additionally, the burden of proof is on you, asserting that there is a problem, and your anecdote from a friend is not good enough. — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 19:11, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Check out this Deutsche Welle Global 3000 Wikipedia documentary. Then tell me if you still don't believe a single skilled paid editor couldn't significantly influence/ shape an admin election. Actually you might be "technically correct" about the percentage. If you were to separate the socks from the real paid editors, it might be a little less, but even one is one way too many. Scott P. (talk) 19:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Please note: According to Deutsche Welle, there are already a few "paid" adimins. I remember when the administrator Jossie was exposed, a member of the Prem Rawat cult. The admin's seat is a pretty good plumb in any company's pocket. This problem is only going to get worse, unless major, rational, and effective steps are taken to prevent it. This will necessarily involve requiring a little less anonymity in the higher levels of editors, than we do today. Not anything "cosmetic" will do as when a few IP's have been banned in the past. Scott P. (talk) 19:57, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
All that may well be true. The issue of paid editing has been discussed at length in the past and no doubt will be again. But how will this specific proposal -- that is, to forbid non-logged-in users from posting coments on RfA main pages -- help with that matter at all? DES (talk) 20:38, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I have no doubt that from a security standpoint, the more information anyone who has access to IP's and is charged with the tracking, has, the easier the tracking would be. If such a security tracker had both an IP and a username, that would be one more point of info to make their tracking job easier. No? Scott P. (talk) 21:23, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Users who use IPs have all of their associated information (the IP) available to every editor on Wikipedia, users who use usernames have all their associated information (the username and the IP) available to only a few users (CUs) and so investigations on them by most editors is limited to using the username. Usernames can easily be made to contain no useful information leaving only a handful of editors with the tools needed to be able to investigate the user. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 21:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, in an ideal world, that is true, but these "trackings" are easily frustrated by anyone with an IP and a $20 piece of software to create a false IP, as documented above. Have you not been following this recent thread very closely? Then the only thing left to use is the username. With only a false IP and no username, that leaves all of us with absolutely zip to track. Have you not watched the documentary listed above? Other documentaries by Deutsche Welle show paid editors doing exactly this, intentionally falsifying their IP's, and laughing at us here as they are doing it. Scott P. (talk) 22:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The security requirements for Wikipedia registration were apparently written under the assumption of some kind of a fundamental "good faith" amongst editors. That was all fine and good in 2002 when the only people here were sports enthusiasts and bead salesmen. Now WP info has the ability to affect national elections and to sway public sentiment on many issues. The kindergartner-ish security mindset of 2002 (now everyone be nice to each other, share and don't tell things that aren't true, it's nap time now) should no longer hold, but unfortunately it still does. Scott P. (talk) 22:58, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

What part of my reply are you saying is true only in an ideal world? Only in a horribly flawed world, where every editor has access to CU or one where paid editors have a complete lack of creativity, is any part of my reply not true and that is certainly not the type of world Wikipedia lives in. It is much more complicated than using $20 software to spoof your IP and edit Wikipedia, the most likely explanation for anyone "changing" their IP is using VPNs or proxies which should be dealt with using blocks, not bans on all IPs. Using multiple IP editors to run sock farms is silly, it's much easier with accounts. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 23:48, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Whatever "holes" there are, there are holes in the account registration process, and there are holes in the IP tracking process. Whatever holes there are, ought to be patched, otherwise the ship slowly sinks. Scott P. (talk) 00:03, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
When it comes to computers, there are always security holes and some are impractical to fix or a required but unwanted result of the programming goals. To continue your ship metaphor, some holes can only be patched with boulders, and if you patch enough of those holes, the patching itself will sink the ship so you're better off just dealing with the water. If you do what is necessary to fix many of the things in Wikipedia's registration process that allow for sockpuppetry, very few legitimate users will be willing to register. (This unsigned comment by User:PhantomTech at 00:14, 14 June.)
My proposal, and I've spoken to Jimbo about this, is not to change the "entry thresh-hold" for new editors, but to raise the standard for experienced editors who could, say for example, vote for new admins. That would stop no new editors from joining, but it would help to prevent bogus admins from being elected, and such things. Why not? Scott P. (talk) 00:23, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
You ask why not but I can only ask why? Anyone can think up some kind of sideways conspiracy theory. The possible conspiracies are to numerous to mention. How ever you've brought the possible conspiracy but no actual evidence that it is happening. There no reason to make a new rule for something that may not actually be happening.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 00:30, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you've not been following this thread closely enough. Please see the Deutsche Welle documentary if you want proof. They have this "paid" editor there bragging about what a lovely little family of 36 sock puppets he has reared. Scott P. (talk) 00:33, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
If I understand what you mean, there would be no change for normal editing of Wikipedia, instead there would just be additional restrictions on who can !vote in RfAs, requiring some sort of verification. If done effectively, this would also cause many legitimate editors to be unwilling to take the required steps to !vote whereas paid editing groups would simply have all their employees go through the process overwhelming legitimate editors in RfAs. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 00:37, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
So you are saying that this guy has used 36 sock puppets to vote for or against an Admin nomination? See I caught where you mentioned that a guy had 36 socks just not where he actually successfully used them to nominate and approve an admin.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 00:39, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Amongst the steps I would require for such "neutrality certified editors" would be their real world credentials supplied to WMF, their written declaration of any articles or agendas to which they might be partial to, and their agreement not to edit any such articles unless any such edits unless duly posted in their edit comments that they have personal partiality to the given subject. Now sure, that would scare away many, but those who would be scared away, would be the ones we don't want there in the first place. Why not? Scott P. (talk) 00:43, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Psycho, no that particular "paid" editor didn't admit to having gotten an adminship illegitimately, but DW said that it had verified a few such admins, and I personally knew one of them, a "Jossie" who was permanently banned once his special interests and various trickeries were exposed. Scott P. (talk) 00:46, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

I thank you all for your interest in this subject. Good night for now. Scott P. (talk) 00:49, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
It's Serialjoepsycho. I again note the absence of evidence that there's an actual problem here.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 00:52, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
If you don't think a guy who undetectably manipulates 36 sock-puppets in WP is evidence of any kind of a problem, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Good night Mr. Last Worder. (I mumble as I vainly attempt to edge my way in to have the "last word". Hah!) Scott P. (talk) 00:58, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
What prevents a paid editing group from hiring low wage workers to supply their real world credentials and a written declaration of whatever WMF wants, only to replace them should they ever be blocked? Requirements like these do not significantly inhibit paid editing group, there are however plenty of users who value their anonymity and do not want to risk losing it due to something as simple as a WMF data breach. With WMF not storing much personal information (probably all in revdel/oversight) as it is, it isn't much of a target but it would be if it held the information necessary to verify that "neutrality certified editors" were unique. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 01:02, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Scott P, That's not my position. I do see a guy who undetectably manipulates 36 socks as a problem. I see someone detectably manipulating one sock to be a problem. However I see that as a different and unrelated discussion. IP Changing software is about as old as wikipedia if not older btw. This is in addition to numerous other methods of changing or hiding your actual IP, all of which are old.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 01:15, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
As I expected, two against one, and a huge volume of words, none of which exhibit any real concern for the serious "holes" in the hull of our ship that I just pointed out. May you both rest merrily on the bottom with the ship you would sink. Good night. Scott P. (talk) 01:28, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I welcome you to present evidence of an actual problem or show what you propose has actually been a problem. Your dropping hypotheticals at the moment. Anyone can come up with a hypothetical problem. It's better to deal with actual problems. Chasing your hypotheticals will more likely sink the ship. Doing nothing in the absence of evidence is actually a very reasonable.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 03:09, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Responding to a claim that your solution is ineffective by simply reiterating that a problem exists adds nothing to the discussion. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 03:32, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I would refuse to give WMF any information about myself to vote in an RfA, and I see the idea that I should as ridiculous. It's a far more extreme measure than this proposal, which (at my last count of votes, although that's admittedly not how we should measure consensus) seems to be being rejected anyway. I do not care enough about RfAs to disclose anything or go through such a lengthy process, and most of the people that would would be paid editors/socks. You've scared me away — am I the sort of the person you don't want voting? Why not? (Also, what stops people just making up information? There's no way you can verify that I'm a teenage male without visiting me in person, which is not going to happen, and you'd need a CheckUser just to determine which country I live in.) — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 09:57, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, but if I had to guess, I'd say three folks who believe so animatedly that there is nothing more we can do to stop sock-puppetry and the election of rogue admins (read sock-puppetry and the now confirmed existence of active rogue admins as just exposed by Deutsche Welle are just fine) against one who thinks more can, and must, and therefore will be done to stop these things, here in an admin discussion, seems just a bit like the potential recipee I provided earlier..... for a ship at the bottom of the sea. Scott P. (talk) 10:08, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
None of us believe anything of the sort. You're misrepresenting our views to try and help your case. Your complete lack of acknowledgement or counter-arguments against our points (WP:IDHT) show your premise is just too flawed to work. If you find a sockpuppet admin on the English Wikipedia, or substantial evidence that there is one, that's a big problem and we'll have to do something about that. But I struggle to believe there is a problem at all, let alone on such a scale we need to take extreme action that violates the founding principles of Wikipedia ("...that anyone can edit"). — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 10:50, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The Real Issue: Prejudice & Discrimination[edit]


"Wikipedia has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When the Real World sends us IP editors, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."


  • IPs commenting here are generally IP socks, indeffed/banned editors or possibly legitimate editors avoiding scrutiny.
  • I think any editor who wishes to even comment in the process should register. It is not like having to provide documents to cross a border or registering to vote.
  • IPs are not exactly members of the community, except that many IPs who express strong opinions are not members of the community because they are likely to be socks.
  • Strongest possible support due to inherent sock puppet security issues. I also think all IP editing should be forbidden, for what it's worth.
  • [...]anonymous editing should not be allowed. At the very least, anonymous input into decision making should be prohibited.
  • IP editors [...] can add (poorly sourced) content, and that's it.
  • Too often IPs are mere shields for the cowards among us without the backbone to leave comments under their actual accounts.
  • IPs 9 times out of 10 only come here to disrupt the process
  • No matter how much they edit, IPs will always be outsiders [...] Even the most perspicacious and helpful IP editor can be someone's sock
  • I can't think of any reason an anon IP would want to weigh in under a cloak of anonymity unless they have a motive to conceal their identity, which often is going to mean they are a sock, a troll or otherwise a restricted user engaging in block evasion.
  • it seems that most of the time IPs are either sockpuppets or meatpuppets,
  • I do not assume that all IPs are bad...their net contributions are valuable in some areas of WP but here at RfA, I don't believe so.


The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things.

The act of denying rights, benefits, justice, equitable treatment, or access to facilities available to all others, to an individual or group of people because of their race, age, gender, handicap or other defining characteristic.

Clueless Donald (talk) 09:37, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Discussion and questions[edit]

Discussion and questions; 7 June - 10 June[edit]

Since we are already on a talk page there is little place to go but subheaders like this. Face-smile.svg

I see that in my absence of a few hours this has turned into a !vote and RfC. We need someplace to discuss probably without closing.

I believe that Floquenbeam has mistaken my use of terminology and this needs to be addressed especially since so many took up that baton of confusion and ran with it. I am using the semantics that have already been chosen by the community. We call Wikipedians Wikipedians because we can identify them readily. Sure some static IPs become known for their good works but most of the time the IPs which are editing are dynamic so we don't know who we are addressing. My use of the term isn't to belittle any IP's contributions but it is frankly that they have no identity here. This is consistent with regular use by the community. For anyone that doesn't believe me you can look at Category:Wikipedians or Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians and you won't find a single IP listed amongst them. Further, Wikipedia:Missing Wikipedians states:

    • "Please do not add people to this list who were never an integral part of the community. Don't add users with fewer than ~1,000 edits. Do not add people unless you are certain they have left, do not add anonymous users identified by their IP address (they could have created an account and still be contributing, or they might have a roaming IP address)..."

If you automatically opposed or based your rationale on that automatic oppose, I would ask that you reconsider. I'm only using the conventions already in place that allows us to identify someone. Please do not think that I am stating something new or trying to make a new argument with that. There are a lot of opposers who are tilting at windmills.

For those with the rationales "...but anyone can edit" or that I haven't cited policy therefore my argument carries no weight:

The first paragraph of our protection policy states:

  • "Wikipedia is built around the principle that anyone can edit it, and it therefore aims to have as many of its pages as possible open for public editing so that anyone can add material and correct errors. However, in some particular circumstances, because of a specifically identified likelihood of damage resulting if editing is left open, some individual pages may need to be subject to technical restrictions (often only temporary but sometimes indefinitely) on who is permitted to modify them. The placing of such restrictions on pages is called protection."
There you go. Bureaucrats can now see that "...but anyone can edit" isn't founded in policy and it's perfectly acceptable to restrict some areas.

For those opposing based upon the notion that the proposal was poorly are a little confused but it isn't your fault. It started as a discussion and then someone responding went ahead into a consensus format with a Support and a little later it was pointed out that if a consensus was to be given any weight then it needed greater exposure and an RfC tag...and so it happened. No one did anything wrong, it just morphed into this as Wiki discussions are sometimes prone to do.

To address Davewild's concern that we would be "...shunting them off to a talk page where 90% of contributors will not see them." Well, yes. :) But rest assured that it wouldn't go unseen AND if they brought up valid concerns, constructive criticism or anything of merit that a Wikipedian (named account) would bring that concern into the RfA. This is the same as any semi-protected article where IPs use the talk page and if the request is valid then a Wikipedian will take the appropriate actions. There is nothing wrong with using our discretion there.

Esquivalience "...assuming that an IP participating in RfA is acting in bad faith goes against WP:AGF, which this proposal does." I didn't assume; I went and looked as stated above at the last three passes and the one in process (now a pass) and reached my deductions on what has happened. I'm not the one making assumptions.

Please ask questions so we can clarify and discuss.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 22:34, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

  • I would also like to add that the effect of socks/IPs can certainly derail an otherwise successful RfA. Please see Kudpung's excellent essay section here.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 22:54, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Discussion is currently running at about 3 to 1 against this idea. It's not because we're all confused, it's because we don't like this idea, and your assurances that we can "rest assured" that their posts to the talk page won't go unseen rings hollow.
It's clear enough that many of the supporters just think IP users are "not really Wikipedians" despite the known fact that they contribute immensly to our content. I doubt there is any question anyone could ask at this point that you could give such a great answer to that opposers would suddenly feel that this isn't just a really shitty thing to do. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:56, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Whoa, there! Please don't go putting words in to my mouth!! I thought about this carefully, and concluded that WfA Talk page access would still adequately give IPs the access they need to discuss, and if they want ask questions (which then registered users or Admins could easily put on the main RfA page). Based on the fact that IPs already can't !vote in RfAs (though, after seeing this thread, I'm wondering if an RfC to allow IPs to vote on RfAs again might actually pass!), I really don't think it makes much difference if they can't "comment" on the main RfA page (a notice can easily be put up at the top that IP users can still comment on the WfA Talk page...). Again, there's not some "conspiracy" against IPs here – if they make a good point, or ask a good question, I'm about 100% positive that a registered user or Admin would pass that on to the main RfA page. So nothing about Berean Hunter's proposal "shuts IPs out of the process" here. ----IJBall (contribstalk) 23:10, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
(ec)(re to Beeblebrox) To me, it looks like it got off track by picking at semantics. I can think of editors that we know by name but who are either indeffed or banned so they choose to edit as IPs or socks...I think they are great editors although the community has shown them the door. Folks got tired of seeing them here at RfA for one thing as both were serious critics of the RfA process. One is a damn good writer and the other can be grouped with the former in that both have WP's best interests at heart. I still consider them to be great Wikipedians but they did tend to stir the pot here too often for the community's liking. I hope they may return in the legit manner one day. People put words in my mouth yes, I feel that you are confused. No offense.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:20, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe that the definitions of the categories you listed can be interpreted to limit who the community considers to be Wikipedians. By the nature of a list of editors, it's only possible to include editors who have assumed a unique label. This isn't a limitation on the inclusiveness of the community, just a limitation on who can be identified in a list. isaacl (talk) 00:32, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I didn't write the caveat to Missing Wikipedians, "Please do not add people to this list who were never an integral part of the community. Don't add users with fewer than ~1,000 edits. Do not add people unless you are certain they have left, do not add anonymous users identified by their IP address (they could have created an account and still be contributing, or they might have a roaming IP address)..."
...but I did use its conventions in nomenclature and being blamed for it. Some people are hung up on this concept leading to 'automatic' opposes instead of seeing that I'm talking about reserving the ability to comment on a candidate's main RfA page as a privilege for named accounts. Accounts have privileges such as a watchlist and the ability to retain attribution for their edits. Some privileges will never be extended to IPs...we would never try to allow an IP to run for RfA for example. There are people opposing because they are upset at the implication that IPs aren't part of the community but I didn't create that "tribalistic meme". Clearly there is disagreement on that within the community.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 01:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Whereas you wrote, "IPs fall into the latter category...if they want to become members of our community then they need an account," the instructions you quote don't say that an editor without an account is not a member of the community. They say that an editor cannot be identified by an IP address. I appreciate that the community can choose to impose different levels of engagement for different degrees of participation. My comment was solely related to your use of the categories you listed as a way to define the community. isaacl (talk) 02:59, 8 June 2015 (UTC) a privilege for named accounts: see, that's the problem. Reserving privileges for a group you are a member of, to the detriment of a group you are not a member of. Almost everywhere else on the project, when IPs are not allowed to do certain things, it's for reasons of practicality, not "privilege". Opabinia regalis (talk) 03:15, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Right. The reason of practicality is to help improve RfA, something that is continually referred to as a broken process. I personally do not feel the kinship of community with disruptive IP hoppers or named accounts which are disruptive socks either for that matter. I do not assume that all IPs are bad...their net contributions are valuable in some areas of WP but here at RfA, I don't believe so. That is based on observed behavior. AGF is not a suicide pact.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 04:29, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
The instructions for wp:missing Wikipedians make sense to me "do not add anonymous users identified by their IP address (they could have created an account and still be contributing, or they might have a roaming IP address)...". As even the most static IPs will change when the editor using them moves to a different city, it is more difficult to know if an IP editor has died or retired than it is for editors with a registered account. But I don't see those instructions as justification for not counting IP editors as Wikipedians, nor have I yet seen any diffs that would justify such an extreme measure as blocking IPs from the discussion and question part of RFAs. Remember the status quo is not that RFAs are immune from semi protection, the status quo is that we don't pre-emptively semi protect pages, including RFAs on the basis that it might be necessary to do so. An uninvolved admin could if necessary semi-protect an individual RFA. If IPs became problem at RFA, and a pattern emerged of RFAs freqently meriting such semi protection then one could make a case for them all being semi-protected. But I don't see evidence for that yet. ϢereSpielChequers 05:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

We're not getting anywhere with this. I think WereSpielChequers' point that this is not a severe enough problem to require any scope creep in policy is a valid one. It would be helpful, though, if those opposing the motion could point me towards some diffs where a question or comment for an IP was a significant contribution to an RfA - the only one I've found that comes close is this and that seemed to cause more heat than light. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 09:04, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure where this comment should be placed; anyone can move it if they want. Ritchie — I think burden of proof is solely on the people wanting to support the nomination, because (a) it changes the status quo and (b) it goes against WP:CREEP, WP:BEANS, the spirit of "...that anyone can edit" etc. as we should be protecting the rights of any group of users as much as is plausible in reality; too many policies are undesirable; problems should not be fixed if they don't exist / before they occur. Call me an idealist, but I haven't looked for any examples where IPs have contributed positively to an RfA. I just think that in the future, an IP should have the right to contribute constructively if they so wish, even if that's a rare occurrence. I do think that the situation you pointed to was a positive contribution, though: I'd advise you to at least give it the benefit of the doubt. And I'd like to say the opposite: if any supporters can point me towards a large number of diffs showing that a majority of RfAs have been disrupted by IP comments/vandalism (enough to require universal action rather than case-by-case semi-protects), that could change my mind. Ritchie, I have seen some of the diffs you've posted above (but I've not gone through the whole long mess of this RfC very thoroughly), but I don't think there's enough there to show serious disruption that can't be solved easily, or on a case-by-case basis. — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 19:45, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
This is more than just a matter of track record. It is a fundamental principal on whether IPs are considered a valuable asset to Wikipedia or if they're going to be treated, by policy, as second class citizens. Suggesting IPs don't belong here (as the section is called) or making statements like they're not "Wikipedians" or "members of the community" simply alienates a large base of contributors for no other reason than that it's been a small issue here on RFA. I believe a lot of editors are treating this as a dangerous precedent for IPs on a wider scale across the project. As I said above, and others, this hasn't been an issue yet the implications of making this decision so far and greatly exceed the "problem" that I could not imagine supporting this proposal over it. Further, I don't see track record being a valid metric here. You're suggesting prohibition for a group because of the actions of a few; that's essentially the definition of discrimination. Women were denied the right to vote because stories of husbands influencing their wives on how to vote were used as a rationale as to why they could not be trusted to make their own decisions. Perhaps IPs who do contribute constructively don't participate here because they already go to lengths to stay anonymous. IPs are sharply criticized for their involvement in other cleanup spaces like ANI and RFC, so I wouldn't be surprised veteran IP editors avoid RFA. There could be any number of reasons why the "good" IPs don't come here, but that's not a reason to take this step by putting them in the same group and denying them the right to participate in what's supposed to be community consensus on trust of an individual asking for the tools. There is arguably just as much data to suggest other similar arguments like, new accounts often create the most amount of promotional material. By the same logic and means of track record, should we prevent all new users from being able to create articles? Of course not. Doing so would fundamentally change the way Wikipedia was set up. Mkdwtalk 11:24, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I think you need to calm down a notch. As has often been said, you don't have a right to edit here, it's a private website. If the WMF said "sorry, we're only allowing paid editors from now on, cheerio chaps", there wouldn't be a law stopping them. Comparing this to universal suffrage or civil rights is ridiculous. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:47, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Calm down? Ridiculous? I came here for a reasonable discussion. I wasn't worked up and I too think using track record to take away privileges of an entire group of people is ridiculous. Let me know if you'd like to come back to the table without the insults or inflammatory remarks -- and have a calm discussion. Mkdwtalk 12:16, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

This RFC, for me, was about setting a dangerous precedent and officially establishing a policy that limited a group of editors, not based on technical reasons, but upon the failures of a few individuals (as few as one for all we know though not likely). We would be setting a double standard on how editors are treated. Wikipedia has already done this with sysops (such as WP:NACD) and it's something I'd like to see go back to being seen as only editors with simply a few more tools. Wikipedians are anyone who boldly makes changes. I'm not in the Category:Wikipedians but I am one. If we wanted to make that category absolute in describing the editors in it, then maybe "Wikipedians who declare they're Wikipedians on their user page". IPs don't have user pages so that may have a lot to do with it. Also, we're talking about a fairly small sampling of the editing base. There's only 97 editors in that category and maybe less than 3,000 in the subcategories. The number of active editors is probably closer to 25,000 -- so more Wikipedians aren't part of that category than are -- and therefore arguably not being in that group is more of a Wikipedian thing to do (enter IPs)? I know it's a silly argument but it's exactly why things like track record or looking at figures is never a reasonable metric when dealing with philosophical questions. Should IPs be treated differently than those with accounts? And how much so? Creating a second class citizen here on the English Wikipedia is really a terrible thing to do. To say they should all be banned from doing one thing because there have been bad experiences at RFA is a terrible message to send. Perhaps a few IPs have hijacked RFAs in the past and profoundly altered the outcome. At some point we're going to need to trust the community and bureaucrats to have the wherewithal to review the discussions and support/oppose/neutral/comment/close RFAs. The process should never be more important than the people it serves nor problems small in scale have such wide ranging implications. That's just my 2 cents on the matter. Mkdwtalk 13:24, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Stratification of the user base has been going on for a long time now. See Wikipedia:User access levels. Everyone thinks that unbundling privilege access leads to all sorts of desirable effects. It's actually the opposite. The more stratification we have, the less empowered the userbase is, the less contributory effect the base editor has. I was once involuntarily given rollback privileges. I demanded it be rescinded. I am nothing other than 'user' (and autoconfirmed, which I wouldn't even have if I couldn't, but that's embedded in the code). As the years go on, there is less and less that I am able to do as a "user". This is wrong, but the march continues. This inevitable march is why we demonize IPs now, even though IPs have made massive contributions to the project over the years. It's sad really. Wikipedia demonizes the very thing that made Wikipedia; the totally absurd notion that anyone could edit here.
  • Now, you have to fill out form 637-A, noting paragraph C subsection 3, then file your request with the Office of Accounts (don't forget to make copies of your request), wait three days, get form 1071A, replacing "user" with "sycophant" and submit ten copies to the Office of Board Reviews where a !vote might be held if they can gain consensus and they'll get back to you in a month or two. Maybe...maybe'll be able to do something as unsafe as reviewing pending changes. The bureaucracy has expanded to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy, and it shows no sign of stopping. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:46, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I think what everyone is forgetting (or most likely not even aware of), is that en.Wiki is the only major Wikipedia that does not insist on minumum qualifications o be able to vote at RfA. I'm sure those Wikis have their reasons for it and AFAICS, their RfA systems are less tainted by disingenuus votes/comments of any kind. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:17, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
En-wiki already forbids IPs from voting at RFAs. From WP:RFA, All Wikipedians—including those without an account or not logged in ("anons")—are welcome to comment and ask questions in an RfA but numerical (#) "votes" in the Support, Oppose, and Neutral sections may only be placed by editors while logged in to their account.. Are you proposing some other minimum qualifications for casting a vote, such as being auto-confirmed, or >N edits? Abecedare (talk) 19:30, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I am clearly not proposing anything. I am simply highlighting (and that should not be construed as an opinion either) one specific phenomenon here which apparently needs to be spelled out: Unqulified voters on Wikis that have rules generally do not bother to even follow what goes on at RfA, whether IP users or whatever,and because they probably can't comment anyway. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:23, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Discussion and questions; 11 June - ...[edit]

Suggestion: I fully appreciate that there are those who see this as a very important issue. I also appreciate the efforts of all of those who have attempted to re-start this discussion. My suggestion would be to properly restart the whole RfC all over again, with the new properly phrased question and such, instead of this rather badly started one. None of the comments or votes in here were even written under a clear question for the RfC. How can such comments or votes even be included when the main RfC question has changed? Though I doubt that any consensus would be arrived at, even in a fresh RfC. Just a thought. Scott P. (talk) 16:43, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

When I commented, I commented based on "I would like to see the main RfA page amended to exclude IPs and "new" editors. Thoughts?" Is this not what the RfC is about? Or was the question originally different before I arrived? Raw "Support" and "Oppose" votes matter little, so whether or not more people would have voted one way if the question was neutral is irrelevant. What matters are the comments, arguments and issues raised. I don't think that would be very different under an RfC that had a different section title, or a more specific proposal (i.e. exact description of "new editors"). But if other people feel differently, I'd be happy to comment again in a fresh RfC. — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 18:40, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Please feel free to take my comment just above however you may wish. Whatever you guys prefer to do with this RfC is fine by me. Just the observation of one who is not always fully informed is what it was, no doubt. Scott P. (talk) 19:56, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
You can always start a cleaner one at the Village Pump with a link back from here, but I doubt the outcome would be any different. The community has been split on this issue for years. Still, it is good to throw out an RFC like this once a year to see which way the wind blows. Dennis Brown - 20:30, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Sounds abit like forum shopping to me. -Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 03:22, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Not really. See WP:CCC. Dennis Brown - 20:21, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
The topic was discussed in December/January and very briefly again in April. isaacl (talk) 02:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
[2] One should probably not close an active discussion they are a participant in and then push to have it opened elsewhere. Consensus can change but forum shopping is prohibited.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 14:43, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Nomination of Ser Amantio di Nicolao[edit]

So confusing, even the civil servants are confused

I've tried to nominate User:Ser Amantio di Nicolao for adminship. It's over eight years since I nominated anybody, and the procedures have changed considerably in that time. I created the subpage; it redirected to "Albert Herring" and then disappeared. It doesn't show up on the RFA page. What's going on? David Cannon (talk) 14:07, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

That was my old username - I changed it about four, five years ago. That probably has something to do with it. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 14:15, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
The first RFA page was redirected to the old username. When you created the second one, it added to this existing RFA page rather than creating a new one. Just remove the redirect "code" from the RFA. I've removed the redirect "code." QuiteUnusual (talk) 14:17, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
By the way, there are further steps required to complete the nomination. They are all detailed at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Nominate. QuiteUnusual (talk) 14:23, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I have added the RFA of Ser Amantio to this page, but I can't get the message saying "No RFXs since" to change. I would greatly appreciate it if someone else could get the RFA to display properly. Everymorning talk 19:36, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Did you follow the usual steps to create the nomination? Those on Nominate? The markup looks different from the one of other RfAs. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 19:44, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Here's yet another example of what I have been screaming about for more than a month now (see above, Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#Clear as mud): The instructions are not only unclear, they DO NOT WORK as written. When is this going to get fixed??? --MelanieN (talk) 19:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Since that process was set, scripting is now available - I wonder if someone can write something to simplify the procedure. –xenotalk 20:07, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • If in doubt, add bureaucracy. The process has become insane. No wonder nobody wants to run. It takes a PhD in civil servantry to untangle this mess. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:53, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Seems like Xeno has put it back into working order. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 19:54, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I was half-considering to let it run in the previous form. Maybe we should return to that 2003 format for a month as an experiment. –xenotalk 19:57, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
+1. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:41, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Me too. I was hoping this was an intentional thumbing of the nose at all that convoluted nonsense. Opabinia regalis (talk) 20:46, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
+1 - and put the questions back down at the bottom again. I really liked that... Risker (talk) 20:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
And separate out the "voting" from the "Discussion" section (the current way still makes no sense to me!)... --IJBall (contribstalk) 20:53, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Let us try (also making sure we have at leat couple of nominations during this month), I do not see how it could harm.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thumbs up ansh666 21:10, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Me too. --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:21, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

The importance of questions and research at RfA[edit]

I will admit, here and now, that I don't generally read the answers to the questions posted at an RfA. What I usually do is skim through the nomination statement, check to see where the current tally stands, and take into consideration any opposing points that are raised. More often than not, I support candidates who have the experience and communication skills for the flag. If I'm convinced by the opposes, then I will likely also do so, but with positive encouragement to the candidate for next time. In a nutshell, I skim through the nomination statement and then I read through the votes (er, "!votes" if that's still a thing). I don't bother with the questions unless I'm having a hard time deciding. And I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this way.

Case in point, my 2012 RfA, much as I'm loathe to link to it. When I submitted my self-nomination, I wanted to make it as honest as possible; I genuinely believed (and still believe) that honesty and introspection are among the most desirable traits that an administrator can possess. A new editor will feel more at ease dealing with a down-to-earth, approachable personality than an authoritarian busybody. To that end, I decided to be open about something that I wasn't so proud of – an edit I made to recently deceased Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika's article, where I removed a redundant sentence with an admittedly snarky edit summary. My intent in bringing it up as part of my answer to Q3 was to preempt the possibility that somebody else might make reference to it during my RfA; that way, everyone will know that I'm not afraid to admit my mistakes and learn from them. This strategy backfired. One of the earlier participants, User:Mysterytrey, mentioned it as his primary rationale for going neutral, and his comment was worded in such a way that it sounded as if he was the one who originally procured the link from my contribution history, when it was actually me who brought it to light in the first place. Nevertheless, several commentators from then on made reference to "Mysterytrey's link".

In a broader sense, what I'm wondering is how other participants review a candidate before opining. Is it generally based on a thorough evaluation, or just a quick look at the nomination? I think there's a mixture of these two mind sets, and I consider both to be of use to the process in their own way - the researchers make their case, and the passive voters help build the consensus. Kurtis (talk) 10:03, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

There are several different "philosophies" at work when someone votes in a RfA. I tend to vote on the basis both of the answers to the questions, whether there is any evidence or risk of behaviour incompatible with adminship, whether they have shown some dedication to the project and upon a punctuated review of their contributions. To me, the importance of the questions primarily lies because the contributions are only of limited predictive value - most candidates have too many of them to review them thoroughly, and they say more about editing than about one's future tool usage - they are not a crystall ball. Other people, I am sure, have different approaches yet. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:14, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Your case is just a symptom of the common belief that admins have to be infallible and omnibenevolent. Thus, my philosophy is different: I expect candidates to have (occasional) skellies - too little indicates a lack of boldness and experience in conflict and even a hat collector. I believe that the best admin material are the ones who make occasional skellies. Esquivalience t 11:44, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
My answer to the original question (it is interesting to know how different people make these decisions), is that i always read the nomination, the questions (and answers), and the !votes thoroughly. Certain participants (perhaps a dozen admins, and maybe as many non-admins) always catch mine attention, if they have participated, and i weigh their evidence and opinion carefully. I also check mine own personal knowledge of the candidate (how often have i seen him on my watchlist, on the various boards, &c.), and how he is comporting himself during the process; for that reason alone, i often wait several days before expressing mine opinion, which i finally decide with a last reference in my mind to my criteria. Cheers, LindsayHello 13:42, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • A closely related thread is still here on the current page. The nearest this got to a conclusion appeared to be to leave each participant to take their own approach to evaluating candidates. Between the 100-200 who come to the party, all the main aspects of the candidate's credentials should be well covered. Becoming prescriptive about "what to look for" will not only narrow the investigation, it will tempt the ambitious among us to concentrate their efforts on satisfying whatever criteria are set, rather than being a generally useful Wikipedian. It would be good though if each !voter were to do some research and give a brief rationale, indicating which aspects they studied in coming to their conclusion. This for supporters as well as opposers: Noyster (talk), 13:55, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • My approach is to start off reading question 1. In my view there are many different ways someone can be "qualified" to be an admin, and the area(s) the candidate self identifies as being interested in will determine what qualifications I look for. So if someone mentions speedy deletion, the first thing to do is to see if they have a decent number of correct CSD nominations. If there are no problems there, my next step depends on the state of the nomination, if its new, I'll look through the candidates talk page history looking for issues, and see what it looks like in terms of the ratio regular communications to people upset about things, and further whether the upset people are justified. If the candidate has already received extensive !votes, I go straight to reviewing the oppose rationales. I then proceed to try to justify to myself why each oppose is either wrong, often looking for relation questions above, or not something I agree is a good reason for an oppose. Assuming none of the opposes have convinced me, I will then support. I try not to oppose unless there is a really big issue, and so for minor problems, I usually end up neutral or not voting. Monty845 14:39, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • When I was active in reviewing RFA candidates my practice was similar to yours although I did look at the answers to questions, not in great detail but are usually picked one or two to review in more depth. However I view our process as horribly inefficient. In cases where I have substantial personal knowledge of the candidate I will weigh in, otherwise probably not. The process could be materially improved which would result in much less time wastage. I proposed this before and do so again. Should we move in that direction I'll be more inclined to be more involved. I am honestly think my idea has merit so I'm puzzled it hasn't gained more traction. I'm fully aware that sometimes I think an idea has merit and I'm wrong but, in those cases, usually people can point out the flaws in it. I welcome constructive critiques.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:53, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
    OK, I'll bite. How is this different than looking at the previous !votes and reasoning before posting your own? If you see three people have already said that the candidate's speedy tagging looks fine, you can concentrate on something else (or, if you care deeply about correctly choosing which of the 43 extant speedy criteria is most applicable, you can quadruple-check their work). People will mostly (hopefully) check the intersection between the areas they care about and the areas the candidate cares about, and the process more or less relies on sufficient diversity of interests among the participants to reach reasonably complete coverage. Your signup list is an IMO unnecessary formalization of the same process. Opabinia regalis (talk) 19:52, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I see this is very different. As an example look at a recent successful candidacy:
I looked at the first 30 supports and see almost nothing that indicates which areas the editors reviewed. One editor commented on the ability to deal with disputes and knowledge of policies but with no indication what was looked at. Another specifically mentioned one policy but again no indication of the set of edits reviewed to reach this conclusion. I don’t think you can read these comments and know whether anyone specifically reviewed CSD handling, looked at edit summaries, look for interactions with other editors, reviewed involvement at the drama boards, or anything else. This is arguably a poor example because many people myself included know the candidate reasonably well. However, I think my point stands that one cannot review the prior comments of editors and get any sense of how thorough the review has been.
On a positive note, I appreciate your response. As mentioned, one of my frustrations is that I’ve gotten so little feedback so I appreciate the feedback.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:34, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I disagree; there's real information in the observation that a number of users recognize and have developed trust in the candidate and are supporting based on experience rather than diff-picking. For an example of why I think box-checking exercises are a bad idea, consider the hypothetical result of someone posting "Content creation:  Fail Close paraphrasing" compared to the current RfA where an example was offered for others to judge for themselves whether this was a reasonable description. Either your checklist is box-checking (in which case it's a matter of trusting the box-checkers), or it contains narrative evaluations (which is basically a !vote without the bold text).
Kudos for trying to think of ways to make the process less of a crapshoot, but I'm not seeing what specific problem this is supposed to solve. Where's the evidence that incomplete evaluations let unvetted candidates sneak through, or fail to identify areas of strength in borderline cases? Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:30, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I feel no strong objection to your proposal, but some areas are more important than others, and this can vary from case to case (e.g. a candidate says their only real interest is in CSD) — how would this be taken into account? (Giving quantitative answers to "how important is X?" is always going to feel controversial and arbitrary and who would decide?) I also don't really get if you're trying to get proper formalized processes or just suggestions of what areas might be most beneficial to look at. It could work, though — it reminds me of image/source reviews at WP:FAC. — Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 20:04, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that some areas are more important to others and this might vary. However I see that as a feature not a bug. Under the present approach we have almost no idea how many editors have reviewed CSD nominations. If the candidate says they are not all that interested it doesn’t mean review is not needed because they will have the tools, but it might mean that relatively less emphasis on that area is warranted. Under the present approach if the first 10 people review their CSD nominations and say they are fine with a candidate we would have no way of knowing this. In my approach if the first 10 people quick off the CSD box and nothing else, a subsequent reviewer would know to look elsewhere. I would argue that this is equally important if the candidate says that they have very interested in CSD. In that case, we definitely want some review, but if most reviewers concentrate on CSD issues we’ve missed wide areas of interest.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:44, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Personally I don't take much notice of the nomination statement or the answers to any questions. I do my own research. If I do happen to mention the comment of another voter it's not a pile on, it's simply because my own research has revealed the same so there is no reason to repeat the whole thing again. I believe every voter has a moral obligation to do their own research before voting. There have been many instances where votes were piled on, but the original voter later retracted or changed their vote. The pile-on merchants did not follow suit. This is the kind of behaviour that corrups the process. Hence, voters also have a moral obligation to continue to watch an RfA in case they may wish to change their mind. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:40, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
    • I'm kind of the same way, seldom reading the statements and mainly skimming the first question or so. Instead, I do my own research. I do read the votes, and if a few people have mentioned a particular question, I read it, but the questions are really more of an "open book test". I would prefer to see questions that aren't policy based, and more about the person, but some people complain about them being "irrelevant", which is absurd since they tell you more than a "would you block" question. Questions like "if you had a magic wand and could change something at enwp without consensus, what would it be?", for me, gives useful insight. It makes them think, rather than just go read the policy page and paraphrase it. Dennis Brown - 11:11, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Just on that last note, it reminded me I haven't seen Keepscases in a while. I always liked his/her questions for the exact reasons you mention. Jenks24 (talk) 13:32, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
        • He is a good example, although his problem is that he never did much of anything except ask obscure questions at RFA, some of which had more value than others. He asked a good one at my RFA, although now I disagree with my own answer. He hasn't contributed in two years now. Dennis Brown - 13:43, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Keepscases' votes and questions were, IMO, often little more than trolling. Which is basically what anyone does (IPs included) who only messes with meta stuff in a disruptive manner and contributes nothing else to the encyclopedia. His performance on my RfA was one of the classic instances of his deliberately hoping to cause drama. I remain absolutely convinced that an unhealthy majority of questions are posed by people just trying to be clever or who really don't know the answers themselves. I did a whole lot of research into RfA questions at one time. It was received with mixed opinions by the community but on the whole the overall consensus of the examples I listed was that they served no purpose other than to disrupt. IMO questions should be contained to the kind that clearly test a candidate's knowledge of policy and procedure where these have been shown to be fragile or inconsistent. The point needs to be stressed also that an candidate is under no obligation whatsoever to answer users' questions and that choosing not to do so is no reason for opposing. In order to complete the process of making RfA a friendlier place and thus getting more candidates of the right calibre, the issue of users' questions is the thing to start addressing. Perhaps limiting the number of questins, and limiting the niumber of questions that each user can ask. People need to learn once and for all that even if RfA is no longer qiuite the snake pit it used to be, it;s not some kind of fazing cermemony either. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:01, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Indented comments[edit]

Oftentimes I and others have to go in to correct a faultily indented comment on an RfA page. Guys, the right way to indent in a numbered list is to place a hash first and then the indenting colon(s), thus

#: Indented comment

Anything else breaks the numbering. A curious fact is that a very high proportion of cases of this error seem to be committed by admins. No, I'm not on an admin-bashing trip, but please could y'all take note of this. --Stfg (talk) 09:26, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

*I've never broken the formatting myself. Dennis Brown -  13:47, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
            • You got da skillz Dennis. --Stfg (talk) 13:32, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

It's easy, I can't believe any admin would make a silly mistake like that on talk pages — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ritchie333 (talkcontribs) 08:15, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

    1. (refactored) Amateurs Mkdw (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
                  1. duly noted. North America1000 22:43, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
#:#:#:What do you mean, we admins have perfect formatting. --'''[[User:Jakec|Jakob]] ([[user talk:Jakec|talk]]) ''' <small><small>aka Jakec</small></small> (talk) 18:45, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Number sign.svg

Number sign.svg: Like this? Sam Walton (talk) 16:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

It's very simple. Whatever combination of colons, hashes, and splats is already used, copy that and add a colon after those. This is not just aesthetics: there are accessibility issues. Similarly, don't add a blank line, this will break the list markup. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:25, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
  1. Think of '# first' as in 'put the # in the first column in a punch card'. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 00:16, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Clarifying adminship[edit]

Following Softlavender's vote on Cyberpower's RfA, I really think it's time to clarify if adminship really is Wikipedia:NOBIGDEAL. Some people claim that this notion is outdated due to Wikipedia's increasing popularity, while still others state that it is certainly not a big deal. (I personally am very much in the latter group.) However, we run into a slight problem if it really is a big deal, because we then imply that it truly is a promotion, and we should stop pretending that adminship is only "a mop", but rather a special position of power. --Biblioworm 15:31, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

While the mop gives one a certain degree of "Higher authority", I don't feel that the effect is all that large on a wide scale. So I'd say it still is. Also, serious abuse/misuse is comparatively uncommon. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 15:44, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
As someone who has been an admin for 8+ years I can tell you that the only special treatment you get is that people are more likely to criticize you. Not that big of a deal. Chillum 15:52, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Why is it a problem if adminship is a big deal? We certainly treat it as if it is. But to give my 2 cents, I think that while the mop should only be given to those who can be trusted and it certainly is a big deal in most ways (their technical powers are essential to the encyclopedia and it is necessary to have people doing these jobs), I think the sentiment of WP:NOBIGDEAL is that admins have no power greater than any other person outside of administrator-only areas. For instance, in an argument on a talk page, I think it's realistic to expect that an admin is much more likely to be 'right' than an IP, because the admin has proven they understand policy, but their argument should be given no inherent weight because they happen to be able to perform some advanced technical functions. Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 15:53, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Really the defining factor of of being an administrator is a big deal or not, is how the community perceives it. While I am inclined to agree with Chillum, I have also found that lately, more and more of the community believes it is. --kelapstick(bainuu) 15:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
One reason it's a problem if adminship is a big deal is that we still have significant backlogs requiring administrative attention that won't be resolved if people keep saying that we can't appoint people willing to handle them because they don't have the right percentage of edits in the correct namespace. When it comes to potentially controversial actions like enforcing discretionary sanctions or closing controversial RFDs, this also creates a self-reinforcing loop where having few admins willing to do those things means that those few who do seem to have disproportionate impact, which discourages people from appointing more admins who might do them (because look at how much impact one admin can have there!), which increases the perception that one admin can have a massive impact still further. If we had more admins working in those areas, adding individual admins wouldn't seem like such a big deal. --Aquillion (talk) 11:16, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
@Biblioworm, it might help to distinguish between different ways people interpret NOBIGDEAL. One dimension is about "having status because you're an admin" vs. "being worthy to become an admin". If you're talking about "being worthy" it's important to remember that in February 2003 – when Jimmy Wales first expressed NOBIGDEAL – we didn't have high expectations of contributors. Here are some article versions from that day: New York state, New York city, Watergate scandal, DNA, Money supply, Graph theory, Plainsong. How many citations are there in these seven articles? I found two. How much discussion on talk pages? Nothing significant. Being a good contributor in 2003 was all about creating initial content for a minority website, so the step across to adminship was no big deal. Five pillars, BLP, Notability and Verifiability had yet to be written. Nowadays to add value as a contributor you have to wrestle with all these and more, which is why we expect today's RfA candidates to show at least basic competence in collaborative article improvement. In absolute terms the RfA benchmark has become orders of magnitude higher since 2003, but it's still no big deal, relatively. - Pointillist (talk) 00:29, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
(ec*2) I think it's no big deal whether adminship is a big deal or a little deal. Or even a middle-sized deal, as the great man said. We aren't going to make a rule saying that supports with that rationale are to be discounted, are we? (Personally, I think the status of being an admin is no big deal, but the damage that can be done by putting the tools in the wrong hands is a rather big deal. Supports "per WP:NOBIGDEAL" seem rather unthinking, to me. But ymmv of course.) --Stfg (talk) 00:31, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Adminship may be no big deal to those who are made admins, but it is certainly a gigantic deal to those who are at its effect. Giving someone lifetime access to tools that can alter the course of other editors, of articles, and of countless other things on Wikipedia, is a gigantic deal, and to pretend it isn't is naive in my view, especially given the admin abuse and the trigger-happy admin behavior and conflict we have seen in the last 5 to 8 years. 14 years ago the encyclopedia was still so new adminship didn't matter; 12-1/2 years ago this was still the case and adminship was called "no big deal". Now that Wikipedia is the very large, complex, combative, high-profile site that it is, giving someone that kind of lifetime (and virtually un-recallable) power without careful forethought and scrutiny is ludicrous in my view. If people disagree with me, then they disagree; I'm not going to discuss the point further. Softlavender (talk) 04:31, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

It's also naïve to pretend that adminship is a lifetime appointment and a power which cannot be removed. We've got an RfA underway right now where the applicant is a former admin who had the sysop right taken away from them. In the last six months, 41 people have lost the admin bit, and they fall into three groups: some were voluntary (shown in the list as "Resigned"); many had it taken away due to inactivity; and there were three (representing just over 7%) who had it stripped due to misdemeanour, shown as "For cause". --Redrose64 (talk) 11:02, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Mantras such as 'No big deal' and 'The encyclopedia anyone can edit' are clichés that were coined back in the days before anyone ever dreamed the Wikipedia movement itself would one day become one huge deal. Many of those expressions are now unmodern and neither reflect the truth nor the facts surrounding the Wiki-sensation today. 2007 was more or less the watershed year where we stopped giving mops to people who had created a stub or two, made 2,000 edits, and been around for 3 months. Necessity forced us to become a lot more critical in the way we elect our admins, and it's probably true to say that most of the rogue admins were 'promoted' pre 2007 (WereSpielChequers is the guy who has the handle on those kind of stats).
For a while, notably in the years from 2007 to around 2012, the voters at RfA went a bit berserk and turned the place into a venue where they could be as humiliating and hurtful as possible not only to the candidates, but also to each other with impunity, so the interest in becoming an admin (at least from mature, serious contenders) literally nosedived (see: User:WereSpielChequers/RFA by month along with the editing stats for this discussion page (if ever the tool is put up and running again) at the same cadence. Some of them were doing it deliberately in the hope that it would bring down adminship completly, and be replaced with a system where everyone over a certain edit count would be given a pick and shovel mop and bucket. They got tBanned or Completely banned while some continue to edit content while maintining catalogues of anti-admin slogans on their user pages or driving by on other debates (or occasionally on this page) with totally immature interjections. So the question is: Is the adminship Big Deal something positive or something negative?
Admins and non-admins will answer differently. It's obviously a big deal for the youngsters who register an account and their first 500 edits are to their user page including one of those 'I wanna be an admin someday' uboxen - adminship on one of the world's most famous websites is something they think they will be able to puff their chests out about in the schoolyard. On the other hand, most of the successful 'promotions' go to the candidates who didn't think it is a big deal and who hadn't given adminship much of a thought until people started telling them they ought to.
Editors like me and Dennis Brown got the mop when RfA was at its apogee of cruelty and it was getting through that snake pit and coming out alive that made it a big deal. With the exception of some admins who are still lurking, like Pastor Theo and Wifione were, with an agenda, I don't believe any admin will concur that actually having the bit is a big deal. In fact, like RfA, it's more of an ordeal. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:46, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Forgive me for not having a diff, but it was Newyorkbrad who summed it up well when he said that adminship is a "medium sized deal". The bit has the potential to do good or bad, but it isn't a badge of honor, nor a blessing. More than anything, it is a burden, accepted freely, in order to serve. It is hard to get, although not quite as brutal as a few years ago. It really is "no big deal" to BE an admin, however, admin make mistakes regularly, and how we deal with our mistakes determine how big a deal it is for others. Dennis Brown - 11:39, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the "when were desysopped admins promoted" question, going through Wikipedia:Former administrators/reason/for cause I've found the following sysoping dates and (approximate) desysoped/total sysoped ratios: 4 (1,7%) 2004 (Guanaco, Geogre, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason and Nichalp), 18 (4,7%) 2005 (Karmafist, Henrygb, Freestylefrappe, Craigy144, 172, Shreshth, Sade, NSLE, FeloniousMonk, Alkivar, A Man In Black, Seabhcan, Rich Farmbrough, MONGO, Marudubshinki, Kwamikagami, Ed Poor and Carnildo who also had another resysoping in 2006), 9 (2,5%) 2006 (Runcorn, Robdurbar, Betacommand, Can't sleep, clown will eat me, Yanksox, William M. Connolley, Husnock and Tango and Rama's Arrow which also had another sysoping in 2007), 9 (2,2%) 2007 (Ryulong, Eyrian, Dreadstar, Trusilver, SchuminWeb, Nightscream, EncycloPetey, Kafziel and Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry), 5 (2,5%) 2008 (Rodhullandemu, Archtransit, Tanthalas39, ABedford and Cirt), 3 (2,5%) 2009 (PastorTheo, Hawkeye7 and Cool3), 2 (2,6%) 2010 (Wifione and DangerousPanda), 1 (1.9%) 2011 (Ironholds), 1 (2,9%) 2013 (Secret), plus ten unclear (Phil Sandifer, Isis, Stevertigo, Hemanshu, Altenmann, Kils, Malcolm, Will Beback, 168... and Antonio Martin); these might be 2002-2003 age adminships (in this case, 6% over two years). A few caveats: a) This only covers desysops, not cloudy resignations, b) the numbers from 2008 or so onward become so small that the significance is not large and c) no gradation for the severity is done here. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:51, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Deals and rules of thumb[edit]

Noting that we have an open RfA which may fall a bit shy of the 70% threshold, "As a rule of thumb, most of those above 80 percent approval pass; most of those below 70 percent fail; the judgment of passing is subject to bureaucratic discretion (and in some cases further discussion)... Typically, a nomination may be closed as successful only by bureaucrats; and, in exceptional circumstances, bureaucrats may extend RfAs beyond seven days or restart the nomination to make consensus clearer." My feeling is that as long as this stays above 60%, our bureaucrats shouldn't simply give it a perfunctory close. This is one of the relatively rare exceptional cases which deserves special, deliberate consideration from them. A balance of powers on Wikipedia is a good and healthy thing. Also noting that the Arbitration Committee is currently privately considering another "not a big deal" restoration of admin privileges, for someone whose only crime appears to be making controversial statements off-site. Wbm1058 (talk) 13:33, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

(Disclaimer:I did opine "Neutral leaning support" on Rich's RfA) A Wikipedia:Bureaucrat discussion you mean. I can see the benefit of having a discussion on that RfA considering that it's better placed (in numbers and arguments) than the lowest RfA "successful" ever, this one. That one was very controversial so a non-discussion "successful" close should probably be avoided, though. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 13:51, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
Have there been any examples of "perfunctory" closes of RfAs that were in such a range? And by not giving it a perfunctory close, do you mean a lengthy closing rationale should be supplied or that should go to a bureaucrat chat? –xenotalk 14:10, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I haven't studied the history, so don't know what examples there might be. I wasn't aware that the lowest successful close ever was 61%; that's interesting to know. I don't know how many other successful closes have been in the sixties. It's reasonable to just ask that bureaucrats use their discretion in deciding whether to publish a rationale; I just think the community will feel better about this knowing that they did have a Wikipedia:Bureaucrat discussion – that's a page which I don't recall seeing before. Wbm1058 (talk) 14:25, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I think it's fair to expect a rationale when RfX'en in the discretionary range are closed; though it will be up to the closing bureaucrat whether they feel they can determine consensus on their own or open a bureaucrat discussion. You might want to put your suggestion in the "Discussion" section (above Support section, but below General Comments) for greater visibility. While all bureaucrats are expected to keep up with WT:RFA, there's no guarantee they'll see this thread before processing the closure of the RFA to which you refer. –xenotalk 14:36, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

My cavil is the exceedingly prominent nugatory "comment" which IMHO poisoned the well from the start. It gave a strong implication of ArbCom "disapproval" of the person, and made charges which implied dishonesty on the part of some editors. I would note a good number of oppose" !votes got changed to "support" after that "comment" was moved to the talk page. (" I assume the nominator was unaware of the history of Rich Farmbrough and the full details of the case, otherwise they would not have proceeded with a nomination and a misleading statement that could potentially harm their reputation in future RfA nominations" and "you of all people, know it is factually incorrect and misleading. Your acceptance of that statement, and your challenge of it here, will allow others to assess how trustworthy you are" appear, on their face, to be violative of WP policies and guidelines including apparent accusations not made in good faith, IMHO, but made specifically to seek the withdrawal of the nominator.) Extended comments of that ilk, IMHO again, are improper on any talk page, and most especially on the project page for an RfA. Where the poster specifies that they were an Arb and are, presumably, asserting that their comments reflect the opinions of that committee, I find it exceedingly ill chosen. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:44, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Indeed. I don't doubt that there were (or perhaps still are) individual Arbs who were firmly against restoration of the sysop right to RF, but if Arbcom (collectively) didn't want Rich as an admin again, they wouldn't have said this. AFAIK that remedy has not been amended or repealed. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:21, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I just realized ST used my comment about smackbot as an excuse to post his little screed. I'd like it to be clear that I checked the arbcom case before my vote in that RFA, and it is quite clear to me that the smackbot blocking fiasco was in fact a big part of the reason for the desysopping. Maybe it wasn't on SilkTork's mind, but it was certainly a factor for other arbs. One of many disappointing things in that case. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 07:06, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Time to get rid of discretion for RFAs with less than 70% support?[edit]

I know this has been proposed before and someone is probably going to shout it down by screaming "PEREN", but I think that the time has come to codify the discretionary range as 70-80%. My proposal is this:

  • A bureaucrat may not promote a candidate based on support of less than 70% nor fail to promote a candidate based on support of greater than 80%, unless they demonstrate that the vote should be recalculated to be within the 70-80% discretionary range by discounting or re-counting support or oppose !votes for the following reasons:
    • A !vote was made based on a clear and unambiguous misunderstanding of facts (not opinion)
    • A !vote was based on canvassing or other bad-faith activity
    • A !vote was clearly based on a personal grudge
    • A !vote from a relatively inexperienced user offers no reasoning behind the !vote
    • An oppose !vote was made because the opposer disagrees with the candidate's proper enforcement or advocacy of policy
    • A !voter makes a clear that they are !voting one way (e.g. moral support) because they believe that the RFA will not pass but the !voter actually prefers something different

My concern is that bureaucrats shouldn't be substituting their own opinion in place of the community's opinion. If the community says "we don't believe this person should be an admin for reason XYZ", even if you don't think reason XYZ is a good reason, your opinion isn't more valid than everyone else's. I think if a bureaucrat is going to promote someone under 70%, they need to say that "there were these 5 oppose votes that I didn't consider because of this reason, this reason, and this reason" and once you take out those five, it's in the discretionary range. --B (talk) 22:20, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

I am not seeing any "substituting" happening here, honestly. There is just a disagreement/doubt whether Rich Farmbrough's RfA has consensus - a legit question, considering that on Wikipedia consensus is not defined by arbitrary numerical bars but by strength of argument - and I've seen several (admittedly exceptional) AfD discussions being closed in favour of a minority opinion without the closing admin facing a mob or desysop. Also, such a "Only according to numbers unless..." standard IMHO invites a) the consensus-finding process being distorted by poorly argued votes and b) more and more creep of the "unless..." clause. So I'd disrecommend this. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 22:48, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
The one thing that I would point out is that the consequences of an AFD close are far less significant than the consequences of an RFA. They are also appealable. If an AFD is closed in the face of a lack of consensus or even against the opinion of the numerical majority, there is the deletion review process. RFAs have no adminship review and it is virtually impossible to desysop a problem admin. --B (talk) 22:54, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Please don't say things like "it is virtually impossible to desysop a problem admin"; I refer you to my post of 11:02, 4 July 2015 (UTC) on this page. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:34, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree. They haven't promoted someone with less than 70 in years, but there is always the case to be made when it should happen. It is only the current chat that started the discussion, it hasn't closed (I don't think) and we are already condemning the idea. Unless the Crats have done something to lose that trust, I say we leave it alone. Dennis Brown - 23:01, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I disagree with your current proposal, because I think there should always be exceptions and while your bullet points cover some of the obvious reasons to discount a vote, I think some there are some comments which could be made in good faith but shouldn't really count for much. For example, "Oppose because the candidate has not written an FA" or "Oppose because the candidate hasn't been active in [arbitrary admin area X, which is unrelated to where the candidate says they want to work in question #1]". (BTW, I'd add to your list something like "A !vote is based on ideological grounds or justified with reasons that are not specific to the candidate e.g. 'oppose as there are too many admins' or 'support because we have too many admin backlogs'".)
I *could* support something like: < 65% = definite fail; > 85% = definite pass (both barring clear cases where something iffy is going on); 65-70% means bureaucrat discussion is required in order to promote and 80-85% requires discussion to not promote (although 'crats can fail a 65-70 or pass an 80-85 if they deem it appropriate). But I think I trust the 'crats to basically do whatever is appropriate anyway. Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 23:16, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Bureaucrats are among our most highly trusted users. They have to run a real gauntlet to get that T-shirt. We trust them to use their discretion, and I'm not aware of any cases where they have abused that discretion. You are proposing to replace their discretion with a much more rigid, prescriptive formula, but you haven't offered any reason WHY we should do that, or pointed to any cases where the existing system of crat discretion has caused a problem. I think this falls in the category of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." (Of course it's possible that this proposal is simply a shot across the bow to influence the crats currently considering such a case, but I don't see any evidence that they needed that warning.) --MelanieN (talk) 23:32, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If we are to bring in a new rule, it should only be applied to RfAs initiated after the new rule is agreed. It cannot be applied to any RfA currently under way: it is unfair to alter the rules mid-game. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:34, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree, per Dennis and Melanie. --Stfg (talk) 23:54, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The list posted by B is accurate and in fact it doesn't even cover all cases. However, Bureaucrats do not 'substitute their own opinion in place of the community's opinion'. They evaluate that opinion. In many (most, in fact) cases, the tally leaves a very clear indication of what the community wants and RfAs have never been so heavily participated as they are nowadays - probably because they have become such a seldom event. In the very rare cases where the voting lands in the discretionary range, the bureaucrats make difficult but appropriate deisions. That's what we elected them for. Do away with the discretionary range and we could do away with 'crats and just have a Bot Approval user group. In fairness to the RfA candidates in view of the crap votes, questions, and trolling that often happens, I think we certainly need the discretionary range and we need the 'crats to adjudicate. RfA is a lot less viscious than it was when I started the reform research project, but there is still just possibly a good argument for having designated RfA clerks who could carry out appropriate action basd on B's list. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree, as per Melanie. I do think there is still a need - and there will always be a need — for a specialized group with "reserve powers" to make discretionary rulings in borderline cases. David Cannon (talk) 02:38, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree. The case at hand is a prime example of why this should not be adopted. I also note that ArbCom in the past has issued dicta which are broad regarding areas where "head count" determination of consensus is, in fact, errant (some are listed at WP:False consensus. Collect (talk) 02:44, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree. I do not know of a reason at this time to take the discretion away from the bureaucrats and try to turn RFAs into votes. Italick (talk) 04:28, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • First renaming now this? 'Crats are going to be out of work before you know it. In all seriousness disagree, there's no evidence that they've misused this power, and until that time comes there's no reason to strip power from them. Kharkiv07 (T) 04:34, 6 July 2015 (UTC)