Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 116

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Should Scottish products, services and other things be credited to Scotland rather than the UK? Should Scotland count as a separate country in all Wikipedia contexts? Pablothepenguin (talk) 23:50, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Uh, no? Scotland isn't a "separate country", so I don't know why it would be considered as such. It may be helpful to refer to something as Scottish when it only exists in a Scottish context. I.e. one might say "Scotmid is a Scottish independent consumer co-operative", given that Scotmid has no presence in the rest of the UK. Otherwise, however, that doesn't make Scotland a "separate country". RGloucester 00:04, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Scotland is a constituent country, it's not sovereign. We should stick with using United Kingdom. GoodDay (talk) 00:08, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
We have our own government, snob. Pablothepenguin (talk) 00:26, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Calling people "snob" doesn't mean you get your way. Rather, it usually means people will forever ignore your possibly good ideas. If you avoid being insulting, and show an attitude of cooperation instead, you're likely to have more success. --Jayron32 01:08, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
And so do 50 states in the United States. Or the provinces of Canada, or Australia, all of which have more autonomy than Scotland does. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 08:18, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Myself, I'm a North Briton. Plenty of administrative sub-divisions have governments, but that doesn't mean that they are a "separate country" from other administrative sub-divisions. Do we consider Aberdeenshire a "separate country" from Midlothian? No. Britain is a unitary state, and all state sovereignty rests at Westminster. This theoretical debate is pointless, anyway, because no matter how one looks at it, "Scotland" is not a "separate country" from the rest of Britain. We refer to things as "Scottish" only when it is necessary to disambiguate from things elsewhere in Britain, or when it is necessary to provide preciseness, as in the Scotmid example. RGloucester 01:02, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
It's an essay but see Wikipedia:Nationality of people from the United Kingdom. If Scotland counts as a separate country in all contexts then what was Scottish independence referendum, 2014 about? PrimeHunter (talk) 01:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Follow the sources. If the sources you're using to verify a product, service or other thing credit it to Scotland, then so does Wikipedia. Ivanvector (talk) 17:01, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Not a Democracy? Or not democratic?

Some people here are referring to the policy "Wikipedia is not a democracy" in a way that I think both misrepresents the policy and wikipedia. As I read the policy it means that wikipedia is not an experiment in democratic governance but an encyclopedia, AND that we make decisions through deliberation and consensus formation not through voting. This in no way challenges the fact that wikipedias basic ideas and principles are all highly democratic. We are not here as a social experiment but to build an encyclopedia but what makes this encyclopedia different from others is that we are doing it democratically. Specifically the system of decision making we have is a form of deliberative democracy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. A democratic encyclopedia. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

I think the keyword you use is "deliberative." And, unfortunately, I think most of us would realize that to be really useful in matters of deliberation there is some obligation to know the foundational requirements, and it is also true that in most instances many or most people who might be only tangentially involved in a specific field may not be at all competent in those matters. It is also an entity owned by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, and certain clearly legal matters arise there particularly regarding liability. As an individual, I myself wish that were not the case, and I even more regret the fact that the US has, as a proportion of the population, roughly 50 times as many lawyers as the 2nd ranking country for lawyers-by-population (and much higher for most other countries), but the foundation is required to deal with those unfortunate realities as well. John Carter (talk) 19:57, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • This should go to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). Cenarium (talk) 20:21, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • You might have noticed that our definition of consensus, which is quite different from how the word is used elsewhere, is based on the quality of arguments in line with our policy and guidelines. That, in of itself, is inherently undemocratic. RGloucester 20:32, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
No it is not, it is an inherent feature of most forms of deliberative democracy.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:59, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
That's not really democracy, then, is it? Everyone doesn't have an equal say. No "one man, one vote", here. If someone puts forth a stupid argument, it will be viewed as stupid. It won't simply be accepted because most people endorse that stupidity. If it is antithetical to our policies, guidelines, and common sense, it shall be struck down. RGloucester 21:02, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, deliberative democracy is a form of democracy. One man one vote is not the only form of democracy. But you are right about the antithetical being struck down, which is luckily what is happening to your proposal which is antithetical to the democratic structure of wikipedia. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't sound like democracy to me. Sounds like elitism with a convenient guise. Regardless, I find it hard to believe that this proposal is "antithetical" to Wikipedia or democracy, given that we have an Arbitration Committee, and given that all democracies in the world have appointed administrators. RGloucester 21:28, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Well your lack of imagination is hardly an argument. Your proposal is not necessarily antithetical, since it could be carried out democratically and with broad participation, but your own elitist and technocratic statements make it clear that that is not its spirit. Which makes it antithetical to a project that is a democratic encyclopedia that anyone can edit, with a flat hierarchy and a basic tenet of ignoring all rules.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:31, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how this proposal limits anyone's ability to edit, alters the hierarchy, or hinders one's prerogative to ignore rules. RGloucester 21:36, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • That, for example, the Morpho is in the family Nymphalidae, is not to be decided nor influenced, in the least, by the demos of the Wikipedia polis. Nor is, for example, that we have just licensed these phrases by the mere posting of them here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Decision about content and decisions about the political governance of the community are two different things. Knowledge is not democratic, but wikipedia social oranization is.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:59, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I see us as a deliberative democracy WHEN/IF we are adhering to the Rule of Law, (WP policy). Perhaps we are more like a republic with a constitution. The problems arise when more is read into the policies than what is actually written. Guidelines are left to interpretation, but it may serve us well to incorporate a portion of our guidelines into policy. Strict adherence to policy as written will eliminate many of the problems. AtsmeConsult 18:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Repeating what Cenarium said above, this discussion is less about the proposals than about policy matters, and it would probably get more and better informed input from others if it were moved to the appropriate page for such discussions, which seems to be Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). John Carter (talk) 21:58, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Local administrators should be able to view and transfer Commons deleted file history

Sometimes Commons deletes an image that is used on a Wikipedia article even though the image can satisfy Wikipedia's image inclusion criteria (or that of another project). So it's worth retrieving the image, but one has to ask a sysop at Commons, which can take some time, etc. I think local sysops should have the ability to directly view the deleted file history (both upload and page), so that they can retrieve the image and its description easily. The link would read something like View or restore x deleted commons edits?. For attribution, this would require retrieving the history and transfer it locally too. We could ask for a new userright allowing this that would be granted to admins on local projects. Cenarium (talk) 20:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 113#Commons admins with viewdelete is related but proposes the opposite: Commons admins having the ability to view deleted pages on other projects. SiBr4 (talk) 21:08, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. This was implemented recently by T16801, not actively used yet. The RFC is at m:Requests for comment/Global file deletion review. The easiest solution would then be to allow local sysops to be assigned to this usergroup as well, since they would see commons files in particular. So we may make a RFC at meta for this. Cenarium (talk) 21:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
While I don't frequently deal with images, this issue became a consideration with commons:File:RavKav Israeli Transport Card.png - a clearly unfree file which I presumed would be fair use here. After asking at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions (now archived at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions/Archive/2013/August#File:RavKav Israeli Transport Card.png), I uploaded the file here - but had to do it (or at least get the image there) before the original was deleted at the commons. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:10, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't as well, but last year I happened to notice a removal of File:EuthanasiePropaganda.jpg from an article because it was deleted at commons. It had been moved there from here, so I just undeleted it here and added a fair use. But it wouldn't have been possible if it was only uploaded at commons. Cenarium (talk) 11:04, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Merger proposal for the article Selfie Stick

I propose that Selfie_stick be merged into Monopod. The content in the Selfie Stick article can further update the value of the Monopod article. The author of the Selfie stick article makes a good description but it isn't in proper formatting. It is previously redirected to Monopod page but I think its context could be added as a new section into Monopod. zlouiemark [ T ] [ C ] 16:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

This should go to Wikipedia:Proposed mergers, not here. This page is for proposed changes to how the site works. ekips39 17:16, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
can u help me? zlouiemark [ T ] [ C ] 22:24, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

All this and only one hit for "obudsman" and it's not even about WP:OM

The Wikipedia Ombudsman (WP:OM the redirect has been reused for something else in the interim, so WP:Ombudsman) was proposed almost ten years ago when it wasn't essential. It was proposed as a one person effort on this noticeboard and turned down.

The role of ombudsman is common to all modern authorative structures, to review said authority, where they might otherwise not be scrutinised, mainly in government departments such as police. It was proposed as a single volunteer elected by Jimmy Wales and to not only review, but to instruct and to also be responsible for ARBCOM.

NOTE: The ombudsman could be anything in the detail, but the existence of fair impartial review would strengthen the admin noticeboards with steel. So I make comments here about the details, but they are only secondary to the ombudsman itself, and it is my response to what you will find if you click that link and see the previous proposal (and there was a WP:OMBUDSMEN proposal).

ARBCOM is under full public scrutiny. If ARBCOM is not doing what it should, they do not avoid scrutiny. Ombudsmen are only effective in those situations where scrutiny is not effective or apparent.

The WMF has recently had enough spare contribution to employ outside help and does for things like structuring help and co-ordinating stuff like equality measures from outside professionals. Couldn't some sort of professional be employed as an impartial reviewer of things like ANI to give solid reports on wether process is being followed or not?

In the wider world, ombudsmen are at first feared as an apocalyptic horse by some institutions, but over the course, they remove pressure from an authorative structure in that they remove the need for said authority to review each other and cause division and disharmony in the will to practice according to sanctioned procedure. If there is a working ombudsman, issue where you blame each other become irrelevant because someone else follows the blaming, and the following courses of action, should they be required, are rigid, automatic, not decision based. We already have instructions what to do when problems are found. the issue is wether those things are being done, and this is precisely the role of an ombudsman, or the WP:OM if you like.

So you could write books length about the value of ombudsmen, and argue endlessly about the details, but the principle would remain, impartial review. Arguments about wether admins were being effective would be, in large part, irrelevant.

So nobody is talking about that, but there are various threads above to which this is practically called out for, that having procedure does not prove that it is followed. If that was what you were looking for, there it is, ombudsman/men. Get it implemented. And don't base it on what I have written. Base it on the value of the ombudsman, and what you want from it your self, draw your own conclusion, ~ R.T.G 16:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

  • So let me try to understand what you are proposing. With respect to the United States' government, the ombudsman is to the President as ArbCom is to the Supreme Court? Would this be like a system of checks and balances where the ombudsman and ArbCom each prevent each other from getting too much influence? Also, would ombudsman be elected in the same way ArbCom members are? Everymorning talk to me 20:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
@Everymorning: I am not an expert on the details or anything, but basically an ombudsman is an impartial unconnected reviewer. It's not specific to presidency or anything like that. It's specific to comparing procedure with actuality from a neutral uninvolved position. It's an outside reviewer with no connection, other than that they review, should a review be required. It's like a legal clerking job hired in to be unconnected to the legal structure, and report if they are following the rules or not. It's a very commonplace role in structures such as government, particularly well known for reviewing police activity, but again not specific to that. It would answer the questions above which claim that AN is mob ruled and cannot be trusted and such. These are the sort of accusations which instigate such offices in the wider world also. ~ R.T.G 22:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The problem with creating a new oversight position such as an "Ombudsman" or other such position is Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?; We have groups of people who serve that role: they are the ARBCOM and Admins and Bureaucrats and Oversighters and Stewards, etc. People complain that, for example, ARBCOM doesn't have enough oversight, can't be trusted, etc. So, you create a new position whose job is to review the job that ARBCOM is doing. If no one is watching THAT group, they become subject to the same exact criticism. You don't every get away from that; you just shift the criticism to new bodies. It's an infinite recursion of criticism, leveled against whatever group is being trusted to do their job without higher oversight. It solves nothing. --Jayron32 17:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    I agree. If a process is subject to suspicions, adding another layer of process will just add another layer of suspicions. The real way to reform is to increase transparency of existing process. ArbCom should be quicker to hear cases of admin abuse, quicker to dismiss claims that are bogus (and sanction serial false-accusers), and continue to quickly desysop for actual abuse. The main opportunity for ArbCom to improve would be for them to conduct more of their deliberations in the open, and less on the private mailing list. Jehochman Talk 17:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Not that ARBCOM is transparent in any way. It deliberates in secret, and doesn't even bother to explain the reasons behind its decisions. The ombudsman would provide a much-needed check on an organisation that is out of control. Hawkeye7 (talk) 10:31, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
    Who checks the out-of-control ombudsman? Either you trust the ultimate arbiter or you don't. Creating a new ultimate arbiter just creates a new office to mistrust. --Jayron32 02:39, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    No, that is incorrect. The ombudsman's only job is to keep ArbCom honest. So long as they are independent of each other, we can trust both of them more than either. Mathematically, if we trust ArmCom p and the Ombudsman q, we can trust the two of them 1-(1-p)(1-q). Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    Who keeps the ombudsman honest? --Jayron32 13:10, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose would likely create bureaucracy and dramah without really solving anything. Those who hate Arbcom would still hate Arbcom, but they'd have an additional target as well. A broader issue might be raised about why people are often keen to have Wikipedia mimic real-world political governments, when (1) a volunteer website aiming to build an encyclopedia is nothing like governing a real-world soverign nation and (2) even under the best of circumstances, governments have plenty of problems too. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 17:13, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I fail to see the point. It's turtles all the way down. ekips39 03:34, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Make cursor default in search box

Hi, While Wikipedia is not technically a search engine, people come to the site to search for information. Would you please set the cursor default to appear in the search box so we don't have to click in it every time we visit the site ? Thanks ! B3groove (talk) 17:31, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:FAQ/Main Page#Why doesn't the cursor appear in the search box, like with Google?. —David Levy 18:02, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, sorry I didn't check the FAQ (I did search Village Pump for "cursor"). B3groove (talk) 17:30, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Make minor changes more obvious to spot

Hi, I was looking at this diff and it took about a full minute to figure out what had been changed. Was wondering if there's a way to make a minor change like an added space, removed space, added comma, period, etc. a little easier to spot. I'm not sure if the peach colored border is throwing off my eyes and making it difficult to spot the peach-colored change, or if it's the peach on white, or what. Full words are easy to spot, it's just the rinky dink changes that aren't too obvious. Maybe a flashing arrow? (Probably not that...) For the record, I have a 27 inch monitor and I usually have to adjust the page magnification to spot these diffs. Maybe a toggle switch in our preferences could mark one-character changes in red? Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:09, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Does Preferences→Gadgets→Editing→wikEdDiff solve this for you? Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 17:15, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Hi OSS, I checked it out. It does, but it adds another step (I have to click on the diff triangle to see the specific change.) Might be a reasonable work-around until/if the peach/white contrast can be adjusted, since it doesn't seem to have accessibility in mind. Much obliged for the suggestion, though. :) Thanks, Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:59, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The button remembers its state (for me, at least) so you only have to tap it once to open. As long as you don't tap the button again to close, it should be open again next time. I think that there's a still a valid discussion to be had regarding improving the default view for small changes like your example. The default view really isn't up to that task. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 18:44, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Alternative to scrolling down

I would like to see an alternative to scrolling down to add comments. Why? Well, if the comments are many, it is cumbersome -- and on weak computers even difficult -- to scroll down down down until the end is reached. Why not have an option to go straight to the end. If that option already exists, what is it?Kdammers (talk) 06:17, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Go to the next topic and scroll up ;) At least that's what I usually do in such cases. --♫ Sänger - Talk - superputsch must go 06:36, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Not sure exactly what you're referring to, but you may find the "End" key on your keyboard useful, or alternatively, the key combination Ctrl+End. — This, that and the other (talk) 10:15, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you. I did go to the next one down, but that seemed a backward way of doing it. "End" does not work for me,but ctrl +end inside the text box does. Kdammers (talk) 11:16, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Shortcut templates

Move excess content from redirects with excess content to talk subpages.

Here is a list of redirects with excess content - which is to say, redirects that have more on the page than the redirect target and relevant templates. In some cases, complete articles are sitting below the redirect containing issues that show up on various lists of errors needing repair. In some cases, these materials were left on the page by an editor intending to merge them into the target page at some later date. However, once the redirect is added to the top, the page content is bypassed and any issues are likely to go unobserved and unfixed. To avoid these issues, I propose that the underlying excess content of these pages be moved to talk subpages of the redirect target. Cheers! bd2412 T 04:43, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Just clicking a few of these, it looks like a lot of the excess content is simply categorization of redirect pages (see Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union, Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization, etc. I don't think we want to add a bunch of talk pages to these categories, so if we do move them to relevant talk subpages, then a bot or a semi-autonomous process should run through there first and move all the category pages to the relevant redirect pages (I'm assuming here you want to do this as an autonomous process, not manually - if you want to do it manually, then obviously we can just, you know, not include the category portions when we move the content). 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 05:22, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I was thinking more in terms of pages like The Steveson Museum, which contains substantive text and external links. bd2412 T 17:01, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Coul;d some one generate a list, which excludes categorizations in the page sizes, but is otherwise identical in definition? עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:20, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The ones that contain categories should be left alone. The purpose of having this:
#REDIRECT [[Neonatal acne]]
 [[Category:Acneiform eruptions]]
on Acne infantum is so that the synonym will be listed in Category:Acneiform eruptions for anyone who is trying to find out what that means. (Dermatology articles use this a lot; anything displayed in italics in a category is a redirect). WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:09, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The category part should be, but if someone places a whole article, complete with categories, on a redirect page - that's a problem. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:01, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

The treatment of extra content (meaning hidden articles, not categories) on redirects page depends on the situation. In some cases, the redirect call should be replaced with a {{merge-to}} template. In others, the redirect call should just be deleted to reveal the article. Sometimes the article underneath should simply be deleted. Also, a lot of these are copy/paste moves that need history merges. The universal behind all of these issues is that moving the hidden article to the talk page or a subpage is never helpful to anyone. A human needs to look these over and make decisions. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 18:46, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

The issue I have with that is that the redirect on the page makes it harder for a human to look at it (or know that it exists). For example, if a reader right now were to type "The Steveston Museum", they would be taken directly to "Steveston Museum" without actually seeing the redirect page. If an error like a disambiguation link or a broken reference tag exists on the redirect page, an editor looking for the error might not even realize that they have bypassed it, and might spend a few minutes searching the target "Steveston Museum" for the error before scratching their head and moving on to something else. bd2412 T 18:00, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Not really an issue, at least not for experienced editors. Most users will find page errors through categories, where all redirects appear in italics. So, they will see the italics and see that something weird is going on, and will know to hit the "redirected from" link. Anyways, if you're concerned about this, BD, go thru them and delete/merge/re-article them. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 07:59, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Responsive images

"Responsive web design" is based on CSS formatting that automatically resizes content based on the size of the viewport. It may be a good idea to implement responsive design for images only, so that we can display images in full size to fit the width of a container, be that the full page itself or a portion of it. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:46, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Do Away with RFC/U

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is consensus for deprecating the RFC/U process. The community is of the opinion that it no longer serves a useful purpose, that it has a tendency to prolong disputes without helping their resolution, suffers from a lack of participation, attracts biased input, and that it pales in comparison to other processes. There is no consensus for any specific replacement, nor that finding one is required before deprecating RFC/U. Other components of the dispute resolution process should be used, such as ANI and ArbCom. There are some legitimate concerns regarding those alternatives, specifically that ANI isn't well equipped to handle long term issues while at the same time the bar for ArbCom is quite high, meaning a lack of proper venue for handling certain kind of disputes, but they don't justify maintaining a system recognized as inefficient (in those cases too). Suggestions on improving dispute resolution are welcome, though. The RFC/U main pages will be marked historical. There are no currently running RFC/Us, and any unaccounted for uncertified RFC/U should be deleted. Cenarium (talk) 01:10, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

The Request for Comments on User Conduct is not constructive or useful and should be discontinued. Because the requirements for certification are complicated and rigid, it is seldom used. When it is used, it is confrontational, and is typically a device for one combative editor to beat up another combative editor. The RFC/U process also is too often inconsistent, in that the stated objective of the certifiers is usually to persuade the subject editor to be more flexible, but the RFC/U is a process that promotes defensiveness, not flexibility, and typically the real objective of the RFC/U is not to change the behavior of the subject editor, but to restrict the editing privileges. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:13, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Historically, it appears that one of its purposes was as a preliminary measure to requesting that an editor be banned by User:Jimbo Wales, when it was the basis for presenting the evidence to Jimbo. Jimbo no longer uses the reserved power to ban users. Users are instead banned by the ArbCom, based on a full evidentiary case, or by the community at the noticeboards. RFC/U is only seldom used as the basis for requesting arbitration. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:13, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Note - It looks like Robert neglected to notify about this on the page he's proposing to abolish. I've put a notification there. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 15:55, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Do Away with RFC/U: support or oppose or other

  • Support. I agree with your thoughts on this, and thanks for bringing this up, Robert McClenon. In my experience it seems to be a prolonged way of letting users be reminded or notified about their past failures with hopes of inspiring a mea culpa and provoking change. I do not think this is a healthy process and, like you mention, "certifying" a request means it is rarely done and fills WP with yet more bureaucratic overhead. I hope this discussion continues here or elsewhere. --Tom (LT) (talk) 21:36, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – This is a prime example of a process laden with bureaucratic nonsense, which serves no real purpose, and which does not function. It is a combative approach that is only bound to fail. We have other channels that work much better for this purpose. RGloucester 21:39, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, conditionally. The absence of an RfC/U is often used as a basis for ArbCom to decline arbitration. If RfC/U is removed and ArbCom will not require it anyway, then we merely have a simplified structure. @RGloucester: What other channels do we have? ANI? I see three potential constructive uses of RfC/U, two which don't require the structure, and one which is, in fact, not constructive. (Using "he" for the subject of the RfC and "she" for commenters, without an attempt to imply which gender is more likely to be problematic.)
    1. To let him know what she thinks of his actions. (Good, but the structure is irrelevant as to whether it would be believed or followed. The discussion would need to be on a page other than his talk page, though, and that and ANI are the only current pages on which such a discussion would be allowed.)
    2. To let him know what she think he should do in order to avoid future problems. (Doesn't work.)
    3. To provide information for a future ArbCom request. (Currently required by ArbCom in some circumstances, and probably helpful to ArbCom even when not required. But, again, the structure is not necessary unless required by ArbCom.)
    Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:04, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish and find a more constructive way to discuss potential user issues. I do believe the process is useful, I just feel that the methods currently employed are degrading to all users that contribute. Our current method seem to me to be like putting someone in the Village stocks where the only thing you are allowed to throw at them are prickly cacti and they must be thrown with bare hands. This leads to editors with sore hands and one with a sore face... This is not productive to resolving conduct issues. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:22, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    • You might have that the wrong way around; we should find a more constructive way to discuss issues first before we abolish the existing one. Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 08:53, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • My views on RfC/U are long held, and I've only rarely seen instances where it was conducive to a positive outcome. Additionally, it has fallen into disuse over the past couple of years or so, which I think is emblematic of the evolution that our community has gone through over time. There have to be other ways of addressing user conduct issues; as far as I'm aware, AN and AN/I have yielded results more often than not. Kurtis (talk) 15:50, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
    • In case it isn't obvious, this should be interpreted as a support for abolition. Kurtis (talk) 16:11, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish RfC/U and shift the process to an equivalent that can actually achieve results, e.g., ArbCom or AN/I. Rationalobserver (talk) 16:12, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolishing: it does not have any binding results and is a probable tool for harassment and confrontation without direct consequence. Technical 13 explains it elegantly. When things get bad, and discussion from more editors is needed about an editor who genuinely wants to improve without binding results or when an editor wants to get himself evaluated generally, a regular RFC can be used on their talk page. RFC/U is not of much value per se; and this is coming from an editor who has faced continuous hounding in past on many levels. As for ArbCom requirement, they can call an RFC on their own page or a subpage if they want community input before taking decision or for deferring to community. --lTopGunl (talk) 17:13, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Request for clarification: Does this proposal to abolish RFC/U apply to "user of administrator privileges" RFCs as well as "general user conduct" ones? (Not supporting or opposing anything, just seeking clarity.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:53, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish. The only one I have ever taken part in was Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Apteva, you can see how much confusion there was at the end about a "motion to close", since the person did not agree with the comments made about them. Finding an admin to do anything about the results was another problem--back to the drama boards over and over. This was a year-long nightmare for the twenty or so editors involved, and ended in four editors getting sanctioned for no reason at all, when the user filed one of many frivolous WP:AE requests against one of the signers of the RFCU. The RFCU process is high risk for established editors, and low risk for disruptive editors. Compare incivility as a tactic--much more effective. When you see what the alternatives are for dealing with genuinely disruptive users, you start to have some sympathy for those who are chronically abusive. Now, imagine what it might have been like if the twenty of us had been able to spend our energies on editing that year, instead of dealing with the disruptive user. —Neotarf (talk) 05:28, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - abolition as proposer. For reasons given above, as a mechanism which maximizes disruption while minimizing likelihood of actual result. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:24, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - User:Newyorkbrad: Yes, my intention was that it applies to "administrator abuse" as well as "general user conduct". At the beginning of this year, the ArbCom desysopped two administrators without a preliminary RFC/U. In the recent case before the ArbCom, there is unnecessary drama about the RFC/U itself, which complicates the issue of whether the ArbCom should review issues about the actual conduct of the administrator. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:24, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
    Especially admins. It is a very, very bad idea for anyone to get on the bad side of an admin, especially an abusive admin, just in case the attempt fails. —Neotarf (talk) 13:34, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
    And a regular editor who runs afoul of an admin will eventually be frozen out of Wikipedia, entirely, because admins are presumed to be right in disputes with mere editors. After all, in an environment where WP:IAR is paramount, the whims of the admins are law. -- Jay Maynard (talk) 18:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support I've been saying it is a toothless process for years. That said, a process between WP:ANI and WP:ARB for non-admin might be useful, a dedicated page where discussion can happen over a couple of weeks, BUT there is still the possibility of sanctions if needed. That shouldn't stop us from killing a process that has failed to deliver results almost every time it is used, and RFC/U certainly is a failure. Admin are an odd case, probably better served by lowering the threshold for Arb review instead of a middle process (unless it really was just about editing...rare indeed), since Arb is the only body that can take issue sanctions. Dennis - 19:48, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Dennis Brown is spot on. Hard pressed to find any success from RFC/U that is not based on the subject making change on their own behalf. Typically RFC/U serves as a barrier to meaningful dispute resolution. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:45, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - RFC/U, just like AN/I, is a place where POV pushers write absolute bullshit about someone who has got in the way of their POV pushing, with no fear of negative consequences for the lies being written. Until BLP standards are applied to anything that's written about another editor on Wikipedia, both places are disaster areas for truth and justice, and the appearance of Wikipedia as a place for honest, informed, mature discussion. HiLo48 (talk) 08:03, 10 November 2014 (UTC)1
  • Support - RFC/U is terribly designed - it is the antithesis of mediation as it is designed for people to make pronouncements and speak past each actually doesn't appear to serve any purpose and its construction and layout likewise preclude anything useful. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:45, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Truth to be told I've never seen the point in it - User conduct 9 times out of 10 goes straight to AN/I, & Jimbo does bugger all hence Arbcom deals with it all instead.... All in all IMHO the board's as much help as a chocolate teapot. –Davey2010(talk) 14:57, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - All things being relatively equal, having the unified document listing out the faults of an editor (or administrator) makes for a penultimate "Come to the light" discussion. Yes the target of the RFC/U is very adversarial, but if it's risen to the level of an RFC/U there's already been multiple attempts to try and prevent the behavior before. Having a RFC/U makes it easier for others to point at for the eventual ArbCom case or AN community ban. Until the advocates can present a valid replacement, I'd rather keep RFC/U with warts and all because it does somewhat work for the time. Hasteur (talk) 15:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
    Those warts include the ability to tell absolute lies about the accused, with complete impunity. That cannot be part of any sensible justice system. HiLo48 (talk) 18:17, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
    I recall that you declined to participate in the RFC/U against you (you might recall that I defended your right to do so), but I don't recall any policy that says editors can "tell absolute lies about the accused, with complete impunity". In fact, I believe it's rather typical to see complaints made at ANI during RFC/Us, and editors do get reprimanded and blocked for what they say in RFC/U discussions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, essentially per Casliber (talk · contribs), above. Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 17:08, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. It's really hard to argue with the case Robert McClenon makes here. Like WP:WQA before it, what RfCU could be if done well and what it is at the moment are so far removed from each other that I think it's time (if not past time) to retire it. If that means that editor and admin conduct concerns go straight to ArbCom, then so be it: ArbCom has been pretty good (though not perfect, of course) about sorting out which disputes and conduct issues are ripe for arbitration and which ones aren't. 28bytes (talk) 17:56, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. While it used to be useful, I don't think it's serving the purpose it once did. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:45, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, never had any real teeth and was at best a bump in the road to ArbCom or a community banning. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 02:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Either have the community deal with it at AN(I) or just send it off to ArbCom. -- King of ♠ 03:53, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. From what I've seen from RfC/U, it's a way for opposing fractions to lobby shots and accusations back and forth at each other in attempt to force one side to capitulate or be blocked. The process is toothless, and all it does is allow grievances perceived or otherwise to fester. I can't see most people facing an RfC/U seeing the light, but instead feeling rightly or wrongly that they have been unjustly attacked. RfC/U seems more harmful than helpful. PaleAqua (talk) 08:54, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support right now, RFC/U basically serves as an impediment. People will say 'this is at the wrong venue... it should be at RFC/U' even though almost everyone knows that RFC/U is toothless. Getting rid of it is the best solution. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 17:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - RFC/U is overly bureaucratic, flawed and usually ineffective in actually resolving user conduct issues.- MrX 18:03, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: the certification process is precisely to prevent it being used as "a device for one combative editor to beat up another". Kicking this upstairs to Arbcom means more rushed, un-nuanced decisions. Alternatively we will need a Village Pump (user behaviour). Certainly I would be sympathetic to a more rigorously policed RFC/U where attacks, doxxing, outing, unsupported allegations etc, were summarily removed. I don;t see how RFC/U is worse than some of the mammoth threads on AN/I, except that there may be less admin/expuser oversight. All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:08, 12 November 2014 (UTC).
"Less oversight" is one of the primary problems. Such an RfC/U in any form, reformed or unchanged, will always have less oversight than a community noticeboard, leaving such RfC/Us open to the typical messes that they are. RGloucester 00:21, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
RFC/U and AN/I are both routinely full of lies, unsubstantiated allegations, and general bullshit from POV pushers, including Aministrators. Neither serves Wikipedia well. HiLo48 (talk) 00:31, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but as I said below, at least the structure of the AN/I noticeboard itself is not adversarial. There are times when AN/I works, and times when it doesn't. When it doesn't, the dispute should go to ArbCom. There is no need to add on the extra layer of "RfC/U", which doesn't work at all and tends to make the situation worse. RGloucester 00:34, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak conditional oppose until and unless we have some sort of clear and clearly defined alternative available. Maybe all that would require would be a separate main section at ANI or elsewhere, but I have no real reason to think that if this proposal to move it to ANI is assumed to be the outcome by most that others will necessarily think so as well and the lack of a clearly defined place to report such concerns would itself be problematic. John Carter (talk) 00:40, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, as being a process that is no longer useful. The thing is, if you're doing your job as an admin properly, you're going to make enemies. The problem with any discussion on admin conduct therefore becomes sorting out the whining of contributors who have properly had their spam/personal attacks/whatever removed, from legitimate criticism. RFC/U does not offer a way to filter out the chaff, so any filing becomes a mass of unfocused complaining and whingeing, often masking real problems with admin conduct. I think at this point ArbCom or some other body where there is a human review before a case becomes real, is the best way to work out which user conduct cases require further attention, and which are just sour grapes. For full disclosure, I am an administrator myself. Lankiveil (speak to me) 07:37, 12 November 2014 (UTC).
  • Support - We need (1) a working process for the community removal of tools from administrators acting badly; (2) a fast process for the removal of tendentious POV warriors from the project. The existence of RFC/U stands in the way of the processes we actually need. Carrite (talk) 15:23, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Long overdue. → Call me Hahc21 19:07, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Neutral: I can't support, because I might be seen as biased - I was recently taken there myself (and nobody saw it proper to actually inform me for a further twenty hours, during which time 13 people were talking about me behind my back) for a triple matter: (i) to complain about two edits that I made that were entirely in accordance with WP:PER; (ii) to get an edit made to a protected page (which is outside the purview of RFC/U); and (iii) to get a page protection lifted. Of these, (i) was a non-issue; (ii) could have been dealt with by following WP:PER procedure and letting any admin respond, rather than insisting that I do it; (iii) should really have been sorted by the simple expedient of filing a WP:RFPU. So perhaps there is a lack of understanding as to what RFC/U is actually for. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:30, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
    • @Redrose64: As editor who (mistakenly) took part in the RfC against you, it is my opinion that 1/ the RfC was unwarranted, 2/ the people initiating and participating in it generally did not know what an RfC was used for and used it improperly (and I include myself in that), and 3/ we acted impulsively in response to a sensitive topic, that was better handled with cooler heads. Supporting RfC abolition wouldn't make you look biased, in my opinion. Kumorifox (talk) 18:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support I have said this for years now, RFC/U are a waste of bytes --Guerillero | My Talk 21:44, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Abolish it. RFC/U has outlived its usefulness. ANI and ArbCom are more efficient and more effective at dispute resolution. Keep it simple and go with what works. Ignocrates (talk) 04:59, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Having participated in 2 or 3, I've long since felt the process is a waste of space. WormTT(talk) 13:53, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support RfC/U's are a huge time sink and rarely improve things. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:21, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I get the impression that they're typically filed because other dispute resolution mechanisms can't be put into place until the RFCU has been tried. Process for process' sake: WP:BURO anyone? Meanwhile, most RFCUs seem to be either a pile of tendentious people piling onto an innocent editor, or a huge group of people rightfully making objections about someone who ought to be sanctioned somewhere else without waiting for the RFCU. Neither one is a good idea: leave the innocents alone, and don't make proper sanctions wait. Nyttend (talk) 01:23, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - For every RfC/U that has ever worked, there are a small handful that either achieved nothing, or made things worse. Whilst I disagree that ANI or ArbCom are necessarily any better - ANI is a cesspit at the best of times, and ArbCom is so broken that it's beyond a joke, after all - the simple fact of the matter is that RfC/U does nothing other than give trolls a great big target in most cases. It cannot provide any binding sanctions, it cannot provide any binding remedies, and I seriously doubt most people know how to actually use it properly in the first place; at least, anyone who hasn't been dragged there before, or anyone who hasn't filed a case there. An entirely new method is needed; something that avoids most of the flaws of both ANI/ArbCom and RfC/U. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 00:12, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • support I have in the last 5 years seen only one or two cases where it has resulted in anything, and those could have been settled informally. It's just another bureaucratic step, and we at WP are much better at devising bureaucratic procedures than in making rationalism. Yes, it will throw an addition burden on arb com, which perhaps should resume its former role of deciding quickly on relatively minor matters. I think it would also call for an major improvement in AN/I, and I'm going to make a suggestion about that in the section below. But the first step is getting rid of it; it accomplishes so little that having nothing would be an improvement. DGG ( talk ) 09:16, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. And please make AN/I removal/reform next. (Who made up these disgusting venues?! How much intelligent thought went into their designs before implementation?! [This is what Man had to show for itself in the 21st century!? How embarrassing.]) Happy to see this going WP:SNOW. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 19:34, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Not much to add to the above, I see a lot of names above I trust to know what they're talking about, and I've always had reservations. - Dank (push to talk) 04:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I didn't have a pleasurable experience in my own Rfc/U (who ever does?), yet until we come up with a replacement, we should keep the Rfc/U. GoodDay (talk) 06:15, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolishing – I see no practical use for this process anymore. The informal aspects can be talk page discussions, which can be structured or unstructured according to need. The formal aspects should be going to the Arbitration Committee anyway. I support abolishing processes that needlessly duplicate functions and make Wikipedia harder to use. Harej (talk) 06:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - All the arguments have been expressed already. The RfC/U process is both ineffectual and subject to abuse. I would not object to another process replacing it if it had the appropriate safeguards. BMK (talk) 07:53, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: Oh hell yes. I've participated in a number of conduct-related RfCs, and without exception they've been toothless delaying actions, putting back for as many as several months the point where decisive action is taken against serial offenders. I have never once seen a RfC that resulted in an offender saying "I've been so terribly wrong, and will mend my ways from now on." Far more often, they're a vehicle for admins and the community to chorus, "Well, we can't do anything against this prolific editor merely because he's committed civility and NPA violations that'd get fifty newbies banned -- you haven't gone through an RfC yet!" It's an absurd waste of all our time. Ravenswing 07:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolition: it's an obsolete and exceptionally nasty process that brings no benefit to anyone, instead acting as an ideal place for witch-hunting. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - RFC/U is too bureaucratic and tries to be a mini Arbcom but with out the power. I've participated in a couple and although they achieved the desired result (after being referred back to ANI) I felt they were exceptionally tedious and an unnecessary step in addressing issues of user behaviour. (More in the discussion section below). --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:17, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It is too bad that this process is generally misused, but that is the way of it. It requires massive restraint and good-faith, generally among parties that are inclined not to. I think I would leave it for the possible times it can work, but its mere existence has been misused too many times, so that 'take it to RfCU' has become an increasingly poor failure to address issues. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment many comments here suggest that AN/I is adequate alternative, but see "ANI process ... no longer think it fit for purpose. AN/I just does not usually work for high profile editors. The AN/I process lacks natural justice as there is no clear divide between prosecutor, defence, jury, judge and executioner, which means that sections can become kangaroo courts. In other cases because the process is unstructured, it just becomes a rehash of a content dispute in another forum. If RFC/U is to go and there good reasons for it to do so as it too mixes up prosecutor, defence, jury, judge and executioner, then an alternative needs to be considered as AN and AN/I are in most case not a suitable alternatives. -- PBS (talk) 12:27, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    I agree that AN/I is prone to thoughtless mob justice. It's okay for a simple "incident" that can be looked at in 30 seconds. For deeper matters, it's not deliberative. I think that the best place to discuss an editor is their own talk page. We can use some sort of flag, such as {{RFC}} to invite outside comments. If the user doesn't want to talk, then an admin can be summoned to apply a block if problematic behavior continues, the matter can be brought to arbitration. WP:ANI isn't for dispute resolution; it's for requesting administrative action when clearly needed. Jehochman Talk 12:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't like references to legal terminology, here. Such terminology strikes me as highly inappropriate. "AN/I does not work for high profile editors", PBS says. Nor do RfC/Us, nor would any other process that does not involve the Arbitration Committee. The only process that is capable of resolving intractable disputes of the kind that are not suited to the AN/I mob is ArbCom, because it is theoretically protected from the mob by elections. Whether that works out in practice is another sorry, and we shall have to see how, for example, the GGTF case turns out. Regardless, no proposed "replacement" would solve the problems you mention. The best thing to do is lower the threshold for ArbCom, and removing RfC/Us is one of the ways we can do that. RGloucester 13:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict):::AN/I has become all these things because we've allowed it to become the playground for meta wanabees and the peanut gallery, and that's why so few admins want to work there. Those who are sufficiently thick skinned have to run the gauntlet of the anti-adminship brigade who arrive there to defend anyone who has quite rightly been accused of inappropriate editing or behaviour. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:42, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Support, regrettably. RfC/U has not been a useable process for years. Unless and until there are rules of procedure, etc., along with a clear way of using the results, it's no different than an AN/ANI subpage. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 14:11, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Snowball Support: If it works, its most 'useful' aspect is as a bludgeoning tool. We're at a ratio of 9-1 to close, and this RfC's been open for coming up on two weeks. There's little doubt about the outcome of this. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:16, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. It's a toothless tiger, just like Wikiquette assistance that is also abolished. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:53, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Reluctant support. I like the idea of RfC/U. I have seen discussions hop straight from ANI to ArbCom (although I generally avoid reading the proceedings either much these days, having more important and enjoyable things to do with my life than watch Wikipedians bicker). The hopeful part of me wishes that with just a little bit more process—a little bit more weighing in from the community, a bit more reasoned discussion—some of the more tiresome disputes would sort themselves out, and that perhaps RfC/U would be part of that process. But the realist in me realises that this is a hope that shall not be fulfilled. RfC/U has failed as a process. The times I've seen it in action, it has ended up being a month where everyone airs their grievances and digs in their heels on whatever the drama of the moment currently is. At the end of it, everyone is more bitter, more partisan and more jaded than they were when they started—and the case usually still ends up going to ArbCom, where they spend another month (if you are lucky; if you aren't, a number of months) arguing about it. The toxic and bitter politicking of all these dispute processes keep most well-adjusted people far, far away to avoid breathing in the stench. The sad thing is I am so jaded with watching all of these processes fail, I can't think of any way to improve them anymore. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - as the target of a failed one of these [1], a month later I'm still waiting for it to be deleted. --SCalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 00:22, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this. Social discourse will have to replace bureaucratic process; people should discuss their reasons for change, draw consensus or compromise, then move on. Ray Wyman Jr (talk) 01:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Oppose - after speaking to other editors and reading more about the process, I've changed my position. I have never had to use this process nor have I been the subject of one, but I think that it is better than nothing. I have yet to see a clear description or proposal about an alternative for conflict resolution. RFC/U may be a broken process for conflict resolution, but it seems to offer a forum where conflicts are made public and communal pressure is brought to bear. As Coemgenus (talk · contribs) points out below, perhaps change is growth and maybe that's all you need. --RWyman 01:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've only ever participated in one RFC/U and, while it seemed not to work at the time, the subject of it became a better, more cooperative editor in the years since. I don't know that RFC/U was solely responsible for that metamorphosis, but maybe seeing so many complaints against him from so many corners of the encyclopedia helped to make him realize that his behavior needed to change. In short, it sometimes works and still has some value in my opinion. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:29, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, strongly. RFC/U is one remaining possible vehicle for editors who are concerned about Wikipedia's bullying and incivility to make a difference. It's possible that concerned editors could use RFC/U's systematically to document individual small matters of bullying going on, with formal consensus decision by the community that person X has indeed behaved badly. Such small but formal RFC/U actions are a way that records could be built up that establish a pattern of bullying and deeply incivil behavior, and cited in larger later actions such as arbitration. As it stands now, a typical victim of bullying can do nothing, nor can bystanders. Launching and "winning" a full arbcom case is huge and effectively impossible to complete, in terms of addressing any bullying. ANI and 3rr are not concerned with fairness, they do not determine fault. Launching an ANI or 3RR incident will not ever address bullying, nor will they establish even that one incident was an example of bullying. ANI and 3rr incidents are typically closed by administrators explicitly without attempting to determine fault, but rather to end disruption and close as soon as possible. Thus ANI and 3RR incidents effectively cannot be cited usefully in arbitration or anywhere. Arbitration is not feasible for bullying victims or concerned others to use in addressing bullying/incivility. Arbitration cases are too comprehensive and mixed and the arbitrators are looking to implement the community consensus and/or to end immediate disruption, and not to determine fairness, either. Arbitrators can just say that a bullying editor has other good qualities, like that they have contributed writing or whatever, and come to no judgement or action on bullying, like is done at ANI discussions. Arbitrators follow, do not lead, the community. What is needed is smaller, clear, finite judgements by the community. An RFC/U action can determine that in some article or Talk space that action A and action B were examples of unnecessary bullying by editor E. Editor E then would stand warned. If/when similar judgments pile up, the community can take further action. Victims of E can cite the judgements in arbitrations, etc, where the arbitrators could not simply dismiss it as complicated/mixed like they dismiss ANI discussions.
There is no new dispute resolution process on the horizon to address bullying, at all, and there are no real other prospects of the community taking on bullying, in the necessarily detailed way that is needed. It is nonsense to think that arbitrators will pick up slack and address what the community needs to do. I've been intending to propose at suitable venues that the existing process, RFC/U, be used by concerned editors in this way. Getting rid of RFC/U would play perfectly for entrenched administrators and other Wikipedia insiders who can never be touched. Eliminating RFC/U, the one remaining process that can at all be concerned with fairness, would be a mistake. I actually can't believe that this is being considered, much less achieving a lot of support. --doncram 01:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Please provide an example of one RfC/U in the past year that has provided some kind of good result, and which hasn't merely fanned flames or been an inquisition. RGloucester 02:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
(With some repetition to my comment further below, against Snow closing this):
  • It would pretty horrible to end the one remaining method that the community can possibly use to determine fault / fairness, given failings in ANI, 3RR, arbitration in dealing with bullying and deep incivility. I think it would be rash and a big mistake to drop RFC/U. I myself don't have fond memories of any RFC/Us, but it is fair to say that the fault was in the unskilled implementation, I think. When a group of concerned editors want to work positively to label bad behavior as bad behavior, RFC/U, done right, is a possibility. There is no other possibility as I see it. I expect that many/most RFC/U's to date have been of the vindictive, bullying, throw-everything-negative-you-can type of "dispute resolution" processes, with hurt being extended, with bullying persons running rampant. In my opinion, the persons running the RFC/Us usually make a mistake in trying to include too much. But ANIs and 3RRs are rushed, and arbcom cases have their role but are corrupted from being "fair" by the arbitrary power given, and I have no hope those processes will really change anything. And, I do happen to have some hope, that some creative good people in Wikipedia who are concerned about deep incivility and bullying can get together and use the existing RFC/U process in a deliberately, limited way that is ultimately more constructive. I have no hope whatsoever that good people in Wikipedia can get some brand new process created, or change RFA, or change arbcom, or change the rules of RFC/U, or anything else major. By deliberately starting small with narrowly defined RFC/Us that within the existing rules of RFC/U and are "toothless", but in which a community judgment can be made, I think some progress can begin to be made. For example, a group of 10 or 20 editors, perhaps at something like the Editor Retention wikiproject could compile a current list of seemingly obvious injustices done against newbies, and commit to running a set of a dozen or so fair, limited RFC/Us, where the facts are properly considered, and come out with a dozen well-reasoned accurate consensus judgments on what actually happened. In each case the judgment would be on whether some experienced administrator or other experienced editor was indeed deliberately and unnecessarily bullying, in the common English sense of the word, or whether there were some extenuating circumstances that explain it otherwise. E.g. perhaps the apparent victim is not so innocent. It would really help the newbie victim-type, to have there be a real and fair judgment of the facts, either way it turns out. And it would really help me and a lot of other experienced editors too, I think, to see bad behavior called bad behavior, when it turns out that is what it clearly is. Frankly I would deliberately mix up the starter dozen RFC/Us, to include a variety of editors' apparent unfair moments, and I would seek to get the good 10 or 20 to commit to reading and judging all dozen of the RFC/Us fully, towards reducing anyone's ability to say the RFC/U was biased by only having involved editors judging.
  • I've been thinking about this for a while. I am not happy to be on the spot suggesting use of this approach right now, amidst a move to chuck it all. But it is unacceptable to completely give up on there ever being any process that gets after what is a fair judgment. Arbcom is not it. ANI is not it. This is it, or can be, I think. Don't pre-judge what a group of good people actually concerned about fairness, above all, might be able to do, just because you haven't seen it yet. It was a long time coming in U.S. history, before good people ran civil rights lawsuits with success, for one example...but at least there was a means for them to run them. --doncram 09:48, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
This is a nonsensical answer. I don't even know what "fairness" is, and I'm fairly certain the RfC/Us are not an avenue to fairness. They do not work, and you cannot even provide an example of them working. Rubbish gets tossed in the rubbish pile. "Bullying persons"? What "bullying persons"? This is a tough world. Wikipedia seems like the last place on Earth to be concerned about "bullying persons". In fact, it seems like your answer favours a "group of editors" holding an inquisition into an editor they dislike. "Bullying", though I prefer "badgering", if I've ever heard of it. That's all I can see here, and it is exactly why RfC/U is rubbish. "Real and fair judgement", again, what is this the "real and fair"? Nothing about RfC/Us is either "real" or "fair", and anyway, our goal here is not to be "fair", but to build an encyclopaedia. You can't even demonstrate why it is "real" and "fair". The existing avenues work. They curtail disruption. This is not a court of justice. We don't care about fault. We care about building an encyclopaedia, and ensuring that we can do so sans disruption. RGloucester 14:54, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. RGloucester, you and I have to agree to disagree. Bullying and deep incivility and injustice do matter, and for long-running situations, we certainly should care about fault, as part of addressing the problems and the feelings and future actions of the people involved. Yes, your view is common, that disruption should be curtailed...without judging on fault...without addressing the problem, really, IMO. As noted above by Jehochman, "AN/I is prone to thoughtless mob justice. It's okay for a simple "incident" that can be looked at in 30 seconds. For deeper matters, it's not deliberative." About others on this page calling for talking to a person at their Talk page, what about those persons who don't give a s*** about whether they offend new and old editors....the existing avenues of ANI and arbcom do not work. Keep RFC/U to allow community to act positively, against odds i grant, in bad situations. --doncram 18:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Your comment might make sense if you could provide evidence of RfC/Us ever working positively. In fact, you can't, which is why most people here believe it to be rubbish. It doesn't work positively, it doesn't work in any fashion at all, other than as an inquisition, which in-of-itself is the behaviour you seem to want to curtail. As I said, I'm all for AN/I reform. ArbCom needs a lower threshold, so that it can address more cases. There is a proposal on this page to break-up ArbCom into subcommittees, one of which could potentially address user conduct issues. I think this is a much better approach than maintaing a system that does not work, has not been shown to work, and has been shown to work negatively, against the goals that you are striving for. RGloucester 18:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If this is removed, many users will likely be able to silently bully more timid users into submission. This is the last thing that we need happening here. That is, unless you truly have a legitimate replacement for this that would work better, and I don't think that the current suggestion fits that description. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:56, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    Could you please explain that? (Because I see it as just the other way around. The current structure of RfC/U puts mutiple motivated users on one side of issue, a lone editor on the other. The bullying potential is just the reverse.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 03:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    I see RfC/U for how it should be working, not for how it happens to be working at the moment. If we get rid of it now, it can never be corrected to function as it should. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Hasteur and doncram. I've never used RFCU because ANI is easier, but the community needs a forum to handle long-term abuse issues. Chris Troutman (talk) 03:33, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
RfC/U is clearly not that forum, given that it doesn't actually handle anything, since it is not process that can provide results. The only body that really handles "long-term" abuse is ArbCom, and you can bet that if there is realy a problem, RfC/U would only be a bump on the road to ArbCom. Let's remove the bump, and provide a smooth path to the veritable arbitrator. RGloucester 14:59, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, it would be fine in theory, but it just does not work. --Cavarrone 07:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolishing it as it is a mostly ineffective and easily perverted process. JMP EAX (talk) 15:57, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose There are too little forums for dealing with conduct. Removing RFC/U will only make that worse. You have WP:AN, WP:ANI, WP:30 (which is useless since it has to be only between you and another user), and just in general, things don't get to be resolved on noticeboards. The quick archival rate and the almost mob rule makes it impossible to seriously get into a big discussion about a user's conduct without making it inflammatory. The non action and non teeth of RFC/U is a feature, not a downside, as it prevents users from unnecessarily inflammatory the discussion in itself. While some inflammatory is tolerated on WP:ANI and even rewarded (by derailing a proposed decision or whatever into just people hating on each other), RFC/U there is no incentive for that. As a result, it should be kept just in the way for general comments about a user's conduct. Additionally, while it's not necessary for ArbCom, it could be useful as it demonstrates that not just a few users have issues with a certain user's conduct. Its loss would be detrimental to the project imho. Tutelary (talk) 20:47, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are too little forums for dealing with conduct. Hafspajen (talk) 21:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think that RfC/U is a useful vehicle and less judgmental than an ANI thread: the idea is that an RfC/U produces some findings of fact and proposes possible solutions short of iBans or blocks or whatever, which is the kind of outcome ANI should produce. Recently I've seen some bantering about what RfC/U is for; I look at it as the proper forum to discuss a pattern of editor behavior. RfC/U should take a long approach rather than the instant result (dramah included) of an ANI thread, and is not primarily intended to produce punishment. If we abolish that idea, then it seems to me we're giving up on a less adversarial and less heated means of a conflict resolution. That RfC/Us have failed in the past is not a reason to do away with them. Oh God, it seems I'm agreeing with Tutelary--what is this world coming to? They put it quite well. Drmies (talk) 22:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. People legitimately taken to the venue don't honour the result, hell-bent as they are on self-destruction. People wrongly taken to it (too many for comfort) are ritually humiliated by enemies and become embittered. How does this help the encyclopedia? AGK [•] 23:16, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. There should be an easier means for editors to seek redress. This is too little used and too complicated. It seems its primary purpose is to dismiss complaints because one wasn't filed or was filed improperly. And if you successfully complete one, there is no guarantee anything will result from the effort. Gamaliel (talk) 00:23, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - good arguments from proposer. Process is obsolete, overly complex, ineffective and divisive. Gandalf61 (talk) 08:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    • That sounds more like an argument for reform than an argument for abolition. Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 08:53, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - essentially as per AGK and Gamaliel. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:55, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Largely for the reasons given by DGG, Chiswick and Kudpung. However I can see the argument of Drmies and Hafs, and if there was some reform to the ANI process and RFC/U made more efficient I can see that it might create less drama.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Unconditional support RFC/U, if it ever worked, doesn't work with the community we have today (that's not a slur on the community, I don't think it was ever a very well thought out process). There's no need to have a fundamentally adversarial process where the required outcome is advisory. Presuming that an RfC isn't dominated by factional disputes (as is often the case where user comment is most needed), the outcome is an admonition written by your enemies that you're supposed to take onboard as though it is friendly advice. It doesn't work. Add in all the bureaucracy to get one going and the phrase "The RFC/U for so and so is a red link" becomes a cruel joke. It's the only process we have to deal with long term user problems and it's so bad we normally just circumvent it whenever someone commits a venial sin that can be used to start an AN/I discussion. Get rid of it. Protonk (talk) 17:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Half-hearted support There are no good options. In its current state, RFCU is useless, possibly worse than useless. But it's easier to destroy than create, especially in the near anarchy of WP: I fear if we destroy it first, a "no consensus for anything" paralysis will mean we won't replace it with anything, which would also be worse than useless. Doing it on ANI instead is useless, possibly worse than useless, too - that cesspit is no improvment; things are more likely to get done, but the odds of them being the wrong things will be pretty high. I'd much rather reform RFC/U and make it useful, rather than nuke it and try to start fresh. But that, too, is nearly impossible in the current environment, so opposing nuking RFC/U and instead supporting reforming it comes off as unintentionally obstructionist; helping increase the inertia when that inertia is what annoys me the most. While I have a bad feeling that this is mostly due to despair, I guess nuking it in the long shot hope that we come up with something better in spite of ourselves is the least bad. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:14, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are too little forums for dealing with conduct. -- Weapon X (talk, contribs) Germany 18:48, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Even if that is true, how does that justify maintaing a process that presently does not serve as a forum for dealing with user conduct? It does not deal with anything, since it doesn't work. There is no reason to keep a rubbish process if it does not work. Perhaps other new processes are needed, but these should not have anything to do with this flawed concept. The wound is present, and it is infected. We must cut off the dead processes, cauterise the wound, and prepare to build a new processes. Allowing an infection to fester only leads to death. RGloucester 19:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose First, multiple editors here are assuming that certain other DR venues will agree to act as a replacement, but nobody asked those venues if they are willing to do so. Second, RFC/U is purely voluntary. If you don't like it, simply don't participate rather than forcing everyone else to not participate as well. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't find it voluntary when RFC/Us were run about me. They were attempts by editors whose POV pushing I was getting in the way of to get rid of me. They were full of lies and bullshit. I had no recourse. If you offer to police the bullshit in every future RFC/U, immediately blocking any editor who lies, I might change my mind. HiLo48 (talk) 01:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The fact of the matter is that it was voluntary, you had every right to not respond, and, as all the comments here calling RFC/Us "toothless" show, there are no negative consequences to not participating.
You do, however, identify a larger problem, which is that you, like many people, feel compelled to respond to what you see as "full of lies and bullshit" about you. (I have not looked at your particular case and am not taking sides). There are plenty of venues on Wikipedia where one can either tell lies about someone or make a legitimate complaint, depending on what side of the complaint you are on. Do we close them all down so nobody can complain about user behavior? No. That's like tearing up all the roads to stop bank robberies.
If you feel that RFC/U or any other Wikipedia venue has been used illegitimately against you, file a complaint at WP:ANI. If indeed there are "attempts by editors whose POV pushing you are getting in the way of to get rid of you" the admins will take action and put a stop to the disruptive behavior. And if it turns out that you are the problem, WP:BOOMERANG will kick in. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:41, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Other. Yes, I know all about standing in the middle of the road and getting squashed, so please be kind. Like some others, I neither support nor oppose wiping out RFC/U. It looks as if most contributors want to do away with it, and yet I've read some opposition arguments that are compelling. There are two choices:
  1. get rid of RFC/U, or
  2. keep it and fix it.
The first choice looks like "the easy way out", and that is seldom the right choice. The second choice would be harder and would probably require the skills of a committee of volunteers who may look all this over and carry out the necessary steps to fix this process. As I am neutral, I must remain an observer and hope for the best. Joys to all! – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 11:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support There was once a time when RFC/U, like ANI, would get results and people would be able to get back to editing content. However, the process is lengthy and cumbersome, which isn't really geared up to people wanting a quick solution to a grievance. Moreover, putting an RFC/U in a public place sends out (or at least can do) a huge "I don't like you" signal to the recipient, which makes collaboration with said editor difficult. And since user disputes seem to invite an open season from the peanut gallery, any suitable remedy just gets drowned in the noise. I have participated in a few RFC/Us, but the last one I looked at, Dan56's, just didn't seem to be going anywhere and I'm not sure anything was actually done about it. There are other, informal ways of getting a better result than RFC/U, such asking an admin you trust for a third opinion, or walking away and editing some other article. Genuine long term disruptive irritants can be dealt with at ANI, or failing that, Arbcom. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 17:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. It seems to me that one of the reasons why there is a perception that it is difficult to take a problem to ArbCom is that requests for arbitration are often met with demands for RfC/U first ("it's a red link", etc.). I'd rather remove that roadblock. Although I appreciate the comments above about RfC/U providing a record of discussion of conduct, I think that the process suffers from an inability to establish a consensus: it's more like two "sides" posting opposing "views". In thinking about where else in the dispute resolution process the function of RfC/U will move, I suspect that it will entirely be ArbCom, and I'm OK with that (especially if ArbCom unloads its non-arbitration functions). --Tryptofish (talk) 22:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I think starting with DRN (and posting {{tlx|rfc}}), then AN/I if the first doesn't work before presenting before ArbCom are sufficient, given that ArbCom drops RfC/U from its requirements. There are other tools to use to obtain a neutral input on the subject, removing the concern for abuse perceived with RfC/U. I was going to comment that we need to abolish RfC/U while introducing a replacement, but it seems (reading through guidelines on dispute resolution) that other routes are already available. --Abderrahman (talk) 13:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support closing the forum I support granting the advertised benefits that this forum promises, but this forum does not actually deliver these benefits. I share the concern that some others have that there are no dedicated forums for resolving a certain kind of user conflict. I do not know what the solution is to all user behavior problems, but to address the extreme and serious cases, I have been floating the idea of having a paid staffperson funded to address the most troublesome cases which otherwise are not addressed at all. See meta:Grants:IdeaLab/Fund a community human resources staffperson for the proposal. I have no idea who would want to manage a position like this. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:08, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support absolutely. I've seen exactly two of these abominations, and while one eventually led to a (pair of?) Arbcom cases, both had a distinctly rotten flavor. The basic premise of this procedure seems to be "Here, TargetUser, what we're gonna do now is sit you down and tell you every reason why you suck; advertise this little session here so that every drama addict in town who's ever had a beef with you can come in here and participate; and we're not going to turn them away even if their only concrete grievance is that you stole a cookie from them in the third grade. Oh, and despite not actually resolving any disputes, this is part of the Official Dispute Resolution Process, so as long as we don't actually get abusive per se, any complaint you have about this is moot at best (and may actually be held against you if it strikes too close to home). Non-participation will be treated as a sign of guilt." If Kafka had remained alive through the hippie generation, he would have put something like an RfC/U in The Trial. Scrap it and good riddance. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 18:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I support any attempt to strip away layers of Wikipedia's bureaucratic nonsense, including this one. LHMask me a question 19:37, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The process does not work. No need to keep it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:03, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. When a problem user just needs an attitude adjustment, this process doesn't accomplish anything that can't be accomplished on talk pages or with a few blocks. When there's no solution except to remove the user from the project, this process actively stands in the way. It's a nice idea, but it's not working. Lagrange613 21:50, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah-ha! Gotcha! See, this is what I was talking about earlier. This logic of "There's no solution except to remove the user from the project" can easily be abusedly utilised in situations where it's not correct. Removing things like RFC/U that would allow more room for reckoning before one comes to such a serious conclusion may lead to more "hate blocks" and "opinion silencing blocks". Sure, we could, in such situations, simply have the administrator questioned in their reasoning and (in scenarios where they had been abusing their powers) relieved of their duties, but why not just nip things in the bud here? Remember, people aren't haphazardly blocked or banned for the sake of being blocked or banned. We block and ban only to protect the project; that's all. Furthermore, whether or not it's currently as functional as it could be, this process can certainly work to help make sure that we don't have to resort to the harshest punishment when it isn't actually necessary. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:59, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
But I don't think it is abused. Admin actions are transparent and easily reversed by other admins when they go too far. The specter of "hate blocks" and "opinion silencing blocks" is just that—a specter. (And in any case RFC/U is hardly the last defense against our descent into such a regime.) For some users only administrator intervention including blocks suffices to demonstrate the boundaries of acceptable behavior. That's just an empirical fact. For others that just need a talking-to, there's nothing about RFC/U that's better than engagement on user talk. On the contrary, getting dragged into this toothless, drama-promoting, bureaucratic process can make matters worse. Lagrange613 22:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, I would feel differently if I thought Wikipedia extended too little good faith to people who come here in bad faith. If anything it's the opposite. We reward people who come here seeking drama by stirring up more drama around their behavior instead of showing them the door. That's how you protect the project. Lagrange613 23:38, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Since not a single claimant came forward to inform that RfC/U worked, then why keep junk on board. If it doesn't work, please, remove it as fast as possible. All the reservation and discussion about replacing it with something or keeping it there as a hypothetical step between talk pages and ArbCom is pretty unnecessary. It doesn't work as the step before ArbCom because it doesn't work at all, and there is no meaning in replacing something that doesn't work. Aditya(talkcontribs) 15:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I have heard of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it", but I have never heard of "if it is broken, don't fix it".
What sort of logic is that? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 16:05, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
This seems like a sort of density, on your part. Sometimes, things are broken beyond repair. Some things are defective the moment they are taken off the assembly line. Therefore, we put them in the rubbish bin. RGloucester 16:18, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
...And then go back to the drawing board to come up with a replacement. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 17:15, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Not if the concept is flawed, no. It is so flawed that it cannot work in any form. There is no need for a replacement, and in fact, many people here have expressed a disdain for the bureaucracy of such processes, and want RfC/U removed for that reason: to curtail bureaucracy. This type of process has added nothing to dispute resolution, and it never can do. RGloucester 18:01, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
If that is indeed the case (I withhold my judgment anent that, but my current vote still stands for now) then WP:DRN, WP:3O, WP:NPOVN and WP:MEDCOM need to be expanded and deepened in functionality and usefulness. WP:AIN cannot be made the only real area for this type of thing.
I guess the best way of saying what I mean is this: there needs to be something in between WP:DRN~WP:MEDCOM and WP:AIN. Otherwise, one is encouraging things like this to happen (these comparisons are non-literal, so please don't say things like "WP:AIN is not a court of law". I'm well aware of this. Please just gruntle me for the sake of argument):
So-and-so and Such-and-such are in an argument. They can't resolve it amongst themselves, and their friends haven't been able to succeed in helping resolve it either. As such, they take it to the State Supreme Court.
Now, essentially encouraging things like that to happen is no good. We need something else to come before WP:AIN so that we can be (more-or-less) certain that nothing else could have been done about a situation.
Whether you feel that you agree with that or not, I ask you to just honestly consider it in your mind for a moment. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:10, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I have considered it, and I consider it wrong-headed. The fewer processes we have, the better. Swiftness is key, and layers of endless processes only deter swiftness. As it stands, it takes ages to get to ArbCom, which is the only forum that can properly resolve a dispute and evaluate user conduct. We need to make ArbCom more accessible, and one of the ways to do that is to remove layers. As I've said, I'm open to reform of AN/I or to the potential creation of ArbCom subcommittee for user conduct issues. However, those are separate matters. The only important thing in this discussion is that RfC/U is a junk process, always has been a junk process, and only gets in the way of dispute resolution. No one has provided any evidence to contrary, which is quite telling. For those reasons, it must be eliminated. RGloucester 19:18, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Swiftness is the key? What if honest-to-goodness users are "decommissioned" due to this swiftness? Do you truly believe that that is all right (pardon me if I am misunderstanding you)? Not everything is black and white.
If a man has a house infected with pests, and then runs in John Rambo-style spraying bug spray and accidentally offs his dog with it, would that also be acceptable?
As Biblioworm said in the proposal below this one, WP:AIN isn't suitable for those who wish for civil, moderated dispute resolutions (though I disagree with Biblioworm as to the reason behind why that is the case) whilst WP:ArbCom is designed to be used only for grave matters, and since most disputes are not as severe as that, they don't justify a case there.
My point is, we had ought to have dispute resolutions have the lowest chance of offing good, actually helpful users as possible. I disagree with the idea that swiftness is the key. Rather, I propose that justice is the key. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:59, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
There is no justice here. We're here to build an encyclopaedia. "Honest-to-goodness" users that cause disruption should be blocked until they can demonstrate that they will not cause disruption to our purpose, which is to build an encyclopaedia. Swiftness is key to prevent disruption of editorial processes. "ArbCom" is not only for "grave matters". It is for matters that could not be solved at AN/I, &c. If a matter cannot be solved otherwise, it should go to ArbCom. ArbCom is the only place where strict rules contain any potential frivolity. It is also run by vetted arbitrators who have the trust of the community. One of the main problems that you're having is that you're conflating dispute resolution with user conduct issues. In cases of dispute resolution, DRN and MEDCOM are appropriate. In cases of user misconduct, there is not a "dispute", so much as there is a case of a one or multiple users acting poorly. Of course, if others have vendettas against such an editor or group of editors, they can use it to toss them out the window. RfC/U has served as a forum for these vendettas. The only proper way for user conduct to be dealt with is by an uninvolved committee with strict procedural rules. That's ArbCom. RGloucester
You said "AN/I, &c", but there really won't be any other place to resolve these issues if we go your route. Many users will haphazardly rush to WP:AIN whenever even the tiniest issue arises, rather than talk to the individual in question and try to see what is up.
I agree that if a matter could not be solved through other methods, it should go to WP:ArbCom. However, if the only thing that, if we go your route, really comes before WP:ArbCom is WP:AIN, it leaves plenty of room for mistakes, and the losses of legitimate, helpful editors.
The other thing is that a lot of cases might not even reach WP:ArbCom. Some shenanigans might go on during their review at WP:AIN, and they might have run into an administrator that was having a bad day. God bless all of the administrators here for doing what they do, but it's no question that everyone has a bad day sometimes and/or might make the wrong decision in a particular instance. As such, we need more than two places where users' behaviours can be assessed. That is, unless you wish to make "levels" of WP:ArbCom? If you wished to do that, we would probably want something that functioned like WP:MedCom for the lowest level, and more or less the current WP:ArbCom at the highest level. That could work, perhaps. But I have yet to see anyone suggest something like that.
Also, keep in mind, I never said that WP:RfC/U was adequate as it is. Far from it. I said that it needs either an overhaul or a complete replacement (that may or may not function similarly to how it does). Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 01:25, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolition The intrinsic nature of the process rewarded vote-stacking, canvassing and worse. Too often, sock masters, and people with few edits were dominating the process, making it not only unfair, but an actual disgrace as a process. Cliques would !vote en masse in order to make an apparent "consensus" which never actually existed. Collect (talk) 01:37, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - the set-up of this is completely wrong, it is actually one of the few good things about ArbCom: there a set of independent editors determines whether there is a cause for a case, not a few who are unlikely to be independent. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:32, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support with reservations Caveat: I have no direct experience with RFC/U so I am operating on what I have been able to discern from the long list of !votes and comments along with a rather abbreviated look at some of the archives. That said, the process seems ineffective to whatever its alleged purpose was. I do think there should be some forum or venue for the proverbial "come to Jesus" discussion with long term problem editors short of Arbcom. But I concur with most of the preceding comments, this does not appear to be working. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:41, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The process serves to magnify the underlying group dynamics surrounding some disputes an define the divisions, but it is probably not the most productive way for editors to address conduct issues. --Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 12:09, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I see so few forums on Wikipedia like this. Though it has problems, it serves a function and I do not know what would take its place at present. Juno (talk) 17:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support There are plenty of reasons given above. Pick two. AtsmeConsult 01:19, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support RFCU is toothless and time consuming.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 03:16, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Unlike content RfC, this only looks like a good idea. But it did not work in a few cases I am familiar with. These discussions only fueled tensions, wasted a lot of time, and finally resulted in a few people being expelled, but only with a much greater drama. My very best wishes ([[User talk:My very bes
  • do away with RFC/U it spectacularly fails at what it claims it's intended purpose is. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 05:25, 26 November 2014 (UTC)t wishes|talk]]) 05:23, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support abolishing RFC/U I've done some work in dispute resolution, and I've never seen an RFC/U lead to anything productive really. They are poorly participated in other than by involved parties, and not much more useful than a WP:3O at best, assuming that someone neutral even bothers to comment or close it. At worst they just serve to increase tensions and resolve nothing. Gigs (talk) 18:10, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I did not even know about this forum until the RFC appeared on my watchlist. If I ever have any issues that fall under the scope of the RFC/U process, I've always used WP:ANI. Steel1943 (talk) 20:42, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish – ANI without teeth. The Transhumanist 22:34, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish never been there yet but looked closely at it an saw nothing but a big hill to climb with no chance of effective results. ANi is no better, just lower barriers. People can say ANYTHING in ANi with no consequences, and one can provide reasoned detailed defense but no one cares. We need a simple program of dealing with POV nutbars. Each party states their case in under 300 words, one chance to rebut, and one chance to comment on the rebuttal only. Then three Admins make a decision. If you are caught lying, fabricating or making unjustified serious accusations an automatic IBAN in imposed, blocks for more serious cases. The current system gives wikihounds and abusers a fun game to play with no consequences for spreading bovine feces around everyone. Legacypac (talk) 00:11, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish. Has not worked for me. In one case (Venezuela), when I tried to enter WP:RS information about the then-regime, I was opposed. I requested an Rfc. A "lurker", who only supported the then-current cabal of editors would enter his "objective" opinion, supporting the cabal. His only job was to answer Rfcs. He never edited. This was insidious, I felt. In other cases, the responder was so disinterested and/or inexperienced, that they really didn't know what they were talking about, which I found frustrating. With less-watched articles, this was a great idea in its time. It is now time to supplant it with something less formal, unfortunately. Student7 (talk) 01:48, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Abolish After wasting time on discussion here, the discussion ends with no consensus. Did NOT work for me. Used ANI thereafter. Redtigerxyz Talk 05:53, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I was initially going to vote "neutral", as there's really nowhere else to discuss the issues that would normally be brought here. Then I realized that I've had pretty good success with talking to people on their talk page. I dunno. It'd be nice if an alternative had been proposed to take the place of RFC/U, but it's not a big deal. We've still got other forms of dispute resolution, and ANI is a half decent fallback. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 01:33, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support doing away. I have been tempted to use this forum several times and aborted because, to my dismay, found that even when its stringent certification requirements are met, it has no power to do anything substantial. Instead, I used ANI and the result was immensely satisfactory. The problem is that a misbehaving user who has thrice refused to accept any resolution or compromise on the same matter will never yield to a non-binding procedure such as RFC/U. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 04:31, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per the many reasons articulated above. Neotarf referenced the Apteva affair, which is as strong an indictment of this process as anything. That RFC/U was a sorry debacle, and I deeply regret participating in it. At the end of the day, RfC/U is too complex and too unregulated to be effective in the least. A regulated, disciplined forum (perhaps a subsidiary of Arbcom? who knows?) could be useful in solving disputes prior to going to Arbcom , but something like the current setup is useless. I know comparisons to real-world dispute resolution aren't always appreciated, but what if any average Joe could, after going through some nutty rigmarole to open up a case, haul his foes into an empty courtroom and invite the general public to come arbitrate their dispute, no judge or counsel involved? That's what happens when RfC/U is utilized. —Theodore! (talk) (contribs) 01:53, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. RfC/U is broken; giving it second chances just ensures that more user problems fester and embitter even more editors. Problematic editors taken to RfC/U can bluster, and canvas supporters, and post tangential screeds, and after a week the case is closed and they go back to their problematic editing. I hope that RfC/U is replaced by something effective. Something which has teeth. bobrayner (talk) 18:16, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak support Robert raises valid points. He fails to propose a replacement, which is needed, but judging from the discussion RfC/U seems to yet another expendable drama forum. Coretheapple (talk) 20:35, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I have never seen RfC/U being used to good effect. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of situations where RfC/U (or rather, the fact than RfC/U had not been filed regarding this or that user) has been used as an excuse for avoiding and evading responsibility and for stonewalling proposals for meaningful measures (such as topic bans) at AN, ANI and ArbCom. Nsk92 (talk) 21:07, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  •  ? I don't know what RfC/U means and I have no idea how to find out. Could people please define abbreviations when they first use them?Kdammers (talk) 06:04, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh, now I see: Request for Comments on User Conduct is what RfC/U stands for: It WAS used in the first comment, but I didn't see a tie.Kdammers (talk) 06:15, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - do away with w/o waiting, delaying or requiring the creation of a "replacement" for this inquisitorial process, which often seems to favor groups of editors ganging-up on individuals (including admins) they dislike. And the claim made above that RfC/U is "better than nothing" is logically fallacious if, as it seems, the process does more harm to the Community than good when employed. Azx2 09:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Methinks thou dost protest too much. I ask that one holds fast for either a replacement, revamping, or retention and stay calm. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:19, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Discussion (RfC/U)

  • Question. Partially reflecting Newyorkbrad's question I'd like to know what the replacement device for serious requests for input on admins would be, short of a onerous filing at ArbCom. Is there a replacement? GraniteSand (talk) 09:21, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Obviously not, but I can't think of a single Arb case on an admin that had a reasonable RFC/U first. It doesn't really change anything, except forcing Arb to have a lower threshold, which many are willing to do. Most singular admin issues are currently handled at WP:AN now, and we actually handle those fairly well: Block reviews and the like. We have other venues to review single events as well, such as WP:DRV, etc. RFC/U was for long term behavior problems/patterns, which is a miserable failure for admin and non-admin alike. Dennis - 10:03, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
      • My question was more about the presentation of systemic issues with an admin but I'll concede that cases with traction didn't really end up at RfC/U. Still, with the way things are laid out, I'd say they should. I do take issue with your assertion as to the effectiveness of AP:AN. I have, for example, been waiting almost three weeks for admin input on a request for a block review at WP:AN. How does getting rid of this medium help people who can't meaningfully engage with admins on issues of other admins? GraniteSand (talk) 10:15, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
        • As that isn't related to this discussion, I will answer on your talk page. Dennis - 10:19, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
          • I'm unsure what it is you're going to answer on my talk page. My basic question here was, if we eliminate RFC/U are we replacing it with anything? If so, what? If not, then how does that affect editors ability to ask for comment, especially with admins? GraniteSand (talk) 10:28, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
            • I thought I had explained it, but we replace it with nothing. It doesn't work anyway, so nothing of value is lost. We deal with admin as we do now, using WP:AN, WP:DRV, etc. and then with RFC/U gone, Arb is quicker to take admin cases. So how do we handle it? Most likely poorly just as we do now, but with less bureaucracy, and less frustration as RFC/U gives the promise of a solution, but no possible chance of it. Dennis - 11:13, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
                • No replacement required. WP:AN is better at attracting uninvolved editors, and isn't arranged in a confrontational way. Sure, there is drama at AN and AN/I, but at least the very structure of AN or AN/I don't lend themselves to that drama. I also support the lower threshold for ArbCom that would be established by eliminating RfC/Us. The best thing we can do is eliminate the bureaucratic processes we have that cause disputes to be stretched out over months. RGloucester 16:37, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
                • I did muse on what we should replace it with...but really it makes arbitration one step closer after discussion elsewhere, which is a good thing for admin tool use and some other issues as well. We need less bureaucracy and fewer venues to deal with all these sorts of issues. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:47, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Regarding administrator misconduct, there is a current proposal, WP:Administrative Standards Commission, that could someday be given the right to review administrator conduct and revoke administrator rights. If approved, the commission wouldn't have this ability at first, but it could be added to their duties later. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 15:57, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • discussion was prematurely closed at this point. I restarted it. Jehochman Talk 06:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Post-Discussion Comment: I only just now saw this discussion, so I thought I would say... I do agree that the chance of this changing is at most negligible, but I have always supported the idea of waiting one week. Would that be too much of a problem? This can really go for most any discussion which may affect any sort of community process, and I think that other editors should at least have a bit of time to see the discussion and maybe come up with superior alternatives (that are not already available) or similar suggestions. While I severely doubt that the consensus to abolish RFA/U will change, I do think it would be nice to allow other users the opportunity to possibly discuss what kind of changes to follow with, or otherwise. I mean more than just what I have said, but I think that is all I will say, at least for now. Dustin (talk) 04:08, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Friends, the number of editors participating on this lightly watched page is not sufficient to establish such a consensus. Please advertise this discussion on the notice boards and consider listing on WP:MfD to generate more thorough feedback. If it's a good proposal, greater participation will only help. The process has been around for a decade. There is no rush to mark it historical after votes by a dozen or two editors. Also, this should not be closed by a non admin. Jehochman Talk 05:51, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Let me throw out an idea, to let simmer. Assuming RFC/U is shut down, it would fall on ANI to pick up the slack. If that were the case, then in some cases, it might be worthwhile (once a case gets large) to break it off into a separate page, but make sure there is a stub on the main ANI page pointing to it, and that stub doesn't get archived until the case is over. The new page would still be free-form and subject to all ANI standards (or lack thereof). This would be a purely procedural move and doesn't require an RFC, just a simple consensus on WP:AN to use this procedure under certain circumstances. It won't even require an admin to do it. It is something to think about once RFC goes down. Most of the time, it wouldn't be needed, but if a single case hit 100k (or some other number) and you have two or three on a page, it makes sense to do for technical reasons. As long as it isn't done to "hide" the discussion, I see this as a way to cope with the rare issues the lack of RFC/U will raise. Otherwise, the page can get so large, some browsers won't open it, making it impossible for some to participate. Dennis - 16:07, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Another alternative might be to institute some new procedures at WP:DRN to specifically deal with matters of editor conduct, and if the specific case is found by (in this case) the multiple or at least plural number of DRN volunteers to have sufficient merit there, or for problematic behavior to recur in similar form thereafter, to start a discussion at ANI with links to the prior discussion(s). John Carter (talk) 16:45, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
      • Honestly, I think that would be a mistake. DRN has enough troubles, it would just be RFC/U lite, and technically, these are matters that have already been to ANI individually, and the reason for review is for ANI grade behavior that is now a pattern of behavior. This is the same delimma with the failed WP:WQA, you are just better off getting in front of admin and editors who can quickly tell if it needs simple handling or a larger case, in a free-form environment. All this formality is the problem and stands in the way of solutions. Dennis - 16:55, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
      • Try it and many DRN volunteers, including me, will strongly oppose it, and if the attempt to change DRN succeeds I personally would resign and attempt to create a new DRN with the same rules DRN has now. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) Assuming it would be default fall on AN(I) to pick up the slack may not be accurate. However, in cases where it does, as a simply technical procedure, it does make sense to move the discussion to a subpage of AN(I) with a {{Moved}} and a {{DNAU}} as placeholders on the main AN(I) page. It would also make sense that all subpages of AN(I) fall under the same jurisdiction as the respective AN(I) page and all guidelines and expectations would be equivalent. I would also expect, just as it is the original poster's responsibility to notify all involved parties on their respective talk pages that there is a discussion on AN(I) about an issue they may have been involved in, that is would be the responsibility of whomever moved such a section to notify everyone that has contributed to the discussion thus-far or is mentioned in the discussion on their talk pages. As this would be a strictly technical move, I also would support the creation of a bot to monitor the section size (both prose size (number of words) and text size (number of bytes)), make the move when it hits the threshold, leave the notices, and take care of the notifications. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 17:04, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
      • As for a bot, that is an interesting idea. I'm sure that ANI will be the venue to pick up the slack, unless we designate another board or create another board (I'm against that just yet). ANI is the de facto "I don't know where else to go" destination for any behavioral and sometimes content related issue. It is the editors that made it so, not the admin, by virtue of always going there for behavior and sometimes content issues. It reminds me of a story (true or not?) about a college that built new buildings, but intentionally left out sidewalks. A year later, they just poured the sidewalks where there was no grass due to foot traffic. Now the sidewalks are exactly where they are needed and the students stay off the grass. ANI is where there is no grass, it is where they are already coming to. It is simpler and better to find ways to accommodate editors instead of have them come there, then send them somewhere else. Dennis - 19:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Mr Brown. I'm not opposed to a long-term reform of the nature of the AN/I and AN boards, but that's a matter we should deal with after having dealt with this. RGloucester 19:10, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
(e-c) I basically have two reservations about using AN(I) for this purpose. (1) Although many editors, even newer editors, do use the boards, they are not the ones who frequent them or generally the ones who respond to comments posted by others. The people who respond tend to be admins (or in my case former admins) or other long-term editors who will often have some degree of pre-existing opinion about any "established" editor or admin and it might be harder to get some of them to not engage in "defending a friend" or otherwise rushing to some sort of "no action against the old hand" judgment. Others have complained of this sort of behavior before. (2) Honestly, the boards are too damn long as is. I know if I see a bowel-liquefying table of contents of 100 or more entries needing addressing on one of the noticeboards as is, I tend to give the list as a whole only a very quick once-over before basically saying "I'm outa here." If others do the same, and I think many of the less frequent contributors of the boards do the same, these requests will probably get only the same minimal attention many of the comments already posted on the pages complain of getting. If it would be possible to get them placed in a separate listing somewhere where even only a few individuals competent to address the concerns expressed can give some degree of more focused attention to them, particularly given the fact that RfC/U matters tend to be more serious than a lot of others on the boards, I would have to think that would be a net plus. John Carter (talk) 20:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I completely agree there will be challenges and the page is already too long. Using subpages for the longer stuff (and having a bot do removes any question of neutrality) moves it out of sight and out of the temptation of bored eyes, which would shorten the page TODAY. ANI IS an admin board, we admin have more authority than we push there because we don't want the drama. If someone just goes and opines on every case without actually adding to the case, then we can take action now, we just seldom do. Then again, if a non-admin comes in an actually helps by his actions, then the system is less dependent on admin. We have some guys like that now; it adds balance. It WILL take a firm hand at times, but we can handle it. If it gets too bad, we could probably pass General Sanctions for ANI/AN specifically without too much problem, to quickly remove lurkers who are habitually causing drama. I don't have all the answers, but my gut says that centralizing it will be easier to manage, and each case can be paced and formatted in a way that is best for it. We need some rules (no closing a proposal in less than 24 hours, etc), but we can use WP:AN to adopt simple but flexible procedures to make ANI run more smoothly. Dennis - 22:02, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Question To those who find RFC/U useless/toothless...if RFC/U had teeth, would that make it useful again? That is, rather than an RfC/U's results being advisory, what if it operated like any other RfC, where the result is binding, and an RfC/U could impose sanctions on users? Revamping how RfC/U operates is also an option here, besides just eliminating it entirely; I'd like to hear from others whether they think such a revamping would make it useful again or just delay the inevitable. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 19:57, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
No. Such bureaucracy doesn't work and won't ever work. AN/I and ArbCom are better venues. RGloucester 20:01, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, the basic problem with a lot of RfC/U's is the often wildly disparate nature of the proposed remedies, and the fact that in at least some cases allies and adversaries of the "target" tend to more or less do as would be expected in such cases and make the real outcomes less clear. If a reasonable procedure to make RfC/U more effective could be enacted, I think that would help a lot, but that is a very big "if". John Carter (talk) 20:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Fluff, I think we have three problems with RFC/U: 1. The format is limiting. 2. There is no one with any authority to police the proceedings with trouble makers/trolls/drama queens. 3. There is no chance of sanctions, so no motivation for the person to even participate in good faith. Above on this page, you see where I talk about making longer case integrated into ANI (I know, I know...) which is kind of making RFC/U a subset of ANI, but without format and with sanctions, and if it gets more than a fixed size, it goes to it's own page, with a stub at ANI pointing to it for as long as it is active. Some will just peter out, others en some will end in a block decided by an admin, in others, the community will vote for a topic ban, etc. Other times, the person can make a binding pledge to avoid sanction. Short issues would look like any other ANI case, there isn't a distinction anymore, ANI is just the "behavior problem" place for all levels of problem. That means every possible solution is on the table. RFC/U currently offers no solutions, just a place to talk about the problems. To me, if RFC/U goes away, ANI WILL become the default place, whether we want it to be or not. It is all about how we manage it. Dennis - 22:11, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Even Administrators don't seem to understand RFC/U. At Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Middayexpress we have two administrators, one setting it up, the other certifying it, asking for a topic ban during which it was hoped the editor would learn to play nice - despite the fact that you specifically cannot ask for a topic ban and the sentence introducing that sentence says "It should spell out exactly what the changes they'd like to see in the user, or what questions of behavior should be the focus." One solution might be simply to have volunteers run it. Dougweller (talk) 21:44, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I think a simpler process would be a very good idea. For instance, if you have a concern about a user, go to their talk page and discuss it. If that fails, go get a third opinion from an uninvolved editor. Perhaps we need a central place where people can volunteer to provide such opinions. If that third person comes in and still the concerns aren't resolved, use the RFC template that we drop on article talk pages on the user's talk page to get more opinions about the issue. If that doesn't resolve things, go to WP:AN to request some sort of community action (maybe a sanction or reprimand), or in the case of an admin, go straight to ArbCom. I think people are complaining (rightly) about RFCU's bureaucracy. The underlying principal of getting more opinions to help resolve a problem is a good one and shouldn't be tossed. Jehochman Talk 20:54, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
    • WP:AN already has way, way too much irrelevant traffic as it is. It should be what it is supposed to be, announcements and such that are directly related to admin, including review of admin actions by any person requesting it. The admin corkboard. We tolerate a lot more there now, but really, we need less ANI type stuff there, not more. Otherwise, some admin will stop reading it altogether. Dennis - 22:16, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I suggest that for each RFC/U, a moderator be selected who would consolidate the input of the commenters into a summary statement on an ongoing basis: as new comments are entered, the moderator would update the summary as necessary. This should help avoid redundant comments, thereby making the process more concise, and the moderator would be able to frame the commentary in a constructive manner. isaacl (talk) 02:28, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I think a moderator or clerk is a good idea for disputes, but the place where it should be applied is at AN/I for those instances that warrant it. I'm not sure how we'd dod the details--perhaps there will simply be volunteers, with the understanding they would not also close the discussion. DGG ( talk ) 09:16, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I think nearly all of the discussions on Wikipedia where the parties are having difficulty working together, including those raised at AN/I, can use a moderator who can shape discussion. Volunteers are fine, though due to the time-consuming, thankless nature of the task, I have suggested that paid professionals might have to be employed in order for there to be enough assistance available. A professional might also help maintain detachment from the topic of discussion. isaacl (talk) 14:16, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • For AN and AN/I it would make sense to have "on duty" admins (and even "on duty" non-admins, although it would be somewhat harder to select the pool of non-admins, because admins could just volunteer), with perhaps a four-six hour rotation. Anyone can participate as now but the "on duty" accounts would a least have a moral obligation to take care of business (with the usual restrictions eg., non-involvement). Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:01, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I think it would be good to have more discussion on how to reform the process of giving feedback to another editor in a thoughtful way that minimizes confrontation, before closing down RFC/U. I know this is inherently difficult, but for the handful of cases where the editor in question is receptive to feedback, it is useful to provide a framework where someone can provide their comments in a standardized manner, as it can help depersonalize the comments, which typically reduces tension. In addition to my suggestion of moderators, here's another idea: perhaps we could have designated intermediaries (ombudsmen), whose role would be to accept feedback on an editor, and relay it in a standard format, using diplomatic language. isaacl (talk) 14:36, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

  • If this RfC reaches a consensus to do away with RFC/U, some immediate thought must be given to an overhaul of ANI. Suggestions for clerking sound interesting but more admins need to be encouraged to be bold enough to watch the page - it appears that a relatively small number of rather brave admins regularly participate there. Much of the problem may be that of too much free-for-all commenting by uninvolved users, in particular the peanut gallery, in what is essentially an administrators' venue, hence its name. What puts me off from participating there more often (I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty) is that ANI is an unmanageable page: premature archiving and the inevitable frustrating edit conflicts due to someone editing an unrelated case, to name but a couple of the practical problems. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:40, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    My thought is to conduct discussions on the user's own talk page rather than ANI. It's easy enough to put a template on the page that adds it to a category so uninvolved users can find the discussion. As for ANI, the problem is that the consensus there isn't representative. Most productive editors don't watch that page, while those more prone to disruption and drama mongering do, because they've been summoned there previously. The audience is far from being representative of our editors. Jehochman Talk 14:08, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    Jehochman, agree 100% your comments re the nature of ANI. But your idea of using a user's Talk, is a really bad idea. (Think a bit about a typical user's relationship to her/his Talk. Then think of the radical change you'd bring to it. Then think of the consequences re the previously mentioned relationship between a user and her/his Talk. [Today that relationship is a good one. Your idea would destroy that. Some editors' retentions may currently be only because they have some solice/control of their own user spaces. Your idea, if implemented, would be a destructive invasion to that, with damaging consequences even re editor retention, to mention only one.]) p.s. Which is my whole point about planning. No doubt RfC/U and ANI/I are dysfunctional because they were similar ideas not thought through, and simply implemented. We shouldn't want to do that again. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 00:04, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    Should people who obviously can't behave themselves be spared the embarrassement of such a disciplinry process taking place on their talk page? No not really, we do it with blocks all the time. But I'm not saying that I am necessarily in favour of Jehochman's idea. I work at ANI occasionally, but I don't have a high opinion of the place. With some careful consideration it could be vastly improved. As I've said before, the usefulness of ANI is diluted by the presence of too many uninvolved people who have nothing of substance to add and who just turn the ANI page into an even longer drama roll of virtual paper, or who simply populate the page just to maintain a strategic plan of opposition to all things adminship. Restrict ANI participation to admins, people who are directly concerned, and users in good standing, then there will be no peanuts thrown from kangaroos sitting in a virtual jurors' gallery. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    Agreed only to the extent AN/I being open to "anyone can edit" is the problem. (But your solution sucks. Some admins are the worst kangaroos around. Including you. [Didn't you just fuck w/ Jehochman's username signature? A reg editor would get warned of a block for that. Your supposition that "admins are better" is opposite to the reality that the behavior of admins is at a lower standard not a higher standard as espoused by Jimbo what is expectation of conduct from admins.]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 04:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I've been here for nearly 10 years and have only certified an RFC/U once. I've requested and had accepted at least half a dozen arbitration cases. I don't think RFC/U will be missed, and I don't think ArbCom will see any noticeable increase in workload. If ArbCom thinks an RFC/U would be useful before accepting a case, they can say so and establish one on a subpage in Arb-space according to whatever rules they see fit, and they can ask an arbitration clerk to oversee the page. Jehochman Talk 20:38, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

If Rfc/U is to be abolished, I would assume any ongoing Rfc/U would be allowed to run their courses. -- GoodDay (talk) 04:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I haven't been following all of this discussion, but would like to make a comment for consideration by whoever is going to figure out what to replace this with. The only RfC/U I've been closely involved with was Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paul Bedson, which did exactly what it was supposed to do -- banned a user who needed to be banned, with almost complete unanimity. Because that was my only involvement with the process, I had a fairly high opinion of it. I'd like to request that whatever process replaces RfC/U makes it, at worst, no more difficult than it is now to ban obviously unproductive editors such as Bedson. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikiquette & the screen-wide 'orange' notification bar, are extinct. Now, Rfc/U is about to join them. Alot has changed in these 9-years. GoodDay (talk) 01:42, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposed Replacement (RFC/U)

Instead of RFCU, the new procedure would be (1) discuss any concerns with an editor on their talk page. (2) If that proves insufficient to resolve concerns, use {{RFC}} on the user's talk page to obtain outside input on the issue under discussion with the editor. This process minimizes bureaucracy, reuses a process that works well already, provides a mechanism to obtain outside input, and avoids placing new burdens on noticeboards or ArbCom. If a concern can't be resolved on a user talk page, or if the user refuses to engage, the matter could then be escalated. I am sure this could be fine tuned in practice, but I think it would be a good start. Jehochman Talk 15:00, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

  • No replacement necessary – Our other processes work as well as they need to, for the moment, and RfC/U is so inept that losing it will not actually affect our existing processes in a large way. RGloucester 15:26, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support as this is exactly what my original comment stated in favour of abolishing RFC/U. Infact it does not matter if this proposal is supported or opposed here. It is a de facto fall back line after there's no RFC/U; the only difference is putting it out there for new users to follow too with instructions. I doubt there's any restriction in place stopping an RFC at a user talk page about their conduct so opposing here on that is pointless. If Jehochman wants to formally state it on wikipedia namespace so that newer editors can use it as a process before escalating, there's no issue with that. Since this will be the user's talkpage, there will be much less bureaucracy and this will only be able to continue if the user !owning the talkpage allows it, ie. wants to constructively engage. If he blanks the section, it simply suggests a refusal to go through the process and it can be escalated to a process like ANI on its own merit. --lTopGunl (talk) 15:45, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't sound very conducive to a positive result. The "default" option is not to involvee RfCs at all, which I think is for the better. If we're talking about contingencies, I support Dennis Brown's above proposal to spin-off a user-conduct sub-board of WP:AN. However, my primary position is that AN reform should be dealt with elsewhere. I oppose instituting any replacement, and I oppose recommending the use of "RfCs" on user pages. RGloucester 15:48, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)What I am saying is, it does not matter if this proposal was not even made by Jehochman or any one at all. This is something that can always be done. I take Jehochman's proposal to be opting for a suggestive WP guideline for new users who would not think this use of an RFC (I have seen user page RFCs in presence of RFC/U and I guess they would be class apart from RFC/U). This does not interfere with presence or absence of any other proposals. This is something that can be reverted at whim of the !targeted party and that makes it compatible to being toothless and collaborative. --lTopGunl (talk) 15:57, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
As I said, there is no doubt that the use of an RfC will still be "possible" on a user's talk page. I am merely saying that we should not recommend doing this as part of our guidelines or policies, or dispute resolution process. RGloucester 16:00, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
While I haven't expressed my view on this as yet, I personally don't understand your comment RGloucester. I thought the whole idea is to suggest RfC as a possible step (not a compulstory step). Whether it's for users on their talk pages if they wish or some other space, that's a separate question; newer users would not be aware of how it works if it is not even suggested or recommended as a possible step anywhere. Were you were meaning to say policy/guideline pages shouldn't recommend it as an almost compulsory step like they have so far? Or something else? Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:27, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
If he means it shouldn't be a threshold or prerequisite for something like ArbCom or ANI, I tend to agree. Otherwise I doubt why it can't go in atleast as an essay style suggestion if not formalized guideline. I'm fine either way. --lTopGunl (talk) 16:31, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm saying that while such an RfC is possible, it should not be recommended, or otherwise endorsed as a possible part of the dispute resolution process. No new process should be created. The existing RfC process does not prohibit user-page RfCs, nor does it specifically allow for them. This is ideal. If it is determined in a particular case that an RfC of this sort should be held, then so be it. Otherwise, it is not appropriate process for dispute resolution, and is likely only to continue WP:BATTLEGROUND behaviour, given the way user talk pages are set-up, and given the nature of RfCs in general. I would not want new editors thinking that this process is even an option. It is a loop hole, rather than a generalised convention. RGloucester 17:41, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Not tenable, because WP:TPO allows a user to remove comments from their own talk page. NE Ent 16:19, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
The fact that a user can remove the RFC or comments (although they can not remove comments that have replies without removing the replies too) is exactly why it will be clear to what extent it is useful and to what extent the user wishes to engage and as such, the user who started an RFC can also similarly remove the RFC tag and withdraw if the process is being hindered by talk page !owner. With that said, I get the point by RGloucester and would let consensus decide whether this should be used as a suggestive guideline or not. --lTopGunl (talk) 16:25, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

User:RGloucester wrote above "Our other processes work as well as they need to", no they do not neither AN or ANI are fit for purpose. As I wrote before:

For many high profile editors it is a lottery of how may of their friends and enemies happen to be online at the time and happen to be watching the ANI or are informed of it thought the bush telegraph. Add that some people are taking part in ANIs expressing opinions that are clearly not based on polices and guidelines and contributing nothing but clutter, making it harder to see what the real arguments are, and what the informed consensus is.
There are a number of other Wikipedia processes that deal with editorial behaviour (such as RFCs) that I think also lack natural justice as there is no clear divide between prosecutor, defence, jury, judge and executioner.
I have little faith in the ANI process because I no longer think it fit for purpose for anything but to carry out requests for the most simple tasks. I think it is time the whole process to be replaced.

Original written on 8 November 2011, See "ANI process ... no longer think it fit for purpose" for more details and links back to an example. -- PBS (talk) 12:08, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Whatever replaces Rfc/U, I strongly recommend that it be setup to exclude involved editors. Neutrality can only be secured with uninvolved editors. GoodDay (talk) 16:41, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree. -- PBS (talk) 22:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that generally speaking, third-party bystanders won't be sufficiently motivated to perform the time-consuming research to get involved in a potentially confrontational process that doesn't directly involve them, so I believe input from involved parties will be needed. I think through effective moderation by a third party the feedback can be groomed to avoid redundancy and still capture the essential points, while removing the personal animus. isaacl (talk) 00:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I happen to agree that having too much "involvedness" has undermined the usefulness/effectiveness of many RFC/U's. That doesn't mean that that problem has to undermine every RFC/U. There's no replacement forthcoming. There's not going to be any replacement. So RFC/U has to be kept, for those good editors who might use the existing RFC/U process well, avoiding obvious pitfall of having too strong a voice of too-involved participants. It has to be kept to allow some to address some small issues in a toothless or not-so-toothless way, to determine fair judgments, to address rogue editors, administrators, arbitrators that other processes are not capable of addressing. You don't casually take away the public's one means to run a process that some skilled good persons can use productively, possibly, sometimes, please. --doncram 09:54, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Reversion of Nov 16 Snow close
===Reversion of Nov 16 Snow close===
WP:SNOW close. There is a clear consensus that RFC/U is not proving a net positive, and there are other avenues for complaints (WP:ANI or equivalent). The overcomplicated instructions and procedures also seem to be issues with the venue. --Mdann52talk to me! 13:08, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted this closure, as set out here. Please let the discussion run its course. As it is an established process which is likely to be shut down, if anyone does have proposals for alternate dispute resolution steps, or feels that no replacement or alternate proposal is necessary, your input is very welcome either way. Please note it with your comments. Thank you. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:44, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • A note on closure: There is no need to rush and "snow close" this discussion. An RFC seeking to close down a process that has been in place for a decade is not appropriate for a non-admin snow-close. The RFC can run the full thirty days, and be closed in due course. There may well be additional insight and ideas generated from such. –xenotalk 14:33, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
@Xeno: I strongly object to your reversion of the closure. Administrators are no less competent than non-administrators, and such a close was clearly in the spirt of the principle that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. The RfC "can run" does not mean it "should run", and this is a clear case where it has no need to. Your reversion should be reverted in turn, at once. RGloucester 14:36, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
My concern is less the who, and more the when and the how. This discussion is not the province of a "snow" closure, it deserves a proper closure - not a snow closure - at the appropriate time. There were already objections below about early closure and those should be addressed before another early closure is attempted. This discussion is not generating heat and it has potential to generate more light. There is no need to shut it down early. –xenotalk 14:39, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
The discussion below is generating light, yeah, however I struggle to see how the discussion above is going to achieve anything more. RFC/U is clearly not supported by the community, and as there are not current cases there, now seems a good time to impliment it, rather than giving it enough time to allow another case to start, and making the whole thing a lot messier. My close would be the same whether this was at the 30 day or 15 day mark. I have reinstated the close, and will once again leave the discussion open. --Mdann52talk to me! 15:07, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Edit-warring to re-instate a non-admin snow-closure? Please revert yourself. There is no rush and it is appropriate to give the community the full allocated time to reach a firm conclusion on this topic. –xenotalk 15:15, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course you are right, but as a practical matter this is what the result is going to be. Rather than arguing about a non-standard closure, why don't we put effort into reforming the dispute resolution process? We can discuss what should be. Jehochman Talk 15:21, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Comment from INVOLVED editor (I recently filed an RFCU which was deleted as not being certified under disputed circumstances). I reviewed the discussion a day or two ago but chose not to add a "Me too!" comment as would add no value to the discussion, but will state Xeno is entirely correct in insisting the RFC be allowed to run its course. There was a clear consensus to discontinue WP:WQA a few years ago with insufficient thought given to what to replace it with, which I think was a mistake. The wind down of RFCU, if it is going to happen, should be done in a slow, thoughtful manner. NE Ent 16:29, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree there should be some thought put into this. It would be good if the discussion could be advertised in the watchlist banner, seeing we are discussing the closure of a (perhaps too) long-established process - and one which existed even prior to WQA. Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:36, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I've requested such a notice [2] NE Ent 17:22, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Mdann, the reason we allow major decisions to be held for the full 30 days is to insure that we don't throw something out in the heat of the moment, based on a single problem, and that the community has had ample opportunity to consider the consequences. In any event, it would still need more than a SNOW's worth of explaining at the close. While it doesn't require an admin for most closes, this one is going to have a hell of a lot of paperwork to file and having the tools may be required to actually fulfill the close, so yes, it would be wise to allow someone with the tools to close. It is insufficient to just declare "snow" and walk away. Just as someone closing an AFD is expected to implement the decision (delete the article and talk page, close the discussion, etc), whoever closes this will likely have to be part of the process of marking as historical, and other things that we haven't even began to think of yet. Dennis - 00:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree with reverting the close. Today is the first time I have read the proposal, and there is no reason to hurry to close this. -- PBS (talk) 12:12, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Me too. This premature closure which ignores our well founded standard practice for all RfC whether small article content issues or major meta changes rather illustrates my comment above regarding inexperienced users who just can't resist the temptation of interfering in serious stuff (however well intended), does it not? --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • No reason to hurry this. It is major decision. I just joined and comment strongly, above, in Oppose vote, that it would pretty horrible to end the one remaining method that the community can possibly use to determine fault / fairness, given failings in ANI, 3RR, arbitration in dealing with bullying and deep incivility. I think it would be rash and a big mistake to drop RFC/U. I myself don't have fond memories of any RFC/Us, but the fault was in the unskilled implementation, I think. When a group of concerned editors want to work positively to label bad behavior as bad behavior, RFC/U, done right, is a possibility. There is no other possibility as I see it. --doncram 01:57, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I myself don't have fond memories of any RFC/Us, but the fault was in the unskilled implementation, I think. So the useful RfC/U you want to keep exists in theory only, as a potentiality, but not practice. (I.e. it doesn't exist.) So, your thoughts seem more oriented toward proposal yet undefined, or reformed RfC/U, as replacement, that has the positive potentialities you see. p.s. In the RfCUs I've read, the bullying shoe was on the other foot. (Do you really see the current structure of RfC/U as fostering ability to "determine fault/fairness"? [By its nature there are multiple motivated editors on one side of issue; a lone editor on the other. The result isn't forgone conclusion?!]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 02:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    I expect that many/most RFC/U's to date have been of the vindictive, bullying, throw-everything-negative-you-can type of "dispute resolution" processes, with hurt being extended. In my opinion, the ones running the RFC/Us make a mistake in trying to include too much. But ANIs and 3RRs are rushed, and arbcom cases have their role but are corrupted from being "fair" by the arbitrary power given, and I have no hope those processes will really change anything. And, I do happen to have some hope, that some creative good people in Wikipedia who are concerned about deep incivility and bullying can get together and use the existing RFC/U process in a deliberately, limited way that is ultimately more constructive. I have no hope whatsoever that good people in Wikipedia can get some brand new process created, or change RFA, or change arbcom, or change the rules of RFC/U, or anything else major. By deliberately starting small with narrowly defined RFC/Us that within the existing rules of RFC/U and are "toothless", but in which a community judgment can be made, I think some progress can begin to be made. For example, a group of 10 or 20 editors, perhaps at something like the Editor Retention wikiproject could compile a current list of seemingly obvious injustices done against newbies, and commit to running a set of a dozen or so fair, limited RFC/Us, where the facts are properly considered, and come out with a dozen well-reasoned accurate consensus judgments on what actually happened. In each case the judgment would be on whether some experienced administrator or other experienced editor was indeed deliberately and unnecessarily bullying, in the common English sense of the word, or whether there were some extenuating circumstances that explain it otherwise. E.g. perhaps the apparent victim is not so innocent. It would really help the newbie victim-type, to have there be a real and fair judgment of the facts, either way it turns out. And it would really help me and a lot of other experienced editors too, I think, to see bad behavior called bad behavior, when it turns out that is what it clearly is. Frankly I would deliberately mix up the starter dozen RFC/Us, to include a variety of editors' apparent unfair moments, and I would seek to get the good 10 or 20 to commit to reading and judging all dozen of the RFC/Us fully, towards reducing anyone's ability to say the RFC/U was biased by only having involved editors judging.
    I've been thinking about this for a while. I am not happy to be on the spot suggesting use of this approach right now, amidst a move to chuck it all. But it is unacceptable to completely give up on there ever being any process that gets after what is a fair judgment. Arbcom is not it. ANI is not it. This is it, or can be, I think. Don't pre-judge what I and a group of good people actually concerned about fairness, above all, might be able to do. --doncram 06:45, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    Am concerned about fairness, too. Am not sure what your idea is with the 10 or 20 to thoroughly examine a "starter dozen" cases -- are you suggesting that such thorough reviews would continue for all RfCUs!? (If so, I agree w/ you the results would have a great chance of being fairer. But what you're suggesting is time-intensive, resource-intensive, so would have no chance for successful promotion in the current "anyone can edit & enjoy the thrill of judge, jury, & executioner" culture. The deal is you are right -- time & uninvolved serious participation/review has probability to deliver fairer, more accurate views. But the environment is currently plain schizoid regarding sense of fairness expectations on the WP. [Otherwise how could admin Brown repeat for the 10,000th time his favorite chant: "No justice, only solutions" with apparently no protest from anyone other than me?!])

    Would you agree that elimination of "anyone can edit/review" in these cases would improve things? Would you also agree that one or two uninvolved/neutral admins as reviewers, without overwhelming time constraints on them, would improve things? (Well if you agreed those would be improvements, then you've just cut the people-time and drama-level down by vast amounts, even throwing in right or two of appeal. And wouldn't those savings render much greater chance for acceptance & implementation? Your idea how to achieve fairness can't be argued against, but would die on practicalities especially in current environment. [Agree?]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 07:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

    It seems to me that fairness is pretty much disregarded on Wikipedia, in effect, though not the fault of many good editors who do speak up and try to get to fairness sometimes. Overall there's a crisis of confidence that anything can be done fairly, and those who care about fairness are burnt out. Many RFC/U's themselves have been unfair, and I think that is partly because of lack of skill/training/cooperation of good people who could use the tool better. It would not help to eliminate the RFC/U process, preventing good people from teaming up and trying to do it better in a series of cases that could make a difference. Yes, perhaps starting with a list of about a dozen cases where there is great perception of unfairness going on, e.g. where experienced administrator(s), arbitrator(s), or other experienced editors appear to have been bullying some relative newbie or other relatively defenseless editor. I hope to enlist, or to join up with, a group of editors who'd like to make a difference about cases like that.
    About your questions on whether "one or two uninvolved/neutral admins as reviewers, without overwhelming time constraints on them, would improve things?", I don't understand what you are driving at. You don't have any real proposal there, do you? --doncram 10:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    Not a proposal just a question. (The idea is 10–20 editors is too great an investment to find wings. But will 1–2 uninvolved/neutral admins produce results in the same positive direction as your 10–20 conception?) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 06:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

The vast majority of people agree that the current RfC/U is no more fit for purpose. Rather than just dropping it completely how about modifying it and limiting its scope. For example putting in a level of clerks/overseers to make sure that the requirements for an RfC are met before it proceeds. To go with the clerks/overseers, detailed requirements to make the process more likely to be used positively rather than to bludgeon an opponent:

  • Is the content of the "Statement of Dispute" and the "Desired outcome" focused enough and within policy to be something that any reasonable editor would be willing to abide. -- Too often the "dispute" is defined using a shotgun approach of hitting multiple targets which makes the desired outcome to be too nebulous.
  • Does the description given meet the requirements for a description section?
  • Have to at least two user independent of the dispute in good faith tried and failed to resolve the dispute. At the moment some of the statements put forwards as "Evidence of trying and failing to resolve the dispute" are lamentable, and often include statements put forward by "Users certifying the basis for this dispute".

-- PBS (talk) 12:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, let's fix a process that people describe as rigid and bureaucratic by adding another level of bureaucracy to make it even more rigid. Mr.Z-man 13:54, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

No need for replacement or reform

I disagree with any of the proposals to replace Request for Comments on User Conduct with anything else. First, the original purpose of the RFC/U has been obsolete for nearly a decade. The original purpose of the RFC/U was as a structured means of providing input to User:Jimbo Wales to request that he ban users. Since he no longer uses that reserved power, there is no need for a means of structured input. The evidence page for the ArbCom and the diffs at WP:ANI serve the same purpose for those venues to ban users. The ArbCom does not require an RFC/U as a preliminary step to taking up a case, even in cases of administrative abuse. The ArbCom has, within the past year, desysopped two administrators without first requiring an RFC/U. The heat that is surrounding a particular ArbCom request concerning alleged administrative abuse is mostly the result of the failed RFC/U, and the case could have been brought anyway. Second, there have been proposals to make RFC/U either more rigid or less rigid. Some sort of reform of RFC/U would only be needed if some sort of RFC/U procedure were needed. RFC/U is not RFA, another troublesome process. The English Wikipedia does need RFA, because it does need administrators. It does not need RFC/U, because other mechanisms exist for dealing with user misconduct. Making RFC/U more rigid would just make it more difficult and equally disruptive. Making it less rigid would just permit more disruptive RFC/U proceedings. Third, the suggestion has been made to use the dispute resolution noticeboard. That would defeat one of the strengths of that noticeboard, which is that it only handles content dispute, and rejects cases that involve conduct. Fourth, the suggestion has been made to create another noticeboard. That would have most of the disadvantages of RFC/U. Any replacement for RFC/U either would not work, or would have the same disadvantages as RFC/U. We should simply get rid of it. Its original purpose was to request that users be banned by Jimbo Wales. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Do think that WP:ANI is fit for purpose? -- PBS (talk) 10:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
+1. why get consensus to remove a process that we don't need anymore only to replace it with a slightly more streamlined process we don't need. Just send stuff to AN and AN/I, it's where most of it goes anyway. Protonk (talk) 17:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
As no replacement has been proposed, the Rfc/U will likely remain. GoodDay (talk) 17:24, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The reason I want it abolished is because I want the process eliminated, so that we can reduce bureaucracy. Meaning, I have no desire for a "replacement", since no replacement will work. The concept is just too flawed. What you are saying hardly makes sense. RGloucester 19:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not certain if those in charge will be willing to scrap Rfc/U, without it being replaced. They may prefer the current number of bureaucracy steps. GoodDay (talk) 00:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I o not know who those in charge might be, but the community has the absolute ability to remopve this process, and if the conclusion of the RfC is sufficiently strong , it will be removed. Changes like this are not one of the thing under the jurisdiction of arb com nor of the Foundation. There are csome things the community can and should do of its own responsibility, and this is one. DGG ( talk ) 11:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Except the community does not agree that this process should be removed. Everyone feels differently about it. Furthermore, if it is not replaced with something if for some odd reason it is removed, then we are just digging ourselves into a hole that we will never get out of.
Also, Protonk, "why get consensus" seems like another way of saying "why bother discussing". Are you insinuating that the opinions of those that disagree with removing RFC/U should just be ignored? Just because the original purpose of RFC/U is no longer needed now doesn't mean it can't be fixed up to be something better (or, you know, replaced by something similar but more functional) If we didn't decide things by consensus, Wikipedia would be overrun by whomever has the most time on their hands. We have to run this by the book, because this is a major decision that needs to be thoroughly discussed, and allow everyone and anyone who wishes to do so to be able to give their tuppence worth on the matter. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 03:14, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Tharthan, correctly reading consensus from a Wikipedia discussion comes from a lot of experience, usually from taking part in a lot of discussions and also having contributed significantly in areas that require sound judgement. Running 'by the book' means reasonably accurately gauging consensus, not glancing at a long discussion and simply 'thinking' what the majority wants. Closing a discussion like this can often take hours.
I share the opinion of those who based on their experiece of Wikipedia feel that RFC/U is no longer useful, and that it should be replaced with nothing - or at least nothing where trolls, foul-mouths, and the peanut gallery are allowed to participate. But it's probably best of all not to replace one piece of bureaucracy with another. I think we should preferably be looking at improving the functions of ANI and Arbcom and keeping some of the regulars away from them who only come along to disrupt the processes or simply take swipes at admins and arbs whoever they are. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I can tell by the opinions given here that the community is divided. I think that is relatively obvious. Or, are we going to get into one of those arguments?
I respect your opinion, but personally I think that this needs to either not be removed, or (if removed) replaced with some sort of better process and not just nixed completely with no replacement. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:32, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

@Tharthan: I'm not sure what you mean. What I'm saying is why bother having an RfC like the above (which looks like it will end up eliminating RFC/U) only to replace it with a fundamentally similar process? It's possible that the discussion should be closed with a recommendation to create a replacement but IMO we don't need a replacement. RFC/U is not a high functioning process with some problems, it's a fundamentally broken process with few success stories (and plenty of alternative for DR). Protonk (talk) 20:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, first of all one never truly knows the outcome of this kind of discussion. Secondly, what do we do if the removal and lack of replacement of this process leads to bigger problems down the line? I agree that we should nip it in the bud and fix this problem, however fix does not necessarily mean destroy. No, instead, we should repair this broken system so that it functions the way it had ought to. Or, like I said before, alternatively, we create something new to replace RFC:U that does what RFC:U was supposed to do but better and more functionally. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 20:29, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
No we don't know, but that's why the comment is basically conditional. If we decide to remove RFC, then there's no sense in replacing it with something fundamentally different. As for the rest, what RFC/U was supposed to do was be a precursor to sending someone before Jimbo. That hasn't been a mechanism for dealing with editor conduct issues for about a decade. In the meanwhile, what has RFC/U accomplished that we should fear deprecating it? What major function does it perform well that "repairing" it would further improve? As I said in my vote, the incentives behind the process are staggeringly broken, we don't actually see many RFC/Us and the majority of situations where we want a community discussion with an enforced outcome can happen elsewhere (and are happening right now). What's there to fix? Protonk (talk) 21:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Support replacement - I support this replacement, and only support abolishing WP:RFCU if there is a suitable replacement. Requiring users to go straight to WP:ANI may result in absolutely NOTHING being done about a problem. --Jax 0677 (talk) 19:46, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Support replacement or revamping - I too support either a replacement or a revamp of the current system. Preferably a revamp, though a replacement would work too. There simply needs to be something aside from WP:ANI for this kind of stuff. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 04:18, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Support replacement or reform. The idea suggested by Jehochman is pretty good. Coretheapple (talk) 18:39, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Keep as is. Not broken and provides a useful filter to frivolous ArbCom cases. Stifle (talk) 09:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Alternative proposal: Use ASC for de-adminship only

I feel that the Administrative Standards Commission (ASC) could be a useful entity, but not as proposed. Instead, I would suggest that the group be formed solely for the purpose of handling cases concerning the removal of adminship. I note that this proposal received opposition partly because of its focus on bureaucrats. If the ASC was used for admin review, the benefit would be that the users reviewing such cases had been specifically selected for the job, whereas crats were not elected to handle de-adminship cases. Also, using the ASC in this manner would help to lighten the ArbCom workload, as suggested above. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 23:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Discussion (de-adminship)

Support (de-adminship)

  1. Support if it takes the power to de-sysop away from ArbCom (which may still remain limited to other remedial measures such as bans / definite blocks against admin abuse as issues may overlap their scope). --lTopGunl (talk) 14:02, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support with the proviso that it not necessarily remain an exclusive purpose in the long term, to relieve the burden on ArbCom. Placing too much work on the shoulders of too few creates problems both in the area of retaining those few in such roles and potentially in overburdening those few with too much work which could theoretically result in some mistakes on their part. John Carter (talk) 19:36, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Weak support, assuming it were structured properly. I'm not thinking specifically about desysopping, but about the broader context that it's tricky to seek review of admin actions. A committee with a narrow focus on good-faith review, with perhaps the option to desysop or force a confirmation RfA for serious or repeated issues, might be worthwhile. I'm imagining that the most common negative result that such a committee ought to produce would be admonishment, rather than tangible sanctions. I'm still concerned that committee membership could be a position of power—concentrations of power are not good for Wikipedia—but it might be a worthwhile tradeoff if it helped make adminship "no big deal" as it ought to be. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 20:16, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Oppose (de-adminship)

  1. Oppose. As discussed above, my objections to the original proposal go far beyond concerns regarding the hypothetical commission's specific role. I don't know whether I'm inclined to support any proposal to create a group "solely for the purpose of handling cases concerning the removal of adminship" (in part because we already have the ArbCom), but I know that I don't support this one. —David Levy 23:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
    There's a proposal to break ArbCom into smaller boards, this might seem consistent with that, should it get consensus. And, IMO, this should be a subsection of that discussion while remaining an independent proposal but relate to it. --lTopGunl (talk) 14:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  2. Oppose – Please don't use this proposal for your own purposes. This goes against the very purpose of the ASC. The original reason it was devised was to appoint admiistrators. Administrative review is secondary to that, and it would not even have that power initially. Make your own proposal. Please don't muck up this RfC. RGloucester 00:58, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    I agree that forking the ASC proposal was a bad idea, but please be mindful of WP:OWN. —David Levy 01:05, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    I don't need to be "mindful" of anything. If someone one wants to make a proposal that bears no relation to WP:ASC, they should make that proposal separately. This RfC is about the WP:ASC, not about a hypothetical administrative review body. RGloucester 01:11, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    I borrowed your basic structural concept because I thought it was the best option. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but I'm not going to undo anything. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 01:27, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    Again, I agree that forking the proposal was a bad idea. My response was simply a reminder that it isn't forbidden. —David Levy 02:45, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    David is right. I don't know if this proposal was moved from a subsection of ASC discussion to here or it was actually created as a separate thread. If it was the latter, I'd say Mellowed did you a courtesy.. either way, it will have a separate consensus than the main ASC discussion so I am putting in a support because even if there is no consensus for ASC, this may have some chance. --lTopGunl (talk) 14:00, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    I'm the one that made it a separate section. It was originally attached to the other proposal. RGloucester 16:01, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    I guess that makes it square. I do believe ArbCom should comprise independent committees such as ASC and ArbCom(s) should rather be a blanket name than a one in all committee. --lTopGunl (talk) 16:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Oppose - it's not a bad idea in theory, but misplaced here. If we're going to create the ASC, it should have full power to conduct promotion and demotion of administrators, not merely one or the other. Ivanvector (talk) 18:25, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  4. Oppose We have an arbcom, why make another committee? Chillum 18:26, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. If ArbCom needs reform, then reform ArbCom. Otherwise, don't fix what's not broke, and especially don't fix one cabal with another. Lagrange613 03:10, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  6. Oppose - Arbcom does this just fine I think... –Davey2010(talk) 06:14, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  7. Oppose A parallel ArbCom just for removing admins seems like a lot of extra work for very little (if any) benefit. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:47, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  8. Oppose While not as monumentally terrible an idea as the main proposal, this one is still pretty pointless. It would essentially create a micro-ArbCom that can do one thing and one thing only. Exactly how that would be in any way beneficial is a mystery not even Columbo could solve. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 20:02, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
  9. Oppose. ArbCom is not broken nor overwhelmed. Stifle (talk) 09:33, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  10. Oppose – ArbCom isn't getting many cases these days and is capable of doing this job satisfactorily. If ArbCom is ever broken-up though, this should be re-considered. CT Cooper · talk 22:14, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Neutral (de-adminship)

  1. Neutral - I'd like to Oppose this, but as a Non-Admin I do not feel qualified to vote. That said, I feel that if a governing body is empowered to remove Adminship, then it seemingly should be just as empowered, qualified, and experienced enough to grant it. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:40, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
    Scalhotrod: As an admin, I don't think that being an admin has anything to do with whether you are qualified to vote here. ;) That said, the sheer number of proposals that have been put forward at various times can be a bit off-putting. I know I haven't even begun to read them all. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:51, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
    Philosopher: I will say that I aspire to be an Admin some day and as such I would hope that the the process would be "better" or at least less painful than my impression of RfA. Having a committee or process that was solely for the removal of Admins seems like it could get even more political than RfA is now, anything with that much power and authority should be allowed to "create" as well as "delete". Just my 2 cents... :) --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:11, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  2. Neutral - As I'm not yet an admin, I can't properly say whether I support or oppose the use of a committee to determine whether a current administrator is still fit for adminship. I would be inclined to support if it worked similarly to ArbCom: if admins needed to be brought to the committee by the community and the community was allowed to express their concerns openly. As it stands, it seems rather like a cabal with secret meetings and as a non-admin I can't properly form an opinion on that yet. demize (t · c) 17:51, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Neutral learning towards oppose. Yet another arbcom? Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:53, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Giant changes to RfA not likely to pass

It seems every week someone has invented the better mousetrap and it never passes, and this has been going on for years. There are 3 proposals on this page right now to radically redefine RfA now and probably over 50 in the archives. We are stuck in a loop and we need to take a different approach.

Instead of people constantly bringing proposal after proposal to radically change RfA why don't people suggest small, sensible incremental changes at WT:RfA? Simple things like the community defining the expected level of decorum at RfA would go a long ways to improving the current system.

Lets fix what we have, it works pretty well it just needs tuning. Chillum 17:02, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

There is nothing sensible about tinkering with bits of archaic rubbish and hoping to make them work properly. To move forward, one must draw up something new. RGloucester 17:07, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure RGloucester and myself have never agreed on anything in our lives. However, what he just said is spot-on, in my opinion. The baby is an adolescent with a driver's license now. This is one time we can safely throw out the bathwater. DocumentError (talk) 09:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
In agreement. Smaller scale proposals will have a better chance of passing. PS- Shouldn't this discussion take place on the talkpage? GoodDay (talk) 17:09, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I posting it here because this is where everyone proposes the constant stream of major change proposals for RfA. Yes the talk page is a better place for incremental improvements. Chillum 17:17, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
They may have a "better chance" of passing, but that doesn't mean they'll solve the problems we face. RGloucester 17:13, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
This might sound ridiculous, I don't know, but for myself I could see maybe doing something like giving each proposed process that has some support and some possible benefits over the current system a "trial period" with some sort of administrative oversight option, maybe lasting a month or two each, or possibly as I indicated on Jimbo's talk page try to implement one or two in some of the foreign language wikipedias desperately lacking in administrators, and then waiting for a year or so and seeing the results of each process. I acknowledge that there would be questions about which good and bad candidates self-select which process, but those questions might not be so major as to be make the results discreditable. I honestly don't see it as being impossible to give each of the proposals some sort of "probationary oversighted" trial period of some sort somewhere in the WF. John Carter (talk) 19:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

There aren't usually so many RfA discussions. The earlier discussion proposing to just shut it down got everyone thinking about it, and now they are all throwing out their ideas. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 08:17, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Just out of curiosity, what "small, sensible, incremental changes" do you fancy would make a material difference, Chillum? Do you view banning "optional" questions (which of course are nothing but) as such a change? Would taking away the straight popularity contest head count be such a change? Would striking any Oppose vote that's a single-issue hobby horse be such a change?

    The problem is that the system is fundamentally flawed, and will keep on being so as long as the community gets to decide who's an admin or not based on trivialities such as how many XfD edits he has or whether she's ever edited as an IP. Ravenswing 22:50, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

  • The community has recently been blocking and topic banning people who act disruptive at RfA. I suggest we look at what the community expects and try to document. The biggest problem with RfA I can see is tolerance of trolling. Back in 2006 if you acted like an ass at RfA you were shown the door very fast, now we put up with far too much for too long. Chillum 18:35, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Even if we get rid of the outright disruption and trolling, there's still the issue with standards creep making adminship more and more of a big deal. Years ago, when upwards of 10 people per month were passing RFA, the average edit count was around 10,000 and successful RFAs with fewer than 5,000 edits weren't uncommon. Now the average is somewhere around 40,000 and few pass with less than 10k. That's a reflection of how much work people are expected to do before they're considered good enough. And that's not even considering the length of time they're required to be active or how active they're required to be. We can make the process as civil as possible, but as long as the standards keep increasing, the pool of users who might actually qualify will keep decreasing. Mr.Z-man 03:36, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
It is a good thing that we are all giving our ideas now. Because the present RFA process is a nuisance. I am afraid that Chillum's proposal, logical as it sounds, may not work, because the way RFA works presently is untenable, imho, and needs more than minor improvements here and there. Debresser (talk) 10:42, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Since the community has gotten sterner on behavior at RfA they have been far less of a shit fest. The last several candidates have passed. It is out of tune but it is not broken by design. Standards creep is a problem but an exaggerated one. The other problem is that all of the obvious good choices have been drafted already.
I would support an idea along the lines that if not enough admins in a given year are promote to offset attrition that those who failed but had the highest scores would be promoted. Perhaps lowering the bar from 75% to 65% out of necessity. I think we could try it for a single year and then decide to do it again or not based on the results.
The decrease in active admins is not due to a systemic failure, it is due to the easy picks already being picked. It is like gold mining, once all the nuggets are gone you have to search a lot harder to get the same amount. Chillum 12:14, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"Standards creep is a problem but an exaggerated one ... all of the obvious good choices have been drafted already" - You don't really see the contradiction in that statement? If we were still using the same standards as 2007-2008, there would be a lot more obvious good choices. If we lower the passing bar I would be surprised if people didn't raise their standards to compensate. People who would have otherwise been neutral will oppose instead. A bunch of people have passed recently because we're all talking about RFA. It's an anomaly, and not even an especially large one. Even as recently as last year, 5 people passing in a month wasn't uncommon. We need to have an average of ~5-6 per month just to balance out losses from inactivity. We haven't actually done that since 2010. Mr.Z-man 14:08, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I do concede that recently there has been a lot of editcountitis and some strange thinking that an admin needs a lot of mainspace edits to be a good admin. This sort of standards creep does throw away good candidates. However the development of the communities insistence that a prospective admin have good auditable AfD experience is a good thing I think. Chillum 22:22, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • The standards are no higher than they have been since the watershed year of 2007 when it was common for a candidate to pass with only 20 or so support votes. What we have now is 100+ support votes being commonplace and a far greater turnout and a more representative opinion from the community of who should pass and who shouldn't. It's not without reason that many claim that the worst admins among our ranks were those elected before and up to 2007. There are in fact no standards being practiced - the standards are what the candidates bring with them; the voters being largely a transient pool of one-off visitors to RfA, set the actual criteria anew with each RfA. Clean up the voting and RfA will clean itself up - like it appears to have been doing over the past coupe of weeks.--Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:58, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Organizational inertia is a terrible disease that affects any old and large organization, and on the Internet, Wikipedia is both. I am afraid we will be stuck with a dysfunctional RfA for a long, long time, and if there's any hope, it may have to come through non-democratic (WMF) move, because the democratic community is and likely will forever be "stuck in a loop", as the op states. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:34, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Chillum, what are you, Gandalf? (Yes, I know there's some fellah running around this page who actually does call himself Gandalf). They'll pass if the community decides they'll pass.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:47, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

That made me laugh. It is just that I have seen these proposed for about 8 years now many many dozens of times and not one has come close to passing. It is the community who has spoken over and over and refused these without fail for years now. Rather than saying that they will not pass I suppose it is more accurate to say the are not realistically going to pass. Chillum 22:26, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • The need is not for administrators as such, but active administrators. As with other activities on WP , a small number of the available people do most of the work. There would be considerable improvement possible in encourage the relatively inactive ones to do a little more. Even a little more if done by enough people will improve the situation. DGG ( talk ) 09:45, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
    • I was going to say I think there are active users who are not admins (who could or should be) as they are put off (even in part) by the fact they would have go through that RFA process - civil or otherwise. I don't see why proposals should be shut off altogether; the Community is quite capable of making a decision. The only real issue/flaw I see these proposals suffering from is that some more time should be taken in framing the proposals before they are put for comment here, and that includes reflecting on comments from previously failed proposals and taking into account the factors which the Community was in support of. But in essence, I simply seem to be in agreement with comments made by Mr.Z-man, Volunteer Marek, and DGG above. Ncmvocalist (talk) 04:22, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposing DRN for user conduct issues

No consensus for this proposal. Number 57 12:52, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Upon reading about the Wikipedia dispute resolution process, I have discovered that although there are many venues for resolving content issues (such as WP:3O, WP:DRN, etc.), there are not very many at all for resolving conduct issues, aside from WP:ANI, WP:RFCU, and WP:ARBCOM. There are issues with all of these:

  • ANI is not suitable for persons seeking friendly, moderated dispute resolution, as it is largely ruled by mob.
  • RFCU is about to be closed, because the latest DangerousPanda controversy has shown the process to be rather unhelpful.
  • ArbCom is only for the most serious of disputes, and the majority of disputes do not reach the level of seriousness required to justify an ArbCom case.

Therefore, I propose that we create another noticeboard, similar to WP:DRN. However, this noticeboard would be for resolving user conduct issues. Like the current DRN, this noticeboard would be a moderated environment (attended to by volunteers) where users in a dispute involving conduct could discuss the issues at hand. If implemented, this noticeboard would serve as a "stepping stone" between the initial talk page discussion and ANI, which would (hopefully) reduce the amount of drama and mob rule that regularly occurs as of now.
Thanks in advance for your input. --Biblioworm 21:01, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Kind of like WP:WQA? The community shut it down[3] because it was "doing Wikipedia, and it's editors, more harm than good." The community seems to want less bureaucracy, it keeps shutting boards down, and I have to admit, it has been for the better. Let me add, I would probably be against ANYTHING unless the dust has settled with RFC/U gone. How do we know what void to fill until we've had time to look at the void? Like with WQA, we just *might* be better with NO replacement. Regardless, it seems early to be worrying about it. Dennis - 21:27, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Dennis... why not wait until after the RfC/U discussion above has had a chance to settle, and then see where we are? As the number of editors and admins declines, it's only reasonable that the number of processes and noticeboards should decline as well, as there are fewer volunteers and less volunteer time available to help at each one. 28bytes (talk) 22:04, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I've made a suggestion above, a slight procedural change at ANI for cases that get too large. That alone should be sufficient to deal with the extra traffic, plus you don't have to "decide" if a case is ANI or more RFC-ish case when filing, it is allowed to grow and be dealt with in a more organic fashion. Unlike with RFC/U, it is a purely admin board, with tool use being an option. Dennis - 16:28, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
      • I oppose expanding DRN, as my experience there is that it is a toothless process similar to RfC/U, and suffers from a certain bureaucracy that just doesn't work. Our best processes are the free form ones at AN/I and AN, and I support Mr Brown's suggestion above that we reform AN and AN/I to better serve the interests of community. RGloucester 19:12, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
        • I understand you point about excessive bureaucracy and such, but is it possible to deny the fact that ANI is an uncivil battleground that is ruled by mob? If anything, AN and ANI need reform, like a couple of others above me have said. --Biblioworm 19:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
          • I agree that AN and AN/I need reform (as I said), but they work better than any other processes we have. AN/I often works. It can be uncivil, but that is not a problem particular to AN/I. It can be dramatic, but that is not a problem particular to AN/I. At the very least, AN/I allows grievances to be voiced in public, surrounded by "uninvolved" voices, and does not require the strict formatting requirements of RfC/Us or DRN. It is efficient. In cases when it is not efficient, the appropriate thing to do is head to ArbCom. RGloucester 19:28, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
            • The mob is at Wikipedia, and will follow the drama. It doesn't matter the venue or the process. The mob will go to where it is called. --Jayron32 17:23, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
              • The primary reason the mob rules at AN/I and similar places is that the people represented by the "A" in the name allow it to rule. HiLo48 (talk) 07:00, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
                • I think you have a complete misunderstanding of what the "A" people are empowered to do at Wikipedia. --Jayron32 12:32, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose creation of a new DRN. Let's review: Serious user conduct issues requiring admin intervention go to AN or ANI, issues the community is otherwise unable to resolve go to ArbCom. Non-serious user conduct issues that don't require admin intervention then have nowhere to go, which is a good thing because it forces users to either talk these things out or simply let them go, either of which is better than formal dispute processes which tend to escalate things and result in hurt feelings. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 21:12, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, not because I think it's a bad idea per se, but because AN/I tends to fulfill this purpose, although with frequent drama, but that comes with the nature of the requests. It is possible to have civil discourse there, but quite often hostility is brought over from whatever talk page the fighting is already happening on, and I don't see how any new or existing (or historical) process or noticeboard could deal with that drama more efficiently. And frequently, admin tools are required to implement the will of the community, so AN/I is a more appropriate venue anyway. Ivanvector (talk) 22:32, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: that's the same as WQA which was shut down. I didn't !vote at WQA, so I guess I can suggest the nom to try getting WQA back on with a new reform which would be something like he's proposing. Then again he has to watch for WP:SNOW. --lTopGunl (talk) 06:41, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • "ANI is not suitable for persons seeking friendly, moderated dispute resolution, as it is largely ruled by mob." - what makes you think any new forum would not be the same (or, at least, would not suffer the same failings, whatever they are)? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:47, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I'm not really even watching this discussion anymore. However, the reason I think this would work is because the current DRN for content disputes has seemed to work out fairly well, because civility is required and enforced there. ANI, however, is the place where people go to seek revenge, turn discussions around people who bring up good-faith complaints, etc. All in all, it's just a terrible place to get any rational dispute resolution done, unless some people make themselves self-appointed ANI mediators (not a bad idea). --Biblioworm 14:13, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Personally, I think most users are dissatisfied with the system as it exists after having had some experience with it, and there seems to be a significant push in recent months for changing procedures and processes. The fact is though that this is all happening a bit late, and should have occurred some years ago - but alas, it was rashness which led to procedures being enacted back then, and it's the same rashness which is now shutting them down (without first putting in effective systems in place). For this reason, I must applaud Biblioworm for at least recognising some part of this and making an effort propose some alternative to add to the extremely limited options available. That said, I fear Wikipedia history has shown that enacting this particular idea is likely to end up being no different to previous noticeboards (such as the sanctions noticeboard and WQA) which were subsequently shut down. A proposal which would lead to a mediation of conduct disputes - so that if mediation fails and the parties are simply unable to come to a resolution, then it proceeds further - might be worthwhile, but it again comes down to a lack of incentive by parties to participate in a meaningful way. It is a website after all. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:23, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The best venue for discussing user conduct is the user's own talk page. Go there, raise concerns politely and talk to them like a human. This usually works. No special noticeboards are needed. Taking a concern to a noticeboard is inherently hostile and almost always intensifies a dispute. Jehochman Talk 15:26, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I Agree with Dennis Brown and partly with Jayron32. Let the dust settle over the closure of RFC/U but creating another venue to fill the void would be a big mistake. Start looking how ANI can be improved by turning it back into an Admin venue, disallowing comments from uninvolved newbs, admin wannabes, and general admin haters and others with an axe to grind who have been allowed to exercise their mob justice there for far too long; disallow NAC, and please, NO self-appointed moderators from the peanut gallery. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:29, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    Who, slow your roll bro... I agree with approximately zero percent of what you said there. Admins are not a special class of Wikipedia user with their own special playground where non-admins aren't welcome. No aspect of Wikipedia should ever be closed off to non admins. Having a few extra editing tools to protect the text of Wikipedia articles from vandalism and disruption does not grant admins special social rights at Wikipedia. The idea that the admin bit allows a small cadres of users to shut other users out of discussions at ANI or anywhere is abhorrent and I weep for your soul if you believe that. --Jayron32 02:36, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    I was going to comment, but @Jayron32 said just about everything that I was going to. --Biblioworm 04:08, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Jayron32 (and I thought for a moment you were an admin), I'm surprised you didn't read what I said before launching into an almost 100% PA. You are fully aware that ANI is almost saturated by hardly relevant comments from the spectators' gallery. It resembles as much discipline as a Grade 6 classroom while the teacher is out of the room. If more admins (of the nice kind, naturally) were to risk having to duck the missiles and participate there more often, perhaps at least it could be turned into the decorum of a proper meeting and more judgement and less kangaroo justice would ensue. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:40, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I am an admin. I have been for six years. And you have confused "personal attack" with "calling you on an opinion I disagree with". People who say you are wrong are not personally attacking you. It is fundamentally wrong to "disallow comments" from anyone. It is not a personal attack to tell you that. Of course, when you use derogatory names like "newbs" and "wannabes" and "haters", that isn't a personal attack, but when I use zero derogatory names, and tell you that you are incorrect, I am personally attacking you? Again, I can find no reason to agree with you on that one. Perhaps you need to learn that personal attacks is what you did using the words you did. So I say again, slow your roll and learn that you didn't earn the right to call other people names when you became an admin, you did not become immune from criticism when you became an admin, and when you make overt statements which are exactly against Wikipedia's open community ethos, expect people to call you on that and tell you why you are wrong. --Jayron32 20:28, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support A little structure, like that used at DRN is exactly what is needed in (or apart from) ANi where currently anyone can post any unstructured unsubstantiated crap in total war against other editors on their personal enemy list. Legacypac (talk) 04:23, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose expansion of DRN to dealing with conduct issues. I created DRN some time ago, mostly for the perceived benefit of creating a many-to-many relationship between dispute participants and volunteers, working together to resolve disputes partially by mediating disputes, and partially by uninvolved editors giving their feedback on the issue. It has structure, which some perceive as bureaucracy, in an effort to control discussion to ensure the discussions stay productive. WQA had some structure but as it had no teeth (some may argue DRN needs teeth - my perspective is that DRN is a forum to resolve content disputes with the hopeful eventual result one all involved can live with, thus a binding decision is not necessary) and conduct disputes often end with one side getting "in trouble" - DRN and similar processes are not a suitable environment for these and this is the reason for my opposition. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 00:57, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose what we have is alright, for dealing with user conduct. GoodDay (talk) 01:12, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I have no opinion (at least at this juncture) about what additional processes, if any, might help with conduct issues, mixing conduct and content issues at DRN will merely complicate resolution of the content issues. We have a strict practice there of declining to discuss conduct and that forces people to focus in on what they're really arguing about not on the emotional issues which complicate that discussion. Indeed, all content DR processes — 3O, DRN, and MedCom — refuse to take on conduct issues for that very reason. Don't make things worse trying to make them better. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:35, 29 November 2014 (UTC) PS: My comments only reflect the concept of adding conduct issues to the existing DRN, not creating a new DRN for conduct issues, about which I have no fully-formed opinion. — TM 21:40, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I disagree with the early assertion that DRN is toothless or overly-bureaucratic. It's not perfect, but it's worth maintaining in its current state. It at least offers disputants the chance to work out their content concerns under impartial, competent supervision. But this is a format designed for content and substantive disputes, not personal conduct issues, and is not the proper infrastructure for resolving such conduct issues. —Theodore! (talk) (contribs) 01:19, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • ? I have no idea what RfC/U is. Please define abbreviations the first time they are used in a thread. To do so is standard practice in scholarly discourse. Kdammers (talk) 06:06, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

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

Expanding plagiarism detection

I am looking at expanding the copy and paste detection bot globally. Am looking at hiring staff to help. They will not only collect data on the size of the issue for publication but the plan that they will also edit Wikipedia. Are people here okay with that? Please join the discussion here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

sort by project on "Special:MergeAccount"?

I used MergeAccount, and the results came back like this:

The accounts named "Thnidu" on each of the following sites have been automatically attached to the unified account:

I'd really like to have them sorted by project first, then language. Can this be done for the results page? A sortable table? Please {{ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 00:08, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

@Thnidu: it can be done, but at this point the better question is if it's worth being done. It would take up quite some time and energy to make that list sortable, when the good news is that that Special page will be deprecated at the end of April with single-user login finalization taking place. Once that is done the page will be switched off since you will have an account on every Wikimedia wiki.
Now, in case you haven't seen it, you might find using CentralAuth on Meta to be much more useful. The table is sortable, though not per project type, unfortunately, but it's still a much more useful page. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Close down Persistent Proposals

NAC:No consensus, with Support and Oppose !votes equal. The effect of No Consensus is to leave the status quo unchanged, which means that the subpage can be left in place. Anyone who doesn't like the subpage can either ignore it or can write a new RFC with better publicity and stronger arguments as to why it should be shut down. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:46, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I suggest we close down Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Persistent proposals, a sub-page of this page. Looking thru it, it seems to be where good proposals go to be forgotten and die. That last post to the page was back in January and the vast majority of it is much older. Specific proposal:

  • All discussions currently there are either archived, moved to a stand-along proposal page, or moved to an appropriate page for revival
  • The page is marked historical
  • The page becomes a directory of what was once discussed there, linking to wherever the discussions went.

If this idea gets consensus, we can discuss what to do with the discussions currently there, but not until there is agreement to do this. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:41, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose – Persistent proposals that lack the support of the community's consensus will undoubtedly fail. This is simply how things go.
A proposal is not good if it persistently fails for good reasons.
Furthermore, we don't need to be having constant revivals of proposals like "Ban anonymous editing" and "Make administrators elected and serve terms", in my opinion. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:11, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
@Tharthan: Persistent proposals should not be confused with WP:Perennial proposals, which is completely different. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 04:38, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose No compelling reason for this action has been articulated. "It's where good proposals go to die" is cute, but I sense the proposer doesn't understand the purpose of the page he wants to kill. I perceive the page as providing benefit that exceeds cost. Townlake (talk) 02:27, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I do understand the purpose - it's a place to move discussions to avoid having them archived, or a place to put them when pulling them out of the archives. The idea is that they can get discussed further as needed. Problem is, it doesn't work. The discussions get forgotten and don't get discussed further. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 04:45, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Townlake. This proposal is a solution looking for a problem. Whether it works or not is immaterial, nothing is broken, nothing needs fixing. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:42, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  • This page doesn't seem particularly useful, I would suggest a new concept, a sort of repository of proposals and issues, for follow up, with their status (fully completed, partially completed, awaiting implementation, requires further discussion, in discussion, etc), with links to relevant discussions, and comments on the status of the proposal. Entries for addressed or hopeless issues would get archived. This wouldn't be just for proposals, it happens quite often that some issues are reappearing at VPP or VPT, despite not being perennial, but they are held up for various reasons. Cenarium (talk) 23:40, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
My suggestion is that we instead encourage editors to create a separate proposal page to work out the details to a point where it is ready for support/oppose voting. Such proposal often require one page to summarize the proposal and a separate page to discuss it. This is how the Admin committee proposal made it here for voting, and it was an effective way of developing a proposal, even if it is rejected. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 22:42, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I's quite common. But the listing I suggest would be more to keep track of things, not discuss the things themselves, there are so many things that come up repeatedly, not just proposals but also technical issues like what links here. A central repository where we have the relevant links would make it easier to know the history, status and next steps for those. Also, I support closing down this subpage due to inefficiency. Cenarium (talk) 08:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Well I'm about to make a lot of people happy <sarcasm>...., Until now I never knew the sub board even existed and by the look of things it's rarely ever been used - and the board history proves my point - Seems from 2010 onwards the board's simply became redundant & no longer needed. –Davey2010(talk) 02:09, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - It's only gotten 11 edits this year and only 2 were actual comments on proposals. At one point it went almost 7 months with no edits. It appears most people (myself included) basically forgot about it in 2009. It's designed for discussion, but there's no one there to discuss anything. If a proposal needs an extended discussion, people can just create a separate page for it. Then we can have something like Cenarium's idea to keep track of them. Mr.Z-man 03:33, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Inactive discussion pages are fine in many places, but not at the Village Pump - the idea here is to have discussions that are visible and active - that one is neither. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:54, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

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

RFA reform Proposal: Automatic admintools to users with 1 year of registration and 3000 mainspace edits

Per WP:SNOW, this hasn't a chance of passing, plus WMF already has a stated position that all admins absolutely must have community approval, so if this passed, they wouldn't implement it. Nyttend (talk) 02:27, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This RFC is a proposal to give administrator status to all editors with one year of registration and 3000 mainspace edits. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:28, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

The tools should not be a big deal. So give them automatically to users who satisfy some minimum bar, for example 1 year of registration and 3000 main space edits. The only good argument against this is the risk that some of those people will turn out to be abusive. This risk is not a problem for the following reasons: 1. Some admins already are abusive, and because there are so few of them it is hard to keep them in line, more and more diverse admins would make it easier. 2. the current process specifically is aimed at recruiting people interested in power because of the insane amount of obstacles they have to deliberately plan a strategy to cross to get the tools. By making it automatic we will get more admins who are not primarily interested in power. They will be the ones who can keep the abusive ones in check. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:02, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Another way to get the same result would be to let it be contingent on continued mainspace editing so that any month you dont make 250 mainspace edits you lose the tools the following month - regaining them only once you start editing again.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:58, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
This is a WP:PEREN and it will never gain traction from the serious side of the community. And certainly not before a very fast and very effective method of desysoping were to be put in place - also a WP:PEREN. That said, assumptions #1 and #2 come with absolutely no statistical or factual support. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:37, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Holy spacegoats, Batman!
365 days after that policy is implemented, probably to the minute, the block logs will explode.
Mind you, we could always implement compression. The string "Eric Corbett" repeated 135 thousand times wouldn't take up that much space. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:47, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, but not sure I agree with the specific numbers involved. Like Kudpung, I have concerns over removal of the tools; if we implement something like this, we'd need to implement some sort of desysop procedure; for users that abuse the tools we should perhaps have some sort of 1-year reset on their timer; or something like that. But I think that if we made the tools less precious, we'd have less people bitching (inaccurately in most cases) about admin corruption and abuse. 1 year feels right; I'm not sure if 3000 is a good number or not, maybe higher? But in general, making it easier to get adminship AND easier to get it taken away would be a useful thing in most cases. Most studies show that we only have about 3000ish "regular" users anyways, most of them I would trust with the tools absent any specific reason not to. Anyone who doesn't give a reason not to should have them; it was how it was done "back in the day", and perhaps we need to get back to that. --Jayron32 01:48, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - Clearly, this is going nowhere, but I just wanted to throw out another concern that may not yet have been considered ... this could potentially allow for COI editors/POV pushers/paid advocates, etc. to lurk for a year, and then all of the sudden have admin tools ... that is obviously bad. Go Phightins! 01:52, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
As if that is not possible now. The point is that it doesnt matter if there are bad apples with tools if the ratio of good apples is much higher. That would be the opposite of the ratio that the current system produces.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:10, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
'Good intentioned users outweighing the bad' works great as a description for normal, autoconfirmed, editors but I really don't think it applies to admins. The potential for doing harm when you have access to the extra tools is much higher. Sam Walton (talk) 17:25, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Why wouldn't it also apply to admins, if it applies to autoconfirmed editors (who in this case would anyway have to establish a documented track-record of 12 months of Wikipedia success)? Were not all admins editors first? Surely you're not suggesting that becoming an admin corrupts one's soul such that simply being able to access Wikipedia administrative power will compel a new admin to misuse it? Remember, it's the current RfA process that encourages only those editors with a craving for power to pursue it. Azx2 08:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose for way too many reasons to list. With apologies to Jimbo, Adminship might not be a "big deal," but it is not a minor one either. In the wrong hands the tools could become an instrument for wreaking havoc. The OP grossly underestimates the potential harm that could be inflicted, even without malice, by misuse. I don't even want to contemplate the mess a handful of determined saboteurs armed with the tools could create. I'm sorry, not everyone can be an Admin. This is a candidate for my top ten list of worst WP suggestions. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:14, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I think this would be quite interesting to just set up a test wiki somewhere, implement this, and see how it goes. Obviously you'd need to expand the bureaucrat position and stewards, to make sure that bad admins are desysopped, but even just say-a 5 day trial for editors when they reach that mark, and then taken back away, would serve as a good benchmark for RfA and how they would perform as a real admin. KonveyorBelt 17:26, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly the change would also mean that desysopping would become easier and much more common for minor abuses.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:23, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Admins not only have tools for special types of 'edits' to the project, which can be undone by other admins if something went wrong. They also have access to deleted content, which can have been deleted for various reasons. Some of these require that only trustworthy users get access to the material, since handing out data is something that can't be undone. How to determine trustworthiness is a difficult question, but just the number of edits and age of the account are hardly enough. — HHHIPPO 19:54, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per Hhhippo and Kudpung. I also think that this could lead to some people doing constructive mainspace edits for a year just so they can get the tools, and then cause major and detrimental disruption to many parts of Wikipedia. With people doing this to get the tools to use them in bad faith, they could also edit the admin-protected page that determines if ClueBot NG is on or off, and they could let tons of vandalism slip by with that. Sorry, but I think that this wouldn't really be beneficial. -Fimatic (talk | contribs) 20:00, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - I like the idea of allowing certain functions to be more widely permitted. I'm not myself sure blocking and deletion are among them. One of the comments above, about how admins are allowed access to deleted information, is particularly troubling to me, as it would basically make some really problematic BLP violations much more readily available and possibly circulatable. With some clarification of such details, though, I think it could be workable. John Carter (talk) 20:18, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Seems to me that all the opposes are based in simple lack of good faith. The same kind of lack of good faith that has frequently been used as an argument against democracy with the pretext that "common people can't handle the power". People should be considered trustworthy users untill they provide evidence to the contrary. And the argument that some people would lie low and then wreak havoc is along the same lines, denying hundreds the benefit of the doubt out of fear for what a potential minority of abusers might do. Simply not a very wikipedian argument I would say, more of an old aristocratic way of thinking. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:27, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think the proposal is without merit, but, unfortunately, I also think we have had even recently some editors of several years experience (I think one of them may even have been a sysop) revealing they were socks of previously banned users and not being caught. Telling some (not many, but some) individuals that "all you need to do is spend one year and 3000 edits to be in a position where you might be able to, well, create hell, seems to me to be maybe too tempting to some people. Maybe. Granted, with a fairly quick and low level of desysoping, we would probably catch most of the problem admins faster. But probably only most. The apparent almost absolute predictability of the adminship, even without even the minimal "review" we sometimes give through RfA today, could well wind up attracting more of the wrong sort of editors to the project than we already have. I really can't assume good faith of people when I tell them, "Oh, yeah, here's the vault. Lockboxes with diamonds and securities everywhere. Sorry, I gotta pee. You promise you won't take anything while I'm gone, right?" and without knowing better how quickly the desysoping could be implemented and any damages undone I have to have some doubts. John Carter (talk) 21:18, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The presence of bad apples among the editors and admins is an argument *for* this reform not against it. We already have admins who ought to be banned users, but who are not for various political reasons. And just for the way of prediction what sort of problems did the socking banned users you mention actually create with their socking? Not a whole lot as far as I can see. They certainly did not cause "hell" or any irreversible damage. So I entirely fail to see what the problem would be with having faith in our users' ability to behave untill they prove otherwise. Especially since even when they have proven otherwise they frequently reform when given a second chance (or when taking that second chance through a sock account). User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:50, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as an editor who doesn't have the toolset and has been here over three years and has 3,438 article space edits, 26,911 total edits on enwp, and 27,974 total global edits on all projects. It's not about the amount of time or the number of edits made. It's about the user's need for the tools to carry out tasks the community wants taken care of and the volunteer is interested in. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:47, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Horrible idea Do you know how many undisclosed paid editors we have here? A good number have lasted over 3000 editors without being exposed. Recipe for disaster. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:52, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
And why would it be problematic if they have access to the delete and block tools? Deleted pages ca be recreated when there is consensus to do so, and blocks can be undone.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:19, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose This is absolutely the worst idea that I have ever heard. Do you wish to destroy Wikipedia? Even if you claim that you do not, it's quite obvious that that is what this would lead to. It has nothing to do with aristocracy, but more with "Do you want this site to fall apart"? There is absolutely no way that this would work, full stop. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 21:03, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The paranoid and hysterical hyperbole is certainly entertaining. The site by the way *is* falling apart, partly because of a lack of admins and too many bad admins to the good ones. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:17, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you in that the site is starting to fall apart. However, it looks to me like you're making a proposal that you don't even realise the effects of. Just because one extreme causes a problem does not mean that the opposite extreme is the answer. It's quite obvious that doing what you are suggesting would destroy the encyclopaedia. I'd give it a year before the entire site collapsed, and (if it recovered) would have to be put back together again slowly. Within that time, many people would likelily lose faith in the encyclopaedia, and abandon it.
Nevertheless, if you wish to call anything relating to halting chaos "aristocratic", then I can't stop you. I will tell you, however, that that is a clear misapplication of the term "aristocratic". But I suppose you can do what you wish. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 21:28, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
What would cause this alleged collapse with in one year. And what makes it so obvious that you need not provide actual arguments in support of your prediction? I predict the opposite. Within one year people will no longer be complaining of administrative abuse, the backlogs will be gone and editors will be coming back. And yes claiming that the only way to "halt chaos" is by keeping power in the hands of a small ruling elite is the very definition of aristocracy.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:45, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The collapse would be caused by a horde of advantageous vandals. The reason I felt that there was no need for elaboration on that is because I thought we understood generally the patterns of vandals. As others said before me, we have plenty of editors that have ill intent in mind that simply have lain low for years, and slowly amassed edits. We can't give an exact figure for that, due to the nature of the matter, but nevertheless that would likelily be the bane of Wikipedia if we enforced this proposal. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 22:12, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
No, you need to be more specific. Exactly because you are claiming something is obvious you need to be particularly well able to explain why it is obvious, and what mechanism will bring it about. How exactly will all these "vandals" (as far as I know most vandals are IP editors who make three childish edits and then leave) being about the collapse through their calculated and concerted use of the block and delete function? Do you really believe that wikipedia is besieged by hundreds of sleeper accounts of vandals just waiting to find a way to bring down wikipedia once and for all. How do you make that belief consistent with AGF in your day to day editing? Do you really believe that the only defense against these sleeper cells of vandals is the exclusive use of block and delete functions by a small corps of editors selected specifically for their willingness to endure abuse and humiliation in order to rise to "power"? User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:19, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I can't really myself offer a good and satisfactory response to the last question, any more than I can say I think someone who really wants to be in political office is a prime candidate for such office. It would help to know the nature of the de-adminship process though. Another detail, and it is admittedly just a detail, which might be useful would be to know how if at all people who may have, stupidly, broken a rule in a minor way to lose sysop privileges but have either learned from the mistake or, in some cases, the lack of awareness of changed guidelines or policies (assuming such happens), might or might not be able to have the privileges restored to them. (Disclaimer: Personally, I would in no way consider having the admin privileges I have requested be taken away from me restored to me, and there is nothing in the above which should be taken as indicating some sort of ulterior motives on my part). John Carter (talk) 22:29, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's an answer to the last question: No, I don't. But not believing that the current system is perfect and believing that your suggestion is better are two different things.
About day-to-day AGF: assuming good faith towards any editor you encounter until shown otherwise and assuming that bad faith editors don't exist are also two different things. — HHHIPPO 22:51, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Who is assuming that they dont exist?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:53, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I was answering to How do you make that belief consistent with AGF in your day to day editing? I don't think that has to be made consistent since it is already. — HHHIPPO 23:03, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose at present when the only procedure for desysopping is the ArbCom. Oppose if there is some procedure implementing for desysopping. Just because there are a few administrators who are abusive or corrupt does not mean that we should eliminate all advance scrutiny of whether new admins will be trustworthy. I agree that some sort of change to RFA is needed, but this is not the answer. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:32, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The logical procedure for desysopping would be the simple consensus among the admin corps. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:55, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Extremely strong oppose - are you crazy? Apologies for the hyperbole, but this is a terrible idea, not just because of the possibility for serious misconduct and damage to the project, but also because the WMF will never go for it. Admins have access to tools which enable looking up users' private information (IP addresses and physical locations, among other things) and The Office have stated that they will not support granting these tools to any users unless they are vetted by the community in a process similar in rigorousness to the current RfA. More experienced users can provide more background on this. Perhaps a case can be made for automatically granting some of the maintenance-level tools (deletion, etc.) but automatic granting of the current admin toolset is a terrible idea and is never going to fly, no matter how high you set the bar or how effective a desysopping process we might come up with. Ivanvector (talk) 23:00, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
    As far as I know only checkusers have those tools.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:25, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
    @Ivanvector: To your claim "Admins have access to tools which enable looking up users' private information (IP addresses and physical locations, among other things)": regular admins can't see the IP address of a logged-in user - only users with the CheckUser right can do that. There are approximately 40 such users, and if they do make such a lookup, their action is logged, even if they do nothing more with it. But if you have somebody's IP address, anyone - even those that are logged out - can find out which country you are in, sometimes down to city or town level. You can try it yourself: look at the contribs page for any logged-out user, at the bottom there is a box beginning "This is the contributions page for an IP user"; in that are some links. Try the five from WHOIS to (Alternate). But Geolocation by IP address is not an exact science, see User:Redrose64#Where am I?, or put in your own IP address in the User: box at the top (even if you never edit logged out), click Search, and try those five links at the bottom. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:46, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Clearly I've got the details wrong, but it does appear to be true that the WMF wants to have an RfA-like community vetting process to appoint(/elect/whatever) admins, or they won't go along with it, so this automatic-granting-of-rights proposal just won't go anywhere. I don't remember where I read this or I would link to it. It's also just a bad idea - some users (maybe most users) shouldn't be admins ever. Have a look at some controversial topic like Gamergate or Macedonia or pseudoscience - if all those users had admin rights there'd be nothing left but a smoking crater. Ivanvector (talk) 15:43, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I oppose this even more than Flow: Not only is this a non-starter, failing the WMF's requirement that admins undergo community scrutiny, it is a surefire way to cause havoc. I'm sure even the proposer can think of users of sufficient tenure under this proposal who they would not want to be admins, and having to weed them all out individually would be a nightmare. Seriously? BethNaught (talk) 23:09, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Philg88 talk 23:10, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
That is the exact problem that this proposal solves. IF there are enough of them they can do it themselves, democratically. As it is now, noone does.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:20, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I might personally think that making the process not entirely "automatic," but basically automatic, maybe at some higher levels, might have a better chance of gaining acceptance. Some sort of defined disqualifiers, like maybe being blocked for two months in the first year, some consistency to the edit history, like not 90% over two months in really minor edits like adding categories and few if any major ones, and maybe, unhappily, some sort of defined committee which could blackball candidates if good reasons were presented to them for doing so, openly or covertly, might address some of the concerns of making it automatic. It would still benefit from having a bit clearer indicator of what qualifies as grounds for desysoping. John Carter (talk) 23:27, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • It is clear that this will be a snow closure, but I must say that I am more than a little surprised and dismayed by the apparent complete lack of any belief in the concept of self governance among my fellow wikipedians. I will say that as long as it is inconceivable to you that ordinary users could make good admins and organize wikipedia without turning it into a madhouse, then the current defect RfA process will remain in place. And as long as it does so, it will be due to your own anti-democratic thinking, and you will have the exact governance you deserve and consequently no right to ever complain about the admin corps.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:28, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
    Comment - The proposer criticizes our anti-democratic thinking. Wikipedia is not a democracy. The WMF owns the Wikipedia servers, and, as some other editors have mentioned, the WMF demands that there be some scrutiny of the issuance of administrator privileges. Also, the proposer's hostility toward criticism of his idea (saying that if we do not support this idea or some variant, we will have no right every to complain about the admin process) is not helpful. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:36, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The commenter's addressing me in the third person is not appreciated. Wikipedia is not a democracy, but it is based on democratic ideals about the abilities of everyday ordinary people to collaborate without external hierarchical direction. I am not hostile to critique, but that is not what is being offered. What is being offered is hyperbolic outcries that refuse to even entertain the possibility that something good could come from letting people govern themselves. That and statements about my mental health. Neither of those are actual critiques, since a constructive critique at the least explores the pros and cons of a suggestion before dismissing it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:20, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, though I'm flattered - 9yrs experience, over 95,000 mainspace edits-. GoodDay (talk) 23:31, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support if all requirements are met, it needs first to be tested on a broken WP, i think the German Wikipedia would be best, we also need a well working User:ClueBot Admin NG enhanced with the Watson API for realtime desysop.Mion (talk) 23:49, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The idea of giving the proposal a test run on one of the more problematic wikipedias seems to me a very reasonable idea. I'm not sure how to propose it for one of the less functional wikipedias, being only active on the English one myself, but think some of the wikipedias even more clearly broken than this one might not be seen as having as much to lose by as many people. John Carter (talk) 23:59, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The idea has some merit. If we start with a limited number of edits (an easily trackable and reversible number) and supervision before expanding to full privileges, its really not that different from taking our chances with new Admins. By virtue of having the tools doesn't make you bad or good, nor by virtue of having the title voted on by a largely uninformed audience make you all knowing. It is your behavior. Used well, it could do good. We need a way to get rid of the rats, whether they have the power now or will get it in the future. Its like any politician. Some go for the power to do good, some don't. Trackinfo (talk) 00:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Without getting too much into WP:BEANS territory, the main admin tools (block/delete/protect) are not really the most dangerous of the admin tools in the wrong hands. Certain things could be done that could cause sitewide disruption and possible real-world consequences. And there are some things that an admin can do that are not easily reversible. Admins are not politicians. They have no more role in governance than any other user. They are janitors, and with that job comes the master key to the building. RFA is broken, but RFA and "no review whatsoever" are not the only options. Mr.Z-man 01:16, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I would like to point out to Maunus that "ordinary users could make good admins""ordinary users should just all of a sudden be made admins". I don't think that it is being claimed that the former is untrue; rather, that the latter claim is problematic. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 03:10, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Moot oppose This a pointless discussion. THe WMF have already said that they require users who are granted the tools to go through a community approval process (currently RFA). No approval process = no buy-in from the WMF = no chance of this ever being implemented, even if it passes an RFC (which, let's face it, ain't going to happen anyway). Let's go and do something else, instead of having this unnecessary debate. Yunshui  10:11, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Moot oppose Despite this not having any chance of happening per foundation standards for viewdelete I will give me opinion anyways. Automatic adminship is like automatic trust, a very very bad idea. Trust aside nothing in the criteria will demonstrate someone is competent to use the tools. Chillum 19:19, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is founded on the principle of automatic trust. Competence and trust should be initial assumptions only set aside when proven wrong.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:16, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Again, Maunus, "ordinary users could make good admins" ≠ "ordinary users should just all of a sudden be made admins". Just because it is probable that a user who has contributed much to Wikipedia has good intentions in mind, we can't just place all of our bets on that belief and have each and every user that has met the criteria that you aforedescribed be automatically made admins. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 22:18, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Your silly equation is a strawman. And meanwhile yes, just because editors have contributed positively that is more than enough to assume that they have good intentions. Indeed we even assume as much before they even start contributing which is why we allow them to contribute in the first place. So yes we can safely place our bet that users who have demonstrated a will to contribute positively to wikipedia will also be able to use the admin tools positively. Indeed it is absurd to think that the Rfa process is better at sorting the "bad apples" from the good ones, than simply allowing them to have the tool and then take it from them if they turn out not to.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:58, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I have never claimed that the RfA process is adequate. What I will say, however, is that the RfA process is scores times better than what you are proposing right now. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 23:52, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah thats like...your opinion, man.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:34, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
It is actually a very common opinion. Chillum 04:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Oppose 3000 mainspace edits and 1 year of registration is a fairly reliable indicator that someone's got a good deal of experience and probably isn't too flaky. However, their work as an editor isn't necessarily indicative of how they'd use the admin tools; plain editors could be working in any area: for example, I might someday reach over 3000 mainspace edits just from replacing PNGs with SVGs (or some other equally ephemeral task), and that wouldn't make me a good candidate for adminship. Besides--and I don't know if this point was already raised since I didn't read the entire discussion, but I'm going to mention it anyway--a common objection when discussing edit counts is the use of automated tools. Automated tools are a great way to increase your edit count to something really impressive, but also something people take issue with because the edit count becomes 'artificial' in a way, no longer reflective of how much work you're putting into the project. (I don't have a strong opinion on the subject.) In short: I believe the correct course of action is to judge candidates based on more tangible criteria than numbers. ekips39 00:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Oppose 3000 mainspace edits and 1 year of registration is already the absolute minimum requirement I expect for a candidate to bring with them to even enter our current RfA process. I can't imagine anything of greater danger to the Wikipedia project than handing out admin tools based just on an extremely low level of participation and tenure and without any scrutiny whatsoever on whether they are suitable or the job. Ironically, I believe even Wikipdiocracy is managed without giving the moderator tools to 90% of its regular participants. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:22, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose since the eminent result would be all pages getting deleted, and everyone getting blocked, thus preventing the pages from becoming restored. An editor's competency has to be evaluated in one way or another prior to be handed the mop set (speaking of which, it seems as though the current method for even that is up for debate right now. There's too many discussion forks happening right now all over Wikipedia.) Steel1943 (talk) 20:47, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would never get accepted by WMF. They would not give the power to change site wide settings and be able to change almost anything on Wikipedia to anyone. LorChat 22:57, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't want to be an admin. Admin tools must be used by trusted, willing editors only. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:53, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Dangerous and crazy idea. Harsh (talk) 07:07, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Snow oppose - Someone with just 3000 mainspace edits would probably fail an RfA in the first place. I'd consider my own mainspace edit count to be borderline in many RfA cases, and I have nearly three times that figure at my last check. Secondly, it is incredibly easy to rack up a few thousand edits in a year, make sure they're all completely uncontroversial, and then when you have the admin tools, go berserk. Such an idea is hardly radical; after all, we have enough issues with long-term sockmasters as it is. Also, good content creation skills do not mean you are suited to adminship automatically, and to think so means you have gone well past the point of being delusional. This is also a fairly perennial proposal, and one that the WMF would veto. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 03:09, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Snow oppose - There is huge consensus that the process for adminship needs to be eased, but this proposal to completly remove review of candidates is a non-starter. Alsee (talk) 00:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per all the above. Adminship may be no big deal but it shouldn't be given out automatically. either. There's just too much potential for problems. Ca2james (talk) 23:51, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose--I don't think it should be automatic, per se, but I think this is much closer to where we need to be. I still think that editors who have it should actually WANT it, and I think there should be some evidence that they would be using it with some productive intent (like a history of patrolling, or RfX involvement). But, yet, minimum requirements. The bulk of the effort should be on the removal side, not the appiontment side. Anyone can have it as long as they don't abuse it. If they abuse it, it gets yanked.--Esprit15d • talkcontribs 18:04, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Terrible, terrible idea, would slip the problem from the frying pan into the fire. The reason there is so much concern over the admin process is because of a widespread belief that persons with temperament and maturity issues are becoming admins. This would exacerbate the problem. Coretheapple (talk) 18:14, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose Firstly, I am not an admin by choice. It would be rather strange to overwrite my personal choices by some wikiruling. Secondly, I have seen to many long term conflicts going on here. It would be a horrible idea that the conflicts around Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Cyprus, the Caucasus, Japan/Korea etc. could be fought by people with admin (i.e. blocking)rights... The Banner talk 18:27, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - The onerous and intentionally-discouraging RfA process seems designed to maintain consolidated administrative power in the hands of a small cadre of people who are no more honest, noble or service-oriented by their natures than any of the countless hard-working, diligent editors who would happily take on increased administrative responsibility w/in Wikipedia if there was a reasonable means for them to do so (and I say that as someone who has never seriously contemplated subjecting myself to the abuse of RfA, let alone gone through with it). By assuming their good faith and extending increased "trust" to editors who cross a certain participatory or contributive threshold w/o having caused drama, a greatly expanded administration could be created that would decentralize basic block/delete power and in doing so break the stranglehold of the cynical, corrupt, inefficient administrators who currently fail day in and day out to manage the workload necessary for sites like the German Wikipedia not to be "broken" (as someone notes above). No evidence has been presented thus far by the people who "Oppose" this proposal of exactly how "Hell will break lose" or why the OP is "crazy" for this bold, but entirely logical suggestion. Many logical fallacies, however are manifest in the comments of the reactionaries who prefer the status quo. Azx2 00:46, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose' - No way, just because someone ran AWB/Huggle/Whatnot a year ago and did some cleanup and racked up some edits does not mean I trust them with tools that can be disruptive to the entire project. — xaosflux Talk 00:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the basic idea, for the rationale that is provided by User:Azx2 and User:Maunus. If not these exact numbers or time, then something that loosens it up. Those who look for, and accept power, are often the worst to have it, or at least a bit worse than average. There are examples in ancient human societies where leadership was for a term of a few years, and randomly assigned to folks who already met certain criteria within that society. (I can provide scholarly sources, but am in a coffeeshop now and don't have my library at hand.) Also, I think it was Milton Friedman who said something to the effect that, with respect to US politics and their 535 "representatives" and senators, "[we would have better government if we were to randomly select 535 folks from the Brooklyn telephone directory" to govern the USA. I think that is about right. Something to make the WP admin group larger, and less of a self-solicited group, would be quite useful. Happy to interact in the future on other proposals of this type. So if someone starts a discussion, feel free to invite me to consider and join in. Cheers. N2e (talk) 04:01, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per se This proposal could invite more problem admins because although you mentioned there were aready some admins abusing their privileges, they could further abuse them, and on top of that the 3000 edits may not have any merit. They could be vandalism for all we know. (talk) 04:33, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - Admins who are "already abusing their privileges" are already problem admins,, no? So I'm not sure I understand the basis for your suggestion that elevating non-problematic editors, with a year of drama-free productivity + 3000 mainspace edits to admin roles will cause already-bad administers to further abuse their power Why would they do that? Fear of finally being held accountable? Hmmm. Anyway, creating an influx of 400 new admins for example (just picking a number - I don't know what the OP's projections are), isn't likely to result in more malicious administrative action than presently, as a % of total admin actions...unless you believe that every editor reaching the 3000-edit mark should be considered a "sleeper" agent of probable admin doom (which goes against the idea of AGF and auto-"trusting")?? In fact, it's more likely that a productive editor passing through a drama-free year, completing 3000 edits (or whatever qualifications were chosen for auto-extension of admin tools) is going to continue meriting that trust automatically extended to them when they autoconfirmed and obtained the power to edit the encyclopedia in the first place (and assumedly did so not destructively)? So the relative amt. of malicious/abusive/ineffective administering may likely decrease as more non-commissar-like admins obtain access to the tools necessary to administer enlightenedly, which they could do while also serving as a very, very real and new check on admins who now have almost nothing to fear when bullying or abusing editors or failing to manage their workload. One thing OP might want to consider would be making the automatic-adminship "opt-in", in a sense, so that only those editors who actually wanted to contribute to the Community by carefully and efficiently wielding admin power progressed from automatically qualifying for access to receiving access? Just a thought. Azx2 08:31, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment—I agree with the "opt-in" addition to the OP idea, and would support that change to the OP, which I supported. However, it seems pretty clear this particular OP idea will not gain consensus. So in my view, one of the greatest benefits of the discussion now is to provide material for a future trawl for ideas of what might be different at some relevant margins, but still get a lot more non-self selected admins into the game, in order to help provide some better balance on admin actions.
One idea: what about a process where some (reasonably large) set of experienced editors with records that meet certain criteria (e.g., even more edits than the OP proposed here, or an even cleaner record, or some particular pattern of demonstrated willingness to help with some WP administrative matters (but not Admin tools) in the past, or whatever...) is invited to consider accepting an adminship. Still would be opt-in (noone would be given the tools without reading some specified stuff on rules and responsibilities, etc.), but would be an invited adminship selected by some sort of community recognition of their previous long-term stable contributions, avoiding excessive drama, etc. Anyway, that's my two cents for future readers of this discussion, who might want more widespread/better admins, as input to their thinking on somewhat different proposals to improve the Wiki adminship process. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Azx2, I am not saying that elevating good editors to admin roles would cause already problematic administrators to abuse their privilages even further. I'm not even sure about that. I'm saying elevating potentially problematic editors to admin roles (even with 3000+ mainspace edits) may cause more problems because the community may not be able to trust these elevated potentially problematic editors given their edit history. Sure, a drama-free year of edits will more likely continue meriting the trust bestowed upon them. They just should not abuse that trust or that trust could become questionable. I was wondering though what you mean by automatic adminship "opt in". I guessing OP can opt in to using automatic adminship if they see fit? (talk) 18:19, 5 December 2014 (UTC) mentioning making the accessing of admin tools post-threshold "opt-in", I was just suggesting that requiring the editors crossing the threshold of eligibility (after 1 year + 3000 ms.eds, in this case) to signal their willingness to use the tools responsibly by actually completing some "opt-in" step to receive them (could be as simple as being shown a standard software install ToS-type wall of text specific to becoming an admin and using the tools appropriately, and requiring the recipient to click to "accept" or "decline" the tools). I'm not sure what the value of this act would be, if it would be merely symbolic, or a pseudo-token measure to extract an indication of noble intent or promise from the soon to be editor-admin that they'll do no harm w/ the tools. Cheers. Azx2 18:46, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying this. Cheers. (talk) 18:59, 5 December 2014 (UTC) thing... Oh, and as another user (John Carter) said above, one could even argue for "making the process not entirely "automatic," but basically automatic, maybe at some higher levels, might have a better chance of gaining acceptance. Some sort of defined disqualifiers, like maybe being blocked for two months in the first year, some consistency to the edit history, like not 90% over two months in really minor edits like adding categories and few if any major ones..." - that certainly seems reasonable to me. Azx2 19:50, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
I feel the same here. (talk) 23:31, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose without further conditions to prevent bad candidates from obtaining the tools, such as the block log. Also I wouldn't think the Foundation would support such a lenient criterion for this.--Jasper Deng (talk) 06:57, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - So, Jasper Deng, you oppose the proposal because you believe all the potential candidates would be "bad candidates", or because you think that only some of them would be (which is no different from any other vetting process that can be subverted)? It seems like your comment is saying you would deny admin tools to successful, hard-working editors who completed a year of service and accumulated 3000 mainspace edits because you think the vast majority of them would be "bad", which sounds, quite frankly, incredibly cynical and reactionary. Azx2 08:52, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Keeping in mind that someone with only 3000 edits very rarely passes RfA these days and that while there are exceptions, most have too little experience.--Jasper Deng (talk) 16:17, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Azx2, can you prove that this won't cause chaos or the collapse of Wikipedia? If not, then you have no more "reason" within your statement than you say that we do.Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:25, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
@Tharthan: Of course I can't "prove" that anyone will act nobly in the future, not even you. But one of the foundational tenets upon which Wikipedia is built is that good faith is assumed and trust automatically extended to autoconfirmed users to enable them to contribute efficiently to the project. It's logically inconsistent to claim that you believe editors can be extended trust and their good faith assumed when they have no history with the project, but that upon establishing a documented track record of success over 12 long months, that they're no longer trustworthy... Azx2 18:53, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah right. And we should give them the passwords to manage the servers as well. Johnuniq (talk) 23:13, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Ho! Forsooth and siccor, Azx2. Clearly, there is no possible way for someone to ever play a part. All who achieve high ranks and respect in this world are clearly without a doubt 100% trustworthy individuals. It's not like we've ever had any past cases of wily administrators or of witty and clever users circumventing honesty before. Nope, never.
In all seriousness though, Azx2, I mean no offence. I was ridiculing the statement, not the individual who was responsible for saying it. With that said, you must see at least some discrepancies within your logic here, do you not?
You have to understand how astoundingly ridiculous it comes off to many of us to see what is intended to be a serious proposal essentially being headered "Free Admin Tools For Non-Newbies". Take a look from the other outlook for a moment: Wikipedia has taken big hits in various areas these past few years, and this looks like a "take all of the alligators out of the moat"-type proposal;all one would need to do, then, would be to take the time and effort required to swim across the moat, and voila! They are now within the castle.
Simply put, that is most certainly not the type of thing that would help Wikipedia. Sure, it might make it easier for trolls to just be banned, but that would only be because it would make it easier for anyone to just get banned. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 01:05, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
@Tharthan: I don't think my logic is fallacious, as I've never denied the concern that editors qualified under this proposed plan for adminship could, nevertheless, be unqualified in practical terms to carry out the responsibility. They could be de-sysop'ed summarily, with minimum disruption or fuss once they've acted inappropriately and signaled that they were not worthy of the trust that had been extended to them. Furthermore, I've agreed that the process need not be fully-automatic to confer adminship, but, as another editor writes above, "basically automatic...[with] some sort of defined disqualifiers."
Comment - You say that these editors who receive admin status could be de-sysopped summarily if they were unqualified. However, the proposal does not specify a means of de-sysopping them. At present, only the ArbCom can do this, and it is slow and burdensome. As I noted above, I strongly oppose if there is no procedure for removal of admin status, and oppose if there is one; but this proposal, as we are discussing, doesn't have a way other than the ArbCom to get rid of rogue admins. If a variant proposal is presented that poses a specific workable way to get rid of bad admins quickly, I might be neutral. As it is, there isn't a streamlined procedure to get rid of abusive admins. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
What if they left havoc and distruction in their wake? What would we do then? Indeed, we could probably return things to how they were before something bad happened, but that doesn't change the minds of others as to impressions left behind.Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 23:31, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
And I also agree with this statement posted above by N2e: "[I]t seems pretty clear this particular OP idea will not gain consensus. So in my view, one of the greatest benefits of the discussion now is to provide material for a future trawl for ideas of what might be different at some relevant margins, but still get a lot more non-self selected admins into the game, in order to help provide some better balance on admin actions... Azx2 20:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  • LOL An incredibly terrible idea. This would make me automatically eligible for adminship. I don't want that and neither do you. Townlake (talk) 02:29, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
@Townlake:So you would be free to decline the tools, or simply not use them. Mocking or scorning the OP and deriding his proposal is worse than useless, however. Azx2 20:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Comment - Not everyone who is opposing this proposal is mocking or scorning the OP, and those who offer reasonable criticism are not "deriding" it but criticizing it. I do also note that the few supporters of this proposal seem to be showing considerable hostility to those who disagree with it. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
What I don't like about the attitude of several of the supporters of this proposal is that several of them are exclaiming "Opposition, thy name is bureaucracy!"
It's very presumptuous to state such a thing, and seems nothing more than name-calling to my ears.
Rather than resorting to such methods to obtain a certain result, we should instead collectively try to determine what the best solution to the RFA problem would be, and work with that. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 23:31, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Being an admin is not just having access to the tools, there is also a large element of "soft power", being able to convince and persuade without recourse to the extra buttons,. An admin that has gone through the election process carries with him the confidence and trust of the community, and that he holds those extra rights on behalf of the community. So that when those extra buttons are used, even if we disagree with their use, we can have the confidence that they are being used for the benefit and the best interests of the community. Making this an automatic right will move the custodianship of admin rights from the community to the individual.--KTo288 (talk) 08:58, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - merely having reached some number of edits, combined with a particular amount of time editing, (even adding in the complete lack of blocks) doesn't mean that you understand the relevant policies for being an admin. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 21:42, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

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