Wikipedia talk:Administrators

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Non-administrator arbitrators[edit]

WP:ARB says the following about arbitrator candidates: No candidate has ever been appointed who is not an administrator (usually with years of experience), although there is no prohibition against appointments of non-administrators. With the arbitration committee elections coming up, the current committee started a userrights-related discussion at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Motions that has included the difficulties a non-administrator arbitrator would face. Since the committee can't do anything about that, per se, I'd like to see some of the following (someone please improve the wording) added to the "Becoming an administrator" section here:

Administrative rights will be granted without an RFA to a non-administrator who is elected to the Arbitration Committee. Users gaining administrative rights in this manner may retain them after leaving the Committee.

I support this idea for several reasons: first off the elections require substantially more community trust than a typical RFA does, so Arbcom membership isn't a shortcut around RFA. As well, since we elect just a few people to the Committee every year, this won't affect the numbers substantially. Finally, current arbitrators already gain the oversight and checkuser rights, and they're allowed to retain them when they leave Arbcom, so former arbitrators also ought to keep admin if they gained it for membership. Please move this section to another page if this talk page isn't the right place for this discussion. Advertised at WP:VPR. Nyttend (talk) 18:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

The issue with this I imagine is that it's WMF stipulation that administrators -must- pass an RfA in order to become an administrator. (I've only heard that being described, and unsure of where exactly/when it was stated.) But otherwise, I see other issues such as a master puppet master trying to game to be an ArbCom clerk just to get admin privileges and such. Tutelary (talk) 18:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
WMF requires that an adminstrator has gone through a community-wide election process, of which Arbcom elections certainly is an example.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The question was explicitly asked a couple of years ago (I can't remember exactly when) and the official response from the WMF was that being elected as an arbitrator was a sufficiently rigorous process to be equivalent to passing an RFA. Thryduulf (talk) 20:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Tutelary, please re-read my proposal: I'm only talking about actual members of the Committee, and if successful, this proposal won't affect the rights of clerks. Meanwhile, arbitrators must identify to the Foundation, if for no other reason than that WMF requires ID for the checkuser and oversight permissions that arbitrators automatically get if they ask for them, and passing RFA (while absurdly hard) is substantially easier than getting on Arbcom. Finally, imagine that you're a rogue arbitrator without admin rights — your checkuser and oversight userrights are substantially more "powerful" and abuseable than ordinary admin rights. The only way you'll benefit from this proposal is if you're working in good faith, since you'll need the admin tools for routine housekeeping and routine committee work. Nyttend (talk) 21:44, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – One of the advantages of having non-administrator arbitrators is that they do not have the powers that an administrator does, and hence bring a non-administrator perspective to the table that would otherwise be unheard. Giving them these powers would destroy their non-administrator status, and hence change their outlook in a way that would be undesirable. We need non-administrator arbitrators who are actually not administrators. RGloucester 18:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree with this perspective on the idea. The only thing that I might suggest is that a couple rights be added as part of the OS usergroup that allow OS to see content that they should have permission to see, abusefilter-view-private, spamblacklistlog, and titleblacklistlog are the only three that they would be unable to see as far as I can tell without admin. In order for a non-admin checkuser to be able to do their job, the block, blockemail, and ipblock-exempt user rights should probably be added to the checkuser group. Alternatively, it may be more appropriate and community acceptable to simply create a new group Arbitrator with all of the rights that an arbitrator would need to carry out their duties that would be added when they got a seat and removed when their term was up or they stepped down. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 19:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with this proposal. Give them have the tools they need to carry out their duties, but no more. RGloucester 20:22, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - If trusted to be an arbitrator, the user is also trustworthy enough to have the administrative tools. An arbitrator can't function if they can't look at deleted materials. An arbitrator can simply ignore and not use any of the tools they don't want, such as blocking or protection. Jehochman Talk 19:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support agree with arguments give in proposal. Arbs need to have admin like powers to fulfil role, becoming and arb is as much passing a community vetting process as an RfA. While some of the tools in theory could be split just for arbitrators as another option that seems useless for the very small number of editors concerned. I don't think that giving someone admin rights suddenly completely changes them wiki-personality wise. All the admins that I knew as plain editors seem mostly the same after getting the mop. So I'm not concerned with some inside vs outside thing. PaleAqua (talk) 19:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
    It sounds like some of the access that is required might be available ( or easily made available ) through other permissions available to arbitrators. If that is the case, the need to make them admins seems to be lessened. That said while not all rolls are hierarchal to each other, arbitrators seems to be more like a higher tier of admin than even bureaucrats are in terms of their roles. Though I do understand that some candidates might object to receiving the admin bit, I'm not sure I would want an arbitrator that I don't think would make a good admin yet. PaleAqua (talk) 06:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per PaleAqua. I don't buy the non-admin perspective thing - it is not having access to the tools that changes this, but wide experience of using them. Any non-admin could simply choose not to use the tools outside of doing the arbitration tasks and resign them at the end of their term. Thryduulf (talk) 20:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Giving them administrator powers implies that arbitrators must have administrator tools, and implies a hierarchical structure we should not promote. Tools should only be given to those who need and use them. When one becomes an arbitrator, one only needs certain tools. Those are the tools one should receive. When one applies to be an arbitrator, one is not applying to be an administrator. Non-administrators should be able to sit on the Committee. There is no reason why they should not be able to. RGloucester 20:26, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comments to supporter's of this proposal above, while attempting to stay neutral:
    • Jehochman, while I generally agree that the level of trust required to be an arbitrator likely surpasses the level required to be an administrator, I don't entirely agree that it is all about trust. As far as them not being able to see deleted materials, they actually can see all deleted materials. The only things that they should be able to see, but can't, I've outlined in my comment to RGloucester above. The only additional tools I can see that they need to use CU effectively, I've outlined in my comment to RGloucester above. It's about having the tools needed to preform tasks set in front of you. No more and no less.
    • PaleAqua, I do agree that I don't think that giving someone admin rights suddenly completely changes them wiki-personality wise., I do think that the general community perspective of that editor is that they are no longer "just another editor" but instead become "an admin". While I agree that whether or not a user has a set of tools is no big deal, I know there are a number of ekditors who don't see it that way (including some administrators). Perhaps that is just human nature. What I can say, is if (yes, that is a big if) I was to get a seat as an arbitrator as a non-admin candidate, I would not want to receive the admin toolset just because I was an arbitrator.
    • Thryduulf, it's less of a matter of whether or not they have the tools or whether or not they use the tools because they have them. To me, it's a matter of community perspective about that user. Having arbitrators that are not administrators, while giving them the tools they need, might strengthen the bond between "general editors" and "administrators" and make some general editors feel less threatened by administrators.
Perhaps I'm way off base on what I think about this proposal, and if this proposal becomes and official RfC on whether or not this should happen I request that the whomever reviews and closes this to take my comments as all neutral unless I make a formal !vote below. Thank you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Such tools as are reasonably necessary to function as a member of the committee should be provided. The concept that admins are a "special class of people" is contrary to the principle that admin tools are primarily to be used as "mops" ("no big deal") and not as fasces of authority. Collect (talk) 21:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

This is certainly an interesting topic. On one hand, the mop and bucket would certainly be useful to non-admins who haven't gone through RfA for one reason or another. On the other hand, there is, perhaps, a reason that that individual hasn't gone through an RfA. If they passed the strenuous task of getting onto the Committee, why not allow them to go through an RfA to formally get the bits? It'd be interesting to hear from non-admin candidates on what they would like to happen should they get elected onto the committee. I, myself, don't necessarily want the bits. Oversight would allow me to view deleted text and one of my colleagues would be able to make any necessary blocks as part of remedies. Just my two cents. Dusti*Let's talk!* 22:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Dusti, imagine that you're elected to the Committee. Without administrative rights, you'd be able to look at revisions that had been oversighted, but normal deleted revisions you wouldn't be able to see — you wouldn't even be able to see that a page had been deleted (or be able to see whether it had any deleted revisions!) without checking the deletion log. Oversighters can oversight deleted revisions: would you even be able to do that, since you wouldn't be able to see them in the first place? Perhaps the current members of the committee will correct me, but I can't imagine how the committee's work would be anything except less efficient if you're stuck asking other people for help with ordinary deleted revisions. Many oversight and checkuser requests are made privately, and if you have to tell someone "sorry, but I can't oversight those deleted revisions because I can't see them", everyone's held up. It just doesn't work for holders of these rights not to have admin rights, and since we permit non-admins to get the advanced permissions, we might as well just make them admins. Nyttend (talk) 00:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Nyttend, what userright do you think OS lack that Admins have that allows admins to see deleted content that the OS can't? — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:14, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I quote LFaraone's comment at the abovelinked Arbcom motion. "If there are technical restrictions to the utility of these tools to non-administrator arbitrators, I believe they can be worked around through requesting changes to the rights given by a group to include the minimum rights needed to use the tool. Specifically: Oversight: Grant the delete, deletedhistory, deletedtext, deletelogentryt, undelete, suppressrevision, and viewsuppressed permissions to the Oversight group or create a new group for it." In other words, you'd be unable to delete pages, view deleted history pages, view the contents of deleted pages, redact logs, undelete pages, revdelete entries, or view revdeleted entries. LFaraone was responding to something said by arbitrator Worm That Turned; LFaraone was sympathetic to granting admin rights (although with restrictions that I don't support), and Worm That Turned is "definitely not keen" on adjusting the packet of userrights involved in the oversight permission. Nyttend (talk) 00:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I see. You apparently seem to be relying on secondary information by people who have apparently not completely researched their comments or the available rights per group have been changed since the comment was made. Either way, the appropriate thing to do is to clarify what is already available to OSers using the checklist you have quoted:
Things that might be useful to add to the toolset that aren't mentioned in your list for OS include:
  • abusefilter-view-private - Would be useful in cases where private AFs had been triggered to be able to see what the coding for those AFs is.
  • spamblacklistlog - just a log that should be visible.
  • titleblacklistlog - just a log that should be visible.
  • I hope this helps clear up that little bit of confusion. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 01:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • @Technical 13: It depends if you're giving them the userright to use or just to observe. If it's use then they definitely need the 'undelete' right so that they are able to undelete a page then suppress it. I'm fairly sure that they need the 'delete' right to be able to view the delete action page and hence be able to delete and suppress an entire page - Legoktm can you confirm? They will also need 'flow-delete' (plus probably 'flow-edit-post') per the precedent with being able to revdel. It's probably also worth them having the 'block' (and possibly 'blockemail') rights so that they can make OS blocks and also block and suppress usernames. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:05, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not strongly opposed, but I would prefer it if the tools were automatically returned after the ArbCom turn, if only for appearances. On the one hand, involving a visible non-admin perspective is valuable in itself. And on the other hand, we don't want ArbCom candidates to be seen as people who try to get admin status "through the back door". Caesar's wife and all that... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:02, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm following this discussion with interest in case I'm elected as a non-admin Committee member. I would prefer to receive a partial toolset consisting of just the tools I would need as a member, explicitly not including the block tool. I like the idea of the tools expiring with my term.StaniStani 19:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Questions: (1) Does anyone recall how this was handled in the earliest days of ArbCom (ca. 2004-2006), when there were a couple of non-administrator arbitrators? (2) Does anyone know how this is handled on other wikis with ArbComs? Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
According to Meta:Arbcom, the following arbitration committees exist on non-English Wikipedias:
I'm thinking of writing a message such as "en:wp is discussing the idea of granting administrative rights to non-administrators who are elected to Arbcom, should such a situation arise. Have non-administrators ever been elected to your Arbcom, and if so, were they given administrative rights in connection with becoming a committee member? Your response at en:WT:ADMIN, section "Non-administrator arbitrators", would be appreciated; if you do not speak English, you will be welcome to write in [local language] and we will translate for you". I'd provide this text in English and in a Google Translate version of the local language, so everyone could partly understand and so that any English-speaking users could make a more sensible translation. As for early years, Fred Bauder might well know (he was apparently a member of the first committee), so I'll request his participation. Nyttend (talk) 00:54, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Be extremely careful with Google translations. For example, German often returns the opposite of what you want to say, and although Google offers Thai, translations are roughly 90% gibberish (I work with Thai every day). --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:04, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
The statement that no one who was not an administrator was ever appointed to arbitrator is correct. Among the possibilities: a responsible editor who is not an administrator (Many decent editors could never run the current gauntlet) or someone who, as a matter of "principle," is in opposition. The appointment of editors who are in opposition to enforcement of policy to a body that enforces policy is nuts. However, if that is who is being elected, best to give the money back to the contributors and shut down. User:Fred Bauder Talk 03:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The rights configuration on my TestWiki might be different, but I just removed all rights from myself with the exception of CheckUser, Rollback, and Oversight and I can still see deleted pages and their content. I think it's because of the deletedhistory and deletedtext rights Oversight grants. Granted, we can't delete pages, but we can still view contents of deleted pages. I haven't tried RevDel yet but I'll do that now. Dusti*Let's talk!* 01:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, since RevDel is just revision deletion (one step up from Suppression) I'm fairly certain that Oversighters without the admin toolset will still be able to view RevDel'd pages, since they're the ones that would go one step further and suppress it. Dusti*Let's talk!* 01:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
In response to Nyttend's question, I know that de and nl grant administrator status, but I believe it is removed once the term is over. Pinging User:DerHexer and User:Trijnstel for more details. --Rschen7754 06:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
ru.wp does not grant admin rights to elected arbitrators, and non-admins were and, I believe, are still elected to arbcom on a regular basis.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Grant with the explicit understanding they will only be used for reviewing others actions (e.g. a non-admin arb should not be blocking anyone). Remove automatically upon term expiration. NE Ent 09:32, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Administrative privileges pro tempore seem fine, if the proposal were amended to temporary, I could support it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC) But let me be clear, I am not supporting anything presently, and I am not supporting the proposal. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:48, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. I'd also be happy with temporary permissions. Protonk (talk) 18:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose To pass RfA, one needs 75+% support. To be elected as an Arb, one only needs over 50% percent support, provided they finish in the top 8 or 9 or however many seats are being filled. The processes are not equal and, to me, should not be equated. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 01:41, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Well, but it's using secret voting, where people are more likely to oppose. --Rschen7754 02:13, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. The two electoral systems are fundamentally different. To be realistic, there are candidates in the current line up who may, or more importantly, might not pass a traditional RfA. a) I see no reason to relinquish anyone from the rigours of an RfA process. b) Due to the number of ArbCom candidates, there is a real risk that seats will be filled by default. c) Unlike RfA, the election participants have no real influence over the voting. d) The threshold for entering an ArbCom candidacy is, IMO, exceptionally low, and I believe adminship (or a former admin who has not been desysoped under a cloud) to be an absolute minimum requirement. I would go as far as to suggest that this should be the subject of a major policy RfA RfC and that the election be postponed (however long it takes) until the community has voiced a clear consensus. Failing that, non-admin arbs should have to make do without the admin tools until such times as they have passed an RfA. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:35, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written. If the individual tools cannot be granted, we could issue the "admin" bit, but it should expire when the person leaves Arbcom, either through "retirement", or through the end of the term and not being re-elected. (Note: I am an admin.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 03:44, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose By the time many voters make a choice there will be megabytes of discussion spread over many different pages. It is not realistic to expect that voters will examine each page in detail to see whether specific problems are claimed. For example, some people are skilled at working out what should be said, even if they don't mean it. Such a person might present an excellent statement, and that might be the only thing a voter sees in some cases, and the voter may support the candidate to fill out their nine votes. If the voter had known about issues revealed on a discussion page somewhere, they may have voted to oppose. Therefore it is not reasonable to grant all rights to successful candidates. By contrast, there is only one relevant page in an RfA, and all objections are clearly on display, and all attention is focused on the one candidate without the distractions from a field of twenty. What evidence is there that rights are necessary? How would those rights help with the current cases before Arbcom? Why couldn't an arbitrator without rights simply ask other arbs (via email) for any information required? Johnuniq (talk) 06:58, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose but with this idea as a compromise. Allow non-admins to be elected on condition that they begin the RfA process, with the signature accepting the nomination, and the edit to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship that transcludes the new nom, both being dated no later than 23:59, 24 December of the year in which the election is held. This RfA shall be no different from any other RfA and so they may be nominated either by themselves or another user. The arbitrator-elect must pass that RfA in order to be formally appointed to ArbCom; and their admin rights, if granted, need not be surrendered when their term as an Arb expires. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:22, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I might also be able to support something like this but why would the Arb-elect not take their seat? They could just take their seat without the privileges. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:37, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Can anyone point to a specific case where it was necessary that every person in the discussion needed CU rights, for example? I suggest that the election is a sufficiently high bar as to give a presumption of competence to those elected, and there have, in fact, been "genuine admins" who ended up not being proper arbitrators in the past. Let's allow the election process to run - and trust in its result. The concept of "no non-admin shall ever be allowed to become an arb" is a perverse one indeed. Collect (talk) 12:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose/Comment. Honestly, I think the minimum requirements for becoming an arbitrator are absurdly low (500 edits??). I think that being an administrator should be a requirement, which would, of course, eliminate this entire discussion.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:46, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I think it's quite obvious that a person trusted to be an Arb could be trusted to be an admin for the length of their term. --Biblioworm 20:09, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Partial support Given the level of trust needed to be elected an arb I support them being given the admin bit while they are a member of the Committee, but I think they should do an RFA (or whatever it's changed to) if they want to keep them. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:13, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per RGloucester because the perspective does change with the tools. If some one is elected without the tools, the community might have elected them partially because of that reason and that advantage (or lack of advantage so as to keep the perspective of the majority of the community) should be kept intact. Having NPOV discussions related to article space all day at wikipedia, we should most understand this. --lTopGunl (talk) 12:28, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Choice Let the newly elected arb choose if they want to be an admin, and if they want to, a simple poll can be held (edit:after they are successfully elected) in place of the normal RfA process. The non admin candidates will mention their intention beforehand in the candidate statement, so that the community may know if they are electing someone with a non admin perspective. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 13:35, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Partial support - It's sensible to grant admin powers to seated arbs, but I'm not comfortable with users retaining the bit past the end of their term. I would be comfortable if we could create an RfA process that lowers the bar for granting admin rights to align more closely with the process for electing arbitrators and if we had a complementary process for removing admin rights via mandatory reconfirmation, or some similar process.- MrX 19:45, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Partial support - I might favor something more along the lines of (although this particular phrasing sucks) "any arbitrators who do not have administrator privileges can be granted such privileges as are deemed necessary for the duration of their term as an arbitrator with the support of one other, admin, arbitrator." So, if one admin arb thinks a non-admin arb needs to have certain privileges to function effectively, the non-admin arb gets them. If certain admin rights, maybe like blocking, don't seem to ever be required for someone to function as an arb by admin arbs, then there is no particular need to receive those powers separately. John Carter (talk) 16:23, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the fact that someone can be trusted with one sensitive position doesn't necessarily mean they can be trusted with another, different sensitive position. I don't have a problem with the idea of non-admin arbitrators and such a person ought to be given access to deleted edits (since they might well be asked to look at deleted evidence), and if this can't technically be done without granting adminship then we could give them admin rights on condition that they only be used to view deleted edits. Hut 8.5 22:55, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment When I vote for someone to become and Arb, I'm voting because I think they have the ability to judge cases well; I don't EXPECT them to have to gather evidence themselves, just to weigh it. Weighing presented evidence doesn't require rights. — xaosflux Talk 04:40, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • @Nyttend: @Newyorkbrad: (and others interested in other wikis): we just got this request from the German Wikipedia, so it is done elsewhere. --Rschen7754 23:14, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

New User group[edit]

What about a new "Arbitrator" user group that includes access to deleted content, etc. Once the term expires, the right will be removed. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 09:33, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

This doesn't seem to me unreasonable, provided we were able to figure out exactly which rights Arbitrators would need. There might be a bit of a question though about maybe creating a user group which doesn't have any or very few members for long periods of time. John Carter (talk) 16:29, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I could support this - one thing that is hanging all this up is anticipating something that may not be needed - so, my thought is just wait until someone says they need it, and what they need and then yeah we can consider a bare-bones new user group (that can be restricted or expanded over time). Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:04, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
  • This was one option offered and proposed at the top of this section. I personally think it would be better to add the necessary userrights to CU and OS independently to make sure that all of the tools are available to preform those tasks exclusively without relying on the user being in another usergroup that they are not required to technically be in. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 17:12, 25 November 2014 (UTC)


Are there Partisan admins? If so should non-admins (the community at large) be concerned? Should other admins be concerned?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:41, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Of course there are. Why should admins be different than non-admins? I've been accused of being partisan. We need only be concerned if the admins act on their POV. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:05, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Kindly remove from blacklist[edit]

Kindly remove my website from blacklist: have been posting my website on Wikipedia. Please remove the site that were posted in backlist. My website adds value to its visitors by giving them relevant and up-to-date information on the latest technologies. I share the same vision as is of Wikipedia to make information accessible to more and more people. As we share the common goals so it would be kind action on your part to remove my website from your spam filter. Thanking You, — Preceding unsigned comment added by GawenBerg (talkcontribs) 06:31, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

As was explained to you, your site is not considered a reliable source and as such should not be used anywhere here. Your site was blacklisted because of your persistent insertion of it into articles. Your site may not be a spam site, but the way you have been adding it to articles is a violation of WP:SPAM. Blackmane (talk) 06:56, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
SO How will emove form Blacklish is there any way or can you hep us to remove form blacklist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GawenBerg (talkcontribs) 08:11, 24 June 2015
You were declined (at least twice) at MediaWiki and MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist#Bergspider - Protected edit request on 16 June 2015; coming here seems like WP:ADMINSHOPping. Also please see the notices at the top of this page - in particular, the ones saying "this talk page is not the place to post questions for or ask for help from administrators". --Redrose64 (talk) 11:16, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


I've started an RfC regarding the inactivity requirement for administrators here. Sam Walton (talk) 12:26, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Non-admin involvement[edit]

I added the following text to WP:INVOLVED: "When the technical ability to perform certain actions is not limited to administrators, in some cases experienced non-administrators are permitted to perform them. These actions, such as closing discussions, are still considered administrative, and as such the same principles apply." My edit summary referenced a current discussion here, which discusses how to determine involved status for non-admins closing RfCs. I don't have any opinion on where guidance on this this should be described, but it was pointed out that it isn't codified anywhere and this seemed like a reasonable place. Any thoughts (or objections, or proposals to change the wording)? Pinging Bbb23 who reverted. Thanks, Sunrise (talk) 04:45, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

WP:INVOLVED applies only to administrators, not editors performing an action that administrators also perform. Your text has no place in this policy. The concept of involved may have a broader meaning in other contexts, but its meaning here is narrow.--Bbb23 (talk) 04:50, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Do we have a place where the broader meaning is discussed? I've seen editors discussing that broader context link here. (Either way though, that's still reasonable and I don't intend to push for this.) Sunrise (talk) 06:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

requesting deletion of article OTAHUHU LEOPARDS[edit]

Hi Admins

My name is Caroline Matamua, I am from the OTahuhu Leopards -formally Otahuhu Rovers Rugby League Football Club, senior management committee. Mattlore created a article on our Club and the information was incorrect and outdated. He also did not have permission to use our logos and photos.

We made correction including our official club name and he changed it back to his version??

We have made contact with Matt and it is the Clubs decision to request deletion of the page. We do not wish to have un authorized information on our club especially when it is incorrect published.

I have edited and deleted information, I do not know how to delete entire page. Im sorry I am new and very much an amateur.

Can you please help me, We want to avoid the situation getting messy causing confliction

Kind regards Caroline Matamua csmatamua 05:07, 14 July 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Csmatamua (talkcontribs)

Hi, I'm a random volunteer administrator and I'm not officially speaking for Wikipedia, just giving advice. The article Otahuhu Leopards is not going to be deleted. We generally do this only if a topic is not important enough to be covered in Wikipedia, which is not the case here. The images seem to be properly tagged as fair use, which allows us to use your logo in the article, and as the own work of one of the article's authors. I don't see any claim you could make to request the deletion of the article (which nobody owns) or the images, but I recommend that you continue to talk directly to Mattlore (talk · contribs) on his talk page. He is an experienced editor and should be able to discuss any concerns you have with you. If that doesn't work, please see WP:DR for other ways on how to resolve any remaining disagreements over the article's contents.  Sandstein  10:26, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Caroline. If you have information that is outdated that you want changed, then we will need some reliable sources and we can easily add that information. What in particular about the article are you unhappy about? Mattlore (talk) 20:34, 14 July 2015 (UTC)


I'm trying to block a certain user here and they're threatening me from one Edit I made because I knew it was extremely sensitive information about a very fragile matter. How do I block this user from editing? Who do I talk to? Montygables (talk) 01:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

@Montygables: You're in the wrong place. Per the box at the top, this talk page is not the place to post questions for administrators. Formalities aside, you cannot block anybody, since you are not an administrator; also for anybody to be blocked, there needs to be a good reason, see the blocking policy.
Presumably this is in relation to the articles Clark Gable (history) and Loretta Young (history) where you appear to be in disagreement with Bookworm857158367 (talk · contribs). After one revert, the proper place to discuss the article content is at the talk pages of those articles, i.e. Talk:Clark Gable and Talk:Loretta Young respectively. I see that Bookworm857158367 has posted on both of those, but you have not. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:27, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Community desysoping RfC[edit]

Hi. You are invited to comment at RfC for BARC - a community desysoping process. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:37, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Correction to history section[edit]

"In the very early days of Wikipedia, all users functioned as administrators".

This is not true. The admin function as we know it only came into existence in February 2002 with the switch to MediaWiki. Around 30 people were directly appointed by Jimbo as admins at that time. During the first year (under the UseModWiki software) the only "admins" were Jimbo and Tim Shell. Larry Sanger also had the server password, but by agreement he did not do any "admin" functions [1] Manning (talk) 13:59, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Definition of 'wheel' in 'wheel warring'[edit]

I've added a small item under "wheel warring" to explain that the term "wheel" comes from the PDP-10 and Decsystem-20 mainframes as the term for their highest-privileged account type, similar to root on linux. The term is esotertic and identifying it should make it easier to understand. Paul Robinson (Rfc1394) (talk) 01:25, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

RfC for binding administrator recall[edit]

Hello. You are invited to comment at Wikipedia:Administrators/RfC for binding administrator recall, where a discussion regarding a process for de-sysopping is taking place. ~ RobTalk 05:39, 10 August 2015 (UTC)


Shyamal has contributed a lot to Wikipedia for more than 12 years. Nowadays in RFAs some people just talk about content creation. Then why no one gives any barnstar or Wikilove to Shyamal. Just look how much work he does. No one invites him for Wikimania. Why other administrators don't appreciate his hard work especially those who say Administrator must be a good content creator ?

Please have a look, -- (talk) 03:48, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, thank you anon but you have some bits wrong, folks have given me barnstars, its hidden away in my talk page archives and do not really matter to me or anyone really (it would be a different matter if Mediawiki had a rating system for editors / edits). Wikimania is not by invitation, and I have attended once. As for RfA, I am quite sure I would not make it in these times. My admin actions are also rather limited and gnomish. Shyamal (talk) 03:58, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Of course in 12 years you may have received some. I have checked talk pages of other content creators and contributors whose talk pages are full of wikiloves, happy new year animation, wikiproject barnstar. And they get appreciated regularly. (talk) 04:13, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
There is a certain degree of mutualism involved in that. How editors choose to spend time is a personal freedom. Also note that this page is not meant to be used for such discussions. Let us consider this closed. Shyamal (talk) 10:35, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Proposed change - 'No paid editing" for admins[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is no consensus on the current wording. The points of view were well laid out and discussed, but the opinions for and against are to evenly split. There is consensus for some language on this issue, but what those words may be there is no consensus. AlbinoFerret 20:56, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

In the Orangemoody sockpuppet/paid editing fiasco socks were approaching AfC participants and claiming to be admins

Consider the following paragraph in the Guardian:

"The Wikipedia Foundation said the accounts were blocked over “black hat” editing – charging money for the creation of promotional articles – amid allegations that hundreds of businesses and minor celebrities have been blackmailed by scammers posing as Wikipedia administrators."

It would be very good if we could tell everybody - including participants at WP:AFC, all our readers, and any journalists - that "admins are *not* allowed to accept payment for any services on Wikipedia. Do not believe those who claim to be admins and ask for money."

This would be a bright line rule that would protect everybody involved, admins, the WMF, and the scam targets.

I am not accusing any admins of being paid editors, suggesting that admins were responsible for the Orangemoody fiasco, or singling out admins for criticism. This is just a simple way to stop future Orangemoodies.

Proposed text to be inserted at the bottom of the "Expectations of adminship" section

Payments not allowed[edit]

"No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia. Admins who work for the the WMF or Wikimedia chapters are exempt when performing their duties for these organizations. Admins who work for other organizations which have missions that are aligned with the WMF mission, such as museums, libraries, universities and not-for-profit research centers, should declare a potential conflict of interest on their user pages and follow the conflict of interest guideline closely, but are also exempt when performing their duties for these organizations."

BTW, this proposal was developed at User:Doc James/Paid editing#16. Ban all Admins from paid editing and I will invite the participants there to comment here. Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:18, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:26, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Would this actually change anything? The people being scammed were obviously those without a large amount of interest in finding out how Wikipedia actually works, and I'm not convinced that our page on administrators, one of many in the maze of policies and guidelines on this site, stating that admins can't accept pay will help all that much. Sam Walton (talk) 17:00, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe it would for three reasons. The first in that it would give the WMF the ability to notify victims or potential victims of scammers that no administrators on the English Wikipedia are permitted to engage in paid editing. Companies looking into paid editing will be able to find information regarding the restrictions of administrators around paid editing. Lastly, other tools and policies will clearly need to be put in place to stop scammers, but this will provide another means to desysop administrators who engage in paid editing/breach community trust. COI is cited a lot but it might not be a strong enough policy for desysopping. Mkdwtalk 17:14, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • The WMF can already notify potential good-apple victims that "no wikipedian, administrator or otherwise, is permitted to engage in paid advocacy" ... or for that matter, in advocacy whatsoever. The powerful effect is, as Smallbones points out at 18:59 on 4 Sep, something quite different: banning admins from getting money, for being admins, and doing admin-work. I disagree that is a good thing; I've always thought that there should be a donate-to-this-wikipedian button, which allowed me to upload my credit-card-details to the WMF, and when I saw a useful edit (to include admin-actions e.g. page-prot which as an anon I'm typically against :-)   that I could "send" some other wikipedian a dollar. The proposed wording is vastly stronger than is 'needed' to be able to warn hypothetical future victims (a goal I *do* fully support), and has many repercussions outside the narrow realm of preventing-future-orangemoody-type-incidents. (talk) 13:12, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe it would have a powerful effect because the 1st sentence is so simple and direct "No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia." But this would work only if we take great efforts to get out the word; say in a box at WP:AFC, in any news article where the WMF legal or communications depts gives information (I'd think they'd be happy to give out this info), in any opeds people write for newspapers, at the help-desk when folks ask for info on paid editing. If we repeat this as a mantra, the point will get across. If we just leave it here without mentioning it, you are right - it won't do anything. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:59, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Smallbones makes an excellent case, and I support wholeheartedly. Jusdafax 23:32, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Reiterating my support for this. MER-C 02:05, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support The media might report on something like this. And if more bad stuff is picked up at least we have a clear policy and admins cannot claim they didn't know. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:14, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I do think similar language should be added to the pages for bureaucrats, arbitrators, and other roles whereby a level community is required. Mkdwtalk 03:53, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Careful; with so many knees jerking at once, someone's sure to hit their own nose eventually. This proposal is not responsive to any of the process problems exposed by the Orangemoody case. It will clearly not deter false claims of admin status or be visible enough to deter clueless potential scam victims from believing those claims. "It wouldn't do anything but at least we'd have a policy" is a bad reason to have a policy. Invest effort in things that might actually work, please. Opabinia regalis (talk) 06:04, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    • No, it's not a feel-good exercise. If admins were not permitted to accept payments for actions as above, then that statement could be on a page somewhere, and company reps could be pointed to it. It would be possible to assure representatives that if someone claims to be an admin who will provide benefits for payment, the person is probably not an admin, and if they are, they are acting against outside guidelines so their efforts will fail. Johnuniq (talk) 06:48, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
      • This is about stating our values clearly. WP is working hard to maintain its independence from the topics we cover. This by the way is an important aspect of trying to be a reliable source. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:16, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
      • While I don't think such a thing would hurt, I don't think that the sort of people who buy these paid editing services are going to be reading through our policy pages for statements like these before forking out their money. Tokenism and instruction creep, I feel. Lankiveil (speak to me) 09:33, 5 September 2015 (UTC).
        • It isn't for those who buy paid editing services. It's for the journalists who report on same. They have gotten our policies wrong on several recent occasions, and a simple, clear, and prominent statement would help them to get it right. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:47, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support If an admin needs to edit for payment, they can relinquish their tools. An ethical boundary has to be set somewhere to reassure volunteers and those outside Wikipedia that articles are not for sale. A rule is need so it is possible to tell company representatives to not trust anyone who claims to be an admin who will help them for a fee. Johnuniq (talk) 06:48, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • tentative Support - yeah I think Johnuniq sums it up well on how I am thinking about it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:32, 5 September 2015 (UTC) switched to oppose as unworkable as is. Iridescent sums it up well as it torpedoes many of the contests about the place and encourages division between editors and admins. Also Andrew Davidson's point worries me too. (I do support the overall idea just not sure how we execute it, or if it needs executing in this way.) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:47, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose strongly - Everything that @Opabinia regalis: and @Lankiveil: said and more. Instruction creep and hobbling ourselves with more policy for "gotcha" situations with our admins means knee jerk policies like these are shooting ourselves in the foot. Do people here realize no actual administrators during the Orangemoody case were offering their services for pay? Only those "posing" as admins. The proposal here is a textbook example of how extreme cases make for bad law. -- Fuzheado | Talk 12:13, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    • This is not completely about the OM case. This is about the issue of paid promotional editing generally. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:48, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) strong oppose as overbroad. There is no good reason, not even policy for the sake of policy, to prevent people who are administrators engaging in legitimate declared paid editing - the list of exceptions above just makes that clear. Prohibiting paid admin actions maybe, but I'd rather not make it an absolute - allowing something along the lines of the WP:BANEX exemptions would be preferable. Thryduulf (talk) 12:18, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    • What good reasons are their for admins to be taking money to write articles outside of the exceptions above? If they wish to create Elance accounts and take bids to write articles they should resign as admins. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:57, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - having administrators for sale is both wrong and problematic and we should be able to tell the world that. We also had the objection that it was 'creep' and 'not needed', when the section RAAA was added to this policy - and the answer is that those objections are textbook examples of the perfect is enemy of the good and should not cause derailment - no policy is set in stone, it evolves, this may evolve too overtime but this is a good start. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:08, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose The proposal is too discretionary as payments would still be allowed when the payees have "missions that are aligned with the WMF mission". Such weasel words enable enforcers to pick and choose; sparing their friends and punishing their enemies. Andrew D. (talk) 13:20, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It's rule creep that will do nothing to help the actual problems that occurred with Orangemoody, since the victims are unlikely to discover such policies and no real admins appear to have been involved. More importantly, such a rule will be full of exceptions for the WMF, Wikimedia chapters, Wikipedians-in-residence, and many others who tangentially draw some income in the same areas that they contribute to Wikipedia. For example, I've gotten discounted admission to events by agreeing to give a talk showing how Wikipedia editing works. I also know academics that use Wikipedia as an example of an "outreach activity" in their grant applications (NSF generally encourages outreach) or in their tenure portfolios. We don't want to create a situation where anyone who shares knowledge that they are also paid for in their day job is at risk of being in violation of policy, and the only alternative to that seems to be a rule that basically says "No paid editing, except in the numerous cases we approve of", which makes for bad policy. Dragons flight (talk) 14:06, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • SupportSupport idea but recognize it may not be worth the drama, but with a recommended re-write of the exception clause,:
    No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia without the express prior permission of the Arbitration Committee or Wikimedia Foundation or their authorized deputies. Any admin engaged in such "approved" paid editing should must declare a potential conflict of interest and provide a link to the authorization on their user pages and follow the conflict of interest guideline closely.
    Grandfather clause (expires 6 months after adoption):Admins who work for the the WMF or Wikimedia chapters are exempt when performing their duties for these organizations. Admins and admins who work for other organizations which have missions that are aligned with the WMF mission, such as museums, libraries, universities and not-for-profit research centers, are exempt from obtaining individual authorization when performing their duties for these organizations. Linking to this page will serve as a link to their authorization to engage in paid editing.
{{collapse top|original wording}}

"No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia. Admins who work for the the WMF or Wikimedia chapters are exempt when performing their duties for these organizations. Admins who work for other organizations which have missions that are aligned with the WMF mission, such as museums, libraries, universities and not-for-profit research centers, should declare a potential conflict of interest on their user pages and follow the conflict of interest guideline closely, but are also exempt when performing their duties for these organizations." {{collapse bottom}}

This will
Give both the WMF and ARBCOM the flexibility to make individual exceptions and to delegate the power to make exceptions to someone else (e.g. a clerk or sub-committee) if they see fit,
Require the notices on the user pages rather than say they "should" be there,
Require those editing in "official" WMF and Chapter roles to follow the same rules as other "exempt" editors for the first 6 months
Require all administrators "officially exempted" in the original proposal have individual authorization after 6 months. It is expected that this will be granted as a formality by having ARBCOM and the WMF just update their lists of "authorized" people as needed.
davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 15:33, 5 September 2015 (UTC) Updated to add Support idea but recognize it may not be worth the drama, to the opening statement, will elaborate further down below. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:42, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I could support the above, although I would maybe like the exemption to be a bit more specific, as (1) I guess it could not unreasonably be said that a WMF's "duties" could be a conflict if they edited in articles relating to topics perhaps indirectly relating to WP:FLOW or related programming, to bolster the view of the community itself regarding such proposals, and the like. I suppose similar problems could arise if, for instance, an employee of a museum were to use our articles to support a particular contention regarding a certain topic in such a way as to make the content, particularly the main article on that topic, more in line with something which they might be presenting as an exhibit in their museum now or in the future. Borderline conflicts of the type indicated above would probably be a good idea to more clearly address. John Carter (talk) 15:55, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Isn't the right answer here just to have a statement such as "Administrators are expected to adhere to the policies restricting conflicts of interest and paid editing. Violations of these policies may lead to the loss of administrative privileges." What is acceptable or not acceptable can be elaborated in more detail at those pages without special rules based on editor class. I think it is entirely clear that if any admin had been involved in the Orangemoody fiasco then they would be desysopped and blocked without the need of any additional policies. At same time, adding a new layer of rules to specifically apply to people who are nominally among our most trusted users seems rather unnecessary. More about the PR view than actually improving Wikipedia as far as I can see. Dragons flight (talk) 15:58, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
I see your point, but Wikipedia rules don't totally disallow paid editing. We do need to totally disallow paid adminning, except maybe for these allied organizations ... and I'd wager there is probably something rotten to be found if you dig deep enough into the WIR programs, for that matter. The conceptual difference is that if you own a company and there is (or isn't) an article about it, you face a crowd of ordinary editors and if one of them is trying to shake you down he is just one voice, and you may not have to deal with him. But if an admin is trying to shake you down, you have no choice whether or not to deal with him; he can involve himself and then the others defer. So an admin can plausibly extort you for money, having a credible threat of having sole control over what happens to your article, whereas a corrupt editor is just one harassing voice. Wnt (talk) 17:01, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
(e/c)@Dragons flight: Today, nothing prevents an existing administrator from accepting money from just anyone for paid editing as long as he adheres to the same rules as non-admins. I think that very possibility leaves a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths (I doubt any editor known to be a former shill will pass RfA in the foreseeable future without being asked to renounce his past behavior and disgorge himself of any related income, even if they have never violated any Wikipedia policy), and it allows went to the dark side administrators to silently wink-wink-nudge-nudge imply to their customers that they have some special authority to protect those articles when they do not (in many countries deceptive trade laws prevent them from actually coming out and making such claims). Likewise, it makes it easier for someone to pretend to be an administrator and pretend to have this ability without his customer becoming suspicious. Having a very public statement saying "no, administrators can't protect articles on behalf of 3rd parties" - which is already true (WP:INVOLVED, etc.) - will have a lot more weight if the "outside world" knows that Wikipedia administrators are banned from accepting payment at all outside of narrow, defined circumstances such as the ones already mentioned in this proposal, and it will make it that much harder for "fake admins" to deceive their victims. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:14, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Have you checked for reds paid editors under the bed? Opabinia regalis (talk) 18:09, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't like the text as written -- I would prefer "No administrator may accept payment for Wikipedia editing or administrative functions of any kind. Exceptions, for specific organizations aligned with the WMF mission, such as museums, libraries, universities and not-for-profit research centers, may be made a consensus of the Wikipedia community or by the WMF. Nonetheless, admins receiving payments should declare a potential conflict of interest on their user pages and follow the conflict of interest guideline closely." However, this is a long overdue policy and I will support it even in the current wording in the hope of seeing something down right away to shield the victims of Wikipedia-related scams from claims that they have to buy admin influence. Wnt (talk) 16:54, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Very strongly oppose. This just entrenches the meme that admins are some kind of elite class of super-users. I can't see any benefit that this provides over the existing terms of use, other than as an opportunity for the usual whiners to play gotcha games with any admin who accepts anything that could conceivably be considered "payment" from the subject of any article they've ever edited. As currently worded the two proposals would either get me blocked (in the case of the first proposal) or force me to seek consent from Arbcom (in the case of the second) were the York Art Gallery to buy me a pie as thanks for getting Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball up to mainpage standard in time to run on the day it went back on display, while any admin who took part in something like this would be summarily banned. ‑ iridescent 17:05, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    I would suggest that administrators who participate in contests where there are prizes of more than a token value should not accept the prize (I'm open to exceptions that are clearly for Wikipedia's benefit, like free access to subscription-only databases for use in editing WP), if only to avoid allegations of potential misuse of the bit in the future if they wind up taking action against an editor who happened to edit that article at the same time at some point in the future. As for someone buying you a pie after the fact, I would expect de minimus would apply. If you got a more significant "thank you" after the fact and it was at all feasible for you to disgorge yourself of it, I would expect you to do so. If you were "put on the spot" - say, instead of giving you a pie the New York Art Gallery invited you to lunch at an expensive restaurant and you really couldn't say "no," I would expect you to disgorge yourself of what you would have paid for lunch that day and try to avoid such situations in the future. This might mean talking with your supervisor afterwords and explaining that this put you in a situation where others might question your independence as an administrator and that this could, in turn, reflect poorly on the Gallery. If you could afford to (which is not a given), I would expect you to disgorge yourself of the entire cost of the meal. I see a parallel to politicians, corporate executives and managers, and other sin the "real world" who have "power" or "perceived power" over others: They need to not only avoid actual conflicts of interest but also the appearance of a conflict of interest much more than the "average person" does. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:31, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    Out of curiosity, who do you consider "my supervisor"? This would ordinarily be a ridiculous question to ask of someone with 30,000 edits, but how exactly do you think Wikipedia operates? ‑ iridescent 17:56, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    I misakenly assumed you asked the "pie" question because you had an employer/employee or formal volunteer/volunteer-organization relationship with the York Art Gallery. Since I misunderstood you, then most of what the details I gave don't apply. So, to re-answer your question as if someone not "close to you" (in a COI sense) offered you a "thank-you", consider doing whatever is needed so that there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest. For a slice of pie or other token "thank you" gift, no action may be required. For a gratuity that is much more valuable, you may need to decline it or give it to charity or take some similar action. This same advice to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest goes for all editors, but it goes more for experienced editors and even more for those with advanced user-rights. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 23:31, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
    I'm glad that's cleared up; I really wasn't looking forward to watching iridescent disgorge a month-old pie. Belle (talk) 00:42, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    You are aware that many Wikipedians-in-Residence have actual salaries from the library / museum / other organization that supports them, right? We can and should build alliances with other like minded organizations. Those connections need to be open and transparent, and any apparent conflicts made clear. However, you seem to be advocating for a kind of extreme position that would make it impossible for an admin to ever accept grants to support content creation. Do you think that being a WiR is incompatible with being an admin? If so, why? Do you object to all financial support for content creation, or just that offered to administrators? Frankly, I don't get it. Earlier you compared admins to politicians, which isn't a very good analogy, but let's go with it anyway. Politicians in the US are generally free to accept considerable support from special interests as long as they are open about who their donors are. Hypothetically, if an admin had funding from the National Science Foundation or the Smithsonian to produce content, I'd be glad to know but I wouldn't be upset about it just because some money changed hands. On the other hand, if they took funds from say a public relations company or a scandal-plagued company that appears very different. Context matters, and I don't buy that adhering to an extreme conflict avoidance policy makes sense, especially if it will make it harder to build relationships with GLAM institutions, academics, and other subject matter experts that we are often lacking. Dragons flight (talk) 00:47, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    It has been repeated multiple times that this does not apply to WiR. We need to stop using WiR as a screen to protect those doing paid promotional editing which amounts to little more than adding spam to Wikipedia.
    We need to emphasise that the "Wikipedia editor" you picked up on Elance who promised to get the article about you, your wife, and your company restored is not an admin even though they claim they are (and if they are an admin they are one contravening the rules). Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:52, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    @Dragons flight: Yes, I am aware, and I think Doc James's response should address your concerns. In the original proposal, they are categorically exempt. In the alternative proposal I favor, I would expect WiR editors to routinely be given approval to be on either an ARBCOM or WMF "individually approved exempt list, when editing in their capacity as an WiR." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:24, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    You both say WiR is exempt, but I don't think either proposal articulates a usable principle for why receiving financial support would sometimes be okay and other times not. If, as James says, the point is to attack Elance style hiring, then you should be much more direct about saying so. So far, the only clear differentiating principle I can really see between the things you say you want to ban and WiR / grant programs is that the editors in the latter programs are generally expected to play by Wikipedia's rules, while people like Orangemoody are generally saying that if you pay me then I will circumvent Wikipedia's rules for you. If that is really the crux of the issue then we don't actually need new policy, since it is already against policy to circumvent the rules. Dragons flight (talk) 09:59, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    The reason for exempting WiR/grant programs is that the "missions [of those paying the money] ... are aligned with the WMF mission". Whether this exemption is "baked in" as in the original proposal or "by application to WMF/ARBCOM" as in my counter-proposal, the core reason to exempt such people remains the same. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:02, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    Thing is, the wikimedia chapters work with varying degrees of independence at times from WMF central as it were, so it's not inconceivable that relationships will break down and you could have two groups pointing at each other claiming their aims are not compatible with the improvement of wikipedia etc. In which case this could become a tool to lynch admins. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:45, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    "Aligned with the WMF mission" is going to mean totally different things to different people, depending what they view our mission to be and what aspects of that mission they choose to emphasize. In case you haven't read it, the actual WMF mission statement is exceedingly short, covers a very wide range of possible activities, and leaves out some of the foundational principles (like neutrality) that one might have expected. Altogether, I would say that "aligned with the WMF mission" is basically useless as a guiding principle since well-meaning people are going to disagree on what that really means. Dragons flight (talk) 21:42, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Very strong support - There's absolutely no reason, with the obvious exceptions properly accounted for, that any admin should be receiving money to edit Wikipedia. Discovery of paid editing by an admin should be ground for immediate desysop. BMK (talk) 22:58, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, but the exact wording needs to be discussed. I would further suggest that we create a "guide for journalists writing about Wikipedia" that links to this and selected other policies, discusses common misconceptions found in other stories, tells them where to get answers, etc. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:56, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    • 'Exact wording' is crucial, yes. On your other suggestions, strongly support creating a guide for journalists, if we do, maybe fewer of them will confuse everyday English terms like 'banned' with the correct wikipedia terminology 'indef-blocked' for instance. However, to get journalists to read the guide, and follow the guide, is another matter. Hey... maybe we can flip orangemoody around... bluelinked publications, that refuse to correctly use wiki-terminology, and publish stories with incorrect content, get their bluelink sent to AfD? Oh... oh right. Bad idea, nevermind. (Just kidding.) But I do think a journalist's-FAQ is a very good idea. (talk) 13:20, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Does everyone remember Gibraltarpedia? It got us a fair bit of bad press. If admins / functionaries are taking money to write / promote content the movement needs to at least be made aware and given an opportunity to weigh in. While some types of accepted money while being a functionary are okay others are clearly not. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:27, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
And wouldn't policing future incidents be done with (a) monitoring COI editing by any/all editors and (b) holding admins to standards of impartiality? Anything not covered by that? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:51, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure if Bamkin was ever a "Wikipedian in Residence" formally, but his close relationship with a WMF organization and the ostensibly nonprofit nature of Gibraltar tourism make me think that there is no way that a clever person in his situation could not take advantage of the WiR/like-minded organizations loophole in the proposed text. I mean, Gibraltar's claim to fame is basically a sort of museum, or historic districts that are like a museum, so ... Wnt (talk) 15:23, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
Sure and I think what is requested is that the community be made aware so that they can determine if they think the type of relationship he had was okay or not. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:28, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Yes, it's rule creep that will do nothing to help the actual problems that occurred with Orangemoody, since that horse has already bolted and we're now wondering why we left the stable door wide open. Just get the text right. Oi, and BTW, let's make it easier to desysop rogue admins... Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:41, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as currently worded. The exceptions are too vague, and from the discussion above it appears what is "paid" editing severe enough to be affected by the proposed policy is still up in the air. When we're losing admins faster than we're gaining them, I loathe to think of someone being summarily desysopped for something so simple as accepting a slice of pie or a cup of coffee. I understand the need to avoid even the semblance of admins being compromised, but we need to have better wording. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 05:51, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support of the first very simple wording Smallbones put on the table: "admins are not allowed to accept payment for any services on Wikipedia. Do not believe those who claim to be admins and ask for money" or similar more formally, such as the first sentence of Smallbones' longer version: "No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia." I don't believe in adding any ifs and buts whatever. It's supposed to be a rule that WMF can point people to, mainly people who know little about Wikipedia's internal functions or arbcom or the WMF. For that pointing to be helpful, it needs to be a very simple rule. No creep please. Bishonen | talk 13:51, 6 September 2015 (UTC).
  • The more I think about what Bishonen wrote above the more I agree with it. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:43, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • And the more I oppose it, as it would preclude anyone who was an administrator from becoming a WIR, getting expenses (e.g. for things like running an editathon, helping organise a Wikimania, etc) receiving grants from a chapter, or even receiving unsolicited gifts. Thryduulf (talk) 20:08, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • What Thryduulf said. A longer reply to Bishonen here, to save cluttering up this thread. ‑ iridescent 20:23, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly agree with Thryduulf. It is not possible to construct this policy in a way that is both simple enough for its purported rhetorical purpose and nuanced enough to accommodate common practice. Opabinia regalis (talk) 20:26, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • How about "with certain well-defined exceptions, admins are not allowed to accept payment for any services on Wikipedia, and they will never ask you for money. If someone pretending to be an admin asks you for money, report it here." with an appropriate title and page for the link I just made up? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:24, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
How about no? Take another look at this list. Not an admin amongst them. Anyone who told someone they were an admin and linked to one of those Wikipedia accounts was lying; they were violating the TOU right there. Anyone who told them they were an admin and linked to an admin's page was lying; we had many complaints about admins being asked about things they hadn't done and hadn't said. In fact, these proposals are just begging for people to joe-job administrators. Administrators need to follow the COI policy and the TOU, just like every other user on this site. There is nothing special about admins in this situation. Risker (talk) 00:56, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Risker, I am generally partial to your thinking on this, but I'd suggest it's important to refrain from referring to a non-existent COI policy. We have a COI guideline but not a policy. Perhaps we should enshrine parts of this in policy, but to date we have not. -Pete (talk) 00:31, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
I think it is a good idea. The board members of the WMF are required to step down from non paying positions at other WM related charities. Specific other COIs are discussed and certain COIs are not allowed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:27, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I can understand the value of being able to say categorically that admins don't engage in paid editing, but a blanket ban would prevent admins from engaging in paid editing that is generally considered benign, such as grants from appropriate organisations, the reward board, expenses, Wikipedians in residence, and so on. The only way to deal with this is to add a long list of exemptions that makes the rule largely meaningless. Even without this rule I strongly suspect that an admin who did engage in prohibited paid editing could be desysopped anyway for violating WP:COI, and that page is long enough to set out the nuances of what is and is not considered acceptable conduct. Hut 8.5 20:22, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Wikipedians in residence, Wikimania scholarships, community-appointed administrators who are also WMF employees, anyone who uses the Wikipedia Library, anyone who successfully applies for a grant of any type from any Wikimedia-related organization (even if it's just to be reimbursed for the pizza at the edit-a-thon), anyone who's received a freebie t-shirt in appreciation of their work, special access such as that for Arbcom or other selected groups, anyone who does anything for a chapter, - well, right there you've knocked out a good half of the current ACTIVE administrator corps. No, this is just silly overreaction, and it won't change anything whatsoever, except to punish people who have been doing great work...and more importantly, to punish the encyclopedia that loses the services of those very people. Bad actors will still claim to be Wikipedia administrators and experienced editors, and people will still fall for it. It is very bad practice to cut off one's nose to spite one's face. Risker (talk) 20:26, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
    • I would find this acceptable: "Administrators are expected to rigorously follow the conflict of interest policy and the terms of use, particularly with relation to paid editing." Risker (talk) 20:43, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
      • As admins hold a position of authority whether we like it or not, they should be held to slightly higher standards wrt COI. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:29, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Okay then, does not Risker's wording suffice? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:15, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
          • This means that I as an admin can take offers from pharmaceutical companies to "improve/correct" WPs content as long as I disclose they are paying me? That I can offer my services via Elance as long as I disclose? I do not think admins should be able to do this and Riskers wording says they can. Are people saying we should be allowing this? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:26, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
            • Let's consider some scenarios. On the one hand Bayer gives an admin $10000 to push positive content about their new drug for Crohn's disease. There is a clear implication that he would be writing non-neutral content and that is obviously not okay. On the other hand, suppose Bayer gives an admin $10000 to write about Crohn's disease generally, without discussing their specific products. If he discloses that payment and explicitly avoids writing about Bayer products, then I would consider that to be okay, even if the optics are a little ugly. Wikipedia is radically transparent and anyone can review his actions to ensure that he really does honor his commitment to write neutral content. A somewhat better process might be if Bayer gave money to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America to hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence, and then CCFA conducts a general search and ultimately hires someone to write about Crohn's and colitis with no direct interaction with Bayer. For me at least, the problem is not that money changed hands, but rather whether the content creation work is openly declared and structured in a way that is consistent with our policies, such as NPOV. Dragons flight (talk) 09:34, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
              • We had a pharmaceutical company try to invent a new disease to go with their new drug. They than tried to create a bunch of links to said new disease in a bunch of articles. So no I do not think it is appropriate for companies to hire admins to promote diseases. Yes they can give money to third party charities that can hire WiR and that is what we are proposing we allow on a case by case basis. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:16, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
                • You're attacking the payment, but objecting to the notability / neutrality issues. We already have policies that oppose the use of any account (paid or not) for non-neutral / non-notable editing. Dragons flight (talk) 20:59, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
            • @Doc James: Risker's wording "Administrators are expected to rigorously follow the conflict of interest policy and the terms of use, particularly with relation to paid editing" would be violated as being paid by a drug company and editing material related to that money would be blatantly violating COI. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
                  • The problem User:Casliber is from my reading that while it is discouraged per the COI policy to do paid conflict of interest editing it is not prohibited and thus people argue it is allowed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:16, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
                    • @Doc James: Can you recall a discussion where this has taken place and there has been a significant push to that effect that has had some traction? And link? This would be important to review. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:28, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
                      • Sure will email you some details. While I remember a few cases I will send you the most recent. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:51, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
              • Disagree that Risker's wording (which I support as much better than the original proposal) would be violated, by pay-the-admin. In point of fact, knowing the formidable reputation Doc_James has, I would actually be 100% okay with some drug company giving him ten million bucks, to retire from his career in the working-world, and concentrate solely on editing wikipedia. Quite frankly, he'd be harder and more of a stickler on their company-article, and on their product-articles, than he would on any other drug company, because he would want to avoid the appearance of pay-to-play. But I would 100% trust him, despite the ten million bucks, NOT to engage in advocacy, ever, even with that ten million bucks, because I don't think he's physically capable of so engaging. (We are really fucking lucky to have Doc_James, here on the 'pedia, in other words.) But I'm with User:Dragons_flight on this one: what matters is that the content of mainspace fully satisfies WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE and WP:SOURCES and all the rest of the WP:PAG... though I would not be unhappy if somebody at the WMF accidentally-on-purpose deleted the WP:MOS and all backup-copies thereof, that thing is a horror. Furthermore, if the admin in question complies with WP:COI and the ToU and WP:NOTPROMOTION and WP:NOTADVOCACY and WP:NICE and so on, there is no problem. Appearance of being paid to edit anti-neutrally, does not equal, actually editing anti-neutrally. And while I won't pretend subjective/PR/implied/structural appearances don't matter, they do matter... that said, I am a firm believer they don't matter as much as objective reality/actuality/results/etc. (talk) 13:37, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
                • Thanks for the vote of confidence. While I agree that ideally we would love to address each issue on the basis of the best available evidence we do not have the volunteer community to do so. If you look through some of the issues at WP:COIN this becomes clear. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:20, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I oppose for two reasons. First, I do not like the process. I understand that there are some who dislike the bureaucracy associated with more careful deliberations and want to just get things done, but this is not a tiny issue like deciding what color coffee cups to order. This is a big deal policy proposal, and should not be implemented simply on an up or down vote on someone's draft wording. There are significant issues at stake in the deserve more serious discussion than this RFC format allows.
My second objection is very much along the same lines as the one Risker just made and I'm hard-pressed to improve upon it. On the one hand, it might be nice if the WMF could make an unequivocal clear statement. MKDW summarized it above " no administrators on the English Wikipedia are permitted to engage in paid editing". On the positive side, clear,consise and unequivocal. On the negative side, not close to correct. The actual proposed statement already includes certain classes of exceptions. Risker identified some additional examples. I've seen someone state that Wikipedians in residence are exempted but that's not what the statement says. It identifies a certain class of individuals which sounds like WiR, but isn't exactly. For example, I've toyed with the idea of proposing a WiR for an organization but the organization isn't in the list above. However, the point isn't to simply modify the list. The point is to think through the goal and see how best to achieve the goal. A clear unequivocal concise statement meets a goal, but a statement that says admins can never accept pay except in situations A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L... no longer achieves the goal.
Let's put this on hold and think it through.--S Philbrick(Talk) 21:00, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Comments by others the last few days clearly indicate that allowing non-admins to take payment for edits while prohibiting admins from doing the same could easily cause a significant amount of drama or, at the very least, hurt feelings. In other words, even if there is a clear consensus in support of this, there will at a minimum be a price to pay from admins and people thinking of becoming admins who will feel insulted and may pull away from the project. Furthermore, if those predicting things like people using this rule to "trap" admins turn out to be right, this rule will be the cause of no small drama in the future, perhaps more drama than if we do nothing and admins engage in fully-disclosed paid editing outside the exceptions contemplated in this proposal or if another Orangemoody-like group is able to sucker clientsvictims into thinking that they are Wikipedia administrators thanks to the lack of any rule against administrators making paid edits. As a community, we need to soberly ask ourselves: Is this proposed solution better than doing nothing, and if it is, is there an even better proposal that we can come to a consensus on (and, if "doing nothing" is better than this proposal, is there a solution to the problem that is better than doing nothing that we can agree on)? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:42, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, with reservations: a possible amendment would be to restrict paid editing by admins to use of alternative accounts without administrator rights. (e.g. User:Tokyogirl79LVA) The current wording is too vague, and as Iridescent and other editors have pointed out, can easily cause problems and may result in many good-faith administrators getting desysopped. sovereign°sentinel (contribs) 10:14, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, "paid editing is good when done by WiRs, bad in other cases" isn't a clear policy at all, and whether the editor is an admin or not should have no influence at all on the evaluation of their edits. Risker's suggestion is a lot better. The real problem is not whether somebody gets paid for anything, but whether WP:NPOV is violated (WP:COI and related policies are just tools to help against likely NPOV violations). While I do also like the simpleness of Bishonen's / Smallbones' wording, I am not sure that asking admin WiRs to resign their bits is the best use of everybody's time. Nor do I like holding admins to significantly different standards than the rest of the community. —Kusma (t·c) 12:43, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Oppose as I've said many times I do not consider paid editing nearly as serious as editing motivated by liking disliking believing having faith being a fan or being a hater. This seems little more than rule creep.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:23, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Extremely strong support per Smallbones. Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 17:34, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Obvious Support I think bringing WMF and employee issue here is not good reason to oppose. Asking "what if 'xyz'?, what if 'abc'?" is also not worth. This RFC simply means any admin or any editor should not do any paid editing. What's wrong in this? Some people are making this simple and clear issue complicated and making it confusing. My only question is that how people will identify that any editor is doing paid editing or unpaid editing? I think there is no tool for it. Any bot will not mark some edits as "paid edit". I don't know such committee exits or not but one committee can be formed for this purpose to overlook some editors. Not only admins but non-admin experienced editors should also be overlooked. Obviously we can't look for all thousands of editors on Wikipedia, many new editors are promotion only editors and they get detected while new page patrolling, no worry about them. But what about autopatrolled people? In new page patrolling pages created by autopatrolled people goes unreviwed. Wikipedia is so vast that it is very difficult to have look on everything. But if special committee is formed for this purpose then at least experienced editors will have terror of that committee. As we do investigation on "suspected sock puppets", same way there should be investigations regarding "suspected paid editing" and any editors should be allowed to open such case against any editor if he/she has enough multiple evidences for it. I don't know how successful it will be, but at least it will have terror on mind of paid editors that they will get reported.--Human3015TALK  00:56, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
    • So, Human3015, you're in favour of desysopping anyone who gets hired by the WMF? Exactly in what way is that beneficial to the encyclopedia?
  • Support. This issue is important enough to take a stand on. Andreas JN466 23:44, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Jayen466, what issue are you taking a stand on? Are you too in favour of desysopping any WMF employees? Are you too in favour of desysopping all Wikipedians in Residence? Are you too in favour of desysopping anyone who gets a WMF T-shirt? (Full disclosure: I recently was awarded one for OTRS contributions, completely randomly or so I have been told, so I assume you mean I should have all permissions removed. Including CheckUser - which I just used very effectively to defuse a paid editing ring. But meh.) Are you too in favour of banning any of these people from adminship? Risker (talk) 23:58, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
      • The issue worth taking a stand on is that admin services should not be offered for sale to the highest bidder. (No one is talking about your or my T-shirt, and I commented on the WiR exception in the original discussion.) The principle at stake here is right and important enough to do the work fine-tuning the small print so that there are no absurdities like the ones you and others have mentioned. Perhaps it will be wise to leave some time for this – say three months – before the policy becomes fully effective. Regards, Andreas JN466 00:26, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Well, we don't disagree on the admin services being for sale. But that is not, in any way, what this proposal says. We've both been around Wikipedia long enough to know that your interpretation might be the one that's proper, but it will never be used. It will be used to desysop anyone who accepts anything that anyone considers a benefit of any kind. It will be used to punish admins for doing good work that someone doesn't like. It will be used for putting admins in their place. We've been here long enough to know that the benevolent interpretation of policy is almost never applied. We know that "selling" admin services is already covered under the current policy, too. Risker (talk) 00:34, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
          • The issue concerns paid editing: entity X pays an admin to write about X—in principle the edits might be golden, but the COI is too ugly to ignore. WIR and other obvious exceptions are obvious exceptions. Unclear cases can be dealt with by asking for opinions at WP:AN, as is done for other issues that may be contentious. Per WP:BURO we don't have to worry about people who will post on Jimbo's talk claiming that some admin should be desysopped because they received a T-shirt. Johnuniq (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
            • Oh nonsense. Wikipedians in Residence are paid editors. I'm sorry, but they are. It's never been about paid editing, it's always been about someone gaining benefit from access to someone with admin tools. And guess what? That access usually has absolutely nothing to do with money. The expectation is that administrators do not use their admin tools in any area where they have a conflict of interest, and that is not limited to financial interests. It's right there in the policy already. The last three big "paid editing" cause celebres did not involve inappropriate behaviour by administrators, or use of admin tools in any way. Meanwhile, admins will get poked for niggling, piddly things like T-shirts. (Don't kid yourself - I got a snotty email tonight after "confessing" to receiving an OTRS t-shirt, something that is in no way dependent upon my being an administrator. Seems not everyone thinks it's benign.) Nobody seems to be willing to say "yes, it's fine to be a WMF employee and a volunteer administrator" either; this is really concerning to me, because some of the most responsive WMF staffers are people who continue to be active participants in the community at all levels. It is a mutually beneficial situation. Risker (talk) 02:00, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
              • You say, Nobody seems to be willing to say "yes, it's fine to be a WMF employee and a volunteer administrator; this is really concerning to me". The proposal at the top of this section says, Admins who work for the the WMF or Wikimedia chapters are exempt when performing their duties for these organizations. As far as I can see, nobody is saying it because it is taken as read. Andreas JN466 08:05, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Comment: for what it's worth, WP:AFC already contains the following passage: "Bona fide reviewers at Articles for Creation will never contact or solicit anyone for payment to get a draft into article space, improve a draft, or restore a deleted article. If someone contacts you with such an offer, please post on Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk." FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 02:12, 22 September 2015 (UTC)


Basically IMO we want to disallow admin's from taking remuneration from a subject or their PR firm to write about the subject or their products (stuff the subject sells). Ie business X paying an admin to make article on business X "better".

We want to potentially allow admin's to take remuneration from an organization that shares our vision to work on improving a topic area. Ie Cancer Research UK requesting help making Wikipedia's cancer information better.

Are there people who oppose this? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:12, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Sort of. What we want is to disallow anyone from editing otherwise than in accordance with site policies, particularly NPOV, COI and copyright. What we want is to encourage organisations to facilitate improving Wikipedia in accordance with our vision and policies. Paid editing in and of itself is not relevant to either. Thryduulf (talk) 10:40, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I think in an ideal world this is sound. What I worry about is indirect suffusion of impetus - e.g. there is an argument that drug companies founding/supporting organisations that heighten awareness of (for example) depression or schizophrenia would by their involvement promote a biological focus, particularly relevant in depression and early psychosis. There could be a bias that flows though if, say, one of these organisations has a WiR and there is alot of communication between them leading to pushing a particular focus on WP. Not saying this happens all the time but there have been concerns raised before. Look, I do think the WiR have been good overall in many areas of WP, just in two minds in medicine. Cochrane is a different story however as it is rigorously independent. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:59, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Sir, doesn't matter. These scammers, spammers, PR agents will always find a way. Best would be that Notability guidelines for Companies and firms and newly appointed politicians should be made stronger (software companies, Electronics manufacturers, Building construction companies, Private nursing homes, restaurants , Business entities , Private insurance firms, Soft drinks, hard drinks companies, Travel agencies, Garment companies, Medicine tablet/capsule makers, Kitchen appliance manufacturers...._______etc), and all those Company and Biography of living person pages which doesn't have enough independent sources must be deleted.

    New page patrollers are one of the most unsung heroes of Wikipedia.

    I found that those pages created before 2010 stayed here without any sources. Nowadays Newly created pages are scrutinized heavily, but previously these process was not strict. I came across this page without any reference: Firdous e Bareen. I am assuming, there must be other articles like this Singori, where the only reference is a dead link. These articles are harmless to Wikipedia and can remain here, but if there is any unsourced article about a company in Wikipedia (created before 2011), it must be deleted.

    Administrators might disagree, but they should never make their E-mail public and we must not allow any account which is less than six months old with less than 200 edits to send private E-mail to administrators. Action Hero 14:40, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Yes, I would oppose this, for a number of reasons. Currently, any editor may solicit and accept payment for working on business-related content provided they disclose the relationship, and their edits will stand provided that they follow the same policies on NPOV and sourcing that everyone does. Admins are editors before they are anything else. Trying to ban people from taking actions as editors on the basis of which other user rights those people hold perpetuates already-toxic internal social divisions on the basis of an unproven and implausible hypothesis of external benefit. Furthermore, the distinction offered between business-related content improvement and WiR-style content improvement is not robust. Opabinia regalis (talk) 17:29, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
    • I'd like to state my complete agreement with Opabinia regalis' comments above. Per the current TOS, disclosed paid editing is allowed, irrespective of user rights. Ergo, you'd actually need to change the TOS. FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 02:16, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Slight alternative "Admins and functionaries must use a declared legitimate alternative account for any paid editing."
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 17:12, 7 September 2015 (UTC).
  • Maybe - I would think competent paid editors would separate their paid contributions from their volunteer contributions, if any, and use their paid account as a portfolio - but why just admins? Shouldn't active editors do this regardless of which user rights they have? Opabinia regalis (talk) 17:29, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
    I think this one wants to say that an account with administrator permissions may not at the same time be a paid editing account. That is, have two accounts, one for admining and another for paid editing stuff. A separation of scopes.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:34, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • But again, there's the "what constitutes payment?" issue, which needs to be formalised if this is to work. Recently, the WMF gave an editor a grant to buy an obscure book that wasn't available in a library (I think it was Wehwalt but I may be misremembering)—did this constitute "paid editing", since it was presumably with the clear expectation that it be used to do work on Wikipedia? How about if I say to Rich Farmbrough "I've always been a fan of the sculptor George Blackall Simonds, and really appreciate the fact that you wrote Statue of George Palmer, is there any chance you could expand The Falconer as well and if you do I'll buy you a drink"? What about if the WMF, unbeknownst to Rich, have a huge Simonds fan on their staff and, unsolicited, send Rich a parcel of freebies under the Merchandise giveaways scheme? Certainly the first two examples constitute "paid editing" since someone is accepting a gift on the understanding that they perform a Wikipedia action they wouldn't otherwise have done, and arguably the third does as well since someone is accepting a gift in return for actions taken on Wikipedia.

    If these actions, and all those like them, aren't to be included in the proposal then there will need to be a formal list of exceptions a mile long, otherwise anyone who happened to take a dislike to any admin could quite legitimately demand to know who bought each round at any Wikipedia meetup they ever attended, under threat of blocking or desysopping. A policy with a formal list of exceptions a mile long is pointless, since it would just be a duplication of the existing terms of use.

    (Now would probably be the opportune moment to point out that "always use a declared legitimate alternative account for any paid editing" was the exact model proposed by MyWikiBiz, and I'm sure you recall just how well that went down with the WMF. There's no point even proposing such a policy if it's certain to be vetoed by our insect overlords in San Francisco; has anyone asked Lila what her thoughts on this matter are?) ‑ iridescent 12:11, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

What constitutes payment is an issue in Real Life™. I think that we need not concern ourselves with trivia, buying someone a pint is going to create a CoI that falls into the level of noise. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 13:46, 8 September 2015 (UTC).
Yes, but... You of all people should know that Wikipedia has a number of people who will insist on desysoping any admin breaching the letter of the law, no matter how trivial, and that even if arbcom dismisses their claims (by no means a given) it will tie users up in red tape. ‑ iridescent 13:50, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Like ... tee shirts? Wikipedia:Merchandise_giveaways/Nominations/Archive_1#Doc_James NE Ent 00:35, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Two things you don't address: 1) The appearance of a conflict of interest is a much more serious issue if privileged editors like admins are involved than if un-privileged ones are, and 2) "Cancer Research UK requesting help making Wikipedia's cancer information better" may be okay as long as "Cancer Research UK" has an impeccable reputation and is strongly motivated to protect their reputation from the harm that would come if they were even accused of "paying Wikipedia editors to favor their cause". With a less-than-very-reputable charity or even a relatively-new or relatively-unknown charity I would be much more careful in the vetting- and educate-the-organization-about-the-role-of-a-WiR processes, especially "going forward" (practical realities mean existing WiR relationships will likely be grandfathered in, at least for a time). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:24, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree that is why I use "potentially". Lots of charities are little more than PR shells to advertise / promote a product. We do not want to support WiR their and admins should be careful. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:40, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Oppose per irisdescent and Risker -- admins are not supposed to be some elite genetically superior X-men, and they shouldn't have to give up privileges afforded to non-admin editors -- and per Ent (me): This notion that wording like "which have missions that are aligned with the WMF mission" is anything other than a recipe for wiki-drama has not spent enough time in the WP:CESSPIT and WP:AC spaces ; it all sounds very nice in the abstract but when it comes down to the sticking point as arbcom contemplates separating the sysop WP:UAL from an editor, it'll be a huge time sink that will end up leaving lots of people pissed off. Additionally, it will also declare open season on disgruntled editors trying to out (dox) admins in order to throw paid editing mud at them; again experience at ANI and AC venues show that when someone isn't getting their way, they will try to use whatever leverage to discredit the admin who enforced community policy. The real goal is to keep folks from tarnishing the wiki brand by conning folks (companies) into paying them for wiki based Search engine optimization; targeting admins in any way whatsoever is not a good way to accomplish that. NE Ent 22:59, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Oppose very strongly. We don't need this, per Iridescent. We've gotten this far without it. We have only the vaguest idea where this would take us. There is such a thing as leadership and I applaud those responsible for the community trying to direct it in some manner. But there is such a thing as foolishness. A measures such as this has very great potential to divide the community. I just don't see where the gain is for the possible downside. For all of the kilobytes spent arguing in favor of this, I just don't see a convincing argument that passing this would improve the encyclopedia.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:37, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Oppose I blogged about this topic in January. I do not think taking payment for normal, properly disclosed paid edits is a problem (though I do believe taking payment for performing admin services is certainly a problem). I think the bigger issue would be working behind the scenes, which could be done by admins or regular editors -- asking one's friends to perform actions, administrative or otherwise, without disclosure. To be clear -- I am an admin, and for the most part I do not do any paid editing. The exceptions would be things like running my online course, giving students feedback on the wiki, etc. This is one place where I would draw a distinction based on the nature of the payment; if there were a prohibition on edits when the payment is for an editorial objective on Wikipedia, that might be acceptable; but prohibiting (for instance) professors who have earned the admin bit from providing on-wiki feedback to their students seems like a bit of a stretch. -Pete (talk) 04:25, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Pete, I understood the proposal to cover mainspace edits only. Indeed, this seems clear from the relevant part of the wording: "No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia." So assuming that feedback would typically be given on talk pages, the ability to give such feedback would not be affected by this. (Interesting blog post, by the way.) Andreas JN466 15:36, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Jayen466 -- but I don't think that's sufficient. Sometimes working on an article alongside a student or trainee is an important and legitimate approach to teaching. -Pete (talk) 16:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Per the proposal "we want to disallow admin's from taking remuneration from a subject or their PR firm to write about the subject or their products". Profs do not take money to from a subject to write about the subject. They are paid to 1) teach students 2) do research. Thus User:Peteforsyth the proposal is not to prevent a prof from directly editing an article as part of working on a project with their students. If a prof is working to develop a new "treatment" that they personally own it would prevent them from writing about said treatment. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:09, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm not certain I'm looking at the most current version of the proposal -- it's difficult to follow this discussion without reading every twist and turn. Doc James, I think if the policy change makes a distinction between "paid to advance an editorial objective" vs. "paid to teach or train somebody how to use Wikipedia", that would probably address my concern. The version I read initially did not make that distinction; rather, it exempted employees of certain institutions (WMF and chapters) which is a non-starter. It has to be about kinds of behavior, not granting special status to certain organizations. What is the current version of the proposal? -Pete (talk) 17:29, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Regarding "to write about the subject or their products": This wording is sufficient for me to understand the intent of your proposal, but it falls well short of the kind of language that should be enshrined in policy. As a simple example: suppose the Belfer Center wanted to pay a Wikipedian in Residence to shift Wikipedia toward its view of foreign policy matters. That is not about the Belfer Center, it's not necessarily about its products (papers); but it is a threat to Wikipedia's integrity, and something that shouldn't be permitted by a policy on admin behavior. If we have a policy about admins and paid editing, it must be broad and high-level, not designed for a list of specific kinds of paid engagements. (This stuff is real; people approach my business often with a desire (sometimes more legitimate than others) to reshape the way their industry is covered, or to edit the articles in their non-profit's program area to meet their ideological goals. For me to take their money and perform administrative actions that advance that agenda would be absolutely, totally wrong. But none of the wording I've seen here addresses that kind of scenario.) -Pete (talk) 17:40, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
User:Peteforsyth can you think of better wording that would include your additional concerns? Often these sorts of issues come down to a list. What I propose is just one item. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:58, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think a list can ever be complete, Doc James, so I think more general language is necessary. (As an analogy, in the U.S. there is a driving offense called "reckless driving." There might not be a specific statute that covers driving backwards while blindfolded with a bird flying around in your car; there will always be cases where judgment is required, and in that case "recklessness" is a word that conveys the umbrella concept.) I also do not believe any organization -- not Cancer Research UK, not the WMF -- is 100% aligned with Wikipedia; conflict of interest is a matter of degree, not black-and-white. With all that in mind, I propose the following text. (Note to Risker, I have also tried to address your point about payment not having singular significance, as well.) I've put this in a new section below, to try to avoid confusion about who's commenting on what. See #Pete's proposal -Pete (talk) 01:29, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Here is an example that might be worth considering -- in my role teaching a course on Wikipedia, I spoke up on behalf of my students on an article talk page: Talk:PhET Interactive Simulations#Problems due to conflict of interest editing. I was careful to avoid addressing the contents of the article, but to limit my discussion to modes of interaction. I am fine with a rule prohibiting me from directly editing the article in such a case (though I think that would be a bit of overkill, I could live with it); and I'm fine with a prohibition on using admin tools in a context like that, e.g. to semiprotect an article to make a student's experience easier. But I think the comments I made were legitimate, and not something an administrator should be prohibited from doing. -Pete (talk) 01:42, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Oppose per NE Ent. Being an administrator is no reason to bound them to additional inhibitions. If paid-editing is permissible, there should be no qualifiers by way of a person's additional duties. ExParte talk | contribs 01:47, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
The WMF and a contractor parted ways over the issue of paid editing [2] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:44, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Pete's proposal[edit]

Per some discussion above with Doc James, and also considering points made by Risker, here is an alternative phrasing that I believe supports the original intent, but -- I believe -- without laying the groundwork for negative unintended consequences: -Pete (talk) 02:53, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Pete's proposal, to add between paragraphs 3 and 4 of "#Involved admins:
If an administrator has a significant conflict of interest, they must not edit related articles, perform related administrative actions, or privately lobby fellow Wikipedians to make such edits or administrative actions on their behalf. "Significant conflicts of interest" include, but are not limited to, paid arrangements with a client or employer; and positions of trust (such as board membership) in an organization. Paid projects whose purpose is education or training do not necessarily create a significant conflict of interest; but even in such cases, administrators are expected to exercise careful judgment, and consult with fellow administrators, if there is any doubt. Reverting blatant vandalism and taking relevant administrative actions (as discussed below) is permitted.
  • support Yes that includes the type of editing that I believe admins should not engage in. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:18, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

More limited wording[edit]

I propose wording more like this:

Administrators are forbidden from using their administrative tools in return for payment. In matters not involving use of administrative tools, administrators are bound by and must be well aware of Wikipedia's policies on wp:PAID and wp:COI, like any other editor.

This has the advantage of not binding administrators to stricter standards as regards editing, but still preventing administrative functions from being exchanged for payment. Yours, Aervanath (talk) 23:36, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Comment - I would like to suggest that the above and following discussion take into account those who are Wikipedians in Residence and Wikipedia Visiting Scholars. The Residences DO get a salary from their employers and some of them are administrators. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 10:43, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Fuck yeah![edit]

  • Extremely strong support, e.g. per Smallbones, Doc James, etc.

Enough! This RFC has been open for over a month. I'm tired of the efforts to talk these proposals to death. There's strong support for this change. Someone needs to close this, pick the best/most widely supported of the proposed wordings and put it in place. We can polish from there. Anything else would be foot-dragging.--Elvey(tc) 03:54, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Came here to read about some issues and realized that there are sections on here that are over 2 1/2 years old. I'd archive some of the apparently-outdated content myself but this isn't my talk page, isn't an article talk page, it kind of is in the admins bailiwick. Just wanted to mention that the present length makes it hard for editors to wade through all the content. Shearonink (talk) 08:51, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I just had the exact same thought coming here, before even reading your message!! It looks like this page is manually archived, and hasn't been archived since about 2012! In this day and age, isn't it, like, crazy, not to have this page auto-archived by Lowercase sigmabot III?! Heck, the archiving period can even be set to "730d" if Admins are worried about it!! --IJBall (contribstalk) 21:30, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Archiving can just be returned to before [3]. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:29, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done – I've (hopefully) restored autoarchiving to this Talk page. I set the archiving to effectively one year – so hopefully any threads on this page older than a year should be archived soon... --IJBall (contribstalk) 22:42, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Hey! It worked!! Face-grin.svg --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:40, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 September 2015[edit]

Perppyperppy (talk) 19:10, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

@Perppyperppy:Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:14, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 September 2015[edit] (talk) 18:09, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. -- Orduin Discuss 19:31, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Proposed change to WP:INVOLVED[edit]

WP:INVOLVED currently contains:

Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator 'involved'.

I propose adding the following right after the above sentence:

Editing the article, including editing the article to enforce core content policies such as WP:NPOV, WP:V or WP:NOR does. In such cases the administrator should ask an uninvolved administrator to take action. Situations such as WP:BLP or WP:CV where immediate action is required are an exception. In such cases the administrator is allowed to take immediate action but should follow it with a posting to the appropriate noticeboard asking an uninvolved administrator to review the action.

Revision #1:

Edits enforcing core content policies such as WP:NPOV, WP:V or WP:NOR are considered involved but are allowed if they are time critical, such as WP:BLP or WP:CV violations. Such actions are controversial; the administrator should follow the action with a posting to the appropriate noticeboard asking an uninvolved administrator to review the action.

Needless to say, my wording may not be ideal, and suggested alternate wording is welcome.

Rationale: We have had several recent cases (and at least one recent desysop) where an administrator interpreted Wikipedia policy as allowing use of admin tools to enforce his preferred version in a content dispute, reasoning that his preferred version was required by a content policy and thus us of admin tools was allowed. The problem is that there is almost always one or more sides in a content dispute that think that their preferred version is required by a content policy -- and often they are correct. I believe that this additional wording will make it clear to future admins about to make the same mistake that such reasoning is invalid. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:34, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I worry about the waffling text. Adding new clauses to a policy turn it into a confusing "unless-except" sequence, and it already has two caveats. Adding a sub-caveat is bad. I would personally add it to the first paragraph instead: "Edits enforcing core content policies are also considered involvement unless they are time critical, like BLP or copyright violations . (My personal preference would be more akin to "Such actions are questionable; they must be submitted for community review immediately after the fact" as it is more flexible but that's a bigger policy change). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:40, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I also would be reluctant to make this kind of change. It seems to me that the existing wording, when read using the common sense that we expect of administrators, already covers the situations that arose in the recent cases (albeit without going into it in too much detail). The problem in the recent cases was that the administrators failed to use proper judgment in understanding the meaning of involved, and the subsequent DR made that clear, I think (hope?). --Tryptofish (talk) 19:56, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Jo-Jo Eumerus, I like it, and have revised my suggested addition. Thanks! --Guy Macon (talk) 20:03, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I've been involved with two of the recent cases, on the side of the complainants, but don't support this wording. A BLP violation is a BLP violation and admins are trusted to deal with those. There's no need to report to AN if you've removed, "X is a bigoted homophobe" and protected the article or blocked an editor. --NeilN talk to me 20:20, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Tryptofish, the common sense that we expect of administrators and subsequent DR making te the meaning of involved clear did not work at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Kww and The Rambling Man and so far it isn't working at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Possible abuse of admin tools by User:Nyttend. (Ping: User:Nyttend, User:Kww, User:The Rambling Man, talk page notices posted) --Guy Macon (talk) 20:18, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, I do appreciate what you are trying here, and I see your point about things that are not working, but I also think that there are diminishing returns to trying to spell out common sense. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:44, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Kww is desysopped and you're free to open a case against Nyttend. Lapses in judgement by individual admins does not mean WP:INVOLVED isn't working nor will tweaking the wording prevent future lapses. --NeilN talk to me 20:26, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I have simply given up participating in the witch-hunt against me. When people think that they can say such-and-such and source it to something that doesn't say such-and-such, and when they don't listen when you explain that they're thereby presenting falsehoods to readers (a situation that would result in a failing grade from any teacher/academic who found such a thing in academic writing) and instead seek retribution for enforcing content standards, there's no point in wasting your time. Nyttend (talk) 20:32, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
You could not have given a better example of why this added wording is needed. Nyttend, the overwhelming consensus is that there is no "presenting a truthful article" exception to WP:INVOLVED. I would remind you that, as with all cases where an administrator is involved in a content dispute, a request posted at WP:AN asking for an uninvolved administrator to look into the situation and take whatever action is required almost usually results in action within minutes. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:45, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
The text already has, "In general, editors should not act as administrators in disputed cases in which they have been involved" as the first sentence. You are trying expand the scope unnecessarily. No good-faith editor is going to dispute an unsourced, "Z had an affair with an underaged girl" or "Y kicks her dog" being removed. It would be more useful to add wording saying if the case is legitimately disputed, the admin should undo the action and bring it to a noticeboard. --NeilN talk to me 00:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
These are perhaps examples where INVOLVED did not "work" but we must recognize all the other times where the current policy is working. They're are significantly more times where administrators must come into a situation to revert under a core policy and doing so should not label them "involved". Moreover doing so then required to seek a second administrator to review the situation. This change will solve three debatable problems and create dozens of other problems and backlogs. We're only going to see a few cases a year like the ones cited for the rationale of this change meanwhile the cases that will be affected will be dozens if not hundreds of reverts (under core policies) performed per day by administrators. Mkdwtalk 02:29, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I genuinely appreciate the thought and effort here, but I'd have to Oppose this change as such. In general, our policies tend to "describe" our current practices, and as such I prefer the original/current form. EVERY case is going to be different, and I think the community does well enough at handling the things that do come up (even if it occasionally requires Arbcom to rule on things). On a side note: I think there is always going to be a "POV", and as much as we want it to be neutral - it is usually some sort of view. If you tie the hands too tightly, then people are less likely to even try to enforce anything. — Ched :  ?  20:37, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • All this change does is reinforce misapplications of WP:INVOLVED: the description "obvious edits that do not speak to bias" is a core portion of WP:INVOLVED and the only thing that shields other admins from similar mistreatment to that which I suffered. Edits to the content of the article which remove unambiguous policy violations (such as restoring challenged content without citations or edits that falsely claim that the citations contain information that they do not) do not make the administrator involved, despite bad precedent to the contrary. If anything, the policy needs amplification and clarification in the opposite direction. BTW, please stop misrepresenting my efforts to correct TRM's misbehaviour as a "content dispute". —Kww(talk) 21:17, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The fact that you were desysopped for using administrative tools in a content dispute has already been established per the final decision in your arbcom case. Your arguments that it wasn't a content dispute were specifically rejected by arbcom. I am not going to re-argue that case here, but I do have a question and I hope that you can give me a frank and honest answer. Assuming that the change I suggested above had gotten overwhelming support (yes, I know that's a big assumption) and made policy prior to the actions that led to you being desysopped, would that have stopped you? If not, that's a good argument against the change. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:06, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Don't misinterpret that decision as establishing much more than my unpopularity: it doesn't even hold up under its own logic (note that they decided that restoring unsourced material to articles without citations violates BLP but ignored that while determining that I was involved). As for whether your definition of WP:INVOLVED would have stopped me, it basically would have stopped my participation in Wikipedia years ago. It's unworkable, as no admin will tend to notice disruptive behaviour unless it shows up on his watchlist. If the most obvious of violations can't be handled without convening an ANI discussion, you've basically handed the project over to disruptive editors: they will always be able to outrun administrators wearing leg-irons. You are trying to argue the exemption that makes WP:INVOLVED workable out of existence, and paralyze the administrative corps. —Kww(talk) 22:36, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I will take that as a "yes". We understand that you strongly disagree with the arbcom ruling. Please don't attack me for simply reporting what the ruling contains. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:03, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • By an amazing coincidence, you created the essay Wikipedia:Policy fallacy. Also, please don't try to close down discussions that you are involved in. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:03, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I think the idea here is good, but I disagree with the proposal. Dealing with a clear WP:BLP violation is, by definition, not controversial (hence the key word 'clear'), and a rule saying that it is doesn't make sense. The key part which this suggestion leaves out is clear. Clear WP:BLP violations or the like can be reverted without becoming involved; we trust admins to have the judgment to understand when this is the case. (And we could perhaps clarify 'clear' a bit more somewhere, although I would start with an essay -- eg. if multiple experienced users in good standing disagree, then it probably isn't clear!) But what this suggestion seems to be saying is "even if it's completely clear, it's still controversial", and I don't think that that's workable. --Aquillion (talk) 23:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

  • I understand the intention behind this proposal but it is far too restrictive. If there is a clear WP:BLP or copyright violation, administrators need the ability to not only block (if required) but also revert the damage. If an administrator comes across a situation where they have never interacted with the article or editor before but spot a series of blatant copyright violations being committed and several warnings have been issued, they should proceed to block the editor and revert the violations. Yet this new change, because even though they've only interacted in an administrative role, they've also made an edit that "enforced a core policy" (the revert) supposedly makes them "involved". There are too many situations like this where this proposal creates contradictory instructions and needlessly makes more work. The very role of administrators is often to enforce core policies and doesn't necessarily make them involved. Again, I see the intention behind the proposal but the current wording would cause more confusion and extra work than protection. Mkdwtalk 01:01, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Let me chime in with the chorus: overspecifying here is counterproductive, and I'm not even convinced that any tweak is a good idea. But this certainly isn't one. Also, per Ent, Mkdw, Tryptofish, Aquillion, Kww, Ched, NeilN, and everyone else who chimed in. Drmies (talk) 01:41, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per as process creep and because the definition of "time critical" assumes an active cadre of editors on an article; some articles, if left uncorrected, will simply not be fixed. It's fair to demand the exercise of caution and a conservative view of what constitutes a necessary edit to enforce policy, and it's fair to encourage independent review, but this arbitrary cutoff goes too far. Guy (Help!) 06:50, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Alternative proposal[edit]

When used in a clear-cut, non-controversial manner or in a manner that will result in the decision being endorsed by the community if someone complains, this new "exception" seems like a special case of "ignore all rules".

Ched's comment above that "our policies tend to "describe" our current practices" and the fact that polices and guidelines change over time inspired me to suggest that instead of changing WP:INVOLVED right now, we remind administrators about WP:Ignore all rules and see if actual practice changes over time. If it does, then change WP:INVOLVED.

Here is my recommendation:

Add something in one of the documents in Category:Wikipedia New admin or one of the documents linked to in WP:Ignore all rules reminding administrators and other editors that:

  • WP:Ignore all rules is policy and administrators are not only allowed but expected to invoke it when required, with the expectation that it will be invoked sparingly and only with great forethought.
  • Before invoking it, be darned sure that you really are making Wikipedia better, that there is no better way to accomplish the same tasks that doesn't require "ignoring all rules," and that "doing nothing" isn't better than having to "ignore all rules" just to "do something."
  • Since it's nearly impossible to be 100% sure you are right ahead of time, announce what you did at an appropriate admin- or other forum and invite other admins or other editors to review and possibly undo what you did.
  • Know that every time you hold the mop while "ignoring all rules," you are, in effect, shouting to everyone "I am willing to sacrifice the right to use the mop for the betterment of Wikipedia, and I am willing to stand in judgment of my fellow administrators and fellow editors for doing what I did."

A similar statement could be written for editors.

Thoughts? Comments? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:40, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

That's pretty good. Alas, it would have had no effect on Kww or Nyttend, both of whom are convinced that they were not ignoring all rules, but instead were enforcing existing rules through legitimate exceptions to WP:INVOLVED. I won't comment on Nyttend's claim as the case is still open and the community might agree with him, but it is notable that just about everyone disagreed with Kww's interpretation of what the exceptions to WP:INVOLVED are. That's why I suggested making it more explicit -- because it looks to me like two admins so far got it wrong. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:31, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
There are always going to be editors, no matter how clearly something is spelled out, will interpret in a way that seems to come out of left field. There is no such thing as a policy, rule, or law that is in immune from being misapplied or misunderstood. We don't need policies that cater to the rare exceptions because we "should" have mechanisms in place to deal with those issues like noticeboards and ArbCom. Whether that's an effective mechanism is a different debate altogether. Mkdwtalk 02:45, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I have to say, that is a compelling argument against my proposed change. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:44, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Oppose per Mkdw. NE Ent 11:43, 3 October 2015 (UTC) [4] NE Ent 18:01, 3 October 2015 (UTC) See also WP:CREEP and WP:Policy fallacy. NE Ent 18:25, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
@NE Ent:, please clarify which of Mkdw's remarks you endorse and who that remark pertains to this alternative proposal. I ask because it's unclear from his remarks above if he is objecting to the existence of WP:IAR, the need to make sure administrators (and for that matter, all editors) aware of it, the need explicitly train administrators of its use (and by extension, when not to use it) and the risks and responsibilities that come with invoking it, something else entirely, or maybe I (and you?) misread his comment and he doesn't have any objections to this alternative proposal at all. Until now, it wasn't critical to know since he was addressing another editor's comments and not addressing the alternative proposal itself. But since you used his comment as grounds to oppose the alternative proposal and didn't explain what you meant, it's important to get your thoughts on the matter so I and others can clearly understand your objections. If any of Mkdw's remarks were directed at the alternative proposal rather than to Guy Macon, I would welcome any clarification he has to offer. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:57, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

The definition of what's time critical seems both arbitrary and unclear (due to the "such as", which excludes nothing). That's not good. Is there something that makes WP:CV more time critical than, say WP:PAID? No. Oppose for now, due to lack of needed clarity.--Elvey(tc) 02:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to offload backlogged Category:Non-free files with orphaned versions more than 7 days old[edit]

Category:Non-free files with orphaned versions more than 7 days old is backlogged.

Editors with Wikipedia:File mover rights are almost certainly trustworthy enough to be allowed to clear this backlog.

Technically, clearing this backlog could easily be done with the assistance of an admin-bot that only those with file-mover (and, by default, administrator) rights could use. This would help with this backlog and free up administrators to work on other tasks.

The only "downside" is that the community and other powers-that-be (WMF, ARBCOM) would be unlikely to approve allowing File Movers to call the bot to "undo" their actions, so there would have to be an orderly process for a "File Mover" to get an administrator's attention on the rare occasions when he hits thew wrong button by mistake.

Is it worth starting an community discussion to "unbundle" this task to the already-trusted group of "File movers"? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:15, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Identifying the issues with RfA[edit]

Hello. You are invited to comment on this RfC, which aims to identify the issue(s) with our current system for selecting administrators. Please do not comment in this section, but rather post any comments about proposals in the relevant section, or on the RfC's talk page for general matters. Thank you. --Biblioworm 00:00, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom-only admins[edit]

Keeping the quickly approaching elections ahead; should some clauses be added to either A) Confirm or deny the granting of administrator rights to elected non-admin arbitrators, and/or B) Applying restrictions to the use of the tools of ArbCom-only admins? This has been brought up at several venues, and this is probably the most logical place to bring an actual discussion. Kharkiv07 (T) 15:36, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

  • WP:COMMONSENSE dictates that, at a minimum, elected functionaries will be given the tools they need to do their jobs (by "tools" I mean both the technical user-right(s) and the permission from the community to use those technical user-rights as needed for their job). Absent any proposal to the contrary, elected ARBCOM members who are neither administrators nor eligible to re-claim a resigned administrator user-right would get just the minimum toolset needed to do their jobs, including the sysop bit and access to the private admin-only mailing lists and IRC channels, and a mandate to use them only within the scope of their elected role. Anything less than this is basically telling everyone who voted for that arbitrator "sorry, if he can't get about 70% support in an RfA he might as well resign from ARBCOM because he won't have the tools to do his job." So for me, the question is: Do we want to a) give elected ARBCOM members who aren't admins already just the bare minimum privileges to get the job done, b) do we want to give them something more, such as making them full admins with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities therein for the duration of their service on ARBCOM, or c) do we want to go in the other direction and force them to run for RFA immediately upon being elected to ARBCOM, with the understanding that if they are not appointed, they will not be seated on ARBCOM? Or perhaps something in between "a" and "b" or something in between "b" and "c"? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 05:59, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Answering my own question: I would lean toward a hybrid of A and B, where they get "read" access to the mailing list, IRC channels, and the like for the duration of their appointment, but they are only allowed to "write" to those mailing lists, IRC channels, etc. in relation to their job. As for the sysop bit, it's too hard to tell someone "you aren't allowed edit a fully protected page if it's not part of your duties" since they may not realize it's fully protected as they are editing, and it's useful to give them full rights to see deleted edits, the only major restrictions I would put on them would be "no doing anything that affects any editor's ability to edit except as it relates to your duties." I would also encourage any non-admin elected to ARBCOM to go through RfA as soon as he thinks he has a decent chance of passing. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 06:08, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Succeeding in the ArbCom election is harder, and shows broader community support than passing RFA. Therefore, I support granting admin status to anybody elected. Candidates could make statements regarding how they would handle that upon appointment and departure, whether they would resign adminship or not. Jehochman Talk 08:41, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Jehochman I've raised this at the Bureaucrats' Noticeboard here as this needs urgently resolving. Apparently having a glass ceiling for non-admins will seriously disadvantage them and that is wrong.  Roger Davies talk

I am monitoring this situation, because if any non-admin arbs are elected and the community has not arrived at a clear consensus on what rights they should be given the Electoral Commission, of which I am a member, will have to intervene. Right now our main job is trying to make sure that we won't have a job to do. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:08, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

  • @Guy Macon, Mdann52, and Mike V: Perhaps a bit more intervention by the EC now rather than later might be appropriate? Clarity on this would be helpful now to avoid stacking the cards against non-admin candidates.  Roger Davies talk 10:11, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
    • There is no reason why this is not tehnically possible - heck, I will happily create a "ArbCom member" usergroup with the rights in if we needed to do so to make it all work. The WMF have made it clear that ACE are above a RfA, so no issues there, so I think there won't be an issue. However, I will start an RfC shortly to make sure there is consensus to do this unless I see such a one developing. Mdann52 (talk) 12:15, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Category for inactive admins?[edit]

I've discovered (very much to my regret) that User:Makemi – the user who welcomed me when I started editing Wikipedia, and who I was just reminded of because I found out that she (judging from the soprano voice, Makemi is female) contributed (among others) the recording on Scarborough Fair – used to be an admin but has not been active for over two years and, consequently, has been desysopped in the meanwhile. I've listed her on WP:MW as she left no reason for her disappearance, replaced the {{wikibreak}} template on her userpage with {{retired}}, and added the category for retired Wikipedians; but what about the category "Wikipedia administrators"? Shouldn't it be removed, as well? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:28, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

User:Florian Blaschke: There is Category:Wikipedia inactive administrators but that doesn't hold individual users. You can just respectfully remove or comment out the category. Not so sure about putting a 'retired' template, though- that is a somewhat loaded template. –xenotalk 17:01, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
You can certainly remove or comment out a category listing a user as an admin, along with the userbox identifying the user as an admin - it is fine to remove these from the user pages of users who aren't actually admins. I would not recommend changing wikibreak or retired templates, those are for the user to add themselves. Hut 8.5 17:13, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you; commenting out seems like the best solution to me, as I do not wish to erase the fact that Makemi is a former admin completely. The reason why I was being so bold replacing "wikibreak" by "retired" is that a "retired" template is already present on her talk page. @Xeno: What do you mean by "loaded"? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Well if it was already present on the talk page (though it was added by an IP). By loaded, I mean that whenever I see a retired template, it gives the impression that the user has become disillusioned by the project and wishes to announce it thru the template. People who just lose interest generally just stop editing without placing such things. –xenotalk 17:46, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I see your point. The template may not strictly mean that, but it is easy to get this impression. I've found an alternative template, {{not here}}, which makes it clear that it has not been added by the user themselves.
I have now restored the "wikibreak" template and placed it below the "retired" template, which I replaced with the "not here" template, but kept the "Retired Wikipedians" category in place. As suggested, I've commented out the admin userbox and category. What do you think of this solution? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:00, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

activity requirements RFC[edit]

Wikipedia:Administrators/RFC on inactivity 2015

Beeblebrox (talk) 01:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

RFA2015 Phase II RfC[edit]

Hello. Anyone who reads this message is invited to voice their opinions on the Phase II RfC for the RFA2015 reform project. The purpose of this RfC is to find implementable solutions for the problems identified in Phase I of the project. Thank you. Biblioworm 20:51, 29 November 2015 (UTC)