Wikipedia talk:RfA reform (continued)/Radical alternatives

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RfA model should be scrapped[edit]

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here)

So far everybody is talking about RfA reform as a modification of the current RfA model... IMO, RfA is so broken that any model built around it is doomed for failure. We need to completely scrap the model and come up with something new---a completely new way of getting the bit.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 00:38, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I like that have any ideas?Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 01:02, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd certainly be interested in such a measure, but we need to be realistic. It will take a considerable amount of time to completely rewrite RFA (which I would support), but it just might be necessary. I think that for now, we should stick to realistic measures and experimentation/trial until we can come up with a process that eliminates the current RFA model. Tyrol5 [Talk] 01:34, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
We do need to get this past the community. There is some doubt that they will accept he clerks proposal. I doubt at this time they would accept a complete overhaul. --Guerillero | My Talk 01:43, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
(ec)And I think it would take a lot more time "rewriting" the old model and don't think much will be accomplished if we did. Just look at the above discussion and that's just people spouting their opinions on the current status quo.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 01:45, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe any options are off the table in this conversation, if you have a proposal to fundamentally redo the entire process by all means present it. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:20, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Several editors have mentioned that if we could get even one of the suggested reform items past the community, this may open the road for more, and I wholly support that. That said, this project certainly does not exclude the possibiliy of coming up with an entirely new system. We could open a new sub page for discussing that, but it would be a very long and tedious route. There may be cabals, perhaps even at WMF, discussing such measures already. JW's silence may seem to suggest that, but he may well have very good reasons not to comment here, though it would be great if he would chime in. What we as a task force need to decide is whether we offer these reforms to the community singly, over a considered period of time, or as a bundled package. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:28, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
There are some ideas it would make sense to bundle together, but in general I think they should be presented to the community singly. As Kudpung, and many others, have said, getting one reform idea past the community may open the road for more. If this is the case, it should be much easier to get the ideas past the community singly than if we were to group them all together. — Oli OR Pyfan! 02:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Pros & cons: A bundled reform would entail interminable discussion by the broader community on all the individual points, probably in a traditional unstructured debate. Staggering the proposals would meet the suggestion that one reform would open the road to more, and would not pile on a lot of individual proposals for the broader community to consider at the same time. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:39, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
What a nightmare... are we here to fix RfA or to put bandaids on it? Issuing changes piecemeal does not "fix" the problem, but will introduce pieces in a disconcordant manner without any assurance that the issues needing to be fixed will be fixed. And like I said, IMO any reform that builds upon the current model will just perpetuate the problem. If we are going to make a proposal, I say we go full bore, present an IDEAL. Even if that ideal isn't accepted today, we get it out there. Personally, I am dubious that any meaningful change will come about, but I'd rather present a new ideal that we can be proud of than haphazard suggestions that don't really do anything.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 04:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Tofu, there have been several suggestions in the past. 1 - Breaking the individual tools out ala rollback. 2 - Alternative methods of giving the bit ala coaching with tools. 3 - probational periods with the bit 4 - making it into a true vote with secret ballots. 5 - making it into more of an RfC type scenario where people endorse individual statements making it the 'crat more responsible for interpretting consensus. There are numerous alternatives, the question is can we come up with a viable alternative.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 06:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I've mentioned some possible pros and cons already. Rolling out these suggested changes to the existing basic system as a bundle would in fact amount to a major reform. Neverthless, we are not ruling out suggestions for a completely different concept, such as, for example, secret ballot, although I suspect that such ideas are already being discussed in another place. If we do go along that track as well, let's make it a discussion on a separate sub page. Nevertheless, for the moment, I think we would have a lot to gain by discussing the changes that have been listed here as possibles, and reaching some consensus on them. Hence the straw poll below (with space for discussion below it), which may produce working priorities for them. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:08, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Hang on a moment. I'm all for discussing new ideas, completely radical or minor tweaks. However, before you suggest ripping down RfA for a new system, I would expect a clear direction and reason for the new system. For example, my personal opinion is that the current system does elect the right people, but the broken-ness is around the way failed candidates are left to feel. That point of view can be (and has been) analysed and specific solutions have been put forward. The larger picture "what is an administrator", "unbundling the tools" or "how do we get rid of administrators" should be out of scope for this reform, or the good work will get lost in the noise, they can be dealt with seperately.
Having said that, some fixes you've brought up can and should be entertained. Perhaps an WP:RfA reform 2011/Ideas lab page, where sections for different methods (even the perennial ones) could be discussed, improved or vetoed through discussion. WormTT · (talk) 09:00, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I want to expand on my comments in the !vote below. I agree with Worm that the task force can find room to discuss the more radical ideas, and a new page to do so is a good idea. In terms of the core aims I think the next steps are clear; we need to elucidate the ideas we have discussed so far into a proper list of proposals (maybe, WP:RfA reform 2011/proposals). That way we have a clear idea of what to work on next. --Errant (chat!) 09:07, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
We have that already on the main page, and as we progress, sub pages for them are being created. You may have noticed that I've already copied some threads over to the respective pages. If there are any aspects of reform of the current system that we have missed, just add them neatly to the sections on the main page. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:49, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I sincerely hope that WMF is considering an alternative or replacement to the current RfA process, for there is no chance of this task force implementing one. None whatsoever. Sorry, but that's the truth. What we can do, realistically, is try to implement changes that will improve the existing process. I'm more than happy to discuss alternative methods, but a serious initiative to scrap RfA by way of community approval would be, I fear, a waste of time. Swarm X 19:50, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
You are probably right, which is why I'd rather come up with an IDEA of what we as a community would like. Get an actual consensus to change it will not happen, but if we have an idea of where we want to go, it might get implemented by fiat.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 19:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
And if the powers that be are watching this, we might be able to discourage plans that the community would reject AND might address some of the issues that they might overlook.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 01:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My personal views are:

  • We could at least try to get clerking approved for starters.
  • This task force would never get an entirely radically new form of selection process past the community.
  • The powers that be are probably not watching, and if they are they are, they have their reasons for not chiming in. It would be nice to know though. I don't like wasting my time or anyone else's.
  • Radical change may come at any time suddenly by edict from higher authority.
  • We don't want to discourage ourselves from discussing any of our points for reform, but we can reach a consensus to not waste time on any that any that may not be absolutely viable.

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:01, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

A radical proposal that could be tried immediately[edit]

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here)

Ok, this is not my first choice in solutions, but this might be a viable alternative that might work---and that we might be able to try immediately. (I would call upon Ironholds 'experimental rfa' as precedent for simply trying something new.)

Rather than fighting to change everything, turn RfA into more of an RfC environment. Right now we have people taking sides and !voting and then others coming along and !voting "Per so and so." Instead of having two categories for "Support" and "Oppose", let people make statements and get those statements endorsed like they do in typical RfC's. The Nom would be the initial statement, but this way people can endorse other statements as well. I make a statement critical of a candidates handling of CSD's, others can endorse my position. WCS, however, likes the candidates handling of AFD's, the same people who endorsed my statement might also endorse WCS's position. This would require that the 'crats really read the RfA and get a true sense of what the consensus is---and evaluate the wind.

By making it more of a traditional RfC, you might get people to moderate their tone in writing their comment. If I write my rationale in such a manner that it is a personal attack, then nobody is going to endorse it. If I write my rationale with a "Support/oppose" then not as many people will endorse it---they might agree with me that CSD is a critical issue and that the candidate needs to work on it, but they might not agree that the issue is strong enough to support/oppose over.

Again, this is an idea that a brave soul could try immediately. (note, I am not advising somebody to try it as it might have negative reactions, but pointing out that if somebody wanted to try something different, this could be done.)---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 02:28, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

I think there's a lot of darn god insight to consider in your above comments. My76Strat (talk) 02:43, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here) --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:55, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

This is an unsurprisingly brilliant idea. → ROUX  21:53, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I could get behind this iff there are two bigger sections (support/oppose) for the comments to be organized by --Guerillero | My Talk 22:23, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
That would be entirely and completely pointless. It wouldn't really be a change from the current system. Do you know how an RFC works on Wikipedia? Essentially what Balloonman is proposing is that someone makes a nomination statement. People can then indicate whether they agree with it or not. Someone else could then make a statement saying "I don't think this person should be an admin because..." and people could then post to indicate they agree, or not post to indicate they do not. Crats would then evaluate the statements and who supports what, and figure out what the consensus is. → ROUX  22:26, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
That is exactly what we are trying to avoid. Let people endorse the reasons pro and contra promotion. Make it such that people are encouraged to word their statements in a manner that others will support.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 23:54, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I really like this idea, and I think I proposed something similar on one of the many talk pages. There's no reason that RfA should be quite such a vote (it's not a !vote by any stretch of the imagination), it would be better as a discussion. However, it would mean that the crat has a much heftier job in closing and I don't think it should be lowering the bar, just changing what the bar looks like. WormTT · (talk) 08:42, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
This has been proposed previously, see Wikipedia:RFA as RFC and Wikipedia:RFA as RFC/Werdna for a trial run. It was a long time ago now, but any lessons from these should be considered before trialling it again. CT Cooper · talk 10:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the trial run it had several problems:
  1. It wasn't really an RfA, in fact it was held out as an experiment to see how it might go. Thus, never garnered any real community interest, only about 10 people participated in it.
  2. It had a controversial figure as the subject, somebody who had already failed 3 RfA's and would undergo what 2 or 3 more before passing (ultimately with flying colors if I recall correctly).
  3. I didn't like how it was broken down into two sections, one where people who support write their rationale and the other where people who oppose write their rationale. Like modern RfC's, I think the differing view points need to be intersperced. I also don't think that every position is going ot have a clear defacto "this comment means support/oppose."
The trial didn't fail due to something inherently wrong with the methodology (although Radiant did raise a potential concern) it failed because people didn't spend the time to participate in an experiment which wasn't going to be used to determine if Werda should/shouldn't be promoted. When Ironhold's tried an alternative methodology it, IMO, showed obvious problems with that methodology. Namely, that the people who had the strongest reasons to oppose waited until the !voting began before voicing their concerns, thus denying Ironholds a chance to adequately respond or for the issue to settle before !voting. Werda's failed RfC/RfA didn't show that, it didn't show much of anything due to lack of participation.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 13:41, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
This RfA, however, is a better example of how this idea was tried and failed. My first glance at the RfA and I thought he was going to pass, until I saw the last section where the model was lambasted.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 13:50, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes I thought there was another RfA; I just couldn't find it. Thank you for retrieving it. For the record the trial for Ironholds is at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ironholds 2, in which the voting phase was delayed, and I agree that on the whole the trial was a failure. There was also Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Moralis in which the voting sections were removed and everything was lumped into one. I used to support removing the s/o/n sections, but this trial changed my mind, given that it was awkward to read through and problematic for the closing bureaucrat, not to mention the removal had limited benefits. CT Cooper · talk 16:24, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Per Roux; this is a good idea. Best of all the bad ideas that are being tossed about. (talk) 10:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
If it can be shown that a user does not understand deletion policy, then I don't really care whether s/he is a nice person, has written 2 GAs, and has an outstanding anti-vandalism record, I don't want them having the delete button. I'm sure I speak for a large proportion of the community there. In this format, it's perfectly possible that a large majority would agree with the nomination statement, but nonetheless feel that they should not be able to delete. In the RfA format, such a user would most likely get less than 70% support, the crats would recognise that these opposes were not spurious, and the candidate would fail. In an RfC format, the end result could well be that they would become an admin, even though convincing arguments had been made for why this otherwise good candidate should not be deleting things.
I am therefore opposed to this system. It could work very well in conjunction with some sort of radical unbundling mechanism. That way, the candidate above would get the tools they needed, but not the ability to delete. But that is unlikely to happen for a long time. —WFC— 10:07, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, this is actually sort of the RFA format, except they streamlined it. Going back in time isn't always bad. I think we need deletion reform too, btw. --Kim Bruning (talk) 16:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Focus on improvement and recognition, not inquisition[edit]

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here)

There are good discussions above about how RfA currently works, and how to improve it. I propose a complementary approach: changing the focus of RfA from "assessment of admin nominations" to "recruitment and retention of good admins". This change of focus may help reduce the level of acrimony in comments as well.

Focus this process, and the pages and guidelines about it, on identifying good admins. Measures of success could include how many admins are identified, how good they turn out to be, whether they are willing to become admins, and how much overhead and drama is produced as a side-effect.

Helping interested admin candidates become good admins, and helping current admins stay active + get better + be effective, would both be relevant to a process focused on maintaining the best admin corps. That seems more useful to me - and better grounded in our desire for a healthy editing community - than a gauntlet to be overcome by those who choose to risk it.

Any editor who has demonstrated commitment to the project, a capacity to help others work effectively together, and an understanding of problems that can hurt the project, should be able to become an admin. If there are specific issues that need to be resolved, these should be presentable in a simple format, and progress towards resolving them should be measurable.

Rather than having the conversation about a potential admin happen over a few days, make this part of the larger conversation of how we keep our community and project thriving and a pleasure to use. Editors recruited / nominated as admins should end up with some recommendations for improvement, whether or not they 'pass' their initial review; they should be able to get regular feedback on those recommendations; and they should find their next review simpler and easier.

SJ+ 08:15, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

So you're saying that we should mix ER and RfA together? A candidate's contributions are analysed and feedback (including recommendations for improvement) is given regardless of whether the candidate succeeds or not. Is that about right? I would agree with that.— Oli OR Pyfan! 09:25, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
This thread might gain more weight if it were on the Radical alternatives talk page. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:40, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

(This thread has been copied from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue it here)Oli OR Pyfan! 04:45, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Y'know, there's some good thinking behind this idea. Changing the focus / goal towards recruitment may make people see the whole thing (and, more importantly, behave in the whole thing) in a much more acceptable way. A simple paradigm shift like this could actually work. Pesky (talk) 08:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

And I'm pretty confident that this would work. There will, of course, be the typical opposition, but this cannot be avoided under any circumstance. The objective is to encourage editors to volunteer to become administrators. Under the current system, RFA just isn't worth any good editor's while, as even excellent candidates face badgering. RFA !voters must become more tolerant and appreciative for the benefit of the editor under RFA, for they are doing so on a volunteer basis. Tyrol5 [Talk] 15:28, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
It could work, and I took an informal approach not a million miles from what is being proposed here before submitting my RfA. I contacted four long-standing admins that I had had some interaction with in the past, stated that I was considering applying for adminship and asking for their opinions, while emphasising that it was not my intent to canvas. I found it an extremely useful experience and, on the basis of the comments I got, decided to go for it.
On the other hand, I did not find the ER I requested a couple of years previously particularly illuminating: Wikipedia:Editor review/Catfish Jim and the soapdish. Combining the two in a formal manner will only work if ER is taken seriously. (I hasten to add that I have no idea if my experience of ER was in any way typical). Catfish Jim & the soapdish 10:56, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
There's not the same incentive/compulsion for commenting at ER. It still would not change the main problem: unreflected, silly, or irrelevant comments. I mean, what does one do about voters whose own contribs are full of systemic bias and POV pushing and insist that editors should only write about the area they live in? What about voters who oppose an overwhelmingly supported RfA because of a name, then go and vote 'strong support' on another RfA that SNOWs and gets closed within 24 hrs? Any radical reform that still allows open commenting is still going to attract the major problems that are endemic to the current system. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:32, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Reading back over the initial post, I'm not really talking about the same thing, but rather about a serious editor review prior to RfA process in its current form. I'm not going to comment particularly on oppose rationales at this specific moment in time, but yes, I did notice that one. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 15:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Should we recognize "Able Editors"?[edit]

I wonder whether it would help this process to have some non-political achievement standard by which Wikipedia editors could gain extra respect. Academics, military people, boy scouts and such all have their ranks, which are taken to imply knowledge of a certain common skillset; since I like the sound of it I'll name the status after "able seaman" (something which I know nothing about). Now, yes, we have WP:editor review, but that is focused too narrowly on adminship and politics, identifying weaknesses without really having a specific standard the editor is certified to have met. Here the point would be to say, with some authority, that an editor knows the policies of Wikipedia, can edit any kind of article within his competence whether he knows the topic well or not at all, knows procedures for dispute resolution and proposing new ideas, maybe can handle various specific functions like Recent Changes patrolling or answering Refdesk questions, etc., can make a DYK hook, can make a Good Article or maybe even a Featured Article, and has a certain number of edits and time spent in Wikipedia. The skills evaluated should invite editors out of their usual ruts and ensure that they're pretty much up for anything. However, the status should not be prone to revocation or be held up over a single conduct dispute, as the status would indicate only that the editor knows how to follow policies and handle controversies rather than guaranteeing he does so. The idea is that you could draw up a list of competencies ("merit badges" if you will) and editors could play the game of filling them all out. And at the end of it, you'd have an Able Editor.

Now the use of this, of course, is that if candidates for (full) admin status were expected to have Able Editor status first, you'd know you had a consistent and satisfactory level of skill in all candidates, pre-certified in what I would hope to be an entirely non-political environment. The remaining factors to be discussed would then be more limited. Of course, getting the Able Editor status could be a bit of fun for other editors as well, who are looking for some validation of their efforts. Wnt (talk) 04:58, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I love the idea, but I can see it being a lead balloon with the community. People have enough problems with hat collecting, "adminship is no big deal" and the myspace aspects of Wikipedia, so adding a checkbox system to get a hat which does nothing but adds status doesn't look like something that's going to get consensus.
Having said that, I really do like the idea and it'd be good to create something like that for admin coaching or a check list of things you should do before applying for adminship. WormTT · (talk) 08:25, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I like the concept of this on paper Wnt, but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice. Different people are here for different tasks, and some simply don't have any desire to "collect hats" so to speak. Some of our best editors tend to go through their tenure here and are seldom heard from other than their article edits, simply because they don't have any desire to get involved with the "process" other than the editing itself. Much of this is akin to what Worm says above, but I'd like to also add that there is already a (conceived(?)) divide between editor/admin/crat/arb here that I'd have to wonder if adding more layers wouldn't increase some of the tensions that we now have between editor vs. admin. mentality. I think if we did anything in this type of venue, then our best bet would be for it to be simply an automated process free from any type of "editor input". Meaning: "x" number of edits = "y" checkbox. Secondly, even given that someone were to complete(?) this "Able Editor" status, it would only add another layer to "gaining adminship", and I'm not sure that would make things better. There will always need to be "judgment" issues that need to be evaluated with the couple extra buttons, so I don't see an automated process as being an answer there.
The only one thing that I can envision as far as far as additional "layers" go, would be to unbundle the 'block' button. All the other adminy things (move over redirect, RFPP, delete, view deleted, etc.) are simply moderator types of things - whereas the "block" function does pull a sysop style of action into play. I'm not sure that it would ever gain any widespread consensus here, but it's something I've thought about. — Ched :  ?  14:25, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
This suggestion was meant to be independent of any unbundling of admin functions (which I also think should be good). The "Able Editors" would not have any special privileges, nor would admins even be formally required to become one; the idea was simply to make it possible for editors to certify that they have a certain standard level of experience. Wnt (talk) 04:00, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Probably off-topic here, but I strongly feel that blocking is the one tool that should remain strictly within the mandate of sysops. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:31, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I read it as unbundling upwards, to a new level above the current sysop. But as you say, off topic. WormTT · (talk) 07:22, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

A few thoughts for alternative processes[edit]

Below are a few ideas that I've entertained for alternative RFA processes:

1. Perhaps, in order to promote discussion among editors during RFA, we should consider somehow splitting the RFA process in half such that the first half (e.g. 3.5 days) is strictly discussion (i.e. discussing the user's editing, possible objections) and the second half is the actual !voting process. In order to keep discussion civil and constructive, we could provide a mandate that only editors that participated in the first half may !vote in the second half, based on the previous discussion.

2. A process that actually allows candidates to display their ability as a possible administrator. For instance, users who meet a pre-determined set of general criteria (i.e. edit count/tenure/past disputes/blocks) would apply for the tools. Subsequently, these users would perform as an administrator in their selected areas of interest under the close supervision of volunteer mentor(s) who are administrators themselves. After a predetermined length of time, the tools would be removed and the community would !vote/discuss whether or not the candidate should become a permanent administrator.

I'm not necessarily insinuating that these suggestions are the way to go, but they're a start to hopefully get the ball rolling for some good discussion here. Any thoughts would be welcome. Tyrol5 [Talk] 23:47, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with proposed change #1, but I think "a mandate that only editors that participated in the first half may !vote in the second half" would deviate the RfA process from its true intention: to let the community decided whether or not a user can be trusted with adminship. Proposed change #2 has been proposed in some form or another before, and one important argument against it also has to do with trust and the community:

"Admins execute their actions (under normal conditions) with the trust and power of the community behind them. To gain that trust and power, that community has to grant it. Trial admins have no such trust and power, or it has not been demonstrated by consensus that the community is behind them. This "trial admin" proposal seems to have forgotten about the foundation of adminship: the trust of the community. —User:Kurykh

I agree with this statement. Guoguo12 (Talk)  19:39, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I should rework the proposal: to require all new administrators to be supervised by experience administrators for a pre-designated amount of time. It would help alleviate concerns of !voters at RFA. The only problem with this rework is that it doesn't address the process of RFA itself, which is the primary issue here. I've also seen proposals that suggest that we split the administrator role into two parts: one that is strictly maintenance and one that includes the actual controversial decision making required currently of administrators. Again, this doesn't address RFA. My only suggestion after reading your comment, Guoguo12, is that in order to reshape the RFA process, we may need to move a bit outside our comfort zone as a community, but this does not, by any means, mean that we should abandon the community trust model of RFA. Tyrol5 [Talk] 22:15, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. Move outside our comfort zone? Okay, perhaps semi-desperate times call for semi-desperate measures. The reworked proposal seems, for some reason I can't pinpoint, a lot better than the original ... like adoption for new admins. But what happens if the admin-in-training turns out to be a poor admin candidate? Guoguo12 (Talk)  00:21, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
All these suggestions, or very similar, have been made at WT:RfA, now in the archives but certainly within the last 18 months. They were met with little resonance. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:55, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
There's no harm in discussing it, right? Guoguo12 (Talk)  02:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
None whatsoever, and there would be no harm in inviting those who who discussed it there to participate here - you may be lucky, the suggestions may find renewed interest. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:05, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Proposal 1 has been tried before with Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ironholds 2. Unfortunately, it was generally regarded as a failure due to users turning up after the discussion period was over with reasons to oppose. I take note of the proposed solution to this problem of only allowing users who participated in the first half to vote in the second half. In principle, it is a good idea, as it makes sense for their to be a discussion first before any vote like process. My main concern is on how the proposed restriction on participation would work. Would would happen if someone was away from Wikipedia for the first half but returned for the second half and had something to contribute that nobody else yet had done? Would they barred from commenting at all? Or, would they still be allowed to comment but not be allowed to make a formal vote? CT Cooper · talk 19:01, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I like the latter solution you suggested to that dilemma. There's no reason to bar someone from at least commenting just because they were not present for the first half of the RFA. On another note, would there be any prospects for incorporating the clerks proposal into this one as a method of moderating discussion/!voting during the process? I think it could work (although it would probably have to be introduced separately to satisfy the community). Tyrol5 [Talk] 21:29, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
This and clerks are separate suggestions for reform but there is a straw poll at WT:RFA2011 that seems to have got lost in the many threads. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:28, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I do realize that; although, it might be possible to incorporate RFA clerks into this proposal to moderate discussion during the first part of the process and !voting in the second part. Tyrol5 [Talk] 14:42, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Leave the status quo. It is working fine[edit]

I have been pretty happy with the last several passes (even the one I opposed) and with the ones who went down in flames. I just don't get where people are thinking that we aren't passing enough candidates. And the people getting discouraged are probably either too dramatic...or just should go concentrate on content and not be so driven to moderatorship.TCO (talk) 06:42, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Part of the entire problem here is attitudes like that. Adminship is a few tools, which should be used within the bounds that the community outlines. You're right, we shouldn't be driven to "moderatorship", we should instead know that any competent user is able to access the few extra tools that can make their volunteering here easier. Ajraddatz (Talk) 23:15, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Require a nominator[edit]

Before I start I want to say that I am well aware that there's nothing wrong with self nominations. I have no problem with them, and I think it's been a long time since I've seen a serious oppose on the basis of self-nominations. However, I was wondering if changing the culture of nominations might be an idea. If we require a nomination / ratification of the self-nomination, we would take out many NOTNOWs, and also a large portion of SNOW closures. We could go so far as to put any discussed "minimum requirement" on the nominator, not on the candidate. Then, create a category for "Users who are open to nominating administrators or ratifying requests" (better written), so if you want to become an admin - and but don't have a nomination, you can ask for one. I'm sure the idea could do with a bit more fleshing out, but any thoughts? WormTT · (talk) 11:41, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't know ... I think we handle the "NOTNOW" stuff pretty well as is. I think until the "community" can enact a desysop though, it's always going to be a topic of dissent. I've always felt that there should be some sort of RfAd (desysop) like the RfA is structured. An editor in good standing can open one. If there's a major consensus that an admin. has lost trust .. then when the crats close it .. they head over to request the removal of the bit. Just IMHO though. — Ched :  ?  13:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I think this could work in conjunction with the suggestions in this discussion. Maybe we could require a qualified nominator only for candidates that haven't yet reached the Journeyman award level (or whatever min. req. we come up with at Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011/Possible proposals). Tyrol5 [Talk] 15:39, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
how ironic, who did you ask? ;-) --ClubOranjeT 10:19, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Someone I REALLY trust ;) WormTT · (talk) 10:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
wait .,. you "trusted" someone on da super sekrit Wikipedia? ... now I have to go change my not a vote to ... opposeChed :  ?  00:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, obviously he had to squeak in his self-nom just before a rule is enacted that prohibits it. Ingenious, really. Useight (talk) 00:15, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Who's been talkin' about banning self-noms? Have I missed something? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:13, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I say make it an admin (or maybe even an arb). And I am pretty far from moderator kissup. YEah, you have a danger of a clique. So waht. There are still hundreds of admins. Lots of types. someone finding an admin to nom them is better than someone conspiring on IRC, or "getting an admin for our project" or the like. And if one admin starts bringing lots of crap candidates, peole won't respect that guy.

You still have the community to rake the candidate over the coals. Heck, a lot of sites just have direct appointments (we did in the beginning).TCO (talk) 15:04, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

BUT, if that is a bridge too far, just have a nominator at all. At least it will be a step in the right direction...TCO (talk) 15:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I think that the proposal to require a nominator is a reasonable idea. However, requiring an admin nominator is likely to lead to a clique - or a perception of a clique among non-admins. There are historical examples of supposedly-democratic bodies who decided to require internal support before a candidate could join the body, which quickly turned into an oligarchy, or clique, or something else very different to the original open principles. bobrayner (talk) 15:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I've proposed something similar at WT:RfA reform 2011#Mandatory counseling. A couple of points I find important:

  • The counseling/ratification/nomination must come from an experienced editor. When a new or unexperienced editor nominates someone for adminship, it almost always backfires. I don't know how to define "experienced" in that context.
  • RfAs should still be allowed even if the candidate was told plainly that that he will very likely fail: Else some editors will feel like they aren't given a fair chance, it avoids seeing the group of experienced editors as a cabal who can prevent anyone from being an admin, and if the experienced editor has done his job right he will have told the candidate of most arguments to expect in the oppose section, so presumably he won't be as discouraged as he'd normally be, which is the whole point.

Amalthea 17:21, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Fixed term, with re-vote allowed[edit]

I'd just make it term limited. We just had several admins like HJ do a re-vote and they passed fine (most of the opposes were on the unnessessary vote, not on qualities.) If someone is enough of a dick that they won't pass a re-RFA good. There are some bully-boy admins and it would be good for the project to weed them out.TCO (talk) 15:08, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Taking away a bully-boy's admin tools can hardly qualify as "weeding them out". Juliancolton (talk) 15:25, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Executive fiat[edit]

I suggest that Jimmy Wales and/or the Stewards and/or the Bureaucrats should appoint, or as the case may be, be allowed to appoint, admins at their own discretion and on their own motion without a public debate, in addition to those appointed as the result of a !vote at RfA. Cf the quote "I think perhaps I'll go through semi-willy-nilly and make a bunch of people who have been around for awhile sysops" at WP:NOBIGDEAL. James500 (talk) 14:57, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Alternative combined with above: Jimmy Wales and/or the Stewards and/or the Bureaucrats should appoint temporary administrators, who go through RfA after 2 months? WormTT · (talk) 15:08, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. I've suggested this in one form or another a couple times before (temporary adminship/forgoing RFA for a time period to establish trust), but it has been met with opposition (i.e. candidates 'fooling' the community and abusing adminship after gaining trust). It's a phobia (even obsessive perhaps), IMO, to think that way about it. At WP:PERM, for example, we allow administrators to give users certain rights at their discretion, trusting them with the ability to perform various tasks. If an administrator abuses his/her tools, revoke them on sight; don't make things complicated with the Arbitration Committee. Tyrol5 [Talk] 19:49, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is what would happen if we fail to fix RFA before the number of admins falls to a point where it causes problems on the pedia. I doubt they would intervene before then, but this is a tried and tested procedure for wikis that need admins. I think Wikimedia has had to do it and I know it has been done on other wikifarms. It would be embarrassing for it to happen here, and I'd prefer to steer us away from it, but yes if we don't reform RFA this is what will probably happen instead. ϢereSpielChequers 20:06, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Crats appoint admins[edit]

If one driving examiner an decide whether you pass or fail a driving test then a panel of crats should be able to decide whether or not someone meets the criteria for adminship. We use similar mechanisms for individual admins to appoint Rollbackers and Autoreviewers, so this is a workable mechanism.

The community would need to discuss the criteria for adminship, and then the crats would be responsible for assessing candidates against that criteria. Hopefully we'd get enough candidates that crats would need to form panels of say three crats to assess each candidate. ϢereSpielChequers 00:46, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm in favour of any solution that can be trusted to appoint people who can be trusted to be admins - particularly one that avoids all the nastiness, and which can be run as a trial as suggested by JW, parallel to the existing system .
I am not confident that it would be easy to obtain any consensus at all on a formal set of criteria for adminship for any system. We currently have six main sources of criteria in operation:
  1. The bar that sets itself anew for each RfA according on who turns up to comment and !vote
  2. The mean average of the criteria published by regular RfA participants on their user sub-pages
  3. The fraction who still maintain that minima are not necessary.
  4. Those who systematically place oppose !votes on RfAs because they are opposed to the very notion of adminship, rather than the candidates themselves.
  5. Those who !vote but who have very little experience as editors, and little or no understanding of what they are in fact voting for or against.
  6. Crat decision and/or crat chat in cases of close calls.
--Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:26, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreeing criteria won't be easy, but I don't think it impossible either. As we've recently had an unopposed RFA I'm not convinced there is a significant group who will oppose every RFA (There is however a significant group who oppose every RFA reform). Your first and fifth groups would be resolved by having an exercise to agree criteria. The others are more difficult, and there needs to be room for discretion and judgment so we may not be able to completely agree a criteria. But I think we can get much closer than we currently have. ϢereSpielChequers 13:24, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
There are most certainly some reasonably regular participants at RfA whose presence there is to prosecute their abhorrence of the very idea of adminship in general. Their comments are also often the root of the drama that is hoped to be significantly reduced - if not entirely eradicated - by reforms to the current RfA process. Perhaps those who don't like admins could at least come up with some suggestions for alternative ways of managing the project. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:48, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Automated adminship/de-adminship[edit]

I would like to test the automated granting and revoking of admin rights in a limited trial. When users fulfill certain criteria that can be checked programatically, they would be sysop'd and likewise admin who fail to meet the criteria would be de-sysop'd. For example, some criteria might be autoconfirmed, 100 edits in a month, 2,000 edits in a year, clean block log for previous 12 months, never had these permissions manually revoked, etc. Then on a monthly basis users would be evaluated and rights would be assigned or revoked. For the test, perhaps 2–10 admin would be selected this way per month (or some number that could be closely monitored) and these same new admin would be the pool available for system de-sysoping as well.

Really, if the whole thing was automated then the criteria could be adjusted in such a way to influence the development of the wiki, such as focusing more on admin-related tasks (edits in the Wikipedia namespace maybe?) or content creation, for instance. Ideally I think you would want to combine unbundling of user rights with this, so you could have rights-specific criteria, which would make managing the numbers in each rights group very simple.

Besides being easier this way (aside from monitoring and tweaking criteria), I think this would take the pressure out of these roles. As you move on to different areas of interest, say WP:UAA to WP:AIV, you could drop unused rights and pick up others, always with the understanding that you can go back and do it again if you want. Even at the fully-bundled, current admin level, there would be no politics involved and adminship would be more like a reward for your good work, which waxes and wanes with your involvement in the wiki.

I don't think a few new admin in a trial run would cause much damage, especially with interested people watching them like hawks, so how about it? — Bility (talk) 19:11, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Good idea overall. A few comments/possible concerns the community might have regarding the proposal: the number of admins promoted in this manner would have to be quite small (closer to two than ten, in your given range) and they would need to be supervised very carefully. The primary concern I have (as will the community) is: how might we employ a method of easily de-sysoping administrators who've misused the tools? Community discussion? No-tolerance policy? I'm currently working on several proposals for reforming the process of de-adminning an editor, and these two proposals could, at some point in the future, go hand-in-hand. That's really the only operational concern I have personally re. your suggestion, that in order to lower the threshold/make it much easier to obtain adminiship, we must also do so for revoking the tools as well.
Also, apologies if I misunderstood your wording, but the statement "adminship would be more like a reward for your good work" concerns me. Adminship never was and never should be a means of rewarding/recognizing editors for the merits of their contributions. Tyrol5 [Talk] 19:40, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
During the trial phase I assumed the monitoring body would be able to de-sysop at will, since these are really test-admin as it were. In production, you're right there would need to a be a venue to address manually revoking rights as needed. As for the philosophy bit, there is common Wikipedia parlance—such as adminship is no big deal or adminship is not a trophy—and then there is the reality of some users considering adminship to be the just that. As with any "radical alternative" to RFA, a certain amount of our current understanding of adminship would need to be rethought. I'm not saying you don't already, but perhaps we should ask ourselves first whether rewarding users is a good or bad thing, and question any other preconceived notions. At any rate, reward or not, the merit of someone's contribution couldn't be assessed by a bot. Think of it like becoming autoconfirmed—it doesn't mean you're a good or bad editor, just that you've hit some arbitrary benchmark, "rewarding" you with additional rights. — Bility (talk) 20:17, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your prompt reply. Judging by your concise clarification of your previous comments, it seems that I've indeed misunderstood your above comments. Having said that, I think your idea could work; my main concerns (method of removal, "rewarding"), at least, have been addressed. Any possible ideas/timeframe for implementation? Tyrol5 [Talk] 21:00, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I would probably want to back-test this against people who went through RFA in 2010 to get a set of criteria that produces comparable results to establish a baseline. Then I would monitor pools of users the system assigns to adminship/de-adminship for six months to a year without actually assigning/revoking rights, with different sets of criteria. Then I think we would have a lot of data, and we could see how the automated assignation stacked up against actual RFA results and see which sets of criteria met our predetermined performance goals. At that point, if we still thought the automated process could work, I would be comfortable running a real case test by manually sysoping/desysoping a test pool or pools as assigned by the system for another six months to a year. A lot of the analysis could be done before any real tests using 2009–2010 data to refine the model. Also, none of this takes into account the time we would be tied up in discussions before, during and after each phase. — Bility (talk) 21:31, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly a radical idea and I worry about it being gamed (not that I'm saying RfA isn't already gamed!) I would like to see this in combination with an unbundling - so if you were to unbundle by task, you could set criteria based on it. For example, for someone to have the deletion button they would have made say... 200 CSDs, with an error rate below 5%, and commented on 50 AfDs. These are obviously arbitrary numbers.
If we come up with relevant criteria for each admin area, we'd have quite a long list and I wonder if anyone would meet it... whereas if we have a short list, we'd effectively be significantly lowering the criteria to become an admin, and I doubt that would be agreeable to the community. WormTT · (talk) 01:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The idea is to come to a consensus on how many of whichever user group you want based on demand, and then set the criteria accordingly. In your example, users with over 200+ CSDs and 50 comments at AfD could be sorted based on their error rate and then the top x number would either be automatically given rights or just notified on their talk that they qualify. This way you can tune the wiki as a whole by adjusting levels, and at the same time incentivize users to strive for excellence (if they want the tools). Coupled with an efficient rights revocation system, having "too many" users in a user group shouldn't be a big issue. — Bility (talk) 02:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I like that. The only problem is that we don't have a good way for currently measuring "useful" stats. WormTT · (talk) 02:11, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I need to establish a baseline for some common stats. Maybe next week I'll download a database dump and crunch some numbers. I'm not concerned with stats being useful, per se, just measurable. For instance, if we find that all successful RFA candidates in 2010 had at least 2,000 edits and over a year on the wiki, the baseline criteria could use that, with the understanding that we're just trying to model successful RFA behavior, not what makes a good editor. Once we have a model that comes close to producing the same results from 2010 (or the last twelve months), then it can be used to identify current potential candidates or it can be tweaked to go after a certain types of administrators. I'll need help coming up with a list of quantifiable metrics to use, especially in areas with which I'm unfamiliar, but for now I just need to dig into the data a bit and see what's there and build out a process for the data pull. — Bility (talk) 16:45, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
This is a good way to find potential admin candidates, but the community won't agree this for auto promotion. Legally we need to exercise due diligence before deciding who access deleted contributions - auto-promotion by formulae won't achieve that. RFA involves a review of the candidate's contributions, and sometimes it is only when a candidate is scrutinised that we detect problems that render them unsuitable for adminship. Some judgment things are hard to computerise, this is one of them. ϢereSpielChequers 13:34, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Automated adminship wouldn't work because there are no automated metrics for assessing levels of responsibility, maturity, civility, analytical skills, and sense of judgement.
However, for scanning the database for potential candidates, we have already 'pulled the data' - it's the median of the personal criteria published by regular voters, with the actual quantitative averages of the successful RfAs. It just needs extrapolating (I think we've done some of it already) and a script run through the database for users who match the criteria. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:23, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
We also need active nominators. I suspect that is currently one of the tightest pinchpoints in the system and oddly it doesn't seem to be the RFA isn't broken crowd who nominate - but that may just be my perception. It would be interesting to do a survey of recent successful nominators and ask what they thought of RFA. ϢereSpielChequers 20:12, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Pre-RfA proposal[edit]

I have moved my proposal to Wikipedia:RfA reform 2011/Radical alternatives/Pre-RfA Proposal. Comments would be appreciated on the talk page of the proposal. Any changes that do not modify the overall plan of the proposal I have created can be made without first seeking consensus. If changes are controversial or may substantially change the proposal, please discuss them first. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:32, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

I have radically modified my proposal into an even more radical version of a parallel system of RfA. This is based on things suggested on Jimbo Wale's talk page. Please feel free to comment. Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:25, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Unbundle block / unblock[edit]

The urgent gap is at AIV where we have to provide 24/7 coverage and we've already seen the most active dozen or so hugglers shift from mostly admins to mostly not.

Most blocks need to be done urgently and are uncontentious. If we create a new userright that allows editors to block or unblock IP addresses and editors with fewer than 100 edits then we can empower our experienced vandalfighters to do what we need them to do, but without giving them a tool they can use against vested contributors. ϢereSpielChequers 00:46, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I believe there is an inconsistency in the quality exercised by holders of minor user rights - possibly due to the arbitrary or subjective criteria employed by the admins who accord such rights. Creating new user groups is a long and tedious process - especially when considereing contentious powers such as deletion and blocking - more difficult perhaps that obtaining consensus on some RfA reforms. One would first have to establish the criteria for according such rights and obtaining consensus on that. In view of these points plus the additional traditional system of obtaining change by consensus through tedious RfC, I therefore do not feel that unbundling of some admin tools is the answer. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:40, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
There have been several successful unbundling exercises, this shares their characteristic of being a simple clearly defined tool with a significant identifiable need. This is not the total solution to RFA, but it could postpone for some time the point at which lack of admins causes clear unambiguous damage to the pedia. Also this may be a necessary part of any RFA solution. Many of us including myself expect some content contributions from all RFA candidates, and there is next to no chance of RFA reforming by consensus to the point where that requirement is dropped. If we allow hugglers to do uncontentious blocks then it becomes reasonable to require RFA candidates to have demonstrated that they can add useful content with inline cites to reliable sources. Not creating this userright leaves RFA in an anomalous situation where the people with the most pressing need for the tools can be denied them because they'd potentially use tools that they claim to have no intention to use. ϢereSpielChequers 13:15, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Good idea. Blocking is perhaps the most pertinent of the administrative tools in that blocking vandals is to be done in a timely manner, and if experienced vandal fighters were to have the ability to perform non-contentious blocks, it would, as WSC has said, allow more time until the drought at RFA becomes a real problem for the site. In response to Kudpung's concern, I don't think the tediousness or difficulty of introducing a new userright is not a reason to rule out doing so. Let's not forget that the unbundling of rollback certainly did not occur without considerable opposition. Tyrol5 [Talk] 22:00, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
You may be right - I wasn't involved in the discussions about rollback. Further unbundling of any admin tools would probably only be a palliative - the drought at RFA will become a real problem for the site in the calculable future, and unbundling the tools would not encourage mature, experienced editors of the right calibre to spend seven days in the snake pit. However, if one could get the devs and the WMF - whose wounds are still smarting from the PC episode - to agree to a trial based on numerical evidence, it may be worth the empirical experience. Blocking and deleting are nevertheless the two main admin tools, and the ones that require the highest level of responsibility for their use. What guarantee would there be that the holders of new minor rights would exercise the same level of accuracy, discretion, and civility that we at least expect from our admins, and would limit themselves to blocking IPs with less than 100 edits, and deleting only blatant nonsense pages? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:35, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
There is no guarantee; however, I presume the assurance that we would have that the members of this block/delete group would not abuse their tools would be about the same as assuming someone is well-meaning enough not to misuse rollback. Let's not forget that the users who would be granted this right are experienced vandal fighters and would likely make exceptional administrators regardless of their unwillingness to go through with an RFA. Tyrol5 [Talk] 14:46, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
A guarantee could be implemented by a software limitation to the use of their block tool to IP addresses and editors with fewer than 100 edits (for example) as suggested by WSC, but it would still only be a Band-Aid for the bigger issue. However, let's not get carried away. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:27, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
A rather similar idea was proposed in the past and rejected; cfr. Wikipedia:Vandal fighters. I supported it and would still support it, but it received strong opposition, back then. Salvio Let's talk about it! 15:32, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes there have been similar proposals. But the last debate was just over a year ago so it would be fair to reopen it. Looking at the previous debate we can meet some concerns by only enabling crats to grant or remove this userright. and wherever we set the threshold we need to make sure there is code that prevents these editors from blocking whole ranges of IPs or registered editors with more than the threshold number of edits. The other line of similar proposals were of the admin lite nature with a complex bunch of tools created for the userright. I see that as a very different idea. Another reason why the community might now be ready to consider this is that RFA and our supply of admins has continued to deteriorate. The number of active admins is falling, and while most admin actions can wait for hours if necessary, most of these blocks can't wait. So this particular reform has the potential on its own to keep the wiki going for quite a long time before the falling number of active admins forces te community to resolve things. As for Kudpung's desire for a guarantee that those with this button won't delete things they shouldn't, well as long as they only get the block button and not the deletion button yes we can guarantee they won't delete things. Unbundling the deletion button is a separate idea as part of various admin lite proposals, I'm not so keen on the admin lite concept and want to keep this very focussed on resolving AIV gaps. ϢereSpielChequers 15:56, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I suppose it could be given a try. I think, all things considered, I would support it - but on a clearly fixed-term trial basis. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:07, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

As a note, AIV reports often take 5 minutes or more for a response, and as long as half an hour, in my experience. My only disagreement with this proposal is the threshold-a threshold of more like 200 or 300 or even 400 edits would be more effective against spambots or other automated vandals. The thing I'd like to add to this proposed userright is another protection level associated with it (between semi and full) that would be very effective against sockpuppeteers that use autoconfirmed socks.Jasper Deng (talk) 01:18, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
The threshold is worth discussing. For it to be useful it needs to be high enough that most vandalism only accounts will be blockable by these editors, but low enough that those who worry about content creator being blocked by non creators of content will have the confidence that our content creators will not be blockable by these editors. I rather suspect that the spambots and other vandals who use automated tools get referred to AIV before they reach 100 edits, though they may go on to do a lot more vandalism before an admin is available to block them. Would you be happy if the threshold was high enough that over 80% of recent blocks could have been done by people with this userright? As for protection/unprotection, I think if we start adding further userrights and making this an "admin lite" style package we quickly hit the pitfalls that have stopped all previous admin lite suggestions. In particular this proposal would not be acceptable to those who don't want the protection/unprotection power in the hands of those who have not contributed content. ϢereSpielChequers 13:17, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with WereSpielChequers. Personally, I believe these users should only be allowed to block IPs and non-autoconfirmed users, most of the vandals that an admin blocks never reach the autoconfirmed thredhold; those very few who do can be efficiently handled by "full-fledged" sysops, in my opinion... Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:10, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
It is a moot point, however, to discuss the threshold if we aren't going to implement this, so I think it's time we take it to the village pump. For protection, I'm not suggesting that these editors be able to protect/unprotect, but that we add another protection level that can be added/removed by admins just like any other kind of protection, but which only allows this proposed userright and admins to edit/move/upload (whichever is applied). There is already an extension for implementing that.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:25, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm planning on launching an RFC on this in a few days when I've done some stuff I need to do in real life, and also I've re-assembled some relevant research I lost in a PC crash. As for the Protection suggestion, I'd suggest keeping it separate and have a think whether you are going to make it easier to protect things. In the last seven years there have been six times as many blocks as protections, and protections are rarely as urgent as blocks. So unbundling either protection or semiprotection would make much less of a difference to our admin shortage, and it would alarm those who opposed pending changes because they would suspect that this would lead to more articles being protected. Lastly protection involves a content decision, and if you consider unbundling it you might consider that a completely different group of editors would be suitable for it. ϢereSpielChequers 18:58, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

unbundle edit protected[edit]

I'm not proposing that the new userright be able to add/remove protection, but that a new protection level be made that would allow only members of this proposed usergroup and admins to edit, that can be added/removed by admins like full/semi.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:46, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm generally in favour of unbundling, but not when it comes to editing through protection. I think semi protection + blocks of socks stops the vast majority of vandalism. When a page is fully protected, admins have virtually no editorial discretion. To make controversial edits to a fully protected page is as sure a way as there is to get hauled along the coals; rightly so. —WFC— 00:04, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm not quite so hostile as WFC to the concept of allowing some nonadmins to edit fully protected pages. But I do see it as very different to the unbundle block button concept (and I've boldly added a fresh heading). There are good template writers and neutral content writers/ content mediators who could use such a right. But they are people who could probably waltz through RFA if they were persuaded to run, whilst we know that RFA will no longer accept someone who only reverts vandalism. The two groups really won't overlap much, or rather anyone who qualified for both the block button and edit protected should be an admin. I think that any attempt to unbundle edit protected will be opposed for reasons ranging from it not making enough of a difference to be worthwhile, the need for such editors to be able to weigh the consensus on a talkpage before editing a fully protected page, fears of increased hierarchy on the pedia and fears that this is pending changes by the back door. Also I'm not sure how much we need to unbundle this. With the block button there is a clear and substantial need, when a block is neded we don't want to be waiting half an hour for an admin. I don't see the same urgency for editing fully protected pages. ϢereSpielChequers 07:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, full protected is full protected. Let's say we have "semi-full protection", removable/addable by normal admins. It's not the same as full protection because the new userright can edit through it, but it cannot be added/removed by the new userright. But no, full protection is full.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:10, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

That would create a class of editors who have more editorial discretion than others. This was a fairly big factor in the unpopularity of pending changes. —WFC— 17:17, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a little similar in that admins also have discretion in requested changes to an article protected for reasons other than edit warring. This proposed protection wouldn't be used to stem an edit war.Jasper Deng (talk) 21:44, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Automatically sysopped through writing 30 GAs in 5 different topics[edit]

(Note: Thread moved from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue here.)

There are several questions that I believe each one of us should ask themselves:

  1. How do we improve the RfA process in order to have more admins?
  2. How do we improve the RfA process in order to have more qualitative admins?
  3. How can the admins use their mop properly in order to attract good contributors, straighten contributors who have areas of opportunity, and be inflexible with bad apples?
  4. How can they lead by example good potential wikipedians?

I guess the answers to the above questions depend on what wikipedia each one of us envisions. I will expose my personal view which might differ from those of many in this community. I believe we'll have a better wikipedia if the number of Good Articles increases sensibly. I would love to see in 5 years at least 100,000 good articles, and these 100,000 articles should be the core articles that each encyclopaedia should have, not frivolous stuff.
But is that possible? In my short experience as a contributor, but long experience as a reader, I would say no. Right now we have 12,000 GAs, and half of them wouldn't find a space in neither Britannica or Encarta.
So how can we have the admins lead by example and contribute to a wikipedia with many GAs and FAs, by making the process smoother for newcomers who have the potential to write GAs and FAs? How can we get to apply people who will truly lead by contributions, and not only by admin work?
It is my opinion, that first of all, we should approach many long term contributors who have an extremely high number of edits and are not admins for several reasons, the first being that they have had blocks in the past: some of these people apply and get rejected because once their behavior was not "admin level behavior".
However, these people have great experience with wikipedia, and should have the mop in my opinion: they know the tools, the policies, the community, and are good watchers of many articles. They are good readers and have encyclopaedic minds. Proposal: What if, after a certain number of GAs in different areas, you are given automatically the mop? For instance, and this is only my number, after 30 GAs, in 5 different topics, you automatically have the admin tools, and you don't have to go through AfD at all? Isn't content creation the most important thing in wikipedia? I am aware that this proposal is actually circumventing the RfA process altogether, but the main reason why I am making it, is because I honestly believe that many content creators are just too worried with content to waste time at AfD and try to become sysops. It is actually first and foremost these people who should have sysop buttons. They know sooner than everyone who is a good content provider, and who isn't, who is a POV pusher, and who is an equilibrated person, they can distinguish true contributors from butterflies, and they can spot a bad source right away. I believe that many good admins would come out of this process, and that we'd see a jump in the number of Good Articles as well. I made sure to include in the rule that the 30 GAs should be in 5 different topics, but the number can be increased (or slightly decreased). It is extremely important to have a wide number of topics, because this would eliminate single purpose accounts, who will push their agenda in one direction and have 30 GAs, let's say in Sports and recreation only. An encyclopaedic mind is such in all areas (or at least in 5 of them).
Penny for your thoughts? Divide et Impera (talk) 22:47, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, someone with 30 GAs (or 100, for that matter) can still be a terrible admin. We have quite a few great content-focused editors that shouldn't be near administrative duties. Some have no experience in the Wikipedia space at all. I can think of several who blatantly disregard WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA. There are many factors that make a 'good admin' and, while "number of GAs" might be one, it's generally considered to be a minor one and shouldn't be the only factor in determining adminship. Swarm u | t 00:51, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Can you say (or email me) the nicks of even 1 (one) editor who has written 30 GAs, in 5 different topics, and still isn't a sysop?Divide et Impera (talk) 01:08, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Me? Malleus Fatuorum 01:22, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
But you would reject the tools, so we are safe. My76Strat (talk) 03:32, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree strongly with Swarm. There are users who have made GAs and then got banned later. The problem with this proposal is that it does not address the other aspects of being an admin - patience, technical knowledge, ability to advise well in most (if not all) situations, and good judgement.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:37, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
There are users who have been promoted to admin and been banned later, so I'm not sure what your point is. Are you? Malleus Fatuorum 04:16, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
My point is that GA/Featured article creation is important, it's not nearly the whole story. Admins need to meet other requirements, too, that this proposal does not address.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:18, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Note: Thread moved from Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011. Please continue here. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:48, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Depends on what you mean by safe My76Strat. Malleus Fatuorum 04:16, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

() Anyway, the point is that you seem to be under the impression that all the major content workers are admins. This couldn't be farther from the truth (for better or for worse). Sorry. Swarm u | t 04:45, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

To be honest with you all, if you give me the name of Malleus as an example, that just means that my proposal is just right. I wonder if there are more people like Malleus so that I can see how bad my proposal is, but if you just show me Malleus, then I really believe this reform should occur in the direction of having admins with more content under their sleves: at least put a minimum number of GAs or DYKs for them to run for an RfA. The fact that Malleus doesn't have the tools, just illustrates how flawed the system is: I'll be blunt enough to say it all: probably the community overall is not at Malleus level, and probably we should think about that as well, but unfortunately there is a saying "A leader can't go much further than his followers", and, likewise, Malleus can't be distant enough (right now he is). @Jasper: You mentioned patience, technical knowledge, and ability to advise. Those skills are seen by editors who make mistakes in their early stages, and they get a warning or some other impersonal nuvola by an admin. How about those editors who are working on their first GA and they are likely to see someone like Malleus take up the review? He has reviewed hundreds of articles: don't you think he'd have more patience, technical knowledge and ability to advise more than hundreds of admins who would never go through a review because they're just busy to do small chores and shy away from the real mediations? In my opinion, if we want Wikipedia to develop, we should bring historians and good English writers as admins, because the IT techies are necessary but not sufficent for a good organic growth of an encyclopedia. Divide et Impera (talk) 14:02, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
If you want to have a look at other examples - perhaps wander to the Wikipedia:Unsuccessful_adminship_candidacies_(Chronological) and look for ones who were unsuccessful. You might need to do a little work.
I have to warn you that the road you're headed down is frought with difficulties though. From a non-community point of view, the foundation's legal team has accepted that admins can view deleted information. They've drawn the line in the sand at admin level. If you make try to adminship completely arbitrary, without any community oversight based on trust, I personally expect that the foundation will deny the option. WormTT · (talk) 14:16, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I had done that research prior to coming here, but Malleus' last run was in 2008 and I didn't go that much back. If you read what I bolded above, then you'll realize that I am amending my proposal to a minimum contribution of GAs and DYKs for the admins to be able to run. So I'm saying: let's have a minimum number of GAs contributions before the guy even runs. Let's put this number, say 10 GAs, and 10 DYKs. Don't let people with less than that run at all. What are their contributions anyways? Categorization? How's that even remotely important compared to what true content providers do? This would give an incentive to content contributors to run, and also to potential content contributors. You have to give a stimulus of responsibility to people who care about the articles, because it's mainly their work that's at stake. No admin will ever be able to understand the pain of seeing a contribution lost more than the contributor himself. Thoughts? Divide et Impera (talk) 14:38, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Oh right! Sorry, didn't realise this was basically a more strict version of WP:RfA reform 2011/Minimum requirement. I think that there's a perception (right or wrong) that RfA is too hard already, meaning there are few candidates as it is. I do agree that candidates should have content contributions, on a personal level - I would argue any candidate who has not put effort into building the encyclopedia will have difficulty empathising with editors who do. But I don't think that is an opinion held by everybody, and the level of contributions expected will be different for everyone. For me, I'd be happy to see 1 good article. WormTT · (talk) 14:44, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Of course the RfA is currently hard. It is hard because many of those who apply are green behind the ears with their contributions, whereas several people with real contributions, unfortunately have blocks, because they've lost it one time or another to see their work get wasted, and they have recurred to edit wars or bad mouthed someone, because they have nerves, or because they have been baited by people who vandalize their work. Now why should the blocks matter more than the GAs though? Why should a robot-like editor, who will just "swim away" from disputes, and who has no blocks, and on the other hand, not many meaningful contributions, have it easy, if compared to someone who has basically written wikipedia and then lost his mind a couple of times saying the "f" word to someone who truly deserved it? I agree that civilty is a very important requirement in wikipedia, and it should be this way, but shouldn't an admin have under his belt both behavior and contribution? How about we do something: A minimum number of GAs, and DYKs, and a minimum time from last block, say 1 year. In my opinion there should be a combination of the two aspects (content and behavior), because right now it seems like the latter is preponderantly weighted. If we put a minimum time to last block (and a minimum number of edits after that last block), I think we've covered all basis. For instance, I would suggest 10 GAs, 10 DYKs, 1 year with no blocks, and 5,000 edits after last block as a minimum requirement. If the number of GAs is too high, let's talk about it.Divide et Impera (talk) 15:01, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd say it's pretty easy to not get blocked at wikipedia, but then it depends on so many factors. But no matter, allowing a year since the last block is very generous, I'd have suggested 6 months. There is currently a lot going on about DYK, it is considered worthless by many (rightly or wrongly). GA, 10 seems high to me, probably because I only have 7, and I've known many great admins with none.
But the main reason I think your numbers are too high is that I'm struggling to get 2000/6m through, a TINY requirement based on your suggestions. I'd welcome your comments at WP:RfA reform 2011/Minimum requirement WormTT · (talk) 15:09, 9 September 2011 (UTC) forgot you'd already commented! WormTT · (talk) 15:13, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
At the end of the day, I'd say the current system of counting GAs, FAs, DYKs, etc. is pretty harmless. But putting any actual significance into these would not be a good move, IMHO. I do think that there should be a better method of rewarding great article work, but it shouldn't be related to RfA requirements at all. Swarm u | t 17:46, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

The problem with any rigid set of requirements is that an admin-worth person may excell in a number of requirements but not in others. A better suggestion would be the following:

Requirement Points
1 GA 5
1 featured article 6
Clean block log 2
1000 edits 3
1 recent block -20
1RR restrictions -15
Topic ban -25
Recent incivility incident (recent means within a few months ago) -30
Recent edit warring incident -50
1 DYK 7
1 successful proposal 5
Added per discussion below:
100 AIV reports 5
1 newbie bitten recently -10
100 RPP requests 5
1 recent copyvio -75
1 recent BLP violation -15
1 recent serious BLP violation -30
1 recent instance of good, civil, well-judged communication 5
This RfA is the second within 3 months -40

To become an admin, you would need to score at least 5075 according to the above.Jasper Deng (talk) 19:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

That would mean that a couple of months spent notching up 16,000 automated edits with Huggle or AWB would get you adminship with pretty much zero manual edits. Such a candidate would snowfail at RFA. Whilst many of the successful candidates of recent years would not have 50 points yet. I'd score 260, and someone I know who is hesitating about running would score much higher still. I can't see us agreeing a formulae for autopromotion of candidates, but the system would improve if we could agree a job spec or at least a set of criteria to judge aspirants on. ϢereSpielChequers 21:33, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Then we have to have an additional requirement, that no more than 15 points may be gained from edits alone.Jasper Deng (talk) 21:51, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
You'd then be awarding two thirds of the required points for content.... And a content criteria that gave more points for a DYK than an FA. If you were going to set a criteria for adminship rather than a filter to remove those who the community won't consider, then I'd suggest starting with:
  1. Sufficient civil communication to show you know how to communicate clearly and can be trusted not to bite the newbies
  2. Sufficient content contributions to show you are here to build the pedia, and you know how to cite stuff to reliable sources
  3. Sufficient tenure to show you aren't one of the usual suspects back for yet another run
  4. Adequacy of Cluefulness
  5. No recent red flags such as blocks, copyvio, BLP breaches or any other show of badfaith
And depending on which tools you intend to use, either enough accurate AIV reports to show you can be trusted with the block button, or enough accurate deletion tagging or sensible AFD reports to show you can be trusted with the deletion button. Recent errors at either are liable to torpedo an RFA, though AIV errors are thankfully rare at least among RFA candidates.
Candidates don't always have to achieve every point, especially if they are strongly qualified in one area or don't intend to use the tools in an area where they are inexperienced. So a candidate who doesn't intend to be active in deletion but whose article writing demonstrates understanding of what belongs here might succeed. Equally a candidate who only wants access to the spam filter might be treated very differently. Of course the difficult thing would be to agree what enough or sufficient would be in any of those; Even content contributions where I think we've pretty much agreed the big change in the last three years that you must know how to cite stuff to reliable sources, but we still get the occasional candidate getting >50% without adding any content, and a few voters thinking that the mop should only go to people with GAs or even FAs. ϢereSpielChequers 22:26, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
That's the point of my point system (get the pun?). But let me add to it.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:44, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Some things pretty much rule out certain candidates from adminship - few if any are permanent, but a deserved block in the last 12 months, first edit less than 6 months ago, porn on your userpage, these are all things that will fail an RFA, if you want to include them in a point system they aren't so much deduct x points as multiply total points by zero. As for the rest I'd suggest shifting from some of the easily measured stuff to things that demonstrate desired attributes. So instead of so many points per 100 AIV reports, work out how many accurate recent reports would demonstrate that someone had grasped the skill of knowing when a vandal needed to be blocked. ϢereSpielChequers 23:22, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

To put it quite frankly, this is a ridiculous idea. Swarm had said above: The point is that you seem to be under the impression that all the major content workers are admins. It goes in the opposite direction too; the suggestion that all admins need to be major content workers. There has always been an undercurrent of elitism in RfA that suggests that unless you have spent a huge amount of time working on the encyclopedia itself, you aren't holy enough to be an administrator. I've always laughed at this idea (and the people who suggest it). There are administrators who do not and have not worked on an article in years. Do I feel that this makes this unsuitable for being and administrator? Hell no. I prefer to put the mop in the hands of the person who is most capable of using it and will use it to the greatest extent of their ability. I would rather give admin rights to someone that has spent one hour a day for the last three months doing an admin-related task like anti-vandalism, AfD review or such than someone who has spent three hours a day every day for the last five years writing articles. The reason? Because the heavy content writer isn't going to start doing admin-related tasks with the same sense of devotion or urgency in which they write articles (nor should they). This is coming from someone who does anti-vandalism in the middle of the night when there are few or no admins bothering with keeping watch over WP:AIV. There are times that vandals run rampant for hours and there's a 15-20 report backlog at AIV, just because there's nobody around to clear it. That's not acceptable, we need admins who put admin tasks as their primary focus, not something that is a toy they got for their hard work that they play with from time to time when they are bored. That's not to say that there aren't fantastic admins who are also fantastic contributors, but the most prolific admins who are there in a pinch to get work done either are not, or never were, huge content contributors. Or to put this all a completely different way: When I went to get my driver's license, they only wanted to ensure that I was competent enough to drive a car, they didn't ask me to build one. Trusilver 15:01, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Perpetual RfA (pRfA)[edit]

Any user that wants to can put an pRfA subpage in their userspace. Anyone can vote, or change their vote at any time. Votes expire after 1 year, but the particular can renew their vote (I.e you have to re-vote every year to maintain the vote) . When the consensus on the pRfA page changes, so does the user's admin status. This will allow editors/admins to rectify their Oppose votes one by one. --Surturz (talk) 10:11, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Admins can already go to admin review, or set recall criteria I'm not convinced that this adds anything to those processes, but as long as its optional I have no objection to it. Though I'd be surprised if any admin chose to create a pRFA. ϢereSpielChequers 23:22, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Admin points[edit]

Requires technical changes. Admins have an points score. Admin actions cost points. Non-admins can thumb up or thumb down admin actions. Thumb up gives a point to the admin, a thumb down takes away a point. --Surturz (talk) 10:22, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

This wouldn't work. Admins need to complete their job to the best of their ability. Limiting the amount of actions an admin can perform would be akin to limiting the amount of criminals a policeman can apprehend. Besides, I don't know how many non-admins would be bothered to vote for or against an admin on a regular basis. — Oli OR Pyfan! 11:59, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Admins are frequently placed in situations where they have to make difficult decisions that aren't always popular ones. There have been times in the past that I have made the right adminstrative decision that would have gotten me a lot of 'thumbs down' votes, and times I have made the wrong administrative decision that would have gotten me a whole mess of 'thumbs up' votes. Popular does not always equal correct. Trusilver 15:06, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Secret ballot[edit]

Admin elections are held every year. All eligible voters are presented with a list of candidates and can vote for as many candidates as they wish. Candidates with the most votes (top percentage or an absolute number) get the bit for a year. A threshold number of votes would also be possible. --Surturz (talk) 13:35, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

I was thinking this would work well (on a per candidate basis, rather than an annual basis with term limit) in conjunction with Pre-RfA. Say a discussion, where no voting happens - and if after 24 hours it's clear that the nomination is not going to SNOW fail, and admin/crat/clerk could set up anonymous poll. We could even combine it with a criteria for voters and candidates.... WormTT · (talk) 13:40, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
This is a term limit proposal, but with a term limit shorter than any I've heard suggested. How could this fix RFA and increase the number of admins? Also Secret ballots would turn it from a !vote into a vote as you'd have no way to know why some was voting against you. Annual elections might be good as an alternative way to gain adminship, but you'd need to drop the bit about getting the bit for just one year, and stagger things a bit more. How about a monthly election for enough new admins to get us back to 800 active ones? That way voters would need to focus on supporting the best candidates, and the only way to stop a bad candidate succeeding would be to persuade lots of good candidates to stand. ϢereSpielChequers 23:22, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
You could guarantee 800 active admins with this method. All existing admins are desysopped, elections are held as above, and the top 800 editors by vote count get the bit. The quality of the admins could possibly be quite low at the bottom of the 800 so that's they need to be desysopped and stand for re-election each year. Why Wikipedians consider normal non-exclamation-point "vote" elections are such a bad thing is a mystery to me, when there is so much evidence in the real world that they work quite well for both governments and voluntary organisations. Losing admin status at an election would carry no stigma and would encourage the desysopped editor to lift their game. At the moment, failing RfA, and particularly being desysopped by ArbCom, carry a stigma. That's why you are having trouble getting admins. The existing admin base is too cowardly to risk their own bits in a new system, so that is why we have not had the change necessary to raise participation rates. --Surturz (talk) 01:12, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
This wouldn't guarantee any particular number as it would depend on the number of candidates, and I'd be surprised if you had 800. Elections work when you want a small group of decisionmakers to act on behalf of a much larger group, that's why we use elections for Arbcom and Foundation trustees, and why they would be unsuitable for adminship, especially if the aim is to reduce the status of admins by increasing their numbers. I'm not aware of any organisation that uses elections for a role comparable to admins (the US elects sheriffs, but they don't elect the ordinary police officers). But even with 10 places being filled elections begin to get unwieldy, that's why democracies tend to subdivide the electorate into constituencies, phase elections, or as with the party list system, group candidates into parties and let voters just vote for parties. Subdividing the electorate would be awkward, and a "party" based system would be anathema to most of us. Adminship isn't analogous to political office, its more an extra set of tools that we need to hand out to as many willing and suitable volunteers as we can. Any alternative to RFA reform needs to answer the following questions:
  1. Will this enable us to keep the pedia running by blocking vandals and deleting attack pages? (A system that desysops everyone and hopes to subsequently elect enough replacements fails this first hurdle)
  2. Will there be sufficient scrutiny of new admins to meet our legal obligations about access to deleted material? ("we have 312 candidates for 800 positions therefore all 312 candidates are duly declared elected" would not meet these obligations)
  3. Do we have the electorate to make this work? If you were able to persuade over 800 candidates to stand, how many voters would have the time to properly review them all? Even if you only spent half an hour on each candidate that would mean over 400 hours work from each voter, we have some retired editors who put that time into Wikipedia every couple of months, but would they as volunteers be willing to shift their attention from improving the pedia to reviewing admin candidates?
  4. Is it sensible to have an election that takes months simply for the electorate to properly evaluate the candidates?
  5. If you've desysopped everyone at the start of the election, how would you evaluate the candidates, especially any of the current admins? I've deleted over 5,000 pages, I hope that I've been pretty accurate, but if no one could check them it would be difficult to give me any meaningful feedback on them.
Does failing RFA carry a stigma, and if so is it any worse than being rejected by the electorate in an election? I failed my first RFA, and yes some of the oppose votes weren't particularly helpful, but others were, or at least they gave me an idea as to where I fell short of those voters expectations. But I didn't feel stigmatised, after my RFA failed I just went back to the sort of editing I used to do - if anything it was a surprise to me that after my first abortive run was closed nobody else said anything about it.
There are other questions that you need to answer in order to convince the community that an alternative would be an improvement. But there is little point going through those unless you first make sure your proposal is viable. ϢereSpielChequers 10:43, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Does this have a chance in hell of getting consensus? No. But that doesn't make it a bad idea. Quite the contrary, I think this is a very, very good idea. Though I'm afraid that the election cycle would be a train wreck of herculean proportions. The elections page and voting tally would be an airing of every grievance every editor has had against everyone since the creation of the project. It would be both humorous and horrifying to watch. In order to limit this as much as possible, I suggest a slightly different alternative: Instead of one year cycles, an admin would be elected for a period of three years. Every year 200 (that's a number I pulled out of my ass, adjust as needed) admin spots are open for election for a period of three years. This will scale back an impossible task into a merely enormous one. Though I think that we could go with simply 300 admins and be fine. If we have 300 active administrators, that's more than the project actually needs, rather than the much larger number we currently have, only a minority of which are actually active. As far as systemic bias, it wouldn't be any worse than the current RfA process is. You would still have the same general popularity contest that's dictated more by politics than by actual ability, but it would still ensure that the admin holding tank is constantly being churned and filled with active participants. Honestly, this is the best radical alternative to the current RfA process I've ever read. Trusilver 16:30, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

One third every three years would still be a spectacular trainwreck, but a lot closer to being a practical scheme, it certainly resolves the problem inherent to the previous proposal of having no admins for several weeks each year. One in 102 of the admin cadre every fortnight being elected for four year terms might be no more perverse and broken a system than we have today. You'd have to Grandfather in the existing admins as most of us were appointed more than four years ago. But ten vacancies a fortnight, seven of whom were admins who'd already served 4 years could be a functional system. I suspect you could do much of it by asking for 7 volunteers for reconfirmation a fortnight, and just top up with the longest serving admins when you run low on volunteers.
Slimming the admin cadre to 300 would involve far fewer places being elected in each election, but to convince the community that you want fewer admins you've first got to make the case and explain why you want to make adminship more of a big deal, why you want admins who do little except admin work, and how you can achieve that without admins getting detached from the community. ϢereSpielChequers 13:17, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Would this be making adminship a bigger deal than it is right now? I don't really think so. I have said on multiple RfAs in the past that I feel a monkey with a few weeks of training could make a competent admin. All this does is ensures that the admin pool is active. This is the thing that I see with the most distressing regularity. At the time of night that I'm most active, I have (three nights in a row now) watched reports sitting on AIV in excess of an a half hour. These weren't difficult reports either, these were very cut and dry cases of vandalism only accounts, it would have taken someone thirty seconds to verify and block. I think if we scale back the number of admins, and give them term limits, we will have a MUCH more active group of admins that are more dedicated to their jobs.I still do not, and never have, seen adminship as a big deal. All adminiship offers is an additional set of buttons that allow an editor to perform a group of maintenance functions. I roundly reject the idea that an admin has any special authority that any other user does not. Trusilver 16:09, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Admins are unpaid volunteers so you can't direct them to be around at a particular time of the night, or to monitor AIV. As the numbers of active admins falls, and as their focus drifts away from vandalfighting so we can expect AIV to have longer gaps. One solution would be to appoint more admins, and especially to appoint active vandalfighters to be admins. However the RFA community won't do that, vandalfighters can only get through RFA if they can demonstrate that they've made some significant contributions to building the pedia as well as defending it. That's with our current arrangements in which we still have over 700 active editors with the mop. A few scarcely use the mop at all, so it would make next to no difference if they weren't among the 300 you propose to restrict the mop to, but there are many who do use the mop occasionally and uncontentiously. If you were to limit the mop to 300 admins you would inevitably lose some of the admin resource that you now have. Your hope is that the remaining admins would become much more active as admins and that would make up for the loss in numbers. My fear is that if the RFA crowd become yet more choosy, with only the 300 highest place candidates getting through, then the things that go down well with the RFA crowd such as audited content and manual editing with occasional near perfect use of the tools, will continue to be the criteria that matter at RFA. While "Active huggler with over a thousand correct AIV reports" will carry no more weight at RFA than it does now. So even if the 300 admins who make most use of the tools could be persuaded to stand again, there is no guarantee that those are the 300 the community would pick, and even if they did we would still lose some admin resource. But remember these are volunteers, the vast majority went through RFA before the drought began in early 2008, odds are that many of the ones we most need won't be prepared to run again. As for the idea that you can reduce the numbers of admins without increasing their status, that goes against the psychology of the situation. Making the admins an exclusive club of just 300 would increase their defacto status just as surely as diluting our ranks by appointing more admins would reduce it. If you want adminship to be just "an additional set of buttons that allow editors to perform maintenance functions" then reform RFA so that all trustworthy editors can have those buttons as soon as they are ready for them. ϢereSpielChequers 20:10, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
300 is a totally arbitrary number. It can be 100, it can be 700, 2758 or 11.375 admins, the number doesn't make the damnedest bit of difference. What matters is that they are active and they are doing admin work. An admin who doesn't do admin functions is essentially useless with the mop, the thing I like about Surturz idea is that it keeps a constant team of active admins on duty, something that we don't have now. By extension, if an admin wants to be reconfirmed the next cycle, they better be doing admin work. Someone who becomes an admin because they have been here a long time and it's their 'birthright' for being good content contributors simply won't be reconfirmed next time because they didn't do any admin work their previous stint. The community is a different issue altogether that this won't fix. I refer to RfA as "The Jackass Parade" for a reason. There's nothing that can be done about dealing with people's petty grudges, moronic elitist attitudes, etc. That is without taking democracy completely out of the community's hands, which I'm not sure would be any better. To spoof on Winston Churchill - "RfA is the worst method for electing adminstrators... except for all the others than have been thought of." Trusilver 20:38, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
The number makes a huge difference. If you cap the number of admins at a level below the current number then you intend to reduce their number. If you cap it above the level then unless you do something to reverse the decline in numbers your cap is meaningless. As for the idea that this would maintain or even increase the amount of admin activity, take a look at the admin stats. Over 2,100 editors have made logged admin actions. We have a large proportion of admins who are editors who also make some uncontentious use of the admin tools. There are also a few very active admins, including some who do little editing apart from admin work. If you require admins to go through reconfirmation then some of the admins who only wield the mop occasionally will probably decide to let others do that work. Those who are active editors and occasionally use the tools will sail through RFA with as little difficulty as equivalent candidates do today. But some of our most active admins either won't run or won't get through. If you use elections to reduce the number of admins to 300, you need to persuade the electorate to vote for the people who they think will be most active as admins. Not an easy task especially with some voters pointing out that as there was no reason to reduce the number of mops they will continue to vote for the best candidates, and others preferring their admins to be active editors who each do a little bit of admin work. ϢereSpielChequers 21:29, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Rolling Admin Elections[edit]

I have changed the proposal based on the excellent feedback above:

Every six months, elections are held for admins. Voters can vote for as many or as few candidates as they like (only positive votes, no negative votes). The candidates are ranked in order of votes, and the top 50% are granted admin status for a period of three years. When the results are declared, another election starts immediately (ie. six months of voting). Unsuccessful candidates may renominate again, as can admins whose terms are due to expire within six months (there would be a grace period for renominating admins).

Existing admins would retain their lifetime admin status. Current RfA process would still run in parallel, and admins successful under that process would be appointed for life. However there would be no difference in technical tools between admins appointed under the two methods. If this new process is successful, it is expected that the old RfA process would end, and remaining active admins appointed under the old RfA model would be auto-promoted to bureaucrats at some point.

The underlined values are subject to tweaking, I want to get the bones of it right. --Surturz (talk) 02:33, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

OK this is better. This system might not break the wiki, though depending on how you interpreted the rules you could wind up with some pretty duff admins. Six months is an awfully long election period, it is also a very long time in anyone's wiki career, a large proportion of our current admins date from the era where people were becoming admins less than 6 months after they started editing. I passed on my second RFA, my unsuccessful first run was about four months before my successful run.
Assuming that you allow people to withdraw but don't compel them to, and that you continue not to have a minimum criteria for candidates, and that you continue the current arrangement that that you don't close nominations until 7 days from the end, and that you don't allow banned users to run, but you don't remove candidates who've been blocked after they started running. Then this is how I think it would work in practice.
  1. The rule about no negative votes will be abandoned as soon as someone runs who would snow fail at RFA.
  2. Throughout the six months there will be a steady stream of underqualified candidates who enter the election, get a bunch of opposes and varying feedback but often stacks of "neutral for now but will reconsider before the end of the election if you don't get another block/raise your edit count to 2,000/3,000/4,000/write a GA/improve the accuracy of your CSD tagging/Do some AIV reports
  3. In the early months several good candidates who lead in the election will then uncontentiously run through RFA and withdraw from the election. But at some point in month 5 or 6 RFA !voters will start baulking at that and opposing such RFAs on the grounds that they are about to become admins anyway (this sort of tactical or badfaith oppose of good candidates will cause much angst and huge talkpage threads, but as we approach the end of the six months it will happen).
  4. At some point in month 4 the threshold for getting into the top 50% will be 1,000 good faith edits and not currently blocked (i.e. circa 20% support). This will start to tempt in lots of candidates of that level or even twice that number of edits.
  5. By the end of month 5 some of the candidates who looked hopeless at the end of month 1 will be leading the field - in some cases with over 50% support.
  6. Towards the end of month 5 and throughout month 6 until the close of nominations some nominators such as myself will be quietly encouraging candidates to run who we think would make good admins, but who couldn't get through RFA for at least another couple of months.
  7. At some point there will be a huge debate as to whether "in order of votes" means literally in order of number of supports ignoring opposes or in order of net votes i.e. supports minus opposes. The compromise will be to use in order of percentage of supports out of supports and opposes.
  8. As we approach the close of nominations there will be a last minute rush of candidates as people realise that to prevent one blocked/poorly qualified editor getting adminship under the 50% rule we need two good candidates to come forward.
  9. At some point in the 6 months there will be an RFB, the main topic of which will be the election and how to treat !votes cast in month 1 by editors who have since retired. In particular should oppose per user??? be ignored or treated as a support if three months later user??? shifts to support as their concerns have been met.
  10. The week between close of nominations and close of poll will be frenetic. Lots of voters who've ignored the process until now will start voting and those who cast votes in the early days will review their position, especially if those candidates have continued editing or subsequently been blocked.
  11. After the close of poll the crats will have a lengthy crat chat and various votes will be altered/interpreted - especially retired voters who voted with clear conditions such as "neutral but count this as a positive if the candidate raises their edit count to 1500 and doesn't get blocked again before close of poll".
  12. The crats will go through the candidates in the finalised bottom 50% and desysop two admins who only stood to keep out a marginal candidate, but who in one case flubbed a question and in the other case was found to have broken the BLP rules. (As a result of their standing and being desysopped two other candidates will scrape into the top 50% who would have been in the bottom 50%)
  13. The crats will go through the top 50% closing as successful those they are individually prepared to close. This will include:
    Most but not necessarily all reconfirmation RFAs they find in the top 50%
    Several uncontentious new additions to the admin cadre
    Several rather unusual additions to the admin cadre, most of whom will work out OK
    One candidate who came in the top thirty and whose one and only edit to EN wiki was to enter the election with a statement in Russian saying "I am an admin on RU wiki and it may at some point be useful for me to edit the spam filter which for historic reasons is here rather than on meta".
  14. There will then be much angst and humongous talkpage discussions about the status of candidates who came in the top 50% but whose election no crat will close, and one admin among that group will resign the bit. However there will be general agreement that you can't and shouldn't compel a crat to give the bit to a blocked user, even if they did end in the top 50%.
I wouldn't support such a system being implemented, but if it was introduced I'd happily use it both to give feedback to candidates and to persuade some good candidates to stand. Of course if some of my assumptions were altered then the system would work very differently, but to me any such election would have the drawback that the threshold for passing would depend on the strength of the field, not on the quality of the individual candidate. ϢereSpielChequers 14:42, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Whilst an interesting comment and I'm sure many of the issues could be tackled up front - I think the show stopper is your last comment. As we're looking at the strength of a field, we could have a weak field who do not have the community's trust, yet still gain adminship. I'm confident that the foundation would reject this as an option, as deleted information may only be shown to a vetted few, and this could allow an unsuitable candidate through. NB, I could be wrong about this, and I quite like the idea of elections for a short term candidate - but I thought I should point out where a big stumbling block might be. WormTT · (talk) 10:05, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Isn't it just a case of setting the threshold higher? If 50% is too lax, why not the top 10%? Or even the top 1%? --Surturz (talk) 10:32, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
No there are problems inherent to the idea of electing a percentage of the field. Deciding the number of admins to be elected by persuading an extra bunch of candidates to fail is unhealthy as a system. Having a system where two similar candidates who would pretty much tie for support if they ran in the same month could get dramatically different results by running in different months is a flaw. It isn't that 50% is necessarily lax, its that the whole approach becomes something of a lottery. That said 10% or even worse 1% would almost certainly elect fewer admins than we have elected in recent months. If you only elected the top 1% you'd need to persuade 150 candidates to run to even get two admins elected in a month...... So far this year we've only had 42 successful RFAs, and that includes reconfirmations. To get back even to the 121 we had in 2009 you need ten new admins a month - any attempt to replace RFA really needs to pass three basic tests:
  1. Will this give us enough admins to keep the site running long term?
  2. Will this make sure that candidates are suitably vetted and we screen out unsuitable candidates?
  3. Will the system be perceived as fair by most !voters and candidates?
Electing a certain percentage of candidates inevitably fails the second and third tests. Electing a low percentage also fails the first test. ϢereSpielChequers 22:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Possibly - or maybe a way that candidates could be vetoed? WormTT · (talk) 10:39, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Veto by whom? You've just had a six month long election open to the entire community. Would you see the veto exercised by Admins, Bureacrats, or Arbitrators? As for Oppose votes, they really aren't necessary in a multiple-candidate election. Voting for everyone except the candidate you dislike is effectively the same as opposing a candidacy. --Surturz (talk) 12:10, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't want it done by admins - that's completely wrong. 'Crats, perhaps, but since it's not within their mandate now, I don't think that's right either. Arbcom similarly shouldn't be fiddling there (I doubt they'd have the time to do it properly). Either this should be on a panel basis - made up of a broad range of the community (an editor, an admin, a crat, an arb etc) OR the foundation can have ultimate veto over any candidate. WormTT · (talk) 12:30, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a rough one. There's nobody in the position to actually veto other than Jimbo and/or the foundation itself. Admins and crats really don't have, and shouldn't have, such authority within the scope of their jobs. Arbcom already has usurped a great deal of power they were never originally intended to have, lets not give them more, m'kay? That leaves the foundation making such a veto, and it's something I wouldn't expect to see often and even then not without extremely valid reasons. Trusilver 16:58, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
(outdent)Also, how would you elect people on the veto panel? :-) WMF can already veto through office actions. There could be an automatic checkuser/SPI I suppose on successful candidates (to stop vote rigging). I haven't put it in the proposal, but I have assumed that as normal some voter and candidate eligibility criteria would apply. Normal RfA has Oppose votes because it is yes/no - in such an election positive votes only work if there are either negative votes, or a threshold to meet. So Oppose voting in normal RfA is not an argument for having a veto step in a normal election. Veto assumes that one group of editors are more wise or powerful than the rest. I believe this is contrary to the "no big deal" ethos. You could have a rule that users with a recent heavy block were ineligible for this process and had to go through normal RfA. There would be a risk of admins blocking users for political reasons though (e.g. a candidate beloved by non-admins but hated by admins).
However, you all have convinced me that 50% is too low a bar to get consensus. What about 10%? I think it is hard to make the case that after six months the "field" would be so awful that the top 10% weren't admin material. --Surturz (talk) 18:37, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Any reason we can have these monthly? Seems more sensible - RfAs already tail off towards the end of the week, 6 months is going to be far too long. WormTT · (talk) 18:57, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Also, I agree the panel idea doesn't really work - will lead to too many cabal comments. I think that you should specifically mention foundation being able to veto to offset the deleted material issues (hopefully that would be sufficient). WormTT · (talk) 18:59, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the shortened time frame. The idea of large numbers of admins up simultaneously is burdensome to begin with, and difficult on the community to the point that it would be like 24/7/365 arbcom election. If every admin was elected with a three year term of service that expired in a certain month, that would be less of a strain on the community and would result in less admins to be voted on every month. Say... ten admins a month, that would mean a rotating pool of 360 admins at any one time. If elected to their post on the first day of May in 2012, they would be eligible for reconfirmation in the April 2015 election. If they failed to be reconfirmed, they would lose the mop on the first day of May in 2015. That's just off the top of my head, any questions/comments/concerns? Trusilver 21:23, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Formal proposal[edit]

I have modified the proposal based on the feedback above, as well as putting in a few more safeguards that I thought of, on the main page here: Wikipedia:RfA_reform_2011/Radical_alternatives#Rolling_administrator_elections. I don't own it, feel free to modify. I've also numbered the clauses to make it easier to discuss. --Surturz (talk) 03:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

That proposal still elects a percentage of the candidate standing - that makes the pass mark dependent on the field and relies on getting enough poor candidates to stand for the good candidates to be elected.
A set number of places is much closer to being a viable system than a percentage. If you are electing ten people a month then candidates can look at the field and quietly step back if they don't fancy their chances, but a system that only elects a certain percentage of the candidates means that you also have to persuade people to stand and fail so that others can stand and succeed. The drawbacks are still severe, if 11 stand you can pick one to veto, if only 10 people stand they are all elected without the community having the chance to vet them.
But a fixed number of new admins combined with term limit means you are deciding the number of admins. Inherent to any proposal to fix the number of mops is a shift from admins being "experienced users with a pretty high decree of trust from the community" to "360, 720, 1080" or some other number of the most widely trusted members of the community. That means you need to agree how many mops there should be, and that is a bipolar task as it requires you to get the community to choose between those who consider that pretty much every responsible wikipedian should be an admin once they are ready, and those who want some minimal number of admins though we don't know how many admins we need. Getting consensus between such diverse views is unlikely. Either one will prevail or far more likely each will block the other and consensus will not be achieved.
If the current trend in community stagnation continues then eventually we will be struggling to get enough OK candidates to take each months slots without electing joke candidates, newbies and the newly unblocked. If WYSIWYG editing or any of the other projects that might save the wiki works then we could have the opposite problem - a growing community with two distinct wiki generations and Adminship becoming a bigger and bigger deal as it gets harder to achieve. In either scenario a fixed number of admins that worked this year would probably be problematic in the future.
The tenth best candidate one month may not be as good a candidate as the eleventh or twelfth best candidate in the months before and after. So you have an arbitrary system with a different pass mark each month. No sensible driving examiner would dosh out a fixed number of driving licenses each day regardless of the quality of the candidates.
This proposal is a blend of various previously rejected ideas. All interesting to discuss, but neither cumulatively nor individually do they seem capable of resolving the central problem of the RFA system. RFA is no longer electing enough admins to replace those who go inactive. By Christmas we are likely to see the ten millionth admin action since Dec 2004. Any credible reform proposal needs to show how it will recruit enough future admins to make sure the subsequent ten million happen. ϢereSpielChequers 22:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Being in the correct mindset for change[edit]

Worm said something above that caught my attention about the concept of vetting admins and the suitability of candidates that, quite frankly, made me laugh. If there was every anything truly noteworthy that needed to be hidden from the public or the super-elite and clandestine (ignore my sarcasm) cadre of admin's whose "vetting" procedure is conning the community into voting for them, then that's what we have oversighters for. One thing we need to really drill into our own heads is that adminship is no big deal Now... let me repeat it nine more times for emphasis: adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal, adminship is no big deal. Are we learning yet? A blithering idiot can (and in many cases, does) perform admin functions adequately. To quote Jimbo: " I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position. It's merely a technical matter that the powers given to sysops are not given out to everyone...I don't like that there's the apparent feeling here that being granted sysop status is a really special thing." Personally. If I had full authority to recreate the system in a manner of my choosing, I would eliminate the RfA process altogether and take every person who has a year on the project (an active year... twelve recorded months of editing) and five thousand edits or so, and auto-promote them to sysop. This would involve a more stringent desysopping procedure, but it wouldn't be any more dysfunctional than the current RfA process, and would see use just about as frequently. But the concept that an admin has the 'community trust' is a laughable one. I know many admins that have pretty much the opposite of the 'community trust', and who wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of passing an RfA if they had it to do over again. Adminship should be gained as a matter little note, and it should be stripped just as easily. An edit war occurs, a rough consensus is formed at WP:PITCHFORKS and that should do it. Too much of a circus has formed around what should NEVER have been this complicated of a task.Trusilver 12:01, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

The facts that "adminship is no big deal" and "from a legal point of view admins are different from other editors" need not mutally exclusive. Adminship does not (or should not) give anyone executive power to make decisions, status amongst the community or any more "power". However, there is a legal point of view regarding viewing deleted edits - if "anyone" could access them, they would not be considered deleted - which would put the foundation in shtum. As it is, to get adminship you must show that the community has trust in you - which limits deleted content to a small enough group that it is acceptable.
Now, that's just my understanding of the situation and not my opinion. I would much rather we did away with RfA, and made sysop into nothing important. I also think that reconfirmation (similar to what's just been mentioned at WT:RFA#Concensus can change) would be a brilliant idea. But I want people to understand that if we change the way we make admins too much, it may well be squished even if it gains consensus. WormTT · (talk) 12:26, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
There is no 'legal point of view'. Anything that even borders on legally shady should be oversighted about eleven seconds after it's deleted, that's the entire purpose of the oversight function... and the reason that people with that level of power are more stringently vetted. There's nothing particularly private or confidential about limiting the viewing of deleted material to the nice, secure, intimate group of a thousand or so admins as it stands right now. If there actually was a more comprehensive method of vetting admin candidates (that's NOT to say for a moment that I think there should be) I would be inclined to agree with you totally, but as it stands right now, I could pull my laptop and aircard out (which I have never edited Wikipedia from) and make a sockpuppet that I guarantee would be an admin within nine months. Why? Because I know how the game is played, I know the right things to say and do to placate enough people to pass an RfA. The biggest problem we face is that there are fantastic admin candidates that aren't "political" enough to pass RfA, and there's horrifyingly bad admin candidates that play the politics game to pass an RfA. The playing field simply needs leveled to make sure the good candidates can get their asses shoved in the admin chair with a minimum of effort. I'm less concerned about keeping out the bad candidates... if the system functions correctly, they will be weeded out over time. Trusilver 13:07, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, maybe "legal point of view" were the wrong words, my point was regarding the "deletion" means - at the moment, deletion means it is not available for the vast majority of readers or editors. This works with the admin system as we have it and we should be aware of this fact if proposing a new system. By the way, I'm taking this information from emails I've seen and comments such as this one. You are right - with enough patience, anyone can become an admin - I don't see that as a major issue. I also know many good candidates who currently wouldn't pass. I've given them advice on where to focus so they will pass, but I'd rather 1 small area of concern wasn't enough to torpedo an RfA, which unfortunately it currently is. WormTT · (talk) 13:28, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Also see Wikipedia:Viewing deleted articles WormTT · (talk) 13:29, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, from the few encounters I've had with MGodwin, I take what he says with a grain of salt. Good guy, but does not have the level of understanding of the actual mechanics of the project that most administrators do. That's not a failing on his part, his job is very important and mostly separate from ours 99.9% of the time. But I'm not saying give EVERY person on the project the mop, that's insanity. But given a decent time of service and edit count, I don't see why it can't be a more automated procedure than it currently is. As I said, anyone slight intelligent can jump through the hoops to become an admin if they want to, it's not hard. Trusilver 19:25, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't usually contribute to this page because the suggestions, while interesting talking points à la WT:RfA, are hardly ever going to obtain consensus. However, some of the suggestions in my opinion are irresponsible and dangerous - as dangerous as just handing out a full driving licence for a 44 ton artic to every 12 year old who has driven a sit-down mower on his dad's front lawn. Every major and most minor Internet forums have moderators specially chosen for their motivation on the project and confidence expressed at least by the site owners. Why should Wikipedia, an encyclopedia that strives for some quality, be any different, and not have mature, responsible individuals, to keep it together and on track? One thing that automated selection of admins will never be able to do is measure an editor's mindset. We already have enough corrupt admins, why wouild we want to open the door for more? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:59, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Formal proposal to get rid of RfA[edit]

The biggest barrier to change is the fact that there is no timetable, hard or soft, to get rid of the current system. The biggest barrier to meaningful reform is wiki-reality: once you have an established starting point, any change is inevitably evolution rather than revolution.

I firmly believe that revolution is necessary. While there is consensus that RfA is currently a mess, I feel we need to go further, and get an explicit community mandate to make a clean departure from it. Without such a mandate, it can be assumed that to achieve consensus for any specific form of change, we will have to use RfA as the basic framework. That would surely defeat the object of this entire project. —WFC— 20:17, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

I support a complete revolution of RFA. Now we need community support. Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 21:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I've wondered whether this sort of "motion of no confidence" (for lack of a better phrase to describe it) in the current system of selecting administrators would ever be discussed. Now that it's been mentioned, I think the present is the right time to do so. The only question that remains, for me at least, is how we might go about this. Tyrol5 [Talk] 16:22, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I oppose a formal revolution of RfA. My experience with it has been that it is not broken, but it works. I oppose throwing away a working system and replacing it with chaos. Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:34, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
You've made the implication that any new system that replaces the current RFA model would inherently be "chaos". Is this always necessarily true? We've agreed that a substantial problem at RFA is the nature of the participants. We constantly call the system "!voting" and its participants "!voters". We can call it whatever, the negation doesn't change the fact that the current system is, by nature, a vote. We need a new system that solves these problems and encourages participants to engage in discussion rather than drop by to support or oppose without contributing anything of value to the RFA. Tyrol5 [Talk] 16:45, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm very open about my (possibly fringe) opinion that deleting RfA and seeing what happens is a gamble worth taking. It's possible that most disagree with me, but I see that as immaterial. You don't need to be in favour of it to conclude that a formal RfC on whether the community want the new system to be a complete overhaul or a tweak of the "bad bits" would be worthwhile. The outcome would allow us to channel our efforts accordingly. —WFC— 13:59, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
The biggest barrier to change is the difficulty in getting consensus for any one particular change. As it stands at the moment the current system will probably give us thirty or forty admins in the next twelve months and a couple of dozen more in the following year. That might be enough for us to continue running the site for the next two years, or we might have an incident next week that finally prompts the community to fix the problem. Since we don't know how many active editors who have the mop are actually active as admins, or how much the existing admins will be prepared to take on before they start handing in their mops so they can focus on editing, or how many admins we have at any one time during the 24 hour day, we can't really predict when the current system will hit a point where even the most diehard opponent of change shifts from opposing any change to supporting their least worst option. But my recommendation is that rather than set an artificial deadline we continue to try and resolve the problem until we get a solution agreed. I'd prefer that to be before an incident happens that brings the project into disrepute, but I'm not optimistic. Also I suspect that getting agreement to set a timetable to fix RFA would be more difficult than getting agreement to fix RFA. Though a motion of no confidence to at least establish that we have consensus that RFA is broken would be a good thing, I'd love to see someone argue that despite the fall in the number of active admins and the ongoing drought at RFA somehow RFA isn't broken. ϢereSpielChequers 17:04, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's any doubt that RfA is broken - words from on high stress that it is. I believe there is already a strong unwritten consensus that it it is broken, and the silent majority of the potential candidates that won't come forward is a strong sign. I don't think we need to go down the road of an RfC to prove that it is broken. As many of us have said, there's nothing really much wrong with the framework of the existing process, so fix the voters, and we fix the problems. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:45, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Much like my first car when I was in college, the fact that it was technically broken in many ways did not prevent me from using it for all that it was worth. Such is RfA, it is flawed and it is a system which favors candidates who are political and popular over ones that have actual ability, but the simple fact that it is somewhat functional discourages people from attempting to create a new system. It's possible that being bold and just making the jump straight into scrapping the current system isn't a bad one, but we MUST have alternatives, and not just vague ones, but GOOD alternatives before going there. Trusilver 03:48, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Having followed closely every RfA now for around two years, I'm not sure that it is 'a system which favors candidates who are political and popular over ones that have actual ability'. Those who should pass generally do, and those who are not ready for it or who don't demonstrate the right level of maturity and civility for it, don't. A lot of people pass who are practically unknown, while it's true that people who are active and get around a lot attract a high turnout on their RfA - of both support and oppose votes. It's possible that people who work a lot in semi-admin areas draw more votes from other admins, and that non admin voters' opinions may be swayed by what the admins have to say. But again, that also goes both ways. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:30, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I have zero faith in our ability to "change the behavior" of voters within the existing framework. Supporters have a free ride to call good-faith and well reasoned opposes stupid, opposers have a free ride to oppose for reasons which even RfA hard-liners would regard as completely irrelevant, and because of the nature of adminship, getting the decision "right" is considered quite a big deal by supporters and opposers alike. The unfortunate thing is that this is to some extent correct.

I more or less concur with what Trusilver says. The important thing is that once we have firm alternatives on the table, the fact that one is more different to the current system than another should not in any way stand against it. I believe the chances of an open-minded vote on a new system will be improved with a formal motion of no-confidence in RfA, hence my suggestion to go for one. —WFC— 13:45, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

And supposing by a quirk of voting, faith in the system is confirmed? We would have to abandon all thoughts of reform, and this initiative would have been wasted, and we continue to lose potential candidates. Voters at RfC - like at RfA - are odd people, many of them vote from emotion rather than objectively. All those who would fear the loss their favourite trolling ground , or those who just don't like the people who are active on this project, would insist that thee is nothing wrong with the process - that's at least 100 already who would vote to keep the current system. I don't see any need to hold an RfC to confirm something that is already obvious. Bit like having an RfC to confirm the Earth is really round and not flat. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:15, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
If that is what the consensus is – and we both believe otherwise – then this project should be focussing all its efforts on how we build on the current system, rather than build one tailored to 2011–12 needs. —WFC— 23:21, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
The needs for 2011–12 are to get some mature, experienced editors of the right calibre coming forward to be nomintated before we start ending up with a real dearth of admins. By improving the way the current system is conducted we may achieve that. Other solutions may take a much longer time to develop and implement - particularly where the WMF is involved in such high profile policies. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:33, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
On a theoretical level, a change of behavior would solve the problem. But I ask you, in the belief that this is a direct question, whether it is easier to build a skyscraper, or to change the will of the people? —WFC— 12:05, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Obviously the will of the potential candidates, is that they will not come forward if the people will not change the way they participate at RfA. Perhaps the people want the entire RfA system to collapse completely - and then the people on the top floor of the skyscraper in San Francisco will impose their will.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:25, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I would like RfA to collapse completely, but I concede that I don't speak for the majority. Nonetheless, I believe the majority want to know that the lack of a firm committment to demolish will not stand in the way of modernisation. There are two obvious ways around this: either to set a demolition date, or to get a firm, written committment that getting it right will override factors such as the ease of initial implementation. An RfC confirming that the current system need not be considered the starting point of a new one would be the latter, and would remove most of the existing constraints on this process. —WFC— 13:17, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

It is the system not just RFA[edit]

(Discussion moved here from WT:RFA2011)

This came up in a thread at User_talk:Cla68#On_the_editor_base. It's closely related to this RFC. I've copied two posts here:

>> """::The problem is that the casual and quiet type of editors are those most likely to completely quit or leave one of the all too common wiki fights because they're here just to have fun. Whereas those who are in cabals or pushing their view will stick it out because they have an agenda--this type of editor has way too much influence on wiki and is a major reason why wiki is broken. I recently saw a comment about an RFC on the RFA process, but that RFC misses the point. It's not just RFA that's broken, the whole system is broken and needs a major overhaul.PumpkinSky talk 10:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Fixing the RfA system is addressing a symptom, not the underlying problem. Editing Wikipedia in areas in which established editors have taken over isn't fun for casual editors. Cla68 (talk) 22:05, 29 September 2011 (UTC)"""

>>PumpkinSky talk 23:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion, one of the ideas on this page needs to be tried. The current system just doesn't work and needs to be completely done away with. Think instead, "How can we make this whole thing simple, fun, and free from undue influence from a (relatively) small group of editors?" Cla68 (talk) 23:16, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The deafening silence on this (since cla68 posted) tells me wiki is doomed. It's beyond repair. Far too few people recognize the real problem.PumpkinSky talk 09:57, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I think it's because, whilst you are welcome to that opinion, this project is designed around the theory that RfA can be improved. If you disagree with that concept, this is not the place to state that opinion, as all it does is disrupt the process. WormTT · (talk) 10:07, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Why is this page here?[edit]

Why does this exist? Who decides what is "radical"? Apparently one person can do so. There is not even a link from the main RFA reform page. Shunting off ideas to an obscure sub page in this manner is WRONG. PumpkinSky talk 14:27, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi PumpkinSky. This page is here to discuss large scale changes to the RfA process, and I would say the comments you made on the other page wholly match a "radical" change. The RfA Reform talk is to be used for talking about the project as a whole, but not as a place to discuss what's wrong with RfA. We're looking for solutions not problems here. I'm now going to replace the thread on radical alternatives to this talk page, which is a much more appropriate venue to discuss such wide changes. WormTT · (talk) 17:29, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
hardly. Plus I dont' go around moving your threads around, so kindly leave mine alone. And you guys wonder why wiki has so many problems.17:35, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
It's simply due to the sheer number of discussions on the main talk page that we have to take the initiative to collapse and copy them to other pages; the move was purely housekeeping. Now, to answer your question, our project mainly focuses on improving the current RfA process (i.e. moderate proposals). This part of the project is dedicated to discussing 'radical alternatives' to that position. Just read the discussions on this page for examples. I agree that your thoughts are more on par with our "radical alternatives" if anything. However, if your comments are simply criticism, you're better off just saving it. We've heard it all, and, with nothing but respect, we really don't care. Whether "moderate" or "radical", we all believe that something can and should be done to reform this part of Wikipedia, and complaining doesn't help us. This project is dedicated to real work, and simple comments or criticisms about RfA can be deposited at WT:RFA, where they will be discussed at length and stashed in the archives with no results whatsoever. I invite you to join us if you're interested in improving RfA. Regards, Swarm 18:09, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Tool apprenticeship[edit]

(Coordination note: This thread has been moved from WT:RFA2011. Please continue the discussion here.)

Hi all, just posting a link to my new RfA alternative proposal Wikipedia:Tool apprenticeship. I'd really like to get some good feedback from others who have thought a lot about RfA reform. Here's the brief summary:

In tool apprenticeship, a user who has an immediate practical need for a particular administrator tool or tools, such as deletion or protection, makes a request to receive that tool. Provided the user is in good standing and has a need, they receive the tool on a trial basis for a limited period (weeks to months). When this period expires, the tool is automatically revoked.
After or shortly before the end of their trial, the user can file a request to retain the tool permanently, based on their performance during the trial period, which will be granted if the user substantially used the tool and exercised good judgement. If the request is denied, the user will be given extensive feedback on their usage and may (if their misuse was not too egregious) have the opportunity for another trial period. Over time, a user who performs a variety of tasks may acquire many tools, giving them similar status to current administrators.

To centralize discussion, please leave comments and feedback on the proposal's talk page at Wikipedia:Tool apprenticeship. Thank you! Dcoetzee 11:51, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposal at Village pump[edit]

Similar to the "Unbundle block / unblock" request above, a proposal has been filed here, which is a radical alternative here.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:57, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Admin apprenticeship[edit]

A discussion is taking place at Wikipedia talk:Tool apprenticeship on a proposal for access to adminship through apprenticeship. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:52, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

This is something of an oversimplification of the proposal (which actually runs alongside the standard RfA process). Nutshell: "Experienced users with a need for an administrator tool may be given the tool on a trial basis, and get to keep it later if they use it responsibly." @Everyone: Please take a look at the RfC. Thanks! Dcoetzee 11:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Make all existing admins crats, merge WP:ADMIN and WP:CRAT, and then redefine what admins can do with the tools[edit]

This is not a proposal for unbundling tools. The technical side of the admin usergroup works just fine. The problem with RfA and adminship is the increasingly judicial aspect to adminship. Put another way, the problem is a lack of distinction between those who simply want to do routine maintenance that any established user could be trusted with, and those who intend to make difficult judgement calls on a somewhat regular basis. At RfA, we hold both groups to the same standards, because the rights are interchangeable.

Before dismissing this idea out of hand, consider the status quo. Admins can currently block the most productive editors, close the most significant RfCs and the most contentious of deletion discussions, and semi/fully protect pages due to vandalism or edit-warring even where there is a history of productive IP/non-admin contributions. All of these decisions are subject to a range of discretion which has over a period of years proven controversial, and all attempts to dilute these permissions for existing admins in the past have proven futile. Crats can currently close RfAs, grant or remove rights, and rename accounts, all under strict conditions. As a starting point to any reform, would merging those two sets of rights really be so drastic?

The idea of entrenching existing admins makes me sick to my stomach, but let's be pragmatic. No proposal to dilute the rights of current admins en masse is ever going to pass, and no proposal to make it easier to get rid of them is ever going to pass. So why try? If we grasp that painful nettle, the road to reform suddenly becomes simpler.

Assuming what I outline above happens, we have a blank canvass to decide what users in the (now empty) admin usergroup should and shouldn't do. While it is of course more complicated than I am putting it, in short what we would seek to do is turn the tools back to what they were seven years ago: no big deal. How do we achieve that? By saying that non-crats are not permitted to do certain things that they are technically capable of doing.

Should we be creating a gap between what is technically possible and what is allowed, I hear you ask? Well, we already do. I had the technical ability to close the SOPA proposal, or the pending changes RfCs. But I didn't, because we were told that admins should do it. I changed my username the other day, because I was tired of the old one. I had the technical ability to create a new account, redirect all my old userpages to the new account, and then carry on. But I didn't, because policy states that such changes in name should be handled at WP:CHU, so that old contributions are retained by the renamed account. I have the technical ability to close contentious AfDs as keep... and so on.

(For the rest of this post, "crat" refers to the merged group of current admins and current crats. "Admin" refers to new admins.)

The last question is how we would grant and remove adminship and cratship in future. That will be a contentious part of this proposal, but in my opinion it's simple. The RfA format works very well for candidates who actively want to make contentious decisions, yet wholly unnecessary for new admins. So I say keep RfB for people who want to become crats, and scrap RfA altogether. Instead, we should simply grant/remove the tools in the same way we currently do for rollback: any crat can do it. ANI and Arbcom would continue to exist should anyone misuse this ability.

There is a somewhat parallel discussion at WT:RFA2011, but that has diversified into a wider discussion on several related but distinct concepts. That's cool, but I've created this section in an attempt to focus exclusively on the pros and cons of this idea. —WFC— 04:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - it is like merging adminship and the edit filter management permission, or merging the steward and global sysop global groups.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:27, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I was hoping for informed discussion, not a vote with one-line throwaway remarks. —WFC— 04:37, 10 February 2012 (UTC) But in response to the one point you make, I don't accept the argument. There is a lot of crossover between the controversial aspect of what crats have always done, and the controversial aspect of what admins now do. —WFC— 04:38, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I mean, there are still things like bot approval (especially for adminbots) and renaming that tend to require lots of trust. True, they overlap a lot, but, bureaucrats have additional responsibilities and trust requirements.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:41, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
So your main concern is that you wouldn't trust all existing admins as crats. I share that concern. But the reality is that regulation for crat work such as bot approval is a lot tighter than that for admins in their more contentious roles. If a current admin were to misuse some of the new abilities, they could well find themselves losing everything. —WFC— 04:47, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Until the ability to desysop becomes more easier, I can't support this part of the proposal. I might trust some admins, of course.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:49, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
You've touched on a subtletly of this. You can't reduce the rights of current admins. It simply won't pass. You can't say "we'll let you keep your existing rights, but we'll also make it easier to remove those rights" for the same reason. What you can do is merge the two groups, and make clear that they will be judged to existing crat standards for crat tools, existing admin standards for admin tools.

In other words, if a current admin were to in future misuse a current crat tool, we would come down on them like a tonne of bricks, because that is what we would do to crats at the moment. The dis-incentive to touch them at all would therefore be quite strong: if they misused a crat tool, they would stand to lose the crat tools and their grandfathered right to make judgement calls. —WFC— 04:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Then how would we prevent the following: Bureaucrat desysops AdminhatedbyBureaucrat. AdminhatedbyBureaucrat opens ANI thread. Drama ensues and issue becomes stale. Or, AdminhatedyBureaucrat opens Arbcom case, arbcom case is declined.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
That's an improvement on the same thing happening over a block. Given the current "second mover advantage", the default outcome of no consensus would be a return to the status quo: AdminhatedbyBureaucrat would get the tools back. A third action would amount to a wheel-war, and to its credit Arbcom just about always accepts wheel-warring cases. —WFC— 05:06, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
My remaining concern is attainability. Bureaucratship usually needs ~80+% support; will this hinder new adminships?Jasper Deng (talk) 05:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
It is safe to say that the number of promotions would be lower than current RfA rates, but higher than RfB promotion rates. But that is by design. Part of the point of this proposal is to end up a larger number of people having the tools overall. Other parts include streamlining the number of people that need to go through the current RfA process, and not reducing the level of scrutiny that existing admins face for those who want the judicial rights that existing admins enjoy. —WFC— 05:15, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Can you please elaborate on how this proposal would accomplish that?Jasper Deng (talk) 05:17, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'll quote the relevant part to make explanation easier: "... So I say keep RfB for people who want to become crats, and scrap RfA altogether. Instead, we should simply grant/remove the tools in the same way we currently do for rollback: any crat can do it." Handing out/removing tools in a similar manner to what we currently do for rollback would definitely result in a larger number of people having the tools. —WFC— 05:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

The problem is, getting the community to accept that method of giving out rights is hard; at minimum it should be the same process as gaining edit filter manager access (7-day but low-visibility discussion).Jasper Deng (talk) 05:28, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I think automatically having discussions would defeat the object of easy-come, easy-go. That said, I agree that a simple rollback procedure with no checks or balances would be hard to get past the community. What about if it were initially handed out as rollback, but if the tools were removed "properly", you would have to go through an editfilter process to regain them? To pre-empt your next question, by "properly" I'm talking about a decision that was not appealed at ANI, or which went to ANI and was upheld. I believe the threat of being de-cratted for wheel-warring should in itself prevent tools from being removed without just cause. —WFC— 05:43, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Just for clarification: would such crats be able to desysop? I think trialling is a good idea. Of course, though, it would be a good idea to require that that person has rollback already (since few vandal fighters don't).Jasper Deng (talk) 05:46, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Crats would be able to remove the tools from new admins, yes. But they would be unwise to do so unless the reasons were very obvious, or without prior discussion. In the short term I agree about requiring rollback, although in the longer term I don't think there would be much point to the rollback right. —WFC— 05:51, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, so if I'm right, here's what we have: Crats and current admins are merged into one single user group. The admin usergroup is recycled to a level with which it can be given out easily. Then, it's one strike and you're desysopped.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:54, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes (except that the "one strike and you're desysopped" principle would only apply to the recycled admin usergroup). —WFC— 05:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
With that, I change my opinion to support.Jasper Deng (talk) 06:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
While I would support upbundling of some powers from admins to Crats, I would oppose making all existing admins crats. This isn't just a matter of trust, there is a practical matter that a crat chat wouldn't work if it had twenty times as many participants. I'm also uncomfortable about allowing any member of that new group to hand out buttons such as the delete button at their discretion. Batch delete means that one person with the delete button can delete hundreds of CSD tagged or prodded articles a day, we need to be very picky as to who gets such power. There are rights that I'd like to see unbundled, but not the deletion button. ϢereSpielChequers 14:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
For the avoidance of any lingering doubt from my opening sentence, I'm not talking about unbundling. I'm talking about lowering the standards for obtaining/removing the *entire* bundle, for those who are trusted to do CSDs etc but simply do not want to do the controversial stuff. Inappropriate CSD actions would be grounds for removal, after which users would only be able to re-obtain the tools through discussion. —WFC— 18:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
As for the crat side, in my eyes it's the only way of reforming adminship itself. We can't summarily demote current admins, or make it easier to desysop current admins in future. Whether it's a good or bad idea, it won't happen. We can't create a third layer on top of adminship/cratship, because this has been branded as "two-tier adminship". The trade-off is to say "we'll give existing admins crat permissions, but hold them to the very high standards we hold crats to for those tools, and take the whole bundle away if individuals don't uphold these standards." As for the concern over crat-chats, IMO current crats should not take part in crat chats for RfAs they have participated in, and this one tweak would largely resolve the issue of increased participation. —WFC— 18:52, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

My old proposal doesn't seem to have any heated discussion attached to it.[edit]

I'm not going to be on to participate in said heated discussion, but I was wondering if any would mind critiquing the Wikihow proposal I made (see project page, bottom). Buggie111 (talk) 17:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)