Wikipedia talk:Requests for de-adminship/Proposal 2

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Assuming this one isn't shot down 2-1 like the last one, let's actually work at getting a consensus, no? – ugen64 15:16, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Preventing abuse[edit]

What about trolls?[edit]

So, what will stop a horde of undead trolls to start casting random de-adminships? or a pov pusher who controls an army of undead trolls starts oh-so-very-subtly requesting "random" de-adminships? Project2501a 15:20, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, that's why I included an admin in the petitioning - you can, of course, *edit* the page and make it, I dunno, 2 admins? Hopefully, this will stop the majority of troll nominations - if even one admin seriously thinks a vote needs to be carried out, then I'm happy with a vote being carried out. – ugen64 15:49, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Improving the proposal[edit]

For this proposal to have a chance at gaining consensus, it's necessary to detail the measures that will be taken to prevent abuse. If a small group of trolls or POV pushers start nominating every admin they don't like, the system will break down rapidly. Here's a few suggestions I have:


  • The nominators should include a minimum number of admins (3 perhaps). If a situation is serious enough that a de-admin process should begin, finding a few admins that agree should be quire easy.
  • Nominators should have a minimum amount of time since first edit. This would help to avoid the problem of newly created sockpuppets.


  • Voting should not begin until two days after the nomination suceeds. This gives all parties sufficient time to present their arguments before votes are cast.
  • The voting should be open for at least one week to give everyone a chance to place their vote.
  • Voters should have a minimum amount of time since first edit. This would help to avoid the problem of newly created sockpuppets. Anonymous users should not be allowed to vote.
  • The level of support required for de-adminship should be around 70%. If the vote fails, there's still the existing dispute resoltion procedures.

I'm not sure if we really need to increase the amount of bureaucracy on Wikipedia, but if people are serious about a new de-admin process, it must be developed carefully. Carbonite | Talk 15:51, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, some of those are already in the proposal (in quite vague terms, admittedly), but I don't agree with your fourth "voting" bullet. If a user gets 70% support for de-adminship, that means that "30% of the community want this person to be an admin." 30% is quite a low number. Even 50% support should be quite sufficient - someone with 50% support on RFA would surely not become an admin. So I think 70% is too high.
And if you are worried about sockpuppets influencing a vote up to 50%, then what about RFA? Sockpuppets could influence a vote up to 50% as easily on RFA as they could do on RFDA (on the other side, of course). I'll more clearly incorporate your other suggestions though. – ugen64 16:02, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I view this procedure as sort of a "fast-track" de-admin. It could be useful in cases where an admin is considered abusive enough that an overwhelming majority of users support de-adminship. In situations where there's majority support (in the 50-60% range) for removing admin rights, it would probably be an easy case for the ArbCom. Carbonite | Talk 16:17, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)


As for sockpuppets, I think they'd be much more likely to vote on a de-admin than on RfA. It's a destruction vs. creation thing. Carbonite | Talk 16:17, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but we'll never know, will we, seeing as votes for de-adminship have never actually been tried before... I'm prepared to give up the issue if it turns out like quickpolls, but it seems nobody actually wants to ever start it. – ugen64 17:56, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • That's not entirely true... there was an earlier attempt, see Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship/Snowspinner. IIRC this was filed by the creator of the original de-adminship proposal, before said proposal actually got consensual support, and got shot down rather heavily. Radiant_>|< 12:30, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
Quite honestly, I don't really see the need for a new de-admin process right now. There's already a great deal of bureaucracy and there doesn't seem to be a problem with rogue admins. If a new process were to be created for whatever reason, it would need to serve a very specific role. In theory, I could see it being used to de-admin a user who was out of control. However, I doubt that it would be much faster or less time-consuming the current dispute resolution procedures. Carbonite | Talk 19:46, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

When has this been needed?[edit]

Admins who have faced calls for de-adminship by long-time users, if not by admins :

I fail to see the point of this proposal. Where is this horde of rulebreaking admins that can't be dealt with via the normal procedures? Ambi 17:15, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If anyone in this discussion were to give an example, I'm sure, like before, that information would be used as a way of attacking the proponents of this process. Yes, there are admins which have lost the confidence of many users of Wikipedia. No, it doesn't just have to be because they broke a rule. -- Netoholic @ 17:35, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
"I don't like him" is not a reason for de-adminship. If there is an actual issue with their conduct, document it and follow proper process. You of all people should be happy with that. Ambi 19:57, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the arbitration committee, which has to deal with people demanding that a user be de-adminned on a daily basis, has made it clear that you have to abuse your admin powers to lose them. →Raul654 18:36, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
That is the ArbCom's criteria for removing adminship. That does not a pronouncement that the community can't come up with other ways if sufficient consensus emerges and enough "no confidence" votes are gathered. -- Netoholic @ 19:02, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
As Ambi said above, "I don't like him" is not a suffecient reason for de-adminship - sorry, you'll have to come up with something more substantive. →Raul654 20:24, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

As before, I don't believe that this proposal solves any problem that we actually have. I was here when we had a sort of free-form "de-adminning" process and I recall that it created a great deal of stress, particularly for those RC patrollers who incurr the wrath of vandals. It was a page ripe for trolling and conflict, with users being proposed for "de-adminship" and their friends feeling obligated to defend. This, as I recall, lead to frequent charges of cabalism, elitism, and so forth.

Admins, being the most respected contributors, are the future of the project, not only because of their actions as admins but also because they are frequently among the best content creators. It is important to draw and retain good people in this vital role, and the processes surrounding adminship should reflect this. While there are many ways we could improve the overall adminship process, and indeed the permission structure itself, adding a process like the one described here is unhelpful. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 18:57, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Admins... are the future of the project, not only because of their actions as admins but also because they are frequently among the best content creators. -- this is, of course, Raul's first law of Wikipedia :) →Raul654 18:59, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
It shouldn't be such a scary or unusual thing that a few admins have lost the confidence of other users - it's a natural social phenomenon. Noone wants to give the boot to good contributors and good admins. As I see it, a deadmin process will lead overall to better admins and a healthier community. More RFA votes would succeed because it would be less scary to promote certain people. -- Netoholic @ 20:13, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)


You know, just this morning I was thinking to myself, "Self, you know what Wikipedia needs? Another voting system that can readily be gamed by trolls and malcontents to harass good users." Snowspinner 16:06, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

So, tell me - 3 admins need to support a proposal. I guess those admins would fall under "trolls and malcontents" too. Seems like you're defeating your own argument. – ugen64 17:55, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah, and of course, you could try to be constructive and provide suggestions instead of whining about "trolls and malcontents." – ugen64 17:57, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I was all set to whine about "trolls and malcontents" but that's been covered. I thought about how to improve this but I don't see this, or anything else that I have seen, that is able to do a better job than existing process. What I can't find in this, more than anything else, is a need to create this new policy. Where is the drunk driver or negligent corporation or even corrupt politician that is driving this policy? - Tεxτurε 19:02, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The real problem is that we have a significant troll lobby -- people who grouse about the oppressive cabal of admins, complain incessantly about admins and the arbitration committee, who do their best to defend every obnoxious new troll who pops up. They think the current process of de-admining is too narrow for them, so they want to open the floodgates. That's the "problem" this policy is designed to fix. →Raul654 19:07, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
Please don't reduce this to name-calling ("significant troll lobby"). The "trolls" could just as easily say that there is a "significant cabal lobby who do their best to defend every obnoxious admin". Comments like that aren't productive. -- Netoholic @ 20:13, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
Thanks, Raul, I appreciate you calling me a troll. This is, I admit, exactly the response I expected - somehow relating it to cabal accusations (oddly, it wasn't a troll that brought it up... well, not a troll by the ArbCom definition, anyway), then talking about how such a process isn't needed. Well, if it isn't needed, I fail to see what harm it will do. Some trolls will try to nominate decent admins for de-adminship, they won't get 3 admins to support, and they'll give up (or make such a nuisance that they're dealt with, not the admins). – ugen64 22:12, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and ever heard of Wikipedia? I'm sure there were academics lounging around, going on about how "a freely editable encyclopedia will be taken over by trolls and malcontents, there's no reason to have a freely editable encyclopedia - the ones we have now are perfectly fine." Then a genius named Jimmy Wales came along and said, "what's the harm in making a freely editable encyclopedia?" And now we have this. A fine story, no? – ugen64 22:19, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think this would make a lot of people more comfortable about adminship, and make admins somewhat more accountable—the odds of actually being de-adminned through this procedure are very small, but they exist, which would hopefully be enough to encourage some admins to be a bit more moderate. It's very similar to the procedure I've been favoring for a while, except that my idea was to put them up for a vote at the end of the year, while this proposal would have the vote almost immediately, which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing, but having it at the end of the year might make it more palatable to some. Everyking 23:44, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Also, I see no need why any of the users petitioning need to be admins—I think it's good enough if they are editors with a substantial edit history (at least 100 article edits). This is in my opinion giving an explicit admin veto where I feel any de-adminship procedure should be free of that kind of admin bias—part of the idea, after all, would be to even things out a bit between admins and non-admins. Everyking 23:47, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree, but I am trying to get a policy passed, and if that means bending to others' requests, I'm more than happy to oblige. It seems there is quite a widespread worry of trolls taking over the process, so I've put in an extra safeguard that I'd hoped would win some people over. – ugen64 00:18, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd consider supporting if you changed the part about requiring three admin votes, to requiring either three ArbCom votes, or a Jimbo vote. Radiant_>|< 12:30, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

I haven't seen anyone actually declare a valid WANT to deadmin someone yet. Or hardly ever. (short of some anon vandals and such ;-P ).

This is a solution looking for a problem. People are going to have fun making up problems. Um, let's not go there.

First demonstrate some need for this? Else it's just instruction creep.

Kim Bruning 00:27, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If adminship is supposed to be no big deal, why is de-adminship made into one? This proposal puts in place a procedure that, if neccessary, should hold admins more accountable to the community. -- Joolz 00:34, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The criteria for giving and taking adminship from a user should be different- because there are many duties that require an administrator that are inherently controversial. VFD, vandal blocking, evaluating copyright violations, for example, are actions that will bring scorn on any administrator who does the work. Occasionally, working in these areas, it doesn't matter what decision and action the administrator makes- fifty percent of those involved will be mad at them. This leads to the unjust situation of those administrators doing the most work, and making the hardest decisions getting unfairly vilified.--Duk 04:26, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Point taken, but I think controversial things need to be discussed and a decision should be reached as inclusively as possible: it should not just be one admin unilaterally deciding that so-and-so should be blocked even when a bunch of people would disagree with that, for instance. I personally make a distinction between admins who do things I disagree with, but also respect community feeling and have a democratic sense about things, and admins who just do whatever they think is right individually, and if questioned fall back on their sysop status as if it's a blank check. There is a very important thing we have to establish about Wikipedia, which is that it is not (or shouldn't be) run by a few dozen petty tyrants who are all divided up into factions, act independently and cause lots of collateral damage. The way around this is to try to centralize and democratize admin decision-making to a greater degree, and to reduce the degree of subjectivity and independence accorded to admins. In short, stability and accountability. Everyking 04:48, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why is this needed ?[edit]

I think most people here agree that there needs to be a reason for administrators to loose their position. And that requires evidence, documentation, mechanisms to insure that all information is in the open, and that decisions are based only on that information etc...

These concepts of due process are exactly what is provided for in the current de-adminship process and exactly what is missing from this proposal. In fact, this proposal seems like a convenient tool for a pack of people to gang up on whoever they don't like at the moment.

This proposal isn't needed and is deeply flawed. However, my mind is open and I'd like Ugen64 to present a real, recent example of where a policy like this would be useful. --Duk 04:12, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

<can of worms being opened> User:RickK recently made some questionable admin actions, and then has declared he is leaving Wikipedia. In time, I would think that is be appropriate to nominate him into this process. It is first of all the fact that he's made questionable admin calls, he has one of the lowest "approval ratings" (my observation), and has said he's leaving. Its a Bad Thing to keep adminship on an account which has left, because it means vandals may try to brute-force attack his password and cause untold damage. RickK is especially one account vandals would like to guess, and we'd have no means of knowing if anyone's trying to break into it.
This sort of process seems like a light-weight way of doing this. No one is saying that after de-adminship, a former admin can't re-apply later. -- Netoholic @ 06:13, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
If you're so concerned about RickK's behaviour, why not follow due process and put together a case outlining the alleged wrongdoings before the ArbCom? I've said it before and I've said it again - if you're going to de-sysop people, you need a reason for it. This proposal is just, as Duk says, a chance for people to gang up on admins they don't like. If there were any justified complaints, the concerned parties would go before the arbitration committee and undergo due process. Ambi 06:23, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Because you and I know this would be rejected by ArbCom out-of-hand because the infractions are light and RickK has supporters on ArbCom. Also, you can't arbitrate "the community just doesn't generally like him". I ask the Arbitrators to please see this as a good-faith effort to DevolvePower. -- Netoholic @ 06:27, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
You said it yourself. The infractions are light. Therefore there is no need to de-sysop. You dislike the guy, and you want to retaliate against him by targeting his adminship. This is not a reason to remove it. Ambi 06:33, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think the reliance on the mantra of "Devolve Power" is misplaced (aside from the problem that devolving must be voluntary and cannot be forced). Devolving power is a principle that applies to people who are in the position of "benevolent dictators", which in our situation primarily means Jimbo. Allowing arbitrators to be elected by the community is one way in which he has done so. Those arbitrators who are elected (and all future arbitrators will be) derive their power from the community and are therefore accountable to it.
While it may be appropriate to reconsider the distribution of the arbitration committee's current powers, and they themselves have suggested delegating (not devolving) some of these, the proposal raised here has been rejected quite recently and I see no reason to revisit it at this time. --Michael Snow 16:22, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Arbitrators who were elected while having as little as 31% approval cannot be said to "derive their power from the community". I'm not going to debate whether there was any better method, I only want to point out that one cannot draw any conclusion from that fact that someone is an Arbitrator. Maybe this is more about delegating than devolving, but it should be considered. The Arbitrators can voice their opinions, but do not in any way have the power to dictate that there cannot be an RFDA process. -- Netoholic @ 19:31, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
I don't see the arbitrators dictating in this case. They're simply pointing out that a process already exists, as they well know from having participated in it. They believe that the existing process is sufficient, and so far more of the community agrees with them than not. The requests for de-adminship proposal has been considered and rejected by the community, and although you're welcome to try fixing up something that will actually get community support, that seems a rather futile undertaking. --Michael Snow 20:27, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'll go one step further -- all forms of mob de-adminship have been *REPEATEDLY* rejected by the community. Netoholic's proposal, the last one before this, was overwhelmingly rejected for the reasons already stated here. It's just that the people pushing this horrible idea aren't taking the less-than-subtle hints. →Raul654 21:05, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
I can bold random words and CAPITALIZE them too. It takes *very* little skill and is not really ****helpful**** to getting ONE'S point across. – ugen64 23:21, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • The Wikipedia does not need this. There is no way the criteria for de-adminship could be worded so that 1) they can actually accomplish anything, and 2) they are not an easy target for vindictive users. People already sometimes file an RFC for the wrong reasons ([1]). If at all necessary, de-adminning should be done by the ArbCom, or Jimbo. Radiant_>|< 09:13, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
    • If adminship isn't a big deal, why should removing it be a big deal? If, right now, even one other admin asked to de-admin me, I would gladly oblige, as it would seem I have lost trust. Apparently, there are some admins who feel that they've gained some huge privilege and hono(u)r, and it should never be given up except under the most extremely extreme circumstances of extremity. I disagree. :) – ugen64 19:20, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • There is a very big difference between giving and taking of adminship; granting adminship is a positive thing, while easily removing it is a punitive thing that feuding parties would use as a weapon to bludgeon and humiliate each other with. Also, as mentioned above, there are various duties that are inherently controversial which must be preform by administrators (VFD, vandal blocking, evaluating copyright violations, for example). The administrators who step up to the plate and do this type of work will always attract scorn, even from other administrators who haven't walked a mile in their moccasins. --Duk 22:36, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • It's basic human psychology that being given liberties is a favorable thing, and losing them is an unfavorable thing. If you don't understand that, then you really shouldn't be making such a proposal. →Raul654 22:39, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
        • Heh. Heaven forbid we do anything "unfavorable" toward our precious admins. – ugen64 23:20, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
          • Well then why are claiming that de-adminship is no big thing? It obviously is for reasons I have clearly stated which you know darn well to be true. →Raul654 00:00, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

There's an experiment going on on WP:RFA atm. Let's see what happens. Kim Bruning 00:18, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What is the point of this?[edit]

I mean, seriously, why are people bothering. Folks, there is no problem for this solution. There is no need for this. So why do people keep trying to drag this up again and again? They know they will fail. Dan100 (Talk) 07:37, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

I note it is the same people doing this, every time. Why don't you just accept that very few people agree with you, and let it be? Dan100 (Talk) 07:38, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

There are no admins who have comitted somthing so egregious as to be RFDA'd, as far as I know. This proposal is unneeded. If they did a beaurocrat (alright I'll admit it I can't spell) would take emergency powers and stop them. Besides that RFAr serves our purpose quite well. Also, why should the petition require 3 admin signatures? Admins have no special powers. This link is Broken 21:58, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Actually, a bureacrat has no power to desysop - only a steward does (a thing I disagree with, but that's just me). →Raul654 23:40, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
I guess I learn something new every day. Seems odd that they (you) can promote but not demote. This link is Broken 01:06, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The reason I think it's wrong is because it fundementally distorts what the stewards are supposed to do. In theory, a bureacrat is supposed to do all the sysopping and de-sysopping for that particular language/project, and stewards are supposed to be bureacrats for languages/projects too small to have a bureacrat. On the other hand, since they are the *only* ones who can do desysopping, it's a very illogical arrangment. On the other hand, desysopping is so rare that it's not really an issue. →Raul654 01:11, Jun 27, 2005 (UTC)

On timing[edit]

If this proposal is passed, it might be wise to change the timing of any vote held on an admin's status. I would suggest that it fall one calendar month (or some appreciable time) after the close of the petition. Leaving the vote open for a week at that time sounds like a reasonable period.

Although I freely admit to engaging in a bit of crystal ball-gazing, I suspect that these sorts of petitions would be apt to arise following controversial actions by a given admin—possibly due to the clumsy handling of a single incident or two, followed by a bit of acrimonious debate on WP:AN and its subpages.

Putting a 'speed bump' in the process permits two things to take place. First, everyone involved gets a chance to cool down. The admin in question has the opportunity to make amends or apologies, should they be necessary. Second, there is the opportunity for the admin to demonstrate reform, should changes in behaviour be appropriate.

The timing as proposed could be very much akin to your boss waiting for you to make a mistake at work—then immediately calling you in to his office for your annual performance review. If the need for de-adminship is so pressing that it requires immediate and urgent attention, then the ArbCom should be willing to step in. --TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:53, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

My idea was to have all the confirmation votes at the end of the year, no matter when the petition is, which would give a very generous period for people for change their minds (or for the admin to work uncontroversially to win people over again), unless the petition was already near the end of the year of course. It would also have all these votes done at the same time, which would make it seem less a matter of ganging up on one admin and also give broader scope for comparison of the admins in question, if they're all being voted on at once. (This could also be every six months instead of annually.) Everyking 01:05, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You still haven't addressed the basic question here. What is the point of this proposal, apart from allowing you to settle scores with Snowspinner and others? If there was a legitimate question of abuse, you could file an Rfar and follow due process. Ambi 03:53, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not going to speak for anyone else, but for me the importance is in keeping admins under a bit of pressure to respect community feeling, giving them less room to apply their own subjectivity to controversial situations. Basically I'd like to see adminship become more democratic and accountable. I mean, we know what Snowspinner, since you mention him, thinks about policy as compared to his own common sense. And he votes "no" to things on principle because he doesn't believe in voting, no matter what the community thinks about it. I think a good de-adminship policy would ensure that admins act within a certain limit of community approval. When an admin does controversial things repeatedly without getting a consensus, but doesn't do anything obviously arbitable, what do you do about that? Do you just deal with it forever? I don't see why we should have to. There ought to be a democratic side to things, a better way of enforcing community feeling. Everyking 04:36, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Doing controversial things repeatedly without getting a consensus is arbitable. That's exactly why the previous ArbCom required Guanaco to reapply for adminship. I'm still waiting for a reason to implement this policy apart from circumventing due process to allow a few users to exact their revenge on users they dislike, but haven't actually done anything wrong. Ambi 06:05, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not arbitable for a certain someone, I note. In fact that's the most severe case I can think of, and nothing has been done about it, so why would I think any lesser cases would be arbitable? I think there's a clear need to give the community some power here. Everyking 07:45, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Nothing has been done about it because, while there's been a lot of mud thrown, there's not been an actual case presented with actual evidence. The process doesn't happen if someone doesn't start it. The Arbitration Committee has desysopped people before, and I'm sure it will do it again, but how do you expect it to act if you don't present a case in accordance with proper process? Ambi 11:52, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
My understanding is that for minor infractions, or questions about an admin's applcation of policy, that a Request for Comment is the appropriate path. The community has the opportunity to comment on an admin's actions and attitude. Jumping straight to a request for de-adminship seems like hopping into the deep end for questions of interpretation and attitude..? If–following an RfC–it turns out that there is broad community discontent with an admin's behaviour and the admin expresses no desire or interest in reform, then the situation warrants further action. The venue proposed here would seem to target those cases where the ArbCom doesn't wish to be involved—whether it because they see insufficient cause for action, or because they are part of some (ahem) shadowy cabal.
So, do any such cases exist? Are there admins for which
  1. Broad concern has been expressed by the Wikipedia community about their ability to carry out admin duties or employ admin tools,
  2. The traditional tools of polite discussion and mediation have failed, and
  3. The ArbCom has refused to take action?
If there are admins for which the above three conditions have been met, then we may need this page or some variant thereof. Otherwise, as Dan100 says above, this may be a solution in search of a problem. Trying to strip someone of their adminship without first employing our existing dispute resolution tools seems rather abrupt...even drastic. I might feel better proceeding with something like this if it were demonstrated that there exist problems requiring this remedy. Otherwise we're just producing another Wikibureaucracy when we should be writing an encyclopedia.--TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:15, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Does this proposal get voted on?[edit]

And, if so, then where? ~~~~ 30 June 2005 16:02 (UTC)