Wikipedia talk:User access levels/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

IP Vote

Are IP's allowed to !vote in Move requests? The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 08:29, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Prasanna Sanjeev


Prasanna Sanjeev born on January 07, 1987 in Manipal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Prassuprashi (talkcontribs) 11:43, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Rndynolen, 4 August 2010

{{editsemiprotected}} Would like to add Photos of the Oklahoma Memorial on the island of Oahu Hawaii (Ford island). I am from oklahoma and have lived in hawaii for 3.5 yrs. I am moving back and this would be great for oklahomas people to see.

Rndynolen (talk) 06:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Not done: Please place the request on the page you would like to edit. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 06:33, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Clarify Table terminology

In the Table of access rights, it is not clear what the difference is between ‘Revoked’ and ‘Denied’.

After trying to understand this, I assume it means that when a user is Blocked, then the Revoked rights are Denied.

The problem is that there are numerous boxes under Blocked users that are listed as Denied rather than Revoked, and yet I assume that even Autoconfirmed accounts that have been blocked would no longer have access that is Denied to Blocked accounts.

If it is the case that Revoked and Denied access rights are actually equivalent, then it would be very helpful to mention this. If they are not, then at least a hint of the differences would be helpful to understand the system. Peterbbishop (talk) 17:43, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Could you help?

Hello all. I've decided to create an account after editing for a while with my IP address and would like to upload files but cannot as my account is new. When will I be able to? Hugahoody (talk) 21:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

If you are freely licensing them, see commons:commons:upload. –xenotalk 21:27, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks but I believe they are unfree. They are the images in the category 'Images which should be in PNG format'. Hugahoody (talk) 21:32, 18 August 2010 (UTC)


I've added the editor usergroup to the list, with info taken from Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive214#Researchers, just to satisfy the curiosity of anyone who happens to stumble upon it and wonder what it is. Soap 23:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 4 October 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} CHANGE "With the throne empty, he was succeeded by Cixi's handpicked heir, his two year old nephew Puyi, who became the Xuantong Emperor. Guangxu's consort, who became the Empress Dowager Longyu. In another coup de'tat," TO "With the throne empty, he was succeeded by Cixi's handpicked heir, his two year old nephew Puyi, who became the Xuantong Emperor. Guangxu's consort became the Empress Dowager Longyu. In another coup d'etat,"? (talk) 19:36, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Not done: Wrong talk page. Please make your request on the talk page of the article you want to change. Celestra (talk) 20:06, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

See someone's status as autoconfirmed

Can someone see if someone else is an autoconfirmed or not?  Kenrick  Talk 12:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Not really, AFAIK. You could check their edit count with a tool that shows deleted edits like this one, and check the account creation date from the logs, and if they have 10 edits total and are older then 4 days, you can assume they are autoconfirmed. Avicennasis @ 02:26, 9 Adar I 5771 / 13 February 2011 (UTC)

"Anonymous users"


Please change all occurrences of "anonymous user[s]" to "unregistered user[s]", as per WP:HUMAN, WP:ANONYMOUS and Wikipedia:IP edits are not anonymous.

I think referring to IP users as "anonymous users" is incorrect and confusing. Registered users who do not adopt their real name as their username are also anonymous. In fact, they are arguably more anonymous, since their IP address is hidden.

Also, the phrase is often used in a discriminatory way by editors who do not fully appreciate (yet) the value and potential of unregistered users.

I propose we call a spade a spade, and change to "unregistered users", or "IP users". (talk) 09:53, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Done -Atmoz (talk) 15:27, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks! Actually I notice two more occurrences of "anonymous users". Can someone please change them as well? Actually one of them seems to refer to a specific MediaWiki command. If that's the case, I'm fine to leave it as it is, but please do let me know and I'll take this up to the MediaWiki development team. Thanks again. (talk) 23:27, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
 Done actually, the only instance of "anonymous users" I could find was the wiki setting... ~ Matthewrbowker Say hi! 01:35, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Uhm... sorry but I cannot see any changes. I am referring to here and the table heading here (or just search the page for "anonymous"). Can you please replace them as well? Thanks. (talk) 14:15, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Done Sorry. Missed one because it was in a template. The other is actually a setting in the software that administrators can tick when blocking users, so until/if that gets changed I think it's best to leave as is here. -Atmoz (talk) 03:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
OK yes, thought so, I'll take this to MediaWiki. Thanks again. (talk) 23:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


When you pass 10 edits after 4 days, do you automatically get the status of autoconfirmed? PaoloNapolitano (talk) 14:35, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Mine was automatic. I just found it under "My Preferences" and came here to find out what it means.TerraNirvana (talk) 01:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

New users uploading files or images

Wikipedia:User_access_levels#New_users section does not say whether or not they can. I don't know because I am not a new user. Could someone please say, or add it to the section. Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Top User

What is the most important and top user on Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrAmberGold (talkcontribs) 09:06, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

There is no "top user". And all users who volunteer their time to improve Wikipedia are equally important. User access levels don't grant any sort of 'status', they're just tools to help do a job that needs to be done. -- œ 02:50, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
The "top user" used to be User:Jimbo Wales, our founder (Jimmy Wales), but he now holds no more privileges than some other users. Wikipedia doesn't like to think of itself as a "one-top-user" website, but instead a collaborative website where everyone is equally treated.Jasper Deng (talk) 21:19, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 23 January 2012

Grammar fix under Autoconfirmed area(two colons and ambiguous structure).

Currently: The precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances: for most users on English Wiki accounts the following must (usually) take place: that they are both more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed.

Change to: The precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances. For most users on English Wiki accounts the following must (usually) take place: Users that they are both more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed.

Aqme28 (talk) 07:49, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

 Doneish. I've changed it to make it clear, but not to how you recommended, I changed it to "The precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances, for most users on English Wiki accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed."--Jac16888 Talk 15:27, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

afttest and afttest-hide

A user asked at the Help desk what afttest users were. Two experienced helpers had trouble replying. I discovered the apparent answer at Special:ListGroupRights and boldly added it here to resolve redlinks at Special:ListGroupRights. —teb728 t c 09:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Does vandalism count towards getting autoconfirmed

Would a persistent vandal become autoconfirmed if they did ten vandal edits and managed to escape getting blocked for 4 days? If this is the case then semi-protection is a rather pointless tool. Roger (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, they would become autoconfirmed. That doesn't mean semi-protection is pointless. Lots of vandals are unregistered or unconfirmed and don't bother to get a confirmed account. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:38, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

New users

A user who edits through an account they have registered may immediately create pages in any namespace (except the MediaWiki namespace, and limited to eight per minute). This does not seem true. It appears that new users have to be auto-confimred before they can create new articles on Wikipedia.(striked) Regards, SunCreator (talk) 11:38, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

It appears you won't believe my answer at Wikipedia talk:New contributors' help page#New users can't create new articles until auto-confirmed which linked to WP:UAL#New users. Will you believe the automatically generated Special:ListGroupRights#user: "Create pages (which are not discussion pages) (createpage)". If not then you can find many examples at Special:NewPages. A red talk page is often a new user. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:33, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Good if true, but what evidence do we have? A redlist does not show a new user just somoene without a talk page. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:02, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Have found that User:Soumitramehrotra created both an account and a new article today. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:15, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
That's why I said "often". I tested a few cases before posting and falsely assumed you would do the same right away if you still didn't believe me, but I see you eventually got there. I have now tested the first 10 cases with red user talk pages and all 10 were new users. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Rights of indef blocked users

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

Should rights of indef blocked users (e.g. reviewer/rollbacker/autopatroller) be removed or left as is? Nobody Ent 01:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

IMO, once they are blocked they are probably there for a reason (most likely socking or vandalism so yes any permissions except maybe reviewer should be removed. Kumioko (talk) 01:57, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left as is - I've seen editors indeffed for a short period of time until the situation that caused them to be indeffed was resolved. Removing these rights seems to be unneccesary (and truly indeffed users won't be able to use them anyways). --NeilN talk to me 02:00, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, they should be removed, at least in most cases (I can imagine rare exceptions). An indefinite block is not necessarily an infinite block and users who have lost the community's trust to such an extent as to warrant one should not have any tools requiring extra trust awaiting their potential return.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk)
  • But an indef does not always represent a lost of community trust. A sockpuppeting admin would be desysopped, but one blocked for civility issues wouldn't be. Why should "lesser" rights be any different? Nikkimaria (talk) 03:18, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Remove (Copied from my user talk page) There is no reason for indef blocked users to retain any advanced permissions; I feel that it can give the wrong impression of the project if someone were to notice that an infef blocked user holds "a position of trust" in their retention of advanced user rights even while indef blocked. Furthermore, if a user would to ever be unblocked, I feel any permissions that they held before their block would have to be reconsidered on a case by case basis due to the fact that they were blocked for a reason and they may no longer be fit to hold some or all of their former user rights. Best, Mifter (talk) 02:15, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as-is (usually). If the reason for indef is directly related to such a right, by all means remove it - for example, take autopatrolled from a hoaxer. I might see total removal for things like sockpuppetry also, where an indef actually does reflect a loss of community trust. But for other issues, it doesn't, and removal isn't necessary. Indef does not mean infinite, and it's too easy for an unblocking admin to overlook a removed right. Unless we have a reason to do otherwise, we should leave rights as they were when the user was blocked: no more, no fewer. It's not like we've a shortage of flags. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:18, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left as-is Unless the indef block is some how related to the permission, or there is a reason to think the editor would abuse the permission if ever unblocked it they should be left alone. Editors are blocked for a variety of reasons and a one size fits all approach would be a bad idea. Monty845 03:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
To run through the permissions: Reviewer - currently does nothing, if pending is ever turned back on, will only be an issue if the editor has BLP issues; Rollback - as twinkle cannot be revoked and contains essentially the rollback function, rollback provides only trivially greater opportunity for disruption; Autopatrolled - Reduces scrutiny of created articles, only an issue if the editor has a history of problematic article creation; File mover - Ok, this one provides a function that lets anyone granted it conduct an action not available to other editors, but I'm not familiar with it getting much abuse. Accountcreator - Only removes a rate limit, not really a concern unless the editor has a history of socking; Ipblock-exempt - Likewise, unless the editor has a history of socking, this shouldn't be an issue; Edit Filter managers - Great potential for abuse, but by my count only about 10 non-admins accounts have the right, and at least a couple of those are well known socks of editors with admin rights on other accounts. The only one I would say should be removed proactively without cause at the time of block is edit filter. Monty845 07:14, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I hope you mean alternate accounts, not socks? Nobody Ent 09:59, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left as-is, with future removal or non-removal of rights on a case-by-case basis. While people are usually blocked due to their own misconduct, let's not forget that people also get blocked for things that are not their fault: a mistake, a compromised account, blocks in bad faith by a rogue admin or another compromised account, and so on. Even if someone is blocked due to misconduct, this doesn't always mean they're thoroughly untrustworthy with all possible tools if they return. We should also remember that these tools are already disabled in the course of a block. When the reason for a block ends, the reason for removal of access levels often ends, too. szyslak (t) 04:16, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as-is per Neil, Nikkimaria and Szyslak. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 09:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is, It only takes one admin, to set an indef block, and can happen without full understanding of the situation. Once things get figured out, there is plenty of time to remove tools, with full community involvement and well thought out rational. indefinite means for a time yet to be defined, that could be for a few minutes or forever. Jeepday (talk) 13:03, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left alone per Monty. If there is a separate rationale, and very often there will be, then that is fine and it should be explained separately, and to the editor being stripped of rights. Dennis Brown - © 13:39, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left alone with the sole exception being indefs for specific abuse of the right granted and confirmed at AN/I or ArbCom. I have seen indef lasting only a day or so - and thus this position. Collect (talk) 13:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Re-evaluate on a case-by-case basis: A block is made for a breach of normative behavior. Permissions should be re-evaluated at time of block. Toddst1 (talk) 13:55, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave under admin discretion (aka, "per Toddst"). Blocked users, especially indeffed users, are often blocked because they have violated the community's trust. If they have violated the community's trust, it should be well within the discretion of any administrator to remove advanced permissions. Does this mean that every indeffed or blocked editor should have their rights removed? No, not necessarily; it would be very dependent on the reason behind their block, and it should never become a "race" to pull blocked users' permissions as quickly as possible. But it should not be deprecated to remove permissions from an indeffed user, and I would find it silly in the extreme if people fought to restore permissions to an indeffed user, who can't use them anyway because they're, you know, indeffed. If an admin or admins judged during their block that the user should not have advanced rights, then if their block is lifted some time later there is every reason for the user to re-apply for removed rights at that time, so admins can judge whether the issue that caused them to be removed has been mitigated. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 14:08, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Left as is; there is no harm in leaving minor userrights (rollback, autopatrolled, etc.) on an indefinitely blocked account if the reasons for blocking were irrelevant to those rights. While it's true they don't need the tools, they are not going to abuse them either, and I see no reason for someone to "re-earn" them if they were trusted with them before and their block had nothing to do with the flags (really, is anyone going to forget how to recognize vandalism?). It goes without saying, however, that this does not apply to admin rights or anything higher, and in most cases where an admin is indefinitely blocked they normally have lost/will lose the flag. Acalamari 15:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Comment: Rollback is one of those privileges that should almost always be removed from someone blocked for edit-warring - whether the privilege was used during the edit war or not. Toddst1 (talk) 18:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Um...but I didn't mention anything about edit warring in my comment; besides, if a user is blocked indefinitely for being an edit warrior then that would not count as rollback being "irrelevant" to the block (although I think if someone is indefinitely blocked for being an edit warrior they likely wouldn't have rollback at the time of the block, anyway). Acalamari 22:22, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
In those circumstances, then removing rollback, with standard notification, would be warranted without much question. Removing rollback under all indefs, not so much. Dennis Brown - © 01:24, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Removed An indefinite block means a block, no matter for what purpose it is applied for. Having leave user rights on blocked user rights really does not seem right and affects other user's trust in Wikipedia's community and affects it's outside image as a whole. User:Mifter is saying right It can give the wrong impression of the project if someone were to notice that an infef blocked user holds "a position of trust" in their retention of advanced user rights even while indef blocked. Any indefinite blocked user having any user right whether it be Rollback, Reviewer, Autopatrolled, Account creator, etc. or any other needs to be removed once an account is blocked indefinitely whether or not they were abusively used or not just like an Administrator, Bureaucrat, CheckUser and Oversight are always obviously removed in most cases. These user rights can always be restored within seconds after the user account is unblocked and the reviewing Administrator's are convinced. The said user does not need to go through the same process of requesting those user rights which they had before if they were not removed due to it's misuse. The Wikipedia:Database reports/Blocked users in user groups shows and update the user accounts blocked indefinitely in user groups which gets updated from time to time. This list can help all the admins in finding those users accounts and removing the user rights, as it has a purpose to be there. TheGeneralUser (talk) 20:03, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is indef. can be for any number of reasons, including precautionary concern over matters rapidly resolved. WP:BUREAUCRACY is that-a-way. Rich Farmbrough, 01:20, 6 June 2012 (UTC).
  • Leave as is An indef is not infrequently a shenanigan by a single power tripping administrator, and need have nothing to do with "losing the trust of the community" --Epipelagic (talk) 01:56, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is unless the editor in question has actually abused the right in the course of getting him/herself blocked, with the exception of edit filter admin. I am not certain, but I believe blocked users may still be able to change the edit filter. It is, however, vanishingly rare that this userright is granted to a non-admin, and such users are generally highly trusted, very competent, technically skilled (and so unlikely to have an account compromise), and very unlikely to wind up with an indef. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:18, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Remove after three months, with IAR taking care of any exceptions. If an indef block remains after three months, it is highly unlikely that it will be lifted any time soon, and retaining userrights in that case only increases clutter in, say, Special:ListUsers/rollbacker, and gives the wrong impression, per Mifter. T. Canens (talk) 04:57, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is - unless there is specific abuse of the userright. Indefinite is not the same as infinite, the block is there until something changes. Often, for bans or de-facto bans, this might mean loss of community trust and be appropriate, but at the same time, for other cases where the user is indefinitely blocked it is likely to be inappropriate. A quick example is a block under WP:No legal threats, if a user is removed from the community whilst proceeding with legal action they have done nothing that might require the removal of rights. I would put removal into a case by case basis, at admins discretion. WormTT(talk) 09:34, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is User rights below admin should only removed, if the indefinite block comes from the misuse of these rights. As I see it, granting users rollback, file mover, account creator, autopatrolled has nothing to do with the community's trust, as they are granted at the discretion of a single admin. Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 10:48, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Leave as is per Epipelagic. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:13, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Remove but restore them on a case-by-case basis after the block is lifted. If there is no suspicion that they will be abused restore them else not. Targaryenspeak or forever remain silent 23:30, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Admin discretion - Though honestly, if we are removing admin tools after a year of inactivity, then I don't see why we shouldn't be removing these tools after a length of time being blocked (or banned for that matter). - jc37 23:46, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Evaluate on a case-by-case basis; the default should be to leave as-is, for the various reasons outlined above. Even the most level-headed of us could have something happen which might cause us to "go off on one", just once, and pick up such a block, without whatever weird circumstances caused it necessarily impacting on our trustworthiness or abilities on the whole. Pesky (talk) 06:12, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

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


Can blocked admins unblock themselves? (talk) 00:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Does the software allow it? I don't know. Is it good idea? Unless it's clearly accidental, no, they shouldn't and could easily get their admin privileges removed as a result. Nobody Ent 00:04, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a relatively recent patch to prevent admin actions from blocked users. I'm not certain whether it was deployed on the MWF wikis, however. — Coren (talk) 00:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I mean, I see admins on Uncyclopedia (a Wikia website) blocking each other just for fun, for example:
04:34, December 1, 2010 Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) resurrected Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) (SYSTEM ERROR: THIS USER CANNOT BE BANNED)
04:31, December 1, 2010 Under user (talk | contribs) blocked Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours 6 seconds (*looks through ban log* - dear god, I've never banned Zombiebaron, he must feel so left out! I must rectify this at once.)
13:22, October 28, 2010 Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) resurrected Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) (This user is too cool to be banned)
02:38, October 28, 2010 ChiefjusticeDS (talk | contribs) blocked Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 6 months (Criminal attentiveness and irredeemable efficiency)
16:15, September 15, 2010 Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) changed block settings for Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 11 seconds (account creation disabled) (I have to unban myself so I can ban you so I hope this does that)
16:09, September 15, 2010 ChiefjusticeDS (talk | contribs) blocked Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 666 Years (No I'M THE DEVIL!!)
12:46, December 1, 2008 RAHB (talk | contribs) blocked Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 11 minutes, 52 seconds (Being not here)
21:47, May 31, 2008 TheLedBalloon (talk | contribs) blocked Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 9000 seconds (Don't do that to TKF!)
20:10, March 31, 2008 Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) resurrected Zombiebaron (talk | contribs) (Oh, here's a Kleenex) (talk) 22:15, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Not particularly relevant here, as the software supports policy, it doesn't define it. Presumably technical questions can be answered somewhere on the mediawiki website. Nobody Ent 12:03, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It's my impression that for an admin to unblock himself results in immediate de-adminning. There was a case a year or two ago, I don't remember the name, but it was technically possible then. JohnCD (talk) 20:28, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
The software does allow it - Special:ListGroupRights shows that admins have the unblockself userright. But, as others have said, it is almost never appropriate for an admin to unblock himself. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:42, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to rename 'confirmed' usergroup to 'preconfirmed'

There is a clear consensus against this proposal. Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 11:57, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

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

It is proposed to rename the 'confirmed' usergroup to 'preconfirmed', this way we can designate by confirmed users the users who are either preconfirmed or autoconfirmed. I propose 'preconfirmed' because those users are given manually the same rights as the autoconfirmed (implicit) group, 'before' they reach the autoconfirmed treshold. Note that the rename cannot be done in the mediawiki configuration but it's not a problem, we can still modify most of the messages via mediawiki pages. Such a rename has already been done for the edit filter usergroup. Cenarium (talk) 21:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose The confirmed usergroup shouldn't be renamed to preconfirmed. Preconfirmed would mean a user before being confirmed. Autoconfirmed is when the system automaticly confirmed the user, but confimed is when an sysop trusts the user as confirmed, before getting autoconfirmed. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 22:24, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Technically it would be "manually confirmed" versus "confirmed by meeting certain thresholds" however those get reduced to "confirmed" and "autoconfirmed". I don't know of any process where someone is confirmed before their account is created, which is what preconfirmed would lead to. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:33, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Why do we have two separate usergroups anyway? Marcus Qwertyus 19:57, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    I think that's a good question.. Why can't 'Autoconfirmed' just be the regular 'Confirmed' flag? The same one that admins can add/remove. Instead of being some virtual, invisible user level. -- œ 07:28, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm seeing way too many "confirmed"s in this thread already, and it's making me dizzy, but I don't see a major need to do this. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 01:43, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unnecessary triviality, the abuse filter name was changed because not all edits made that triggered a filter were abusive. Altering Confirmed to Preconfirmed is completely unnecessary. —James (TalkContribs)10:04pm 12:04, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

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

User rights for the Education Program extension

The Education Program extension is going to be [re-]enabled in a few weeks, for use with courses in the United States and Canada in the coming term. After the initial version of the extension was deployed, a number of people rightly brought up the problem of building a Wikimedia Foundation staff role (the ep-staff user right) into the software. (From both a practical and philosophical standpoint, WMF doesn't want to and doesn't plan to have a direct role in the on-wiki aspects of the US and Canada education programs for much longer.) So the question is...

What is a good way to handle user rights for the Education Program extension?

The key purpose of the initial ep-staff right was simply to be the gatekeeper for granting the ep-admin right to the Regional Ambassadors and others who bring new professors and ambassadors into the education program. The rest of the ep-staff rights can be devolved to the ep-admin right. So my suggestion would be to have the ep-admin right controlled by bureaucrats, who can grant it upon request based on whatever the current process is for appointing new Education Program administrators. (Right now, that would simply be the existing Regional Ambassadors who were selected by Education Program staff, as well as the staff themselves. In the future, the selection process will be fully community run.) If that doesn't make sense, what is a good alternative configuration for the new user rights?

Note that these user rights only affect the Education Program extension, and will not have a direct impact outside of the course pages and other features of the extension. The only direct affect that the extension will have for those who aren't using the course pages or participating in the education program will be additional log entries.

We need to figure that out by Friday, 10 August 2012 so that the revised user rights can be included for deployment.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 17:21, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Draft configuration of Education Program user rights

Education Program administrators organizers

Education Program organizers are the education program participants who manage the use of the Education Program extension. At present, these would be the Regional Ambassadors and the Wikipedia Education Program staff.

Users in the ep-admin ep-organizer usergroup (not to be confused with the local admin group) have full access to the "Education Program" namespace, including removing a reviewer or student from the course, and granting (and removing) user rights for new (or former) instructors and ambassadors. EP admins may bulk-delete course pages. The ep-organizer rights are controlled by bureaucrats, and the ep-organizer usergroup can distribute the rest of the rights for the Education Program extension.

Education Program campus ambassadors

Education Program campus ambassadors is the user right for participating Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors, who guide students face-to-face in courses affiliated with the Wikipedia Education Program. At present, on English Wikipedia this only includes the United States and Canada programs.

Users in the ep-campus-ambassador usergroup may edit course pages and institution pages and may sign up on a course page to be a campus ambassador for a course.

Education Program online ambassadors

Education Program online ambassadors is the user right for participating Wikipedia Online Ambassadors, experienced Wikipedians who are selected by the community to guide students remotely in courses affiliated with the Wikipedia Education Program.

Users in the ep-online-ambassador usergroup may edit course pages and institution pages and may sign up on a course page to be an online ambassador for a course.

Education Program instructors

Education Program instructors are instructors at learning institutions who have affiliated a course they teach with the Wikipedia Education Program.

Users in the ep-instructor usergroup may create and edit course pages and institution pages and may sign up as an instructor for a course. They also may remove a student from a course they instruct.


Thoughts? Revisions? The new wave of courses is starting within weeks, so it's important to settle on an initial configuration of user rights by 10 August.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 17:21, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Prior discussions
Other related current discussions

General discussion

  • I have not seen any explanation of why the WMF has decided to create its own namespaces and user rights system to administer this program and then host it on this project. My first thought is that this belongs on the Outreach wiki in its entirety, with interwiki links where needed to this project. I believe it is a very bad precedent for the WMF to solve its administrative issues by arbitrarily, and without the agreement of the community, creating systems and processes that are entirely outside of the reach of the community on which they are hosted. There has been absolutely nothing from the WMF or the Education Program to demonstrate a need for this process to be hosted here. Wikipedia is not a hosting service, not even for WMF projects. Risker (talk) 04:37, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's a fair characterization of the Education Program as a non-community WMF project at this point. The need for a technical system, integrated with Wikipedia, to keep track of what students are doing and make it easy to set up and document course pages for new courses doing Wikipedia assignments has been obvious to most people who've been involved with the education program — especially the experienced Wikipedians who have either served as ambassadors or otherwise intersected with students at work. The process we're talking about is organizing courses, identifying (to both the students and the community) editors who've volunteered to help them, and tracking what students are doing.
Given the rights structure I proposed above, the technical aspects are clearly not outside the reach of the community. The social aspects still have some legacy elements of direct Wikimedia Foundation involvement, and there have been some hiccups in transitioning to full community control, but the latter — full community control — has always been the plan. (There are now 1.5 Wikimedia staff working directly on English Wikipedia education programs — Jami Mathewson, and me as a half time contractor — down from 7 during the Public Policy Initiative . By this time next year, there will be none.) The pattern I've seen is that when the community gets the technical keys to some aspect of the projects, the social structures for the community to control them soon follow. This would give bureaucrats the technical keys to controlling the new course features, and the community as a whole is (of course) ultimately in control of how they get used. Practically, for the time being, that would mean the status quo of some direct Wikimedia Foundation involvement with running the education program on en-wiki.
I know there have been a fair number of problems, but the basic shape of things so far is that — despite the problems, and a modest amount of tension about the level of direct WMF involvement — the community and the Wikimedia Foundation have been working together on the US and Canada education programs, on the whole in a spirit of collaboration and mutual trust. In part because of that trust (I think), the community hasn't been strongly enough motivated to build a WMF-independent governance system. (We explicitly tried to facilitate building such a system during the later stages of the PPI, but it's hard!) My expectation is that this extension will kick-start that process, and that the community will soon be able to articulate more clearly how it wants to deal systematically with supporting Wikipedia in academic courses.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 11:31, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Sage, the difficulties that the program is encountering in becoming independent may well be related to community perception of the program. Nobody's bothered to ask the community if it wants a special namespace to manage roughly 5000 new editors a year, only a few of whom are likely to stay around afterward. Nobody's asked the community if it thinks supporting this tiny number of new users is important enough to create a whole new user rights regime. Frankly, nobody's asked the community if it wants to continue with this program at all. (We both know what Diedrik's numbers show - no significant difference in the quality of work between editors in this program and other new editors, and nobody thinks we're retaining the students as editors.) I'm glad to see you back working in this program, because I know you know how to listen to the community. But I think the lack of understanding of the community demonstrated by the WMF — and yes, this is being forced on the community by the WMF, not by the volunteers who work on this program — is just as likely to backfire on the program as it is to provide support to the program. Risker (talk) 14:28, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
My perception could be off-base — I haven't seen any systematic efforts to measure community opinion about the education program — but I think on the whole the community has been and remains pretty supportive of the education program. But, if the ultimate fate of the program is that the community decides it's not worth it and wants to shut it down, then that's what will happen; we shouldn't spin our wheels anxiously avoiding that fate. At this point, I'd estimate the balance of opinion to be somewhere around "let's see if we can work out the problems and make it work better, because if we can then it has a lot of potential". When professors and classes are a good fit for the community — and figuring out how to screen for such has been a key priority of the WMF team since the end of the PPI — I'd say it's been a good experience for all involved: students, professors, Campus and Online Ambassadors, other Wikipedians, and readers.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 15:32, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I hear what you're saying. At the same time, it still doesn't explain in any way why this one little program needs its own namespace or specially designated user rights. The Military History Wikiproject has been managing equally complex project management systems for years in the regular Wikipedia namespace, and it has a demonstrated positive impact on just about every measurable aspect of project success: lots of edits, high quality work, internal leadership development, outreach and support for new users in their sphere of editing, significant editor retention. This is a classic example of an attempt to use technological solutions to manipulate social outcomes. If the community decides it doesn't want this namespace, is the WMF going to listen? Risker (talk) 16:01, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
If the community clearly decided it didn't want this namespace, then yes, I'm pretty sure WMF would listen and act accordingly. I've not seen much explicit opposition to it, though. Nor do I expect a huge amount... the extension will not have much effect at all beyond participants in the education program, and it will make it easier to follow what's going on, to stop problems before they get out of control, and to generally make it less work to help classes work successfully on Wikipedia.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:14, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
The community has never been asked whether or not it wants this extension, this namespace and these user rights. These have all been imposed from outside. Traditionally, the community considers namespace and user rights questions. The last "newly created" user right was Researcher, and that had extensive discussion and noteworthy tweaking before it was accepted. The same for the last newly added namespace, "Book" (and its accompanying talk, which is a separate namespace). The community hasn't been consulted about this until the last 24 hours, except very very peripherally. Risker (talk) 16:53, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Obviously the initial deployment in June was premature. The discussions preceding and following that deployment didn't get publicized as much as they should have, but here we are now with some time to discuss and tweak this before it gets deployed again (I hope!). Frank Schulenburg asked me to help figure out a satisfactory user rights configuration by Friday, 10 August; that's a short time from now, but not unreasonably so... especially since I think the main problems pointed out the first time around have been dealt with. I take your point that the community, unfortunately, wasn't explicitly asked whether it would be okay to create a new namespace well in advance. It's not too late to make tweaks, though, and if community opinion really is against starting this new namespace, it's not too late to stop it. But again, I haven't seen much indication that this is the case.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have questions for both of you. Sageross, could this namespace be put on Outreach instead? Risker, could you explain more why you would prefer this be on Outreach other than saying on principle that Wikipedia isn't a hosting site? Thanks. Pine 02:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Putting it on Outreach isn't feasible, as I understand it, because the extension relies on data from the same wiki to work. It's purpose is to track students' activity on the wiki where it's installed.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 00:05, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
This doesn't convince me. do the developers think it impossible to design the extension to use cross-wiki data? DGG ( talk ) 04:13, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not that it would be technically impossible, it's just not the way the extension has been designed. It would be a major re-write that isn't feasible within the timeframe (1-2 more months) that we have dedicated developer support from Jeroen De Dauw for working on the extension. It also would negate a lot of the point of the extension, to make it easier for the community to see what classes are doing.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:01, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
What happens when a class works in more than one language space? Any class making images or graphics could post non-language content in multiple language pages and translation projects of the studied language to the native language are ideal Wikipedia projects to integrate into classes. Both of those are examples in the new case studies book published by the WMF, and both of those require less Wikipedia cultural training than almost any other kind of participation. If the point of the extension is to see what classes are doing then looking across project spaces is important, right? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:12, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Important, yes. Not covered by the extension at this point, though. From what I've seen, there hasn't been the kind of disruptive problems from graphics/images projects. I mean, there are copyright issues, but they don't create the kind of cleanup backlogs that can happen on Wikipedia with student articles. Cross-language projects are tricky to do right, and they require some understanding of the expectations for Wikipedia in both languages. But it's not something that is within the scope of the extension at this point; it was designed (as a starting point) around what the US and Canada programs are mainly doing.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:55, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


I jumped in without realizing that the new namespaces issue was also a significant issue. Anyhow, I'll double-check with the developer Jeroen De Dauw, but I think the revised version of the extension would only create one new namespace, "Education Program:".--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 20:32, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, we have one namespace now, currently named "Education Program". Institutions are at "Education Program:Institution name" and courses are at "Education Program:Institution name/Course name". --Jeroen De Dauw (talk) 22:43, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Good - that was my initial question after reading the above-linked logs. Is this extension already enabled at any other wikis so we can take a quick look at it in action? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:58, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Not at the moment. It will be up on a test wiki soon.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 00:01, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
If we're going to limit editing to people with the right "ep" flag, you also need to grant editing privileges in this namespace to oversighters at least, and preferably all admins. (Oversighters wouldn't be making many edits, but at times, it is necessary to remove information before you can oversight it.) Courcelles 00:01, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll look into where info requiring oversight might be added as soon as there's a live test install of the new version of the extension. I think the talk pages are editing by everyone, while the course pages are structured forms rather than true wiki pages. But I imagine it still might be necessary to remove and oversight info from those.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 18:18, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Entirely likely, as while if a certain user right is required to edit, the most common "oops" oversight (editing logged out) won't be possible, other ways in which people manage to innocently post things that need oversight will be. Courcelles 06:25, 7 August 2012 (UTC)


Is there going to be a usergroup for students? Are "normal" Wikipedians going to be able to view pages and make comments without needing any special userrights or will those abilities be restricted? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:05, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

As I understand it, there is no "student" usergroup. Part of the purpose of the extension is to make it easy for the community to see what classes are doing and keep track of student activity, so I'm pretty sure all pages will be viewable without restriction. Individual accounts get associated as "students" with a particular course, but that's not a usergroup. From the screenshots I've seen of the previous version, I think that the course pages themselves are not actually wiki pages, and they only present structured data such as the students' accounts and the articles they are working on. I believe the associated talk pages behave as normal talk pages, editable by both students and non-students. If Jeroen gets a chance, maybe he can clarify further and correct me if I'm wrong about any of that.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 00:24, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Is there any way that the ep-admin user group be available to more people on some sort of basis. I know that about half of the RAs are not big editors. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved it would be better for quite a few people to be able to fix it. --Guerillero | My Talk 02:29, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I think that should happen, yeah. Although it shouldn't be a big deal; as long as there are a few active RAs who can assign the other permissions when it needs to be done, it shouldn't be a problem. I don't think there would be very many urgent issues that only some with ep-admin could handle.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 02:35, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Regular userrights are perfectly appropriate, unless that particular student or ambassador happens to pass an RfA, be granted rollback, etc. I am uncertain why there needs to be an extra special group for students. (talk) 02:32, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
    • There isn't a separate usergroup for students, as I explained above. The other usergroups are needed to control the administrative functions of the Education Program extension, such as adding new instructors, ambassadors, students, courses, and so on.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 02:37, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
The IP above is blocked, but I'd like some clarification. What Admin-only functions are you suggesting are needed by anyone else for this project? Dougweller (talk) 10:12, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
It's important not to confuse "ep-admin" (education program administrator) rights with conventional admin functions. The new rights are need for administering the features of the course pages enabled by the new extension: starting new courses, new "institution pages" for participating educational institutions, assigning Campus Ambassadors to courses, and the like. We're not talking about any traditional admin functions.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 11:37, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I think this will cause ongoing confusion, and you should find a name for this user-right that doesn't include "admin". JohnCD (talk) 12:08, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you're right. Any suggestions? How about "organizer"?--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
What about ep-coordinator? Monty845 18:11, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That does sound better. Thanks!--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 18:19, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Ambassador permissions

Sageross, you wrote, "(Right now, that would simply be the existing Regional Ambassadors who were selected by Education Program staff, as well as the staff themselves. In the future, the selection process will be fully community run.)" How do you know that the selection process will be fully community run? The US-CAN Education Working Group is some distance away from making a lot of decisions, and to the best of my knowledge we haven't begun any discussion of how regional ambassadors will be appointed after the hand-off to the new structure. It's possible that RAs will be appointed by the new structure similar to how WMF appoints them today. Those decisions are yet to be made. Pine 07:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Whatever the decisions the working group comes to about a new structure for the program, it won't give any independent group authority over how things work on Wikipedia. That is, and has been even since the beginning of the WMF's education programs, ultimately under the control of the community. The community was gracious enough to let WMF try some things out with the Public Policy Initiative and since then. Whatever comes out of the working group will have to be okay with the community too. If it's not, that's a sign that things have gone very wrong. (Note the example of the Pune Pilot, which went badly enough that it wasn't okay with the community.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 11:51, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
the Ambassadors program was not created by "the community" (which I suppose means all wiki editors) but by Wikimedia, which selected the Ambassadors from its San Francisco office. Wikimedia is now turning the US-Canada program into a new independent entity (to take effect next spring). "The community" is well represented on the planning committee (on which I serve), so I don't see any serious conflicts ahead. (The Pune Pilot fiasco happened in India and involved American misunderstanding of how India works.) Rjensen (talk) 15:41, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Rjensen that there has been substantial WMF activity in the education programs that hasn't been directly under the control of the community, with the education namespace implementation being an example. I think a more accurate statement is that the community generally hasn't made make systematic objections to the education programs with the notable exception of the IEP problems. It would be helpful if we had something like the old Steering Committee or my proposed Board of Education to have an institutionalized on-wiki community role in the education programs. In the absence of that, it's still not clear to me how ambassadors are to be appointed after the transition, especially regional ambassadors who currently have their IRL qualifications evaluated by WMF. Pine 20:30, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion the Wikipdia community is poorly organized except in a) dealing with crime and punishment; and b) perhaps handling military history and c) perhaps dealing with libraries and museums. Otherwise it's anarchistic and inattentive to outside forces (like higher education) and initiatives (such as those by Wikimedia. Setting up the US-Canada Education project --has the potential for getting a great deal done. Rjensen (talk) 23:57, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
RJ, I take strong exception to your comment about the enWP organization: There are many people on the enWP, including yourself, and Sage, and a number of others, who are quite aware of the requirements of higher education, and have worked very successfully with them, within the admittedly chaotic nature of the ordinary WP--a way of organization I continue to believe is our greatest strength. The people who have not been aware of the needs have been the people working on this from the Foundation--both in the wildly elaborate and unworkable first plans for what the program could rapidly accomplish, and some particularly unfortunate subprojects which it is hardly necessary to mention here. The parts that have worked well have done so because of the talents and dedication of some of the individual ambassadors and faculty. The structure that we develop for carrying this program further should be indigenous to us, and developed on-wiki. The foundation has a role in developing what the community fails to accomplish, but everything positive in this direction so far has been done by the enWP community. The structure which is being proposed that we should adopt and work with is, like all aspects of the educational program so far except for individual courses, top-heavy and over-administered. Sage says above -- and I rely on what Sage says for most of my discussion here because I know that he does understand the problems, "When professors and classes are a good fit for the community — and figuring out how to screen for such has been a key priority of the WMF team since the end of the PPI " Figuring out how to screen for this has proven to be one of the things the WMF is totally unqualified for. They are inherently as incapable of it as they would be to screen for proper article content.
The reason the community has not made systematic objections is that there has been no discussion open enough to publicly object to. Sage is certainly right that the community supports the concept-- I think the community to the extent it knows the structure, has a feeling somewhere between indifference and contempt for it. It is entirely typical of previous work on this under Foundation auspices that we should be rushed into this sort of major decision. It is absurd to establish user rights for some yet undefined purpose under some yet undefined control.
I see no need for any of the user rights. If the project is on the enWP, I do not see what harm comes from open editing--Sage, is there any indication that course pages and the like have been tampered with? Are we that sure we have the right structure for course and ambassadors that we want to enshrine it? The way for the program to go ahead within enWP, is to go ahead as a workgroup, without special privileges.
RJ assumes the final structure will be an independent organization distinct from the Foundation and the enWP. It's the typical mode of administrative thinking: structure first, people second, and content nowhere. From what I understand Sage to say, he thinks Sage agrees it's still uncertain, but from what he says above , he thinks it should be part of enWP, and hopes the community will accept it. I've heard others suggest it should be under the Chapters, but if he wants to set up an organization, it's his perfect right. If the foundation wants to recognize it in some manner which has yet to be defined, let alone accepted, they have the right to do so. It's our right to keep it separate entirely from enWP, even conceivably to the extent of having it produce material for one of the other wikiprojects. Perhaps we will have alternative programs, and instructors will follow the one that suits their needs. DGG ( talk ) 04:55, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
DGG has a much higher opinion of the links between the community and higher education than I do -- I did mention good links with the library world but there are no links I have ever seen with any dean or VP or department chairman or (almost) any scholarly organization. That's an astonishing gap. The comment that "RJ assumes the final structure will be an independent organization distinct from the Foundation and the enWP" is correct and that is how I read the current consensus of the planning committee and the Foundation. In my opinion based on running 30+ summer workshops since 1968 is that professional training programs are expensive. That means they must be funded, and an organization is necessary for that which is independent of en.Wikipedia (which is not competent to handle money and disdains $) and WMF (which has decided to work outside the US and Canada. The comment "structure first, people second, and content nowhere" is exactly the reverse order of what I have been proposing, but that is the sequence mandated by the WMF. My thinking is that the new US-Canada education organization should (in addition to the curent classroom program) start to partner with WikiProjects, such as the Military History one. I see a major role in helping the active editors making better use of the resources controlled by in higher ed (classes, journals, scholarly conventions).Rjensen (talk) 05:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
It is not the involvement of deans or provosts or chairmen or any sort of administrators that is needed. The only person who can authorize or conduct a WP writing project in a classroom is the class instructor. There is no one besides the instructor who agreement is needed in any of the universities I have been affiliated with,--apparently your experience is different.) There are exceptions: One can be such courses as Freshman English as taught by untenured adjuncts in a prescribed manner, but all of our projects that I know of in such classes have been at the initiative of the individual adjuncts, who did not feel any reason to get approval of the assignments they were to give their students. Another can be courses taught by a team, as in many medical school courses, where there is a course coordinator & general approval by the group is needed. Otherwise, how can any administrator prescribe or forbid a WP project from being part of the assignments in a civilian school? What they can do, is encourage. What they can do within limits, is provide funding. The funding is useless unless there is the excitement. (Libraries, as you said, are different: there is some degree of centralized control as in any service organization.)
My experience with training is apparently not the same as yours. Certainly training in the corporate style is expensive. Fortunately, it is unnecessary for our purposes, &, I would argue, even counterproductive. (There are other purposes for which it is very well suited, and I have certainly known and learned from very skilled people in that profession, a few who are also excellent WPedians.) There are essentially no instructors qualified to teach about Wikipedia except the experienced WPedians. The attempt to use those without such experience was the worst fault of the WMF program, which was foolishly and ignorantly put in the hands of those with only corporate experience. The experienced WPedians that I know, by and large, are much more likely to do this work as volunteers than as paid employees or contractors--just as they have been doing for any of the successful educational projects. So what is money needed for? It can buy workshops--but who are the qualified workshop instructors who would work for money? I have seen some good WP workshops--those run by volunteers in improvised setting. What is needed for a workshop is enough experienced WPedians to have one for every two beginners. They'll bring their own computers. They will even pay for their own travel. Any money spent on paid instructors will only teach the beginners wrongly. Perhaps you propose that last-ditch bureaucratic resort, to train the trainers. But there is no way to train them except by guided experience, & there is no way to get it except to start with experienced WPedians and give them guided experience in teaching. This takes enthusiasm, for which money is no substitute. (There is of course in a positive sense the possibility that you and a few others like you who know both WP and formal training methods can find such people and teach them--I can't say that's impossible without it being tried.) Money can buy training aids--but I doubt if any training aid is as effectual as hands-on guided experience. Money can buy a better interface, one areas where paid work has proven helpful--but this is an interface for everyone, not just the educational program. It can buy better programming for screening submissions--but again this is a screening necessary for everyone not just the educational program. it can buy access to journals and databases--but yet again this is a need felt by all serious editors, not just the educational program (in fact, those in the educational program are the least likely to need it, for they will have at least their school's subscriptions.
I'm a little confused about intentions; you said, " 'structure first, people second, and content nowhere' is exactly the reverse order of what I have been proposing, but that is the sequence mandated by the WMF." Since I think that what you are talking about above & elsewhere is just such a formal structure, apparently you intend to follow to follow the WMF mandate. The solution to this, and I think you know it also, is to ignore the WMF. Their approach has failed, and I see no reason to give them another chance at it, because they do not yet understand the degree to which such approaches will always fail here. We only need them if we need their money. Therefore, we should design something that doesn't need the money.

The only solution I see, and it will not be a fast one, is reliance on the existing people in the community as individuals and the ones we will be able to recruit by making this something exciting. To the extent it requires application forms and committees, it will never be exciting. At least it won't be to people like me. DGG ( talk ) 04:55, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

WMF is responding to a crisis--old editors are leaving W-en much faster than new ones sign up. That is not a sign of excitement, just the reverse. The community has failed to work with the higher ed community in the past and I see little effort to work more closely in the future. What the higher ed community controls for many areas (such as history, humanities, social sciences and science) are the reliable secondary sources on which Wikipedia is grounded. Experienced editors need to know more about the RS, so I see an ed program as helping our experienced editors reach a new level of expertise. Rjensen (talk) 00:24, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

An update on the next steps

I noted this in the parallel discussion at the Bureaucrats Noticeboard, but the plan and timeline from the opening of this discussion is no longer current. To quote from there, "it looks provisionally like we'll push back the timeline, start a more structured and on-topic RfC to figure out whether the community wants this extension and how to configure the rights for it, and then (hopefully) deploy it with plenty of time to play with it, give feedback, and make improvements that the community wants before using it systematically at the start of the following (January 2013) term." If that's what happens, then the rights configuration will whatever the community wants it to be; my own view is that it should be open enough that it's easy for editors to use it to organize classes whether or not they are participating in the formal ambassador program. Note that the course pages themselves aren't editable wiki pages, except for the description which the instructor can edit. The talk pages are wiki pages, and there no restrictions for editing them. The userrights are for regulating creation and deletion of course pages, and for assigning users to the different roles associated with the course pages (instructor, campus ambassador, online ambassador). (There would need to be at least some limited userrights, especially for restricting the deletion of course pages. Restricting course page creation a little more as well may be a good idea just to make sure instructors come into contact with the community before they get started.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I came here from the link at WP:CENT, and it looks now like there is more thought being put into the proposal, rather than a proposal for consideration now. Based upon what I've seen in the past year from student editing projects, I want to suggest that Sage Ross and the others working on the issue consider the following. I've recently seen projects where the students just weren't aware of some pretty basic things about how Wikipedia works (example: thinking that they were supposed to sign their edits to pages, in the way that talk page comments are signed), and the faculty member seemed either unaware or unconcerned about how to guide the students about it. I think that some thought should go into finding better ways to explain to school faculty how to educate students about how to edit, and making those faculty aware that they have a responsibility to orient their students about that. If there is going to be some sort of user permission for those faculty members, I think it might be worthwhile to require some sort of qualification for that permission, including understanding what the faculty member needs to teach the students about how Wikipedia works. I have the impression that a meme is spreading in academia that an easy way to teach a course is to just dump students on Wikipedia, and that's obviously not a good thing, for the students or for Wikipedia. Of course, not every instructor is like that! About two years ago, all the classes on my watchlist were really productive and worthwhile, but I've noticed a trend in the past year towards some careless faculty showing up. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:30, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Thoughtful suggestions. (And that reminds me, I should take this off CENT now.) I'm hoping that this extension can be a starting point for that: something where a faculty member with a Wikipedia project in mind can easily sign up and try to start dumping students on Wikipedia in a built-in way (as they would otherwise in an ad hoc way), but then there's some point of contact with the community from the very beginning to make sure they are going about it in a responsible way before they get going. For example, I could imagine some process analogous to Articles for Creation where faculty go to have their planned assignments vetted a bit before they are allowed to start a course page, and they could be pointed in the right direction if they have some things they need to learn first or if their plans are simply not appropriate for Wikipedia.
I may also be working in the coming months on a basic on-wiki self-guided training for students on the basics of editing, as a counterpart for students to the training modules we've been building for professors and ambassadors in the Wikipedia Education Program. One for students, in particular, could be useful well beyond just the official Wikipedia Education Program classes.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:49, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, both of those ideas, an Articles for Creation model and some sort of training module, are very good ones. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:14, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The AfC model is not a good one to follow, certainly not for articles.The review of articles there has proven to be exceptionally inconsistent and unreliable, with a probably error rate of 10 or 20 % in each direct, and very little follow u or quality control. So much so that the current plans as discussed on its talk page are for giving it a much more restricted role. For approval and comment of course topics, I'd think something much less elaborate would do--we want not approval, exactly , but guidance from the more experienced. Finding a good course topic, like finding a good article topic in a course, is not as much a matter of approval as of negotiation--negotiation in the same sense as helping a student find a good term paper topic that can be done with the available resources and time. Recall that anyone who wants to have a course page i quite apart from the system can do so. A regulatory approach is out of place--especially since we will be faced with regulating the ideas of faculty who may be extremely skeptical to us in the first place and reluctant to admit authority. DGG ( talk ) 08:43, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
DGG, I had understood the idea differently. I actually agree with you, with respect to not wanting to mandate an AfC for pages created by students. But my understanding of what Sage meant was that there would be an approval process for the class page set up by the instructor, not for the editing work that the students would subsequently do. And I'm influenced by what I've seen in the past several months to look favorably on that idea. I'm certainly not looking for anyone here telling an instructor what content to include in their course, or interfering with academic freedom in any other way! But I'm in favor of an expectation that students be provided with pointers to how to edit the way we do it at Wikipedia. And I'm OK with the idea that an instructor who is unfriendly or indifferent to providing that (and unfortunately I saw some of those this past academic year) will find themselves unwelcome. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:44, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I definitely agree there have been many poor proposals in the past & probably some of them could have been influenced by advice. I am nonetheless distinctly not in favor of our trying to use the functions available to us (presumable MfD,) for people who work otherwise, unless the work they do is actually disruptive, as were the approved courses in the India project. Future gatekeepers may be as irresponsible or ignorant as the Foundation's people actually were. This is therefore not a merely hypothetical problem. I do not think that any body enWP or the foundation could set up would necessarily have the respect of some of the people who might want to run courses, and do it well. It is a fundamental principle of WP that we do not prescreen editors. DGG ( talk ) 00:54, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Of course, at this point, you and I are discussing a proposal that hasn't actually been made. I don't know what will be proposed, and I'm certainly not married to anything specific. Where I'm coming from is having recently seen multiple pages where students were kind of left adrift with too little guidance. That resulted in (1) needless work for other editors, who were kind of put in a position of doing what the instructor, or the ambassadors, or somebody else, should have been doing, and (2) some exposure of the students to bitey-ness resulting from that extra work, that the students really shouldn't have had to encounter. My gut feeling (as a former professor myself) is that if anyone gets bitten, I'd rather bite the professor than the students. I also regard good experiences for the students, as well as good creation of content, as more fundamental principles than any objection to guidance. But I don't care how we accomplish the goal, so it doesn't necessarily have to be prescreening, if something else can accomplish the same thing. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:53, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Some further thoughts occur to me. On one level, I suppose anyone can come along and create a class page on Wikipedia, and they don't need anyone's pre-approval before doing so. But my understanding of what Sage is working on is that instructors could request further permissions in order to have access to special features designed for on-Wiki classes. If someone asks for additional permissions, beyond just being an autoconfirmed editor, then that's a different situation. Just as with rollback privileges or RfA, the community is entitled to ask for certain demonstrations of understanding and competence before granting the permissions. That's where I would see something sort of like AfC for class pages (not for content subsequently created by students) being valid. I don't think that violates any fundamental principles at all. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:00, 13 August 2012 (UTC)


As for what we should do in terms of access to the program, I suggest the following:

We say right out at the front that

1. you do not have to join the program to run a course (which will always be true in practice), and we will try to find people to help you online to whatever degree you might want if you want us to, (And there will be people to help, at least remotely, because i will do it & I know a few others who would work that way) & if you want an initial presentation about WP we'll try to arrange one if geographically possible.

2. However, we very strongly suggest that you join the program, because this is a rather different thing than ordinary academic b experience, and we have experience that you should at least hear about--and an exchange of views is always beneficial.

3. We also have people who can try to ensure that your student's work will meet the sometimes rather unfamiliar WP guidelines, and will actually be accepted, so they won't be disappointed.

4. And we have a structure for keep track of the class work that you may find helpful if you want to use it.

I think if we word it right most faculty will join. (One thing I just realized is that we should provide for & support faculty who do want to be included, but use other ways of keeping track than our course pages. This happens now, because they list their course, but don't add anything else, and we now don't know whether they did anything constructive or abandoned their project)

As for the user-rights, I suggest waiting until there is some evidence that we need them. I continue to oppose adding rights that we do not know that we need. DGG ( talk ) 17:08, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Request for Comment on enabling and configuring the extension

I've launched a request for comment on whether to enable, and how to configure, this extension.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Confirmed users and Wikipedia:Autoconfirmed users

I have reverted two see also links with edit summary "revert two edits by Cyrax Cyborg, Wikipedia:Confirmed users and Wikipedia:Autoconfirmed users are currently very poor compared to the sections here; the pages should either be greatly improved or redirect here again like until a few hours ago".[1] The two pages have serious problems. They were written by User:Cyrax Cyborg who made the third English edit today and self-classifies as Category:User en-2 (intermediate level of English). I don't see a need for the new pages so I suggest redirecting them to Wikipedia:User access levels#Confirmed users and Wikipedia:User access levels#Autoconfirmed users again, rather than making badly needed improvements. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:36, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. Even if not redirected, I don't think we need two pages, and those two pages should at least be merged. the target could obviously be linked to here should the target develop to be more presentable in the future. - jc37 23:05, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Definitely a good idea. I fixed the grammar on one of the pages, but the other is giving me a headache, quite frankly. No point in not redirecting these back. --Kinu t/c 23:31, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Add information on how to order the flag of confirmed because Wikipedia: User Access Levels not saying that asked permission. Also can correct any mistakes because as my user page says. (in-2) and (s-n) so maybe a lgo know English but not everything. I am here to combat vandalism. Greetings to all.-- LK-4D4 ¿0100 101? 23:52, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Seeing as how these pages (and relevant categories which were also created) are all pretty redundant and pointless, and pretty poor quality for that matter, I've WP:BOLDly redirected back to the way things were. --Kinu t/c 17:03, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

suggestion about goering and frick

in the current article goering is mentioned as minister w/o portfolio and frick as interior minister;

please change to state that:

a) goering was also made "acting Prussian minister of the interior" (prussia covered most of current germany); b) that meant that through goering and frick, hitler was given de facto unchecked police power over the entirety of germany.

this is very important since it gives the lie to the non-nazi rightwing parties' post-ww2 contention that they had wanted to "corral" hitler by giving him "only three ministries!". They gave him the pistol instead... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marcos.alberto (talkcontribs) 12:24, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 20 September 2012

Mitt Romney reaps profits from imported coats made from dog and cat fur. 12 years after "retiring" from Bain Capital, the investment firm he founded, Mitt Romney still reaps millions of dollars per year from it. Where does Bain get the money it pays to Mitt? A big chunk of it comes from Burlington Coat Factory, which is under investigation for "mislabeling" fur coats that have been proven to include the skins of dogs and cats killed in China. Tierfreund9999 (talk) 10:21, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Not done: And I thought it was actually about user access levels. Oh, politics *sigh* A boat that can float! (watch me float!) 12:12, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 12 November 2012

Please replace "myriad infidelities" with "many infidelities". There were a lot, but not 10,000! Martin.ruddock (talk) 18:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

It's been at least a score centuries since myriad meant 10000 specifically rather than just "a large, unspecified number".  :-) — Coren (talk) 19:00, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Question about meaning of term "autoconfirmed user"

Doesn't the term "autoconfirmed user" mean only users who are logged in and have their own userpage? I did not feel that this was really clarified in the section with the sub-heading "Autoconfirmed users". ACEOREVIVED (talk) 16:14, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

According to that section:

...most English Wiki user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed.

The Anonymouse (talk | contribs) 18:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 February 2013

[] Rahulkamuni1989 (talk) 04:35, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. The Anonymouse (talk | contribs) 05:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Access level history for Wikipedia

How long did it take to fully flash out the current access system? How much that is present today was present when Wikipedia "went public"? Planning access permissions at inception is, erm, a science project in and of itself, hence my questions on a project I greatly admire. As an information security professional, the subject of access control is central to my duties and hence, is something I am greatly curious about over the history of Wikipedia. Kudos for all who are above User in access for a job well done!Wzrd1 (talk) 04:02, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 8 July 2013

under the section {checkuser} This sentence needs a comma/mark of separation after "users":

This right is only granted to exceedingly few users who are age 18+ and have identified themselves to the Wikimedia Foundation.

It may read as reserving this right to only a few users over 18yrs old, etc. suziewong 16:12, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Checkuser is restricted to users who are 18+ and identified to the Foundation. Unless I'm missing something I don't see the need for a comma there. BryanG (talk) 03:03, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

An RfC on reducing the API edit limit for logged out/IP users to once every 30 seconds

I'm not sure if this is the right place to cross-post this but I think this discussion needs to hear from more people, particularly those who use unregistered accounts:
An RfC on reducing the API edit limit for logged out/IP users to once every 30 seconds
Liz Read! Talk! 13:37, 3 October 2013 (UTC)