My RFA criteria are based on a multivariate analysis of a Wikipedia user, examining their possible success as a Wikipedia sys-op, their probable success as a sys-op, and how the wider public in general may react to their administration, among other variables. The analysis is, granted, subjective to a particular extent, and, unlike most other editors and users, weighted toward opposition of most candidates; but exceptional individuals with whom I've interacted may be able to secure my vote or nomination.
In no particular order, based on the RFAs I've participated in, my criteria are as follows:
- Genuine and demonstrable need
- Length of time as an editor
- Record of experience
- Temperament and judgment
- Civility towards users
- Possible reaction by the outside world
- Edits to mainspace
Nor are all of these weighted equally, but each depends on the candidate who wishes to secure my nomination.
Genuine and demonstrable needEdit
Usually, this criterion is satisfied without an issue: by and large, we do need more vandal-fighters and UAA folks. But when a nomination exists solely for a particular purpose, I will scrutinize it further.
Length of timeEdit
To be blunt: exceptional circumstances notwithstanding, having less than one full year (365.25 days) of service as an active Wikipedia editor will be disqualifying. This is not an automatic no, but will lean me toward no, at the very least.
Record of experienceEdit
I like folks who have varying experience: experience with CSD, experience with RFPP, AIV, UAA, and in other RfAs, etc. Administrators, after all, are able to delete pages, protect articles, and block users; their nominations ipso facto carry more weight than those of standard users; and the bulk of administration is, or so I hear, deletion and blocking.
Welcoming new users never hurt a candidate, either. We like being (or, at least, thinking we're being) the most welcoming place on the Internet, and, well, in pursuit of that goal, would-be administrators should be active in welcoming new folks to our collaborative effort.
An exact number of, say, CSD reports would be somewhat impossible to give, due to changing needs, but, at very least, candidates should have one each, if not equal or surpassing my own. (Is 1 UAA report really too much to ask?)
Temperament and judgmentEdit
How rigorous and detailed one is before coming to a final judgment is a major portion of my analysis.
Deletion is a large part of administration. With it, a thorough examination must be made of a candidate and their record of deletion, along with their beliefs regarding deletion.
Will you make snap judgments, or wait for all of the facts? Are you thorough, or immediate? And as an administrator, can you be duty-bound to suppress your judgment as needed?
Do you believe yourself to be a deletionist? An inclusionist? Somewhere in between? Be prepared for those questions, and know that I tend to adhere to a belief that because WP:NOTPAPER, deleting pages should be undertaken only after some discussion, if and only if that page is controversial.
Regardless, Wikipedia is a collaborative project, and adherence to current policies is to be expected of all candidates. Bending the rules may be fine at times, under the principle of WP:IAR, but instituting or substituting one's own ideas of "how things should be run" is generally a no-no in my book.
Civility towards usersEdit
Look, I'm a curmudgeon. I fully admit that. I don't like people. But I like candidates who like people. Or, at very least, can interact with them without snarling.
After all, how one acts and reacts is part and parcel of Wikipedia.
New users sometimes won't and don't know the rules. How do you respond to them? Is there a record showing that?
Dealing with celebrities (well, persons claiming to be celebrities, if nothing else) is a weekly occurrence, if not daily; and though not every candidate may meet folks of that description, how do you interact with all users? Can you be trusted to mete and dole out justice with them?
To reiterate, new users might be ignorant of our policies and regulations. When faced with that, do you snap and rage and flip chairs and tables? (I mean, we can't see that occurring, but you get the gist.) How often do you swear at others? Do you foam and froth on talk pages, yell in discussions with others at the Village Pump, scream until you're hoarse in ANI? Then I don't much like you, and I won't vote for you.
We don't need doormats as administrators, and firmness is not forcefulness (and vice-versa); but neither can be stated as rage and contumely.
To quote Confucius, "[t]o show forbearance and gentleness in teaching others; and not to revenge unreasonable conduct — this is the energy of southern regions, and the good man makes it his study."
Ah, a good topic.
Controversy depends on what one has said, and what one has done. The actions and sayings of candidates are when they're most accountable, for no other could and can do that which one has done and said.
Errors can be forgiven, but breaches of conduct usually cannot.
I will be quick and clear: controversy is not necessarily disqualifying, but, depending on the type and magnitude, can be very much disqualifying.
Possible reaction by the outside worldEdit
We're not an insular community by any definition; and we're one of the most-viewed websites in the world. As such, what we do here and say here has consequences. No one wants to see Wikipedia in the news for some ignoble or ignominious affair.
And, as a matter of public reaction, we must be able to think through how our actions may be perceived by some individual in one of the varying newsrooms in the world.
Let me reify this with an example: let us say Mr. X is a known anti-Semite, known for screaming about "Jews will not replace us!" in Charlottesville. Mr. X is, simultaneously, a Wikipedia user in good standing, who edits under his actual name; he also has an open RfA. Might allowing Mr. X to become an administrator be seen as a tacit acknowledgement of, say, anti-Semitism by the users and administrators of Wikipedia? Moreover, if he began to undertake actions perhaps seen as derisive toward particular users based on faith or race? Imagine the consternation and discomposure of the user-base. I, for one, would leave. Others would, too. But more than our reactions: think of the press. They would have a field day. Public scorn and derision would pour in from all quarters, and we would most certainly deserve it.
Preventing such a thing from occurring is tacitly a reason for RfA, but, moreover, an unspoken (but correct) rule regarding RfA: no would-be administrators who might bring shame upon this project.
Generally, having someone nominate a candidate won't shift my vote either way, but nominating oneself will be held to a higher standard.
Edits to mainspaceEdit
This is the most subjective of all the criteria.
In short, I believe that "Wikipedia, at its heart, is an encyclopedia. Our administrators should be encyclopedists, first and foremost, in my opinion."
A baseline percentage for edits is somewhere in the low 40s, at least. Less than 40% of edits to mainspace is sometimes an automatic disqualification from administration. Having more than 50% is not an automatic qualification, either, depending on other factors.
I make no statements regarding the exact number of edits required.
So, in short, this one depends on the totality of the circumstances.
The long and the short of this is that I truly take a holistic look at candidates: what and where they do well, where improvement might be needed, etc. I make from judgments from would-be administrators as a whole, not simply as X% of this, or Y edits to UAA. No. It's about you, and how you might do when given the mop. Good luck, and I'll see you at RfA!