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Request for move of admin rights from JamesBWatson to JBWEdit

  Resolved: Renamed instead.
JamesBWatson (current rights · rights management · rights log (local) · rights log (global/meta) · block log)
JBW (current rights · rights management · rights log (local) · rights log (global/meta) · block log)

Can my admin bit be moved from my current main account JamesBWatson to my alternative account JBW? For quite a long time I have been unhappy with using a pseudonym which looks like a real name but isn't, and would prefer to use one which nobody can imagine is my real name. I created the JBW account in April 2014, but I have never made any edits with it apart from a few edits in that same month setting up some user space pages. JamesBWatson (talk) 10:57, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

You actually can usurp that name and have the global account renamed; in this case, you do not lose the contribution history.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:02, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@JamesBWatson: the usurp/rename process is more appropriate for this use case, and will also avoid you having to do this on meta-wiki and commons for access there. Functionally it would be along the lines of:
  1. Rename User:JBW to User:JBW (usurped)
  2. Rename User:JamesBWatson to User:JBW
  3. (optionally) rename User:JBW (usurped) to User:JamesBWatson
Any of your global-renamer peers should be able to help with that. — xaosflux Talk 11:28, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Xaosflux, will that actually work in this case? I know that when Malleus became Eric, he had to create a new account and transfer the userrights across because the devs were worried that renaming an account with 140,000 edits would crash the database. ‑ Iridescent 11:32, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • There’s no need for a usurp. Like Iri suggested it’d be more difficult (it can be done, but requires sysadmin supervision.) Just make sure to clearly link the two accounts and the original RfA in the log entry and it’s fine. TonyBallioni (talk) 11:37, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it's doable now. There was a software update a few months ago and developer supervision is no longer required for any renames (see [1] and global-renamer list, and example rename of >200,000 edits on dewiki [2] which went through within the same time as all the user's other local accounts even with zero edits). @JamesBWatson:, let us know if you want the rename route as xaosflux suggests. Maxim(talk) 11:38, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent: I was trying to find the tech news on this, but the links Maxim provided are fine. This isn't a very complicated one (say an account with 100's of thousands accounts on hundreds of projects or anything like that) - and the rename limit was relaxed. You are right that it used to be prohibitive. — xaosflux Talk 11:49, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Oh nice. I thought 100K was still our “ask for help” limit. Good to know. TonyBallioni (talk) 12:09, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I've done this kind of renames quite a few times as a S and happy to help you if you are fine to process this way. — regards, Revi 12:02, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, willing to process as well. Looks fine as a self-usurp. –xenotalk 12:11, 19 September 2019 (UTC)


If the rename method is doable then I would much prefer that. The only reason I asked for the other method is that I thought my account couldn't be renamed because of the number of edits. User:JBW (usurped) already exists, but something like User:JBW (old) should be OK. Just one more question. Does anyone know whether I can do the rename myself (I am a global renamer) or is renaming one's own account impossible? No problem with someone else doing it if necessary, but if I can do it myself I may as well. JamesBWatson (talk) 12:14, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
It should probably work. I'd say give it a try. There are two renamers and steward willing to do this, so there really should be no questions about impropriety. Maxim(talk) 12:17, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
You will be logged out (and cannot login) while your remames are being processed. Just note this. I think nobody has tried self-renaming. — regards, Revi 12:26, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
OK, then maybe I was the first to try it. The answer is that the "Rename global user" comes up with a big red message saying "You cannot rename yourself". I have renamed JBW to JBW1, so that's no problem. -revi or xeno or someone, can you rename JamesBWatson to JBW for me? Being logged out is no problem, because I am out of time now, and need to go off and do other things. JamesBWatson (talk) 12:45, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Gonna do it. — regards, Revi 12:48, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Renames are complete and you should be able to log in. I think you can take care of the part 3, so leaving it to you. — regards, Revi 13:07, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
That's great, -revi. Thanks. And thanks to everyone else who provided information or advice above. JBW (talk) Formerly known as JamesBWatson 13:23, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I quite liked your old name ;-) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:49, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Boing!: Oh dear. You are the second person to tell me that since the renaming. If I'm going to disappoint all my fans then maybe I'll have to ask REVI to change it back. JBW (talk) Formerly known as JamesBWatson 19:25, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I for one don't care about pseudonymous user names, even if they look like real names. But I understand your reasons for changing it. Reyk YO! 11:58, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
We'll just have to get used to it :) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrators participating in RfAs following desysoppingsEdit

Forgive me for raising this ahead of time, but the thought occurred to me (prompted by an arb saying explicitly that they intended to !vote in any such RfA) that in cases where arbitrators have voted to desysop an admin or (ahem) voted to maintain a 'desysop' (those following along will know what that means, but best to keep this general), is it left to individual arbitrators (indeed even ex-arbs) on whether to !vote in an RfA run by an editor who asks the community for the bit back, or is there some etiquette where this is best avoided? What I am trying to say is would bureaucrats discount such !votes or give them less weight? Would this apply more or less in cases where arbs were privileged by sight of off-wiki or private evidence? i.e. Should arbs be allowed to influence RfAs both by voting in a case and by !voting (or even just commenting) in an RfA? In some cases, I can see arguments for it being seen as arbs interfering. In other cases, there may genuinely be reasons arbs feel they need to speak up again at an RfA as well as at the case where the desyopping took place (in some cases, it is a support after some time has passed - but where the RfA takes places very soon after the desysopping, then it can become political if arbs are seen to be !voting to maintain the result of their recent vote in a case). If you want to leave this bridge until it actually needs to be crossed, that is fine, but I thought it worth raising as some of these issues may be coming your way soon. (I am sure someone has the time to find examples where arbitrators and ex-arbs, including me, !voted in an RfA following a previous desysopping by ArbCom where those arbs had voted on the desysopping). Carcharoth (talk) 03:09, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

  • If memory serves there was an incident in a RfA a few years ago where a (then ex) arbitrator caused a controversy by writing a long argument that was effectively an oppose but wasn't called such. Beyond that I don't think there are any special rules for arbitrators partaking in a RfA that I know of, but I am not a bureaucrat. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 05:53, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I feel like this is starting to get into WP:CREEP. --Rschen7754 06:42, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I stand behind this opinion. I don't see this as any different than someone who was desysopped for private and offwiki reasons. And besides, if it is anything like Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Floquenbeam 2, even if every arbitrator votes oppose it will be 10 opposes which will be a drop in the bucket compared to all the other votes. --Rschen7754 06:56, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I seem to recall generally supporting those who are willing to try for another RfA after an desysop by Arbcom - it goes with my thought process that adminship should be easy to give and remove, and if the individual has moved on, then I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. In this particular case, obviously I would be an extremely inappropriate 'crat to close an RfA and wouldn't touch that with a bargepole, but being able to make a statement on whether I think Fram is fit to be an administrator - as a community member? I would expect to be able to. I don't honestly know how I would vote at the moment, and I'm not sure I would vote - but I don't like the idea of having that choice taken away from me. WormTT(talk) 08:12, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not aware of any relevant policy or consensus prohibiting Arbs from !voting and as a Crat am well trained to follow policy and consensus. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 09:56, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    Is that the five day training course they send you on before appointing you as crat? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:03, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    In modern organisations, only 10% of training is given using such methods and in actuality, 70% of training comes "on the job" and Dweller has been on this job for quite some time. The Rambling Man (Staying alive since 2005!) 12:16, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • TBH, I'm in the same boat as Dweller in that it is likely not against any policy or even guideline; perhaps there's not even an essay about it. Still, to be perfectly blunt, I would consider it VERY poor form, and it would likely influence any of my future voting for that individual Arb. Just IMO. — Ched (talk) 10:33, 20 September 2019 (UTC) (edit:) I'll add that goes for both situations; supporting or opposing - I strongly feel that anyone promoted to sit in judgement should not be involved in the individual RfA, even as far as a strong comment. — Ched (talk) 10:35, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't see any policy based reason that would preclude a member or former member of the arbitration committee from participating in an RfA discussion, even if the administrator candidate was a party to a case they voted in. I certainly wouldn't see cause to exclude only committee members that voted for or against specific remedies. Likewise, other parties to a case involving the candidate wouldn't be summarily barred. I may give less weight to !votes where the only reasoning was something like "Oppose - because I know a secret that I can't talk about" - as its value in contributing to the consensus measuring exercise that is an RfA is weaker. — xaosflux Talk 10:41, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Arbitrators have in the past fairly routinely supported and opposed admin candidates who ran again after desysop by ArbCom (or resignation during pending Arb requests) where the candidates ran some time subsequent to the desysop. In that context, the arbitrators tend to be offering opinions on whether the concerns that resulted in the desysop has been addressed. I am not aware that there has ever been a candidate who ran immediately after a desyop by ArbCom, effectively to test whether the ArbCom remedy had the support of the community. That does change the picture somewhat, but I can't see a policy basis for discounting Arbitrators' votes - it is a matter for them whether they think the community would expect them to steer clear in the circumstances. Echoing Xaosflux, were I still a bureaucrat, I would be minded to treat with skepticism opposition by anyone on the basis of secret evidence that won't be shared and the candidate has had no opportunity to address. I have to say that were I an Arbitrator and someone I voted to desysop immediately ran a successful RfA afterwards, I would feel obliged to resign - but that will be a matter for individual Arbitrators if we end up in that territory. WJBscribe (talk) 10:51, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Obviously there's no policy or guideline that forbids it, but on the other hand I'm pretty sure we're in undiscovered territory here. It would appear to be a unique situation where an ex-admin who was desysopped on the basis on private (but on-wiki) evidence ran an RfA, and I can see issues with any Arb voting against them but declining, for obvious reasons, to show the diffs on which they based their decision. The other issue here is that even bureaucrats can't see that evidence, and would therefore be hamstrung on whether to give such a vote any weight. Black Kite (talk) 11:54, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't know if this is the episode referred to by Jo-Jo Eumerus above, but i do recall it happening and, going back, i still find the undeclared oppose rather shocking. That being said, the arbiter in question was called out several times by other editors, which leads me to believe that as a community we are sufficiently intelligent to generally sort through chaff and bran to find the grain ~ in particular, the bureaucrats whom we trust to do so in this arena do so well and properly. Which is really just a way of saying that should the hypothetical proposed turn into reality, i for one trust that the 'crats will work out what to do without having to have it all laid out beforehand. Happy days, LindsayHello 12:04, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Thank you. I had forgotten or was not aware of that (it is on the RfA talk page). That is the same arbitrator (courtesy ping) who has been saying during the case that "I would believe him and vote for him" (6 September) changing to "I will likely vote oppose at a future RfA" (16 September). I am sure I was not the only one that was uncomfortable to see potential future RfA !votes being used in that fashion during an arbitration case by an arbitrator who was tasked with fairly deciding on a desysopping remedy, but appeared instead to be wanting to express his opinion in an RfA and trying to push the case result that way. I hope that makes it clearer why I am concerned about the potential for any future RfA to be derailed by arbitrators. Carcharoth (talk) 12:46, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with Ched, and if I were an Arb I'd feel ethically bound to sit out an RfA for Fram in these circumstances. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:52, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I had intended to get involved by asking Fram some questions and then voting either support or oppose depending on Fram's responses. However, as there is a feeling that such an approach from an Arb who had voted to desysop would be inappropriate, and that I had previously got involved in an RfA for someone I have voted to desysop, which proved controversial enough that it prompted changes to the layout at RfA so that general comments now come at the end, I will not be getting involved in Fram's RfA. SilkTork (talk) 17:30, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Just adding my opinion that all sitting arbs should recuse themselves from a Fram resysoping RfA, and naturally lest we forget, any WMF staff members of involved departments, even if using their non-staff en.Wiki accounts Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:29, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • My feelings are the exact those of Ched and Kudpung - Common sense really would say "It's probably best I don't !vote here given I've already !voted to support their desysop" however there is no policy or guideline that forbids it, I just hope for the sake of keeping the peace and making it less-dramatic as poosible Arbs/WMF don't participate it in but like I said nothing forbids it. –Davey2010Talk 08:45, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Consideration of a secret T&S dossier at RfAEdit

As the arb case stands right now, Fram isn't going to get resysoped at the conclusion. For the outcome to change, two arbitrators would need to switch votes and from an outsider's perspective it looks unlikely for it to happen. If Fram were to run to RfA, how would we consider opposes based on this T&S dossier? If we look at proposed FoF #15, it would appear that this dossier is a major consideration for proposed remedy #2d. If memory of previous similar cases serves me right, a healthy percentage of opposes would probably just cite the arbitration case. We would have no coherent sequence of diffs to work with. Another thought... if there is an RfA and goes into the discretionary zone, what's the bar for recusal? It seems that most active crats have commented at length in the case (requests)/WP:FRAM/used tools. Frankly I dont think it's difficult to figure out what most of us think of the whole matter... Maxim(talk) 12:58, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

As a head's up, there is a non-trancluded RfA already created (not ready yet, as far as I can tell, see creator's talk page) and being !voted on... Good point about how impartial bureaucrats can be. Hope that can be resolved somehow. Carcharoth (talk) 13:00, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Maxim: I commented above regarding how I may weigh opposes based solely on the participant knowing a secret. As far as participants citing the conclusions of functionaries with access to NDA'd information in their rationales, I think I'd give them the same sort of weight that I usually would give to other such NDA information (i.e. the conclusions of checkusers or oversighters) - even the weight that we may give participants that cite the conclusions of administrators' reviews of traditionally deleted contributions. As far as recusals go, the only bright-line rule traditionally observed is participation in the RfA. I certainly could see a call to recuse if a 'crat were recently and directly involved as a party to any escalated dispute resolution with the candidate. I don't see merely discussing a dispute to require recusing. In general, I trust that our 'crats will self-identify if they have a conflict of interest, and engage in discussion should someone else perceive such a conflict (see Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Floquenbeam_2/Bureaucrat_chat#Additional_recusals for a recent example). — xaosflux Talk 13:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Typical NDA-ed information is private and almost always inaccessible by the peasants whereas this part. case explicitly covers information, all of which is public. This ought to be a basic reasoning line, (irrespective of wherever you find yourself ultimately) and that's missing in your analysis. WBGconverse 14:59, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
The difference is that both checkuser and oversighted information is available to other checkusers and oversighters, so even if they can't discuss the information itself, they can contradict someone using that information incorrectly. Here, we have "something I've seen but I can't say what it is", which is effectively impossible to confirm or contradict. Black Kite (talk) 19:27, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
As regards bureaucrat recusal, the rule of necessity might have to be invoked. Probably deserves a separate subheading. –xenotalk 15:38, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Some of the much less active 'crats might not have made any posts in re Fram. Whether they would be more impartial is less clear. UninvitedCompany 19:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
If there's no crat who's considered neutral so it can't be performed locally, then presumably the technical responsibility for flipping the bit will default to someone on this list. The level of irony would probably exceed Wikipedia's quota for the next three years. (In all seriousness, in the unlikely event that this does end up in the discretionary zone and every current crat is considered as being unable to close it, this might be one of the rare situations where Jimmy dusting off the Founder bit might make sense.) ‑ Iridescent 19:35, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent: it would fall to stewards well before employees were engaged, as they take care of administrator promotions in the case where local communities are unable to (though they may kick it back and tell us to elect more bureaucrats first!) — xaosflux Talk 19:44, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
And as UC alludes, we have 'crats who have been practically or actually inactive for the last several months that could be tapped. — xaosflux Talk 19:46, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe I've made any statements regarding Fram. Useight (talk) 19:38, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

I am looking for several Bureaucrats who would be willing to read/comment on a paper about Wikipedia RfAsEdit

The paper describes an ML algorithm that (over 1K RfAs) predicts RfA outcome 98% of the time, even though the admin vote supports ~ 66% of the candidates. I am submitting the paper and wish to find Buureacrats willing to review the paper for the journal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8805:1500:3A60:F9CB:3239:1322:A06D (talk) 19:06, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm not a crat, but I'd be interested to read the paper. -- RoySmith (talk) 19:42, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please give some more information - who is doing this research? Are we just proof-readers or is there a "survey" or other such information-gathering? I can totally understand a willingness towards some level of privacy, but even going so far as to create an account would be helpful if only for interaction sake (sending of emails etc). Primefac (talk) 19:43, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

I'd read it. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 21:01, 21 September 2019 (UTC)