Arbitration Committee election 2018
A total of 2,209 users voted for the 13 candidates in the running. Of these, 91 were discarded because the voter had voted twice, and 13 were struck. The full list of voters was published at List votes: 2018 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee election. The results were announced on 14 December, with Mkdw, GorillaWarfare, AGK, SilkTork, Joe Roe, and Courcelles being elected for a 2-year term. At this year's election the number of committee positions is reduced from 15 to 13 members. Full details of the election results are here.
Community wish list results
As reported in last month's issue of The Signpost in Special Report, the WMF's wish list poll for software development closed on 30 November. The results were announced on 4 December with a total 7,282 support votes recorded for the 212 proposals. Leading the poll in the top position with 157 votes was the request by the New Page Reviewers with a proposal by Insertcleverphrasehere for 19 urgently needed open Phabricator tickets to be addressed. A fairly close second with 130 votes was the request for work on five open Phabricator tickets was the proposal by Premeditated Chaos for 'Some kind of toggleable dark or night-mode like YouTube or TV Tropes', because: "Wikipedia skins are very bright, and at night they can be hard on the eyes."
The rationale for the improvement to the suite of New Page Curation tools was: "New Page Review is a key process on Wikipedia, and the only firewall that prevents inappropriate new pages being added to the Encyclopedia. However, there are many longstanding issues with the Page Curation tools and the New Pages feed which inhibit efficiency and cause problems to be overlooked. Aside from a few additions made when the Growth Team added Articles for Creation (AfC) drafts to the New Page Feed last year, the tools haven't been supported for many years and the list of proposed developments is long. These include bugs, features never implemented, and suggested improvements which have been left unaddressed. While a few requests for improvement of the tools used by New Page Reviewers can be addressed by on-wiki customisation by volunteers, most others are part of the Mediawiki software and require the intervention of the WMF developers."
The full list of results is at m:Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Results.
- New administrators: The Signpost welcomes the English Wikipedia's newest administrator, Galobtter, who obtained the suite of admin tools at their RfA with 208/46/12 (82%) in yet another contentious RfA that incited much discussion in the comments section – reinforcing the new trend. With three admins nominating, over 70 of the 208 supporters were admins. Among the 46 voters opposing were 6 admins. The oppose rationales included claims that the candidate's edit count was 'only' 25,000 with 'only' 8,000 to mainspace, and relatively short tenure. One support and one oppose both from the same sock farm, were struck. This makes a total of 10 new admins for 2018 – less than half the number for the previous year, demonstrating again RfA's inverse Moore's law.
- Emergency desysopping: The level 1 desysopping procedures for compromised accounts were effected on the accounts of Orangemike, Killiondude, Garzo, and Esanchez7587 precipitating a discussion that is taking place at the Village Pump on a proposal to tighten up the admin inactivity procedure with suggestions for mandatory two factor authentication (2FA) for admins. Following satisfactory explanations, the tools were restored to the accounts Orangemike and Killiondude while Garzo and Esanchez7587 are users whose accounts have been dormant for many years.
- Retired admins: Six admins were desysopped on 1 December under the inactivity policy. One further admin voluntarily retired their tools for personal reasons and inactivity.
- WMF staff reshuffle: Maggie Dennis is "...excited that we have located a new chief [of Community Engagement (CE)], who will join us in January 2019, whereupon I will transition to the role of Vice President of Support and Services. CE is a Wikimedia Foundation staff department of over 40 people focused on the goal of increasing the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of free knowledge by supporting people and organizations aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation mission. We support contributors by representing them in the development of new technical tools."