Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-07-31/Discussion report

New proposals in aftermath of Fram ban: Resysop requests on the ’crat board prove controversial; plus, aftermath of Framgate.

Fram aftermath

In June, when the Fram drama was at its peak, three editors with advanced permissions reverted office actions as a result of community discussions concluding that the Fram ban as it was carried out by the Foundation was improper. The first revert was by Floquenbeam, who unblocked Fram. The WMFOffice role account then reblocked Fram and desysopped Floquenbeam, and posted a message stating that both actions were office actions. Following this, Bishonen unblocked Fram again and bureaucrat WJBScribe restored Fram's sysop flag. (Neither unblock technically affected the ban; even though they had been unblocked, if Fram were to edit, they would have been globally locked. After Fram accidentally made an edit on the English Wikipedia, which they quickly self-reverted, they requested a reblock on EnWP in order to prevent a global lock.) The WMF did not revert either of these actions. Not too long after, WJBScribe resigned the crat tools, and WJBScribe and Floquenbeam requested to be desysopped. These actions resulted in an RfC asking whether WJBScribe and Floquenbeam's actions would be considered "under a cloud". (If this were the case, a new RfA/RfB would be required if they wanted to regain their tools; otherwise, they could just request them back at WP:BN.) While the RfC has not yet been closed, it is likely to conclude that neither action prior to resignation was "under a cloud". However, Floquenbeam has voluntarily run a reconfirmation request for adminship. Voting on the RfA ended on July 29 with 73.6% support; a bureaucrat chat is currently underway.

Following the Wikimedia Foundation's ban on Fram but before the release of the statement from the board, the message box at the top of Wikipedia's page on office actions was changed from "policy" to "information page". A talk page discussion followed about whether it should continue to be listed as an English Wikipedia policy, have some sort of box indicating that it's not a local policy but it is a global one, or redirect it to the global policy page on Meta. Around this time, it was pointed out that in 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation had overwritten the page to more closely resemble the Meta version of the page. One month and several infopage box variants later, consensus was reached that the page should be demoted to an information page. Following the close, the page was converted into a summary of the global policy, featuring historical background and a link to the full policy on Meta.

Resysop debate continues

Wikipedians have continued to discuss changes to Wikipedia's policy on restoration of administrator privileges (resysops), following contentious resysop requests by users who had been largely inactive for the last several years (one admin who requested a resysop hadn't edited in the last two years and had made fewer than 30 edits in the last decade). TonyBallioni started the first phase of the RfC, which asks for the community's general opinion on whether the resysop policy should be stricter, looser, or stay more or less the same. A later RfC may be set up to examine specific proposals, depending on how this one goes.

Controversial close for azwiki admin case

Last issue, we reported on a proposal to desysop all the admins on the Azerbaijani Wikipedia. On July 3, the RfC on Meta was closed by steward Mardetanha with the following statement (typos have been corrected):

After some discussion with fellow stewards, I am closing this RFC. There is mild support to desysop all admins on azwiki, but from what we see it is not going to fix the problem, as some of the admins have been chosen recently, and one has been reelected during this RFC. Desysopping all of them is not going to do any good to the community, but we have to ask all azwiki admins to be more careful and make sure that they are following rules and guidelines and our norms. As a result of the RFC, one problematic admin [Cekli] has been desysopped, and if he wants to gain his access back, he has to go through another RFA, but to fix the problem and make azwiki better, I will be traveling to Azerbaijan this month (with WMF support) to help and discuss the issues in more detail, and we will try help azwiki admins to not repeat mistakes from the past. I am really hopeful azwiki admins have heard the concerns and will do their best to address them.

This close led to accusations of supervoting from several English Wikipedia editors, with several issues being raised with the close:

  • The closer erroneously claimed "mild support" when in fact there was near-unanimous support for a mass desysop, and then proceeded to ignore this clear consensus because "it is not going to fix the problem".
  • The closer may have a conflict of interest, because he is receiving support from the WMF to travel to Azerbaijan to have an off-wiki meeting with some of the admins, and because he says he is friends with many azwiki editors.
  • The nature of this meeting is a step in the wrong direction, with much of the Wikimedia community saying that more on-wiki accountability is needed, rather than conducting business through third-party messaging platforms such as Facebook.
  • The closer has refused to respond to serious complaints regarding the close.

Proposals have been considered to overturn this close, but none have been officially made as of press time.