A sad milestone for English Wikipedia
- For deeper background, see "Administrator cadre continues to contract" from the July issue, or other items in the Reforming RfA series.
This December, for the first time since the list was established in its current form in 2014, the tally of active administrators has been under 500 for the entire month. It does not appear likely to rise above 500 again, unless there is a major change in trend.
|“||I see two trends here, a very longstanding one that those who pass usually do so uncontentiously, and a newish one that unanimous RFAs are now rare. The community is rarely ambiguous at RFA, this year two out of twenty two successful RFAs were so close as to involve cratchats, whilst 12 ended with fewer than 10 opposes. RFA is almost like an inverted bell curve, with most results being very clear rejections or very clear passes and very few being borderline. That's why the lowering of the discretionary band has had little effect, there just aren't many RFAs where the community is undecided or close to being undecided. The newer trend is that unanimous passes are now a thing of the past. There have been none in the last two years and only three in the previous three years. By contrast in 2014 nearly half (10 of 22) of all the successful RFAs were unanimous passes. I'm pretty sure that the older trend, that those who pass usually do so with little or no opposition, is partly down to RFA's reputation, most successful candidates don't run until many months or years after they were first ready to be admins. The end of unanimity I believe to be down to a small number of individuals with particular non standard criteria such as "must have an FA or GA". RFA is a dynamic process, it doesn't have agreed criteria such as we have for Rollback, account creator or other individual tools. Sometimes an RFA !voter will come along with a new criterion such as "must not be a self nomination", "must have created new articles" or "must have a certain percentage of manual edits"; over a series of RFAs the new test usually fades away, sometimes after a phase as part of our default expectation, sometimes as a test that never attracts more than one or two adherents. So the odd thing about the last few years is that we no longer have unanimous RFAs, not that most successful RFAs are almost unanimous.||”|
Turkish Wikipedia block lifted
Just before we went to press, the Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled the block of Wikipedia in Turkey invalid. We will have to cover the full implications of this in more detail in a future issue. Suffice to say that we (Wikipedians) think that it is important for people to be able to access our content, and the fact that a national court agreed is significant. To our knowledge, this is the first time any court has found there exists a constitutional right to read Wikipedia specifically.
- New language: Sakizaya Wikipedia (szy.wikipedia.org) launched in November. The Sakizaya people are one of sixteen Taiwanese tribes recognized by the Council of Indigenous Peoples. One of the prerequisites for the new wiki was the January registration of an ISO 639-3 language code for Sakizaya by SIL International.
- The Signpost welcomes the English Wikipedia's newest administrators, Dreamy Jazz (December 2); and Rosguill and Newslinger (December 23). All had approvals above 90%. Adminship was procedurally restored to Spartaz, Deor, and Xeno (a bureaucrat). This year saw a total of 22 new sysops by RfA compared to only 10 in 2018. 22 new sysops in one year is below replacement levels, but the highest annual total since 2014.
- Angusmclellan passed away in November. He is missed.
- Edgar181 was desysoped by Committee motion. clpo13 and Athaenara both requested the voluntary removal of their admin rights while NCurse and Matthewedwards were dysysopped under inactivity rules in December.
- Article milestone: The English Wikipedia will reach six million articles by January 15, according to our estimate. Previous milestones were noted in last month's news and notes.
- Wikispecies milestone: In early December, Wikispecies exceeded 700,000 articles. Good work: its editors created the last 100,000 pages during about 13.5 months.
- Probably for the first time since 2005, see User:Widefox/editors
- meta:Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Sakizaya