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History section

I have restored to the "history" section content removed here as "unsolicited opinion that deviates from Jimmy Wales' tenet". The section is about the history of the adminship role, not about Jimmy's tenet. The history of adminship did not stop in February 2003. :) Always open for discussion. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Quite happy to agree. The "tenet" may have been true at the time, but at present it seems to me to be a misunderstanding of the nature of rank. Owning a gun may not be a big deal in some societies - unless you don't have one yourself, are occasionally confronted by those who do, and may be required to jump through difficult hoops to get one. Ben MacDui 13:38, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I have reverted Elonka's addition of refs to ArbCom cases. ArbCom should be enforcing policy, not defining it. Putting links to ArbCom cases in policy implies that policy is defined by ArbCom rulings. --Surturz (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
There's the possibility of confusion there. However, a case could be made that Arbcom rulings are effectively Case law on Wikipedia. Personally I don't think that actually captures it, though; the place to see the ongoing community rejection of WP:NOBIGDEAL is not at WP:RFAr, but WP:RFA. causa sui (talk) 23:54, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Since ArbCom is the body tasked with removing problematic administrators what they have to say regarding administrator conduct has teeth. There are also plenty of policies which link to or quote ArbCom decisions for illustration purposes. Hut 8.5 21:33, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Put another way, when I added the text we are talking about back in July, I had WP:RFA in mind, not WP:RFAr. causa sui (talk) 22:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Administrators open to recall

Was there ever any administrator actually recalled via the, "Administrators open to recall" process? It seemed to me on first read, that such processes are actually iron clad against the possibility of an actual recall. Unless circumstances are such that the community would take the bit away anyway because the uproar is so great.

So is there a list of any past successful recalls and the criteria which was used? Hobartimus (talk) 20:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrators open to recall/Past requests--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, that list is really helpful, it seems people really do use widely differing criteria for a recall. Hobartimus (talk) 21:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

When can an administrator become involved?

"... an administrator who has interacted with an editor or topic area purely in an administrative role... is not involved and is not prevented from acting in an administrative capacity in relation to that editor or topic area"

It seems that disruptive users often pull out WP:INVOLVED concerning any admin who has interacted with them. When does discussion with a user, and urging to follow wikipedia policies, make an admin involved? What if an admin takes incorrect administrative actions? For example, if an admin A has had blocks of user U overturned, is there any point where A can be viewed as having a conflict of interest or considered involved with regard to U? Would the admin be prevented from administrating? Gimmetoo (talk) 21:19, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

For how long is one elected an admin

Hi, I have just a question. For how long is one elected an admin: for a certain period of time or "for ever"? --vacio 10:14, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Adminship doesn't expire, it's more like a driving licence than an elected position. There are ways to remove adminship though. Hut 8.5 10:55, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
End time comes to mind ;-) Also note that in many countries driving licenses do expire. Apparently, I will lose the right to steer 12 ton trucks in 2017 (which is fine, since I only got it by some strange remixing of German and European vehicle categories to begin with). However, I will still be allowed to drive a 2.5 ton limousine into a group of innocent school children when I'm 120... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:04, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Oke, I see it now, thanks! --vacio 11:30, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
LOL .. Stephan and Hut .. you guys are funny. I always thought it was more of this kind of license. :-) ...
Vacio, until recently when an editor was granted the admin. rights, it was pretty much considered for life. (short of making a major screw-up). A few months ago it was decided that if an administrator was inactive for more than a year, then that account had the rights removed. If however, that person came back, then they could request the extra tools be returned. Now if an administrator shows some really bad judgment, then sometimes people go to what we call the Arbitration Committee, where a group of elected folks can decide that the administrator has messed up so bad that the extra tools are taken away from them. Hope that helps. — Ched :  ?  13:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Until the heat death of the universe, assuming Wikipedia goes off-planet in time. Jehochman Talk 14:11, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, is there a stat anywhere that shows the average duration of admins' tenures? Ben MacDui 14:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if there is a published statistics on this. But, overall, very few Admins are resigned, and very few resign voluntarily. I think the most frequent case is that they just slowly petter out, but still keep the tools. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:25, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Administrators#Review and removal of adminship. There have been a few admins who voluntarily requested that their admin rights be revoked. Some of those later applied for them to be restored. I know of no list of those: but I do know that in order for the rights to be restored, some of them had to go through WP:RFA just like anybody who had never been an admin. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:36, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
And we now have a procedure for dealing with inactive administrators although I don't have the link handy. Dougweller (talk) 15:52, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Administrators#Procedural removal for inactive administrators. Re Stephan Schulz's comment, I agree, but given the relatively short time the 'pedia has existed and the rate of attrition I'd guess that 3 years or so might be the average. Ben MacDui 16:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
────────────────────── The link Dougweller mentioned is Wikipedia:Inactive administrators. It Is Me Here t / c 12:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

How do I add another Chris Marsden

Hi there!

Currently there is only one Chris Marsden and he is a footballer.....I on the other hand am I successful radio and TV voiceover artist and broadcaster!

How does one get my info placed upon the World of Wiki?

I am mentioned on the Famous people of Worksop page, but then it directs people to the footballer? I don't want to edit his page, but to add my own!

Prey tell, as it looks all a bit too much for me?


Chris — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chris Marsden (talkcontribs) 20:05, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I see that you posted an identical question at Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests#Biography question. Per WP:MULTI and the notice at the top of this page ("This talk page is not the place to post questions for or ask for help from administrators"), I think all the discussion should be on that page, not here. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:11, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


Do administrators get paid a salary?Theanonymous3 (talk) 16:46, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

No. They contribute to Wikipedia just as any other user. --vacio 18:23, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
No salary. We're all volunteers.--Aervanath (talk) 19:37, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Could be an April Fool's RfC... Ben MacDui 19:48, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Mmm, I guess that some places out east have already ticked over into 1 April. Right here in the UK though, it's now 21:03 31 March. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:03, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Use of {{uninvolved}} for ITNR discussions

I have just made some proposals at Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items to require admin closure of discussions that are not clear-cut. In view of the comparative lack of activity required a separate category of discussions requiring adjudication seems inappropriate - we are only talking about one or two discussions a month. I've therefore suggested we use {{uninvolved}} instead. If you foresee any problems or issues with that please comment there to avoid fragmenting the discussion, although it may be useful context to note if you arrived there from here. Crispmuncher (talk) 17:02, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Jim Hardie

Can we please have action regarding Jim Hardie who is a blatant sockpuppet of BlackJack. Evidence - Jim Hardie has made over a hundred edits to pre=1800 cricket since 18th Feb whem user BlackJack 'retired'. No other editor has made these type of edits except Blackjack - these being tidying of references etc. He has attacked the entries of another editor using the same language, the same phrases, the same inside knowledge that was used when BlackJack was previously identified as an aggressive sockpuppet some time ago. He has used 'pretend' conversations between himself and Blackjack in a manner seen previously when he was using BartMaverick, Orrelly Man, JamesJJames sockpuppets. To summarise - Hardie has been active since Blackjack went silent - he edits the same esoteric edits using the same turns of phrase - attacks other editors in the same manner and has used similar expresions found on the BlackJack Midnight Rambler and Stumpsite website. Jim Hardie is blackjack. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 16 April 2012 (UTC) Please note the attack made (filed under the old sockpuppet investigation) on Cricket the Golden Age by BJ and the one on Cricket 194044 by JM. It;'s as plain as when you see that.

This should be taken to WP:SPI, not here.--Aervanath (talk) 07:04, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia administrators have protected articles which are clearly vandalized. What to do when the administrators themselves are vandalizing an article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Post at WP:ANI. Aervanath (talk) 18:48, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Rfc potentially affecting this policy

Please note that there is an ongoing Rfc which could affect the contents of this policy. The Rfc is located at: Template talk:Non-administrator observation#What to do with this template.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 16:05, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Discussion to clarify the requirement to declare involvement after off-wiki canvassing

Please see the discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive234#Requirement for declaring an interest after off-wiki canvassing with regard to how those with trusted tools may be required to make an open declaration of being involved if taking any action relating to that prior canvassing. Thanks -- (talk) 14:38, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Technical detail

Just for technical correctness, about this addition: is it in fact true that admins can move a page over a redirect with history? I thought the existing page (whether it's a redirect with history, or a non-redirect) first had to be deleted - the admin's enhanced ability to perform moves is only a derivative of their ability to perform deletions. Am I right? Victor Yus (talk) 07:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

When you go for the "Move" tab, the form initially has three checkboxes:
Move associated talk page
Leave a redirect behind
Watch source page and target page
If you attempt to move the page over a page with history (whether it's currently a redirect or not), upon clicking Move page, you get a warning message:
You also get a fourth checkbox:
Yes, delete the page
aand the button changes to Delete and move.
Here is an example of where I moved a page over a redirect with history in the above manner. The bottom entry - the G6 deletion - was not done as a separate operation, but as an automatic part of the page move process once I had clicked Delete and move. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:40, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I think that's clear. I'll try to edit the page again so as not to mislead. Victor Yus (talk) 17:47, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

User inquiry

Is that guy Felix Stember an administrator on the English Wikipedia? Fuß C-18 (talk) 12:05, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

No, he is not: Special:UserRights/Felix_Stember.Aervanath (talk) 12:11, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
He's got 3 edits in 2012 so far, the most recent in April. Is there something we can help you with? UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 13:42, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
When editing this page, at the top, it clearly says "PLEASE NOTE: This talk page is not the place to post questions for or ask for help from administrators. For questions, go to Wikipedia:Questions." Therefore, shouldn't this discussion be moved accordingly, and amended so that the user name is not placed in the header? Ncmvocalist (talk) 06:06, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I've refactored the heading. The user making the request cross posted it pretty much everywhere, to similar response. I asked for more info and got nothing, so we're done here I think. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 03:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Edit to transcluded page

I just edited Wikipedia:Administrators/Misuse of tools section, which shows up on this page via transclusion. Please review if you want. Victor Yus (talk) 11:55, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

"including long term experienced editors"

Are these words necessary (in the first bullet point in the intro)? Doesn't "user accounts and IP addresses" cover all cases, long-term and experienced or otherwise? Victor Yus (talk) 12:03, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes of course they do, but this is the key and most controversial aspect of the powers given to administrators. It needs to be explicitly stated, and not tucked away as a logical inference one could make if one happens to think of it. --Epipelagic (talk) 12:06, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not convinced so many words are necessary (it ends up sounding a bit like axe-grinding). Maybe just "block any editor" would be enough? Victor Yus (talk) 12:28, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
No it would not. When you have been here longer yourself, you will start to see how serious the issues are with admins, sometimes little more than schoolboys or with almost no experience contributing content, blocking highly experienced content editors without even a minimal appreciation of the pressures that are (increasingly) on placed on them (often by admins). --Epipelagic (talk) 12:44, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
This bit doesn't belong in the lead. The bullet points in question are meant to be a simple, clear explanation of the main technical powers possessed by admins. The addition looks like simple axe-grinding. Hut 8.5 13:09, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Of course that bit belongs in the lead. How could you possibly think otherwise, unless you are trying to suppress the most salient and controversial technical power that is granted to admins? --Epipelagic (talk) 13:20, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we're trying to suppress it, it just ought to be clear from what's already said, and sounds odd to refer to it specifically. If you think there's a problem with admin behavior (which may well be the case), it won't be in any way solved by including these words in that place in the policy. Victor Yus (talk) 14:11, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not trying to suppress anything. Before you changed it the lead already said that administrators have the power to block user accounts. That's what the technical power is. It sounds as though you're trying to change this policy in order to reflect your own personal grievances with administrators. Hut 8.5 14:37, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
It does indeed, and I've reverted it per BRD. It's obvious that any editor, from 1 edit to 1 million edits, can be blocked. Dougweller (talk) 15:26, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Even Jimbo Wales can be blocked. But you better have a goshdarned good reason for doing so. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:31, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I haven't been involved in this discussion but looking at the recent history, from MF's last revert to the present, changes have been made to the policy, and they don't seem to be in line with what people think (based on my reading of the above dispute). For example, it used to say "block other editors" as the penultimate bullet point, and now it says "block user accounts and IP addresses from editing" as the first bullet point. I thought Doug was attempting to put the page back to the way it was. Perhaps I've misread the discussion.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:55, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry, probably I should have done that. Not doing it wasn't deliberate. But I'm tired and off to bed now and don't want to edit policyh tired! Dougweller (talk) 20:47, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I've fixed it and restored it back to before this discussion. Whether the policy should be changed and, if so, needs to reach a consensus here first. You can look at it again when you're refreshed.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:55, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • You haven't " restored it" to the original state of the article at all. This is outright suppression of the actual position --Epipelagic (talk) 22:57, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Do you always phrase your comments that way? Not particularly collaborative. Between June 14 and July 4, there were no edits to the policy. The first edits on July 4 canceled themselves out and had nothing to do with the discussion here, but were to another part of the policy. The first edit relevant to this discussion was Victor's. I restored the policy to before that edit. I think you should wait for Doug to return to see if that reflects what he wished to do (not to mention Hut), meaning there was no consensus for Victor's and subsequent changes.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Is there any objection to any of my changes other than the rephrasing of the point about blocking? If not (and I don't see any reason why there should be), then the changes can be restored, but with the blocking point put back to its previous wording. In fact I don't really like the way the lead is structured now, with the immediate bullet points; I would move these points to a section in the text and make the lead more like it was some time ago, just running text, including the admins' main tools as examples of their capabilities. Victor Yus (talk) 08:18, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
At this point I think we should start discussing your proposed changes rather than just replace them. I'm not objecting to them, just seeking consensus. And would you like to draft a version of your proposed lead (I should have looked to see why this was changed before writing this!). Dougweller (talk) 09:32, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

I think the lead in this version was closer to what we want. (I'm not saying we shouldn't have a bulleted list, just that it should be moved down into the text.) But I also think it's quite important to mention admins' conventional status, not purely as owners of accounts with certain technical abilities, but also as trusted assessors of discussion results. This might be a bit more fuzzy and in some ways controversial, but there's no denying that it's a significant element of the role that admins do play in our community. Victor Yus (talk) 07:09, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Let's discuss one thing at a time. I don't agree the lead in that version reflects the Community view; if anything, that version is misleading as administrators have the technical ability to block themselves too - not just "other editors" (even though WMF really should have prevented the ability to block one self long ago). Also, administrators have the ability to block IP users, even if edits have not been made by a particular person on a particular IP address. For example, a dynamic IP sometimes warrants a block on a particular range, but there can be collateral damage too, and some of the blocked persons cannot even yet be considered "editors" as such. Given the serious level of prevention/disruption that can be caused through this tool (as it directly affects contributors from contributing anywhere on the project rather than a particular page/discussion), it is considered among the more serious tools used by administrators. I don't see any reason why it should be downplayed and not listed as the first tool of a list. But in saying that, I also don't see what the statement "including long term experienced editors" adds overall as administrators have also been blocked for their conduct occasionally (which, unfortunately, ought not to be necessary). Ncmvocalist (talk) 10:49, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The issues you mention were largely dealt with by my edits of yesterday, which someone saw fit to reverse without explanation (ah, but such is life on any Wikipedia page with the misfortune to be marked as a "policy"). I'm not saying the version I mentioned is perfect, just that it's more the layout I would expect - a general introduction to the topic, not an immediate attempt to list in detail everything that admins can do. Victor Yus (talk) 11:19, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I think we're losing sight of what the lead is meant to do. It's supposed to be a short introduction to the position of administrator for a new editor who hasn't encountered it before. Items in the list of tools ought to be ranked according to how frequently people encounter them, not according to whether experienced editors think something is dangerous or controversial. The lead as written at the moment has several serious problems: pages can be protected for reasons other than preventing vandalism, pages other than articles can be protected, the explanation of moving pages to any title isn't very clear (and I don't think that this tool should have such a prominent position), and unblocking and unprotection are not listed even though undeletion is. I do think that blocking ought to be listed higher, not because it's considered especially important but because it's encountered frequently. Hut 8.5 13:32, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Again, all the errors you identified in the present lead were addressed by my edits of the day before yesterday. The only reason they are still there is because we have this moronic idea in our collective mind that if a page is marked "policy" or "guideline", then its wording is so sacred and perfect that any potential changes to it need to be discussed at great length, and are thus uncritically reverted if there's even a whiff of some disagreement about some aspect of them. Hence crap remains, even when someone's made the effort to eliminate it. Victor Yus (talk) 10:41, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Special situations

I'm not sure if anybody reads this talk page, but to whoever does: what are your views on this revert, the "AE actions" paragraph, and the closing paragraph (intended to explain why these seemingly arbitrary exceptions exist)? It is indisputable that AE actions are not open to immediate reversal, and are a special case, so I'm not sure why that was reverted. Nevertheless, I would be pleased to read proposals for better wording for the AE and closing paragraph. Thanks, AGK [•] 16:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I think the revert inadvisable, in that administrators will be held to AE expectations regardless of how (or that) they're discussed on the this page. Jclemens (talk) 16:50, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't object to the presence of the AE paragraph per se, I just think we need to work out a clearer way to word it before trying to add it here. The closing paragraph I don't think is helpful at all, but an alternative might be better. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

fewer people interested in adminship these days?

Back when I became admin in September 2005, getting the "mop" seemed to be the big thing. There were always several RfAs going on at once, and we were promoting one user to admin every day on average. The number of new admins peaked per year peaked at 408 for 2007. However, we've only gotten 20 new admins this year so far, and the RfA page is pretty empty most of the time. Is there any explanation for this? I understand that adminship is not a big deal, but the decline in users seeking adminship compared to the previous years is a bit shocking, to say the least. --Ixfd64 (talk) 19:37, 14 September 2012 (UTC) ─────────────────────────Ixfd64, how does one apply for adminship? I'm interested in doing so. MrsCaptcha (talk) 17:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

This is often discussed at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship. I suggest you examine the archives and make any further posts there. I haven't followed the discussions closely but I think a common argument is that expectations have become higher and RfA's have become more hostile so many editors refrain from requesting the mop. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:28, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense. I think another reason is that additional user rights (such as file mover and account creator) are making adminship unnecessary for many people, although I could be wrong. Still, it seems that many people aren't interested in adminship because there's too much politics. --Ixfd64 (talk) 17:15, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
From someone who recently went through the gauntlet, and a user w/file mover and account creator, it seems to me that the frequencies of new RfA's is proportional to the registered users activity level and the projects activity level as a whole which also makes me wonder if a future run would be worth it. Mlpearc (powwow) 17:34, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
At my RfA, several of the neutral/oppose votes were accompanied by comments along the lines of "you don't have very much XFD experience". Yet I have recently seen some non-admins being warned to stay away from XFD (and WP:PERM). It's like a closed shop: you can't get a job without a union card, but you can't get a union card unless you already have a job. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:44, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that does remind me of a few situations in life, like Credit.  . Mlpearc (powwow) 23:15, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean by "non-admins being warned to stay away from XFD". What XFD lacks mostly is not admins to close discussions but clueful participants in the discussions. Many discussions get relisted two or three times because of that. I recall it didn't used to be so bad some years ago. What I see instead today is a trend for some editors who participated only in a handful of AfDs to say in their RfA that they want to close AfDs, as if that's what that area is lacking. There is a flip-side to this, namely that editors associated with WP:ARS can be almost guaranteed to fail their RfA, even when their !voting record (which can run in the thousands of AfDs) actually matches pretty well the admin-judged consensus of how those discussions (in which they participated) got closed. That is a real problem, but identity politics are part of life so also a part of Wikipedia. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:38, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Tijfo has it pretty much right here ... there is actually a tool that if you plug in a username, it will search all AFD's and tell you a) what their vote was, and b) what the final result (so you can comapre how "right" they are in a way). AFD is not a vote, is a policy-based discussion. A potential admin who makes good policy-based arguments on a variety of AFD's is going to get full-credit for that. However, non-admin closes that don't meet policy, or should never have been attempted are what admin-wannabees are warned against (✉→BWilkins←✎) 15:58, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Dang, this page took a lot of formatting :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Justinwzig (talkcontribs) 02:24, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Restoration of the tools (proposal)

Because there are no more open proposals, I have closed this RfC with the following changes to policy:
  1. Any admin that voluntarily, involuntarily, or due to inactivity, had their bit removed must wait 24 hours upon requesting them back to allow for a thorough examination. Any discussion currently going on regarding resysopping of the editor in question must be concluded first before any action be made.
  2. If an editor has become inactive for 1 year and gets procedurally desysopped, the editor has two years to make an edit, and/or request the bit back, before they are required to go through a reconfirmation RfA. That means a total of 3 years of zero edits before a reconfirmation RfA is in order.
  3. Regardless of how the tools were removed, voluntary or involuntary, 3 continuous years of inactivity, which is absolutely zero edits in 3 years, a required to make a reconfirmation RfA mandatory, if a user wishes to request the tools back.
The following changes in the appropriate policy pages will be made to reflect this consensus.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 01:04, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Original proposal

After 7 days of no comments, I have carefully considered each comment.
  1. Some argue support for this because for admins that return after a year of being desysopped, too much has changed on Wikipedia for them to use the tools within policy.
  2. Some argue support because the judgement of an editor can change over a course of a year.
  3. Some argue support because if they want to have the bit back after an extended time after being desysopped, that they should seek reconfirmation because adminship is a privilege and not a right.
  4. Some argue oppose because admins are vetted in an RfA because of judgement and experience and that having to go through it again is wholly redundant.
  5. Some argue oppose on the mere fact that one year is too short to make it permanent.
  6. Some argue oppose because real life circumstances that forces them to become inactive.
As a result, I am hereby closing this original proposal as no consensus which is closer to the community opposing this than supporting this. This defaults to no change in policy.—cyberpower ChatOnline 14:19, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the removal of the admin userright for inactivity or by voluntary request be made permanent after 12 months? MBisanz talk 20:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Given recent discussion, I'm proposing the policy be changed in the manner shown in this diff. It will provide a one year period of time following the date of a voluntary or inactive desysop for the user to seek resysopping. After one year, it will become a permanent desysop and the user must seek approval at RFA. Prior to this proposal being made effective, all users at WP:FORMER who resigned or were removed for inactivity must be notified and given the opportunity to request restoration of the tools. MBisanz talk 20:16, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree that someone who hasn't edited for over a year probably (most likely) doesn't need to re-appear just to block someone, delete a page or protect one. I also believe that notification of the desysop should be through all available channels, i.e. talk page and email where applicable, and that it is communicated at least twice before desysop. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:30, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I thought emails were sent out already as part of the existing policy? Also, hmm, while I have no objections to the proposed change, I think this is a very significant change, and that we should look for wide community approval of it, as the RfC probably would have not passed had this provision been in there at the time, I would say. Snowolf How can I help? 20:44, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policy, guidelines and technology change. We don't vet admins for a "general aptitude" to be an admin; we vet them for specific knowledge of existing policies, guidelines and tools as demonstrated by their editing history and answers to questions. Somebody who has been away from WP for more than a year can reasonably be thought of as being no longer in touch with our current policies, conventions and technology (scripts, code, interface and so on). A new RFA would be in order. I would agree with more extensive notification before the desysop process, and perhaps an automated reminder toward the end of the one-year period. Churn and change (talk) 20:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I think this is too much of a reaction to one very specific case. Part of what I understood to be the expectation when I was resysopped after over 2 years was that I would re-read the policies and familiarize myself with any changes in convention or policy. Why not make that expectation spelled out clearly in the policy and leave the timeframe open to be decided on a case-by-case basis? Keilana|Parlez ici 21:00, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
What point in "spelling out clearly" what cannot be enforced? A new RFC enforces the "re-reading of policies and understanding of new conventions." There is the question of whether a returning sysop can indeed pick up the new way, since we don't vet sysops on general aptitude, but on specific knowledge and actions proving such knowledge. Churn and change (talk) 00:55, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I made a proposal a while back on a benchmark number of edits and actions combined an administrator should probably perform (I think I suggested 50 edits and actions combined). It was shot down based on our existing policy of 1 edit a year to show your activity is enough if you were competent to be administrator once before. I still disagree with that point, but that's what the previous majority felt was accurate. I would support inactive administrators having to go back through the process of gaining adminship again if they wanted it after two years of being away. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 22:21, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I think one year is short, and is too big a change from no limit for the first step, especially for some of the older users.
Suggest: Removal of the admin userright for inactivity or by voluntary request be made permanent when the account has been inactive for longer than it was active. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:54, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Time moves fast on the net, but a year is short enough that you can reasonably expect an admin to be fairly up to date. I'd start worrying after two years of inactivity, and would certainly think that four years is too long. — Coren (talk) 23:49, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Every time these sorts of discussions come up, someone notes that it will adversely affect those in the military who may be sent out of country. Or anyone else subject to other such real life considerations. So I would Oppose the current text. But I think I could support if it was: 2 years after the removal (which was done after 1 year of no edits whatsoever). So that's a total of 3 years of zero edits to the encyclopedia. I think that could could be seen as fair. I just am hesitant because I don't want this to be the slippery slope of "give them an inch..." : ) - jc37 00:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I agree to the principal here, and think 1+1 years is correct for those who have stopped editing totally, however not so sure about it working in all cases take as an example the case of an admin who gives up the admin bit NOT under a cloud for reasons unrelated to WP, as s/he feels for some reason they don't have the time to divot to admin duties however they continue to edit then 18 months later they feel they can step back up, they probably should be allowed. In summary how about something along the lines of "If at any time after the admin bit is removed the editor is absent (as defined by not making an edit) for a year or longer then the option to request reinstatement outside a RfA expires. Mtking (edits) 00:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Reading the posts on BN, it looks like one of the stumbling blocks is that 'crats haven't been given the authority to use their discretion; it's a simple "Is it the same guy/did he resign tools under a cloud", which provides little leeway. Maybe it's too much of a responsibility for an admittedly small group of editors, but can we just grant them the ability to use their discretion in these cases? More specifically, I'd propose that, a year after the inactivity-deadminning, 'crats are authorized to use their discretion on whether a former admin should have another run at RfA, and then past, say, two years, the reRfA becomes mandatory? Writ Keeper 01:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    While that doesn't sound awful on the surface, what happens if one bureaucrat says no, and another says yes? - jc37 01:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    I guess the same thing that happens anytime any other pair of editors disagree: they hash it out on the talk page. Or whatever happens when two 'crats disagree about the closure of an RfA (which I think is still talking about it on the talk page, right?). Still more lightweight than another RfA, which is kinda my idea. I mean, I guess we could put something to the effect of "x number of crats have to sign off on a reRfA demand", but given how small the group of 'crats are, and perhaps ironically given the name, that strikes me as a little unnecessarily bureaucratic. After all, this is probably going to remain an edge case. Writ Keeper 01:29, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    Well, atm (with the current situation in mind) apparently, once one flips the switch, it can't be unflipped. And if we suggest it can, then we would be starting the potential for bureaucrat wheel-warring. Unless there is a clear DR process for opposed flipping of the switch in such cases, I think that this has too much potential for contention and disruption. - jc37 21:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    I'd hope that we choose our 'crats better than that (and there's always Arbcom), but point taken. :) Writ Keeper 21:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Policy knowledge is not what is important in being a good administrator. What's important is judgement, and there's no reason to think that will change significantly while an editor is away from Wikipedia. Besides, I've observed multiple occasions where currently active admins were weak on specific nuances of policy; the solution is education, not removal of privilege. Nobody Ent 02:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment one of the issues involved here is that the longer an account is dormant, the greater the chance that someone will have been able to hack it. Administrator accounts are valuable and public, and this was part of the reason for removing inactive administrator accounts' privileges in the first place. Jclemens (talk) 02:39, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: I think allowing us to use our discretion in borderline cases per the suggestion by Writ Keeper would be good. When restrictions on doing something like this are too strict, it can result in situations such as the one which prompted this: while a strict interpretation of the policy requires that someone's bit be returned, taking into account something which wasn't necessarily directly related to the desysopping might cause a different decision to be made. I agree that an admin who has been gone for over a year (or maybe two) won't be up-to-speed on current policies and guidelines. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 05:41, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Soft oppose Unless the re-sysopping of such desysopped admins is through a simpler procedure or through an easier percentage requirement at an RfA, one should perhaps not make the desysopping permanent. That does not mean that we shouldn't do the necessary diligent checks on whether or not any recently active former administrator's account is compromised. Wifione Message 06:15, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support but if this fails, what if we set this at something ridiculous, like three years? That would be a net gain. I remember a while back an inactive admin trying to request sysop who was last active in 2002. --Rschen7754 08:57, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The administrator shouldn't lose their rights if they have a serious consideration in their life, such as death of a family member, or being sent to war. I think once an admin, always an admin. Vacation9 12:49, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for various reasons, but in particular per Nobody Ent. We should welcome back people with clue with open arms, not put them off returning. The problem currently at BN that prompted this is the continuing lack of clarity of "under a cloud", which this proposal does not address. --Dweller (talk) 13:28, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment under a cloud means different things to different people - to crats and admins it means "you weren't caught red-handed deleting the entire Wikipedia while strangling Jimbo's cat", to the rest of us something else. DuncanHill (talk) 13:44, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, largely per Nobody Ent. Good judgement is far more important than rote policy knowledge, and good judgement shouldn't be expected to expire. I would much rather deal with an administrator – or any editor – who knows when he is in over his head and seeks guidance, than an individual who has all the policy documents memorized and applies them blindly. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:47, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose admins are selected based on their ability to have good judgement. Not specifically on exact knowledge of every policy/guideline on the wiki. Good judgement can't be expected to expire. If we trusted them before we should still trust them to reread up on policies when they return if they need it. -DJSasso (talk) 13:53, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    Comment Good judgement requires a basis of sound knowledge. Without that basis, however decent or well-intentioned someone is, they will make egregious errors. DuncanHill (talk) 13:54, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    Right but if they have good judgement they will know to go and read up on any relevant policies before making a decision and will thus have the basis of sound knowledge. -DJSasso (talk) 14:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    Only if they know that they don't know something. Most people (and in my experience admins are remarkably like people in this matter) don't do that. DuncanHill (talk) 14:07, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    (ec) Fortunately, the basics of Wikipedia haven't changed much since it was founded. An administrator from five years ago would still know that he can block a vandalism-only account (and the definition of vandalism hasn't changed appreciably in that time), or delete on sight a newly-created article that just says Timmy Jones is teh gay.
    Granted, an admin from five years ago wouldn't know the ins and outs of closing, say, an AfD discussion; I imagine the templates and details of that process have undergone at least a couple of iterations of changes since then (though the essence and outcomes of the process aren't much different). To my mind, 'good judgement' doesn't mean that a long-absent admin would somehow magically know which templates and transclusions to use to close an AfD—rather, 'good judgement' means that that long-absent admin would know to participate in the process for a little while before closing anything, to read the closure instructions carefully, and to check out some other recently-closed AfDs before diving back in to do it himself. As I said in my original comment, it comes down to knowing what one doesn't know, and doing one's homework before one strays beyond the limits of that knowledge.
    Of course, we're dancing around the actual reason that you're here in this discussion (and that we're having this discussion right now). The 'crats have been uniformly unwilling to step beyond their community-imposed mandate, so that despite your vigorous lobbying at WP:BN, you haven't been able to secure from them a retroactively-applied finding of an "under a cloud" departure by Polarscribe. This proposed policy change would allow you to permanently desysop any past admin with whom you've had a dispute, without requiring any finding of wrongdoing and without requiring you to go through any sort of proper channels—albeit at the cost of throwing out every other good admin with the bathwater. In other words, you're not really concerned about a departed admin losing their good judgement during a protracted absence; this is about trying to eliminate admins you thought never had good judgement in the first place. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:31, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    I'm not sure that I ever did have a dispute with Polarscribe before. I was concerned that he was re-syssopped without crats being aware of the circumstances of his leaving - something I only looked into after the thread had been popping up on my watchlist for a couple of days. I'm not, despite your claim, out to de-sysop any admin with whom I've had a dispute - not even you, TOAT. DuncanHill (talk) 14:35, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, one expects that people coming back after many years would fresh up on policies, but that's so often not the case, as we've seen in the past and in more recent events. Snowolf How can I help? 14:02, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, I have objected to resop requests on the crat talkpage, users returning after three, four years and some with a degree of controversy in their history should not be able to return unquestionable to a position of authority here - requesting such returnees to ask the community if they still support them in such a position is a reasonable position. reasonable. - Youreallycan 15:09, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Are there specific examples of people requesting the tools back after years of absence, and then making a mess of it? If not, I don't quite see the practical necessity of considering the question.  Sandstein  15:58, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    • One springs to mind immediately - the admin was eventually banned. Not going to post his username as I understand ArbCom have good reasons for wanting it kept out of the public eye. DuncanHill (talk) 16:08, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    • My memory was slightly at fault, in that case the admin retired while blocked and then got the tools on a new account by asking the crats, so it wasn't an inactivity de-sysop (althought there was a significant period of inactivity). DuncanHill (talk) 16:25, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec) You might want to be a little more specific about how you define 'making a mess of it', because I suspect your broad phrasing is going to get a bunch of 'did something I disagreed with' or 'did something I can frame as a gotcha as long as nobody looks into details' anecdotes. Perhaps a better question would be—how many specific examples are there of admins resysopped after more than a year's absence who have been subsequently desysopped (or signficantly restricted in their tool use) by any Wikipedia process, or who have resigned 'under a cloud'? (And, incidentally, how does that compare to the total number resysopped under the current policy?) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Support "Policy knowledge is not what is important in being a good administrator" Seriously? Next time there's a bunfight with an IP, we now have to spend time educating the administrator too? Yes, judgement is crucial, but only if people know what they're supposed to be doing in the first place! Absence from the project means people are out of touch with changes in how things are done and the standards that constantly change and evolve. Coming back after a gap of five or ten years and expecting to be given the mop again is too much. - SchroCat (^@) 19:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment I also wonder how many of those voting for the oppose are admins. A show of hands for complete clarity would be good, if only to avoid the simile of turkeys not wanting to vote for Christmas… - SchroCat (^@) 19:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    To really be on point, if you want to deal with a perceived conflict of interest then we should exclude every vote up above from an ex-admin who hasn't edited Wikipedia for at least two years. We also need to eliminate the comments from any admin who might take a break of at least two years at some point in the future. We must of course strike the comments of every individual above who might at some point in the future consider applying for adminship. Finally, we should discount the remarks of any person who plans to ask an administrator for assistance – blocking vandals or edit warriors, deleting spam pages, etc. – in the next few weeks, because their vote here could be taken as an attempt to curry favor among the admin corps. (Seriously, what's with this ugly us-versus-them admins-aren't-real-editors attitude?) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:53, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Eh? I'm not sure how you've managed to read that into the paragraph and I'm sorry that you've decided to interpret it that way. I was asking for some clarity to avoid future accusations. As to the "us v them", this has nothing to do with editors, it has to do with the return of admin tools to people who may no longer be immediately suitable for the task. To ask them to undertake a short spell editing before the mop is returned is not a bad thing, no reflection on them and certainly nothing to do with an entirely absent "us v them" attitude. Ultraexactzz identifies the source of the issue below, he's right: someone has been given their tools back who shouldn't have been. They left under a cloud when they edit warred in '08 and attempted to justify 3RR violations with "but I was in the right". They then retired before the ANI was brought to a conclusion and recently came back: their first set of edits are edit warring, with the justification of "but I was in the right". I had to tell him to stop his ad hominem comments on the first two ocassions I came across him. His mop was returned on the basis that "policy is policy" before all the circumstances were looked into and the 'crats returned his tools because that is what the flawed procedures outline as the course of action. If those procedures had been different, if they had been able to allow common sense to be used then there wouldn't be a rather admin with a questionable approach wondering round who is four years out of date with his interpretation of the rules. I have to have ongoing continuing professional development to keep up with my job and if I left for four year (actually only a year) then I'd need a refresher to rejoin: I don't see the lack of need here either. - SchroCat (^@) 05:39, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Again, this discussion isn't the place to arbitrate a four-year-old situation, but you have a significant number of facts wrong, starting with the fact that there was never a consensus at the time that my (admittedly improper) action should result in desysopping, in part because it was recognized that when faced with clear community opposition, I self-reverted the improper deletion and disengaged from the conflict entirely. I did not resign the bit under a cloud, the 'crats opined that nothing in the ANI thread can be reasonably construed as consensus to desysop and there was never a process-based determination that my conduct merited desysopping. The bit was removed solely through inactivity. I've responded to this three or four times now in three or four different places, and I've said my piece. polarscribe (talk) 09:57, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • There are no incorrect facts in what I have written. I said that you left under a cloud after edit warring. I never connected it with your desysopping, which was undertaken because you were inactive for a total of four years. My point is that you are unsuitable to be given any powers because your last two sets of interactions breached the very rules you were supposed to be safeguarding and I think that if the sysopping rules were a little more flexible (ie to be able to re-examine an editors suitability to have power once again) that would be a solution greatly to be welcomed. It's just a shame you won't do the honourable thing and voluntarily drop your lifelong "right" to powers and go through an ANI. I suspect you know how that will turn out and are too afraid to go through the scrutiny. It's shameful conduct that could have been avoided it the rules had not been flawed. - SchroCat (talk) 09:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I have no "lifelong 'right' to powers." The community granted me the tools and they have never been removed for cause. That I am not complying with your wish that I undergo even further scrutiny is neither here nor there. Now I really have said my piece. polarscribe (talk) 10:01, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Firstly, as per WP:REDACT, please do not edit your comments after others have responded. Secondly, your attitude towards others, your inability to listen to the wishes of a significant number of people that you go once again through the RfA and your lack of care you seem to have shown reading the comments of others (shown by your mis-reading of my comments above) are simply not good enough. People turn to admins when they have a problem and I suggest that you are so poorly equipped to deal with situations that arise, you will soon find yourself answering calls at ANI through your actions. Personally I find your approach somewhat shameful and it casts a pall over the image of other admins, who deserve better. - SchroCat (talk) 10:10, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • What's a "significant number of people" requesting it? Five or ten? That's not a community consensus in any sense of the phrase. I have offered apologies for the four-year-old misstep. I am quite sure that if I again abuse the tools, ArbCom will see that as a pattern of misuse and desysop me for cause and if that happens, then I have none but myself to blame. You are among a small group seemingly hell-bent on hounding me at each and every opportunity, one of whom (not you) went so far as to falsely accuse me of abusing the tools yesterday. If you have a case to make that I should be desysopped for cause, there is a process for doing that and I shall answer to it. Now I'm going to stop taking this page off-topic. polarscribe (talk) 10:38, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Errmmmm... I've commented on a proposal that rules should be changed. You decided to comment on a reply I made to someone else, which was not about having you stripped of any powers, but provided background as to why the procedures, as they are currently constituted are flawed, in my opinion. I hardly see that as being "hell-bent on hounding" you. - SchroCat (talk) 10:44, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The situation that generated this discussion came about because an admin lost their tools through inactivity, asked for them back, got them back because they did not appear to have been under a cloud when they left, and then whoops - seems that they abused their tools before they left, and maybe were under a cloud after all. They should have gone through an RFA and did not. Now they have their tools, and won't turn them back in to go to RFA, and DRAMA. Bad cases make bad case law. Beyond that, it's bothersome to think that editors who were told they could get tools back on simple request would now have to go through an RFA - many who do return would likely not bother. Far better to have the crats make sure the former admin is up to speed before restoring tools after a long absence - making it sunset after a period of time is not reasonable or equitable. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 21:11, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    Wouldn't it be easier to just say that if bureaucrats discover that recently returned admin tools which were returned to an editor with a presumption of not being "under a cloud", which are subsequently discovered to have possibly actually been "under a cloud", there is no problem with bureaucrats immediately removing said tools while discussion progresses as to whether an additional RfA is necessary? (This also would seem to follow the general philosophy of "preventative not punitive" : ) - jc37 21:53, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    I would be inclined to suggest that we handle this sort of thing on a case-by-case basis. Looking at the most recent archive of BN, I'm seeing ten requests for reinstatement of flags spread over four months, only a few of which were for long-dormant accounts, and none of which revealed any clouds (though there was one case where concern was expressed about the length of absence). Trying to write a policy to thoroughly and appropriately respond to every specific, unique circumstance that might arise in the (perhaps) two or three cases per year where there may be an issue is likely to cause more problems than it solves.
    What's the worst-case scenario? A 'cloudy' former admin gets the bit back. They go insane and delete AN/I. The masses rejoice temporarily, and then someone (either a 'crat, a member of ArbCom, or some other senior functionary) turns off the bit again. AN/I is undeleted. The 'crats spend more time examining the next few resysop requests. Life goes on.
    What happens in an 'edge' case where the 'crats are deadlocked, or where the admin's 'cloudy' past isn't discovered for a while? Well, first we get a storm on BN or AN/I. If it's blindingly obvious that the 'crats have dropped the ball, then they'll exercise common sense (probably with some calm, collected, rational, off-wiki communication) and pull the bit and the mess will be done. Failing that, within 24 (probably within 6) hours someone will file an Arbitration request. A few members of the ArbCom will make their usual pointless snap responses that the community should decide the issue, before ultimately agreeing to handle the case by motion. The ArbCom can ask for a temporary desysop if necessary. Arguments for and against the admin's 'cloudiness' will be presented. ArbCom will vote on a motion to desysop (or to compel a fresh RfA, or what have you) and the matter will be settled in a week or two.
    In either circumstance, the matter gets resolved. Rewriting WP:ADMIN isn't necessary; one of the above processes will handle things. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:01, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Can we please have a list of all the users resyopped by the crats under this policy - so we can investigate what they returned to do etc? I have asked the crats for this previously but they replied they do not keep a specific record or list - its in the archives I was told -This one requested and got his tools back in 2011 (I objected on grounds of length of time and minimal contributions...I said at the time under my Off2riorob contributions, "I oppose this users resyopping - he isn't contributing at all and he has made one admin action in the last five years" See the users logs- resyopping is of no benefit at all to the project. Off2riorob (talk) 16:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)) ....and he made only four or five minor edits since - the user has only fifty all space edits back since 2008 - Ask yourselves - why did he want his tools back? - and ask yourselves - what was the benefit to the project in the crats returning this users advanced permissions ~ as you can see in the diff I provided, in the thirteen months since he asked for, and was given his advanced permissions back he did not even use them once. Youreallycan 07:04, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
    There is no policy requirement that admins use their tools. There is no limit to the number of administrators that can be active, so there is nothing lost to the project by returning the bit. More people should have the bit, not fewer. polarscribe (talk) 09:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
    As I outlined, that user is not active at all - This is worth a read in regards to your recent disputed resyopping - User_talk:Dr._Blofeld - Youreallycan 04:55, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, tentatively. I'd much rather see it be a "permanent" desysop instantly, in the same way as Commons or Meta where a new RFA is required. (And those project have significantly higher inactivity standards.) If you haven't even made an edit in a year, much less two or three, you need to go through RFA after spending some time getting up to speed; the project one returns to is entirely different than the one that was left. Courcelles 20:23, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I think creating a policy such as this would be discouraging to reliable editors and would be detrimental to editor retention. A good editor/sysop who returns after an extended leave due to real life might be so discouraged by the fact that they have to do a new RfA that they would just not return to editing. —JmaJeremy 21:45, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose What the project needs is more admin and more users not to invent more ways to discourage former admins and users from contributing to the project. If there are genuine examples of abuse of the resysopping rules than we should look at the evidence rather than rely on assertion or be put off from examining the situation because arbcom was involved. Spartaz Humbug! 05:02, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Can't see anything in the above to suggest that returning editors have caused any problem. I sympathise with the position outlined by Courcelles, but such is the current state of RfA that I can't see anyone without the hide of a rhinoceros bothering. It is true that the project changes regularly, but then as there is no simple method for informing editors or sysops about what changes of significance have occurred it is surely true that existing admins who are not active in a particular area are just as likely to know nothing about them as someone returning after a break. Ben MacDui 12:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but I would support a clarification of the policy to confirm (insofar as this is needed) that bureaucrats may exercise discretion in restoring rights to those who lost them due to inactivity (rather than just those who resigned them). It should be possible to refuse to restore rights (i) where there was controversy surrounding the user's use of their admin rights prior to their inactivity, or potentially (ii) behavioural issues since their return to activity. WJBscribe (talk) 13:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Almost any admin in good standing who has to take a year or 4 off will be granted the bit back at RfA. It isn't just about knowing policy, it is about understanding the community consensus on the interpretation of policy. Stuff that was ok 4 years ago will get an admin dragged to ANI for example. Adminship is not a right, it is a privilege, granted by the community. Once the user has been away from the community for years, consensus might have changed, so we owe it to the community to allow them to again voice an opinion once someone rejoins it and wants special, and powerful, tools. This will not discourage any admin or user, it just acknowledges that we change over time. It is bad enough that we admin are given adminship for life, it is worse if you don't even have to contribute here to keep it for life, just show up every few years and reclaim your "right". Dennis Brown - © Join WER 15:28, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Clarification needed Define "inactivity." Is it not having been an admin, or is it absence from the site? Purely hypothetically*cough*, we could imagine the case of an admin who resigned the bit in completely uncontroversial circumstances yet remained active on the site, regularly participating in its administrative and policy discussions. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 17:38, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
    My position, for what its worth - I would consider such a user.... as clearly active and not under any kind of cloud - without a consensus of objections - as a totally uncontentious resyop - Youreallycan 17:45, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
    Inactive is already defined as making no edits OR admin actions, so I agree. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 19:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As many others have said hard cases make bad law. Furthermore while I fully endorse the idea of protecting the site from hacked inactive accounts, or from those who resign under a cloud and wait long enough for enough ppl to forget, this proposal, as currently worded, runs afoul of the principle of volunteering. Being a sysop is not compulsory and this proposal has IMHO the unintended consequence of eroding. Agree with jc37's proposal of more time--Cailil talk 00:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose current phrasing. "Permanent" can be seen as meaning "irreversible," and this phrasing could definitely be problematic. Also, as Dennis implies, lots could happen in a year. I, for instance, who I think anyway is generally at this point not an unreasonable person regarding religion might return as a member of some new cult with rather odd ideas. The same might happen regarding people with deep political beliefs who return after a shift in power between parties or political views. And, yes, horrible as it sounds, some military people do return from active combat with rather dramatically different personalities, and sometimes additional psychological problems, then they left for war with. It isn't to my eyes unreasonable to think that a person who returns after a long absence might have changed during that absence, and that a second vote for the person who exists today is not unreasonable. John Carter (talk) 20:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support except for agreement with John Carter's wording; basically, we should say "Once you lose them, you can't get them back just by asking, but you're welcome to go through another RFA". Site security was a major reason for introducing the inactivity = desysop provision, and if you've gained control of someone else's dormant account, you can get the tools back without much difficulty: our current situation isn't much of a security benefit at all. Imagine if RickK and Zoe had been hacked by someone who simply requested tools back and began deleting the Main Page or something like that. Nyttend (talk) 23:29, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ben MacDui and JmaJeremy. Λυδαcιτγ 08:59, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - solution in search of problem An admin who is away should know enough to not dive in without refreshing themselves on any tool they will use. The community endorsed their RFA for judgment; most of the comments on this page seem to assume that judgment will somehow have vanished. They won't limit themselves to the few tools and situations they are "safe" in, they won't be bothered to think policies and usage may have changed, so we need to force-desysop them. I prefer the alternative:- if they come back they will either use the tools well or not and either way we can assume good faith and see what they do, because any non-issue is fine, any diminished awareness or judgment is instantly fixable when it reveals itself. I would simply say, template returning users to gently remind them policies may have changed and - especially before using any advanced tools - they should ensure they are up to date on the community's norms, and ask if needed first. That's all that is needed, because we appointed them for judgment and it's likely they still have it. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:14, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per everything FT2 just said. Education beats legislation. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:27, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: An absence of 12 months guarantees that returning editors are going to be unfamiliar with a large number of policy and procedure changes. A "recertification" through a new RfA is perfectly appropriate. If the admin did not leave under a cloud, then they'll be a shoo-in candidate anyway, who'll only have to demonstrate understanding of current process and policies. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:23, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The community is entitled to administrators reasonably conversant with current mores and policy. I understand that the time a person can devote to the project may wax and wane, but it is not burdensome to log on once a year, learn what's going on, and perform an admin action or two. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 18:21, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the general idea but I think the time period given is too short. Hut 8.5 21:52, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I'd even support reducing it to six months. Everyking (talk) 23:08, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Alternate proposal

Somewhat of a WP:SNOW close. No supports or comment for the last 15 days.—cyberpower ChatOffline 19:46, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Amend the current inactive administrator policy to read (something similar to): Should an administrator like their tools restored upon returning from inactivity

  • They make a request on the Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard.
  • A seven day waiting period is to occur so that it can be determined whether the former administrator left under a cloud or other circumstances which warrant concern.
  • Evidence of a cloud possibly existing before the administrator going inactive can be provided by any user at the bureaucrats' noticeboard.
  • Consensus amongst bureaucrats whether they would restore the tools after seven days (80% consensus) determines whether the tools are restored. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 17:31, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Unnecessary bureaucracy for the tiny, tiny number of cases – I haven't seen anyone present any evidence that this will come up more than once or twice per year – where this situation might arise. As I noted above, if there's a clear case for desysopping someone, then ask the ArbCom to handle it by motion. Deciding whether or not an admin should be desysopped is the remit of ArbCom, not the 'crats. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:28, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
You must note that this does not determine whether someone is desysopped, but rather whether the tools are restored to them after they have already been desysopped for inactivity. The only non-benefit is that someone might not the tools restored immediately. Any editor who truly is in good standing who wants their tools restored can wait seven days, can't they? If there's nothing to be had about their tools being restored, then no harmed done and we would have a working process for the one or two times a year. Besides, who exactly wants to go to ArbCom once or twice a year to resolve the same problem? Regards, — Moe Epsilon 18:42, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
So, rather than filing one ArbCom motion per year, you'd prefer to have every resysop request be an ArbCom motion—except that it has an 80% threshold to pass instead of a 50% threshold, and it's voted on by 'crats who weren't elected by the community to make these types of judgements. That doesn't make any sense. And it still means that the edge cases get bounced to ArbCom, when one side or the other disputes the impromptu 'under a cloud' finding.
In any event, drafting a brief, coherent ArbCom filing should be no more work and contain exactly the same information as any request to 'crats that they find an admin was 'under a cloud'. (Unless you intend your proposed process to be an open invitation to seven days of freeform sniping and out-of-context 'gotchas'—which based on the Polarscribe experience is exactly what your proposal will degenerate into.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:23, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
You're putting way too much thought into this. Our current practice is one bureaucrat can come along and re-sysop within a couple minutes, and pending whether they have thoroughly checked to see if they were under a cloud, may or may not be correct and (at this time) can't be undone by any policy. The only difference between my suggestion and what currently happens, is there is a wait period (7 days may be too long, we can adjust that) and 'crats actually do it consensus based amongst themselves (and others who feel like commenting) instead of one unilateral decision. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 22:00, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - 1-3 days maybe, but a week is too long I think. I might agree the race to do it in a few hours or less is probably too quick, though. - jc37 19:15, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose What if they gave up the bit a few weeks ago, like WilliamH did? He got it back after determining it wouldn't interfere with his new job, why should he wait a week? Waiting a week makes sense if they gave up or lost the bit after a year of inactivity, granted, but I still maintain that if you have been inactive for over a year, you just need to go through RfA again. Like if you let your drivers license expire for a few years, some states make you retake the test. No different. If your leaving was uncontroversial, there shouldn't be a problem with you getting the bit back that way, and it demonstrates to the community that adminship isn't "for life" if you disappear for over a year. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 19:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I was speaking literally about inactivity desysops where they were inactive for over a year. WllliamH wouldn't have been affected. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 21:50, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm afraid I'd oppose this on the grounds of instruction creep. Again sysops, just like everyone else, are volunteers. But I'd be open as Dennis says above to RFAs for long term (24 months+) absentees going through RFA again (if they wanted to)--Cailil talk 00:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose basically as per Dennis and Cailil above. People's personalities can change rather quickly at times, particularly if they have recently undergone significant and possibly stressful changes in their lives. Someone who used to be clearheaded, reasonable and competent might become someone we really wouldn't like when they're angry. Giving us a chance to ensure that the person hasn't changed dramatically in the interim before returning the bit seems like a good idea to me. John Carter (talk) 20:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

24 hour wait

After at least 7 days of no more comments in this section, I have closed this in favor of the proposal stated below.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 00:30, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In the case of an admin giving up their tools, upon requesting re-granting, there should be at least a 24 hour wait to ascertain whether the time of removal was "under a cloud". And if there is a currently open community discussion concerning it, re-granting should wait until the discussion is closed. - jc37 19:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion (24 hour wait)

  • Support seems fair enough. --Rschen7754 00:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I would question how this would handle desysops done for inactivity. MBisanz talk 00:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    • In exactly the same way as any other reason for desysopping. The idea is that it allows time to correctly identify which cases are uncontroversial and which are not. Thryduulf (talk) 00:50, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
      • I intentionally worded it so that it didn't cover/apply to inactivity desysops. I think that inactivity desysopping is a separate discussion. - jc37 01:12, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
        • I disagree. The 24 hour delay should apply to all resysoppings, as there are borderline cases (c.f. the current request at arbcom) where it is unclear whether a desysopping due to inactivity was also under a cloud. Thryduulf (talk) 01:24, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
          • You're welcome to disagree : ) - I just think the discussion should be separate. So if you feel that way, start another proposal stating that resysopping due to inactivity should also wait at least 24 hours. I just don't wish to see this proposal fail because it tried to include too much : ) - jc37 01:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
            • done :) note I've changed section headers to avoid duplication, feel free to revert this. Thryduulf (talk) 01:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
            • Ok, then I Support as long as the related proposal also passes. MBisanz talk 22:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) strong support - I was about to propose this myself. There is no such thing as an emergency re-sysopping, and after a period that is unlikely to be less than 6-12 months waiting 24 hours is not a significant delay. This waiting period though will allow time for careful investigation of anything that needs looking at, especially as no one person can be familiar with every former administrator nor the reasons why they no longer have the tools. Thryduulf (talk) 00:50, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: As below, 24 hours minimum for re-sysoping in all cases makes sense--Cailil talk 00:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)−
  • Support - I have long encouraged this practice, though I recognise little will happen if bureaucrats restore rights too quickly in appropriate cases. Jumping the gun and getting it wrong is a serious matter however. WJBscribe (talk) 00:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Mtking (edits) 02:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Mlpearc (powwow) 02:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I guess the reason for the hurry is so all the users the admin might have irritated in the past don't gang up and block the resysop. I would say it is easy to ensure the closing crat takes into account the right policies and ignores such objections. Churn and change (talk) 03:29, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - SchroCat (talk) 04:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - KTC (talk) 11:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - waiting at least 24 hours in all cases makes sense. In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to wait longer - such as when there is an ongoing discussion regarding if the user left "under a cloud". One would assume that if there were an active discussion taking place in a venue other than the request page, that a link would be provided on the request page so 'crats were made aware of the discussion. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for all resysoppings (voluntary removal as well as inactivity removal). And crats should be made aware that policy does allow them to wait for a period (even a period longer than 24 hours, if necessary!), and does allow them to consider community comments about whether the admin departed in controversial circumstances. We trust our crats to be able to evaluate controversy and community consensus on issues like this, so there's no reason for them to feel forced to not consider such things. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 18:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I trust it is obvious that if non-trivial items are brought up, the period could be longer, at least until some crat consensus is reached, whether on wiki or off.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:34, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, although I think 48 hours is a better term since we all have day jobs, and there is no need for "emergency resysoping". Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Honestly, 72 hours was my preference, but I didn't think that that had a chance of passing : ) - jc37 20:20, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Same here, but felt 48 hours would be a reasonable compromise. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 01:31, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support although I might not mind seeing the at least part expanded on a little, to cover things like, well, being able to determine if there have been possible changes in personality or temperment in the intervening period. John Carter (talk) 20:40, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Legoktm (talk) 22:19, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I support this. It seems reasonable as there is no harm in waiting 24 hours. Acalamari 22:24, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose What this would mean to admins in practice is simply "never give up your tools." NE Ent 22:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I requested removal of tools some time ago because of technical issues (my computer was broken, and I didn't want to use an admin account on public computers), but I specifically asked the bureaucrat not to remove if he saw any reason to consider me under a cloud. A much better idea would be to tell the bureaucrat to say "This was under a cloud" or "This was not under a cloud", which of course could be amended later if needed. Nyttend (talk) 23:22, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    What does this have to do with waiting 24 hours to give the bureaucrats time to check into such things? - jc37 23:24, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    There's no need to require this amount of time. Let's leave it up to the bureaucrat to decide how much time to take; in "Temporary noncontroversial user request" cases, it just wastes time if we require a waiting period. Nyttend (talk) 23:34, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Nyttend, you could have just created an alternate account. If you could edit enough under your admin account to request desysop, you could have put a note on the user page about the legitimate alternate. I wouldn't consider what you did to be a good practice. Gigs (talk) 23:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Such cases are so rare there isn't a need for us to build our guidelines around them. Churn and change (talk) 00:07, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    I do have an alternate account, as you would have noticed if you'd looked at the aforementioned userpage, but it's inconvenient to use it all the time; I wouldn't notice when someone leaves me a talk page message, for example. Precisely why is this anything but a good practice? And to all who support this idea: why do you insist on requiring bureaucrats to take extra time? Cases in which extra time is needed for investigation are quite rare; virtually all incidents of voluntary desysopping are either obviously clouded or obviously not clouded, and there's nothing in policy prohibiting bureaucrats from waiting a while to investigate. We have no good reason to continue down a creepy path. Nyttend (talk) 00:38, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support- 48hours is a reasonable compromise - also as per User:Fluffernutter's comments here - - Youreallycan 06:17, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support No need for a contest to get the shortest restore on record. Best to be prudent, no need to rush. Leaky Caldron 14:25, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Long overdue. - Who is John Galt? 16:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I requested removal of my tools last November and then requested them back earlier this year. I would not have minded waiting 24 hours for them to be returned and think it is a sensible idea. Davewild (talk) 19:12, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support A useful period of reflection may avert minor dramas. Pedro :  Chat  22:01, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as it's good to give a little time to the rest of the community to comment if they wish. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 04:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 24-hours seems quite reasonable Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:16, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support NE Ent's point should be considered, and I'm going to have to vote against more restrictive proposals for that reason, but I think a 24 hour wait isn't too long, as per Davewild. Λυδαcιτγ 08:26, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support makes sense to have some sort of waiting period to ensure that any background circumstances can be investigated. The alternative possibility (where someone requests resysopping and the request is granted only to be potentially taken away again later) is much messier, and in cases where there is no cloud there's no real harm done by leaving someone without admin tools for 24 hours. Hut 8.5 16:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems like about the right amount of time to ensure everything is on the up-and-up without making an editor wait excessively long for the bit to be returned. Useight's Public Sock (talk) 20:03, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support excellent proposal. Cavarrone (talk) 06:38, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, with extensions if needed to determine if the objections warrant denial. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support; seems reasonable to me. I don't think it's necessary to go into pedantic detail over "more extensions if something suspicious is found" &c; we hardly have to tell a bureaucrat to hesitate over re-sysopping somebody if there's a recent thread suggesting that there were recently-discovered problems with the former-admin which are currently being investigated further. bobrayner (talk) 16:38, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Simple and reasonable; I would even support up to 48 hours, but 24 is probably sufficient. CT Cooper · talk 17:07, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Perfectly reasonable...this should already be a thing. Swarm X 21:06, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per most of the above. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, sensible. Everyking (talk) 02:17, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Obviously, if in specific cases more time is needed, that's a separate question. We need time to ensure that the requests are actually examined properly. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 21:01, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

24 hour wait (inactivity)

After 7 days of no comments, this proposal has been closed in favor of this proposed supplement to the above.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 00:37, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In the case of an admin being desysoped for inactivity, upon requesting re-granting, there should be at least a 24 hour wait to ascertain whether the inactivity was to avoid scrutiny or the removal of admin tools was otherwise "under a cloud" . And if there is a currently open community discussion concerning it, re-granting should wait until the discussion is closed.

This proposal supplements jc37's above which applies to situations where tools were voluntarily relinquished. Neither proposal is contingent on the other, but iff both pass they would be combined and a single paragraph covering the removal of tools in all circumstances would be applied. Thryduulf (talk) 01:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion (24 hour wait (inactivity))

  • Support Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I see no difference from the previous case. Also, probably should go to a more prominent noticeboard? Churn and change (talk) 03:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Venue shouldn't matter. But please feel free to drop a neutral notice on any appropriate noticeboards (and/or CENT) - jc37 03:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Posted at CENT and also explicitly at WP:Village pump (proposals), WP:Administrators' noticeboard and WP:Bureaucrats' noticeboard. Put in a request for adding to the watchlist notice. Churn and change (talk) 23:12, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - SchroCat (talk) 04:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - KTC (talk) 11:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for the record, though my !vote in the "24-hour wait" section already addresses my reasoning and supports waits for both inactivity and voluntary desysoppings. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 18:41, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support same as above.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per above, better to unify the rules. 48 hours would be better, like above. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:18, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with this. Acalamari 22:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Mlpearc (powwow) 22:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support While I appreciate the turnout here, it would've been nice to see these opinions earlier at WP:BN in prior waiting period discussions. MBisanz talk 23:00, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • When I've seen people try to discuss "Could you please not resysop immediately, there ought to be time to investigate" on BN they've mostly been told "Nobody minds the quickness, out of the way!" or "We have to do it this way, we have no choice." Including in the episode that spawned these proposals. Perhaps that has something to do with why people didn't have this discussion on BN? A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 02:19, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • That's a valid point, I wish people would understand "we have to do it this way" doesn't mean "policy must be this way and we like it this way." MBisanz talk 02:21, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support No need for a contest to get the shortest restore on record. Best to be prudent, no need to rush. Leaky Caldron 14:25, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Long overdue. - Who is John Galt? 16:55, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Same as for the above section. Davewild (talk) 19:13, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 04:59, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:17, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral Everyone seems to like this one but I'm a bit confused. Why would someone become inactive for over a year "to avoid scrutiny"? Like, they're worried they'll be desysopped so they stop editing for a while, but then take too long and lost the tools accidentally? Λυδαcιτγ 08:40, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above. Hut 8.5 16:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Cavarrone (talk) 06:41, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, with extensions if needed to determine if the objections warrant denial. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I think this is an unlikely corner case - if an admin was desysopped for "inactivity" it's unlikely (but not impossible) that there would have been controversy over their admin actions at the time of the desysopping - but, hey, it can't hurt to have a buffer in place... bobrayner (talk) 23:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Cases of avoiding scrutiny appear to be rare, but it is best to apply any 24 hour rule to all desysoppings rather than just some, and a 24 hour wait isn't a huge inconvenience. CT Cooper · talk 17:11, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above. Swarm X 21:08, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, per most of the above. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:28, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, sensible. Everyking (talk) 14:55, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


It is as clear as a summer day without clouds that the community is in favor of this proposal.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 00:40, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In the case of admins desysopped due to inactivity, if, after the 1 year of inactivity which led to the desysopping due to inactivity, there is a subsequent 2 years (24 months) of continued inactivity (zero edits) then if the editor returns after that, a new RfA would be required to re-receive adminship. (So to be clear, this means there is a contiguous 3 years of zero edits.) - jc37 19:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion (1+2)

  • Support - this is reasonable. 24 hours minimum for regranting for everyone makes sense. The 1+2 requirement for RFA looks appropriate to me also--Cailil talk 00:40, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Clearly in the same vein as what I've said above. MBisanz talk 00:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support net positive. However, this won't take effect until July 11, 2013... --Rschen7754 00:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. as entirely reasonable. I was also support mandatory RfA after 3 or more years with no major edits. Thryduulf (talk) 00:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes sense. I don't think the rights should be granted for life. WJBscribe (talk) 00:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:02, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Mtking (edits) 02:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Mlpearc (powwow) 02:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Things change around here pretty fast. Churn and change (talk) 03:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - SchroCat (talk) 04:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - KTC (talk) 11:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as reasonable. Indeed, I would support a notion that every user with advanced positions, even active users, should be required to have the community trust re-affirmed after three years. If an admin has not applied for and been voted into a position of trust (admin, 'crat. CheckUser, Steward, Arbiter, etc) for over three years, then a reconfirmation RfA would be appropriate. I would be willing to voluntarily follow this principle for myself. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I logged on today with the intention of proposing something like this myself, looks like I got beat to the punch. If you haven't made any edits at all in three years you shouldn't be able to just go straight back to administrating the site. This should have been done when inactivity desysops were introduced in the first place. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I actually have a slight preference for 1+1, but 1+2 is certainly acceptable. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 18:39, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support; three years of complete inactivity is an eternity in Wiki time. — Coren (talk) 18:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: I'd prefer an option that explicitly lets 'crats make a judgement call somewhere in that timeframe, but this'll do. Writ Keeper 18:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Like a sandwich, my first thought was 1+1. I've mulled it a bit, and not certain of 1+1, but 1+2 is definitely too long to come back without an RfA. I'd go a little further, would be willing to treat a de minimis attempt to retain editing history (e.g. under 100 edits in 3 years) the same as zero edits. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I also like the idea of giving the crats a choice in the matter, but most good admin that come back and spend a few months getting up to speed will likely do fine at RfA. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:17, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Like Dennis above, I have trouble seeing many editors being able to hold a significant grudge against someone for an RfArb after three years of inactivity, and I think in general the crats are probably bright enough that they could see any oppose votes based primarily or entirely on earlier history. John Carter (talk) 20:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as said above, 3 years is an eternity in enwp-time. Legoktm (talk) 22:21, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Again, (see above) what does this mean in practice? Log in at least once a year and spend two minutes finding something to copy edit. (e.g. WP:Community Portal served me up Martian_Manhunter which has a really awkward first sentence.) Punch ticket, cool, admin is all set for another year. NE Ent 22:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC) And when the first admin returns to activity after four years of one edit a year ticket punching and gets in a row with an established user we can have a big mess at ArbCom as we argue about whether they were "really" active.... NE Ent 22:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Sure it may not be ideal, but it's better than what we have. --Rschen7754 22:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
      • Maybe not, if it provides a false sense of stability. Rather than lock the barn door after the current horse got out, let's make the barn secure for all the horses. We could provide a good definition of "leaving under scrutiny," and/or do three-year reconfirm's as SilkTork suggest above, for starters. What I'm saying is take into account that changes in policy will likely change future behavior -- so if our policy changes don't take that into account and are easily worked around they're probably not actually an improvement. NE Ent 23:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
        • The problem is, if this proposal failed and was replaced with SilkTork's, I don't think it would pass. If someone failed RfB, would they lose their admin bits too? This is where the Super Mario problem would actually not be a problem. --Rschen7754 23:09, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
        • Our best bet is to try out incremental changes, not propose revolutionary ones certain to fail. Churn and change (talk) 23:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
          • What you seem to consider a bug, I see as a feature. I oppose the concepts of "periodic reconfirmation RfAs" (though I know there are those who do support it) And I would rather we didn't get into questions of assessing edits (how minor is minor, how non-inconsequential is non-inconsequential?) After all, we're talking about zero edits. That means the person was disinterested to even bother signing in to "punch the ticket" (as you call it). This is simple and straight-forward. - jc37 23:30, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. - As a reasonable. Also, agree with SilkTork's above comment. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:19, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support No need for a contest to get the shortest restore on record. Best to be prudent, no need to rush. Leaky Caldron 14:26, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Long overdue. - Who is John Galt? 16:56, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support – An improvement. AutomaticStrikeout 17:39, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support At 3 years yes total absence this is ok. Davewild (talk) 19:16, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support We, as a community, missed this really in the original RFC and this is a much needed improvement. Pedro :  Chat  22:02, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a good improvement and clarification. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 05:02, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support after 3 years, this is a reasonable requirement. Beyond My Ken (talk)
  • Weak oppose We trust admins, so why not trust them to educate themselves on what's changed during their absence? In my own case, I'm just now "coming back" to Wikipedia after 4 years of being busy IRL. Certainly a lot's different, but I'll make sure to read up on policy before I do any revision deletion, etc. Λυδαcιτγ 08:54, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I've asked jc37 to clarify if he means two years from the date of desysopping for inactivity or three years of inactivity and a desysopping for inactivity. MBisanz talk 13:07, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support makes more sense than the current position, in my opinion. Three years is a long time in wiki-terms and anyone who has been inactive for that long will certainly have a lot of catching up to do. The current process of desysopping for inactivity is largely meaningless as the tools can be restored by a simple request. Hut 8.5 16:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm not a fan of inactivity desysopping in the first place. Then requiring a full RFA later is too much. That RFA is likely to fail since either 1) most people won't remember them or 2) the nature of using admin tools commonly makes enemies. Royalbroil 04:42, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I see the concerns of NE Ent but that's better than anything. Cavarrone (talk) 06:44, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Many of the vintage 2004, 2005, and 2006 toolings would never pass RfA under current conditions. I recently saw an "old" administrator with virtually zero activity turned back on by default, even though an RfA on the thin contributions of that individual would have had chances of RfA passage between slim and none. There needs to be permanent culling of such early "auto grants" of tools that have dropped out. Carrite (talk) 16:39, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, with a preference for a "staged" loss of the right to return without RfA. 0-1 year: 24 hour wait, resume tools if no controversy. 1-3 years or 0-1 year with minor but more than trivial controversy: Self-certify that the admin has read up on current policy and have him stand for reconfirmation with something like 50%+1 support required. 3+ years, stand for RfA. Why? Adminship doesn't have a formal "continuing education" requirement but IMHO it should at least require admins to either use the tools every few months or self-certify that they are keeping up with policy changes. Requiring people edit at least every few years at least makes people stay invested in the project to keep the tools. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Seems reasonable after such a hugely long period of inactivity. In comparison, on Commons any removal of the admin tools due to inactivity requires a new RfA to restore. CT Cooper · talk 17:13, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Only makes sense. Swarm X 21:10, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, but there's no need to make a special case for "desysopped for inactivity" to begin with. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:27, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I would prefer a much shorter timeframe, but this is better than nothing. Everyking (talk) 14:57, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

3 years of inactivity

This supplemented proposal also a clear support from the community.—cyberpower OnlineMerry Christmas 00:44, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This proposal supplements the #1+2 proposal above.

Regardless of why the tools were removed (voluntary, involuntary) if the user is subsequently inactive (zero edits) for 3 contiguous years, then, should the editor return after that and re-request the tools, a new RfA would be required to re-receive adminship. - jc37 03:16, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion (3 years of inactivity)

  • Neutral. While I don't oppose this, I'm not sure it's necessary. The reason for RfAs after long activity is to ensure that once and future admins are au fait with contemporary policies, guidelines and community norms. In the case of users who lose the tools for other reasons they may still be well versed in current practice and I think we can safely rely on the 'crats' judgement whether their is a need for them to go to RfA again - particularly when guided by any community discussion the 24-hour wait (currently looking likely to pass) throws up. In all cases though, crats need an option to, without prejudice, close or pre-empt an extensive discussion in favour of a structured RfA. Do they currently have this tool in their arsenal? Thryduulf (talk) 03:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support same as above but deals with the grandfather issue. --Rschen7754 04:03, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I guess this includes cases of administrators giving up tools and ArbCom removing tools, in addition to the inactivity-based removal of tools. For me, the same logic applies. Churn and change (talk) 04:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. - If you havn't edited in three years then you need a new RfA when you are re-established. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - SchroCat (talk) 04:42, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - This closes the loophole that would allow an admin to resign prior to leaving and be able to regain the tools after three years away, where an admin who was similarly absent for three years but who did not resign could not. Mtking (edits) 07:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Three years away is long enough, and 'crats need not be burdened with three year old issues. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - KTC (talk) 11:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I see the usefulness of this but IMHO it needs to be expressed more clearly. Perhaps something like: Fomer sysops who have been inactive for a total of 3 years would be required to go through RFA again in order to regain sysop status"?--Cailil talk 14:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    That would be helpful, because the current wording doesn't apply immediately to those who were inactive for many years and desysoped after the inactivity RFC. KTC (talk) 16:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Changing wording now will raise the procedural issue of the meaning of the previous votes; I suggest we continue with existing wording, and add this as an amendment if existing wording (which is a subset) passes. Churn and change (talk) 17:17, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
    Considering the context of these proposals, and considering the term "RfA" is used, I doubt there is any confusion that this applies to any editors who formerly had been entrusted with the tools of adminship, who meet the criteria laid out in the proposal. - jc37 19:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: same as 1+2. Writ Keeper 19:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: same as my 1+2 response.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Like Cailil above, I see the logic of the proposal but have a question about phrasing. In a worst case scenario, an admin account might be inactive due to the editor dropping the name to avoid harassment or something like that. Then, at some future point, they might think it acceptable to take back the old name and the administrator privileges that accompany it. I might like to see specific phrasing addressing that the admin be basically inactive under this account or any account or IP for three years. That would prevent having to deal with dramatic revelations after the fact that User:Batman had been trolling around as User:Bruce Wayne rather a lot since adopting the latter name. John Carter (talk) 19:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I would support it after one year, or even two as a compromise. Or better yet, give the crats some guidelines and a little flexibility. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:19, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Obviously. MBisanz talk 21:30, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Sure, why not. Fits with the rest. I prefer Cailil's correction, however - if you've been inactive for three years, no matter at what point in those years your bits were lifted, you should have to RFA. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose same reason as above. NE Ent 22:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Policies change, people too. Three years is a lot in wikitime. Tijfo098 (talk) 01:14, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - although I prefer two years as a compromise. - Youreallycan 06:19, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Much prefer 1 or 2 years if inactivity has been absolute zero. Leaky Caldron 14:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Long overdue. - Who is John Galt? 16:57, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, and even three years is too long. The admins lose tools after one year of complete inactivity (zero edits), and this year typically follows some period of low activity, so that we are talking of users who have not been in the project basically for five years. They should learn new policies first.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:21, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support As long as it is not less than 3 years. Davewild (talk) 19:17, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support [per my support of the initial proposal this sumplements. Pedro :  Chat  22:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Awkward wording as this could be read as 1+3 rather than simply 3 (as intended), but the point is that the wording of 1+2 only refers to desysopping after one year of inactivity, and what most people are essentially agreeing to is that any former admin who has three consecutive years of inactivity needs a RfA to get the tools back, regardless of how the tools were lost (so 3, or 1+2). So I am supporting the intended principle of three years inactivity for former admins, rather than the precise wording of this proposal. SilkTork ✔Tea time 03:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
    It's not 1+3. It's 3. 1+2 is 1 year of inactivity, then desysopped, then 2 years of inactivity. This difference between 1+2 and this proposal is that this proposal doesn't rely on the inactivity desysopping. If it was 1+3, it would mean four years of inactivity, which this proposal is not suggesting. - jc37 03:39, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 05:05, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:19, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - But would prefer a shorter time span, say 1 year or 2 years. --Noleander (talk) 16:26, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above. Hut 8.5 16:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 20:11, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, same as 1+2. Cavarrone (talk) 06:45, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, with a preference for a "staged" loss of the right to return without RfA. 0-1 year: 24 hour wait, resume tools if no controversy. 1-3 years or 0-1 year with minor but more than trivial controversy: Self-certify that the admin has read up on current policy and have him stand for reconfirmation with something like 50%+1 support required. 3+ years, stand for RfA. Why? Adminship doesn't have a formal "continuing education" requirement but IMHO it should at least require admins to either use the tools every few months or self-certify that they are keeping up with policy changes. Requiring people edit at least every few years at least makes people stay invested in the project to keep the tools. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't see any reason just to apply this rule to those that have the tools removed automatically, since whether it is automatic or requested, after three years a re-familiarisation with the community and policy would be necessary either way. CT Cooper · talk 17:17, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, obviously. Swarm X 21:11, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, broadly (i.e. whether the desysopping was requested or automatic). — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:26, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, I would have also supported 24 months. --j⚛e deckertalk 18:39, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, too long but better than nothing. Everyking (talk) 18:50, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Bureaucrat discretion

WP:SNOWcyberpower ChatOffline 19:12, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There are many cases where someone IRL is busy doing something else, but while unable to edit WP is able to monitor WP and keep up to date with policy etc. There is no reason to adopt any hard and fast rules, and it should solely be left up to bureaucrats to adopt or not adopt policies of this nature. Apteva (talk) 23:39, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - While I personally have trust in the Bureaucrats, policy is adopted by the community, not a subset. - jc37 23:43, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Anyone who has been successful in an request for bureaucratship has my profoundest respect, but I think it would be counterproductive and possibly irresponsible for the greater community not to give them some form of guidance, or at least an expression of the opinion of the community, regarding these matters. Also, honestly, as we've seen in the recent Gibraltar mess, even some bureaucrats are perhaps a bit corruptible. I do not necessarily object to the idea of any conclusions the community might reach being "optional" for bureaucrats to follow, and would probably most favor any proposals which are clearly "optional" to them, because not every possibility can be forseen. But at the same time I really do think that we are best served by at least giving the crats not only our respect, but also an indication of the opinions of the community in matters of this type. John Carter (talk) 23:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. - Crats follow community policy, not the other way around. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:17, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as someone said to me when I failed at RFB, boldness is a quality we want in admins some of the time, arbs all of the time, and not at all from crats. That is why we are having this discussion, because a crat did exactly what current policy said they should do. That was not in any way a failure on that crats part, indeed it reflects exactly what is expected of them. They are given very little room for discretion and it seems that is the way both they and the community at large want it to be. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:53, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    And even less than zero from stewards. Apteva (talk) 03:02, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Given that crats feel it's their duty to refuse to do anything that is not explicitly written into crat policy by the community, changing policy or using individual discretion like this would appear to be anathema to them. At any rate, Jc37 et al are entirely correct that policy is set by the community, not by an in-group, which means if we want crat policy changed, it's our responsibility as the community to pursue that. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 02:24, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Despite the personal benefit that might come from supporting this policy, it would not be in the best interest of the project to delegate policy creation of this type. MBisanz talk 02:27, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While bureaucrats, like all humans, are expected to have, and use discretion, there is no point, or it is even counter productive, to attempt to legislate "discretion". If required, there is always WP:IAR. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:50, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - No special consideration is given for stewards to create policy and we shouldn't be looking for them to take the community's responsibility. Also, per Fluffernutter, they wouldn't go anywhere with this anyway. - Who is John Galt? 16:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't see the benefit of this. AutomaticStrikeout 17:36, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Lets give the bureaucrats some rules to work with. Davewild (talk) 19:18, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Bureaucrats have to have discretion, of course, but essentially their function is quasi-mechanical, and they should not be responsible for setting policies when the community is able to do so. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:21, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose don't see any need to leave something like this up to individual whim. The bureaucrats would presumably prefer some sort of guidelines on how their tools are to be used in this area in order to avoid overstepping their mandate. Hut 8.5 16:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as likely unnecessary - there are cases where this is legitimate, such as a soldier who became a POW for 3+ years, but in such cases asking the person to familiarize himself with the then-current rules and stand again would be best for the project. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Bureaucrat discretion is sometimes needed, but giving them some rules to work with isn't bad either. CT Cooper · talk 17:19, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Reconfirmation RFAs

Can someone explain what problem these reconfirmation RFA proposals are intended to solve? Is it because newly resysopped admins might not be up to speed on current policy and make mistakes, or something else? Because admins should be reconfirmed after X amount of time anyway (regardless of inactivity)? Please clarify. – Steel 00:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

All of the above? There seem to me to be multiple concerns involved here.
1) If an admin has been missing for a substantial amount of time, it is very likely, almost certain actually, that he will not be up to speed with some recent changes. God knows I myself was away for awhile for health reasons and found policies had changed on my return. I also found more recently that policies have changed rather significantly since then without my knowledge, and I do at least try to keep up with the changes. If they can change under my nose without my knowing, it is really likely that people who have been away longer might encounter even greater changes that they aren't prepared to deal with, or, at least theoretically, which they might oppose and possibly to some degree or other subvert.
2) There can be, once in a while, at least potentially, times when an admin has "disappeared" perhaps slightly before misconduct might be revealed which might cause them to be involuntarily desysoped. If anyone might know how to game the system, it's probably admins, after all. Such might not happen often, but I know of non-admins who've "retired" in expectation of a siteban proposal which might succeed, and I can think of admins who might react the same way.
3) I at least have expressed concerns above that someone who is away for some time may have developed health conditions which might impact their ability to perform admin duties. Senility happens, and, personally, it may not be that many years till I face the prospect myself. If you're around consistently, people might notice it and be able to react in a more subtle way. If you aren't, it might be best to maybe verify that the admin is "still themselves" before restoring the bit and maybe facing a really unpleasant possible request to desysop someone shortly down the road.
Of course, I'm a bit more paranoid than some others here, so some of my concerns might be more or less unique to me. But those are the ideas that come to mind to me, anyway. John Carter (talk) 00:20, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • For that matter, I would support reconfirmation for all admin every 3 years based on 50%+1, similar to what Silk Tork said above, and I've said forever. We have to do some controversial things from time to time but surely half the community will still support if we are doing an adequate job. If three years from now, I can't get half the community to agree that I am an asset with the admin bit, I probably shouldn't be an admin. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 01:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree that re-confirmation of all admins on a regular basis would be a good thing, although I certainly understand the argument that having to be re-confirmed might inhibit admins taking controversial actions. A solution to this might be to have re-confirmation RfAs use a somewhat lesser standard than initial RfAs. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:24, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses. Let me clarify my position:

  • Admins returning from extended inactivity may not be fully clued up on current policy, and this is a legitimate concern. Although, on the other hand, I don't think that much has changed since this time three years ago. Disappointingly, no evidence has been presented that newly resysopped admins have been routinely causing issues. But for the sake of argument, if that's the problem, a better way to proceed would be to ask returning users to spend a month or so as an active user bringing themselves up to speed before requesting resysopping. Problem solved. (As an aside, this would also lessen the problem of compromised accounts, since it would require the imposter to spend a month actively editing productively, and probably not all of them will be willing to do this)
  • A lot of the drama caused by resysoppings when the user left "under a cloud" could have been avoided if the suggested wait time at WP:BN had been respected and nobody had been resysopped while discussion was ongoing. These wait times are an obvious good idea and should be added to policy right away. If it turns out after a BN discussion that the admin did indeed go inactive under a cloud, then RfA might well be the place to go. If it turns out there were no issues, then there is nothing to discuss at an RfA (given the previous point about policy).
  • I think sending users through RfA for reasons of mere inactivity - as opposed to actual wrongdoing or controversial actions - is a really bad decision. RfA has become a nightmarish process for anyone, and admin reconfirmation RfAs are particularly bad. Apart from the community time and energy they waste, if RfAs become mandatory after an extended break we'd see 9/10 users responding with "oh, forget it then" and we'd lose perfectly capable admins just due to bureaucracy. That's not a good result. There is a discussion on WT:RFA right now about the decline in admin numbers, but over here everyone is supporting a proposal to discourage old admins from returning. Mind boggling. More generally, I think we should try to avoid any policies that act as 'barriers to entry' for good users to return to active participation.
  • Reconfirmation RfAs for everyone is a proposal worth discussing somewhere (assuming it hasn't been rejected a dozen times already, I don't follow these things), but separately - not mixed in with this discussion.

Steel 01:31, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

    • I think I more or less agree with you on most of your points myself. Part of the prompting of this discussion was one crat maybe, in the eyes of some, maybe adhering to the existing rules regarding this and granting a potentially controversial admin the tools again. I can and do respect the reasoning of the crat involved, given the existing rules regarding this, but there is an indication that the rules need work. Giving the crats a bit more discretion in these matters, and maybe extended time to review and think requests over, might be sufficient in and of itself. But, once the question has been presented, there will be people like me who also think about trying to prevent similar, perhaps unlikely, variations in the future show up and create novel-length possible scenarios that might conceivably arise at some point in the future. But, personally, I'm not so sure that this would necessarily prevent old admins from returning. One very good one I know who returned, Yomangani, did so under an obvious variation of his old name and said, basically, that he didn't want to be an admin again. In at least some cases (and I am clearly obsessed with these sometimes remote possibilities), I think it might be even be in the interests of returning admins to give them a bit of time to decide whether they really want to be admins again, or whether they would prefer, like him, to just work on content instead. Just a few thoughts, anyway. John Carter (talk) 01:45, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I ran into something like this just today. An admin who was just barely making enough edits to keep their tools, but had not actually used them in two years until they did an out-of-process deletion of a user talk page. Out of touch admins are a real problem. If you became a sysop in 2006 and you only use your tools once or twice a year you probably are not up to speed on how the community expects you to use them. Is it a huge problem? No. But it is a problem. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:57, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • If adminship isn't for life, RFAs will become less confrontational; I balk at voting anybody in for a lifetime-anything, especially when removing the bit is hard; I would fret less about an RFA vote for a specific term. Are there many controversial issues admins have to face? Most blocks, page-protects and Afds are accepted. The contested ones typically have two groups, and admins would gain as much goodwill from one as they lose from the other. If the contested issue has most on one side and the admin on the other, I would say the admin is the issue. The burden on setting up RFAs would not be high; active administrators seem to be few, I come across the same set in many places. Churn and change (talk) 06:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • But this proposal isn't about requiring all admins be reconfirmed after X years. This is about whether inactive admins should be reconfirmed in order to become active again. It is hard to see how anyone's voting habits at RfA would change, since controversial, problematic admins can still serve for life as long as they make a few token deletions from time to time. – Steel 16:23, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I would prefer that admins stand for reconfirmation with an approximate 50%+1 !vote every 2-4 years, and much more weight given to their recent use of the tools than to early "youthful" mistakes in judgement or execution if the !vote is close. I would also support requiring admins to annually self-certify that they have read the policies in the last 6 months or that they will do so before they use a tool affected by a policy they haven't read lately. While I prefer annual self-certification, I'll settle for a longer interval. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong disagree with most of the above in this section - seems to be mostly poor faith, bureaucracy, and solutions in search of a problem.

    Policies change but principles mostly don't. There's an assumption in some comments above that a returning admin won't bother to read policies, won't consider they are out of date, has lost the judgment or care for the project they were sysopped for.I'd go for the alternative - assume good faith, and remind them gently to get back into things before using tools, go slowly, and refresh themselves on policies first as expectations of admins may have changed. We appoint for judgment at minimum so assume they still have it. If they have judgment, the vast majority of long term and returning users will understand.

    Other suggestions propose that returning or long term admins can't be trusted so we need to have more WP:BURO: regular certifications ("I, [insert admin name here] swear under perjury that I have read all policies in the last 6 months"?), regular reconfirmations (bonus distraction and drama), or that low use probably means lack of awareness.

    Admin tools are given if the user can be trusted with them to help the project. So let's continue to trust past trusted users to do right (if reminded) until there's good reason in specific cases not to? The one sensible precaution is to consider a pause before auto-resysopping after enough time, which has some merit.
    FT2 (Talk | email) 09:51, 17 November 2012 (UTC)


Since there are two favorable proposals that, if passed, will result in the removal of the ability certain former admins to request resysopping, it seems fair that those admins be notified before the change goes into effect so that they can act if they wish to request resysopping under the present rules. I was thinking the three following messages, depending on their situation:

For those listed at Wikipedia:FORMER#Resigned who have been inactive for three years since their desysopping
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hello. This message is to inform you that there is presently a proposal before the community that, if enacted, would require you to seek approval at WP:RFA if you desired to resume admin status; you would be unable to request return of the tools from a bureaucrat. If you would like a bureaucrat to consider a request for resysopping, you will need to make such a request at WP:BN prior to the enactment of the proposal. Thank you. MBisanz talk 17:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

For all others listed at Wikipedia:FORMER#Resigned
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hello. This message is to inform you that there is presently a proposal before that community that, if enacted, will require you to seek return of admin status through WP:RFA if you remain inactive during three years subsequent to your resignation; you will be unable to request return of the tools from a bureaucrat. If you would like a bureaucrat to consider a request for resysopping, you will need to make such a request at WP:BN prior to the expiration of the three year window. Thank you. MBisanz talk 17:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

For those listed at Wikipedia:Former administrators/Inactive
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hello. This message is to inform you that there is presently a proposal before that community that, if enacted, will require you to seek return of admin status through WP:RFA if you remain inactive during two years subsequent to your removal for inactivity; you will be unable to request return of the tools from a bureaucrat. If you would like a bureaucrat to consider a request for resysopping, you will need to make such a request at WP:BN prior to the expiration of the two year window. Thank you. MBisanz talk 17:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts? MBisanz talk 17:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

  • My feeling is that these notifications are somewhat likely to lead to people who aren't up on our policies and aren't active rushing to grab their bits back anyway, just because. The goal of this discussion has been to minimize the number of unprepared-user re-adminnings we do, not to encourage them. I mean, I see your point that it's only fair to notify people, but a) if they're not editing Wikipedia anyway, they're not likely to need their bits back in a hurry, which a notification like this would urge them to do, and b) if you've left the community for multiple years, it really should come as zero surprise that consensus and policy have moved on without your input. I might support a notification that said "Hello. This message is to inform you that there is presently a proposal before that community that, if enacted, will require you to seek return of admin status through WP:RFA [...] you will be unable to request return of the tools from a bureaucrat", but even that, if directed only to users who would lose some rights if the proposals pass, seems a little canvassy, in the sense that those users are very likely to have one-sided opinions. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 18:51, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Would there be a way to have say a week's implementation time after the proposals pass? Given how firm policy has been that adminship is for life before this change, it does seem like we should give people at least a chance to say they want the bits back. MBisanz talk 19:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I was about to say that the wording looked good to me, but I think fluffernutter has a fair point. Perhaps we should just do this similarly to how we handle contacting editors due to inactivity desysopping? Notify the various ways when they are nearing the 3 year or 1+2 year thresh holds? - jc37 18:55, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    • That works as well, but as I note in the first one, some resigned admins will already be beyond the three year window and therefore ineligible at the time the proposal passes. MBisanz talk 19:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
      • Oh definitely, even if only in the spirit of collegiality and WP:AGF. We should contact anyone beyond the thresh-holds, and give them the same length of time to respond that we give in the case of inactivity desysops (I haven't read it in awhile, but I think there is a 30 day notice, among other things?) - jc37 19:10, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
      • I think a grace period like this makes sense. If the proposals pass, those past the threshold would get a 7- or 30-day notice (crats probably have a much better sense than I do of what amount of notice time is best) that if they didn't return by X date, they would no longer be eligible for resysop-via-crat. And then in the future, it would make sense to treat these ineligibilities the same way we treat inactivity desysoppings: send out a round of "you're running out of time", see if anyone comes back, and then after the grace period throw the switch. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 19:19, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
        • I suspect a 30 day window would work best, but 7 also works. Also, once the initial notifications are sent out (and a reference is included in the regular inactivity desysop notification sent out), I think it would be fair to say all current admins are on-notice as to policy and we would not need to re-notify them at the end of the two or three years. MBisanz talk 19:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
          • 30 days. Unseemly rushing to action was the root cause of these proposed changes - changes I agree with I would note - but even so. 7 days is just too short for a variety of self obvious reasons. Pedro :  Chat  22:06, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
            • How about a 30 day email and on-wiki note, and a 7 day on-wiki notice? - jc37 22:13, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • As per Fluffernutter - this diff - I also feel there will be problems concerning they will rush to grab their additional powers and they will then not not contribute - I have detailed one such power back grabber diff - and there are more that have been resyopped by the crats - I asked the crats to keep a record of the users they Resyop but they said - its in the archive history , go look for it - this is wrong also a list of the users they resyopp would be very useful - Please crats - can we have a list of the users you have resyopped so we can investigate what contributions the returning users made? - if they are gone long time - let them be gone - if they return to contributing then let them go to RFA - Users that we need as Admins are users that are contributing NOW and recently - not historic absent friends sic - Youreallycan 06:38, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
    • No one ever asked us to keep a list and there is no easy way to create such a list. Also, the case you reference, was and is required by policy and it would have been a breach of policy by the crats to deny him return of the bit. We cannot, even with the new changes, say "if they return to contributing then let them go to RFA" unless they meet the inactivity definitions of the new policy. MBisanz talk 12:18, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
      • I asked on the crat noticeboard about creating/keeping a list some months ago - what is so difficult in ...when you create an administrator adding the name and date and the crat that did it and a link to the discussion/request to a page like List of users resyopped by the Bureaucrats ? - Youreallycan 16:42, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
        • Besides NoSeptember, myself, and WJB, no one has ever really cared about userrights history, so I imagine no one felt motivated to act on your request. Also, while I could probably put together a rough list of resysopping since 2008 in an hour, it would be much harder to do those from before 2007, given the poor state the logs are in. I'll try when I have some time to get to it. MBisanz talk 17:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
          • Thank you - Since 2008 would be more than enough - and no immediate hurry, as and when you have spare time - regards - Youreallycan 17:54, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

The list of people who will be immediately affected by the above proposals is in the hat box below. I tried to remove names I recognized that no one would dispute as being under a cloud, but I may have left some edge cases that were under a cloud (and would be investigated in the 24 hour window if the person requests resysopping). I don't think many, if any of them, will come running back, but if we can at least agree on a 30 day notice to this group, then we can move to if and how we should inform the larger group that will be affected in the future. MBisanz talk 12:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Former admins who will immediately lose the right to request resysopping
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Koyaanis Qatsi (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Baldhur (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Ark30inf (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Muriel Gottrop (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Robchurch (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Carbonite (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Fabiform (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Formeruser-82 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Banes (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) JCarriker (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Worldtraveller (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Essexmutant (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) FrancisTyers (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) DanKeshet (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) JRM (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Obli (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RadioKirk (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Michaelas10 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RetiredUser2 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Tregoweth (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Amcaja (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Coredesat (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) ElinorD (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Matilda (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Fvw (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RandomXYZb (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Barneca (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) BradBeattie (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Gwernol (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Random832 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local)

Francs2000 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) (crat right) Optim (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) (crat right)

-- April (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) 17Drew (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) 52 Pickup (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Aarktica (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) AdjustShift (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Admiral Norton (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Aecis (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Alai (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Alex S (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Alex756 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Ams80 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Andrew Norman (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Andris (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Android79 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Anonymous editor (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Aranel (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Benc (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Bluemoose (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Canadian-Bacon (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) CanadianCaesar (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Cantthinkofagoodname (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) CattleGirl (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Cedrus-Libani (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Cgs (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Chadloder (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Chmod007 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Chris Roy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Clifford_Adams (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Coelacan (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Coralmizu (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Curps (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) CyborgTosser (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Daniel Olsen (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) DanMS (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Darthgriz98 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) DeadEyeArrow (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Denni (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) DF08 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Dijxtra (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Dina (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Dori (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) DrBob (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Duja (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Duk (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Duncharris (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Dysprosia (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Efghij (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Elf-friend (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Evil Monkey (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Fantasy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Feco (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Femto (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Flcelloguy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Flowerparty (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Francs2000 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Freakofnurture (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) FreplySpang (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Func (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Galwhaa (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) G-Man (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Greeves (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) GregAsche (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) GregRobson (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Grm wnr (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Hajor (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Hcheney (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Hephaestos (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Hermione1980 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Humus sapiens (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Imran (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) InShaneee (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Interiot (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Irishguy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Isotope23 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Izehar (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) J-stan (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Jaxl (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Jeronimo (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Jersyko (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) JHK (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Jkelly (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) JonMoore (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Josh Grosse (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Joshbuddy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Jreferee (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Karen Johnson (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Katefan0 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Kcordina (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Leebo (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Lord Emsworth (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Lradrama (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Lupin (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mallanox (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mark Christensen (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mark Richards (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) MarkSweep (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Marshman (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Masamage (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Matt Britt (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Maximus Rex (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) MC MasterChef (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mel Etitis (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mic (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mintguy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) MPF (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Musical Linguist (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Mustafaa (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Myleslong (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Nae'blis (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Niteowlneils (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Notheruser (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Okiefromokla (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Olessi (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Opabinia_regalis (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Optim (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) PeaceNT (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Peter Winnberg (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Pfortuny (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Pgk (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Phaedriel (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Picaroon (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Pilotguy (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) PinchasC (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Plange (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Quercusrobur (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RadicalBender (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Recurring_dreams (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Redux (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RexNL (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Rlquall (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) RoseParks (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Royboycrashfan (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Rune.welsh (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Salsa Shark (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Sam Korn (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Samuel Blanning (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Sango123 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Scimitar (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Scm83x (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) SD6-Agent (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Sean William (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Shadow1 (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Shauri (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Shirahadasha (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Sjorford (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Slowking_Man (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Someone_else (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Talrias (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Tangotango (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Tarquin (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) The Singing Badger (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Tillwe (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) TimShell (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) TKD (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) TSO1D (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) TUF-KAT (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Water Bottle (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Wernher (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Wiki alf (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) WODUP (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) WojPob (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Xiner (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Yacht (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local) Zedla (former: t · c · b · p · d · r · meta · local)

The above list does not include those admins who will lose it by virtue of being on the /inactive list and being inactive for three years. Could someone pull together that list? Thanks. MBisanz talk 13:58, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

I'll make you that list. Regards, — Moe Epsilon 06:54, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
  Done Listed all accounts listed on FORMER/I that haven't made an edit or log in three years (November 2009 and older). Regards, — Moe Epsilon 10:35, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
The delivering job is done.
One false positive (User talk:Francis Tyers), two protected pages (already taken care of)
Regards, mabdul 23:54, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Appealing decisions to (not) resysop

I have started a discussion regarding a de jure process by which 'crat decisions to (not) resysop may be appealed. See Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats#Appealing decisions to (not) resysop — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thryduulf (talkcontribs) 01:21, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I think we have a pretty good process for such an appeal in place already - RFA itself. There is nothing in any of the proposals above that would prevent a former admin who left under a cloud (or otherwise was not re-adminned by the bureaucrats) from going to RFA. Indeed, some admin who's been gone for a while might feel the need to go directly to RFA on their own initiative. How those RFAs would play out depends greatly on the admin and the circumstance, of course - but it's an option. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 20:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I would disagree with it as a viable option. While there have been successful re-RFAs in the past, the process is so fraught with political intrigue, that would I find it inadvisable. MBisanz talk 20:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This is exactly what is suggested at Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats#Appealing decisions to (not) resysop for appeals of decisions to not resysop. Please keep the discussion in one place though. Thryduulf (talk) 20:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
This discussion has fragmented quite badly and is potentially hard to keep track of. Would anyone object to the creation of a subpage for centralized discussion? Something like, say, /Restoration of adminship. It could begin by linking to the various earlier parts of the conversation. I think value could be had in providing summaries of the discussion so far, as well; but if that's done in any of the current venues they'll end up buried in the archives. — Hex (❝?!❞) 11:57, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

under a cloud

Re the FCYTravis dispute, how can a "cloud" exist at all when someone is desysopped for inactivity? By definition, as an inactive admin they were not in any current disputes when they were desysopped, and they had not been desysopped "for cause" previously (or they had subsequently regained the bit). Therefore, until the moment of their desysopping they remained an admin in good standing. Where am I wrong? I guess I'm not considering the possibility that there was an "evasion of scrutiny" when they stopped editing--but can't and wouldn't arbcom desysop them anyway in absentia (at least, pending reply to a case)? If there are any rogue admins hiding among the inactive list that's the community's fault for not weeding them out earlier. (talk) 00:26, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

  • There is precedent from Arbcom that they don't try people in absentia, so unless an arbcom case has got to the stage of proposed decisions before someone leaves they will not be desysopped. There are also forms of dispute resolution other than arbcom - mediation, RfCs, AN/I, etc. that can result in sanctions. Although desysopping is rarely a sanction used, admins leaving to avoid other forms of censure do not inspire confidence in their continued suitablity to the role. Additionally, such discussions are in most circumstances a mandatory prerequisite to an arbcom case. Thryduulf (talk) 00:45, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Actually ArbCom's definitions of "under a cloud" and "non-participation" can be a little broader than that. See [1]. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:49, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Under a cloud and improve it. A community sourced definition would likely be appreciated. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:09, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
    • I've made a modification there, with explanation on the talk page. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 15:10, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I've worked on that page too, see if it helps. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:28, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I would say that is good. Clarity requires the extra verbiage, and I think you've outlined the grey area quite well. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 13:42, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Misdirected suggestions?

I commented above: -

"The community endorsed their RFA for judgment; most of the comments on this page seem to assume that judgment will somehow have vanished. They won't limit themselves to the few tools and situations they are "safe" in, they won't be bothered to think policies and usage may have changed, so we need to force-desysop them. I prefer the alternative:- if they come back they will either use the tools well or not and either way we can assume good faith and see what they do, because any non-issue is fine, any diminished awareness or judgment is instantly fixable when it reveals itself. I would simply say, template returning users to gently remind them policies may have changed and - especially before using any advanced tools - they should ensure they are up to date on the community's norms, and ask if needed first. That's all that is needed, because we appointed them for judgment and it's likely they still have it."

Many reasons not to force-remove:

  • We select admins (throughout) for judgment; its likely many have judgment even after 1-2-3-4-5 years away (which could be due to work, health or any good cause too: AGF). If gently reminded we should assume most returnees will reaquaint themselves with policy before doing much with anything.
  • If a newcomer can "get" the idea then a returning experienced user should have no difficulty doing the same. Policies change but principles don't change so much.
  • Standards are an issue for all. An admin who took a 3 year break may be civil, thoughtful and clued in before acting, or an admin who never took a break may become abrasive or make poor calls. So it's hard to see a specific problem with returning long-absent admins.
  • We should welcome back returning established users (and warn them gently that things may have changed). If there are gentler ways to ensure they return with good standards, that's preferable to forced RFA.
  • Admins who don't have decent judgment, or act poorly by current standards, need addressing whether never absent or absent many years. So regardless we will have a way to handle the exceptions. Use it for failed returnees.
  • An admin could be prompted to return by something simple and innocuous (eg: - browsing as a reader, he/she sees a clear blatant BLP, checks current policy, and decides to log in and fix it). Many admins might return that way who are quite safe to do minor admin actions, should be trusted, and move back to editing thereafter. We shouldn't discourage their return. Forcible desysop could come over as "end of wiki career" discouragement even if it isn't meant to feel that way.
  • Users should be able to take extended breaks and not worry about pros and cons of dropping bits. For example a user who has been a capable courteous admin for 6 years might not meet stringent RFA expectations of 2012 - but should they need to? If they never dropped the bit nobody would suggest desysopping them or holding them to 2012 RFA expectations as a condition of continuing adminship. We would judge them by the conduct; we ought to judge returning users the same way on equal merits.

Other approaches are less WP:BITEy, and more civil and collegial:

  1. Email/talk page an absent admin twice when it's coming up to a year, to suggest if they don't plan to return then perhaps they would like to consider dropping the bit for security, or it may be removed after a year without prejudice but can be regained by asking at WP:BN if they are not "under a cloud". Also mention as a heads-up, that when they return they are advised not to move back to admin or controversial actions too quickly, as norms may have changed. They should re-familiarise themselves with current norms before resuming admin action.
  2. Upon return, bot-post an automated "welcome back" template, greeting them back - and reminding them gently that times have changed and conduct and tool use will be judged by current standards; user is advised to avoid any possibly dubious actions and conduct until refamiliarized, and nice to see them again.
  3. If they have not got the bit, then add that crats must check "no cloud" or necessary process before returning the bit. (No specific time limit: if it takes 5 mins it takes 5 mins, if its unclear and needs a BN thread it could take days.)
  4. Then have either 1 - 2 months editing history before resuming tools, and/or 1 - 2 months probationary period on resuming them (during which minority confidence due to current actions can trigger a need for full RFA).

That final step is the reverse of forced desysop. It assumes good faith. It treats returnees as capable of figuring things out and wishing to do so, but makes clear they are resuming the tools without reconfirmation RFA, on the AGF trust that they will do it properly or engage in significant editing to get back into the flow of community norms first. Then if they don't, the community can (and may well) decide they should have to go through full RFA instead.

To summarize, forced removal isn't a problem, but forced reconfirmation RFA on returning is. Let's WP:AGF first. Most admins do care and are capable. They understand the issue. So the ideas they will re-join carefully and not dive in poorly is likely to be valid AGF much more often than not. Simply remind returning admins about their position, and then keep a non-RFA route by default. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:21, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

What prompted the current rash of policy considerations was an admin seeking the bit after 4 years, in the middle of an edit war. That calls into question their judgement. Had they not been involved in a dispute with another editor while requesting the bit back, it likely would have been an uneventful resysoping. The pattern of edit warring before reseeking the bit made it difficult to AGF, as did the ANI filing directly before the wikibreak. AGF isn't a suicide pact, after all.
I'm not arguing the principal in what you are saying, but I'm concerned about some of the risks of giving the bit back to someone who is gone for many years, versus the risk of them simply seeking an RfA resysoping. The primary reasons why RfAs fail in general seem to be either due to confrontations or a lack of admin experience. A solid former admin would likely not have any issues with reseeking the bit at RfA if they just disappeared for a few years, but it at least gives us a week to look back and check the history, which is remote enough that many of the editors of that period are no longer around to chime in. I think it boils to the question of "are admin really admin for life?" and a significant portion of the community doesn't want it to be such a hard and fast rule, demonstrated by the current RfC on the issue.
It is my opinion that we better serve Wikipedia if we treat adminship less like "admin for life" when there is risk involved, putting the needs of the community before the convenience of the individual admin. And of course, I completely agree that long gone and returning admin (or editors) should be welcomed with open arms, and a clear policy on the handling will facilitate that by offering clarity to everyone involved, and will guarantee fair and equitable treatment by the community. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 15:26, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I haven't looked up the specific case (volumes written!) but we all agree it's very rare. I don't see your example case as actually having much risk. The way you explain it, he wanted the bit back for only one of 3 reasons: - to do other stuff in good faith, to silently intimidate by reinstatement, or to positively use in the edit war (tools or actual threats).
(A) is harmless and positive - actually we like this;
(B) is easily dealt with by saying "yes in principle but your opponent may feel intimidated, so I need you to confirm you will not use it in that dispute, and I'll drop a note on [[User:Opponent]]'s talk page so they know that this makes absolutely no difference nor will it help you at all in any dispute between you";
(C) ... how many microseconds would the bit have lasted if this had been tried, after warning and breached agreement, and that many eyeballs?
Trivial decision. Warn or caution first, check he understands and agrees, then give him the bit back, advise he goes slow at the start since conduct expectations are stricter in 2012, and end thread. That's exactly how AGF should work. There was no "suicide pact" risk here; the project is 100% safe either way so give the benefit of the doubt once he says he understands. Note the possible issue, caution him and also let his opponent know it changes nothing, and when he says "I understand and of course I won't", reinstate the bit. Anything improper - how many microseconds again? Do I hear zero? Nobody would support if such a user actually did threaten or use tools in a dispute after that kind of resysop and warning, so there's no WP:AGF risk to it.
A similar approach is used in almost all but the most abusive WP:DR or vandalism, all the way up to and including Arbcom. In any but entrenched egregious cases an experienced admin faced with a single good-faith user possibly acting inappropriately will very often coose to warn-or at worst set a minor sanction like 24 hrs-then stand back and see what they do next. It's low risk because they'll get slammed almost immediately if they did abuse the good-faith trust given. It's how DR usually works for any good-faith user if they don't have a history of broken trust. FT2 (Talk | email) 18:12, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
(There is a loophole we need to close though: a user who drops a trust-bit, engages in poor conduct, then claims the right to the bit back anyway ("it was dropped voluntarily in good standing, and not under a cloud") . We do need to agree how to handle a user who behaved badly then later-when the matter could even be months stale-now requests the bit back. It's important to handle. But denying AGF isn't how to do it.) FT2 (Talk | email) 18:44, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm more interested in the "wait X hours" proposals than in the requiring an RfA proposals.
In watching WP:BN, it was becoming clear that bureaucrats were treating the resysopping as an automatic process (and I can understand how that came to be). And I think that taking some time for discernment as to what conditions were when they dropped the tools is worth doing/checking out. And if one or more is doing so, having another bureaucrat helpfully, but automatically, resysopping, kinda short circuits the process. So if nothing else, waiting x hours provides that opportunity to the bureaucrats who wish to do that due dilligence. I would prefer 72 hours, but from the various discussions, it was becoming clear that 24 hours was going to be the optimal chance for this to pass.
As for the desysop. There are obviously those who want the time period even shorter. I would be fine if these didn't pass at all. But if we're going to have this concept, I oppose anything shorter than 3 contiguous years for various reasons. - jc37 18:59, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
(Reply to FT2) What you've described is basically exactly how RFA should work. But, of course, people really stopped doing anything but paying lip service to AGF a long, long time ago. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:44, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
(warning, soapbox/tldr reply, sorry Hex!)
Which "people"? Not all, nor most. If some people seem to have forgotten AGF, then the remedy is to bring it back more firmly – not to just shrug and let it slide. AGF is not a luxury for us, it's a necessity in a volunteer collaboration. What some may forget (perhaps because they never realized or saw in action) is that when used properly, AGF is extremely effective. You give people a warning and a chance to be taken at their word, then judge quickly by their actions instead of assuming. You take a starting point someone is reasonable unless they show clearly (in multiple people's eyes) that they are not. You explain the position to people and the majority will respect it and appreciate your "heads up". AGF is not a luxury whim, it's central to making dispute resolution and collaboration work. If it isn't being understood or adopted, then implement it more and be clearer on it, not less, and we fix it.
tl;dr comment on AGF from functionary perspective: It works.

Without egoism or soapbox, but to show why and how deeply I mean that as a direct practical view, this is not a "naive noob" or "rose tinted" view. It's direct first hand experience as a checkuser/functionary/arbitrator of having focused on tough and entrenched abuse cases, POV and sock warriors, gamers, and manipulative and abusive corrupt admins, taken through Arbcom and desysopping in the past over almost 7 years. Sometimes you have to be hardened, but that's a tiny minority of cases and a last resort. Most times, good faith users want to make Wikipedia work, so if you explain a need for something, they will try to work with it. Bad faith ones offered a chance show their true colors and that's not bad either. If AGF works well enough that I'd still advocate it as our best bet even after some 6 years of hardened-abuser cases, it will work for returning experienced users who we can actually expect will want to "do right", provided we explain to them. What will destroy us far more surely as a project is not the occasional returning admin, nor giving AGF and finding it occasionally doesn't work out. It's gradual incursion of well-intentioned WP:CREEP and WP:BURO that deters user enjoyment wholesale for everyone, where not needed, and where it's introduced only due to a handful of cases that could be managed more gracefully anyhow.

[I'll get off my soapbox now! Sorry if that was tl;dr!] FT2 (Talk | email) 14:57, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Not tl;dr at all. If anything, my response now is going to hit that particular mark. I've been thinking of writing an essay for a while, and this is probably going to be an early version of it, and quite possibly fuzzy around the edges.
Thanks for your thoughtful and refreshingly positive comments, all of which I'm in agreement with. I'm not actually bitter, although it may well appear so at times; it's just that, even though AGF works in practice, as you describe, the words and actions that I encounter here on a daily basis often make it hard to remember so. There is, at times, an overwhelmingly loud and negative flavour to the activities shaping the environment in the project, almost as if AGF has been forgotten in its most deep and powerful applications.
[The following is best read in a Grandpa Simpson voice]
As context, I've just hit ten years of being here, but before that I was on MeatballWiki, and before that, the WikiWikiWeb. Those two were where many of our core cultural principles were born - AGF was one of the six principles of SoftSecurity. In the active days of the WikiWikiWeb, there were no user profiles, no administrative abilities (even for the site's owner), painfully limited amounts of page history, no talk pages, and a RecentChanges that was maintained by hand. Soft security was all we had. Despite that, the community thrived and took care of itself - WhyWikiWorks. There was an understanding that things were not perfect, but that was okay. The WikiGnome was born. WikiWikiWeb provided much of the philosophy; MeatballWiki, the Meta of its day, the research. Meatball was a central gathering point for wiki people to discuss good practice and all the aspects of the wiki experience, and produced real insights. WikiLifeCycle ought to be required reading for anyone seriously interested in making a wiki work.
(Apologies if you know all this already.)
Despite what WP:NOTBURO may say, you're right. There's been a continuous process of instruction creep since the beginning. It's now often virtually impossible to enact change without getting involved in the kind of discussion we used to refer to as a ForestFire.
Take the current example of re-enabling admin permissions. Many years ago, people were cognizant of the point you've been making, that it is extremely difficult to cause real problems. Perversely, even though the tools we how have to protect ourselves are orders of magnitude more sophisticated than those available at the start, there hasn't been an associated understanding of the implication of those tools, which is that we are protected from any real technological issues that could be borne of elevated privileges. And behavioural issues can be dealt with in exactly the style you mention above. Yet instead, the issue - if it even deserves to rate that label - has been met with a barrage of HardSecurity proposals, as if AGF doesn't work, even though your experience shows that it does.
Another one of our early contributors was quercus robur, who started editing a few months before me in 2002. I actually met him independently in real life a couple of years ago and became friends without knowing that he had been here; recently I found that in 2007 he had become unhappy and quit the project, because, in his words, "Wikipedia doesn't seem to be much fun any more." I can completely understand why he felt that way.
I guess the big question is - is it too late to restore AGF as a deep understanding? And if so, how do we do it? — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:29, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
That was very well written and well worth it, thanks Hex. I have some ideas, and probably you might as well, but this isn't the right venue for it. Can you suggest better - given that potentially it could just be two of us and brief? — Preceding unsigned comment added by FT2 (talkcontribs) 11:16, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Hey, thank you. Well, feel free to head over to my talk page, put it in whichever section you feel suits it best. We can always move it en masse to somewhere else if need be. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:01, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • @FT2, I get what you are saying and I don't see a flaw in your logic. My natural instinct is to be more cautious than that when there is tangible risk involved, not just theoretical risk. Working with editors at WP:WER makes you cautious that way. I would have to think about it further and would be open minded. I still think the short waiting period is needed. If no other reason than adds process in an area that needs it, and gives the community a reasonable opportunity to help the crats and makes sure nothing is sliding by. We need to better define "under controversy" (under a cloud) better as well, so there is less chance of misunderstandings. Even if some disagree with the threshold, we all need to understand what the threshold is. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 14:19, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Under a cloud which I updated following the same suggestion (above) and should be more on target now. Can always do with more community input. Waiting period could make sense. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:57, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I can not really agree. We do not grant admin right automatically to admins on other Wikimedia projects - in order not to derail the discussion, let us only tak about bigger projects, where they get elected through the real procedure, with scrutiny, questions etc. Even despite the fact that the pillars are basically the same (yes, I know that on de.wp they only have four pillars), and that many policies are just literate translations, and others have the same spirit. But English Wikipedia of 2005 is much further from us now than say Italian Wikipedia of 2012 - in everything, policies, spirit, practices etc. If someone was elected admin in 2005 and was inactive since say 2007 - they have less clue to what is going on than any admin of the Italian Wikipedia now, provided they speak English. And the community who elected this admin in 2005 and entrusted them is different now - many users left or became inactive, and new users came. This is really a different world, this is not a AGF issue.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:27, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I have a bit of a historical perspective on this. I was taking cases to Arbcom in 2005, a year after Arbcom was set up. I've seen adminship and expectations develop over the last 8 years, and been responsible for quite a lot of that change myself. I took an admin break to re-explore life as a newcomer not long ago, and routinely work to help new editors. I feel quite well informed on change in the community over that time scale. A lot has changed. But the core of this project and community and how it works is actually not very different to 6 years ago. Policies are nuanced and filled out, certainly processes develop a lot (SPI, AFD, CU/OS elections), but basic principles and admin approaches are virtually the same. A user who knew them a few years ago will quickly get up to speed now. AGF is not about assuming returnees will know the latest policy detail. It's about assuming they care and if told to go slow and read policies, most will understand and do so. The few who don't can be caught and corrected (or otherwise) when it happens. So we keep it easy. A returning admin (from whatever year) shows by their conduct that they "gets" it, or they trip up. We try to let them know this is an area to go slow, and if and when they trip up, we deal with it. But a minority who might trip is not cause to throw a majority through reconfirmation bureaucracy just because we now believe most of these good-faith users won't, can't or shouldn't have the trust or opening to do so. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:57, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Bureaucrat rights discussion

I have started a RFC regarding allowing bureaucrats to remove the bureaucrat bit, and regarding the regranting of the bureaucrat bit (to bring it into line with the recently-passed policies for administrators). Please see Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats#2012 bureaucrats RFC. --Rschen7754 01:50, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

RFC notice

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Resysopping practices impacts this policy, so please contribute to the discussion if you are interested. Thanks. MBisanz talk 18:54, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

TThe consensus of this discussion is in support of the changed wording. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 15:35, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal for discussion regarding admin action by other admins who disagree

Proposed to change the following: WP:RAAA

Current Text: Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but except for clear and obvious mistakes, administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought and (if likely to be objected) usually some kind of courtesy discussion.

Proposal markup: Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but except for clear and obvious mistakes, administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought and (if likely to be objected [to]) usually some kind of courtesy discussion[, where the administrator is presently available, a brief discussion with the administrator whose action is challenged.]

Proposal: Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought, and (if likely to be objected to), where the administrator is presently available, a brief discussion with the administrator whose action is challenged.

  • Reasons:
  • Administrators are expected to use good Judgement. When another administrator questions that judgement, they should put the question to the challenged administrator in order to hopefully reach consensus. They should have a real and good faith discussion. It does not need to be a long discussion, and, if the admin is not present, than at least you tried. "Clear and obvious mistake" is subsumed in "good cause" (i.e., it is obviously a good cause). IAR, with its heightened standards will take care of the rare event. Regular editors are expected to discuss Admin action with Admin, Admins should too. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:41, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Ping, for thoughts on proposal. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:03, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Shall I just implement without objection? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:25, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
You asked this during the holiday season, so it's unsurprising that you haven't had much (that is, any) response. I suggest that you advertise this proposal more widely, e.g. at WP:VPP. You certainly shouldn't plough on and attempt to change a policy document without getting a single comment.
Also, your suggested text is mangled. Did you mean this? (Note use of <ins>...</ins> to indicate new text.)

Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but except for clear and obvious mistakes, administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, and careful thought. and, (ifIf they are likely to be objected) to,usually some kind ofa brief courtesy discussion, should be had with the administrator whose action is being challenged, if they are available.

Please note that I am not expressing any opinion on the merits of your proposal, just copy-editing it.
Hex (❝?!❞) 19:29, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. The brackets are used for new text in my proposal markup. So the new text is at the end. I see. I did forget a "to" in the markup, now also bracketed (and a stray comma removed).Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:46, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah - <ins>...</ins> is specifically used to indicate insertions into a modified text, so it's good practice to use it. (It's not very well known.) Best. — Hex (❝?!❞) 12:15, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
A VPP notice has been placed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:15, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  • No objections to change. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 11:55, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of "obvious mistake," verbiage,. KillerChihuahua 14:51, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
One adminstrators "obvious mistake," maybe another adminstartors reasonable action. More importantly, if you discuss that, you can come to an understanding with respect to that in a very quick - low cost - manner. Perhaps you are wrong, perhaps you are right, but if you discuss it's easier to find out, without escalation. Just because you don't understand, does not always mean "wrong," conversely why not give the other admin the chance to fix the mistake. Finally, mistake is "good cause," so there is no need to repeat it. (Lead by example: show that conversation about mistakes (or not) works). - Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:30, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Concur with Alanscottwalker's logic. Additionally these apply to administrative admin actions, not general edits. So clarifying is always a good choice. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 16:00, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
If it isn't obvious to everyone, it isn't obvious. Example: I recently answered an RFPP. I said I was semi-protecting for 2 weeks. Then my mouse slipped, and I semi-protected indefinitely. Another admin fixed my obvious mistake. And back years ago when I was a new admin, I actually blocked the person who made an AIV report, instead of the reported editor. I unblocked and apologised and thankfully the blocked editor had a sense of humor about it. But if I had blocked and then left the computer without realizing it, then anyone could have looked at the contribs of the blocked editor and realized I had made a mistake. An obvious one. KillerChihuahua 22:47, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with the proposal. Discussion before reverting other admins' actions should be the rule, not the exception, and unilaterally reverting other admins in the case of "obvious mistakes" is problematic, because the second admin is just as likely to make a mistake by reverting an action as the first admin is by making the action in the first place. Sandstein  14:54, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I disagree absolutely with this proposal - Admins here although had over a few days the support of , yes, seems clueful to me , type comments, their actions are not written in stone, they are as per non admins occasionally involved and opinionated, they usually have clue and have weight, but only the respective weight of their community respect that will follow in the related community discussion- as such their actions are immediately reversible by another admin - the second admin has the wheel war advantage and that is fantastically beneficial imo - along the lines of WP:Bold revert discuss - the idea that some faceless, support has clue user that passed RFA is unrevertable is a sorry mistake - Youreallycan 10:00, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The second admin will have the wheel war advantage, regardless -- even during the brief discussion. Indeed, because they have that advantage, all the more reason for them to actually talk about pressing that advantage, first (not after). Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:08, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Please Note In this diff [2] I reverted another user to avoid the blanking of everyone else's comments (and the sections below). I left a note on their talk page (they appear new). I am unsure how to rescue the comment, or even if some kind of rescue is proper. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • There probably should be something about the need to at least notify. DGG ( talk ) 01:37, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I support this change without reservation. An admin reversing another's action without at least some amount of consensus is simply substituting one's discretion for another's; it's no less likely than the reversal be an "obvious mistake" than the original – not even taking into account the problem that "obvious mistake" is used too often to mean "I disagree". — Coren (talk) 18:30, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I support removing the "obvious mistake" bit. Pretty much every time I've seen an admin claim "obvious mistake" in undoing another's action, it turns out the severity of (or existence of) the "mistake" was largely a matter of individual opinion. It's not a useful or objective benchmark; instead it ends up giving us license to claim that, instead of the more accurate "You made a call I really, really don't agree with" and therefore having to discuss, it's valid to say "You made an obvious mistake [in my eyes]" and therefore excuse ourselves from any discussion of the matter prior to unilateral undoing the action.

    I do want to point out, though, that "presently available" is also an exceptionally fuzzy concept in a lot of ways. If I want to undo a block someone else implemented, are they "presently" unavailable if they don't respond to my request for discussion within an hour? Twelve hours? 24? X% of the length-of-block time? It might be better to say something along the lines of "if the administrator is an active editor" (though that's also fuzzy - "active" in the general sense of "someone who edits"? or the sense of "currently, right now, making edits"?) or "if the administrator is currently editing" (still fuzzy, but slightly less so), or to rephrase that section of the proposal to say something like "...administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought, and discussion between the objecting admin and the original admin whenever possible" (and thereby avoid the issue of "well I GAVE him six minutes to respond, and he didn't, so I unblocked!" - common sense will tell us when it's reasonable to expect discussion to happen, I would hope). A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 21:54, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Support proposal almost completely. Like Fluffernutter above the "presently available" is an issue. The examples he gives above cover it from my POV as well. The ability of the second admin's action to be protected from reversal due to wheel-warring is a major issue a reasonable amount of time needs to be given before invoking it. My only suggestion is to replace "where the administrator is presently available" with "allowing a reasonable amount of time"--Cailil talk 22:26, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The proposal is not perfect, granted, but it is a step. It is, of course, with weary acknowledgment that something will be wikilawyered, sometime. But lets take the step, nonetheless. Almost completety support is good. Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:06, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Positive steps. A suggested improvement is:
Proposal: Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but administrative actions should not be reversed in contention.(full stop) without In exceptional circumstances, where disagreement is steadfast, the disagreement must be raised at WP:ANI, with all involved administrators notified. A contentious reversal may then only be made with good cause, careful thought, and (if likely to be objected to), where the administrator is presently available, a brief discussion with the administrator whose action is challenged.and the participation of multiple uninvolved administrators.
Supporting reasons: Notification of the original admin must be explicitly mandatory, as we assuming conflict. The “if objected” and the “where available” clauses have more potential for wikilaywering than merit. The whole paragraph already assumes a situation of objection, and “careful thought” encapsulates the ability to deal with someone’s absence. A required “multiple uninvolved administrators” discourages the debate being dominated by two camps with involved histories, and in an extreme cases may help the closing admin justify the down-weighting of biased participants in favour of outside eyes. “Raised at ANI” does not necessarily mean that the discussion proper is held at ANI, though I expect it usually will be held there. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:16, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support in general, but prefer SmokeyJoe's modification.—Kww(talk) 04:24, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Nothing in the original or modified texts says it only concerns blocks, and the comments that only mention blocks are rather telling, as if only blocks matter, and discussion and weighing evidence do not matter. Likewise, would this mean an admin changing semi-protection to pending changes without the agreement of multiple uninvolved administrators would be in violation? And what teeth would this have? Gimmetoo (talk) 01:21, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • This is appropriately about all administrative actions, but we all know this is mainly about blocks. Blocks and unblocks are known to be sometimes contentious (rarely, as a proportion of blocks, but significant in terms of noticeboard grief). The above changes would in theory apply equally to a page-protection-dispute. My proposed wording at least, in which I’ve tried to maintain balance between teeth and not impacting the non-controversial vast majority of admin actions, says “administrative actions should not be reversed in contention”. Non-contention does not in general require explicit multiple agreers. Contention is clear with hindsight, but requires “good judgment” on the run, which is something “Administrators are expected to have” [or maybe they shouldn't be administrators.

    The “teeth” this has is that every bad block that also continues to remain contentious must be raised at ANI. This will spark a review. No human enjoys a critical review of their “good judgment”. Anyone criticised publicly for doing a certain thing is less likely to do it again so quickly. The bigger teeth it has is that any unilaterally bad unblock will have broken the letter of policy and will be sanctionable. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:57, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Under this phrasing, a number of blocks - and other actions - will break the letter of policy and will be sanctionable, too. Are all admins who support this ready for that? Gimmetoo (talk) 02:22, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don’t see what you are talking about. What examples do you have in mind that are unilateral reversals of an admin action despite the clear objection to the reversal by the original admin? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • When admins are discussing (at ANI, at an editors talk page, wherever), those admins have decided to discuss. To override that would be contentious. Gimmetoo (talk) 03:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • You seem to be saying that you think any admin should be free to reverse an administrative action in contradiction to an ongoing discussion by other admins? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think that's what I said. Gimmetoo (talk) 03:46, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • You wrote: “When admins are discussing (at ANI, at an editors talk page, wherever), those admins have decided to discuss. To override that would be contentious.”

    “When admins are discussing”. This says that there is a discussion. Normally, the word “discussion” implies that there is some degree of harmony and not contention.

    “those admins have decided to discuss”. This clause reads to be as redundant. “are discuss” implies that the participants decided to do so.

    “To override that would be contentious”. “Override” I read as meaning that an action is taken contrary to, or inconsistent with. Its meaning is stronger than “act regardless of”.

    What is “that”? If “that” = the discussion, then yes, to override a discussion should be considered contentious. If “that” = the decision to discuss, “override” would mean the deletion of the discussion.

    Who overrides?

    Or should I read the entire statement as a statement of truth? If so, I don’t see any disagreement with my, or Alanscottwalker’s, proposal. I think the proposals are completely consistent with the notion that administrative actions should not be made unilaterally if the action is contentious. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:09, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

  • You and I are discussing whether some user should be blocked. That means we have decided to discuss. For some other admin to come in and do something is to override that discussion and override our decisions. If only the actions of the cowboy admin "count" (whether they be to block or not to block), then we have a problem. Gimmetoo (talk) 04:56, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • So you are in a hypothetical earlier scenario, before any admin action. There is a discussion going on that his leaning or deciding to not block. You would like the admin who then blocks to be sanctionable? If so, then I think you are opposing the proposal because it is a step too small? You would like the rules to recognise a multi-admin decision to not act as having the standing, at least, of an admin action that may not be reversed unilaterally? If so, maybe you should propose alternative wording? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:14, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I have a really hard time understanding how this can be worded in a way that doesn't favor perpetual indecision.—Kww(talk) 05:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree. A multi-admin decision to not act is not the sort of thing that lends to clear and simple codification. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:50, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Then I don't think your proposal is workable, as it sets aside the discussion and careful consideration expected of an administrative decisions, and enables cowboy actions by admins who don't have all the facts. If later evidence results in a block (say) being undone, then the admin who didn't get this information and made the block anyway has failed in the due diligence expected of an admin prior to taking action. Incompetence should not be encouraged or rewarded. Gimmetoo (talk) 14:43, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • So to be clear, do you support the status quo as written at WP:RAAA, or something else? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:06, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't support your proposed change. But since you apparently only want your own proposal to apply to a narrow set of admin actions, a more fitting question is whether you really support even your own proposal. Gimmetoo (talk) 19:03, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I do, certainly. And if it is unsupported, I support the original proposed changed. I don't think you have criticised either for what they are, but for what they do not do. I think your concerns may be beyond the scope of the action title at RAAA. What do you think of the current RAAA wording? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:27, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Sometimes quick action is required to stop the drama from really boneheaded decisions (rambo blocks on some high edit count editors, blocking sitting arbitrators -- you know, stuff like that). NE Ent 02:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I think that is supporting completely the wrong approach, perceivable from the other side as even more reactive, more dramatic ("quick"!), more bone headed for missing some who know what greater point. In the face of drama and bone headedness, it is better to slow down and make sure your're next action has some semblance of consensus support. In a clear-cut case, how long do you really think that would take? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are rare occasions when immediate overturning of admin action is appropriate. We don't need to rule it out because some admins might get it wrong sometimes. If an admin too often mistakenly overturns others (as determined by subsequent discussion), they should be admonished or constrained. If subsequent discussion does not arrive at a consensus supporting or opposing the first admin's action, the first admin should accept they may have been mistaken, but the second admin should be admonished because it was not a clear enough or obvious enough mistake. Instant overturning should be very rare, and should be greeted with almost universal approval. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:15, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support SmokeyJoe's version. In regard to blocks, there should be nothing new about this. WP:BLOCK already says:

"Except in cases of unambiguous error, administrators should avoid unblocking users without first attempting to contact the blocking administrator to discuss the matter. If the blocking administrator is not available, or if the administrators cannot come to an agreement, then a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard is recommended."

So, as Anthonyhcole says, "instant overturning should be very rare"; but lately it has not been rare. During the row of 29/30 December there were three blocks which were overturned in 5, 7 and 24 minutes. This is a trend which should be strongly discouraged. The reverting admin already has the wheel-war advantage: it will do no harm to reinforce the message that it should be used with great care and deliberation. JohnCD (talk) 22:29, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose As this would move us farther from what I think is the logical outcome. Where admins are in dispute, and actively discussing that dispute, the status quo should be reverted to pending the outcome of that discussion. Its the same as WP:BRD for non-admin actions and it is how WP:WHEEL functionally works. Not to say you can't have a discussion before undoing the action, in many case it is advisable to do so, not to mention courteous, but when push comes to shove, undo and sort it out should be the ultimate fallback. Monty845 20:47, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
BRD is not for "non-admin actions" it is for editing an article. Most non-admin actions in talk space are not at all subject to BRD. As for WHEEL, you have not stated why the preferred method should not be: (good faith) Discuss-(good faith) Revert (if still needed)-(good faith) Discuss. You have, in fact, stated the opposite rationale :"Not to say you can't have a discussion before undoing the action, in many case it is advisable to do so, not to mention courteous" Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:51, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. The 'obvious mistakes' language should be removed: there is generally not consensus among admins over what constitutes an 'obvious mistake'. Admin actions are serious business, reversing another admin's actions more so, and we should discourage admins from wheel-warring as strongly as possible. For the very rare exceptions where an immediate, uncontroversial reversal is justified, there's always WP:IAR. Robofish (talk) 16:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support the idea that unilateral overturning of an admin action should only happen with discussion (with first admin where possible and resolves the issue or at ANI otherwise) unless there was an obvious error (and if the original admin says it wasn't an obvious error the 2nd admins action should be undone immediately and not subject to WP:WHEEL. Not sure any of these proposals quite get there, but both the original proposal and SJ's proposal move in the right direction, so I support both. Hobit (talk) 14:17, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
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