Wikipedia talk:Non-admin closure

Active discussions
WikiProject Essays
This page is within the scope of WikiProject Essays, a collaborative effort to organise and monitor the impact of Wikipedia essays. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion. For a listing of essays see the essay directory.
Β HighΒ  This page has been rated as High-impact on the project's impact scale.

Changing NAC Deletion ClosuresEdit

As part of a recent ANI discussion, the concept of NAC at AfD has again been discussed. I think we should strike types 1 and 2 of Wikipedia:Non-admin_closure#Appropriate_closures. Pinging Pinging @Ahrtoodeetoo, Natureium as people who talked about this at AfD. I'll also post a notice at WT:AFD about this. (edited: and also noted at ANI and at VPI) Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:13, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Why? GMGtalk 00:17, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo first and foremost I believe in Wikipedia:Relist bias and think that the same reason that the bias towards relisting applies to keep discussions. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:21, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Your beliefs in and of themselves don't present a very compelling argument. GMGtalk 00:23, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Just to be clear I want to have a discussion here. If it seems like it still makes sense after discussing then we should do a formal RfC. So for now I'm throwing out my belief. Would love to hear what others say. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
To be clear following discussion on IRC, I had no idea what ANI thread was referenced, and no real opinion on the issue as of yet. GMGtalk 00:42, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd be fine striking relists. They're virtually never helpful, and what we have now is a somewhat vicious cycle of editors helping at AfD seeing all these relists, so they relist, while not realizing that the current policy on it (WP:NOQUORUM) has treating AfDs without comment as expired PRODs as the default. Yes, admins are in part responsible for this because some just ignored the change in policy when it happened a few years ago, but a big part of the issue here is that you have people trying to get into the maintenance side of the project who don't even have the ability to follow policy as written. That is less than ideal. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:32, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni, I personally think restricting relists or AfD closures admin-only is a good change; for it seems to be a magnet for quite many well-meaning but incompetent newbies.
    But; leveraging NOQUORUM as the locus is a bit ingenuous; *lot* many admins ignore that policy. On the last two occasions, I advised about the policy to a non-admin relister; they neatly pointed me to multiple admins breaching the same with glee. (There's this thread and another one, which I can't now locate. The latter tried to draw the conclusion that since so many admins were not abiding by it, NOQUORUM is hardly any followed and unless I do change that practice, I am invited to leave.)
    I feel active admins who fail to remain in touch with the policy changes (or rejects them out of personal preference) are a bigger issue than well meaning newbies not grasping a particular passage of policy. ∯WBGconverse 03:29, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Winged Blades of Godric, I agree wholeheartedly and I have raised this issue at WT:AFD. NOQUORUM has been policy for over two years, and we will topic ban non-admins for not letting admins make the call to soft delete, and that is almost always the justification for the topic ban. Admins should also follow it, which means evaluating AfDs as PRODs. Sometimes relisting will be called for, but not to the level it currently is at. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:35, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Noting no-NAC-relists here for AFDs makes sense given NOQUORUM if nothing else, per Tony. However, the bullets apply to other XFD, and I don't think that alone makes it reasonable to reject the practice of relisting at other fora given that NOQUORUM is mostly written to apply to AFD. (We don't have template PROD yet, for example.) --Izno (talk) 00:58, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I concur with Izno. --Bsherr (talk) 01:18, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with striking types 1 and 2 from the above-mentioned section. I'm not in favour of a formal change in policy "prohibiting" non-admin closures of deletion discussions, but the truth is that these closes are rarely helpful or effective. Properly closing a deletion discussion includes reading the article, reviewing the history, reading the !votes, checking the relevant notability guideline, reviewing the sources, checking the !votes for single-purpose accounts and sockpuppets, and tallying up the results. This should be a careful and time-consuming process, and if at the end of it the consensus is to delete, someone who can't implement that decision is likely to relist it and kick it down the road for another week. Not only is this a waste of the closer's time, it wastes others' time who may be waiting for a result of the deletion discussion. There may be some examples where NAC deletion closures are helpful, but by and large they should be strongly discouraged. Bradv🍁 01:24, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I certainly oppose the suggestion of striking types 1 and 2. No coherent reason has been given here. There has been creep in NACs with many more now done inappropriately. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:28, 22 March 2019 (UTC).
    Xxanthippe So I agree that there has been a creep in NACs and many more are done inappropriately - striking types 1 & 2 would prevent NAC Keeps or Relists. Do you have a different thought about how to address what you and I are both seeing as an increase in inappropriate closures? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Xxanthippe, to be clear this proposal is to further restrict the types of XfD closes that non-admins can perform, per the last part of your comment. Are we on the same page? Bradv🍁 01:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe not on the same page. My impression is that the present criteria are satisfactory but are often abused by non-admins. The same for RfC closures. Clarification would be useful. What is the AN/I thread? Xxanthippe (talk) 01:51, 22 March 2019 (UTC).
Xxanthippe, the ANI thread is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Disruptive AFD clerking by User:SS49. This is not an isolated incident - non-admin closures at AfD are frequently a problem. Bradv🍁 01:56, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Thx. We are on the same page. Non-admin closures are useful to reduce workload of admins, but they need to be policed. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:00, 22 March 2019 (UTC).
  • What is the argument to strike number 1? I don't see how that flows from the issue in the AN/I. --Bsherr (talk) 01:44, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Bsherr, I think relist bias would apply to keeps as well. The idea here is to discourage non-admins from even attempting to close XfD discussions so they are not biased in favour of the types of closes they are able to implement. Bradv🍁 01:47, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • If any changes are made to Wikipedia:Non-admin_closure#Appropriate_closures it should be made explicit that the changes apply only to AfD, as other deletion venues sometimes have different standards with respect to the acceptability and range of non-admin closures. – Uanfala (talk) 03:50, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Ban Relists by non-Admins at least at AfD and MfD. Every so often some dummy thinks a bunch of MfDs need relisting at MfD too - so they clutter up the list. Way better to !vote so we get a decision. Don't ban clear Keep closes or closes where the page has been speedy deleted during the discussion (quite common at MfD).
    Also topic ban Admins that relist instead of treating it as a PROD if they refuse to follow policy after being reminded. Legacypac (talk) 04:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Definitely support striking relists as well. I've examined the current state of non-admin relists, and I agree that almost none seem constructive. First, non-admins are routinely relisting WP:NOQUORUM situations. This is a rampant problem. NOQUORUM is an affirmative policy directive that administrators should assess and handle discussions with little or no responses and no objections. They may decide to relist, if there is good reason, on a case by case basis, but the default result for valid nominations is soft deletion. This is something that I would actually consider to be disruptive, as it overrules admins' ability to perform such closes in these situations by incorrectly removing them form the "pending closure" queues. This is, of course, just good faith ignorance of deletion process, but ignorance of deletion process by non-admins acting as overseers of deletion process is unacceptable. Secondly, non-admins are unambiguously restricted to relisting "little or no discussion" situations that are "new". Non-admins are routinely flaunting this directive as well. Just from one day: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2019 March 18#Brandon Tatum, Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Log/2019 March 18#Julieanna Preston, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2019 March 18#Saikat Chakrabarti, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2019 March 18#Man of the Year (album), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2019 March 18#FIBA Basketball World Cup Top Scorer, Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Log/2019 March 18#David Risstrom. As you can see, problematic behavior is certainly not confined to one user. So in other words, these non-admin relists are hurting, rather than helping, and the simple fact of the matter is that they're not needed. ~Swarm~ {talk} 14:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I am unhappy with this attitude towards non-admins. You say that WP:NOQUORUM is an affirmative policy directive and that non-admin behaviour is just good faith ignorance of deletion process. But WP:NOQUORUM is a deletion guideline, not a policy. It is indeed referred to from Wikipedia:Deletion policy which is, as it says, a policy, but the reference is pretty weak: "the closing editor may generally treat the nomination as a PROD". Is "routinely flaunting" WP:NAC a reasonable way to speak of failing to take a strong attitude towards this, an explanatory supplement to an information page? I think the situation regarding deletion is more nuanced than is being suggested here. Thincat (talk) 14:51, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
      Thincat, I know this doesn't address your main concern, but it's worth pointing out that the majority of people commenting here, including the proposer, are not admins. Bradv🍁 15:04, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
      Yes, I had noticed that. I had also noticed that it seems many people here, admins and non-admins, are not too familiar with deletion policy. However, your comments above look fine to me (perhaps we are both wrong!). Thincat (talk) 15:16, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
      ”Just a guideline” is a really weak argument. Deletion process is the defining document for XfDs. The policy sets out the principles, the guideline explains how it is actually supposed to work. If people are routinely ignoring it in spite of the clear consensus every time the issue is raised that this is the view of the community, this is an issue. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:39, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
      I wasn't suggesting it wasn't an issue (was I?). I was criticising admins lecturing non-admins by using claims that are not correct concerning deletion policy. Thincat (talk) 16:21, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
This is extremely petty and asinine. I should really not have to explain to you that it is common parlance to generally refer to the policies and guidelines as "policy". Attempting to refute someone saying NOQUORUM is "policy-based" with "it's actually a guideline" is an nothing short of comical, and something I would expect from an incompetent newbie. Secondly, you did suggest it wasn't an issue, you dismissed my arguments as "attitude towards non-admins", and attempted to portray me as out of touch and hypocritical to justify it, acting like you had me in some some "gotcha" moment because I referred to "a guideline" as "policy" (not "a policy"). Just like suggesting that NAC is not policy-based. WP:NAC may be an information page, but if you think NACs in deletion discussions are not regulated by policy, then you have no idea what you're talking about. We're trying to reform deletion standards in response to rampant unreasonable and incompetent behavior from non-admins. You are not doing the non-admin camp any credit with this unreasonable and incompetent argument. It's not a good look. ~Swarm~ {talk} 19:34, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment/Question There seems to be some consensus, among editors who've participated so far, that banning non-admin relist would be positive at AfD. A few people have mentioned that this might not be the case at other deletion forums. It seems that the problems of Relist Bias are just as possible at MfD and RfD the two other deletion community forums I am most familiar with. I don't really know about the others and someone above mentioned the lack of PROD at TfD as a potential concern for this. Could someone more familiar with TfD/FfD/CfD explain how non-admin actions at those forums might be different than AfD/RfD/MfD? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:24, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    I actually may be mistaken in my understanding, and perhaps others are too. I was under the impression that WP:NOQUORUM applies only to namespaces that have PROD. But Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_process/Archive_12#WP:NOQUORUM_variation_depending_on_forum refers to a prior discussion establishing that it applies to all pages. Is that correct? @TonyBallioni:, I hope you don't mind me getting your attention directly since you had answered the inquiry before; do you have a link to that discussion? If NOQUORUM applies everywhere, then perhaps there isn't a reason to limit a prohibition on non-administrator relists to just AfD. --Bsherr (talk) 15:29, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_process/Archive_11#Counter-proposal:_Treating_these_like_PRODs. Regardless, I think there is a case to remove. If other forums prefer more discussion they can put it in their guideline page. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:39, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, I saw that, but it looks like that discussion only applies to AfD. Was there a discussion applying it to all deletion processes? --Bsherr (talk) 15:41, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - Education may be a better solution than banning. We have an admin shortage and plenty of backlogs. It seems NACs spring up to help fill that gap. If NACs are doing it wrong, why not teach them the right way instead of banning them? The solution should be one that results in more closers, not fewer. Leviv ich 15:23, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    Levivich, non-admin closures of deletion discussions (particularly AfDs) usually don't actually help to clear any backlogs. Approximately 75% of all AfDs close as delete, which non-admins tend to relist and kick down the road for another week as they cannot delete them themselves. This means only the remaining 25% can actually be legitimately implemented by non-admins, and even those are subject to bias and should rightfully be checked by an admin. So I agree with you that NACs are generally helpful and necessary, but in deletion discussions they are a net negative. Bradv🍁 15:32, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
    We also don’t ever have an AfD backlog anymore for closings and all relisting does is extend the life of a PRODable article for up to two weeks. There is simply no need for it. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:39, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Has anyone ever seen a non-admin manually relist anything at AfD? Pretty sure the attraction is that it's a script click that (from the clicker's perspective) doesn't take any special language or editing competence. Making a small change in XFDcloser to prevent non-admins from relisting AfDs would probably be a more effective intervention in the shorter term, and would avoid any policy fallout stemming from differences in practice among various XfDs. Any non-admin truly committed to exercising their ability to relist under the guidelines/policy would still be welcome to do so manually. Bakazaka (talk) 18:38, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Definitely supportive of the idea of taking out non-admin closures and relists from the AfD / MfD. As Bakazaka mentions, modifying the script may be the most straightforward solution. Deletion discussions need more participants not clerks. Disabling the relist / nac in the script for non-admins may encourage them to iVote instead of relisting. K.e.coffman (talk) 01:24, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I am not an admin, but I also wholeheartedly support this as well, now thinking about the arguments (and finally understanding about NOQUORUM). One of the reasons why that should happen is this Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Deptford Society (Community Interest Company), not only was it relisted by an admin already, but it was also relisted again by a NA (Sheldybett) who participated in the discussion!! Jovanmilic97 (talk) 17:25, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Pinging TonyBallioni, Barkeep49, Legacypac, Swarm, Bakazaka, K.e.coffman to look into the AfD I posted for the issue. Jovanmilic97 (talk) 17:25, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
I went ahead and deleted that one. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:33, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the fast response! Jovanmilic97 (talk) 17:34, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
And now there are actually 2 AfDs that just got relisted without closures by a non admin but should have been closed already: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Red (nightclub) and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Portland Urban Coyote Project. Also pinging Bradv and Xxanthippe who participated in this talk page (sorry if I forgot someone). Jovanmilic97 (talk) 17:34, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • It certainly seems as if teaching / learning from example is the order of the day here; get the message through to the administrators who continue to act in the face of consensus, and, as they say, the "hearts and minds will follow". β€”β€”SerialNumber54129 17:54, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
    Serial Number 54129 I'm all for teaching admin to use their toolsets more in accordance with policy but that doesn't address the ways that well meaning editors who lack the delete button might be inclined to at the margin to implement a decision within their remit. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:41, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm afraid that answer is incongruous: please to explain? β€”β€”SerialNumber54129 23:01, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Serial Number 54129 I read what you were saying as "nothing to do here - instead we should be teaching admin to close right and the NACs will follow their example." I am suggesting that we should have admins follow policy, but even if NACs learn from that example it doesn't entirely solve the issues with NAC closures of deletion discussions. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:07, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
My point is that NACs will follow admin practice, but not the converse, so the latter should take priority. β€”β€”SerialNumber54129 13:56, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Being honest, it's difficult to see this as something other than "People aren't following policy. Instead of teaching them to follow policy, let's make a new policy that we need to teach them to follow." If we don't have an effective indoctrination regime for the current policy, and that's why the current policy isn't working, then the problem seems to be the indoctrination regime, not the policy. GMGtalk 23:16, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
    I've proposed this before elsewhere and people didn't like it but a WikiProject NAC could provide that indoctrination regime education. A post to the talk page of such a project about relisting and NQUORUM might get the word out faster and easier than changing policy. The number of non-admin editors who have relisted an AfD in the last week is small enough that each one could be reached out to and invited to watchlist the page. The project could also be used to direct NACers to suitable things to NAC (and away from unsuitable things), as well as provide a place to discuss/document best practices and questions. Leviv ich 02:22, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • There's no discussion of eliminating Housekeeping closures, but this is just a reminder not to eliminate them. A few days ago I close a batch of nine AFD's.(example) They were 13 years old. That works out to around 666 implicit relistings, or about 6000 relistings across the batch, chuckle. Alsee (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't have a full opinion yet about AfD, but I oppose this being extended to other XfDs without discussion related to each individual forum. I'm most familiar with RfD where, for the most part, the non-admin relistings we see are not problematic and so I see no reason to restrict it across the board. It's not without issues but these I feel are best addressed initially to the individual users and possibly improving the guidance. Thryduulf (talk) 13:54, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Moving forwardEdit

Based on the conversation above there seems to be consensus (though not without some disagreement) that non-administrative relisting at AfD is an issue (and to some extent so is administrative relisting). There is some sense that keep closures at AfD also present concerns but there is not not as much agreement on this. There is a feeling that NAC have not been a problem at some other deletion forums (TfD and RfD being the two I see specifically named). Even for the relist issue there doesn't seem to yet be consensus on the right next step. I see three possible options:

    1. Educate administrators about policy and community sentiment (as Tony attempted to do here and hope/expect that administrators will follow their example
    2. Hold an RfC to address this. Very rough sample language: Should WP:Non-admin closure and WP:Articles for Deletion be changed to reflect that non-administrative editors should not relist discussions at Articles for deletion
    3. Hold an RfC to promote WP:Relist bias to an explanatory supplement (similar to this page) and link in appropriate places.

There might be other options as well that I just have not been creative enough to think about. Any thoughts from people? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:53, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

RFC promoting a relist bias would be a "testing the waters" thing which I support. Just looking today, a non admin relisted [1] [2] [3], [4], all of which should have closed by now. There is even this [5] (you can make a point that it had an AFD 5 years ago which ended in keep which would prevent a soft deletion, though that was long ago and it had a support vote). Jovanmilic97 (talk) 16:10, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
Give me a couple days to run over WP:Relist bias again to improve the writing. When I originally wrote it, it was mostly intended to be something I could point to when coaching non-admin closers. I never really intended it to have a broad audience, but I'm certainly appreciative that others have found it useful. I'd like to ensure it's as high quality as possible before any RfC. ~ Rob13Talk 17:13, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
I changed a couple minor things, and I'm more satisfied with the writing than I expected to be. I'd support it being an explanatory supplement. However, I don't know that an RfC is needed to make that "promotion", since it isn't much of a promotion. An explanatory supplement has the force of an essay. It is not a policy or guideline. WP:SUPPLEMENTAL specifically notes explanatory supplements aren't vetted by the community, which is what an RfC would be. ~ Rob13Talk 04:01, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support an RfC to promote this page, Wikipedia:Non-admin closure, to guideline. Supplement to an information page is very confusing taggery. This page contains excellent advice that applies more broadly than deletion process, WP:RM, non-deletion CfDs, and relisting for example. β€”SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:18, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I support an RfC to promote this page to a guideline, but only after having removed points 1 and 2 from #Appropriate closures. We don't need a policy prohibiting non-admin closes of deletion discussions, but neither should we be encouraging them or calling them "appropriate". Bradv🍁 23:42, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I definitely agree. Good NAC actions should be allowable, but that convoluted excuse for defending overzealous NACs serves no useful purpose. More generally, good advice is not written in double negatives. The NOT-BAD section should go, whether cut, or rewritten into active tense and positive advice. β€”SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:50, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
      I removed the section only. Points 1-2 are unsound advice. Points 3-4 are so obvious as to be β€œhow to suck eggs”, and if it needed saying (which it doesn’t) it should be written much more simply. β€”SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:02, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Other thought RfCs could publicise the issue, and hopefully promote Wikipedia:Non-admin closure and/or WP:Relist bias, but it wouldn't necessarily force editors who want to work on closing AfD discussions to read it. Could a pop-up be presented when an AfD is relisted with a link to WP:Relist bias (or Wikipedia:Non-admin closure, or both), asking users to confirm that they've read it? This could be a one-off thing, so you wouldn't need to confirm you've read it every time you do a relist - but, if it's news to you, you are encouraged to actually read the thing? Hopefully that would get the message across to new users (and the existing users who aren't aware). GirthSummit (blether) 23:53, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Bans and blocksEdit

I made this change without realizing Bbb23 reverted something similar only moments prior. I don't think that my addition would hurt any to be included. It doesn't change policy and will only help users understand what is and is not a WP:BADNAC. Β―\_(ツ)_/Β― –MJL ‐Talkβ€β˜– 06:00, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Limiting Non-Admin ClosureEdit

I have sort of been asked or tasked at WP:ANI to bring up the need to clarify or tighten the rules about non-administrative closure at XFD. There have been several non-administrative closures recently that have been appealed to Deletion Review, and in some cases concerns that the non-administrator should not have closed the discussion. My own thinking is that a non-administrative close at DRV is like a speedy deletion at DRV in one respect. A speedy deletion should be non-controversial. If there is controversy, the speedy deletion should be voided and sent to XFD. If there is controversy about a non-administrative close, it should have been left to an administrator. Therefore my own opinion is that a non-administrative close should be reserved for situations where there is a rough consensus to Keep. A non-administrator cannot finish a Delete. Previous discussion has established that it is best to leave the close calls to an administrator to decide whether to Relist, to close as No Consensus, or to make a policy-based decision. That is my opinion, that we should clarify that Non-Administrative Close should be reserved for a rough consensus to Keep. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:16, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Well I learned when we were hear last time that the cultures of different XfD forum really are different. So I definitely support your "only clear cut keeps" (which would allow for speedy keep clerking which is helpful) but also think that this line of thinking might be best limited to AfD. But thanks for kicking this off as the person who nudged you at ANI. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:36, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Robert McClenon, thanks for bringing this up. This is a bit of a repeat of the thread from March/April (still on this page), but it's a good idea to revisit. Personally I think that non-admin closures at AfD are rarely helpful or necessary, and that admins (who aren't biased as they have all the options available to them) are generally capable of managing the backlog. I would reserve non-admin closures to "speedy keep" closes only, if it were up to me. – bradv🍁 04:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Just chiming in here that another case I would support would be situations where the deletion subject has been deleted by while the XfD discussion remained open (be it through a glitch or that the page was deleted via CSD etc). I used to do a lot of those closes prior to becoming an admin. --TheSandDoctor Talk 05:47, 14 January 2020 (UTC); correction 06:39, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Completely agree with the above. NACs should be limited to β€œspeedy keep” (and the criteria identified explicitly, such as SK#1) or (speedy) delete, where the page has already been deleted but the discussion is still open. I don’t see any need for non-admin relists, as it’s not actually a problem for a discussion to fall into the backlog where an admin can still fully consider all options. CThomas3 (talk) 05:59, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • There are also quite a few clear-cut redirects (not including the occasional "delete and redirect" request), which I'd view as non controversial. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:58, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Non-admin closures are already limited to uncontroversial cases per (with my emphasis added): A non-admin closure is not appropriate [when] the outcome is a close call (especially where there are several valid outcomes) or likely to be controversial. Such closes are better left to an administrator. Whenever I see a potentially-controversial or close call by a non-admin, I'll point that out to the NAC-er, and have been successful in reigning in some out-of-control NACs that way. I do believe that NACs should be limited to speedy, snow, and procedural non-deletion closures (unless the page has already been speedy deleted). I would also add a caveat that the longer the backlog is, the more lax we should be on that rule to give more flexibility to the XfD forum(s) that aren't trafficked by enough admins (I'm looking at you, CfD). -- Tavix (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I haven't personally seen massive problems with non-admin closes (though of course such an opinion is only to be expected from someone who is not an admin!). Yes, I've seen more bad closes than I would have liked to, but the issue with them is the fact that they were bad closes, not the user rights of the closer. I don't at all mind seeing non-admins perform good closes of controversial discussions. Though of course, non-admins should really stay away from discussions where deletion is still on the table (because of the obvious issue of bias against outcomes they wouldn't be able to perform). And contrary to the opinion floated several times above, I do believe this extends to procedural closes when the page has already been deleted. If a page being discussed at XfD gets speedied and the discussion remains open, then you've got a sure sign there's something iffy going on. Such closures should be left to editors who are able to view the deleted page and who can clean up any mess there might be. – Uanfala (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I think the issue here (and the ANI that prompted this), is very new editors to WP (and thus XfD) doing closes. Ultimately, editors with less than say 100 correct !votes at an XfD (and even possibly admins), should not be closing. I have seen experienced NACs who close better than admins with low AFD experience trying to "clear the queue" (and who can often have a bias to SUPERVOTE). Such a rule could incentivize more participation at AfD, encourage the prospective closers to observe the best closers (there are excellent closers out there to learn from), and should minimise obviously poor closes.
NAC closers face a higher standard of scrutiny imho, and outside of newbies, are therefore are usually more risk-averse in closing. The real issue is that the queues are lengthening all over WP, and if this continues, we will have to give some NACs the right to close as Delete – we mightn't like this, but on the current trajectory, it is almost a certainty. Therefore, we should minimize the impact of it by further disincentivizing NAC closing, except of course by editors whose !votes at XfD are below a threshold, and just don't have the experience. Britishfinance (talk) 21:21, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@Britishfinance: - Sorry, I'm confused by the above, or there's a negative missing or such, you think we need (or at least, may need to use) more NACing in the future. How would further disincentivizing NAC-closing minimise the impact? Nosebagbear (talk) 21:29, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Nosebagbear. I think we need fewer newbies doing NAC (which is how the ANI started), but we are going to need more NACs from more experienced editors. Instead of further tightening NAC rules (per consideration above), we should enforce a threshold of valid !votes needed by an NAC closer (will address the newbie issue). After that, we should get ready for the fact that we will need to loosen NAC criteria for experienced editors that meet this threshold, to get the queues future cleared. Hope that makes sense? Thanks. Britishfinance (talk) 21:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@Britishfinance:, ah yes, that makes lots of sense, thanks for clarifying. In terms of AfD, I think the current rules on possible NAC actions are okay, but I'd be fine with imposing some firmer minimum editor criteria. Obviously, I can't talk for the other XfDs. Nosebagbear (talk) 21:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I would personally rather see would-be non-admin closers participate and !vote in the discussions rather than close them, even in most of the "non-controversial" cases. Does anyone have any data to show that our queues have been lengthening? I haven't been active at AfD lately, but that seems to be kept up fairly well. Are the other queues seeing larger backlogs? CThomas3 (talk) 22:55, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Up until about a year ago, the AfD queue would be almost fully cleared by the end of the 7 days, with just a few holdovers for more complex cases. Now, the queue is often only half-closed at the end of the 7 days, and we have straightforward cases that sit there for many days afterward.
For my perspective, the functioning of most "Boards" of WP is dominated by 1-2 ultra high-productivity admins (and some senior editors, where they can use the tools like NPP) who do the vast bulk of the work. Most of these are long-standing veterans who joined in the early days and they rarely seem to get replaced by newer admins. Anytime they leave/step-back/disappear, there are consequences. It is a trend that I do not as yet see changing. Britishfinance (talk) 10:15, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
It would be interesting to ask the newer admins (2018 onwards) where we focus - we're generally active, but I'd be interested to see whether we were clustered into certain areas differently than the overall mop corps. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:32, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I added a thing. Theres another active thread at ANI right now, so this defintely needs fixing. Guy (help!) 22:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
JzG, things certainly got wild at that new NAC ANI. However, per my comments above, NAC is an important tool in WP and is going be become more important given the trends. Some of your added criteria, "do not close where there are good faith Delete !votes", and "do not re-list if there are fewer than 5 !votes", seem overly restrictive and essentially kill NAC; which I don't think reflects the page. NAC does explicitly allow editors who are experienced to apply their knowledge of policy to effect closes? Your rules would largely over-ride this and limit anything but procedural NACs. Britishfinance (talk) 23:17, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
JzG Does it need fixing, or are people just not following the guidance given? GMGtalk 23:23, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Britishfinance and GMG, relists with 5+ !voters are actually less suited to being relisted by a nac, as their complexity is likely to be much higher than, say, a 2 !vote 1-1 discussion. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:40, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I mean, I wrote WP:NACINV, and I don't know what there is to fix when there is already guidance that says don't do that. GMGtalk 23:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
A comment re the latest NAC ANI linked above: if a problem is created by people not reading guidelines, then I don't think it's a very good idea to attempt tackling that problem by rewriting guidelines. – Uanfala (talk) 01:22, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, it's mostly that the guidance is spread throughout the page and occasionally confusing, though failure to follow is an issue. In general we encourage people to do things that don't require the sysop bit, if they can, because admins are not special. However, in this case, it needs a pretty firm steer to avoid anything likely to cause drama. Guy (help!) 01:32, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
@JzG: I mean, I certainly value your opinion. You are someone i agree with as often as we disagree, and those are the opinions I value the most. I'm certainly open to suggestions for specific changes that might be made. GMGtalk 02:32, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • This discussion has primarily been concerned with AfD which I'm not qualified to talk about, but I do believe it's important that any changes made here are suitable for the other XfD venues as well or specified to only apply for AfD. I have been one of the most active closers at TfD for the last few months and in my experience it's working really well with the most relaxed NAC culture of any XfD venue. There have been few DRVs with NAC problems, I couldn't find a single one since March, and the venue is only rarely backlogged. That goes to show that while perhaps AfD would benefit from stricter rules it is far from certain other venues would as well. If anything should be changed I think Britishfinance suggestion to have stricter rules for newer editors rather than all non-admins would be preferable. My concrete suggestion would be recommending future non-admin closers to consult with an admin before they start closing discussions. This would hopefully stop many of the good faith but overeager closers from starting doing bad closes. This would be more in line with how I see this page actually being used, not like the concrete rules many think it is, but a guide to what is generally considered safe to close as a non-admin. These guidelines aren't set in stone and can be broken if the closer knows it will be considered acceptable through experience at the venue. I have on occasion violated 4 out of the 9 bullet points explaining what discussions are appropriate for non-admins to close without any controversy and have seen other non-admins doing the same. While this sometimes lead to unnecessary DRVs most of the time it doesn't. I often see experienced non-admins explain their reasoning better and are more open to complaints about their closures and doubt they have much higher DRV rates than admins. This is an especially difficult page to write since it has two audiences, people who aren't qualified to close discussions who should be discouraged from doing so and people who are qualified and should be encouraged to help out by closing discussions as well, both of which has to be accounted for when writing the policy. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 23:31, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Really interesting to read, @Trialpears:. Nosebagbear (talk)
  • One alternative for AfD would be creation of NAC-academy, I'd be game for helping set that up if there were a few other interested admins. However, the main thing remains individuals not reading the perfectly good policy already there, and I suspect anyone who signed up would already be out of that risk group (I should obviously note that I feel StΓΆrm is a great editor, who I've got along with when I've talked to them before, their particular case just happens to have been a flashpoint) Nosebagbear (talk) 23:46, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
    I have thought about this before and offered to do something like a NAC-academy (I of course planned on discussing it with some admins) with a very enthusiastic, but inexperienced closer that got into some trouble with BADNAC. While we didn't do it (the user decided to wait a bit before doing more closes instead) I think it would be useful in the future. I'm not that concerned about the only users signing up would already be out of the risk group seeing how well people who get denied at PERM/NPR react when Barkeep49 give compliments and offer alternatives such as AFC and NPP/S. If we do something similar with inexperienced closers I'm sure they would consider going through a NAC-academy just like people do at NPP. If we don't set up a more formal academy I think there at least should be a Category:Wikipedians willing to give feedback on discussion closures where queries could be directed. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 14:27, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I removed the addition by JzG as there was no consensus to keep it and it creates more issues per above. Interesting ideas by Nosebagbear and others above. Why don't we square this circle by having a NAC close PERM per the NPP PERM? If you have less than 5,000 edits, or 50 !votes, or 1-year service, you cannot get a close PERM (you shouldn't be closing without this level of experience; and shouldn't be able to download the XfD closer). If you can meet this, you ask for a close PERM (per existing guidelines on NAC). If you perform poorly, your close PERM can be revoked, and won't be returned until you get more experienced !voting and showing the admin that you understand NAC? Britishfinance (talk) 23:59, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Britishfinance: - that's particularly tempting - each XfD could make a decision as to whether to allow it. XfD closer is a gadget so I think access can be figured to a userright, or if not then it might need something similar to AfC. Nosebagbear (talk) 00:04, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
It avoids soaking up admin time, it screens out those who really shouldn't be closing (per the case above), and if an experienced editor closes their own AfD, then it will be the last close they will do for a while. I also think that the concept of 5,000 edits + 1 year (+50 !votes for closer rights) is a useful benchmark that can be used for giving other advanced rights? Britishfinance (talk) 00:08, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
It's quite a common set, the only issue that comes to mind is that other XfDs (esp CfD/TfD) have said they don't want any further limitations on NACs, so they might reasonably not want closers in their XfDs to need a userright to get access to XfDcloser - and someone with that access could then use it in AfD. However that's a fairly edge consideration, and any that cropped up could always be reverted (I also suspect TfD is so specialised that anyone closing there probably doesn't break the normal policy) Nosebagbear (talk) 00:25, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Yeah this sounds like a good idea. Kind of like my consult an admin first suggestion but more formal. If this becomes a thing I feel like the edit and especially the tenure criteria should be lower. These criteria don't say much about the candidate and for the most part should only act as a quick filters. Perhaps the 3000 edits + 6 months used for page mover is more appropriate, which after all was primarily intended for RM closers. For reference my account is just 11 months old and I have been closing discussions since August. I also agree that it's important to ask each venue what their concerns are, but inexperienced NACs are a problem to some extent for all venues. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 01:12, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with the lower tenure, particularly with regard to time - I had participated in well over 100 afds by my "real" six month point (that is, 6 months from when I became an actual editor). Nosebagbear (talk) 01:37, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Following the spirit of what JzG was doing, and given what happened, I have added the following sentence under "Editors who are involved": For the avoidance of doubt, editors should never close any discussion where they have !voted, or XfD discussions were they created or contributed to the object under discussion.. Britishfinance (talk) 00:22, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My two cents are similar to some of what was written above. Either closing should be a right limited to administrators, or this right should be granted to users who request it, similar to WP:AUTOPATROLLED or WP:RPC. --Enos733 (talk) 19:41, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I've made the roughest of rough drafts for how this page would look if non-admin closer was a user right at Wikipedia:Non-admin closure/draft. Feel free to change anything or give opinions. Given the positive opinion here I think the next step would be drafting a proposal to be used for an RfC discussing the matter. (diff) ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 21:51, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
I've made some suggested changes - I suspect there might be a strong viewpoint from certain areas (whether specific XfDs or otherwise) that they don't want their NAC-corps to be limited. Notwithstanding that, each XfD probably would want to give some viewpoints as to specific use/level of experience in that field needed. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:20, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Definitely. I'm just not sure how best to invite further input. Should we send a message to WT:AFD, WT:MFD, WT:RM, WT:RFC etc. now or later? I have no experience in drafting big changes and have seen discussions disrupted by inviting wide participitation too early in the process. My feeling would be to start posting an invite to come help drafting to some of the smaller venues first to make sure their voice is heard and the discussion stays focused. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 23:33, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Additions to policy discussionEdit

I have also added as sentance to the first section "Who should close": While rare mistakes can happen in a close, editors whose closes are being overturned at decision reviews, and/or directly reverted by administrators, should pause closing until they have discussed these closes with an administrator, and that administrator gained comfort that the closer understands their mistakes, and will not repeat them.. Revert if anybody feels this is not useful/appropriate. Britishfinance (talk) 00:32, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I've just separated off the "what policy to add" part of the discussion from the above which is mostly how to avoid it as an ongoing issue. In regards to your most recent addition, @Britishfinance:, it's probably reasonable, though I imagine you might end with some discussion over how closes is takes for this to occur. For an admin, the phrasing wouldn't be quite right, but DRV purpose#3 doesn't apply to NACs (since they can't have deleted the article). Nosebagbear (talk) 00:40, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Non-admin closure".