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Recently closed RfXs (update)
Candidate Type Result Date of close Tally
S O N %
Hawkeye73 RfA Unsuccessful 19 Aug 2019 91 83 15 52
Izno RfA Successful 17 Aug 2019 173 4 3 98
Chetsford RfA Successful 11 Aug 2019 154 1 4 99
Bradv RfA Successful 11 Aug 2019 173 8 2 96
AmericanAir88 RfA Unsuccessful 11 Aug 2019 81 61 19 57
Floquenbeam2 RfA Successful 2 Aug 2019 325 116 15 74
Johnuniq RfA Successful 30 Jul 2019 192 26 5 88

Contents

New election processEdit

Does anybody think a new election process could be voted in, one that was modern (relatively speaking of course), addresses many of the problems e.g. the lack of administrators, the need to vote in a certain minimum number each year, the trolling, the unsubtantial and hollow oppose vote and other potential problems of the current system. One that is based on how other learned societies conduct elections. Is the current Rfa fixed in stone? I'm trying tp find out what the thinking is before I write an Wikipedia essay. scope_creepTalk 12:03, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

I'd be up for some of that, scope_creep; but, tbh, if you find enough encouragement here then you shouldn't confine yourself to writing an essay! ——SerialNumber54129 12:05, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: I have a new process that I've been thinking about for ages, but I figured an essay would be a good way to convine folk. Go to the new idea lab, is that what your talking about. scope_creepTalk 12:18, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
I'd love to see anything that could fix all that! --valereee (talk) 12:35, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I think the only way you address trolling/negative behaviors in RfA is by going to a straight up/down anonymous vote like ArbCom. As soon as you allow people to make comments, you're going to have people who troll. I'd be curious to know what system you have in mind. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:18, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    IIRC we just had an RfA on this and the community resoundingly rejected treating RfA as a vote, or a vote-discussion hybrid, in favor of considering it a straight consensus-building discussion. It’s doubtful that any proposal that moves away from this approach would be successful. ~Swarm~ {sting} 15:02, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    • Yep, and I concur. I'm just noting that you won't be able to get away from the trolling without removing the discussion aspect. So, I'm curious how Scope creep's plan would address this without removing discussion. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:47, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I myself have proposed something like this before on this page and IIRC it is correct that the response of others was overwhelmingly negative. I also seem to remember people specifically saying this was a bad idea because if it was just an anonymous vote, then other editors wouldn't be able to publicly post useful facts about candidates to inform other !voters. I have always found it weird that in order to even try to pass a RFA you have to invite public scrutiny and criticism like this--it seems to be a recipe for negative interactions between editors. IntoThinAir (talk) 20:47, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Personally I think the system is working much better than in years gone by - neither Floq nor Rexxx were typical situations at all (don't get me wrong, I supported both) & the sillier sorts of oppose are well down. Having a public "debate", or airing of the issues, seems pretty necessary where most voters have had little contact with the candidates - that we don't do that for Arbs or the WMF board seems a weakness to me. The main problem is the shortage of candidates, & I'm not sure how much the process puts people off. Johnbod (talk) 13:35, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • scope_creep, if you haven't already, I suggest looking at Wikipedia:RFA reform for links to previous initiatives to change the process of granting administrative privileges. isaacl (talk) 16:21, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Basically what Johnbod said. RfA isn't that difficult now. When the high 80s are the low RfAs of late, that's saying something. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:26, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • What is often missing on this talk page is institutional memory, and a reluctance to read previous RfA research and suggestions for reform. RfA does its job quite well and RfA isn't any easier than it ever was. It looks this way because most RfA nowadays pass, but this is due to us having been fairly successful, through various means, of dissuading people from transcluding who don't stand a chance.
The present system would be fine if as I have said many many times: 'fix the voters and RfA will fix itself', and for anyone who fails to grasp that, it means introducing rules for who can vote, and being more systematic with the indenting or removal of votes that are obviously disingenuous, personal attacks, uncivil, totally uniformed, or just plain trolling. Just get rid of the drama and the nonsensically long discussions that take place on the foot of the page nowadays (most of which belongs here at WT:RfA).
We need admins, but as long as the community clearly prefers RfA to remain a venue of depravity with impunity, few editors are prepare to run the gauntlet. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:46, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, you even quoted your oft-repeated phrase in a Signpost op-ed last year without attributing it to yourself... It is of course true of almost any social issue: select a specific group of participants and problems from the excluded go away. The challenge is how to get to there from here, as there is a reasonable apprehension about how the excluded group is chosen. I've previously said that as per Clay Shirky's "A Group is its Own Worst Enemy", eventually more hierarchy is needed to deal with interpersonal interaction issues. English Wikipedia's current decision-making traditions stalemate change, though, as a relatively small number of vociferous objectors can block proposals. Leaving aside the option of change being enacted from above, I suspect that the community will only be motivated to change its governance if interpersonal problems start deadlocking progress on a broad basis. Step one, I believe, is to try to evolve towards decision-making processes that rely less on mimicking real-world consensus, which just doesn't scale up beyond small groups, and instead select the strongest option based on pros and cons. This would help break the stalemate, enabling other changes to be agreed upon. isaacl (talk) 05:35, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure he did attribute it to himself and normally does either explicitly (like this time) or implicitly by just saying it. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:45, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Normally, yes, which is why its absence was striking in the op-ed, where the quote was simply described as something often cited. isaacl (talk) 08:37, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
You're just splitting hairs, Isaacl. I'm surprised, because it's not something you generally do. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:00, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Personally I think moving ALL the discussion talk out of the voting areas to talk page would make things a lot better. That part of it is better than it was back in the 08-10 era - but we could be even more diligent on that part IMO. — Ched :  ?  — 01:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    Isaacl .. I just saw your post in a list of diffs and thought scope_creep was something new to wp:creep :-/ — Ched :  ?  — 01:50, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    Ched: I'm curious as to what drives you to that opinion. If you'll forgive some generalization, it seems to me that when reasonable folks discuss why RFA is "broken", they're typically referring to grossly unreasonable oppose !votes; and short of actively striking or removing them, I see calling them out for what they are as the most effective thing to do. Moving discussion elsewhere would, I think, give the impression that folks can say any old thing in their oppose without consequence. Or have I misunderstood what you mean? Vanamonde (Talk) 02:56, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    placeholder - I'll get back to this in a day or two hopefully. OK, see: WP:TIO I'm interested in vote rationale, not the bickering of those who disagree, or if I do want to clarify, I'd like to move it away from the votes. It puts additional pressure on the subject of the RfA when there's quite enough in just the RfA itself. IIF the subject want's to ask for clarification then they are the only ones that should be editing in a users vote section (IMO). There's already a discussion area set aside as well as the talk page. It's there for a reason. — Ched :  ?  — 04:11, 4 August 2019 (UTC) edited:14:28, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    The problem with moving all discussion to another page is that it lets people make untrue or unreasonable statements without challenge (that will be seen by many people). If we allow people to comment when making !votes then we need to allow responses on the same page. The only way I can imagine a different system working would be to have a straw poll of !votes on the main page and a set of discussions (perhaps by topic e.g. "Conduct"; "AfD experience"; "Content creation") on the talk page. I have no idea whether this would be chaos or an improvement in practise. — Bilorv (talk) 22:25, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    It sounds a little like my suggestion in the last large RfA reform RfC to organize discussion around determining the pros and cons of the candidate. I think this approach would reduce redundancy by consolidating discussion of a given topic area, which should reduce acrimony and encourage greater participation. I understand why people are strongly wedded to the idea of expressing their net support/oppose opinion: it's less work for each person and lets them get in and out quickly. But if the community really wants to try to make a consensus-like process work, it would be better served by a process that breaks down decisions into smaller, more manageable discussions. isaacl (talk) 03:28, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • To paraphrase Winston Churchill:[1] the current RfA system is the worst such method, except for all those other methods that have been proposed from time to time. -- MelanieN (talk) 02:10, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Everyone should read Worm That Turned's evaluation of RfA. I quote it: I attempted to fix RfA in 2011. After reading through over 300 RfAs and doing a lot of other research into the different areas, I came to the conclusion that it was not broken. It's letting good candidates in and keeping bad candidates out. AGK ■ 09:25, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Considering that this question is posed on the back of a wholly unnecessary, avoidable and self-indulgent RfA - and is a question asked at least twice a year in normal circumstances - repeated biannual navel gazing seems pointless. Nothing changes - or ever will. Leaky caldron (talk) 09:31, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Two of the changes in the last great reform exercise were to lower the discretionary range from 70-80% to 65-75% and increase participation by including a watchlist notice. We have just had an RFA pass by crat chat at the top of the revised discretionary range, that RFA had the highest ever total participation highest support and third highest oppose. I'd say that both changes altered it and without the lowered discretionary range it might not have passed. I'm disappointed that the great increase in voting at RFA has not been followed by more of those new voters running, but I wouldn't agree that nothing at RFA changes. ϢereSpielChequers 09:52, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
      • There's also the new practice of moving debates about specific votes to the talk page. This helps to decrease the attention drawn by single oppose votes, which in turn moves emphasis to where it should be – on the consensus as a whole. I agree with WereSpielChequers that there have been a number of positive developments at RfA in recent years. Our RfA process even lacks some of the bad practices you see at permissions requests on other Wikimedia projects. AGK ■ 09:57, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
        • The questioner asks about a "new" election process. The recent changes are not fundamental changes to the established process from 20 years ago. Leaky caldron (talk) 10:03, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
          • Regressive changes #3 which limit participation, deny awareness #5 and curtail scrutiny #1 - see below - are not needed. Leaky caldron (talk) 14:50, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
          Leaky caldron, in that case you are left with adopting entirely new models (eg anonymous voting, periodic elections rather than at-will nominations, etc.). But you can change the existing process without adopting a different model. Dismissing changes to the conduct of the RfA process is unwise: they can have a deep effect. AGK ■ 10:28, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
          • AGK, No idea what you are talking about. I am repudiating the openly regressive changes mentioned below. I am not advocating any RfA changes. Leaky caldron (talk) 10:34, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
            Leaky caldron, I was replying to your comment of 04 August – not your further comment disagreeing with the changes proposed below. AGK ■ 10:36, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
            Still not getting you. I have not "dismissed" anything. Simply pointed out the facts, we talk about this frequently - major beneficial changes are impossible to achieve consensus upon, the process is broadly the same as 20 years ago. Leaky caldron (talk) 10:46, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

ChangesEdit

On the premise that the actual structure of RfA is not seriously flawed - a theory which I support - IMO six things need to change and/or be introduced:

1. The total number of questions that can reasonably asked (IMO 20 is already far too many). It seems to me that many editors, some of whom are new and/or inexoerienced, post questions for the sake of posting questions. See also: The questions they ask at RfA.

2. Adminship criteria. Just for example, IMO demanding an FA or a minimum of 2 GA is excessive, or demanding more than 2 years tenure when a candidate already has over 10,000 solid relevant edits is excessive. Maybe now is the time to draw up a semi-official set of guidelines for RfA criteria. There is a wealth of material to draw on at here.

3. A minimum experience for being allowed to vote, e.g. 500/90 (best) or at least just putting all RfA under WP:ECP by default.

4. Civility in the Oppose section and/or disingenuous voting , with far more visible clerking by Bureaucrats or abstaining admins.

5. Remove the watchlist and CENT notices again.

6. Stop using the comments section in the RfA footer as an alternative venue to WT:RfA.

But most of us who frequent this talk page are aware of all this already and have been for many years...

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:33, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Let's address these, one by one.
1. There should be no limit on the number of questions, we're giving someone a lifetime appointment and immense power, we need to ask whatever questions the community has before someone is given the bit.
2. This is an example of groupthink, where if someone disagrees and says so, we have to stamp it out. Kudpung doesn't like my criteria, so he wants to make a rule that it cannot be used (along, presumably, with any other criteria that he doesn't like). That's bullshit. If he doesn't want to use my criteria, then don't use it, but don't tell me how I have to evaluate potential admins.
3. Nope.
4. Civility in the oppose section, by not badgering those who oppose a nomination, as is being done now. Go look at the support comments--how many of those are questioned in the same manner as Kudpung and others harass those who oppose a nomination? And going to a user's talk page to issue threats is completely uncalled for.
5. Nope.
6. No position.
There are several things wrong with the admin system on WP, with two primary ones. Someone should be a content creator to be an admin, and there needs to be a viable way to recall someone. GregJackP Boomer! 08:05, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
1. I don't think there is any merit on putting a limit on numbers of questions.
2. We cannot legislate for what other people think is necessary in an admin.
3. Not sure what this would achieve
4. I note you specifically linked to discussion of my oppose !vote in Bradv's RFA as an example of "disingenuous voting". I'm don't understand why you would say my !vote was disingenuous... I honestly think its a terrible idea to promote Bradv to admin and there really is no way to sugar coat why I think that is. What is neatly illustrated by that link is the hostility that oppose !voters often have to endure and why many people would be put off stating their mind.
5. I think it's useful.
6. I don't use it.
Catfish Jim and the soapdish 09:41, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
1. I agree that the questions are getting out of hand, but don't see this as a great solution.
3. I could agree with minimum requirements for voting, but not for participating in the discussion.
4. More clerking to keep the peace is generally a good idea.
5. Why?
Kusma (t·c) 10:38, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
1. I suspect that the question section distracts from actually checking the candidate's contributions, and I would like to stop people asking questions that don't have a diff linking to one of the candidate's edits. Many questions seem to be boilerplate ones that could be asked of any candidate. Some are obviously the questioner pursuing a hobby horse unrelated to the candidate.
2 If we can agree criteria for Rollback and Template Editor then of course we should be able to agree at least some of the criteria for admins. Setting minimum criteria for tenure and edit count would hopefully stop standards inflation re those two and allow for the debate to focus on more important issues such as communication skills and accuracy of tagging.
3 I'd go lower, maybe 200 edits and thirty days, but I remember in my days as a newbie coming to an RFA, working out that there was an unwritten rule about how experienced you needed to be to !vote, and going away because I wasn't sure what the rule was. I believe that a clearly defined low bar to qualifying to vote at RFAs would be more welcoming to newbies.
4 Bad example of a real problem. That isn't to say I agree with that Oppose, I don't, I'm in the Support section in that RFA and from what I can see the candidate handled a difficult situation well. The Oppose votes I would like to stop are the ones we sometimes see from people who want to change a policy not by an RFC, but by opposing candidates at RFA for enforcing that policy.
5 I had hoped that the watchlist and cent notices would not just get additional !voters, but that after a while many of those additional !voters would have started to run at RFA. I am disappointed that the latter hasn't yet happened, I would like to see the watchlist and central notices be more selective in line with my views on point 3, or maybe even higher so you start being invited to !vote at RFA when you are not far off being ready to start thinking of running at RFA. But I would rather not lose those notices.
6 Re my point 2, if we can agree some of the minimum criteria such as "needs to have been active in 12 different months" then discussion of such criteria will decline at individual RFAs and the focus there can shift to important things such as scrutiny of the candidate's edits.
ϢereSpielChequers 11:21, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd be fine with codifying something like 10,000 edits and 12 months of experience is the generally accepted minimum tenure before filing an RfA because 1) it's true and 2) the people who are opposing based on 12,000 edits and 18 months experience is a bit low are ridiculous. I was an admin after 14 months of activity and I have nominated people with around that much experience who I think are excellent administrators.
    I would view this not as a way to stop people from participating, but to stop the "minimum" standards of inexperienced voters from growing. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:57, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    @TonyBallioni and WereSpielChequers: I wish I shared your optimism. I think the fundamental reason we get so much unreasonable opposition is an attitude problem among !voters, and that codifying such a standard is going to lead to "well 10k is the minimum, but I'm going to oppose anyone who has less than 25,000 edits (I recall one oppose !vote at my RFA, citing insufficient edits, when I had 24,000). I think codifying this standard will lead to no substantial change at best, and possibly to a change for the worse. So far as I can see, the only way to minimize opposition that is nitpicky, grudge-bearing, or unreasonable, is for the crats to make it clear that they are disregarding certain types of opposition altogether. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:43, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    I'm kind of with WTT on this. RfA is not especially broken. We're continually reminded that Jimbo said a long time ago that adminship is not a big deal. Well, actually it kind of is... More so than it was in 2005 perhaps, but things were simple back then. Seriously, who cares if User:Whoever decides they want admins to have ten years experience and 100,000 edits? The Crats won't pay any attention to it. Who cares if he !votes Oppose on every single RfA because he doesn't like admins... the Crats won't pay any attention to it. There is an issue with civility at RfA, but it's not where we're constantly told it is. Every Wikipedia editor has the right to voice their concerns on every RfA... so why is there a pile on of badgering harassment whenever there's an Oppose !vote? Catfish Jim and the soapdish 20:56, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Catfish Jim: Because admin numbers are declining, because several suitable candidates failed or withdrew thanks to unreasonable opposition, and because several other suitable candidates have declined to run because of the same unreasonable opposition. Vanamonde (Talk) 21:02, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    They're not though. I've been an admin since 2011 when there was the first panic about the shortage of admins... I've been editing as CJ&tsd since 2007 and as an IP from 2005-2007. WP is not in an admin crisis. If a candidate fails in an RfA it is because consensus deems they are unsuitable... they can always try again if they really think they can make a difference... many of the admins I respect the most failed on their first attempt. If the RfA process is so unpleasant that a candidate withdraws, well they probably dodged a bullet. Catfish Jim and the soapdish 21:23, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    Ah, right. So, if you can't handle the heat of RfA it's a good thing you're not becoming an admin because it's going to be worse if you somehow pass :) "We're going to haze you, but it's a good thing!" :) --Hammersoft (talk) 22:55, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    Expressing an opinion that a prospective admin is not suitable for the role is not "hazing", but it has to be said that most admins will experience situations that are unpleasant. I've had it all, from attempts to dox me (for no other reason than I'm an admin) to dealing with threats of self-harm/suicide. And I'm not the most active of admins (although it's fair to say the latter of those examples is partly responsible for that). I'm afraid the "stress" of an RfA is somewhat less than the potential stress of adminship. Catfish Jim and the soapdish 08:31, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
    My point precisely. RfA is a kind of hazing, and if you can't handle that you won't be able to handle adminship. So, from one view, for all the complaints about RfA being an unpleasant process it is a good thing; if you think RfA is unpleasant, just wait until you become an admin. :) --Hammersoft (talk) 12:43, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
    We can frame the rule as "You may not oppose a candidate for the reason of edit count where that candidate has more than X edits." or similar. Then the opposition needs to find some other reason to oppose (which may be [in]valid itself), but at least we're moving to a 'more'-productive discussion about some other factor of interest. --Izno (talk) 23:13, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    Honestly, it won't help. At Wikipedia:Advice_for_RfA_candidates#RfA_essays_and_criteria, ~2/3rds of the criteria pages have edit count requirements. Edit counts as a means of opposition is heavily entrenched. You can't make it go away by saying you can't oppose on that basis. People will oppose on that basis anyway, just won't say it straight out. Instead, they'll say things like "insufficient experience", "Not seasoned enough", "Lacks effort in critical areas", and the like. By trying to ban editcountitis, you're just playing a game of whack-a-mole. The problem won't go away. Even if you made RfA strictly an anonymous voting system, people would still use editcountitis to filter people out. The reason is that a crap ton of voters here, including a significant majority of the people who write their criteria down, are addicted to the idea that the number of edits you make is somehow indicative of your capabilities. I've never seen a correlation developed that showed successful vs. unsuccessful admins based on edit counts. Yet, here we are. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:27, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    I have two comments about the RfA. First, you can not legislate or mandate how editors decide who they want to be an admin or what their criteria is. THAT SAID, I think it is truly unfair when some oppose voters cite a single or even a couple AfD votes or nominations or any single diff as being representative of an editor's entire body of work. Everyone here has made mistakes and I think it would be impossible to find candidates who don't have a few bad decisions in their contribution history. But even thinking that this is a completely unfair basis to judge how someone would act as an admin, no person can disallow an oppose which can be made for any reason at all, whether it is warranted or trivial. It's up the crats to judge how strong the oppose or support is.
    Second, and this is sometimes mentioned but not enough attention is paid to it: There are many editors who think content contributions are the most important criterion to judge admin candidates but some of our best candidates are technical experts or are great at assessing and closing discussions or any of the innumerable other ways of contributing to the project but they don't write articles. But you will never convince some prolific content creators to support an editor who doesn't also contribute in that way. I've seen this happen in most RfAs I've seen since I started editing regularly. This opposition is not insurmountable but it is predictable and RfA candidates should always be aware that there will be tough questions about their content work. For some reason, this still seems to surprise some nominators and candidates but it is one of the most predictable features of an RfA. Liz Read! Talk! 00:07, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
    That's because content creation is the most important factor in determining who should or should not be an admin. This is an encyclopedia, we are editors, and we are here to create content, either from scratch or by revising an extant article. Those of us who are content creators already have to deal with enough idiots, and the admins should be focused (as I've said in the past) on keeping the riff-raff at bay so that we can create content. Everything else is secondary. GregJackP Boomer! 06:18, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
    Writing is important, but so are things like copy editing and fact checking. I'd agree that RFA candidates who solely protect the pedia from vandals need to show some contribution to improving the pedia as well as to protecting it. But the logic of requiring admins to focus on "keeping the riff raff at bay" is that an RFA candidate who is strong on content contributions should be discouraged from adminship as they are more needed elsewhere. I prefer the model where lots of content contributors have the tools and use them when needed, but that few if any of us focus on admin stuff. ϢereSpielChequers 08:10, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
1. The tools that the nominee requests are serious and can very easily be abused. The community needs to know that they can trust the nominee not to abuse the tools.
2. While I agree that an admin should have experience in creating mainspace content, I can't deny that there is lots of behind the scenes work that is just as important to building the encyclopedia. I think that the nominee should show experience in both content creation (not necessarily writing FA or GA articles) and behind the scenes work.
3. I like the idea of a minimum amount of experience to vote. This could solve the problem of users voting multiple times using sockpuppets.
4. It is my opinion that any user should have the right to question why another user voted the way they did. From what I have seen in the recent RfAs, incivility usually starts when the voter assumes the question was an attack or a threat.
5. No position Now that I know exactly what this refers to, I am against the removal of watchlist RfA notices.
6. Absolutely, I don't see any reason for there to be a comments section on the main RfA page when there is already a talk page. - ZLEA T\C 15:50, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
1. Agree (with Kudpung). Comments above (e.g. "There should be no limit on the number of questions" and "I don't think there is any merit on putting a limit on numbers of questions") appear to ignore that there may be people who might make good admins but due to real life (work, family etc) might not be able to commit to spending about 2 hours a day (e.g. 30 questions and 30 minutes per question) on each day of the RFA. Or am I missing something? DexDor (talk) 20:20, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
It shouldn't take 30 minutes to answer a question if you're sufficiently familiar with policy to be promoted to admin. That said, perhaps 30 is excessive. My main concern about putting an upper limit on question numbers is that some people ask stupid questions like "If Wikipedia was a tree, what tree would it be?" (yes, really). It would be irritating if the question limit was reached by a series of irrelevant questions leaving no room for questions about WP policy.Catfish Jim and the soapdish 10:20, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
If you look at the questions asked (e.g. in AA88's RfA) very few of the questions are about wp policies and even those that are (e.g. q28.1) are (in effect) asking the candidate to do some analysis and write a (short) essay.  Many of the questions (e.g. q16) probably took over 30 minutes to answer. DexDor (talk) 11:50, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Most of them are five to ten minute questions if you know what you're doing. The usual exceptions are questions 1 to 3, but you have all the time in the world to do those before transcluding the RfA. Question 16 is unusual and, to be brutally honest, one that he wouldn't have got if he hadn't rushed to RfA before he was ready and been too desperate to show he was useful by doing non-Admin closures/relists on AfD. He's made some mistakes by not knowing the relevant policy. Catfish Jim and the soapdish 18:37, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
1. I think questions from new/inexperienced/self-aggrandizing editors are an issue, but I don't agree that the number of questions alone is a problem. I think increasing the number of standard questions to take into account perennial questions would help, but two questions per person I think strikes the correct balance between the ability for editor inquiry and not bombarding the candidate.
2. No strong opinions on formal criteria. It's not a secret that there's a minimum bar, so I doubt making it explicit would hurt much. On purely philosophical grounds, though, I do like that there are no formal requirements even if it is a de facto fiction.
3. Eh, not a huge fan of protecting everything by default. I can see the merit in minimum requirements to vote, but would prefer they be closer to confirmed than extended confirmed.
4. Fully support more visible and active clerking.
5. Strongly against removing CENT notices. Regularly against removing watchlist notices. Quite honestly it tends to be how I find out about RFAs as transclusions can quickly get lost in my watchlist.
6. I would be fine with removing the general discussion section in favor of using the nomination talk page, but I don't think having discussion on every RfA here is the best solution.
Wug·a·po·des​ 19:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • While here at WT:RfA some may argue that it's a necessary and justifiable hazing ceremony, it's not every candidate who even wants to work in contentious areas - there are plenty of other tasks that require the admin bit. None of them need to prove they have the cognitive level of a degree in maths, IT, or jurisprudence, or solving the Times crossword. In the army, all recruits, even those in non-combat roles, have to go through basic training, barrack room bullying, and square bashing, but Wikipedia editors are not soldiers (even if some of us are or have been in RL) and intransigent warrant officer behaviour is not warranted here. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:53, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
@Kudpung: Where is the incivility at RfA? ——SerialNumber54129 09:11, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) Mainly in the persistent badgering of "curiosity" opposes that do not conform to the generally accepted view. Which is why removing the extended discussion to the TP is usually an effective method of quelling the disruptive discussion. Leaky caldron (talk) 09:18, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Requests for adminship".