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RfC closure grants bureaucrats new discretion in processing resysopping requests[edit]

There's been a closure of the above-linked RfC resulting in significant changes to the resysopping procedures used by bureaucrats.

These changes need to be written into the policy page at Wikipedia:Administrators before the procedure page at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats can be updated to reflect the changes.

Note I've expressed some reservations about the closure in a personal capacity, but will be continue to be guided as a bureaucrat by whatever policies achieve community consensus. –xenotalk 17:29, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

My thanks to the users who worked on these changes. –xenotalk 23:14, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Changes to Wikipedia:Administrators
Changes to Wikipedia:Bureaucrats
I think it would be wise for the bureaucrats to come to some sort of agreement as to what "has returned to activity or intends to return to activity as an editor" means to us. UninvitedCompany 22:41, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
I think this is really something that will need to be developed by a common law approach as the requests come in. I think it would be prudent to seek additional clarification from the community-at-large as to what level of (or commitment to) editorial activity may be generally considered acceptable. Certainly a significant cadre of bureaucrats are ourselves less than or minimally active. –xenotalk 23:08, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
As part of that significant cadre, though more active than previously, I'm wondering this, too. For example, we have discretion when closing RFAs, but only when between 65-75% (roughly). This policy has no such rough guideline, so I would expect that bureaucrats would have a wide array of what it would take for them to be "reasonably convinced that the user...intends to return to activity as an editor." I could see some bureaucrats using previous requests as a precedent (meaning the first several requests will start shaping what future requests require) while other bureaucrats could take each request as a stand-alone event. I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Useight (talk) 02:35, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I know you guys aren't used to this, and perhaps it even goes against the crat culture, but this actually means you have discretion here. You're not being asked to develop a guideline, or a procedure, or a definition, but you do have a mandate to use your subjective discretion, meaning common sense and good judgment, when it comes to resysopping. If there's any uncertainty, contention or ambiguity in this regard, the matter is preordained by the community to be resolved via crat chat. I know this is new territory, but at the end of the day it isn't rocket science. You're just now expected to use common sense rather than rubberstamping requests. Nothing's stopping anyone from further developing this concept via continuing RfCs, to make it more controlled and/or procedural. But keep in mind that this task would not have been delegated to you if your subjective judgment was not already trusted. ~Swarm~ {sting} 00:11, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I drafted the language. In real life “reasonable” is a standard I use at work in a technical sense all the time, so I might be more comfortable with its usage than others, but it basically is a reasonable person standard, which is subjective but also not particularly ambiguous. It requires judgement but people are elected crats because of their ability to exercise judgement. I also agree with Xeno that it’s something best handled through a common law approach rather than objectively defining what it means before something happens. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:53, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
So we're using a Reasonable wikipedian construct? Because reasonable people probably wouldn't consider much of what occurs on the project to be ... reasonable. Bureaucrat note: I'd really like to develop a firmer idea as to the general sentiment on what is considered reasonably active to request restoration of the administration tools, especially since I'm still having trouble seeing a distinction between an administrator who is minimally active, but never got caught up in the inactivity net, versus one who did get caught up, is just as minimally active as the administrator who managed to make the 1 trivial edit per year. While I've said the common law approach will be necessary, I also don't think it's fair for the first requesting administrator to be put up against the wall when only vague direction has been given to bureaucrats. If someone has some additional links or pointers, that would be useful. –xenotalk 13:25, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
In general, I think that the community expects us bureaucrats to be "reasonable", and the new guidance already calls for us to have a 'crat discussion should there be doubt. Notably, this new change has nothing to do with "activity requirements" to maintain admin access which if the community wants to discuss again they should have a full RfC on. I think it is also important to note that even if we decline a request to summarily promote that a community appeal is always available as the requester can just ask at WP:RFA. — xaosflux Talk 14:15, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Xaosflux, you should also have the option to decline a request as "not just now" and allow the former sysop to request the bit again after a month or three of (more) active editing. —Kusma (t·c) 14:18, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Kusma: actually that is my interpretation - getting declined at WP:BN shouldn't disqualify anyone from re-requesting later - just calling it out as another option, us 'crats are not the end of the line if the requester were to disagree with us. — xaosflux Talk 14:23, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Noting in passing that the WMF refers to any account with 5 or more edits in a month to be an "active" editor. I think it would be hard to rationalize an expectation that is higher than that, since no other specific description of editor activity (other than 1 edit/action per year to retain the bit) is articulated anywhere on this project. I can guarantee that, even amongst reasonable editors, the range of "activeness" that people would deem as minimally acceptable will be enormous. Simply put, people's own level of activity colours what they consider to be reasonable activity in everyone else, and the non-bureaucrats who are likely to kibbitz here tend to be much more active than the average editor. Risker (talk) 03:13, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Just a view that then, probably the level of activity should include even the number of times an editor logs in and opens Wikipedia pages to view. Like I said, just a view. Lourdes 04:50, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Without commenting on the merit of the idea, it's my understanding that there are no publicly available data that would confirm whether or not an account has successfully logged in and, as a non-logged activity, even if there were such records (public or not), they would probably have any identifying information removed after 3 months. Risker (talk) 04:59, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I am far from wanting the crats to adopt a strict definition of "activity", but suggesting that you can't imagine the crats holding a higher standard than 5 edits in one month is nonsensical on its face. Not to say that level can't be accepted, but it seems quite obvious, from a common sense perspective, that a somewhat higher level than 5 edits overall might be the standard for "activity". I would go as far as to say that if you think 5 edits is a reasonable definition of "active", then you probably shouldn't be an admin. ~Swarm~ {sting} 08:04, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
There is nothing prohibiting judgement calls using far above 5 edits per month - ongoing activity levels is a common RfA query and we wouldn't descend in rebuttal upon an oppose based on the candidate only doing 6 edits per month Nosebagbear (talk) 10:08, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Are you responding to me, Swarm? What's wrong with 5 edits/month? People tend to ask for their bits back after a few days of returning - often they come back because those bits are being removed. So how many edits do you want to see before we give them back? There isn't a number that is low enough not to appear punitive or high enough that it can't be gamed. What do you think the 'crats will do, take away the bits again if someone doesn't meet some arbitrary and imaginary standard that nobody else (including admins who show up and do their one edit a year) need to meet? Risker (talk) 14:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I'm simply saying that the intent of implementing "crat discretion" is obviously not for them to brainlessly adopt a comically-low "definition" of activity that would in effect change nothing as long as a requester can make 5 edits. Doing so would be nothing short of outrageously undermining the proposal, and by extension stating here that you can't conceive of the crats employing a higher standard is advocating for a similarly radical and outrageous rejection of the new community standards. ~Swarm~ {sting} 07:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I definitely do not want my logins and especially page views to be tracked, not even talking about made publicly available.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:52, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Please link to crat policy changes, thanks Govindaharihari (talk) 10:18, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
    Linked in this very thread, or do you mean something else?--Ymblanter (talk) 10:20, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

The thresholds articulated in WP:Activity (for active editors) and Wikipedia:List of administrators#Active and Wikipedia:List of administrators#Semi-active (for administrators) would seem to be good starting points for determining what's considered reasonable. When someone's first edit after a lengthy absence is to request their tools back on this page, they have not yet recently edited enough to be considered active by any of those definitions, so that particular scenario would seem clear enough to handle: politely decline the resysop request and ask them to return once they've demonstrated some active engagement. 28bytes (talk) 10:21, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

28bytes, yes, I also think those are widely used measures for activity, even if they still look low to most "very active" editors. The scenario that people returned and asked for the admin bit back with their very first edit was probably also caused by the wording of the desysop message, which was the first thing people saw after coming back and which told them they could request the bit back. It might be useful to add a suggestion to return to editing for a while before coming here to that message. —Kusma (t·c) 10:53, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Kusma, will that result in some returning admins making a bunch of minimally productive edits to qualify for getting the bit back? Should a crat then consider the quality of edits since returning, as well as the quantity? - Donald Albury 12:53, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I do not think it is possible to evaluate the quality of the edits. Look for example at my last 20 edits (all made today) - do they show full engagement with the project?--Ymblanter (talk) 12:59, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Donald Albury, I tried to suggest a formal requirement for 50 "non-stupid" edits/month for several months at the RfC, but it was not widely supported. I don't personally believe edit quality should count for much, as it is so hard to measure. I don't actually expect there will be many people willing to make trivial edits over a couple of months to ask for the bit back and then become inactive again. Instead, I guess most people intending to become active again will re-discover editing and then get to the required amount of edits without even noticing. But I could be wrong. —Kusma (t·c) 13:13, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
In any case, I suspect that a delay in returning the bit will, in most cases, not particularly impact the project negatively. I just looked, and personally have eight admin actions logged in the last twelve months, and yet that puts me at 251 on the list of active admins for those twelve months. Sixty-two percent of the 1,149 current admins have not logged an admin action in the last twelve months, and 62 admins (ranked 378 to 435) have logged just one action, so a two month delay would be expected, on average, to deprive the project of less than one logged admin action. - Donald Albury 14:36, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I've read the requirement over again, and I don't see anything that implies that a delay would be caused by anything other than 'crat chat. There is no requirement that the "delay" be anything longer than the current 24 hours. As to Kusma's suggestion above (X edits over several months), that only works for me if we are going to apply the same level of activity on every single administrator at all times. It's a bit ridiculous that we're being so punitive when we wouldn't dream of applying the same standards to ourselves. Risker (talk) 15:05, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Risker: I think the "delay" may be in a scenario like this: User:MostlyInactiveFormerAdmin asks at WP:BN for access, and they are declined for not meeting the new standard, and if there was 'doubt' even after additional crat discussion. They could 'delay' this and just resume editing, then come back and ask again. Of course, any former admin that disagreed can always appeal to the community by asking at WP:RFA. — xaosflux Talk 15:32, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for proving my point, Xaosflux. So, how long do you propose to wait between first edit after returning and successful request for return of bits? How long, and how many edits? If they do 100 edits on their first day back, then head over here and ask for the bit back, will that be the 24 hour wait, or will that need something else? If they do 5 edits/day for a week, will that be enough? I assume that "the community" believes I'm active, but I don't hit the "very active" editor level in most months, so would I be in danger if I returned with the same level of activity? Risker (talk) 15:43, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Risker: that's a great question and something that will take some figuring out! I don't see any part of the new guidance requiring "very active"ness, and it specifically allows for the case where the requester intends to return to activity as an editor, so actually having done so isn't a brightline. Personally, I think I'd land on the AGF side if a requester says that they will be returning - especially if they presented a case of what changed that will enable that. Now, if they 'intended' to then didn't, then got removed for inactivity again, then restarted the entire cycle again - my AGF powers may be a bit strained. — xaosflux Talk 16:26, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: I'm in the same boat. Useight (talk) 22:59, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Risker, the issue I see is how many people are made unhappy by former sysops getting the bit back after just one edit. Also, having voluntarily resigned for a while this summer, I don't think a month or two of editing without the bit is a terrible punishment. We certainly need to do better than the lengthy discussions full of ABF that we see at almost every low-activity resysop request. —Kusma (t·c) 16:28, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Of course not. They don't do anything, harmful or otherwise. The resysops were just a *waste* *of* *time*. ——SN54129 17:02, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that a lot of this should have been hashed out before a RfC page was finalized and put in to policy. And IIRC there were a fair number of folks that mentioned the issues of vagueness. — Ched (talk) 17:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
    • The vagueness is a feature and was intentional, and the granting of discretion was mentioned as a good compromise by supporters. Doing what you’re suggesting would defeat the main idea of the proposal. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:24, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Literally all anyone would have to do is come in and actively start editing again for maybe even as little as a couple of weeks before requesting and no reasonable person would object. Put a little note at requests for resysop advising that. If someone isn't willing to even do that, how important is that hat for their collection? --valereee (talk) 19:11, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with you a lot of the time, TonyBallioni, but on this, what you perceive to be a feature is possibly one of the biggest fallacies that occurs on this project. "Discretion" is all well and good, but without any kind of guidance other than "use your judgment", we're just asking for them to put their heads in a blender. It's not quite up to "here's a set of keys, why don't you see if you can back that 18-wheeler down this obstacle course", but it's equally unfair, to both the bureaucrats (whose decision will always be questioned) or to the returning admin (who has no way of knowing what's expected of him to get the tools back). It's pretty obvious to someone who went and read that discussion after the fact that many of the supporters went for it, fully expecting that the end result would be to put the 'crats into a situation where they'd meet so much opposition for handing the tools back that they'd just stop doing it. Valereee, I disagree on how likely it is that "reasonable" people wouldn't object. How many edits? for how many weeks? and what kind of edits? You see, there is no common view of what that should be. Are all edits equal? Do they have to create an article? I can guarantee everyone who has commented in this thread has a different idea of what should be considered the minimum activity. I think I'm the only one who has come up with a concrete idea that includes a rationale, and I'm pretty certain almost everyone else would consider it unacceptable. Risker (talk) 19:28, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) (Non-administrator comment) I am glad that the 'crats still fear the mere editors with torches and pitchforks. However, I think the RfC expressed frustration with the hat collectors managing to game the system. Leaving the matter up to the common-sense of the trusted bureaucrats is supposed to prevent that. The 'crats should not feel that they cannot make a judgement call without a narrow span to hide behind. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:27, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
      • There's nothing that we could put in place that can't be gamed, with the exception of the nuclear option of "just go to RFA". What I'm seeing from the bureaucrats is exactly what could have been expected from a group of people who were selected specifically to do one series of pretty straightforward tasks, most of the time involving no discretion at all, and then telling them that their job now includes using their discretion to make decisions that are contentious every time they have come up even before there was any real discretion. Risker (talk) 19:44, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
        • Bureaucrats are at risk of having to make a judgement call every time there's an RfA. In the past ~three years there've been around 20 requests for resysop for inactivity. Asking a couple of questions in response to the resysop request is really all that's likely necessary. Like, "You've only got 1700 global edits in the past fifteen years, only thirty edits in the past ten years. I'm concerned that you aren't familiar enough with what admin duties are now. Would you consider maybe editing for a while, kind of learn the ropes again, then come back in a few weeks and re-request?" I'm guessing for those who don't actually intend to edit, we won't see them again. -- Valereee (talkcontribs) 2019-11-06T22:19:08 (UTC)
          • Well, realistically, since 2015 only 5% of RFAs go to 'crat chat, and maybe another 5% fall in the "discretionary" range, so they really aren't making a lot of judgment calls. (After all, the main thrust of RFB has always been to confirm that the candidate will follow the 'bright lines' in closing RFAs.) And given the extremely divergent views that 'crats themselves have expressed about what kinds of standards they'd personally like to impose, I am seriously concerned that it will all depend on which 'crat has the first kick at the can and every request will wind up with a different set of expectations applied. I have made a suggestion below. I don't care about global contribs - it would only be relevant if they were applying to be a global admin - and unless we're going to start yanking admin permissions from people who make their one annual edit, I'm okay with a relatively low number of edits between return and resysop. I think we need to keep our eye on the ball. There are only a few thousand very active editors (most of them not administrators), but they're also the ones who are most likely to be opining on any RFC or noticeboard. They/we have a skewed sense of what an "average" editor or even an "average" admin does. Risker (talk) 05:57, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Failure doesn't mean RfA - nothing in my interpretation of the new changes indicates that the 'Crats declining to immediately return them limits the requesting individual to nothing or RfA. Unless they've come back with only a couple of days left to the deadline, they could request - be asked to do some more editing - and request again. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
    • Agree. I don't see this as something that says No. It says Show Me. --valereee (talk) 02:43, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
      • 100% agree. I don't see any comments suggesting this from anyone supporting, and I wrote the language specifically to allow people who were rejected to request again if they were turned down and kept editing for a bit. TonyBallioni (talk) 06:23, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Just a note. I will be keeping out of resysops whilst sitting on Arbcom, as I can see this going south very quickly. The support for this change was made by just 37 users and an ambiguous wording has been decided upon. Discretion is fine, but given that there is such a variety in opinion on what constitutes "active", a "reasonable" person could take vastly different standpoints. The first time that a 'crat refuses to resysop someone who others believe meet the threshold of active, or resysops someone else who others believe do not meet this threshold there will be upset. And since I don't see where else this can end up but Arbcom, I'm going to keep out of the whole decision making process while I'm there. WormTT(talk) 16:32, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

RfC closure grants bureaucrats new discretion in processing resysopping requests - community input seeking[edit]

valereee and others put together a very helpful anonymized(ish) list at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2019 Resysop Criteria (2)#Resysops. What if we distilled these into 10 or 15 hypothetical examples and sought community input as to whether each hypothetical returning user's activity was "more than enough", "enough", "not quite enough", "tending towards enough, with reassurances", "not at all enough", "not enough, even with re-assurances", etc. –xenotalk 00:56, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Personally, I think it is tricky to evaluate solely on the based of an edit count, without looking at the content of the edits in question. The nature of the edits may help indicate how engaged the former administrator remains and whether future involvement seems likely. isaacl (talk) 01:42, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Isaacl, 30 edits in ten years isn't enough to convince you someone shouldn't be automatically resysopped on request, no questions asked? We really need to investigate the nature of those 30 edits? --valereee (talk) 02:26, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, because part of asking questions is investigating the editor's engagement with the community. To be "reasonably convinced that the user has returned to activity or intends to return to activity as an editor" means, in part, understanding the context of their edits. One editor could make a few hundred automated edits in a week that may be less convincing than another editor making a dozen edits focused on a key area of interest. isaacl (talk) 03:55, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • How about this? Former administrators must have resumed editing a minimum of 2 weeks before the request for resysop, and must have completed a minimum of 10 edits outside of their own userspace in the 2 weeks prior to the resysop request. I would also add users must not be asked to reveal personal information about the reason for their absence or their reason for return - either by 'crats or community members, and any such request for information should be immediately reverted. Risker (talk) 05:43, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
That would be fine for me (struck after Risker's reply below) but if the admin then immediately returns to inactivity after some time , say three months, the community should be allowed to challenge the return to activity. Govindaharihari (talk) 05:55, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
That is not what the RFC decided. The readminship resets the clock. Risker (talk) 06:00, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
So, it basically boils down to, make one edit a year to keep your advanced permissions forever and if you forget to make it just make ten and get them back. I don't think that was the kind of discretion the community was asking/trusting the Crats to chat about. Govindaharihari (talk) 06:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't want to make someone who edited consistently for years and then fell off for a year and came back have to wait two weeks or even make a commitment to edit 5 edits a month. I do think that someone who has made one edit a year for the last 7 years and whose last admin action was deleting and restoring their own user page shouldn't have +sysop restored solely on request. There are a lot of situations in between. Having a hard numeric criteria prevents distinguishing between these situations.
    This should only be decided when requests are made and at the discretion of bureaucrats. It isn't going to be a "first crat to say no" policy, as there was also consensus for a discussion when it was contentious, and the 24 hour hold still exists.
    Despite the objections raised here, I still view the intentional ambiguity as a feature, and the arguments against it were raised in the RfC, and it still gained consensus. In fact, I think an ambiguous option is the only thing that could have gained consensus because any objective criteria would have been rejected by enough people to make it tank.
    The RfC closed giving bureaucrats discretion. We should not limit it because people are uncomfortable with writing policy broadly. There are legitimate critiques of what could happen, but we have never seen this play out yet, and I think predicting the future isn't something we should engage in. I have confidence the 'crats will be able to ignore the noise (they ignore the talk page every 'crat chat) and use their judgement, when the case arises, which is what the community has asked them to do. TonyBallioni (talk) 06:18, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
    • There's a difference, though, TonyBallioni. On a 'crat chat, it's obvious to everyone that there is a 'crat chat; it's right there on the RFA. Requests for resysop come to this board, and it is entirely reasonable for someone coming here (probably for the first time ever) to take the word of the first 'crat who comments as "this is what I need to do", and then either decide to do it, or not do it. I get that the "ambiguous" solution gained consensus, but my reading was that it gained consensus because a lot of the people who are hardline are pretty confident that the 'crats are going to be imposing high levels and expectations on the returning admins. Risker (talk) 07:15, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
      This makes no sense to me. If we think them ready to apply policy as a sysop we should think them competent to understand policy about resysop which explicitly mentions a crat chat. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 13:04, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
      Barkeep49: if the bureaucrats have to decide for the "everypedian" (a fictional construct), we really need a more workable data set of opinions from a wide array of users as regards acceptable activity.

      For example: my personal opinion is that most administrators retain the mental capability to administrate the project responsibly despite their level of relative activity. When I proposed the bureaucrat activity requirements, I specifically included a safe harbour provision that one could "signal... that they remain actively engaged and available for bureaucrat tasks." If an administrator is not actively editing, but still checks their watchlist, still keeps tabs on the project, still has a good understanding of policies, and guidelines, and the appropriate way that they apply as regards content and users, in other words-they "remain actively engaged and available for administrative tasks", I don't see why this volunteer editor cannot retain a few extra buttons that might help the project's goals - once in a while. –xenotalk 15:25, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Xeno, I understand your perspective on that - I don't agree and voted as such at the RfC - but I do understand the thinking and it does make sense. What doesn't make sense for me is Risker writing "Requests for resysop come to this board, and it is entirely reasonable for someone coming here (probably for the first time ever) to take the word of the first 'crat who comments as "this is what I need to do", and then either decide to do it, or not do it." To me if someone is competent enough to use the sysop toolkit they are also competent enough to understand the resysop process. That's where I would love if Risker, you, or someone could help me out. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:40, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@Xeno: I feel like what's going to happen is pretty much the parallel with how RFAs go. In RFA, there have been (and will continue to be) requests that some bureaucrats would close on their own and some would take to a 'crat chat (in which some would say that a consensus for promotion existed and some wouldn't). And this 'crat chat (or lack thereof) would be accompanied by people who agree with the result and people disagree with the result, falling into three categories: 1) "There should've been a 'crat chat but it got closed unilaterally"; 2) "The 'crat chat should've failed because XYZ"; and 3) "The 'crat chat should've succeeded because XYZ". I predict the same thing will happen with resysop requests. That is to say, there will be some requests that some bureaucrats are comfortable closing on their own and some would take to a chat, and there will still be the accompanied people who feel that whatever happened was wrong (or right). I also suspect that future RFBs (if any) will include the candidate being asked questions like "What level of activity would be necessary for you to be of the opinion that a resysop requester is actually returning to editing?" or "What would indicate to you that a resysop requester does intend to return to editing?" The question on my mind is whether the 24-hour hold period remains exclusively for cloud-checking or has it become a de facto 'crat chat in which the bureaucrats will opine about the candidate's past and potential future editing activity. Useight (talk) 15:48, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
(ec re to BK) So you see the inherent problem: bureaucrats are being asked to decide for a wide array of users without a really good impression of where to really draw even blurry lines. And I don't think it's really fair for the first requesting administrator to be a test case where we have a "mini re-rfa" on BN. –xenotalk 15:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I see the potential problem yes. I definitely share your aversion to a resysop being a mini-RfA. And yes there will be a human cost to some editors who request sysop back. That is unfortunate. Of course even under old policy there could be a cost attached to a request. That is already unfortunate. However, clearly enough of us who participated in the RfC had enough faith in you the crats to decide on a fuzzy line of activity rather than a bright line of activity. Just in the same way that the community has faith that the crats will decide on a fuzzy line of indications that they may have resigned (or become inactive) for the purpose, or with the effect, of evading scrutiny of their actions that could have led to sanctions. rather than a bright line of "part of an ArbCom case or case request". Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:22, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
My own resysop request here at RfA went to a crat chat, and I do not recollect anybody having problems with that. I do not quite see what has changed in less than two years.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:42, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
My understanding is that some of the RfC participants feel that bureaucrats should decline to resysop, at least once in a while, to encourage the others. Otherwise if every request still proceeds, there is no effective change. –xenotalk 16:47, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I think every rejection to resysop should be done collectively and not by one crat, effectively meaning a crat chat should happen - if I understand the problem correctly.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
On what do we base our determination as to the suitability of the requestor's activity or commitment to the cause? Our own beliefs? The opinions of 37 highly active users? Our general feeling about community consensus? A wider array of users that respond to a well-formulated, highly-advertised RfC on the topic? (The last one is the least worst.) –xenotalk 17:39, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Would it not be easier to just not resysop ex-admins after the tools are removed for inactivity? That's what other projects do, and I'm not quite sure why we don't do that to. If we agree as a project that long-term inactivity is bad for admins, then perhaps we need a policy with more teeth. Maxim(talk) 20:04, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Maxim, We just recently passed some amendments to reduce the ability of asking for the tools back from 3 years to 2 years. And we're still in discussion on the specifics of it all, and you're already suggesting that we now reduce it from 2 years to 1 year. "My, people come and go so quickly here" ~ L. Frank Baum. — Ched (talk) 07:33, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

new discretion in processing resysopping requests - procedural[edit]

Useight wrote: The question on my mind is whether the 24-hour hold period remains exclusively for cloud-checking or has it become a de facto 'crat chat in which the bureaucrats will opine about the candidate's past and potential future editing activity.

Now that the community has asked bureaucrats to monitor activity of returning administrators, I see no reason that the usual “looks fine” comments would not also speak to activity level. However Bureaucrat note: without the “community input seeking” I’ve asked for above, the bureaucrats are on unsteady ground. –xenotalk 16:14, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Since we're now suddenly adding a possible crat chat to resysops - I believe from a procedural stand point we will need to create two subsections on each resysop - comments by crats and comments by the rest of the community. I know it may not always be needed, but separating after a period of discussion will only lead to more confusion. WormTT(talk) 16:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. –xenotalk 16:30, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Something like Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard/Archive 8#Bureaucrat discussion: Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Cobi perhaps? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 16:48, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
... or even Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2019 Resysop Criteria (2) Thincat (talk) 19:29, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I think the contentious versions of the 24-hour hold are indeed crat chats now. They tend to last >24 hours and we have them I think a few times a year. Maxim(talk) 20:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Question regarding notices[edit]

As I understand it the most recent actions of removing an editors tools are preceded by notification on the users talk page, and an email (if available). If I'm reading the passed section 7 of the recent RfC, this will happen after 1 year of inactivity. Then when the second year comes around/expires, it would require a RfA to get the tools back. My question. Will the editor in question be notified a second time near the time of the second year which eliminates a BN request possibility? Or does it just automatically become a do not pass BN, go directly to RfA situation? (without notification a second time) — Ched (talk) 07:24, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

  • part 2: If an editor resigns the tools in good standing, will they receive both talk page notice and email (if available) prior to the 2 year expiration date? — Ched (talk) 07:26, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
    • For both of these, we send notices that a removal is about to happen, and when it does happen - that's it. The notices are in Template:Inactive admin and already includes a warning about certain time limits and other restrictions with a link to the policy. — xaosflux Talk 12:07, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Sock contributions to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/GRuban[edit]

Resolved: Candidate withdrew. –xenotalk 21:01, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Removed content: Special:Diff/925386649; Special:Diff/925387213

Reporting that the above-noted RfA (GRuban's) has had significant contributions by an apparent sockpuppet. I've been already involved somewhat in this RfA in a clerking capacity - including responding to the alleged sock, so I think that other bureaucrats will need to handle this new development, and how and whether it should affect the course of the candidacy. –xenotalk 20:19, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Why have the comments been removed rather than struck, now the discussions they took part in look bizarre! ——SN54129 20:29, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Well, because they're ineligible contributions. Also I don't generally strike other users' comments: it gives the impression that the contributing user withdrew the remark - which is not the case here. The remarks have been removed as ineligible. I didn't feel it appropriate to remove the contributions by the eligible participants, because some of the remarks remained germane to the candidacy. If they wish to reduce the bizzare-ness of the remaining comments, those users are free to remove their remarks with whatever form of wp:redact they desire. –xenotalk 20:38, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
And why does no-one else do this? ——SN54129 20:41, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Not sure - I can't speak for others. –xenotalk 20:47, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
...and they have so spoke: the consensus seems to be to follow WP:SOCKSTRIKE. Happy days! ——SN54129 04:58, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I’d prefer a wider range of opinions, and something policy-based. That’s an essay, and it still includes outright removal as an option. –xenotalk 11:04, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
The disingenuity is noted. ——SN54129 16:39, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I’m afraid I don’t get your meaning. If you feel consensus exists to leave RfA contributions purported to be both topic and block evading in situ, please ping additional bureaucrats, or ask at WP:ARCA, or WT:RFA, and I will be guided by a fuller consensus of my colleagues, a committee declaration, or wider consensus. –xenotalk 16:52, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I would have struck the edits with a note that they were made by a sockpuppet of a blocked user, or even just indented the !vote. My opinion, which I concede may well be unpopular, is that in this case, the cat is out of the bag, and there's not much point to remove the comments. We can't make the RfA go back in time before any comments by ineligible account, pretend no one saw or was influenced by them, and so on. A borderline RfA was never decided by one !vote, anyway. I'm not going to do any reversions/edits to it, but I don't really agree with the present course of actions, yet I don't disagree with it enough to actually change something to the RfA. Maxim(talk) 20:50, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Might as well just unblock and lift the topic ban, in that case. –xenotalk 21:01, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Xeno, such a comment seems to be hyperbole based on a gross misunderstanding of my response. There is your way, which makes the discussion very difficult to follow. That's not ideal. There's my way, which effectively leaves in comments made in violation of a block and a topic ban. That also sucks. I simply argue that my way is the lesser of two evils. I don't expect you to agree, but jumping to "unblock and lift the topic ban" is a very big stretch, and frankly, uncalled for. Maxim(talk) 21:17, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Drawing a line through someone’s words has no net effect. Their contributions remain in place; so if this is how they will be handled, my vote is to eliminate the theatre.

I’d suggest kicking upstairs to the committee, and let them deal with how to handle these comments if we can expect future contributions of this type. –xenotalk 21:51, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

  • I've noticed that I've crossed edits with GRuban submitting a withdrawal message. I've asked them to confirm, given the fresh development. –xenotalk 20:47, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
  • WP:SOCKSTRIKE says if there are other replies it's generally best to strike out their comment rather than remove it, specifically to avoid such concerns as mentioned above. I agree that it's largely a moot point with the nomination being withdrawn, but it still means for a fractured discussion for if and when the next try comes around and someone goes looking at RFA #1. Primefac (talk) 21:42, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
    The original state is available in the revision history. The whole page should probably be courtesy blanked anyway. –xenotalk 02:26, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I would not have removed those comments as (1) the logic trail of the RFA is now hard to follow, and (2) this was a significant event that affected the RFA (rattled the candidate) and even if withdrawn (should either have done earlier, but not now), should remain on the record for others to understand.
You did your best here xeno, but this insanity of compressing a major decision-making process (simultaneous !voting and discussion), into 7-days (unlike any other making decision making process in WP), is being gamed. A reasonable candidate with a 14-year record, got “run out of town” from making a tiny number of mistakes (thr were mistakes, no doubt), that many !voted on without really investigating the factbase of the mistakes in question.
If this was AfD, I would have given it a 7-day re-list to get people to calm down and engage more in the factbase. RFA is an AFD with a 7-day hard stop? Works fine for standard cases, but many other AFDs would also be car-crash if it had this rule. Britishfinance (talk)
If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there would be no work for tinkers Leaky caldron (talk) 22:00, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Britishfinance, they withdrew their nomination, so whether or not this had some sort of "relist" (or even went to a 'crat chat) is kind of a moot point. Primefac (talk) 23:20, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Primefac, but maybe if he knew that RFAs that still had over say 50% support would automatically get another 7-day re-list (kind of what AfD is), then he would have stayed the course and everybody would have taken a rethink and the socking issue could have been reflected on. The contradiction of RfA is that it is considered (I think) the most broken major decision making process in WP, and yet anytime it is suggested that RfA could borrow techniques from other less-broken major decision making processes (eg pre-vote discussion/question per ArbCom and ANI, or re-lists per AFD), the strong pushback is that it would be awful. But could RfA get any more awful than it is now? A process that only works when there are no issues, but spontaneously collapses when subject to any stress, imho. Britishfinance (talk) 23:38, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
That's a fair point, and I'm not here to debate the merits of the system as it exists, just replying to your initial comment. Maybe they would have stayed the course if there was a "if it's 50% relist" option, but that's not how it currently works so debating ifs and buts is a rather pointless venture, and not what this noticeboard is for. Primefac (talk) 23:57, 9 November 2019 (UTC)