Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard

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This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Xaosflux (talk | contribs) at 11:36, 10 April 2019 (→‎Restoration of sysop privileges to Necrothesp: d). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

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To contact bureaucrats to alert them of an urgent issue, please post below.
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The Bureaucrats' noticeboard is a place where items related to the Bureaucrats can be discussed and coordinated. Any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here. Please start a new section for each topic.

This is not a forum for grievances. It is a specific noticeboard addressing Bureaucrat-related issues. If you want to know more about an action by a particular bureaucrat, you should first raise the matter with them on their talk page. Please stay on topic, remain civil, and remember to assume good faith. Take extraneous comments or threads to relevant talk pages.

If you are here to report that an RFA or an RFB is "overdue" or "expired", please wait at least 12 hours from the scheduled end time before making a post here about it. There are a fair number of active bureaucrats, and all of them keep an eye on the time remaining on these discussions. Thank you for your patience.

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Wikipedia:Inactive_administrators/2019#April 2019

The following inactive administrators are being desysoped due to inactivity. Thank you for your service.

  1. Kyle Barbour (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
  2. Kzollman (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
  3. Madman (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
xaosflux Talk 00:32, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Sad to see Madman fall into shadow, given all the light he has created. With thanks to all three for their service. –xenotalk 02:47, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Xeno:, I appreciate that. Thanks for the kind words. It's strange not being an admin, even though it's (!) 15 years later and a long time since I worked a lot here. I really did enjoy it. Kyle Barbour 05:07, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Xeno: Likewise appreciated. I don't think I did that much during my tenure, but time has probably made the memories fade. Do you mind removing the bot flag from MadmanBot so I can officially retire him too? Cheers, — madman 22:07, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
@Madman:  Donexaosflux Talk 01:07, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Hey @Xaosflux: — thanks for handling this. I got the email a while ago and meant to voluntarily let go of the mop and just forgot. Thanks for managing it and sorry for the extra work, I meant to deal with it myself and hope it wasn't too much of a bother. Kyle Barbour 05:05, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Kyle Barbour: no worries for sure! And of course 'edit' and 'create article' are only ever one click away for you if you want to get back in to the swing of things! — xaosflux Talk 11:55, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Role of bureaucrats in the community

Glancing over the most recent RfB, there's some discussion regarding the role of bureaucrats in the community, including but not limited to using IAR for bureaucrat actions. I've always felt there is a bizarre dichotomy of picking admins with particularly good judgment but relegating to fairly automated button pushing. I think it would be useful to have a discussion on the expectations of the community with regards to the role of bureaucrats.

My thoughts are summarized as follows. The recent arb case involving bureaucratic actions ended in requests from several arbs on the Proposed Decision page to not do what I did again. There were two first choice and one second choice vote for admonishing me, one vote to de-crat me, and one thank you. The circumstances of that case are largely moot now (no self-unblocks anymore). Regardless, I would argue there does remain room for bureaucratic judgment/discretion. At any rate, the rumours of my shaming are somewhat exaggerated. :p

I'm pinging @Xaosflux, Ritchie333, and Cyberpower678 as from looking over the RfB, they commented in particular on the recent arb case. Maxim(talk) 22:28, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

I would suggest having the discussion over at the Village pump (not sure which sub-board) as that will attract a wider participation from the community. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 22:53, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Or at least linking in to this. — xaosflux Talk 22:59, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Please do that. Village pump discussions are too hard to follow unless you stay sitting there. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:22, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Maybe move it over to Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats. –xenotalk 15:50, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I think that if we 'crats invoke IAR to do something, it needs to be clearly (though perhaps not immediately evident to an outside observer) in support of a community need to maintain or improve the project. As an example I used IAR last year related to granting temporary IAdmin access to maintainers in the absence of a community mandate authorizing it and it was more glowsticks-and-sporks than torches-and-pitchforks from the villagers. — xaosflux Talk 22:59, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The arb case in question was as a result of virtually everyone involved acting with a miscalibrated "sense of urgency" meter. If instead of clicking the "revert", "block", "(self) unblock", and "desysop" buttons each editor had instead put the keyboard down and eaten nachos and watched TV for an hour or three, there would not have been an arb case. So I'm not sure we want to make policy or even gauge community feeling on IAR actions based on that particular episode. I think people will give a lot of slack to IAR actions based on actual emergencies rather than perceived ones. 28bytes (talk) 23:51, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
    • +1 to that. That was an extremely rare set of circumstances, that as it happens is now impossible. A broad discussion of the role of 'crats in this era of WP is probably a discussion worth having, but I don't thin it should focus ont hat particualr incident or it's real or imagined after effects. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:31, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    • It's possible that for everyone who jumped in, there were a dozen people eating nachos. But obviously it's the one person who acts fastest (or most severely) that determines the actual response. It's a bias that seems to affect a lot of admin areas. I wish there were a pithy "X effect" name for it. – Joe (talk) 05:44, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I agree. That case involved the application of IAR to perform an emergency desysop where (no offence, Maxim) there wasn't really an emergency. Thereafter two questions got somewhat conflated, namely: (i) whether bureaucrats may ever invoke IAR to desysop in an emergency and (ii) whether, if they can, it had been an appropriate instance to do it. Question (i) remains undetermined. Indeed, there is a bit of a catch-22 here. If there was a community consensus allowing a unilateral emergency desysop by a bureaucrat, there would be no need to invoke IAR. Likewise, a rule that bureaucrats may never rely upon IAR would presumably also be subject to IAR... WJBscribe (talk) 11:49, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
      And that is not the only Catch-22, it becomes perversely a bureaucrat ignoring the emergency rules we have because someone else has ignored some other rules - rule ignoring good for me, but not for thee. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:53, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I also agree with this. I don't want to comment too much as mixing my old hat with my new hat, but I want to echo @Beeblebrox and WJBscribe: in their comments. Can someone tell me where the nachos refills are? My bowl is empty and someone forgot to restock the 'crat cupboard. :/ -- Amanda (aka DQ) 14:23, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
      • It's probably on "backorder" like the mythical TP for the functionaries' washroom. —DoRD (talk)​ 02:21, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
    • In my opinion, a lot depends on the history of the 'crat in question and the assumption of good faith. DeSysopping is very easy to correct (the switches move in both directions, you know). In theory, I would lean to supporting someone who has years of good wikiservice and good judgement, who made the call that it was an emergency, acted in that fashion and then brought everything to the proper venues. As WJBscribe said, a situation where consensus is clear is almost certainly not an emergency. Remember, different people will interpret the same situation differently, and neither is necessarily wrong. Emergencies require after-action reports because people have to interpret and react under time pressure. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 04:33, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
      • That seems like an argument for ad hoc personal privilege. It's perhaps one thing when the community has no process, so that some one person thinks they have to aggregate power to themselves, it's another when the community processes have been articulated. When the 'when' of when things are done and by whom has already been written, than follow it, or get it re-written. It is precisely because one person's view is not other's views that we go through the effort to write policy and process down to mediate those differences. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:22, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • There is a premise asserted in RfB standard question 3, "Wikipedians expect bureaucrats to adhere to high standards of fairness, knowledge of policy and the ability to engage others in the community." Where did that come from? It is pretty good. "The ability to engage others in the community" is ideal. I think bureaucrats err on the side of being cautious, but of course that is the side to err on. My reading of the Maxim ArbCom case is that he deserved the "thank you", and I raised my eyebrows at the notion that 3 hours is evidence that something is not an emergency. Bureaucrats are at the top of the hierarchy of formal recognition of an understanding of consensus. If ever there is an IAR rationale for anything, I expect a bureaucrat is best qualified to do it. A good IAR action is proven by consensus support afterwards. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:22, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    The context was important too. Its notable that this was a fight over an internal Wikipedia page with no indication that anyone was going to go disrupt anything important. (That and the fact that the arbs themselves declined a level 1, which would seem to be the most evident standard for an out of process revocation). In any case, what's the point of this discussion? It has already been established (by that case) that the 'crats can do what they will (in an IAR sense) without fear of reprisal. The policy has been de-facto amended (by the only body that has authority to enact this particular aspect of community consensus). Crazynas t 21:52, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • My view is that before self-unblocks were disabled, it would have been well within the spirit of WP:IAR for a bureaucrat to unilaterally desysop an administrator account that is clearly compromised. An unfortunately common example is an account vandalizing the Main Page. Before we removed the ability to self-unblock, it was critical that, once discovered, a compromised account be desysopped immediately, since blocks would be useless and compromised admins can wreak havoc over millions of pages in the space of a few seconds (the Main Page is a naive target for vandals, templates are the really potent stuff). For this reason, I was quite surprised to discover the no consensus result at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Bureaucrat removal of adminship policy (2011), and if self-unblocks weren't now disabled, I would have strongly considered starting a new RfC to revisit the issue.
    This is all moot because nowadays any one administrator can stop a compromised administrator account via a block. In response to the broader question of whether bureaucrats can invoke WP:IAR with respect to bureaucrat actions, I would say the answer is clearly "yes, they can". The relevant question to consider is "would applying the rule seriously harm the encyclopedia, and would ignoring the rule prevent that from happening?" – I trust that bureaucrats have the judgment needed to answer this question. Mz7 (talk) 12:34, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    Can a blocked admin account view deleted edits? A globally locked account cannot (because you can't log in to the account at all) but I don't know if disabling self-unblocks has addressed that particular issue with a local block. WJBscribe (talk) 13:33, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    @WJBscribe: yes a blocked admin can still use (deletedtext) and a number of other permissions that I'm not going to spell out here. Notable they can NOT use: block (except for a retaliatory block on the admin that blocked them), protect, userrights, delete; and those are generally the biggest impacting things. — xaosflux Talk 15:25, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, my vote to de-crat was largely because the standards to become a bureaucrat are so high that I think the standards to remove have to be correspondingly low. In other words, it's a very small fall to below the level of the community's trust when the threshold to pass an RfB without a crat chat requires more than five supports for every one oppose. Since ArbCom had no precedent on what the threshold should be for de-crat, I made an argument for a fairly low threshold. I would not vote to de-crat in similar future circumstances, most likely, since a precedent has now more-or-less been set that de-crat should have the same threshold as desysop.

    To the substance of the question, the community has proscribed bureaucrats a very narrow role and declined to expand it at various RfCs throughout the years, such as the one I referenced in my voting at that case. That included explicitly declining to allow crats to perform emergency desysops without an ArbCom motion. I think that decision is weird – why would you not want a crat to act in a genuine emergency, such as a compromised account? – but it is what it is. If the community didn't even approve unilaterally desysopping compromised accounts as an emergency, then it seems clear they never intended IAR desysops to be a thing. ~ Rob13Talk 14:04, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

    FWIW I think there would have been much less of a backlash from the community if Maxim had 'pushed the button' on a compromised account that was vandalizing the main page before the Arbs had had a chance to post a formal Level 1 request here. That's a straightforward application of WP:BURO not so much a cowboy IAR. Crazynas t 21:43, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Aggregating "emergency" power to a single person is a bad idea, nor is it necessary, this is Wikipedia, not life and death. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:14, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    How much chaos is "emergency" desysoping someone going to cause? It's not a permanent thing, and it affects one user. It's not like they have a big red "shut down Wikipedia" button. Natureium (talk) 14:27, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    See also Wikipedia:Role_of_Jimmy_Wales#Arbitration_Committee ... — xaosflux Talk 14:30, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, less and less aggregation to that individual to where it's almost non-existent on paper, at least. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:00, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Maxim stepped into a situation where processes were working, just not fast enough for Maxim's ipsa dixit liking, and turned it into a months long thing, so long it's being discussed even now. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:53, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think we need to make any assumptions about why Maxim acted beyond assuming that he acted in good faith. Hindsight is 20/20. That said, I do agree that the case in question shouldn't reflect more broadly on how the community views IAR relating to bureaucrat actions. I personally think that the community gives quite a bit of latitude to bureaucrats when deciding who gets sysop rights (crat chats, discretionary zones, etc), but the removal of sysop rights is a bit different since the decision-making body for removal is not the community. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 15:31, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    What? Maxim stated that Arbcom was unable to act expeditiously enough for Maxim (it being Sunday), that is not only good faith assumption, that's fact. As for the rest, why do you think the job-title given by the community is blatantly, bureaucrat? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:46, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    Maybe I read into your statement too much. It sounded like you were assuming that he knew the process was working, when his justification seemed to be that the process would not have been able to work in time. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 16:22, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    Either way -- 'I know there is a process, and it's not good enough', or 'I don't know there is a process, and that's not good enough' -- it's an aggregation of power to the individual to act, except the later suggests the individual should have worked to be informed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:35, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Perhaps paradoxically I've always believed IAR is more important when there are less rules to ignore. When WP had comparatively few rules compared to today, and those rules were drafted by a smaller group of editors and changed relatively easily without much review, then there were many circumstances in which a rule didn't work or didn't cover the situation at hand. As the rule base has grown, the drafting has improved and the review process has become of very high quality, there is much less grey space in which IAR is needed. There will always be some situations where a different approach is required, so crats should retain the ability to apply their discretion, but it's a diminishing requirement IMO and it feels unnecessary to give significant weight to it during RFBs. QuiteUnusual (talk) 15:51, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Beyond IAR and the specific incident in question, I think Maxim's bizarre dichotomy is, much like with sysop vs. admin, partially down to the fact that we're stuck with the word bureaucrat. The [y]ou are technically correct... the best kind of correct compliment of Hermes Conrad has been used ad nauseam, but even just the word bureaucrat can convey that sense of fairly automated button pushing. Ideally, while bureaucrats may be expected to only act in specific situations, that isn't the same as behaving robotically (or bureaucratically); that is, the bureaucratic part of the job is when to act, not how to act. A big part of how we view people is how we talk (and joke) about them. ~ Amory (utc) 02:17, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
    @Amorymeltzer: I don't see any reason why the community couldn't come to a consensus to rename the Bureaucrat user group. The Spanish Wikipedia calls its equivalent of administrators "Bibliotecarios", which translates literally as "Librarians", for example. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 18:54, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
    "Trustees"? Levivich 23:08, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
    Nah, "trustees" has a specific meaning within the WMF; they are the members of the Board of Trustees. I was inclined to go with "enablers", but that might be misconstrued. Risker (talk) 02:32, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
    Old folks' home? Natureium (talk) 03:09, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Welcome Primefac

Following his successful RfB, please welcome @Primefac: to the 'crat crew. Primefac, always feel free to post any questions or open discussions here about anything relevant. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 18:30, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks! Will do. Primefac (talk) 18:49, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
yeah, we are always happy to help Face-grin.svgusernamekiran(talk) 18:50, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Welcome aboard. -- Avi (talk) 04:48, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

New crat chat

Please see Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/RexxS/Bureaucrat chat. Maxim(talk) 18:49, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

@Maxim: perhaps dropping a MMS to Wikipedia:Bureaucrats/Message list would be useful as well? — xaosflux Talk 21:03, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Done. It's the first time I've used MMS; it took me longer to figure out than I would have liked to. :p Maxim(talk) 22:09, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

Restoration of sysop privileges to Necrothesp

The Arbitration Committee has resolved by motion that:

On March 14, 2019, the administrator permissions of Necrothesp (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) were temporarily removed as a suspected compromised account under the Level 1 desysopping procedures.

Following discussion concerning account security, and pursuant to the procedures for return of revoked permissions, the Arbitration Committee resolves the following:

The administrator permissions of Necrothesp (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) are restored, provided he enables two-factor authentication on his account.

For the Arbitration Committee, – bradv🍁 03:03, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Discuss this at: Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Restoration of sysop privileges to Necrothesp
  • {{on hold}} @Necrothesp: as there is no technical mechanism for bureaucrats to verify if you completed the provision required above, would you please reply to affirm that you have satisfied this requirement? — xaosflux Talk 03:24, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  •  Done welcome back to the corps! — xaosflux Talk 11:36, 10 April 2019 (UTC)