Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard/Archive 15

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Archive 14 Archive 15 Archive 16


Hello. As per [1] and Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Aitias#Aitias.27s_suspension_confirmed I am asking for the return of my sysop flag. Thanks, — Aitias // discussion 17:28, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

 Done --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 17:37, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. :) — Aitias // discussion 17:39, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Heads up

I have opened a RfA on myself, despite being a standing admin. Basically, I am requesting reconfirmation of the Communities trust in my ability to use the mop/buttons/flags. As far as I am aware I am not under scrutiny regarding my admin status anywhere else. My point in raising this matter now is that in a weeks time (unless I have really screwed up in my evaluation of my standing, in which case I should be desysopped sooner rather than later) one of you fine folk will need to close this. You may want to have a discussion amongst yourselves over what criteria and what weight should apply regarding supports/opposes that refer to admin actions over that of general (un)trustworthiness, or whether patterns of disquiet should be given more weight than a single instance of really bad judgement/action. I have also asked that support comments should note any area of "improvement required" should it be deemed appropriate. What weight might be placed on such a comment, even though the editor is generally supporting, where there are opposes also noting the same is another matter for consideration. In short, I think I may have handed you something of a hot potato.
The other reason why I am noting this, is that it is my hope that I will not be the last as well as the first admin in goodish standing to put myself up for reconfirmation. You may need to consider that you will be applying your judgement to more of these applications in future. Have, er, fun! LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:33, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't this just be like a regular RfA? If you have our trust, you keep the bit, and if not, off to meta? Synergy 00:37, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm of the firm belief that RFA was created for the express purpose of creating administrators. As a process it is not made to evaluate editors who are already administrators. bibliomaniac15 00:45, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying that this wouldn't be binding if he fails? Synergy 00:47, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
RfB is on the same page, why not RecFA? LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:49, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Because for every idea, there are 30 people who don't like it. I think this is where it should be honestly, but anywhere is fine, so long as its binding. Synergy 00:52, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Since nothing has been done to address methods of admin reconfirmation (or even recall in general), whatever process used could be considered binding, I suppose. bibliomaniac15 01:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Bibliomaniac. This was ill-advised. I have opposed as a result, and I urge any other bureaucrats who read this to agree with Biblio and me and just close it as disruptive. (Well, he didn't say that, but he agrees it was a misuse of the RfA process). Andre (talk) 08:17, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

If you're all so sure it's disruptive then close it, rather than urging others to close it. I realise you commented, but to me, that seems like a bit of a cop out. Something's stopping you from just doing yourself, and I think it's doubt whether it would be the right move to close it or not. I don't really have much of a problem with it. Sure, it's not ideal, but little is. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 10:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I feel it's the correct move, but I also opposed the RfA so I don't want to overstep my bounds. Plus me acting alone could provoke a backlash, whereas 3+ bureaucrats in agreement should be pretty safe. Andre (talk) 00:36, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
hmm then a Wikipedia:Request for admin evaluation is long overdue, not all decisions need to be made by the arbcom, some should be left to the community to decide ...--Warpath (talk) 11:24, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Admin Review. Xclamation point 12:26, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
yes, but thats for the admins and levels above to add their names themselves to the review, what about non-admin putting forward a name of an admin they would like to be reviewed or evaluated ? ..--Warpath (talk) 14:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that's the purpose of Category:Administrators open to recall. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 15:24, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty much the purpose of CAT:AOR, but there is a note-worthy difference: AOR is extremely passive, while something like this takes a much more active approach. Kind of a "If anyone ever notices anything wrong, go ahead and bring it up" versus "Is anything wrong?" Useight (talk) 16:09, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
The problem with AOR is that the admins are the ones that can add themselves but if non-admin members of the community thinks that one certain admin can no longer fulfill his/her rights as an admin, where should he/she bring this up..WP:AN?..where it might get laughed at and thrown out. Some admins do add themselves to the AOR cat, but seriously, they don't ever want to be recalled so I think we must prioritize AOR to all admins as that will be fair and maybe get a new policy or add to a current one that all admins will be evaluated/reviewed by its peers and/or the community once every 6 months, that will be a step in the right direction...--Warpath (talk) 23:27, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
A major problem with evaluating admins every six months is that this equates to dozens of admins being evaluated weekly; this would be extraordinarily time consuming, and, in my opinion, not necessary. Useight (talk) 23:56, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
What about annually or on a 14-month basis? Not ideal, but it would result in a slightly lighter workload. Plus, most reconfirmation RfA's would be low-traffic, near-100% support open-and-shut cases. AGK 00:32, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Lets see... 1,657 admins... divided by 52 weeks in a year... If the annual reconfirmation were to go through, that's on average 31.87 reconfirmation RFAs a week. Isn't that a little much? Xclamation point 01:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)I substituted this, to keep a record for the future. NW (Talk) (How am I doing?) 01:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Even if only the ~900 active admins were to be reevaluated annually, that'd still be 17 weekly. And I agree that a vast majority of the cases would be nearly 100% support, which is actually a reason not to have mandatory reconfirmations. Useight (talk) 03:16, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Mandatory reconfirmations would make adminship a Big DealTM in my opinion, though I'd fully support an optional process. –Juliancolton | Talk 00:36, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Well the community is hellbent on not having a de-sysop policy, something must be done to make sure that everything is fair. 1657 admins you say? many of those are even around?..over 70% of those haven't edited in a year or more I believe, so JulianColton, you are saying that adminship is a permanent right? because without reconfirmations and/or a de-sysop policy, the number of admins will surely rise, but the percentage of active admins will drastically fall..--Warpath (talk) 02:13, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Not necessarily; I believe the flag should be removed on accounts that haven't edited in several years. –Juliancolton | Talk 02:16, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Me too, but I don't see that happening in a foreseeable future and maybe only Jimbo has the power to see that happening, its no use having a big board of directors where only a few are working and the rest are having a nice longggg rest ;) ..Maybe in a perfect world, we can have all active admins, a very active community and no trolls..oh wait..yeah that can never happen.....--Warpath (talk) 05:30, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
70% not edited in a year? That sounds... skewed. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:05, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you'll ever get Jimbo pushing that [2]. the wub "?!" 12:09, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
ugh, the old dictator has lost a lot more than his hair :D ..--Warpath (talk) 04:20, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorely tempted to go thru that RfA and remove each and every !vote that objects to the process and not the candidate. Hmm. EVula // talk // // 20:22, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Really EVula. And will you also be removing the votes that combine both commentary on the process and the candidate out of interest - or will you simply be giving them no weight? I ask because it would seem you may be one of the few crats who can close this and I'd like your bias out now please.Pedro :  Chat  20:26, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
The pure process opposes seem more symbolic to me; I find it hard to believe that folks have concluded LHVU should not be an administrator simply because he initiated a reconfirmation RfA, and I wouldn't be surprised if bureaucrats discounted some votes for that reason. Still, I wouldn't go through and strike them at this point. Seems both unnecessary and likely to create far more controversy than leaving them there is prompting. Nathan T 20:38, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. I might venture that if EVula (and his semi-melodramatic "hmm") ventures so far as to start striking votes then his next visit to RFA may not be in the capacity of closing the discussion. Again, EVula, given you are one of the 'crats not to have commented your position please - will you give less weight to comments that indicate displeasure with the process, even if they have additional comments on the candidate. This doesn't seem much to ask. Pedro :  Chat  20:44, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Heh, totally wasn't my intention to leave you hanging with this; I was just busy with other stuff. :)
The point of the above comment was to act as sort of a "floating the idea" kind of action; to see how people reacted to even the idea of removing them. If I were to close the RfA (called so because I don't feel like bandying about another damn acronym) I would probably disregard any !vote the solely referenced a disapproval in the process; those that opposed based on the grounds that the candidate's mere action of putting himself back up at RfA is grounds for lost faith have, in my opinion, a just argument, although not quite as much as, say, ones referencing the Jimbo diff.
However, while I may have been considering the flat-out removal of the !votes, I ultimately decided not to, primarily because of the massive amount of drama that it would cause (in a couple of different ways). Not worth it.
Also, for what it's worth, I've been a proponent of a de-sysopping system that rests in the hands of the community for a while, and I'm glad to see that there's at least some movement forward on it... even if it is a bit more of a lurch than a graceful step. EVula // talk // // 21:34, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying. Pedro :  Chat  21:42, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

The bureaucrats really play no role in this closing actually. If consensus is found for "promotion" (which seems fairly unlikely at this point, I think it's pretty clear that the RfA has a serious lack of consensus right now), we do nothing. And if no consensus is found, the status quo will still apply under the consensus system -- remember, as an dubious out of process non-RfA page with no consensus, nothing will happen unless LHVU personally requests a desysop on Meta -- as well as the lack of a bureaucrat desysop ability. Therefore, I urge whoever closes this not to take the safe or diplomatic route by giving some kind of blessing to the result of this RfA. The only safe call in cases of extreme doubt is no consensus -- which means do nothing.Andre (talk) 04:42, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Andre, I find your comment to be really strange coming from a bureaucrat. Do you have a view of 'crat discretion and the nature of consensus at RfA that is at odds from normal process? Typically, 80% is clear consensus to promote in an RfA... but you say its "pretty clear that the RfA has a serious lack of consensus." Can you explain what makes you say that, and if you would close a normal RfA in this position as fail? Nathan T 13:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The difference in this case comes with the Neutral !votes. It's pretty clear that users can't agree whether the RfA should exist at all. I certainly wouldn't close a normal RfA in this position as fail, but this is not a normal RfA. User opinions must be evaluated in the context they are given. (Note: this is my opinion as someone who opposed. I have recused myself from actually closing it.) Andre (talk) 20:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I was wondering

The term 'de-sysop' is sometimes bandied about, and I was curious - is there documentation on what sorts of instances trigger the process? What is the actual process? Is it written down anywhere? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 17:41, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

WP:DESYSOP? –Juliancolton | Talk 17:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Which doesn't give any process other than "voluntary resignation", "take it to Arbcom" or "Jimbo's personal whim"… – iridescent 20:10, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
For ArbCom's permissions removal policy see here. Tiptoety talk 20:13, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
There are essentially four ways to get de-sysopped, though I'm not sure if it's written anywhere concretely.
  1. Self-request at Meta (sometimes a self-request locally works, too);
  2. Emergency removal by a steward (for odd account behavior, generally);
  3. Removal by the Arbitration Committee (the Committee is empowered by the stewards to request access rights changes for any user at Meta);
  4. Jimmy (who arbitrarily removes rights, generally for egregious behavior).
--MZMcBride (talk) 20:25, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

A slight error there I think. Should say:

4. Jimmy (who arbitrarily removes rights).

--Malleus Fatuorum 21:48, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

He just might remove your right to edit for that ;-)---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 21:52, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Then I'd just have to use one of my sleeper accounts, one of which I think is very close to being a good RfA candidate.</joke> --Malleus Fatuorum 22:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Please refrain from using humor; the bureaucrat noticeboard is for serious business only, no silliness. EVula // talk // // 22:22, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I've been upset for a while I can't get my Malleus Fatuorum account through RFA, hence my use of sleepers. Pedro :  Chat  22:25, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Who was being silly? Perhaps it wasn't a joke after all. ;-) --Malleus Fatuorum 22:28, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
What was the sock of yours that I was supposed to be coaching... James Blood?---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 05:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Flying Toaster RfA

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Due to FlyingToaster’s resignation (cf. [3]), nothing remains that has to be discussed here on the bureaucrats’ noticeboard. — Aitias // discussion 20:12, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I have already raised this issue here, but was told this venue was more appropriate.

I have a concern about this RfA (Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/FlyingToaster 2). The vote was narrow, and the issue of content creation was important. My specific concern is that the candidate made claims about '156 articles created' in an intendedly persuasive way to influence the outcome ([4], [5], User:FlyingToaster/created.

I have looked at many of these articles, and I find that as well as a significant number of disambiguation pages, a large number of the 'articles' are plagiarised directly from internet sources. Most or all of the 40-odd articles on Roumanian generals are plagiarised from a single source. Many of the more substantial-seeming articles are directly plagiarised, without any modification of phrasing or order or other softening. One article was already plagiarised and was only wikified (extensively) by the candidate. But why did she not spot this, given it was obviously so? This shows a serious lack of judgment in a person who is supposedly chosen for just that quality.

I want to know if all of those who supported this RfA would still do so, if shown full evidence of the plagiarism, which was clearly performed in an attempt to gain credentials. If the election were rerun, would we get the same result?

Here are the articles I noticed.

  • Cluster-weighted_modeling lifted from this abstract: [6] O:"Cluster-weighted modeling (CWM) is a versatile inference algorithm". W:"It is recognized as a versatile inference algorithm ". Original: "Each cluster is localized to a Gaussian input region and possesses its own trainable local model". Wikipedia "Each cluster in CWM is localized to a Gaussian input region, and this contains its own trainable local model". Also from another paper here [7] and Danil and Feldkamp [8] ("a feedforward layered network might be preferred").
  • Over 40 articles directly copied from a single internet source on Romanian generals. E.g.
    • Alexandru Batcu: "Alexandru Batcu (1892–1964) was a Romanian Brigadier-General during World War II. From 1941 to 1943, he served as Commanding Officer 28th Fortress Regiment. He was then a Prefect of Dubasari in 1943. In 1944, he began as a Prefect of Tiraspol, then became a General Officer Commanding 5th Division, and finally a General Officer Commanding 5th Training Division. He was Assistant Commandant of Bucharest in 1944, Commandant of Bucharest in 1945, and retired in 1946."
    • Original "1941 - 1943Commanding Officer 28th Fortress Regiment, 1943 - 1944Prefect of Dubasari, 1944 Prefect of Tiraspol, 1944 General Officer Commanding 5th Division, 1944 General Officer Commanding 5th Training Division, 1944 - 1945Assistant Commandant of Bucharest, 1945 Commandant of Bucharest, 1946 Retired [9]
  • Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, lifted verbatim from another site – lead, history, Acquisition of the buildings
  • Homeokinetics has already been deleted for possible copyvio.
  • Momentum flux is a copyvio from here.
    • "It can be associated with either mean velocity components, internal gravity waves, or with turbulent velocity fluctuations. For turbulence, the momentum flux is also called the Reynolds stresses. For waves, momentum flux is related to mountain wave drag", the source says "Momentum flux can be associated with either mean velocity components, internal gravity waves, or with turbulent velocity fluctuations. For turbulence, the momentum flux is also called the Reynolds stress. For waves, it is related to mountain wave drag."
  • Radiative flux draws heavily from an article from the journal Applied Optics, and also raises my concern about taking material from abstracts, which is not good practice.
  • There is also some copying at Chemical flux
  • One of the sources for Volumetric flux seems to be a blog advertising a software program called "Unit Converter EX" which does various unit conversions. This is not good practice.

Peter Damian (talk) 05:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

  • The RFA was charactorised by Flying Toaster's supporters hectoring (and continuing to do so) the opposition. This hectoring was often "justified" by mention of her prolific content creation, and claims that her pages created numbered over 100. The oposition centred its opposes on her lack of real content and mainspace edits. I looked at several of the pages cited as hers and was struck by their, in my view, poor standard; looking for copyright violation never occurred to me. What was clear was that the candidate had little idea of Wikipedia and its ways and protocols. Yet 100 people miraculously appeared and supported, something I find very strange indeed. My view is that Toaster should do the honourable, and simple, thing and resign the tools, thus avoiding a damaging and embarassing investigation. She should then be given a timescale to clean up the pages before thay are deleted. I don't see the need for punitive sanctions for what appears to simple ignorance of Wikipedia laws and standards. I don't think it unreasonable for a certain knowledge of thse things to be acquited before Admin tools are granted. Giano (talk) 06:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I was wondering but do you think that posting the same statement here and on ANI (in multiple threads there) is helpful? I think it might look as if you have a crusader-mentality against this user, unlikely to be helpful in convincing people that there was a mistake. If you want to suggest FT to resign, you should really tell this to her personally, imho. And if you think the RFA's consensus was incorrectly judged, maybe we should allow the closing crat to offer his reasons before we can really discuss anything? Regards SoWhy 08:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • This is outrageous. Yet another indication of how low the English wikipedia has fallen since 2006 when it first became manifest that the RfA system is permanently broken. To say that the vote was "narrow" is... a very mild way of putting it. I expect the closing bcrat to resign. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't see this as being the bureaucrats' fault, it's not their job to pick through all the evidence of a candidate's suitability. This seems more like a failing of the wider community. Although I hope the 'crats had the good sense to discount such supports as "We need more good looking admins for WikiMania" and "appears to have the correct enemies". the wub "?!" 08:15, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It was a good call by the closing crat. The arguments given by the opposers were weak, it just didnt seem worth addressing them at lenght with all the complaints of "badgering". Plus there was almost bang on 80% support! And that was after what was effectively determined if rather feeble negative canvassing - and yes I do have evidence which Id prefer not to present, but will do if pressed! FeydHuxtable (talk) 08:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm going to quote Scott MacDonald from the RfA - "Opposes seem mainly to be petty political score settling based on her support of someone who'd pissed off some powerful people - wikipolitics at it worst." It sums it up nicely actually. Now we have calls for FT and Anon Diss to resign??? Cut it out. If there is a problem with FT's articles then pop over to her talk page and tell her what they are so she can fix them. Moaning about it here solves nothing. FT is very responsive and if there is some inappropriate paraphrasing (I wouldn't call it outright plagiarism) then she will fix it. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 08:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The matter of content work was certainly focal in this RfA – many opposed because of it, and it formed the crux of the oppositional argument. However, the opposition mentioned a lack of content work, rather than plagiarism issues; lack of content work (which the RfA centred on) is different to copy-violative content work (which was not even mentioned in the RfA). Tying the two together like that is, in my view, not presenting the RfA for what it was. Now, if the plagiarism issue had been discovered while the RfA was in progress, a different outcome may have been the product; however, speculation doesn't solve anything.
In my view, to assert that FT deliberately and carefully perpetrated a misrepresentation to influence the RfA is assuming bad faith on the part of the candidate. If we assume that FT genuinely believed her articles were not problematic, it does not seem so unreasonable that she should be proud of the figure of "156" and should wish to make a note of it on the RfA. The claim that she "made claims about '156 articles created' in an intendedly persuasive way to influence the outcome" seems rather cynical to me.
These allegations are a concern, and they require proper attention. We have avenues for that, and what seems to be productive discussion to the end of solving the problem has been generated at ANI. However – and I re-iterate – this problem is not germane to the RfA as it was. It would most certainly have been germane to the RfA if the information had been exposed during the candidacy; this is unquestionable, and, even now, the implications here are substantial. Unfortunately (and it is very unfortunate) the problem was only identified after the closure. I do not make this point in some attempt to fop off the concern with a technicality, or to detachedly defend my closure. I mean only to call attention to what actually took place during the RfA and why a distinction must be drawn between the issues of the opposition in the RfA and the issues that have arisen shortly afterward. In short, I take this position: these matters need to be looked into and addressed promptly, but to draw a connection with the RfA itself – other than to consider whether these problems may have affected support and oppose trends – is not accurately interpreting the arguments that underscored the discussion.
For now, all we can do is work with the present. Developments may yet come in the situation as further inquest into the articles in question is undertaken. The most important thing right now is to fix the articles and remove the plagiarism. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 08:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
ECx4 Perhaps if the evidence was provided during the RfA things might have turned out differently? I swear, there was a week to raise this issue, instead most of the opposes were fairly weak. And by weak, I mean they didn't provide evidence. Most of them were along the lines of IDONTLIKEIT. As for the 'crat to resign? Give me a break, the final tally was about 80% in support. The opposes didn't make a concrete oppose rationale. I think I have a reputation as being a hard nose when evaluating candidates---I oppose a lot more than I support. But when the oppose rationale that is being cited by many is A very poor idea. This editor is naive, uniformed and has an appalling record regarding content. One wonders why these people come here, any fool can sit and talk all day, and many do. That doesn't speak to the strength of the opposes. Sorry Giano, that rationale looks more personal and unsupported. Even Peter who provides the links above, provided us with the compelling argument of per reasons above, mainly no visible content contribution. You have to get to !vote 19 before any of the opposes provided a link and oppose 31 before anybody actually started citing some facts. None of the other !votes made a case, they just cited an opinion. If you want people to listen to you, do more than say "I don't like it." Give reasons backed by facts, not opinions. If you have reasons, such as Peter's above, provide it DURING the RfA. Might it have swayed the outcome? Very likely, but that is why we have a 7 day period, not 1 day. Sheesh.---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 08:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It sounds like you're saying because this came to light a little too late, it should be ignored in regard to whether she's suitable to have the tools? Rubbish. Every action should be taken into account, that's why people are desysoped. Plagiarism, though unintentional, demonstrates a lack of understanding of copyright and judgement that would not be expected of someone with the power to delete. And yet because the evidence has been found a day after the RfA was closed it's ok? I don't think it should matter how long an editor has been an admin, if they misunderstand an important policy on such a basic level they shouldn't have the tools. Most don't know the ins and outs of copyright, but most know that you can't copy someone else's work onto wikipedia. Nev1 (talk) 10:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
If I sound like that, I think it's a tragedy. It's not what I meant at all, and I tried to enforce that point in my comment. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 12:35, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
You said "this problem is not germane to the RfA as it was. It would most certainly have been germane to the RfA if the information had been exposed during the candidacy". Are you saying that information that comes to light after an election has been closed is not relevant ('germane') to the election, or to the election process? My view is that if a blatantly unsuitable candidate is chosen as the result of a certain process, then that process itself should be examined. Perhaps you are not to blame (I'm not saying you are). But the process certainly is. And as the person who is unquestionably responsible for the process, I think you should be accepting a little more responsibility for it than you appear to be doing. Peter Damian (talk) 12:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The person elected should be examined. Why should the process be examined? It's finished now, and no mention was even made of these issues in the RfA. That fact is unfortunate – very unfortunate, given how recent the RfA is. But the RfA is over now, and the candidate was promoted. If the adminship of FT is to be called into question for issues that are months old, it really makes no difference whether she was promoted a week ago or six months ago. Furthermore, why is the process to blame? No-one who participated in the process did anything wrong; people supported and opposed with their individual rationales, none of which gave any mention to this copyright problem. Again, that's unfortunate, but it's not actually attributable to a problem with the process. With regard to my responsibility: I accept responsibility for my closure, and I also stand by that closure, fully. My task as a bureaucrat is to evaluate consensus as presented in elections by participants. However, for the issues of plagiarism and the impacts these issues are having on FT's new adminship I do not accept responsibility; and I think that's fairly reasonable. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 13:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I think Peter Damian means that the RfA voters should check contributions more carefully before voting. I agree with you that the RfA was closed just fine. If there was anything wrong (I am not sure) it was how people choose their votes, not how you assessed consensus. --Apoc2400 (talk) 13:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Pardon me, AD, but the issue was indeed brought up during the RFA. Gimmetrow 14:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Really? Where? –xeno talk 14:48, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
My oppose, for instance. I had been editing some of the articles and saw substantial verbal similarities with sources. I expected the "feedback" from DYK to be about this. Gimmetrow 15:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Your oppose said nothing at all about plagiarism or similarity to sources. –xeno talk 18:38, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It was one of the issues the oppose was about.[10] Gimmetrow 12:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Quite a few misconceptions introduced here. FTs creation of 156 articles wasn't even mentioned until 17 May, by which time she already had over 100 support votes. No one in the RFA's support sections directly gave article creation as a reason for supporting - instead folk point to her improved janitorial work such as CSD tagging plus AIV and UAA reports. Or to FTs steady composures plus friendly and helpful nature. At best article creation can be seen as a factor in about 5 votes, and thats if you construe comments like "constructive contributions" as referring to article creation and not said janitoring. There's a contingent among the opposers who seem to think fine content creation skills are essential for an admin – but on this doesn't appear to be the majority view in the community. In general folk are happy to promote admins on the bases that they are likely to be good with a mop and bucket, and that they wont abuse the tools. For myself it was clear FT is probably still some way from developing into a fine stylist from this, supplied by Editor Plutonium27. Even that piece of evidence points to FTs helpful nature as the intial version was clearly her own work and she went to a lot of trouble to research an article requested by another.
  • As for plagiarism , I dont think this was anywhere near as extensive as implied, and anyway we're encouraged to be relatively faithful to the sources, so its an understanable mistake for a fairly new editor. From the examples I've looked at only Glengree is a clear cut case, and I dont see any thing morally wrong with representing a respectable and essentially charitable institution in its own words. Granted it shows FT was at that time not fully aware of applicable policy. But we're encouraged to jump in and learn as we go, and when one does look at either the guidelines themselves or policy related discussion on talk pages the emphasis is much more on avoiding OR and Synth – almost the reverse of avoiding plagiarism! Anyway FT gives no indication she's likely to use her admin status to throw her weight around in content disputes, rather she seems keen to serve the community in areas where she has a solid understanding of policy. Also she responds very well to constructive criticism.
  • Im very much hoping this complaint will be put to bed by an early closure, as hopefully crats will agree FT is a fine candidate strongly endorsed by the community. In case it does go the distance its probably fair to say I have evidence that suggests extensive foul play by some in the opposing camp, which I would rather not present unless neccessary. FeydHuxtable (talk) 08:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • If you have "evidence" put your money where your mouth is! Giano (talk) 08:47, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
As you wish Gianno. You posted on both the admin board and your well watched talk page , where you made it very clear you considered it would be a cyber tragedy if FT was promoted. Ostensibly you were complaining about IRC in general , but in both cases you linked to the then ongoing RFA and its notable you archived the discussion a few hours after the RFA was closed. Now this may not have been your intention, but given the fact youre admired by many for your extensive and rather exquisite creations , the effect will have been to inevitably channel editors to the RFA , with a deposition to be hostile. This indeed seems to have been what happened , given the then apparently flimsy pretexts for many of the opposes. Theres a lot more I could say, but I try not to say anything negative unless its necessary and Id guess theres now little chance of the decision being reversed. I'll be back to see how this had played out this evening!
And this strategy was successful - several opposes didn't even bother hide their slavish copying of Giano [11], [12] William M. Connolley (talk) 14:27, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
That's it - is it - the evidence of foul play? Funny how all I do is above board and on Wiki - isn't it? Don't bother to apolgise they are two a penny from Toaster's supporters - that is why I archived my page when the RFA finished - far from foul play. Giano (talk) 09:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Very honest of you to confirm your posts were an attempt to influence the RFA - thats canvassing and you should try to avoid it in future, per WP:CANVASS. And there's no danger of an apology as my comments were fair and not needlessly insulting. FeydHuxtable (talk) 10:37, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Ryan, have you a clue what you are talking about, have you spent too long on IRC to know what is going on here? Here are just two of the many hectoring responses from Toaster's supporters to the opposers. The RFA was flawed, it was wrong, it was a tissue of misleading statements from Toaster and her supporters - maybe knowingly, maybe not - that is not the point. The point is the community was misled and she picked up a 100 automatic votes from IRC. Just look at this support [13], and as for this now laughable edit [14] hectoring an oppose voter. And this hectoring response to an oppose, clearly shows the voters complete ignorance of the candidate's work [15]. Why the Crats allowed this RFA to continue is a complete mystery that needs to be explained. Then of course, we have William M Connolley's supporting vote [16], exemplifying all we have come to realise about Admins and these matters. Looking at all the supports 9to many to diff) just look at the comments on her edits and contributions. Yes, I think a strong rebuke to the closing Crat is called for - perhaps even resignation. Even the barn stars she handed out to her supporters have been deleted as copyvio. I'm afraid Ryan, your beloved IRC may rubber stamp RFAs, but don't expect the community to like it. I suggest you take a message back with you: "Do some spade work and learn what Wikipedia is about before inflicting yourself as Admin's on the rest of us." Giano (talk) 08:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Is IRC the issue or the article contributions? Giano, you've swapped and back on this issue the last few days, focusing first on the IRC issue and it looks like you are using this to go back on your IRC complaints. If IRC is the issue to you, focus on that, but somewhere else and don't try to spoil this well for that reason. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 08:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the issues for not Adminning Toaster are now too many to list, but don't worry I doubt a Crat will back down, I doubt Toaster will resign and I doubt IRC will change. Toaster joins a long list of such worthy Admins. Giano (talk) 09:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Thought I'd put in my .02 FWIW. Didn't participate in the RfA, and hadn't heard of the candidate until now. I reviewed the RfA and the points raised above.
    • The points brought up by Peter Damian are worrisome. I disagree with those above who are dismissing the issue of copyvio.
    • There is a precedent on bureaucrat discretion on close RfAs and as such I see no fault with the bureaucrat's decision to promote given the information available at the time. I do not think the candidate had an intention to mislead !voters with the "created" list.
    • Bureaucrats cannot de-sysop (unless things have changed). I do not think ongoing discussion at WP:BN (or ANI for that matter) can provide a solution.
    • While I am sure that User:FlyingToaster is hardworking, nice, and friendly, I strongly believe that the ability to judge what content is appropriate for an encyclopedia is the foremost role of an administrator here. The recent copyvios, even if unintentional by User:FlyingToaster, bring into question this candidate's suitability for adminship. Understanding copyright violation is essential for a number of admin functions: deletions, AfD closures, even protections, etc. I think a de-sysop should be considered and the only body with that authority is ArbCom (correct me if I am wrong). I would support having this brought there -- Samir 09:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
As Giano has now described as laughable my request for him to furnish diffs to explain his critique of the candidate contributions, I would just like to make the point that if his intent had been to persuade me to oppose this candidate during the RFA it would have been better to have disclosed why he regarded the candidates contributions as appalling during the RFA rather than after it. For those not familiar with Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/FlyingToaster 2 it was a new low for the RFA process. Giano's oppose was one of the first and my request for diffs is at the end of the thread that it started. (full disclosure, I took one peek at IRC some weeks ago and have not returned there, but see no reason to oppose those who use it). Also anyone who can advise me as to how my request for diffs could have been expressed in a politer less hectoring way is welcome to tell me by email or on my talkpage. ϢereSpielChequers 09:42, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know, I thought the way I did it was fine. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 09:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
So you are happy for an Admin to copy paste other peoples work onto wikipedia, and claim it as her own. If that's not naive then it's criminal - which do you prefer? The naivity I was referring to at the time concerned her posts elsewhere. It is not your place to hector voters on an RFA, and not an opposers duty to respond to you. Please remember that in future. You will be blaming me because you all appear very foolish soon. Giano (talk) 10:42, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that Samir sums it up pretty well. ArbCom is -> thattaway, (though the user's talk page is probably a much better starting place) as Crats do not currently have community consensus for desysopping, even if we agreed wholeheartedly with the arguments in favour of it. Changing that consensus is a whole other conversation and should not be conflated with this one. This is also not the appropriate forum for discussing perceived bad behaviour at the RfA, unless users are requesting that Crats take action in future RfAs against any generic (ie not specific to user) behaviour types: again, this may also be something that would require new consensus, but also may not, and indeed may not need specifically Crat involvement. --Dweller (talk) 10:52, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Like Samir, I did not participate in the FT RFA, and like Samir I am troubled by the evidence of copyright violations. Best outcome, in my opinion, would be for Flying Toaster to resign admin status voluntarily and reapply in >3 months.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 10:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Low hopes of getting through without an edit conflict, but: 1) a person needs to set him/herself apart from editors to be apart from editors as an administrator. 2) Setting apart by content knowledge is one thing, and apart by dispute resolution is another. Setting apart by button pushing or tags is not an option, since that is common, we hope, to all editors. Running a bot is not one, as that, too, should be common. Being friendly is not one, as that, too, should be common if "civility is a policy" and all that rot. 3) This candidate's dispute resolution credentials were impugned earlier in the previous RFA. The article knowledge was all that was left that was licit for a bureaucrat to exercise discretion on. Article creation, without copyvio, was poor, as Giano argued, and now appears to have been even worse -- in violation of core principles. All of the CSD's the candidate had been tagging should, apparently, have included many of her own. 4) Discretion had to weigh whether the support arguments were based on a quality that showed a good administrator or a popular person, and whether the oppose arguments were about a person's lack of qualification or dislike. 5) Ryan can see into the heart of hearts of all oppose arguments and dismiss all their words, but the closing 'crat shouldn't. Were the arguments based on qualifications for an administrator or "why not?" Were the arguments against based on "bad person" or "no qualifications?" Indeed, as is appropriate for this venue, the crat made a very bad call. This has nothing to do with the candidate, everything to do with the RFA. Geogre (talk) 10:59, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    • No, the crat acted based upon the evidence and arguments provided at the time of the close. THere is absolutely nothing wrong with the way the crat closed this RfA. The arguments at the time of close were all unsubstantiated opinion. The only person to provide a solid reason, backed with dif's was Gimmetrow at oppose number 31. About 80% of the people supported. The RfA was open for a week and the opposers failed to provide ANY reason other than supposition and opinion. If the evidence provided a DAY after the RFA were presented during the RfA the 'crat might have extended the RfA... but if there was any failure here, it was on the part of those people who opposed for failing to provide a convincing argument. For failing to provide any links to support allegations. A.D. could not have based his decision based upon evidence not provided. It is now too late to belly ache here---based upon the evidence provided during the RfA the RfA was closed properly.---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 13:25, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
No George, the candidates credentials were not impugned at the previous RFA! I take it youre referring to her support for neuro – as an occasional Telegraph blogger and someone whos contributed to the print version I took an interest in that. It seems neuro gave an explanation for why his admittedly regrettable and untrue contributions to the Telegraph blog were not lies. And anyway theres no good reason why FT should have know all the details. The crat made a good closing call and no matter how many walls of text you guys post that fact isn't going to be obscured! FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:12, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Peter Damian and others: Why didn't you raise these concerns during the RfA? It is not not 'crats job to go through the candidates article contributions. Much of the opposition during the RfA was more like "hangs out with the crowd that my faction is opposed to". --Apoc2400 (talk) 11:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

For my part, I do check articles showcased in an RfA for general quality, and I did in this case (hence my comments at RfA). I do not normally check for plagiarism, partly because it is quite difficult unless glaringly obvious, but mostly because I take it on trust that no one is going to showcase such material. In this case (albeit too late) I had nagging doubts and checked. Should I have to be doing that? I don't think so. Peter Damian (talk) 11:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
In this case there was perhaps only a single article which was an outright copy. So are you saying as well as weighing the arguments the crat should have carefully checked a good proportion of the new articles to see if they were derivative – potentially a very time-consuming task? Or are you saying the crat should have Googled extracts from each single article? Especially as there were clearly several determined and highly experienced editors in the oppose section, who might reasonably have been expected to at least hint at any issues, I don't think either check would have been a good use of the crats time. FeydHuxtable (talk) 12:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I was answering the question about why I didn't raise these concerns during the RfA. I don't have a view about whose job it is to do what. I do have a view that in situations where a glaringly unsuitable candidate happens to be chosen by means of a certain process, then that process should be carefully re-examined. The problem can be resolved by less depending on trust. Or by accepting that much depends on trust, and also accepting the resignation of the candidate. That is how it works in RL. Have you been watching the news in the UK recently? Peter Damian (talk) 12:30, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
There's no comparison between the speakers resignation and the absurd suggestion that FT should follow suit. The speaker clearly ought to have known he was doing wrong, even if he justified it to himself by saying its common practice. Theres no reason not to think FT was innocent of intentionally doing wrong. The narrow golden path between OR / synth and plagiarism you guys seem to exspect contributors to tread hasn’t been well defined in any guideline Im aware of. The overwhelming emphases in most discussions seems to be to avoid OR , and the clearest way to do that is to be faithful to the sources. Some good will come of this if it leads to the need to avoid being too derivative being made clearer. FeydHuxtable (talk) 12:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Feyd staes above that: "FTs creation of 156 articles wasn't even mentioned until 17 May", this is incorrect; it was mentioned (well as 155) on 11 May. [17]. Yes - out of her own mouth! The arguements for keeping this "admin" aew bwcoming less plausible by the moment. If she does not even undertstand the rudest elemetary detail about our article creation and content, how on earth can she be an Admin? even by the realms of Wikipedia this is now becoming farcical. Giano (talk) 12:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    Oh, please, Giano, will you give it a rest? We all know that you don't want FT to be an admin. Repeating it is completely un-necessary, and is really unfair to FT, who's got to wade through all this petty abuse. Not everyone on Wikipedia is conspiring to bring it down, not everyone on IRC is conspiring to bring it down. We've read your points, and I would appreciate it if you would hold back until FT's had a chance to make a response. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 12:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Wrong again Giano, what I said was strictly correct. Granted I perhaps should have searched more careful than simply checking for "156" , but the central point remains. Lack of content didn't become central to the debate until 17 May, before that it was linger concerns over her much improved tagging, Telegraph Gate and more prominently IRC Cabal. As stated the vast majority of support did not give her creative contributions as a reason – a quick skim of the rFA is all it takes to verify this. FeydHuxtable (talk) 13:22, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I am merely correcting yet another untruth misleading statement from one of her supporters. I know it is hard for you all to lose face in this way, bur it can't be helped. So stop moaning, this matter is not going to go away. Giano (talk) 12:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) When you say, " is hard for you all to lose face in this way..." I would point out that I wasn't involved in the FlyingToaster RfA, and have never interacted with FT in any way. I am simply a neutral observer, and my neutral observation is that we have taken your point (FT should be desysopped) on board, and further repetition, acid statements, bickering, allegations of a cabal, demands that IRC be shut down - and that list is not exahustive - is un-necessary, incivil, TLDR and generally corrosive, and I urge you to stop. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 13:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • FeydHuxtable, even if one article is an outright copy, the editor who created it shouldn't be allowed to become an admin. We take copyright violations very seriously. Copyright violations do a serious damage to the credibility of WP. If I had known about copyright violation in Momentum flux, I wouldn't have supported FT. RFAs of good article writers like Wisdom89, Realist2, Ironholds, and Malleus Fatuorum failed because of things that has nothing to do with article writing. We are told by many senior admins that article writing and adminship are two different jobs. I disagree. WP is an encyclopedia. Any individual, who writes good article, knows what should be included and what should be erased from the encyclopedia, and doesn't take part in any unethical activities should become an admin. I don't think we can blame Anonymous Dessident for passing FT's RFA. Many editors, including me, supported her RFA. I support FT, but now I don't think she is ready for adminship. But, she has become an admin. I strongly advice her to revise WP policies, and use the admin tools only after some time. AdjustShift (talk) 12:57, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I would just like to go on record as saying that any call for the closing bureaucrat's head or bit or whatever is absolutely ludicrous. We execute consensus; it's the community's responsibility, not the closing bureaucrat's, to judge the candidate. The last time the 'crat used their judgement on the candidate, people were up in arms; clearly, the community does not want us to do anything but gauge consensus (which I'm fine with; I think that's all we should be doing anyway). There was consensus to promote FT at the time of promotion, regardless of what has happened since then; on our end, everything went exactly as it should. But now that the shit has hit the fan after the RfA has closed, it's no longer the community's responsibility, but ours? No thank you, that's failing to take responsibility in the worst way possible. EVula // talk // // 14:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    Well said. We ask the crats to make a determination based on what was in the RFA, not to launch their own investigation or substitute their own judgment. We can't have it both ways. –xeno talk 14:19, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    I for one was only up in arms about the Ryulong incident because Raul obviously got the wrong answer. He promoted his buddy over reasonable and substantial objections, which no crat should ever do. Only now, much later, is this problem finally getting corrected. Back to the FT case at hand.. personally, since the tide was turning more toward opposition, I'd see no problem with the crat having extended this RFA for, say, another week, to make sure relevant issues come out. Getting it right is more important than getting it fast. Friday (talk) 15:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I'll echo EVula's sentiments - I'm trying (I've left a note on Geogre's talk page) but I can't see anything grievously wrong in the closure of the RfA. To my mind, this makes me think of the infamous Giggy 3 RfA, except the issues really came out after closure, not shortly before. This case is worth remembering the next time someone suggests we shorten the standard length of RfAs, or ones that are "obviously passing" etc. It would have been better if the issues had been brought up and discussed before it closed and we could have seen how consensus was affected (it may have passed, regardless). With the RfA closed, properly, this is no longer a matter for the Bureaucrats under current policy and consensus. --Dweller (talk) 14:57, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

  • There are many famous incidents of people passing RfA after lying. I wont name names because it is unnecessary and already known. Peter is doing this for whatever reason, but there isn't a legitimate reason. If he had a legitimate reason, he would have gone to the copyright noticeboard. Instead, we have a hodge podge of thrown together terms along with demands that are completely disconnected. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Add because Peter seems unable to point out actual copyright problems. For Cluster-weighted_modeling, the sentences are built off of technical terms which cannot be copyrighted by anyone. Alexandru Batcu year and title cannot be copyrighted. Then we have obvious citations next to the material which does not mean that it is a -copyright- violation, just a lack of quoting violation which is part of -plagarism-, a catchall term for anything that is less than a 100% correctly cited use. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:22, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Ahem: "Cluster-weighted modeling (CWM) is a versatile inference algorithm". The word 'versatile' is not a technical term. It is a value judgment that is appropriate in the abstract of a tehnical paper, but not in an encyclopedia. That fact alone suggests that FT did not know what she was doing. I can give you other examples if you want. Peter Damian (talk) 15:35, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
According to... you? The guy who happens to be causing a fit over this because one of the people at FT's RfA discussing opposes was a guy who blocked you? Ottava Rima (talk) 15:40, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
By the way, Peter, you do know that we have a rule against point violations, right? You can end your disruption now, unless you really do want to be blocked for it. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Ottava, take a seat. Since when have you been in a position to threaten someone with a block? You're not an admin and you're more disruptive that anyone in this discussion. So who, exactly, do you plan to convince to block Peter, and what, precisely, is the block to be for? لennavecia 18:07, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I can't block someone, therefore, there is no threat. And yet you put both up there knowing this. Then you accuse me of disruption. Seems like a blatant misstruth as your above entry has would be more disruptive than most in this topic. So, why do you hate FlyingToaster? Did she upset you with all of your involvement with her at IRC? Did you not like the fact that she was friends with Neuro, who had problems with Giano? Did you simply follow the Wikipedia Review crowd that Peter et al. linked to these threads? It is rather obvious that Peter doesn't like Connolley's involvement, especially after Peter being blocked. But why are you involved? Ottava Rima (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Alright, Ottava. Now you're being ridiculous. Cut it out. I don't "hate" FT. I have no problem with her. I like chatting with her in IRC, I like her responses to people on WR, and I think she's a cool chick. I have issues with a few of her articles, and that has nothing to do with her as a person. Stop trolling, Ottava. I've got better things to do with my time than open a discussion about you and your disruptive whining and trolling. لennavecia 18:35, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
No problem with her? Hmm - "Deleted as a copyright violation. Haha.", mocking about a barnstar she gave out as being deleted. Definitely something done by one who is 100% being objective. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:52, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It was funny, Ottava. Sort of like it's funny you're so sad about being kicked out that you've started a crusade against WR, crying at every given opportunity. BADSITES already failed. Get over it. لennavecia 20:32, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Being mean or cruel can still evoke laughter, but that does not make it appropriate. Also, you can say it is a crusade or whatever you want, but it is clear that Wikipedia Review has a thread on this, that many responders are over at Wikipedia Review, and that is the definition of canvassing. Badsites or not, it is an inappropriate act. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Calm down

Maybe everyone should calm down until FT actually responds to these allegations, eh? Skinny87 (talk) 11:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

And could we also try to avoid repetition? A lot of what certain users are saying (naming no names) has already been said, often by themselves. It's only necessary to make points once. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 11:15, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Has there been a single page created to look in detail into each of the potential problem pages? If not, that's the first thing that should be done. Here on WP:BN isn't the place, and while some of the above evidence is concerning, at least one is just stating facts from a source, which isn't copyrightable and thus if it is cited as a reference it's not blatant plagiarism. The first sentence in the Cluster-weighted_modeling example above falls in that category. It would be a better defense against plagiarism in the case of the Romanian generals for example to have another source to back up the facts and not to have used all of the exact wording that was there. Sythesizing two sources would probably have worked. As for desysopping, I believe there may even be long long past precedent for reversing a decision and then having the bcrats ask a steward to remove the flag. Though it could be said that it's so long past that it is not current consensus. But as others have mentioned that is putting the cart before the horse if there isn't a detailed analysis of each of the articles in question. - Taxman Talk 13:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe the precedent you are talking about is Grunt's RFB close by Ugen64 (see this), where Cecropia and a couple other crats asked steward-crat Angela to reverse Ugen's promotion, which steward Anthere then did. But given its age and circumstances, I don't think any part of it would apply here. MBisanz talk 13:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: It appears AGF is out of fashion, leaving me with last year's standards. Up til now I've kept my mouth shut no matter how many times I've seen it, but the ABF assertion that "Opposes seem mainly to be petty political score settling" is offensive and accusatorty, with no evidence or proof offered. I'm going to start templating some people if they don't stop repeating it. Puppy is a bit disappiointed. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:52, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    WMC has already put forth enough evidence on the matter, but it seems obvious that Giano opposed over Neurolysis, and others agreed with Giano, which is the very definition of politics. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    "Seems obvious" does it? Merely asserting something does not make it so. I will let WMC speak for himself if he wishes; I have seen no such evidence. I appreciate your burning desire to have the last word, Ottava, so I will not respond should you chose to do so here. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:50, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Getting the right answer is important

All this stuff about crats having their hands tied is pure nonsense. Will this fiasco finally convince the crats that they're allowed to use their judgement and not just count votes? This idea isn't firmly traditional, but it's certainly long overdue. Crats, please please please, take responsibility for getting the right answer. If you were only supposed to count votes, we'd have a bot closing RFAs instead of you. We have humans doing it for a reason- please make liberal use of your human judgement. The community is, well.. you've seen how people vote, right? The voters as a whole are not very competent to do this job. Help us all out and provide the guidance this proceess needs. Friday (talk) 14:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps this requires a carefully-drafted proposal on a well-publicised sub page, which the community can then discuss. I can't speak for other Crats, but I'm happy to follow whatever the community tells us to do with all and any of our tools, whether they wish us to have stronger ones, weaker ones or whatever. I may have an opinion as to whether any specific change is wise or not, but once consensus is clear... NB To avoid incessant arguments and edit-warring, it may be worth ensuring said sub page puts the arguments for both sides of the coin before discussion opens. --Dweller (talk) 15:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you have more faith in Wikipedia's alleged decision-making process than I do, but you'll never see a clear consensus for this. Hell, I don't believe for a minute that you can see a clear consensus for what crats do right now. Just start doing the right thing. It'll work itself out. Friday (talk) 15:06, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't work either. Taken to its logical extreme, I could read the arguments, decide whether I agree with them and then basically ignore the community by making my own decision. I could decide that 50 or 60 or 100 opposing editors have got it all wrong and so and so would make a fine admin. (I recognise I'm strawmanning here, btw!) Crats get elected because the community works out the kind of people who see consensus and respond to it, even if it goes against the Crat's personal opinion. And here I am. The evidence for that being what the community wants is all over the place, most particularly in every RfB, especially failed ones, and in the response to the Ryulong RfA (and others). I think you're probably right that widening the Crat discretion is a doomed proposal, but I disagree on the reasons for it being doomed - I think it'd fail because it's very hard to find limits to it that people (Crats included!) could feel comfortable with. But I could be wrong - I'd be interested to see a proposal. --Dweller (talk) 15:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I was making the argument that our hands are tied. If damning evidence came to light prior to the RfA closure, that's something totally different; that'd warrant an extension on the RfA, closing it outside of normal consensus, or whatever. However, when stuff happens after the RfA? There's no way we can be held responsible for that. EVula // talk // // 15:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
(e/c x3) Which oppose arguments do you think the crat should have given more weight? Or do you think he should have ignored the community discussion and made his own investigation instead? --Apoc2400 (talk) 15:07, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The current responsibility of a bureaucrat is to weigh consensus as it exists at the close of the RFA. They are not currently charged with vetting the candidate themselves. The problem with the candidate not being thoroughly vetted during the RFA lies solely on the community's shoulders and the closing bureaucrat is not responsible if the community leans the (perhaps) wrong way. Useight (talk) 15:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Since bureaucrats can't deadmin, and there wasn't a blatant mistake by AD as the allegations regarding copyright didn't emerge until after the RfA was closed, the discussion here is generating more heat than light. Rather than case aspersions on the crats, what we should be doing is work out what the next step is. If this is the wrong forum and so is ANI, and there is no discussion on WT:RfA, is ARBCOM the next step? The important question is can someone who doesn't understand the basics of something as important as copyright really have the trust of the community? Nev1 (talk) 15:15, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

That is indeed an important question Nev. But a prior one should be does FT really fail to understand copyright? Any historical mistakes dont necessarily reflect her current understanding. Its probably worth pointing out that our three core content policies seem to support staying close to the sources just as FT did. neutral point of view doesnt have much to say about copyright. No original research says:

Im not seeing any examples where FT failed to provide a citation to her source. What she did do is rephrase some lines from a source. verifiability says:

So from what Im seeing with articles folk are making a big deal of like Momentum flux the fault is in one of two places - 1) our policies for not being clear enough or 2) the copyright alarmists. Sorry for belabouring the point, but it seemed it had already been clearly made by Ottava and others so Im trying to spell it out. FeydHuxtable (talk) 15:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:PLAGIARISM. "Even if a source is cited, plagiarism also occurs when text is directly copied without proper attribution or insufficiently adapted into original language. When the source is copyrighted, this kind of plagiarism will probably also represent a copyright concern." and " A very basic, plain-spoken definition [of plagiarism] is: "If you didn't think of it and write it all on your own, and you didn't cite (or write down) the sources where you found the ideas or words, it's probably plagiarism." Peter Damian (talk) 16:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Now we're getting somewhere :-) If that guidelines a big deal, it should probably be at least linked to from one of our core policies. This is the first I've heard of it. FeydHuxtable (talk) 16:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Plagarism is quite different from Copyright and is a concern that is -correctable- and not a problem when a user corrects it. Not having the right author for a citation can be considered plagarism. So, you can end your campaign now. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
So plagiarism is OK then? I stand corrected. A lot of people here seem to think otherwise, though. Who am I to say. Peter Damian (talk) 18:12, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Seeing as how there were citations after, this was a failure in properly quoting. That makes it 100% acceptable as it was a -mistake- and easily corrected. We do not block people who do this, nor do we do anything except discuss with them -directly- or take it to the CN noticeboard, and then have the matter corrected. Seeing as how I was one of the main people cleaning up the plagarism problems at DYK, I think I have a strong grounds on saying how we deal with it around here. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Don't talk rubbish Ottava. The guideline says ""Even if a source is cited, plagiarism also occurs when text is directly copied without proper attribution or insufficiently adapted into original language." This was a clear case of that. Peter Damian (talk) 18:52, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Or perhaps you meant the failure was to supply quotation marks? Dear boy, that's what plagiarism is. Get a grip. Peter Damian (talk) 18:54, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Peter, reread. I already stated that it was -plagarism-. However, you are confusing the problems of copyright with that of plagarism. Plagarism is a catchall term for improperly cited. We do not block people for this. We block people for major copyright violations. Plagarism is corrected when the citation methods are corrected. I made that clear above multiple times. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
No plagiarism is the failure to supply quotation marks Peter Damian (talk) 19:06, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Peter, read what I stated above. -Citation- is quotation marks and source of the quotation. Its all there above. I deal with this issue -constantly-. What I am saying is that it is 1) not a copyright violation and therefore not serious enough to block and 2) this is a common mistake, is a mistake, and is easily corrected. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:10, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
So plagiarism is OK then? So what's all the fuss about eh. Actually if you read my original opening remarks it is clear I was not worried about copyright violation. I was worried about dishonesty verging on fraudulence. And a process that fails to nip this in the bud. Peter Damian (talk) 19:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. See, this is how you are causing a major disruption. The "crime" does not merit any of this. Those like Durova are actually going out, working with the user, and trying to correct the situation. That is how Wikipedia deals with it. There are no lynch mobs needed, no calls for desysopping, nor anything like that. It is a -mistake- and a common -mistake- that is best -corrected-. And the fact that she had a citation at the end proves that it was a -mistake- and not -dishonesty-, so you are overreacting. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:22, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I meant: the dishonesty was in parading these articles at the RfA Peter Damian (talk) 19:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
For that to have been an act of dishonesty Peter, FT would have have to have been 1) familiar with WP:plagiarism and 2) cognizant that she'd previously broken it by the trivial mistakes Ottava has pointed out. Now if 1) & 2) were true then surely FT would have been smart enough to fix her simple mistakes before the RFA? The fact she did not clearly indicates she wasn't aware they were mistakes, and therefore was not lying. I hope your mistake is now clear to you Peter and you'll have the honour to withdraw your claim and apologise for needlessly questioning someones sincerity. FeydHuxtable (talk) 19:38, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Re-run RFA?

Has anyone tried politely asking FT if they would be prepared to go through RfA a second time, immediately? No dramatic ArbCom or desysopping etc? To my mind, that would be a good and honourable option. There would be an opportunity for all concerns to be adequately discussed (hopefully without too much heat) and a Crat could make a proper assessment of consensus at the end of it. FT would have every right to decline the suggestion, of course. --Dweller (talk) 15:24, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that this sounds like a good idea, provided that nobody (again, naming no names) is going to express this along the lines of, "It's completely up to FT, but if there's any refusal, then it's ArbCom straight away," which of course leaves no choice whatsoever. I would suggest that a neutral 'crat (such as Dweller) words and delivers the message. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 15:35, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I'll be offline shortly for at least a few hours, but would be happy to do this, or for anyone else to do so. However, I'm aware that in my early days as a Crat I was rightly criticised for jumping in too fast, so I'll wait to see if anyone has a good reason why this would be a bad idea. NB I'm also going to be on well-deserved wikibreak for a few days from about this time tomorrow. --Dweller (talk) 15:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Well it is up to FT, but I dont think she should. It would be unneccessary drama and not fair to FT or her supporter. On close inspection none of the pretexts given for questioning FTs promotion seem to have much credibility. FeydHuxtable (talk) 15:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree. This has been blown way out of proportion, and we've yet to see solid evidence of abuse. Nether FT nor the closing 'crat are at fault here. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I also agree, but I think that the organised vendetta that FT is clearly going to encounter as an admin is going to be more harmful. It's not his/her fault, it's nobody's fault but those muckraking, but they're not going to be easily silenced, I don't expect. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 16:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Looking out the window, I can see that the sky is right where it should be. Equally important, the 'Pedia is still up an running. Same as it ever was. Get a grip folks. Hiberniantears (talk) 16:09, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Quite. --MZMcBride (talk) 16:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Quite. So long as the sky is still there, and still blue, any kind of behaviour on Wikipedia is OK. Peter Damian (talk) 17:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Whether or not certain behavior is OK on Wikipedia, it certainly isn't worth child-like hysterical reactions. There are specific, focus issues which can be dealt with. This entire thread exists solely to disparage. It is a disgrace, and I urge those pushing it to go IRCoff together and leave the 'Pedia to sort itself out, as it inevitably will over such a minor, and now easily policed infraction. Hiberniantears (talk) 18:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
        • What is a disgrace? Peter Damian (talk) 18:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
          • The logic you employed in opening the thread to begin with. "Flawed" would be a description that gives said logic far more credit than it is worth. The community failed to notice something that, quite frankly, the community is built to miss. That is a structural failing, not an individual failing, and that you could possibly zero in on the closing 'crat in such a case when neither you or anyone else noticed the problem in your oppose votes smacks of bad faith. Hiberniantears (talk) 19:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
            • "that you could possibly zero in on the closing 'crat" - what do you mean by this? Have you read my opening to this whole thread? Please do. Peter Damian (talk) 19:07, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
      • FlyingToaster has just gone through one stressful week and is now responding to various AFDs and other criticisms of her articles. I would suggest that at the very least that she be given time to respond to the various issues raised since her RFA and that any discussion of a second RFA or desysopping wait until she has had reasonable time to respond to criticisms. Also as much of the opposition during her RFA was due to her participation in IRC, wouldn't it be better if those who oppose the existence of those channels made a formal proposal as to whether it was appropriate for Wikipedians to participate in them, rather than risk any future RFAs of hers or other IRC participants being sidetracked into another IRC anti IRC debate. ϢereSpielChequers 16:12, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
        • And this discussion is going far beyond the scope of this board. It has been established that AD did the right thing at the time - move on. Agathoclea (talk) 16:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
          • I agree with Agathoclea that this thread here has outlived its usefulness as well as that consensus seems to be that the decision by AD, no matter the issues raised after the RFA was closed, was the correct decision based on a crat's job (judging arguments, not investigating the candidate themselves) and that the concerns about FT's alleged copyright violations, while worrisome if true, cannot be evaluated at this venue. I'd close this thread myself but I know people might think I'm biased (even though I was away for the whole length of FT's RFA), so I urge an uninvolved admin/crat to evaluate whether there is really any more discussion needed about whether AD's closure of the RFA was correct or not, which is the only question that should be discussed at BN. Regards SoWhy 17:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
No it going nowhere here, it needs to go to Arbitration. I can't beleive anyone can be around Wikipedia for so long that they are able to become an Admin without knowing that copyvio is against the rules - the most basic fundamental Wikipedian rule. I've listened to all the excuses and justifiacation, all I see is an RFA that was a con from start to finish. Giano (talk) 16:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, who stops you from taking it there? If you really feel that is the only and correct venue, probably no amount of discussion will cause you to reconsider. Personally though I assume that a request for arbitration at this point will probably declined as premature. Regards SoWhy 17:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Honesty. If objections of this nature were raised, I think the closing 'crat should have looked into them and possibly extended the RFA so that the community would have more time to investigate. At this point, the dispute needs to go to ArbCom. I have not investigated the underlying claims and take no position on them. Jehochman Talk 17:50, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Commenting on Dweller's proposal, I think it's a good one, but not yet. Everything needs to be laid out clearly so that everyone is able to see exactly how bad the situation is. Let the debates about how serious the plagiarism is carry on to some sort of end, then consider (if it's even an option for her, in her mind) to re-run RFA. This will give a fair presentation to voters, after the dust has settled. It will show exactly how bad the copyright violations are/were, and will give time for FT to show her willingness to fix the problems. Keeping in mind that these articles were (at least many of them) created years ago, it's not a far stretch of the mind that she'd not really considered them recently. Also, I don't think it's in question that FT has the best intentions and probably didn't realize that she was violating copyrights when writing these articles, of course, not realizing that can be a cause for concern when considering adminship candidacy. So, in short, a re-run of the RFA, I think, is a good idea, but only after the tension has eased up and the dust settled on the situation, and once everything is clearly presented for the voting community.

    As far as the RFA close by AnonDiss, he went by the book. This is not a failure of the closing 'crat or of the RFA process (which don't get me wrong, is fail in a lot of ways). This case was the failure of the voters who didn't vet the candidate. Of course, no one is required to do anything on this project, so I'm not casting blame at anyone, but it's really unfair to cry and complain about the close of the RFA when it was you, if you voted, who failed to do your research. لennavecia 18:27, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose idea of rerun but support the idea that FT be persuaded to resign. As I said above, either a process has rules - in which case infringement is punished. Or it does not have lots of rules, but relies on principles like trust, basic honesty and common sense. In which case there is no punishment, but those who break those principles can be expected to do the decent thing. As I'm sure FT will, as she seems like a fundamentally decent person. Peter Damian (talk) 18:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This has now gone beyond the ridiculous: You talk of a re-run. 100 people have just voted for an Admin (known as Boriss on IRC) who is hardly known at all on Wikipedia, who is so unused to Wikipedia that she did not even know it was wrong to coptpaste other people's work onto Wikipedia and claim it as her own. Those same people who supported her RFA now have the audacity to argue now in her defence. You insult everyone who has ever spent more than an hour writing a page. This project is sick - really sick. I suggest that those of you who do not see this as wrong, very wrong, fuck off back to IRC or wherever it is you came from and stay there; leave writing this encyclopedia to those that care about it and are prepared to do some real work to prove it. Giano (talk) 18:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Giano, be civil, or don't comment at all. Prodego talk 19:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, you've made your point Giano. Perhaps you should take your advice... You are doing the good countess a disservice spending so much time on this. –xeno talk 19:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The good Countess you so sarcastically refer to, which is far from my usual field (as many will tell you very happily), was a page I found perchance here [18], as a bio, it was the worst I had ever read and I commented on it, then realised my own advice is don't moan fix it. So as penance for my own big mouth - I researched for hours and fixed it. That is what proper editors do. So don't you even infer sarcasm at me. Giano (talk) 19:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Giano's comment may not be civil, but he is right. Copying others work is a big no-no. To avoid blunders, you should write about subjects you know. I write about history-related, International Relations-related, and American Civil War-related articles because I know about these subjects. When you write about subjects you know, the probability of committing blunders decreases. AdjustShift (talk) 04:40, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Can we take this elsewhere, and deal with the real, very problematic issues here?

I'm commenting here as one of the editors who has actually bothered to do a couple of things that should be obvious: 1) I've actually looked into some of the articles FT has written (I found the various problems in the "flux" articles which Peter cited above); 2) I've left a note on FT's talk page asking her to explain herself. Some things that might be constructive right now would be to: 1) Look at some other articles and point out plagiarism problems (really, it would be great if some of the above energy could go into that, since we might have a lot of copyvios sitting out there); 2) Wait awhile for FlyingToaster's reply.

In my view it is now obviously incredibly annoying that this RfA passed (I did not participate), but it's not the crats fault that it did. There's not a whole lot more to say about this specific case here on this page. I suggest we let FlyingToaster respond to my comment on her talk page or various comments elsewhere and then proceed accordingly. I personally would hope that she could be persuaded to resign the bit without further drama, and barring that I think we are looking at an RFC for starters whereby the community makes known its views on her fitness for adminship.

For those who are saying they don't know whether there was plagiarism here, there clearly was, and to suggest that there wasn't either means they just haven't looked into it or demonstrates a lack of real-world understanding about what plagiarism is (Wikipedia:Plagiarism only just became a guideline, as prompted by this incident, but we need to be guided by real-world standards in order to maintain our credibility as free-content encyclopedia). On the several articles I investigated (I only looked at those weird "flux" articles), FT repeatedly pasted whole sentences into stub articles and then slightly altered the wording. That is, without a shadow of a doubt, plagiarism in most all of the Western world. Given the nature of this project it's important for us all to understand that, and it seems quite obvious that FT is not the only one who doesn't. Perhaps the best thing that will come out of all of this is a better understanding of issues relating to plagiarism, and a reaffirmation that some real article work is an absolute prerequisite for an RfA. Personally I feel all future RfA's should contain an explicit question about plagiarism. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Easily the most sensible thing said on this page. Thank you. Peter Damian (talk) 19:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • This level of plagiarism would be a firing offense in academia. I don't see that it matters whether it was discovered a day after or a year after the RfA, but we should similarly hold admins here to a high standard. If we don't have a process in place for desysopping people for blatant disregard of our standards (and I don't think we do, unless it's Arbcom), maybe we should. I agree with earlier posters that the best outcome would be for FT to voluntary resign, spend three months or a year showing an improved understanding of when not to copy, and then try again, but what if FT doesn't want to resign? —David Eppstein (talk) 19:29, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Most certainly a firing offense, but also cause for failing a paper if a student does it. Indeed just a couple of days ago I had to fail a couple students at the college where I teach for exactly the kind of thing FT did (though my students did not even cite their source - I guess I'm a bad teacher!). If FT doesn't want to resign I really think we should do an RFC to determine the level of dissatisfaction (this is one of the rare cases where an RFC might actually do some good) and then go from there. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:38, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I looked at one of her created articles, one I don't think others have mentioned. It too was virtually identical to an outside website (uncited). I left a message on her talk page for clarification. David D. (Talk) 19:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • We are not academia. Furthermore, in academia, an editor would catch the lack of quotations if it was important, and having the citation shows that it was not purposeful and thus not a problem. A student would not be expelled if they had the original source in a footnote following the line. They will be corrected. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:47, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Would you care to make that same argument to a journalist who asked you whether Wikipedia should be thought of as a reliable source—i.e. basically say we don't really care about plagiarism as it is defined by academia and the world of publishing? Because I think that's a PR disaster and, furthermore, an attitude that will lead to us writing a bad encyclopedia. But I am glad it's being expressed here because it is making it clear to me just how many editors seem to lack clue, as it were, on this particular issue. Accidental plagiarism is just as problematic as purposeful plagiarism and makes us look just as ridiculous. I'm utterly astounded that anyone who understands what we are trying to do here could suggest otherwise. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This Encyclopedia was set up to decimate information - its not about claiming credit for our writing skills. Dont forget editors are essentially anonymous to most of the viewing public. In no case that I've seen did FT fail to cite to the original source, so this argument she was claiming credit is rather stretched.
Now there is a structural problem here - that WP:plagiarism hasnt' been well publicised - indeed it now seems it wasnt even a guideline until a few hours ago. I suggest that rather than attempting to pursue what is effectively a witch-hunt against a young editor who would not have know she was doing anything wrong, you use your energies to raise the profile of the new guideline. If you do that the accidental plagiarism your'e so bothered about will likely be much less of an issue for the project as a whole. FeydHuxtable (talk) 19:57, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The problem I see is she's no longer a young editor who can't be expected to know right from wrong, she's an admin with the responsibility to uphold Wikipedias standards. I for one am deeply concerned that we now have an admin with such a problematic background in the most important area of the wiki, the articles themselves.--Cube lurker (talk) 20:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Have you noticed cubelurker the key point that WP:plagiarism wasn't even a guideline until a few hours ago? Youd be forgiven for missing that as when the guideline was first introduced one might have assumed it was a stable document that FT might be expected to have been aware of. Indeed it was only mentioned after I pointed out how the core policies seem to support FT’s editing. Anyone is free to edit here, folk from all backgrounds, so we need to have guidelines that broadly specifie what counts as good editing. Some how plagiarism slipped through the net until very recently, and that we’ve addressed that is the one silver lining from this debacle. Again – the fault here was not with FT but with our guidelines, and she cant be held responsible for ignorance of a guidelines that didn't exist until today. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:15, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Plagarism has been wrong since man first took chisel to stone tablet. It doesn't matter if it had been formaly codified into a WP guideline.--Cube lurker (talk) 20:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec, re to FeydHuxtable) WP:Plagiarism may indeed not have existed until a few hours ago. "Wikipedia must not contain any material that violates the copyrights of others. Please do not put copyrighted material into Wikipedia without permission." has been core policy since, er, April 2002. (It wasn't necessary to make it explicit before that, as Nupedia articles were professionally written and peer reviewed so any problems would have been caught before going live.) – iridescent 20:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
This is not a copyright issue but a plagiarism issue. Plagiarism necessitates the use of quotations. Copyright does not necessitate this. The sources were made clear, the direct attribution was not. Thus, plagiarism and not copyright. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:07, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
My dear iridescent, FT has been accused of insincerity by the starter of this thread, and the only possible justification for that was plagiarism. Now its very clear that justification doesn't hold water. Perhaps, once again, you ought to switch sides? FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
See Ars_inveniendi and related discussion here. That specific example looks like plagiarism to me, whether knowingly or not. David D. (Talk) 21:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a reliable source. We cannot use it as a reliable source in our own pages, which makes it rather clear that we are not declaring we are reliable. People read our pages at their own risk. Yes, we seek to correct plagiarism, but it is a mistake and the users are not banned for it. A PR disaster? There was constant plagiarism on DYK for months without you going there trying to fix it, and yet here you are complaining. We dealt with it to a large extent there, and we will deal with this in the same manner. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Ottava, on the one I pointed out to Peter (I haven't looked in detail at the others) the entire article was cut-and-pasted from another site. We're not talking about someone accidentally leaving the citation off a quote here. – iridescent 20:10, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
The one I checked was an uncited copy and paste (with minor modifications). See FT's talk page for more info. David D. (Talk) 20:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what to tell you, because what I see is that the sections have the links following it, which makes it plagarism and not copyright problem - i.e. a lack of appropriate citations/paraphrasing as oppose to anything else. Copyright is -no- attribution. Plagarism can still have attribution but does not mark direct quotes. One is a legal matter, the other is a mistake. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:29, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Attribution does not efface copyright infringement. See, for example, "Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission."[19] You can attribute all day, but if you use the text outside of a manner permitted by fair use, you've infringed copyright. Wikipedia's copyright policy is clear on this: "All original Wikipedia text is distributed under the GFDL. Wikipedia articles may also include quotations, images, or other media under the U.S. Copyright law "fair use" doctrine in accordance with our guidelines for non-free content." WP:NFC says, "Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea. Copyrighted text must be attributed and used verbatim. Any alterations must be clearly marked, i.e. [brackets] for added text, an ellipsis (...) for removed text, and emphasis noted after the quotation as "(emphasis added)" or "(emphasis in the original)". Extensive quotation of copyrighted text is prohibited." With respect to this user, I knew she had a history with copyright issues, as should have every contributor who evaluated her RfA, since the matter was explicitly brought up in her first RfA. I personally am feeling horribly bad that I didn't find these additional problems, which could have been dealt with in a more timely manner and might have avoided some of this drama. In spite of her history, I supported her in this go because I believed she had understood these policies and would behave accordingly. If any of these issues were added after February, when she was advised of our policies and coached about close paraphrasing, I would be pretty concerned about her readiness to be an admin. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Attribution does efface copyright infringement as long as it falls under the guidelines of fair use. Fair use gives 300 words or a "reasonable" amount. There is nothing here that has gone over that. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you have a source for that figure? Or a country in which it applies? To quote that same US government document: "There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission." Certainly, US law doesn't allow any blanket taking of text; to use any text at all, you must meet the four standards of fair use. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Research suggests that you're working under a common misconception, one I had not myself encountered before. Nolo provides a nice, succinct overview of fair use. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Fair use still applies regardless of a hard number or not. As a tertiary source, Wikipedia works off of fair use in general. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:35, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
And fair use requires meeting certain factors. The courts consider all four. In the case of the specific articles under discussion that I have seen tagged for copyvio (including the one I tagged), these were not met. Weighing heavily here: there was nothing transformative about the work, which simply appropriated material for the same purpose as the original, and the material copied represented a substantial portion of the original text. Wikipedia's guidelines and policies have long permitted limited reproduction of copyrighted text in the fashion set out above, but inclusion of copyrighted text without indicating that the text is a verbatim copy is against our copyright policies. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:19, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
We are a tertiary source, so this comment is misleading - "simply appropriated material for the same purpose as the original". Also, very little of the text copies more than a paragraph or two, so you have little grounds to mention proportion. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Quoting my own article on substantial similarity: "While actionable infringement is more likely to be found where greater levels of similarity exist, Richard Stim noted in 2007's Patent, Copyright & Trademark that '[a]n infringement may be found based on several paraphrased passages of a few hundred words each, or just 20 words copied verbatim.'" <ref name=Stim> Stim, Richard (2007). Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference (9 ed.). Nolo. p. 220. ISBN 1413306462. </ref> Proportion is relative to the size of both the original and the work that utilizes the original and it is also keyed to the centrality of the material. I have every grounds to mention proportion. Tertiary sources are permitted to serve as compendiums of previously published work, but not to simply take from them. Our transformation in that respect is adding new material from other sources. But if this conversation is to go further, there are probably better places for it than WP:BN. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
"copied verbatim" - in my investigation with Durova, it was certain that this was rarely the case. There were slight alterations of phrases, partial attempts at summary, and a desire to cite the material but was done in an incomplete manner. That all amounts to this not being a copyright problem. It was a mistake, which is obvious. Your persistence to the contrary is strange and unproductive. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:19, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
"several paraphrased passages". Unsurprisingly, I feel the same about your persistence. (stricken, in honor of User:Kingturtle's reminder.) No definition of copyright infringement of which I am aware gives a pass for good intention. This is actually in contrast to plagiarism, some definitions of which (if not Wikipedia's) require intentional misappropriation (cf. [20]) In most of the copyright cases with which I am familiar, defendants have passionately argued that their use of material met fair use. Believing that one has done so doesn't equal doing so. Considering that several of these articles have already been blanked or deleted as copyright violations by various administrators and users, it seems that others may agree that this material reflects a copyright concern. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Outdent - "No definition of copyright infringement of which I am aware gives a pass for good intention" Then I think you need to re-examine copyright. By putting forth where the source of the material comes from, there was an attempt to cite the source properly and attribute it not as their own. For it to be a copyright concern, there has to be a willful passing it off as one's own. Blanking of articles is not the appropriate way of dealing with copyright, and those doing so are acting improperly. The Copyright noticeboard deals with methods of handling this, and the original editors are always allow the chance to rewrite. The manner in which people are approaching this right now is not objective in any regards nor is it appropriate to how things normally function. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
You are mistaken about copyright. It doesn't require willful passing off of anything; it simply requires misuse. If you don't wish to take my word for it, I'm sure that User:Durova would be happy to confirm I am correct. The copyright noticeboard, with which I am very familiar—having been the primary administrator working it for nearly a year—requires that article be blanked (unless immediately revised). You may wish to review the procedure at WP:CP, which was standard for quite a long time before I arrived there. In any event, I am done discussing this with you here. If you wish case law where people gave full credit for their material and yet still were successfully prosecuted for copyright violation, please feel free to drop by my talk page. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:59, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

A couple of things. First FeydHuxtable's type-o above explaining that "This Encyclopedia was set up to decimate information" is without doubt one of the most awesome type-o's ever and I think we should all take a moment to smile about that. :-) Also FeydHuxtable says above "FT has been accused of insincerity by the starter of this thread" (that being me). Well no, I have not said anything remotely like that, and elsewhere (including below) have repeatedly said that I think FT simply did not understand what plagiarism is (nothing insincere there). My point is that not understanding plagiarism is not acceptable for an admin, not even remotely. And Moonriddengirl's reply to Ottava Rima is spot on, and the fact that we did not have a guideline called WP:PLAGIARISM until recently doesn't mean before that people who plagiarized were not in the wrong, and it's hard to take seriously anyone who suggests otherwise. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:56, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I just read over that typo the first few times, with just a mino chuckle. It is pretty funny. But thinking again to the true origin of "decimate" as in eliminating one-tenth, that's actually what we often do. We don't aim to be cutting edge, in fact we lop off the latest 10% to arrive at our compendium. And reading our article, it seems indeed that we assign 9 editors to stone or club the tenth one to death. :) :( Franamax (talk) 21:43, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Um, you do realize that I work with plagiarism on Wikipedia and have spent a lot of time dealing with it before it was a guideline, right? And that I helped push it to guideline status, right? As I stated above, it is not a -copyright- matter, but plagiarism, and as such it is not blockable. Furthermore, this is accidental, which means that it is correctable. Don't misrepresent me in such a way. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:37, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I also work with plagiarism on Wikipedia and moreover with copyright infringement. Some of this material is a copyright matter. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:27, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Not a bureaucrat matter

I'm sure all the people that are trying to get FlyingToaster desysopped (or whatever) won't care what I think, but I'm going to say it anyway. Some of you don't like her. I get it. I don't like some of you either. I see issues which need addressing, like misunderstanding about copyright policy (and law), and whatnot. However, this isn't a matter for bureaucrats and if the ArbCom is anything like it was when I was on it, they won't accept a case about this. Pressuring her into resigning after complaining about how much the opposers were pressured is very hypocritical. Either way, you're not going to get anywhere unless you somehow convince her to resign. Good luck with that. Please feel free to continue to waste time discussing this here. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 19:31, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, B's lack the technical ability to desysop in any case, something only stewards can do. Not sure what this thread is attempting to do but, IMHO, barking at Bureaucrats seems rather unproductive. I would think RfC would be the only reasonable next step for anyone wishing to pursue. Ronnotel (talk) 19:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
To Deskana, I agree with your basic point that this does not belong here and said as much in the previous section. But all your comment here has done has further personalized the dispute (you don't like them, they don't like her, etc.). How is that helpful? Right, it isn't. Like you said there are issues which need addressing so let's focus on that. Also please note that at least some of the people suggesting that resigning is a good idea are not complaining about "pressure" during the RfA and indeed are not talking about that. Instead of amplifying the views of those whom you "don't like" by complaining about them, why not amplify the views of those who are trying to move forward and deal with the heart of the matter? Incidentally I neither like nor dislike FlyingToaster nor anyone else here and am completely disappointed by the extreme degree of nonsense at this page from both defenders and detractors of FT. You're only adding fuel to the fire I'm afraid. And if you want to avoid wasting time and would rather do something constructive, take a look at some of the articles FT created and look for copyvios, since that is what we are (or should be) talking about. I can count on a couple-few fingers the number of editors who have actually done that. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:47, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's avoid personalizing this matter. WP:PLAGIARISM should have been a guideline long ago, and people should prioritize this issue more: both in creating articles and in reviewing RfA candidacies. In all likelihood future RfAs will be screened more closely for that--and it's one of the few ways where making RfA harder would be a good thing. Regarding the immediate issue, FlyingToaster is correcting her mistakes, and pledging to avoid use of the tools in this obvious weak spot. If she makes any serious mistake from this point forward she will probably be RfC'd and possibly RFAR'd, but there ought to be some benefit to being cooperative when an honest mistake comes to light: typically that benefit comes in the form of a second chance. So let's all fix the blind spots and learn from this. DurovaCharge! 20:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

This still does not address my concern about an RfA where the candidate specifically referenced a list of articles that appeared to have been created in Q4 2008 almost certainly with the intention of supporting her RfA. That is unacceptable. Peter Damian (talk) 20:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Please note I am maintaining a list of the plagiarised articles on my talk page. Peter Damian (talk) 20:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

(after e/c) I think it's clear that AD was doing the right thing within the parameters currently afforded the 'crats. The only matters left for discussion here (to me) are the first two comments by Friday and Dweller right under this sub-heading. Those go to the heart of the issue as far as the BN goes.

Peter, your concerns are valid, but this is not the proper forum. The bureaucrats can't do anything about it. The community can. Franamax (talk) 20:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

(ec, to Peter) Thank you very much for raising that concern. When you did I looked at the examples that had been posted both here and at WR, and supplemented with research of my own. More or less by accident I got put in touch with FlyingToaster around that time. Despite considerable skepticism (I'm a hardliner on plagiarism/copyvio) she was genuinely unaware of what the problems were until I explained them to her. Then she soon grasped the concepts and sought advice about how she could things right. What more can we really ask of her? Ideally this would never have happened in the first place, of course, but she wasn't deliberately gaming the system. DurovaCharge! 20:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Durova I very much appreciate your efforts on all of this as they are highly constructive. But I'd really like to hear from you directly (and maybe you can respond on my talk page if you prefer, since this really is not the place for any of this) on the main concern which I've expressed on ANI and elsewhere. Namely, given the nature of this project, should an editor who admittedly does not understand plagiarism be an administrator here? It's not as though this is a peripheral issue, it goes to the heart of writing the encyclopedia. I often think of admins in terms of the image they project to the outside-Wikipedia world, which I think is a very reasonable way to think about it. If we simply say, oops, she didn't know it wasn't okay to copy sentences nearly wholesale and then dump them into Wiki articles, but she'll work on that now, while at the same time letting her keep the bit, are we not somewhat saying that we don't really care that much about plagiarism since there are apparently no consequences for it whatsoever, even minimal ones as in "you really should not be an admin right now?" Sorry but I think that has bad press written all over it (and quite justifiably so). I don't think I'm being overly dramatic or doomsdayish here, I'm just gobsmacked over the notion that someone who has dumped plagiarized text into the encyclopedia (all over the place apparently) is fit for adminship (and, again, I know she didn't do it maliciously, but it's the very lack of understanding that is so problematic). Knowing what plagiarism is should be a very, very minimal requirement for "promotion" at an encyclopedia, and had this been known the promotion would never have gone through as I'm sure you would agree. The best thing at this point is for FT to step down (which would be a gesture that would greatly impress me), bone up on how to do content work, and maybe try again in 6 months or a year. As I said feel free to respond on my talk page if you feel that's better. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Replied at questioner's user talk (this thread had an archive template when I saw the query). DurovaCharge! 22:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Can a Crat please put this thread on hold for FT?

While I guess this might make fun viewing for some, it might be fairer to FT to put this on ice, so she can take in all that’s been said and once she decided on the best course make her own response. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:30, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


I am closing this discussion. FT's RfA is legit. Any issues concerning FT's edits should be taken to ARBCOM. Bureaucrats are not in the business of removing the bit. Kingturtle (talk) 21:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

And I am unclosing it because the discussion has continued below. I recommend letting it run until the matter is resolved or submitted for arbitration. Thank you. Jehochman Talk 22:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Statement from FT

Hello - sorry, I've edit conflicted a few times here including the close above, but I did want to make a note.

There's a lot to go through here, so perhaps I can give a bit of a summary view. I have never deliberately committed plagiarism nor copyright violation. I endeavour to always cite sources correctly and summarize contents of external sources in my own words. However, I have read through the links that Peter Damien and others have posted, and I do see the valid point he and others are raising; some articles are definitely insufficiently paraphrased.

I am aware of Wikipedia's policies on plagiarism and copyright, but the distinction of when a fact has been "reworded enough" is obviously a hard line draw distinctly, and one people draw differently. As our policy states, definitions of plagiarism differ (as an aside, I would be thrilled if this whole discussion led to a better definition of plagiarism that would be useful to editors). Because of the feedback given in the last few days, it seems clear that my own line was too close to the source material.

Yesterday, I met Durova and talked with her via Skype. We had good conversation regarding the concerns brought here, and about definitions of plagiarism. Durova proposed a voluntary solution which I think is sensible and have decided to enact: I will begin a page in userspace dedicated to fixing all article issues. Each article I will go through with a fine tooth comb, improving sourcing and rewriting where necessary. This page will welcome feedback along the way about any problems found, which will be gladly incorporated. I'm confident that through this effort any concerns will be laid to rest.

I do disagree that these concerns make me any less effective in the few administrative functions that I use. I basically plan to use administrative functions to fight vandalism and inappropriate pages and take care of maintenance tasks for the time being - tasks which I feel I'm very well-geared to handle. In the time that I can be on Wikipedia (very busy weeks coming up), I think my time here is best spent fixing these article issues, and helping with maintenance and vandalism where needed. Thank you, FlyingToaster 21:22, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Well let me be the first to say that this does not remotely put my concerns to rest, though I do appreciate your response and your acknowledgment of the problems. I do not think someone who has committed plagiarism on multiple articles should be an administrator, regardless of how you use your tools now. If an RFC was opened on this subject, and if a significant percentage of editors agreed with me (and/or if a number of editors who supported you in RFA said they now regret their vote), would you consider standing down as an admin for now and running again when you've demonstrated a better understanding about these issues? Obviously if the RFC showed that my view was in the minority and most folks wanted you to stay on then that would be a different matter. But lots of people have brought very significant concerns here which cannot be wished away, and I'm wondering if you are willing to submit to a community process to judge the depth of those concerns and then follow the wishes of the community once that process has been concluded. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:30, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Lets not get previous Bigtime, no good will come of rushing this. Better to see how things pan out for a few weeks and then maybe one of you could put the question to FT if there are still concerns. For now, theres absolutely no ground to suspect FT is at risk of imminently mis using the tools, and if you disagree you should try to raise it with arbcom. Its already been made clear this is not the right forum. FeydHuxtable (talk) 21:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict) I think that FT's statement is extremely diplomatic and even-handed. She shows humility, and a desire to fix any and all remaining problems. I encourage everyone to accept this, and move on. Being an admin is mainly a technical function, and having overstepped the line on parahprasing, as FT says, does not affect vandalism-fighting and maintenence. Thanks for doing your best to clear this up, FT; I didn't comment in your RfA, but best of luck for the future. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 21:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict)An RFC at this point would merely be an (even more) acrimonious rehash of the mudslinging, petty interpersonal squabbles, and re-re-re-re-re-re-airing of pet bugaboos that we saw in the reams of text above. As such, an RFC process would serve no purpose but to allow people to indulge in their penchant for drama, posturing, and histrionics, while bulldozing over the cooler heads who attempted to steer the discussion to the right side of the heat:light ratio. FT must be given the chance to redress the concerns raised, something we do for every single participant at this project from anon IP's to Jimbo, before sanctions of any sort should be imposed, or even discussion of potential sanctions. FT has clearly taken the concerns to heart and is fixing past mistakes; interestingly, this is quite precisely the sort of behaviour that is essential to adminship. //roux   21:47, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I haven't read the above, so I don't know whether the plagiarism issue has been dealt with (sorry if it has been). I would just like to add that I was about to vote oppose on the FT RfA because I saw concerns that she hasn't done much editing. I then saw her statement that she'd created a large number of articles or stubs. I looked at one and it seemed fine. I therefore didn't oppose. If there's any truth that plagiarism or copyvios were involved, I would ask the bureaucrats to re-run the RfA, as there may be others like myself who would have opposed if we'd known that the content contribs were not quite as they seemed. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:54, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec with Slim Virgin) Yes, but my question was for FT, maybe we could let her answer? And no one is talking about "sanctions," unless voluntarily stepping down as an admin is interpreted as a sanction. I would support an RFC that was strictly limited to two questions: 1) Do you support FT continuing as an admin at this time?; 2) If you voted support in her RfA do you now regret that vote? An admin could strictly enforce that and we could thus leave all "bugaboos" to the side since they are not the point here. Is there precedent for an RfC like this? I don't know, but I think it's a good idea, and I'm curious as to what FT thinks about gauging the will of the community in this way, since admins need the support of the community in order to be effective. I know she has a lot of supporters, but for now at least it might be a good idea if they could just let her respond to what is, in my view, a perfectly civil and legitimate question, thanks. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:57, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Your choice of words wasnt the best. Its not a tactful question to put to her at this time. And again this isnt the place. So dont necessarily expect an answer. FeydHuxtable (talk) 22:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you speaking on behalf of FlyingToaster? If not I have no idea why you think she will not answer. And you'll have to explain why my "choice of words wasnt the best" (what a strange and vague accusation) and what that has to do with anything. I'm not here to be "tactful" for the sake of it, though I think I am being quite tactful, rather I'm bringing up a very legitimate and serious concern that is in my view being brushed aside. Furthermore I think it's strange that you would lecture me about tact when above on this very page you (quite wrongly and quite casually) accused me of assuming bad faith of FT when I've repeatedly stated precisely the opposite. To be perfectly blunt Feyd, I'm not really interested in what you think about a specific question that is not being asked of you but rather someone else. If you want to start a conversation with me about something, you can do so at my talk page. If FT chooses not to answer so be it - though that would be strange since she could simply say, "I don't want to do that" - but you don't need to act as some sort of intermediary between us. I do have a right to ask legitimate questions of other admins without being badgered about it. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 22:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Youre quite wrong Bigtime, I said the thread starter accused FT of insincerity. As you rightly say that doesnt seem to be true of yourself, accordingly it should be clear I meant the starter of the over all thread. And its now abundantly clear he was wrong to do so, though sadly he hasnt acknowledged the fact. FeydHuxtable (talk) 23:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Well my apologies then as I misread your comment, assuming you were referring to the particular subthread (which I had indeed started). It's a miscommunication obviously, but it points to the problem of making veiled and non-specific accusations. Anyhow I hope no hard feelings. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 01:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I think if this were to go to RfC, the result would be further rehashing of many points that have been made here, at WP:ANI, on talk pages, and on forums. I fear that rather than be productive, it would cause further acrimony between editors. Emotions right now are clearly running very high, and giving another forum for them to be unleashed I don't feel would necessarily be in the interest of harmonious collaboration. What I propose is this: as in my statement above, I will work to rewrite all of the articles in question. Should there be any further issues with my content work produced after now regarding plagiarism, I will resign with immediate effect. Furthermore, if an RfC is being requested by more than a handful of editors one month from now, I'll hold one. FlyingToaster 23:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
A most wise and balanced suggestion FT. FeydHuxtable (talk) 23:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks FT for replying, and while I cannot say the nature of the reply was unexpected, obviously it's quite within your right to respond as you have and I won't bother you directly about this further. However I'm not sure this is just going to go away, but I guess we'll wait and see how others feel but some form of dispute resolution is not out of the question in my mind. I'm still concerned that you seem to think of this as less of a problem than it really is, since you are now an administrator at Wikipedia and have admitted to plagiarizing on a number of articles you have written. That's really, really, really bad, and there are more than a handful of editors who are expressing concern about it here and elsewhere. I can only speak for myself as an admin (one who is open to recall), but if as many editors as are here expressing concern expressed concern about me, I would welcome an RFC (regardless of drama level) and resign without hesitation if there was significant resistance to my continuation as an admin. Apparently we have different philosophies in that regard, and that difference speaks to larger problems about admin accountability and the RFA process. One thing we can hopefully agree on is that if all of this sparks a conversation about those larger problems than that's a good thing. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 23:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't read FT's statement or any of above discussion, but I requested two articles to be deleted that she plagiarized. I can't believe such editor still shows the strong desire to have the admin bit.--Caspian blue 22:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree; I find it rather distasteful. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:07, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
      • It's heartening to discover how many people care deeply about plagiarism. Oddly, some of the most vocal editors in this discussion have never edited WP:PLAGIARISM or its talk page. The newly promoted guideline could benefit from their assistance in contributing refinements: one thing we can all agree on is that this kind of problem shouldn't happen again. Let's put this energy to positive use. DurovaCharge! 23:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
          • Some of us think it's blindingly obvious that you don't go around helping yourself to other people's creative efforts. Mr Stephen (talk) 23:51, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
        • Of course that's only been a guideline for a few hours, and quite frankly I thought this kind of stuff was covered sufficiently at places like Wikipedia:Copyrights at WP:CFAQ, but apparently not. It's hardly surprising that folks have not edited a recently enacted guideline so I'm not sure why you are even mentioning that. A lot of us don't edit policy pages frequently which is fine, and until the last 24 hours I had no idea we had so many editors who did not understand what plagiarism is so I did not realize we had such a pressing need to clarify this. But obviously we need to make sure this doesn't happen again, and in addition to working on WP:PLAGIARISM we should also incorporate regular (and specific) questions about this into the RFA process. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 23:29, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
          • Actually there was a very recent RfC on the proposal. The RfC was linked prominently from the community portal. I counted 32 firm opinions plus a few neutral to ambivalent comments at the proposal talk. So it's a bit surprising to see how much more active and fervent the turnout is to this incident. This says something about our site culture because in a well-functioning organization the reaction to this sort of incident is straightforward: when something shows up a gap in the way things get done, patching up that gap becomes priority. It's a comparatively minor matter to grandfather in one individual under the old rule, and a sign of trouble when the real priorities get buried by finger-pointing. DurovaCharge! 00:07, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
            • I don't want to keep harping on this (though I guess we're both harping a bit!), but I really don't think it's surprising that there's more of a reaction here than at WP:PLAGIARISM. This is a concrete problem about a specific editor, not an RfC on a proposed policy. I am not remotely as active as you, and I miss all sorts of discussions all over the place I'm afraid. Had I seen the plagiarism proposal I'm sure I would have said "great idea," and had I realized how little clarity there was about a question which I (wrongly) assumed was fairly non-controversial then I would have made a big to-do about getting itturned into a guideline, which you have thankfully done. I only realized it was an issue now, and perhaps it's unfair that FT bears the brunt of the concern about plagiarism, but that's just how this unfolded I'm afraid. And likewise while there is clearly a "gap" to some degree in the general understanding about plagiarism, that does not change the fact that an admin should know about plagiarism going into adminship, just like they should know about other fairly common sense things that might not be codified as thoroughly as they ought on Wikipedia. And this isn't a question of changing the rules or "grandfathering," our policies on copyright are quite clear that what FT did is unacceptable (see here for example). Apparently that has not been sufficient and we need to also frame the issue in terms of plagiarism, and as I said I'm happy to help out on that guideline page eventually. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 01:08, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
              • Perhaps we view things differently then: a fair portion of our site drama occurs at weak point of policy and process. Micro-analysis of individual conduct sometimes prevents people from stepping back and solving the systemic weakness that led to the dispute. It isn't good to lurch from drama to drama over different iterations of the same problem. FT will get dealt with swiftly if she missteps again. Really, I view this particular episode as minor by comparison. DurovaCharge! 01:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

FlyingToaster, I think it commendable that you agree there is a problem with the content you have added to this project and are looking into ways to rectify it. It is however important that administrators on this project understand Wikipedia's core policies. I think it would be appropriate for now if you resigned as an administrator and reapplied at some point in the future when you were confident that you fully understand the issues/policies concerned here. WJBscribe (talk) 23:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:21, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully disagree. Who's to say she hasn't already learned from her mistakes (which, were, for the most part, made at least several months ago)? FT's use of the tools should be under close scrutiny for the first few months, but I think it's far too soon to force her to resign. –Juliancolton | Talk 00:28, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Considering there's been no attempt at fixing the articles until now, the time since it happened would seem to be irrelevant here. I was undecided on the RFA, so chose not to vote but I would agree with WJB/Nick. Mr.Z-man 01:28, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I have just seen some information regarding FT that would have made me oppose her on RFA (someone who considers her a friend, and is part of the IRC cabal and supports pretty much every candidate there is...). Either stepping down or re-running are the best options here. Majorly talk 00:35, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Majorly, is the thing you've seen something we should all know about? Gonzonoir (talk) 08:06, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • According to the 'crats' rules, this has moved beyond their purview. I believe that FT should resign and resubmit to another RfA, or else have this taken to ArbCom. Cla68 (talk) 00:46, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
WJBscribe rather eloquently puts in writing what I've been thinking about this situation. Step down, step back and return in a few months with firm proof that you understand the problem, trundling off to Arbcom is not what anybody wants. Nick (talk) 01:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I would support taking this to Arbcom if necessary but I would be much happier with the voluntary solution that WJBscribe suggests. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:09, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree with WJB - the best course here would be for FT to honorably relinquish her administrator status for now while she works to rebuild the community trust she will need to perform her administrative duties when she has done so. Ronnotel (talk) 01:39, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree as well. ArbCom shouldn't be necessary. AniMatedraw 01:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree with WJB and Majorly. I believe I saw the same thing he did, and had I seen that during the RFA (which I did not participate), I would surely have opposed, strongly. All considered, the best thing in this case is to step down, as it seems the trust is not there from the community. لennavecia 02:56, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I am in agreement that ArbCom is not necessary. However, I would add a message specifically for FT: follow what you believe is the best course of action. For everyone else chiming in here, please remember that this is an extremely stressful experience for FT, and I would humbly ask that we all step back and allow FT to decide on a course of action that would best address the current concerns and the future responsibilities that she must burden. I have faith in FT's intelligence and sincerity, and I believe that she will have the wisdom to resolve the problem that is at hand. Pastor Theo (talk) 03:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't have any particularly strong opinions about FT herself.

In terms of adminship itself, I think What adminship is not sums up some important points.

  • "They do not need to know how 'everything works'." - a lack of understanding of copyright, in and of itself is only speaks against someone having admin tools if we fear that they will use the admin tools ignorantly in matters of copyright. It does not sound to me like this is a problem.
  • "Admins are users that the community trusts to operate the tools." I have not read anything that leads me to believe that FT is going to abuse the new powers of adminship. I get the strong impression that she will steer clear of matters that she is not confident in.
  • "Admins should gain broad respect" This is clearly an issue here. I think it's important for a community to have faith in its administrators.

Just my .02 Mishlai (talk) 03:17, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Not knowing the intricacies of copyright law is one thing, copying content directly from a source is like "How not to write an article 101," beyond copyright issues, its also plagiarism. Mr.Z-man 05:56, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I count fourteen editors, including a number of admins and a retired bureaucrat, in this sub-thread suggesting that FT ought to resign, re-run at RFA, or something similar. Obviously that's significant. FT said she is going to take a break for a day or two which is understandable (and in that respect I would echo Pastor Theo above in terms of bearing in mind the stressful nature of this), but when she returns I think we need to hear a further reply to the views expressed here (it's perhaps not all that helpful for us to debate what to do next until we do hear again from FT). If FlyingToaster decides that she does not want to voluntarily step down, I think it likely that ArbCom will have to be the next stop, though as others say that's hopefully not necessary and very much not desirable (I previously suggested an RFC as a DR stop short of ArbCom to gauge the community's consensus on these questions and I still think that is a possible route). At this point I think the ball is basically in FT's court and we should wait, give her a bit of space, and see how she wants to proceed. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 03:23, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
That's probably a good idea. But as someone who did not participate in the RFA and who (I think) saw the same thing as several other editors above, I'm pretty sure the outcome of RFA would have been significantly different. I'm not going to go further than that. RxS (talk) 03:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I would say the ball is in the bureaucrats' court, and it's unfortunate that one has said he won't act, because this is a large part of what they're here for. I hope they'll reconsider. The case is clear enough: people are saying there has been misrepresentation, probably inadvertent for the sake of AGF, which significantly swayed the vote. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:45, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
The ball cannot be in our court.We are not "here for" removing administrator rights. We cannot act on this matter because we do not have the actual power to remove admin rights. There is nothing we can reconsider. Kingturtle (talk) 03:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Then you equally ought not to have the power to grant them. I find it difficult to believe though that a user interface that allows you to add rights does not also allow you to remove them. --Malleus Fatuorum 03:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe all users should have the ability to undo anything they can do. However, in a recent community discussion the idea of giving crats the ability to desysop was shot down. Kingturtle (talk) 04:53, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Believe it, because it's true. Bureaucrats can use Special:UserRights, with which they have the ability to check the 'sysop' box, granting a user the admin bit. Once set, the box moves into the "list of groups you can't change", and cannot be unchecked. As Kingturtle says, it's a somewhat ludicrous situation. However, it was the consensus of the community that that be the situation. Happymelon 10:39, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
In a straw poll, 82 Wikipedian supported the idea of granting crats the technical ability to desysop admins, and 40 Wikipedian opposed the idea. See Wikipedia talk:Removing administrator rights/Proposal 2. AdjustShift (talk) 14:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
KT, you could inform a steward that there appears to have been a mistake, and ask that the tools be removed. Doing that almost certainly falls within your purview. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I have notified the stewards of this. But just so you know, anyone can do that, not just crats. Kingturtle (talk) 04:53, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
A large number of editors have come forward stating that they were mislead by the representations in the RFA. Knowing what we know now, there is no way this candidate would have passed. I think that as a wiki we have the power to correct errors. We are not trying to -sysop somebody for something they did, which would be a matter for ArbCom, we are complaining that the RFA process was tainted due to misrepresentation of facts. I believe Bureaucrats have exclusive power to manage the RFA process, and thus, they have the power to reverse their decision if they do so promptly upon discovering that the process was seriously flawed. That seems to be the case here. Would you please notify a steward that there was an error in closing that RFA, and that the bit should be removed. Whoever has power to do something also has the power to correct errors that they have made. Jehochman Talk 04:59, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
A number of editors (including you and me) want this to go to ARBCOM. A number of editors (including you) want her to resign. A number of editors (including you) want a steward to remove her bits ASAP. Then some are suggesting doing a new RfA. And also, there are a number of people who don't want any action taken whatsoever. There is no clear mandate in any direction. She's offline for all of today, so there is no reason to rush into a decision this instant. The honorable thing to do is let her resign. Kingturtle (talk) 05:29, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
The ball is in FT's court, not the crats' court. And, again -- please -- let FT make her decision on how to proceed. And as per Malleus' comment, it seems that there is a loophole in Wikipedia's policy that requires a rewrite so we can avoid a reprise of this situation. Perhaps some proactive action is needed there to strengthen policy for the future? Pastor Theo (talk) 04:24, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps something along the lines of:
"Where evidence comes to light after an RfA has been closed as successful which seriously undermines the basis upon which community consensus was reached, the closing bureaucrat may for a period of [X] days after closing an RfA request that a steward remove the admin access of the successful candidate and reopen or restart the closed RfA."
Would that address, without being too radical, this sort of scenario? WJBscribe (talk) 08:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like a terrific, common sense policy change from where I sit. There are larger issues here in my view, but pretty much all of this could have been nipped in the bud had that language been our current policy in terms of crat discretion in the immediate aftermath of an admin promotion like the one we are currently discussing. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that sounds quite reasonable, WJB. But do you have any suggestions for "X"? Because I see a problem here. If we draw an arbitrary X, I can see potential gaming of the system. Incidents like this are so isolated and so unique... I'd almost be convinced to believe that perhaps this is something we shouldn't codify in cold hard policy. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 10:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Certain factors have prompted me to clarify what I've said above: I think WJB's idea is good, but I think codifying X itself is not the best idea. Perhaps assigning a number like that is ill-advised. We should judge on a case-by-case process when it comes to X. But WJB's statement as a whole makes sense to me. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 10:48, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I think X = 7 days would be a good start. Any set of rules can be gamed, but this rule would make gaming harder. If there is a late discover of adverse information during RFA, a seven day period to review and revise the closing decision should be sufficient in many cases. Jehochman Talk 14:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

(od)I've no idea where this should go, but I have to admit had I been aware of this during the RfA, I would haver opposed, and would ask that FT relinquish the tools and perhaps reapply for them at a laster date. It's nothing personal, but it would seem like the best thing to do. Skinny87 (talk) 10:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I can only say that based on my knowledge of WP and RFA behaviour from over three and a half years editing, FT should be aware that she is almost sure to never have a successful RFA again under this username should she resign. Stifle (talk) 13:11, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Are you saying she shouldn't resign, because if she didn't she'd never get promoted again? Or are you saying she should resign, because, if she wouldn't be promoted in the future, she shouldn't be promoted now? Kingturtle (talk) 13:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
      • I read Stifle's comment as instructing FT to make sure she fully considers the gravity of her circumstance and the decision she has to make. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
        • I'm sure you did not mean it this way Anonymous, but I don't think references to "the gravity of her circumstance" are helpful here. There is very little gravity to this situation and we really need to remember that. If being an admin is no big deal, so is not being an admin. It's amazing how much we tend to not actually believe those ideas, even as we pay obeisance to them. Adminship is not something to which you have a right once you jump through all the hoops, it is (or should be) a product of community trust, and when that trust is lacking you just shouldn't be an admin anymore (or to begin with). In real life terms that's very much not a big deal, since this is just a web site and no one is losing their source of income or anything if they are just a regular 'ole editor instead of an admin. Literally the worst thing anyone is talking about right now is that FT should resign and run again later if she wants. In a way this is not so much a response to AD but rather to the general sentiment that there are enormous ramifications to the basic debate here about FT's status as an admin. There are not. Either she'll resign, she won't and nothing will happen, or she won't and we'll go onto dispute resolution where the outcome will be losing the bit or not losing the bit. Regardless of what happens, I expect we'll all deal with it pretty easily. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 18:20, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

On the statement by FT above

She says "I have never deliberately committed plagiarism". On the contrary she has. Perhaps she was unaware of the definition of plagiarism, or perhaps she did not realise it was wrong. The fact remains she deliberately committed it. (By analogy, someone who was breaking into people's houses and taking valuable things would be deliberately stealing, whether or not they knew the definition of 'stealing', and whether or not they realised it was wrong).

She says "I endeavour to always cite sources correctly and summarize contents of external sources in my own words." If she is trying, she is not trying very hard. From the Straits of Corfu.

Wikipedia: "In 1537, Sultan Suleiman II (known in the west as the Magnificent), in alliance with the French King Francis I, launched a massive incursion against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

Source: "In 1537 Sultan Suleiman II, known in the West as the Magnificent, in alliance with the French king Francis I, launched a massive incursion against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V." [21]. Adding a couple of brackets around a clause is not summarizing in one's own words. There are plenty of other examples like this.

She says "the distinction of when a fact has been "reworded enough" is obviously a hard line draw distinctly". This is totally disingenuous. No one with such a difficulty in drawing the line between truth and complete fantasy deserves to be an administrator on a project like this. See my remarks about brackets.

She says "Because of the feedback given in the last few days, it seems clear that my own line was too close to the source material." See again my point about adding brackets.

She says "I do disagree that these concerns make me any less effective in the few administrative functions that I use. " And I 'do disagree' in turn. Peter Damian (talk) 08:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

So what's your constructive suggestion as to how we go forward from here? ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 08:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
There is so much here that is wrong that there is nothing constructive that can be done. Giano has a good statement in Wipedia Review. Read it. [22]. The system is beyond repair. Peter Damian (talk) 08:38, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I've got that on my reading-list for later tonight, but please don't just whinge and complain if you're not going to suggest any way forward. If there's nothing constructive to be gained by whining, don't whine. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 08:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
You are quite right. See my talk page. Peter Damian (talk) 08:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm sorry to see you go. I don't think that things here are as bad as you make out; we have a wonderful encyclopedia, and that's the whole point of the proect. It's improving every day, and that shows an ongoing effort. I do think that griping without suggesting is corrosive and unpleasant to the community spirit which has produced the mine of knowledge we have here, however; in the words of Margaret Thatcher, "Bring me solutions, not problems." That said, I wish you well for the future, and should you ever wish to return to editing and participating, I'm sure you'll be most welcome. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 08:54, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
There's plenty of constructive, and obvious, suggestions about where to go from here: 1) Improve WP:PLAGIARISM (and perhaps other related guidelines) and make sure editors know that they must be familiar with it; 2) In RfAs, ask direct questions about plagiarism, citations, summarizing sources, etc. and make sure that at least a few !voters carefully check over article contributions of candidates—steps which should be part of a larger acknowledgment that admins need to know how articles are written, even if they personally do not do a a lot of that; 3) Develop a workable process (or processes) whereby admins can be recalled even if they are not "open for recall"; 4) Hope that FlyingToaster does the right thing and steps down as an admin so we don't have to go to arbitration. The last is in a sense the easiest and puts this entire immediate drama to rest (in a "not a big deal" way), the other three are at higher levels of difficulty but are ultimately more important. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

<< OK, good. None of those proposals seem to require bureaucrat attention; they should all be dealt with in different places, in fact. (1), (2), (3) and (4). This page is only for 'crat technical actions. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 09:05, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, obviously I know what this page is for as does everyone here presumably, but you asked Peter about constructive suggestions so I offered some. More generally this is where the conversation has been happening, rightly or wrongly, and therefore where everyone is reading and responding. Even though there's probably nothing for the crats to do right now, at this point there is no real harm in letting the conversation here run its course, particularly since that will probably happen in the next day or so. "This doesn't belong here" type comments (and I myself made one above when starting a subthread) start to get a bit silly when a thread becomes this long. FT will weigh in again at some point and then I think we'll either go to ArbCom or RFC or this will all be done with—either way the conversation here will wind down naturally, let's just let it run its course without getting too wonky about what page it belongs on. In the grand scheme of things that kind of stuff really just doesn't matter. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:52, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to get this conversation shut off, and split across various practical points on various policy talk-pages, because it's just becoming a hotbed of abuse, drama and pointless moaning. Sure, it will wind down, but nothing useful, and much unpleasant, will come out of it. ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 10:03, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Diverting it elsewhere will only result in a serial restating of what has been said here; and "abuse, drama and pointless moaning" will follow an "abuse, drama and pointless moaning"-prone discussion anywhere it goes. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 10:39, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Move on

FT, whether or not she was aware of what she was doing wrong previously, is certainly very aware of it now, and is taking action to rectify the situation. Admin's are not cops, though they should be expected to understand how to write an article without violating plagiarism. FT is crystal clear on this now, even though she clearly was not previously. That she made it through RfA is our fault, not hers, and there is a healthy disagreement on whether what she did in the first place could have truly swayed the RfA is anyone had bothered to look for it. Not one single person uncovered the issue prior to this week. Not one. That is pathetic, but it is not FT's fault.

That we should be having a serious debate about removing the bit from someone who does not intend to do what she was previously doing wrong is absurd. This isn't a political nominee forgetting to pay taxes. This isn't an official taking bribes. This is a volunteer at a free online encyclopedia getting wrong a basic issue. One which has now been explained to this volunteer. Which the volunteer has acknowledged as wrong, and for which the volunteer is taking concrete steps to resolve.

We are the free encyclopedia that lets anyone edit it. As a result we have all kinds of morons here. Most articles on nations are dominated by angry 12 year olds. Entire groups of experienced editors form up into pathetic fanboy cliques on WR or IRC simply for the purpose of patting each other on the back or rehashing drama. I like some of those editors, but I think you've all completely lost the ability to tell the forest from the trees. While you're circle IRCing yourselves into digital happy-ville, the encyclopedia is not getting built. While you're chanting from the hilltops the evils of the admin/'crat corps, the encyclopedia is not getting built, and you're bringing yourselves not one step closer to earning the respect as sane and competent individuals that would allow you to enter the admin corps and enact your "grand vision" or whatever the hell it is you've drawn up.

Volunteer. Online. Free. Encyclopedia. Focus on those four words. Absorb them. Give them a nice loving hug. Move beyond trying to replace Britannica. It will never happen. We are something different, and that something different is embodied in our ability to self-correct and to give people the chance to prove themselves. We are not a court, nor an inquisition. Editors, admins, and 'crats all make mistakes. I make mistakes, and whether or not you think FT being an admin is a mistake, I think we can all agree that we have the ability as a volunteer online free encyclopedia to see if FT implodes. She probably won't, and anyone who thinks otherwise has lost sight of what we're all here for. Hiberniantears (talk) 13:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Very well said; I couldn't agree more. –Juliancolton | Talk 14:21, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree as well. Much as we may want it to be so, the world ain't perfect. No sense in flogging a poor well-meaning volunteer to death. --RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 14:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Can't move on because

"Not one single person uncovered the issue prior to this week. Not one. That is pathetic, but it is not FT's fault." This is not true. I opposed her last RfA over this very issue. More than 20 people !voted to support that RfA after I had done so. This would suggest to me that many contributors don't view former copyright problems as a permanent bar to adminship. I don't, either. I decided to support her in this RfA anyway because I believed that our discussions in February, during which I pointed out problems with not thoroughly revising, had clarified this matter for her. I am of the opinion that people can learn and move on, and I have seen a good many who once did not understand copyright figure it out and actually start educating others. I have not seen that her confusion on this subject persisted after February, but there is no reason that it should have. If it has, I would find that much more alarming. (And I'm not denying it has. I haven't had time to check. Personally, I do feel somewhat responsible for not discovering these other issues back in February. I usually try to do thorough contribution checks, but copyright investigation on WP can be overwhelming. Mea culpa. Please. WP:COPYCLEAN. Join in.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:42, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
There's a lingering problem with Wikipedia:Honesty. FlyingToaster made representations during RFA that were untrue. People relied on them to support or not oppose her. Had there been a truthful set of disclosures, she probably would not have passed at this time. Therefore, she has no legitimate choice other than to resign and return later if she wishes. Jehochman Talk 14:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well, most other people don't seem to think that there was intentional dishonesty, or that she should resign. And it doesn't seem that she is going to resign. So can we please let it drop? ╟─TreasuryTagcontribs─╢ 14:51, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
We also "have it in our power" to prevent any implosion by proactively removing the bit from an unsuitable candidate. That RfA is broken already does not mean that we should endeavour never to try to fix it. That the candidate does not appear to be willing to resign the bit voluntarily given the furor suggests that the candidate is already happy to enjoy the near-unimpeachable status that the mop confers, which is troubling. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 14:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Very well said; I couldn't agree more. AdjustShift (talk) 15:04, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you think 'RfA is broken already'. One messy RfA does not mean the process is broken. AFAICS, it seems to be working fine.--RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 15:12, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Administrators do make blunders. I do. But, admins must understand the basic policies of WP. Copyright violations are VERY serious. It damages the reputation of the English-language Wikipedia. An editor who is guilty of ONE outright copy-and-paste should not be allowed to become an admin. Copyright violation was one of the reasons why RyRy's RFA failed. The ripples were also felt in the RFB of Balloonman. Of course, people can learn. FT can learn. So, she should become an admin after she understands how damaging copyright violations are to WP. FT should either resign or re-run for adminship. AdjustShift (talk) 15:22, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I would agree with "So, she should become an admin after she understands how damaging copyright violations are to WP" if she didn't understand. There does seem a possibility of some persistent gaps in her understanding, given the image vio and a GFDL infringement after she became an admin (see here). The latter error is not something that I would call for her admin tools based on: that's the kind of mistake that you make, you're told why you can't, and you don't do it again. The former she explains as not having remembered where she initially found the image (if I'm recalling that correctly). To me, it matters if she learned in February. After I finish today's WP:CP listings, I'll take a look and see, if nobody else has. (I know it might not make a difference to anybody else, but it does matter to me, because I had believed that she had. I presumed others were not bothered by it, since it was public record in her first RfA. I wonder now about TLDR. Maybe we need a summary of the primary points of opposition at the top of unsuccessful RfAs.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Err, so if a newbie—unaware of the copyright policies—creates a copyvio on his first day at Wikipedia, he cannot ever become an administrator? –Juliancolton | Talk 15:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
According to FT's page This user has been on Wikipedia for 3 years, 1 month, and 23 days. but she, of course not a newbie, did not know copyvio until recently. What a gem. --Caspian blue 15:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
If a newbie—unaware of the copyright policies—creates a copyvio on his first day at Wikipedia, but later learns from his blunder and never repeats it, he should be allowed to become an admin. I had knowledge about copyright policies since my early days on WP. Before I started my first article, Baseball Before We Knew It, I read about the policies of WP. I was aware about copyright policies when I was writing my first article. I expect every new WP editors to learn about the basic policies of WP after editing WP for some time. AdjustShift (talk) 16:04, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Now we can move on

See FlyingToaster's statement here, wherein she resigns as an admin and says she is "stepping back from Wikipedia." I think the former was a good, honorable move which took courage and therefore impresses me, while the latter is obviously unfortunate and I personally hope she'll come back to editing. There might be (I think are) larger issues to discuss here about RFA and adminship and plagiarism and the like, but it's probably time to move off this page now and discuss those elsewhere. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 18:36, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely. Jehochman Talk 18:38, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Due to FlyingToaster’s resignation (cf. [23]), nothing remains that has to be discussed here on the bureaucrats’ noticeboard. Also, the aim of this section was to ask people for staying civil, and now it’s used for making impolite remarks. This is not going to achieve anything. — Aitias // discussion 20:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Tensions and emotions can run high here, but no matter what your opinion, please be civil to each other and toward FlyingToaster. Proper attributes for administrators are a big deal in these discussions. Civility is just as important an attribute to have around here as academic honesty. Both are essential to Wikipedia's survival. Sarcasm and incivility are disruptive and a distraction. The issue can be resolved without discourteousness. Your argument can be made and can be heard without effrontery. Kingturtle (talk)

I think the civility issue is important here as part of the larger argument is off-site interpersonal issues spilling over into Wikipedia. That is to say, people who don't like each other here, using other websites to bash each other, thus increasing bad blood, and in some way fueling the initial momentum for this dispute. The root of this issue appears to be equal parts FT screwing up, and other people taking advantage of the situation to grind off-site axes. Hiberniantears (talk) 17:16, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
What's grossly uncivil is lying to people. Civility is not about using sugar coated words. It's about treating other people with respect. I looked at the RFA and decided to remain silent instead of opposing. Had she told the truth, I might have opposed. I feel that she abused my trust. Jehochman Talk 18:06, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not certain she lied about anything. Lying implies malicious intent. This just appears to be incompetence. AniMatedraw 18:10, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
It was the community's job to thoroughly investigate the candidate, and if we failed to do so, it's not FT's fault. –Juliancolton | Talk 18:11, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Taking that one step further (and more relevant to where we are), it's not the closing bureaucrat's fault. EVula // talk // // 18:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Even though we can say the matter is not the closing bureaucrat's fault, the plagiarism is definitely FT's fault, and some responsibility is upon the community. AGF should not be abused.--Caspian blue 18:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, this is mostly moot now, as User:FlyingToaster has decided to no longer be active on Wikipedia and has indicated that she will be resigning her adminship. AniMatedraw 18:29, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Very good for her, but we still need to take care of what she has done and to implement pertinent guidelines and policies and adminship procedures to prevent this sort of things.--Caspian blue 18:35, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
If you discover you've made a false statement unintentionally, you have to correct it promptly and relieve others of any reliance they may have made on your statement. I see that FT has expressed an intention to resign. That would satisfy her obligations. Hopefully she will consider these matters and decide to return after a break. Jehochman Talk 18:33, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Shame on you all. Hiberniantears (talk) 20:07, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Quite. Yet another intelligent and thoughtful person driven away. Well done. //roux   20:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Nope, she has done shameful things. That is her choice to leave the community before cleaning the mess.--Caspian blue 20:20, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
    • And I strongly encourage you and your ilk to follow her out the door. Hiberniantears (talk) 20:23, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Sorry, I'm not her nor you. If you and your ilk wish to follow her out the door, I'm happy to support your decision.--Caspian blue 20:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
        • I believe those last five or six comments are the cue for a crat to shut down this thread as well. We're done here, obviously. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:28, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

There is still something that has to be discussed here

FlyingToaster has resigned as an admin. After one month, she decides to make a comeback. If she asks for the return of the sysop flag, will a bureaucrat +sysop her? The Arbitration Committee hasn't determined that she must go through another RfA. AdjustShift (talk) 09:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I cannot speak for the crats but I doubt that they will do so as she resigned facing a controversy (no matter what that was really about or worth). I would advise the crats facing such a decision to consult ArbCom to determine whether this resignation should be considered to have been "under a cloud" because it's very likely that re-sysoping her will lead to an ArbCom request by those who opposed her adminship. Regards SoWhy 09:26, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
FT has resigned under a cloud, so she must go through another RFA. AdjustShift (talk) 09:35, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
As I said in my comment, I do not think it's as clear as one would like it to be. The controversy she had to face had nothing to do with any actions as an administrator; thus some people will probably dispute whether she really resigned under a cloud. Hence I'd suggest consultation to determine this. Regards SoWhy 09:40, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. IMO she has resigned under a cloud, but others may disagree with me. It should be determined whether she has resigned under a cloud or she hasn't resigned under a cloud. AdjustShift (talk) 09:51, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that can be questioned. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:59, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
See the talkpage of FT. There are editors who think that she shouldn't have resigned. If she asks for the sysop flag after a month, will any crat +sysop her? AdjustShift (talk) 10:05, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it matters if some think she shouldn't have resigned. The cloud is still there. I must say, I wouldn't feel right returning the status to her without another RfA. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 10:07, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Do other crats agree with you? It should be determined whether she should be granted adminship without another RFA or she should go through another RFA, if she comes back. AdjustShift (talk) 10:12, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I can't speak for the rest of the bureaucrats, but I most definitely agree with AD that the resignation was "under a cloud", and wouldn't consider restoring the bit without a new RfA.
I'm somewhat surprised that the question is being asked at all, much less as adamantly as it's being pursued, but I suppose it is a good thing to clarify. EVula // talk // // 16:15, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

In my humble opinion I don't see FT requesting the bit back at all. I think this whole fiasco will have been too much of a feather-ruffling to warrant flying again. weburiedoursecretsinthegarden 10:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

But seriously, you need to let this go. The body is still warm. --RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 10:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

No, no, no, we must discuss this and discuss this until every single thing that can possibly be discussed has been discussed, ten times over. Then we must do it again, and again! :) Majorly talk 10:48, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Majorly, we haven't discuss this issue before. AdjustShift (talk) 12:25, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Is it still a cloud if the cloud is a manufactured attack coordinated from WR, designed solely to bully someone off the project and make a bunch of shmucks feel tough? I really don't see this as any different from the behavior of plague editors: Zealots unite and collectively flip out on someone. Hiberniantears (talk) 11:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not a member of WR, and I'll never join it. I don't think the editors tried to "bully" FT; it was about the copyvio issue. If FT can learn the policies of WP, edit positively for four or five months, and run for adminship, I'll !vote on the positive side of her RFA. AdjustShift (talk) 12:25, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Time to let this one go, I think. The crats go through hell and back to get that extra bit - let's please assume they will know, each and every one of them, how to use it properly when and if the time comes. Ronnotel (talk) 12:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Your faith does you great credit, but reveals more than a little naivety. --Malleus Fatuorum 18:07, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

The answer to this question is as obvious as can be: there was a storm of controversy and much pressure for resignation; hence immediate resysopping on request is out of the question. — Dan | talk 18:01, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

You seem to be deliberately fudging. What about a request that isn't "immediate". How do you choose to define that term. --Malleus Fatuorum 18:05, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you're reading him wrong - it wasn't immediate request, it was immediate resysop on request. Nathan T 18:47, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I am perfectly well able to read what's written; I am trying ro clarify what's meant. The statement deals only with an "immediate resysopping on request", which carries a certain ambiguity. What about a resysopping on request that isn't "immediate", say in a month's time? What exactly is that "immediate" qualifier signifying? --Malleus Fatuorum 18:59, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
*groan* I really think you're looking to find something to object to; I can honestly say that I never once considered your interpretation of Dan's statement. EVula // talk // // 19:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I have objected to nothing, and neither have I been deliberately rude by groaning at you or anyone else here, as you have. I have asked a perfectly simple and straightforward question that has now been repeatedly dodged, from which I shall draw my own conclusions. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:11, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
The groan wasn't intended to be rude, so I apologize for that much. EVula // talk // // 02:26, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I should have been more clear - my understanding of his comment is that immediate applies to the bureaucrat reaction to his request, not the timeframe of the request itself. I guess there can be some ambiguity to whether he will resysop on request after a waiting period, but I don't think that was his intent. (I see this sort of ambiguity is what you were referring to, rereading.) Nathan T 19:08, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Malleus, what I mean is: no bureaucrat will agree simply to resysop this user on request (hence "immediately", right away after the user makes the request). Rather, another successful RFA will be necessary before the user can be resysopped. Apologies for my imperfect precision, and I'm always glad to clarify, but I do rather prefer that I not be ascribed mysterious hidden nefarious intentions ("deliberately fudging") when I write a vague sentence. — Dan | talk 21:14, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
That's much clearer now, thanks. --Malleus Fatuorum 06:22, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Back from wikibreak and catching up. FWIW, I too concur with Dan's summary. --Dweller (talk) 09:07, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Good suggestion lost in the mix?

While the conversation was raging above, WJBscribe made what I thought was an excellent suggestion about how to possibly avoid these brouhahas in the future, and I think at least one bureaucrat thought the idea worth pursuing (the particulars were not finalized obviously, but I think the basic idea makes a great deal of sense). Is that conversation happening somewhere? I assume what we would be talking about is making an addition in our discussion of the "decisions process" in this section, but quite frankly I'm not sure. I assume this is not the kind of addition to our RFA policy the bureaucrats can just make on their own, but rather something the community must discuss. Assuming that's the case, is WT:RFA the right place to talk about it? If so I think I'll open the discussion there. My apologies as I'm not well versed in these type of policy issues relating to RFAs, bureaucrat authority, etc. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 18:15, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Seems like we reached the right result here. I appreciate your point but I'm not sure I see an urgent need to fix something. I think such a capability, had it existed, might have led to a worse resolution. As it is, there's at least a chance that FT will decide to rebuild and recover. Ronnotel (talk) 19:05, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting, but just to be clear I'm not trying to open a discussion on this here, I'm simply: A) making sure that this is not already being discussed somewhere, for example by bureaucrats on an e-mail list; B) asking if a discussion about adding something like this should happen over at WT:RFA. You're obviously welcome to think it a not great idea and maybe most others will agree, but if this discussion has not already started elsewhere and if WT:RFA is the right place to do it then I do intend to start it there. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:15, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
WT:RFA seems like the best place for this. Should be added to Template:Cent, too, as it's quite a major change. No comment as to the propriety of the suggestionxeno talk 19:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I guess I'll just start it there then, and will also add to the template for centralized discussions once I have, thanks. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:27, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Discussion started here, and listed at Template:Cent, for anyone who is interested. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:24, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Renames and 'The Joker'

'The Joker' vandal is currently recreating accounts that were renamed (i.e. A is renamed to B, vandal then recreates A for his own use) and using them for email abuse as well as account creation abuse. I know there's not much we can do about it, but just if those around the chu pages could be on the look out for this sort of thing. Also if you do block these accounts please remember to block account creation as well or else we get cases like this. --Chris 10:57, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it would really be a good idea to have a technical autoblock feature for renames. Bugzilla? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 11:26, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
We had that, as an "recreate this account" checkbox on Special:RenameUser, but crats didn't like it (to be fair it was enabled by default, which was Bad), and then Brion had apoplepsy because he noticed it wasn't logging, and produced unrecoverable passwords. There'll be a bug somewhere we can reopen; I agree that if it's implemented properly it's a worthwhile feature. Happymelon 15:20, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we ever objected to the feature entirely, just to it being enabled by default, and even then all we did was put up big warning templates on the interface to make sure other crats realised they were creating accounts with unrecoverable passwords in the wake of the accounts they renamed (which really complicated usurpations). Having a tick-box option to recreate the username from which someone is renamed would be much better - especially if they were recreated with the same password or the password was automatically emailed to email address set for the account that was renamed. Of course, the rename pages have among the instructions for several years had a warning advising users to recreate their accounts, but I guess few actually read the instructions... WJBscribe (talk) 23:56, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
When my account was renamed (from Avruch), I found I was able to login to either account with the same password. I assumed that was because the Avruch account was unified, but whatever caused it... it was handy. Nathan T 03:04, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think unified accounts still have the usernames "reserved". EVula // talk // // 04:00, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, I wonder if recreating lucasbfr is what broke the reattribution process (if someone knows how to have a dev actually look at it and move the ~5000 contribs, I'm interested btw...) -- Luk talk 05:58, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe it did for Xeno, Werdna can re-attribute those if you ask him nicely. MBisanz talk 06:03, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a maintenance script for that purpose, it was (back in the day) used by the devs to handle these. As you say, MBisanz, just ask nicely :D Happymelon 15:46, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
You just have to be patient with those contributions. Mine took a couple of months to reattribute. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Potentially dangerous situation with Lightbot

Per Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Date_delinking/Proposed_decision#Lightmouse_banned_2, Lightmouse, the operator of Lightbot, is about to be banned for one year by the Arbitration Committee, and to have his rights to run automated tasks revoked indefinitely. However, Lightbot still holds a bot flag [24], and is not currently blocked [25]. While it is rarely necessary to take preemptive action in advance of the closure of an arbitration case, I believe that it is advisable to do so here, to reduce the potential damage to Wikipedia should Lightmouse decide to engage in further disruption on his way out the door. Flagged bot accounts have the ability to cause considerable harm, and far more damage than an ordinary account, if they are held in malicious hands. The most obvious danger is that the bot flag hides the account's edits from the standard recent changes feed. If Lightmouse were to run a vandalbot task on Lightbot, it would be fairly easy for him to vandalize more than 500 or so pages before the account was blocked, simply because the vandalism would be hidden from RC patrol tools. Furthermore, bot accounts have the ability to move pages while suppressing the creation of redirects. If Lightmouse were to have his bot perform a large number of moves on pages which each had many inbound links, with redirect suppression enabled, he could potentially cause a database lock due to the cache invalidation of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of pages in which links would turn red. Due to the potential harm that could be caused by malicious use, only trusted users are placed in control of accounts having bot flags. It is readily apparent, however, that, as a user who is about to be banned for one year by the Arbitration Committee for extreme disruption, Lightmouse does not enjoy the requisite confidence of the community to be a bot operator. Therefore, I ask that Lightbot be de-flagged. Thank you. Erik9 (talk) 13:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

While there may be some reasonable level of concern here, pre-emptively deflagging will no doubt inflame a highly volatile situation further. I see no evidence that suggests Lightmouse will "engage in further disruption on his way out the door." Moreover, any potentially damaging edits performed can be easily reverted. It may be hard, but I would urge just one ounce more of good faith. The Rambling Man (talk) 15:24, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Do you have reasonable grounds for suspending AGF in this fashion? I see no reason to set his bridges on fire for him, unless you're abolutely determined to drive him away for good. Of course, this should be done and appropriately logged as Arbitration Enforcement if the remedy passes, but that's standard procedure, not rubbing salt into the wounds of an editor who, we might hope, is not yet totally disenchanted with Wikipedia. Happymelon 15:26, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
If, per AGF, we assigned membership in privileged groups such as bot and rollback to anyone who wanted them, there would be little purpose in having the privileges as user rights at all - we could simply confer them by default upon every unblocked editor. Of course, we actually require that users requesting bot, rollback, or other permissions have sufficient histories of constructive contributions to demonstrate the rectitude of their intentions. Thus, bot and rollback requests by completely new users with no evaluable edit histories are routinely denied, lest we accidentally place privileged accounts in the hands of vandals. While Lightmouse is no new editor, based on the pending findings of Arbitration Committee at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Date_delinking/Proposed_decision#Lightmouse, and the one year site ban that the committee will soon impose on him, Lightmouse has behaved in a highly disruptive manner, and is hardly the sort of editor to whom any permissions would be granted. Furthermore, Lightmouse's pending one year ban is far more likely to leave him "totally disenchanted with Wikipedia" than having his bot de-flagged a few days before the ban is imposed possibly could - indeed, the purpose of long term site bans is largely to encouraged the banned editors to leave. I hardly see a potential database lock as something which "can be easily reverted": it's rather likely to leave some new contributors "totally disenchanted with Wikipedia" when they discover that they can't actually edit anything. Erik9 (talk) 03:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think bureaucrats should be in the business of acting on an anticipation of what ArbCom will or won't do. If ArbCom votes to deflag the bot, they will ask the bureaucrats, and then the bureaucrats will do it.--Aervanath (talk) 06:24, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I sincerely doubt you could cause a database lock that easily. Cache invalidations go on the job queue anyway; it's kind of there to prevent that sort of thing from happening. It's nothing like deleting the sandbox.--Dycedarg ж 06:40, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no action that can be taken with a bot account that cannot be as, if not more, easily reverted. Database locks are transient, and a bot is no more able to cause them than any other editor. The absolute worst thing that can be done with a bot account that can't with a normal account is to vandalise user talk pages without triggering the new messages banner; this is no more disruptive than vandalising any other page (indeed significantly less disruptive to the project's goal than vandalising articles), and can be as trivially reverted as any other vandalism. If Lightbot undertakes a vandalism spree, it should be blocked and deflagged; if ArbCom requests it as part of AE, it can be blocked and deflagged. Otherwise there is no reason for such a gross suspension of AGF. Equivalently, should User:Lightmouse himself be pre-emptively blocked because ArbCom is "about" to agree a ban? Happymelon 11:39, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • One of the following remedies looks to be passing: which time a deflagging might be in order. Until then, I agree there seems no need to throw AGF out the window. –xenotalk 12:45, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with The Rambling Man; while my opinion is that Lightmouse has been quite disruptive, he has only had the best of intentions and I don't believe he will be destructive. The target date for this case is 2009-05-31, so there is still a chance that the arbs will reconsider. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:33, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
"Lightmouse has behaved in a highly disruptive manner"—I disagree with this line, and with ArbCom's assumptions and suppositions, turned into "fact", in the case. I agree with TRM—LM is highly unlikely to act against the interests of the project. He is, in fact, extremely busy in RL, and says he has lost interest in WP. I have no reason to disbelieve him. Tony (talk) 10:49, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


There seems to be a little confusion about the username usurpation policy above, could a 'crat explain, please? (I think I have it right, but would like to be sure/have it confirmed). Thanks! ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 15:33, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I explained the situation a bit. EVula // talk // // 16:23, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Cheers! ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 16:24, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

OTRS request

Per otrs:2009052510067517, an account (of which the name is included in the ticket) needs to be anonymized, thanks. BJTalk 02:31, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

 Done -- Avi (talk) 04:33, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. BJTalk 05:18, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Request to desysop

Please desysop my account User:Gwernol. Thanks, Gwernol 04:48, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Bureaucrats can't locally desysop; please see m:SRP. Cheers, –Juliancolton | Talk 04:58, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
(EC) This should go to Steward requests at Meta. I've made a request there for you. bibliomaniac15 04:59, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Done by Nick1915. Thank you for all of your work and best wishes for the future. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:18, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Another great admin gone. If you change your mind, please do come back and ask for your bit to be restored. --Dweller (talk) 08:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Another One Bites The Dust... Sorry to see you go, Gwernol. (X! · talk)  · @622  ·  13:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

WT:RFA#Where was the discussion about RfB's needing 90% to pass?

Just a heads-up on this, even though most people watchlisting here also watchlist there. - Dank (push to talk) 18:08, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Crat task list bot

Is there a reason it has been listing the current RfB as overdue since four days left? -- Avi (talk) 00:00, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Good question. X!, can you help? --Dweller (talk) 22:43, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Requesting some feedback

Since most people watching this page are experienced at evaluating consensus, I'd like some feedback on User:Aervanath/How to evaluate consensus, to see if there is anything I should be tweaking about my discussion-closing methods. Please comment on the talk page. Thanks in advance!--Aervanath (talk) 19:08, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


As Lightmouse is now indefinitely prohibited from using any sort of automation on this Wikipedia per the recent ArbCom decision, please remove the bot flag from Lightbot (BRFA · contribs · actions log · block log · flag log · user rights). At this time, BAG consensus seems to be that a new BRFA will be required (after ArbCom lifts the prohibition, of course) before Lightbot is reflagged. Further discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Bots/Requests for approval#Lightbot. Thanks. Anomie 14:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Bureaucrat chat

An open discussion on User:Majorly/RFA is needed here User:Majorly/RFA/Bureaucrat discussion. Please proceed, single file, and leave all weapons at the door. -- Avi (talk) 18:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Request for outside party to close WP:AN discussion

See Wikipedia:AN#Proposed_standstill_agreement_on_Bilateral_Relations_articles. Thanks, --Aervanath (talk) 13:44, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd review it, but I've closed a couple hundred of those bilateral relations AfDs, so I'm not sure how uninvolved I am... –Juliancolton | Talk 15:25, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I would have no problem with it, but you may be right that others wouldn't see it that way. If you're not going to close it, go ahead and add your $.02; if you've seen that many of these AfDs then you probably have an idea on whether the standstill would or wouldn't work.--Aervanath (talk) 17:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
This is not a crat area, but someone with a crat hat could use their admin hat to close it. Crat areas are RFA/RFB/Bot flags/Renames. RlevseTalk 18:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, crats are usually viewed as particularly skilled in judging consensus (must be all those RFAs), so imho it's probably a good idea to expand crat areas to "judging consensus when requested by multiple people". Might be worth to think about it... Regards SoWhy 18:21, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree their skills may be needed here, but other experienced admins have those too, I'm just saying it's not a crat role per se. RlevseTalk 18:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
But other admins do not have the Crat-Seal-of-Approval™. While I agree that other admins have those skills (those should be crats anyway usually), they have not been "branded" (so to speak) as being particularly efficient at judging consensus. It's not really a great situation but we have to face that many users and admins view crats as "special" and as such, we might need to use this to our advantage. As it's probably impossible to dispel this myth, we might as well standardize this to expand crat areas a bit. Since we elect them based on their skills for judging consensus and handling difficult situations, crats could be "called" to handle situations where consensus is particularly difficult to determine and where many admins are involved and those admins might (and some probably will) think another admin closing the debate (especially against their POV) are making a mistake while they just might accept it if a crat does it. But that probably needs some extensive discussion. Regards SoWhy 18:52, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Rlevse is totally correct that this is an "admin thing" (and frankly an experienced editor thing). I for one am firmly opposed to the concept that bureaucrats are in any way "special", or can offer a "seal of approval" (I realise that part was tongue in cheek, but still), or the community might "accept it" if a 'crat closes a debate. If we want to expand areas where beureaucrat decision is more "valid" or "binding" then great - but they must pass RfB based on such criteria - and we would then need a more fundamental shake up of how we manage the end result of discussions. Any editor is free to determine consensus - some editors (i.e. admins, bureaucrats, developers) have specific tools to carry out possible actions at the end result of a discussion that seeks consensus but that does not mean they are "better" at judging consensus. Pedro :  Chat  20:25, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
While I definitely think that we (the bureaucrats) pass our RfBs based on the fact that the community trusts our abilities to gauge consensus, we're trusted to gauge consensus for RfXs. I don't see expanding our role to be some catch-all "we're the discussion closers" position to be a good thing. EVula // talk // // 21:22, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
While I totally agree with you, Pedro & Rlvese, I think he just means that crats are definitely trusted by the community, or they wouldn't have become crats in the first place. hmwithτ 21:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

(<-)I'll just add my two cents here as well. It is true that 'crats are elected partially on the community's trust of the crats' ability to judge consensus, but, as mentioned above, that is specifically within the context of RfX's. Closing other decisions has always been the purview of the entire admin corps. There may be times where discussions are so contentious that the participants would like someone they all know and trust to render a decision. That may be a 'crat, that may be a sysop, that may even be, by approval, a non-admin. If people feel that 'crats, due to the grueling process of RfB, would be acceptable candidates for "respected admins", that is fine, but that is because of who the 'crat editors are, individually, and nothing to do with the fact that they have a few extra buttons to make sysops, crats, bots, and renames. -- Avi (talk) 21:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I see the request as an informal request for a 'crat to help out on extra difficult closing of community discussions. The main benefit is that 'crats have a good track record in general of making these tough calls. In the past, 'crats have done these closes. So, not breaking new ground. I think it makes much more sense for 'crats to do it than arbs, CU, or OS because these other people may need to be involved in working the situation from another angle later. My 2 cents. FloNight♥♥♥ 23:20, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
So does that disqualify 'crats who also may be CUs or OSs (like myself and EVula) 8-) -- Avi (talk) 23:58, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a nice thought, but on Wikipedia it's highly unusual for users with a great deal of power to ever place any limits on themselves. I would think, however, that this is another reason that it would be useful to keep these roles more separate than they currently are, yes. --JayHenry (talk) 02:50, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
It's up to the people asking. If they trust me, or EVula, or Deskana, then that is fine, and if they prefer other people, that too is fine. -- Avi (talk) 03:36, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Bureaucrats are not the only admins capable of solid consensus reading. Wikipedia:AN#Proposed_standstill_agreement_on_Bilateral_Relations_articles and the like are admin issues and not Bureaucrat issues. The ability to read and understand consensus is one of the things the community looks for during RfAs, so we have plenty of admins capable of judging consensus. WP:AFD is but one of many places to find admins with consensus experience.

Also, it is not a good idea to expand Bureaucrat areas without serious community discussion. Kingturtle (talk) 12:22, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I think he just meant that crats are usually admins/editors who users trust. hmwithτ 13:42, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes. The situations where I've seen it happen in the past, were situations where it was very important for the close to be done by someone who both sides of the discussion would know was impartial. Instead of listing the names of different users that could close the discussion, arguing about them, by asking at the 'crat noticeboard, the situation attracts an user with good skills at reading consensus that most users will find acceptable. I don't see this as expanding the 'crats duties, but rather the Community recognizing the skill and temperament of 'crats and taking advantage of them in other areas of the 'pedia. FloNight♥♥♥ 14:26, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
As long as that differentiation is clear, I do not see a problem with it. -- Avi (talk) 14:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Just a quick note about this, since I missed out on most of the above discussion. I agree that the "official jurisdiction" of bureaucrats is very limited in scope, and I'm not arguing for expanding that. So why post here then? Because, in a contentious issue like that, it's a good idea for an uninvolved, experienced editor/admin to make the determination of consensus and bureaucrats must be experienced admins for their RfB to even get near the passing range. Also, there are other admins and experienced editors who frequent this noticeboard but not WP:AN, and therefore a notice here would also attract one of them. Notice I requested an "outside party" to evaluate consensus, not explicitly a bureaucrat. Hope that clarifies things. Cheers, --Aervanath (talk) 18:01, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Special condition explanations added to Rename section

Please see Wikipedia:Bureaucrats#Special conditions, and comments requested at Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats#Rename special conditions. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 16:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Strange voting on RFA's?

I'm not sure what's going on with User:Mikhailov Kusserow and User:Michel Mapaliey. They appear to be the same user, but they have gone through in quick succession and voted on all the active RFAs using the exact same signature. --Laser brain (talk) 17:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks like sockpuppetry to me. clock In progress -- Avi (talk) 17:55, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Mikhailov Kusserow. –xenotalk 17:55, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
 Confirmed -- Avi (talk) 18:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The puppeteering was so obvious that it might not have been malicious... –xenotalk 18:10, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
The closing admin should decide if warnings or blocks are appropriate. -- Avi (talk) 18:32, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Mikhailov Kusserow is a Metapedian who seems to frequently contravene policy and practice on multiple wikis, despite having good intentions. For instance, he has been warned several times here and on Meta-wiki for administering incorrect vandalism warnings. He needs to be strongly reprimanded, but a block would be the wrong response here, I think. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:19, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Overdue RFA

Resolved: Promoted by Rdsmith. –Juliancolton | Talk 01:16, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, probably obvious, but Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ched Davis is overdue. :) Steve Crossin Talk/Help us mediate! 23:36, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

By a little while, now. Isn't there a template to add to RfA's when they reach the time limit, and it's awaiting crat decision? It should really be added in this type of situation. – (iMatthew • talk) at 00:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Nope...there's one they will put on them when closing an RfA, but the general practice has been to leave them open until a crat shows up... its usually no more than a hour or two... plus, the close time is only a guide.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 00:59, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh, ok. Thanks! – (iMatthew • talk) at 01:02, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Rdsmith4 (talk · contribs) is Doing...Juliancolton | Talk 01:13, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Just as an aside, I'd rather people just leave overdue RfAs alone (versus putting a template on an RfA); keep in mind that the "scheduled to end" time is the earliest that an RfA will be closed, not the exact moment that it will happen. EVula // talk // // 04:42, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree. It's hardly imperative that RfA's are closed with anal punctuality, and templating them is extraneous. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 04:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for my overly-enthusiastic friend. Hopefully nobody will look too unkindly on this minor indiscretion. — Ched :  ?  04:56, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't even say that it is the earliest an RfA can be closed... mine was closed 4 hours early and I've seen quite a few closed a few hours early (usually when the consensus is clear and there is another RfA closing at the same time.) The time stamp is merely a guide... give or take a few.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 07:21, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Very well said. Mine was closed 8 hours early iirc. Regards SoWhy 08:14, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Mine was closed a minute early. :) –Juliancolton | Talk 15:51, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
That's entirely unacceptable, I think we need to have somebody go back and validate your RfA to ensure that proper procedures were followed!---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 16:03, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, to be clear, early closure is technically not permitted -- of course the three decisions just mentioned are no less valid than any others, but we should really try to avoid early closure in future. (I suspect those were just clock-reading errors or some such.) Late closures, on the other hand, are not really a problem. — Dan | talk 18:06, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, one of your former brethren felt otherwise as it happens [26]. Pedro :  Chat  22:00, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I think there's a general consensus that if there is not reasonable doubt an RfA may change direction, it may be closed a maximum of perhaps four hours early. This has happened before without problem. It's certainly not worth arguing about if the candidate in question has (or had, as it were) 95% or 50% support or some such clear-cut level of support. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 01:37, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
    Careful with qualifying the word consensus - I'm not sure I like the term "general consensus". Surely there's either a consensus or there isn't.
    It seems to me these early closes are more of a result of several bureaucrats wanting to close RfAs and too few available to be closed, rather than a real belief that early closes are a good idea. The issue never seemed to arise when there were on average 30+ successful RfAs a month... WJBscribe (talk) 10:53, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I suppose consensus is by definition "general agreement", so it's something of a "double positive" to say "general consensus". Either way. I never meant to speculate on why RfA's might be closed a few hours early; I only meant to state that it's often not really a problem or worth arguing about if it happens, especially in clear circumstances. Of course, executing things on schedule is always best practice and early closures made without good reason should be eschewed. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 02:42, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to reiterate: We Bureaucrats are always aware of what needs to be closed or executed. We usually get the tasks done shortly. Sometimes there may be a delay of a few hours, but that's okay. Have patience.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Kingturtle (talkcontribs) 11:46, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I knew I had the answer to Q22 right. ;) — Ched :  ?  05:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Stats request

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#Stats request re: composition of RfA voters by user access level.
There's some 'finger in the wind' results, if 'crats are interested. --Joopercoopers (talk) 15:43, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Mailing list

Something that's probably better discussed here than on the list is whether or not all Bureaucrats should be required to subscribe to it. Currently the list contains 12 or fewer bureaucrats. Any thoughts from the bureaucrats not on it? Angela. 01:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

As one on it, I think it imperative that there exist a communication channel that can reach all the crats at times where the information is inappropriate for on-wiki (anonymization renames issues, for example). -- Avi (talk) 03:48, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
From the discussion that's occurred off-wiki, I concur. bibliomaniac15 04:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I think that it's also important for the sake of both transparency and "customer service" that we fix onwiki some guidelines for what the mailing is and is not for. I'm going to start drafting it at WP:Bureaucrats mailing list. Crats, feel free to chip in. --Dweller (talk) 10:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I have subscribed although I note that private mailing lists have a poor track record at Wikipedia. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 12:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It is meant less for discussion and more for notification. As was reiterated recently on the list, discussions of the closure of RfX's, in general, should only be performed on wiki. -- Avi (talk) 14:39, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Here are some examples of items that should be discussed/disseminated on a list, as opposed to on the noticeboard or subpages:
  1. CU/functionaries telling us about a CU run on a candidate for RfX showing sockpuppetry.
  2. Arbcom asking us to put a RfX on hold when the time is up.
  3. Anonymizing rename issues where on-wiki discussions would defeat the purpose.
  4. Similar to the above, issues that come into OTRS that need to be handled discreetly that include renames.
  5. Requests by individual 'crats to be the ones to close specific RfX's
-- Avi (talk) 15:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure any of those require messages to be sent to an off-wiki list.
  1. Why deal with this secretly - the people who should know about sockpuppetry by an RfA candidate are the participants in the RfA. If it is the participants who are socking, the checkuser should strike the duplicates.
  2. This request can be made on this noticeboard.
  3. I really think people should email individual bureaucrats with these requests. The more people get an email, the less secrecy results. As renames are logged actions, secrecy is hard to achieve in any event. I dealt with a lot of these requests over many hundreds of renames and never thought a secret list would help.
  4. As 3 (and I can't think of anything other than renames that would legitimately come through OTRS.
  5. I really hope these aren't happening. Crats not should be lining themselves up to close particular RfAs as this will suggest that they are not impartial - otherwise why want to close a particular RfA? Some of the most controversial closes were ones where it was suspected that the closing crat favoured (or had a grudge against) the candidate. Imagine how much fuel such allegations would gain if a bureaucrat requested to close it. If these requests were legitimate, why make them offwiki rather than in public? I think we all know that not all crats would necessarily close an RfA in the same way and I think it important that the closer be the next crat who comes along and someone who has specifically requested to close it.
WJBscribe (talk) 19:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I dislike both the idea of a private list with other than minimal traffic, and the idea of a big set of guidelines for use of the list. So let's keep traffic to a minimum by having exactly one guideline: deal with it on the wiki if at all possible. And we can continue to accept notifications and whatnot from non-crats, which was in fact meant to be the only purpose of the list in the first place. Fair? — Dan | talk 16:53, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

None of the above cases can be dealt with on wiki; that is the point. I am very happy if the crat list is quiet months at a time; but it needs to be there when necessary AND all crats need to subscribe. -- Avi (talk) 17:50, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed; I'm not looking at the importance of the mailing list being that we're having lots of off-wiki discussions, but so that if we need to give a heads up notice to all the bureaucrats, we can. ("better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it" is an applicable phrase) EVula // talk // // 20:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
"None of the above cases can be dealt with on wiki" - I'm sorry but that just isn't true. Most of those should either be happening on wiki or not happening at all. WJBscribe (talk) 20:48, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
We already have had a case where a rename request came in through OTRS, and it was supposed, and WAS, handled through "HideUser", but a different OTRS volunteer unknowingly Posted a rename request and a 'crat put it through requiring us to go through and suppress the logs and revisions. Another case we had was where a 'crat asked for special consideration to be able to close a particular RfX for very good reasons, but another 'crat not on the list closed it. So, we already HAVE had cases where just the ability to INFORM crats of issues would have been helpful. -- Avi (talk) 21:01, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
If the steward list is anything to go by, people will still do things that it is requested on the list not to do because they don't read the mailing list first. Surely the best thing is not educate OTRS users to go down the "HideUser" route in those cases, which doesn't need a crat at all. I'm not convinced that there are very good reasons why a particular crat should close an RfA, but am willing to be persuaded if you want to elaborate. WJBscribe (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
WJB, actually, HideUser is the preferred method when there are no GFDL-worthy edits. When there are such edits, then the Rename needs to be used. While having the final process on-wiki is appropriate, the actual discussion that was had when this person's real name was now plastered all over the logs needs a communication channel that is not open. We know for a fact that Grawp has been monitoring WP:CHU and WP:CHUU, and when it comes to people's real names, ALL efforts need to be taken to protect people's privacy. -- Avi (talk) 21:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

As I have always argued against establishing such a list, it will not surprise anyone to know that I think compulsory membership for all bureaucrats is a bad idea. I am disappointed that this list has come into being to be honest. Perhaps the list has all sorts of useful applications that haven't occured to me, but the examples given above make me suspect otherwise. Bureaucrats were the one user group that carried out it's business in public - bureaucrat chats etc. - I think it's sad that this has been lost since December. WJBscribe (talk) 19:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

The original and primary reason given for creating this mailing list was timeliness and availability - I don't recall the specific circumstances, but there was talk of a delay and the need to contact a bureaucrat when none were available on IRC or responding on-wiki. If its now intended to be used to request things like specific closure rights and RfX holds per ArbCom, I think the usefulness of the list might do with some re-evaluation. For the purposes of effectively contacting a list of bureaucrats at once, you don't need to make it mandatory for 'crats to sign up. Nathan T 20:19, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

See here. Nathan T 20:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It is not to be used for specific closure discussions; that is absolutely clear. However, there are times where ArbCom or checkusers may need to let the 'crats know that an RfX needs to be held pending an investigation. Should that be public, especially if the result may be innocence? What about informing 'crats of OTRS requests for renames, which should not be publicly posted? There needs to be a way to inform 'crats about issues that should not be on-wiki. However, actual discussions about promotion or non-promotion would be forbidden on the list, and I do not know of a single bureaucrat who would disagree with that. -- Avi (talk) 20:25, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
How is it better for a bureaucrat to put the RfX on hold without explanation? As I'm not on the list (and wouldn't have been had I remained a crat), I can't comment on what it is used for, but I think its existence undermines a lot of the openess that not having a crat mailing list or IRC channel used to achieve. WJBscribe (talk) 20:48, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
The explanation would be "per ArbCom", but ArbCom may want to give a bit more explanation to the 'crats than they would post publicly. This has not happened, it is a theoretical. See above for two actual cases that have already happened. -- Avi (talk)
But don't you see that the fact ArbCom want to give bureaucrats (but only bureaucrats) more info is problematic in of itself. Why should bureaucrats be in the privilege position of getting information from ArbCom when this is denied to the rest of the community. I worry that you're already thinking in a way that results in unnecessary secrecy. WJBscribe (talk) 21:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Per Arbcom indeed. What's your recall criteria Avi? I'm regretting supporting the closed cabal you represent to be honest. WJB is right. You're not. How about you resign and WJB picks the tools back up, as clearly he's considerably better at the 'crat thing than you? Pedro :  Chat  21:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh dear, much as I don't want to take for granted the fact that you just agreed with me for a change, have you lost the ability to disagree with people without demanding that they fall on their swords? WJBscribe (talk) 21:20, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I strongly agree with you Will, and am exceptionally concerned by this intimation of RFx closes by request and hiding of what should not be hidden. Yes, some things need to be kept of wiki. But not much. Avi is very competent and that is why it pain me to see him go down this secrecy route. Pedro :  Chat  21:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I think Will should be dragged back kicking and screaming, but that's just me. -- Avi (talk) 21:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

(<-)Pedro, I have never created recall criteria, and was very clear about that at RfB2. I respectfully submit you are speaking out of a combination of a lacking the specific information about what prompted this mailing list issue and fear based on other peoples misconduct. Please review every one of my actions on wiki and let me know where, in the past 31K+ edits I exhibit cabalness. Outside of protecting personal information that I become in possession of due to OTRS or CU, I cannot think of anything. Can you? if you have specific issues, my e-mail box is always open. -- Avi (talk) 21:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I respectfully submit you believe there are more situations regarding wikipedia and its editors that should be kept hidden than I believe there are. Thus - I believe your opinion is wrong. It is equally likely my opinion is wrong. What concerns me is I am not the one with the tools to put opinion to action. Your are. Pedro :  Chat  21:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Understood, Pedro, and I respect that. It may be that I deal with more private information than the standard wikipedian, and so I tend to have protective instincts, having seen the results of what happens when such information is leaked. I am also perfectly willing to admit that I can be too overprotective, which is why these conversations are critical Face-smile.svg. Let me start over. I see the possibility that 'crats may need to be informed about personal information, even though rare, and I think having a way to do that without posting it on a notice board is helpful. Direct e-mails from editor to individual 'crat and from OS to individual 'crat are, of course, an alternative, but they are an inefficient one. The question is, is that inefficiency worth it? Would having the 'crat list open to functionaries or the AUSC be sufficient insurance that there is no cabal? What do you suggest, Pedro? -- Avi (talk) 21:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

That everything is open, and people not sign up with their real names? Pedro :  Chat  21:55, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
That was a decision made by Jimbo et al years ago. For better or for worse, this is what we have here in wikipedia, and we have to live within it. -- Avi (talk) 22:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
We should consider both what this list is intended to be, and also what it is likely to become despite best intentions. If its intended to track down active bureaucrats, then little other business needs to be transacted on list (Editor A e-mails the list asking for a crat, active crat B replies, and an AB correspondence follows). That would be ideal, in my mind - bureaucrats don't handle sensitive information so much that principles other than transparency should dominate, and if traffic is strictly limited then it is less likely that its use will someday become objectionable. If the purposes of the list are loosely stated, in practice just about any use will go. I'd rather not hear about shenanigans after the fact, followed by list dissolution or a solemn pledge from future bureaucrats that they will more closely monitor eachother. Nathan T 21:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Better still that we also consider how the list will be perceived. Speaking as a veteran of several sooper-seekritprivate Wikipedia/WMF lists, the public perception is that the arbcom foundation otrs civility list is the new power center where backroom deals are made (lulz). There's no way to counter such accusations once they're made. I've subscribed, because I'm trying to go along with the plan, but I think we should recognize the dangers. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 22:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Responded at Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrat mailing list#Instinctual responses. -- Avi (talk) 22:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Why split the conversation? Why is there even a separate page for that? Add me to the ranks of those not excited about the existence of the list. I'm with Will that there is virtually nothing that can be gained from it's existence that is worth the downsides. At the minimum it should only be used for things that are of extreme privacy level issues that cannot be discussed on Wiki. I'm not swayed at all that there is ever a reason a single person needs to close a certain RfX, and I was a little dissappointed at the request. If the list use is minimized to privacy related issues and speed of contacting bureaucrats then perhaps it won't be so bad. - Taxman Talk 20:18, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

You've got to be jesting - a total disgrace

  • So according to Taxman [27] there was a request by a bureaucrat to close a specific RFx? Would anyone care to identify that bureaucrat - or indeed will they themsleves come forward - or are us lesser mortals not entitled to know which 'crat requested that they close a specific RFx? This is deeply disturbing. Let's be blunt people. Given Taxman's statement above there are a few options;
  1. There was never a request by a 'crat to close a specific RFx and I am reading it very wrong.
  2. An as yet unspecified 'crat asked to close a specific RFx and no other 'crat (on the list) felt it important enought to notify the community of this.
  3. An as yet unspecified 'crat asked to close a specific RFx and all 'crats (on the list) felt that this was acceptable so didn't bother notifying the community.
He seems to be speaking hypothetically. Maybe ask for clarification. Not being on the crat mail list, I know nothing of what goes on it. I have to agree, there's very little, if anything, that a crat does that can't be done on wiki--it's a far different world from arbcom-land. RlevseTalk 22:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
"I'm not swayed at all that there is ever a reason a single person needs to close a certain RfX, and I was a little dissappointed at the request" (bold mine) looks distinclty like a matter of fact and not a hypothetical situation. See point 1, above however. Pedro :  Chat  22:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Avi wrote above: "Another case we had was where a 'crat asked for special consideration to be able to close a particular RfX for very good reasons, but another 'crat not on the list closed it." Not a hypothetical, then. Nathan T 01:10, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I note with interest that, with the exception of a private email from one 'crat (that contained no information in relation to the above - although I thank s/he for the email), nothing whasoever has been done here. My assumption is the community does not care that bureaucrats ask to close specifc RFx's through a private medium. That does not seem wise for reasons outline by WJB above; However if the community is happy to operate in this way that is not for me to judge. Pedro :  Chat  23:34, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Some elements of the comunity may have no expectation that all those in positons of authority are under any obligation to act honestly and openly, and so find further comment to be futile. Just a thought. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:05, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
When I pushed for the creation of this list, I assumed it would be used for true emergencies and actual privacy renames. If the current uses had been put forward at the time, I would have been considerably less motivated to champion it. MBisanz talk 00:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I asked on the mailing list to close Enigmaman's RFA. Given that the last one turned into a mess, which was started with me handling the way I mentioned inappropriate logged out edits very badly, I wanted to close the RFA to show that it wasn't just some strange vendetta that I had against Enigmaman. I wrote it on the bureaucrats list because I thought nobody else would really care. I wasn't trying to keep it a secret or anything, as evidenced by the fact I just revealed it here. It wasn't a "I need to close this" or anything. UninvitedCompany never saw the e-mail due to not being on the list, and ended up closing the RFA instead. I wasn't too bothered about that. Is this really a big deal? --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 00:48, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Incidentally, there was a discussion that was taking place on that list where I encouraged the participants to discuss it in public instead. If I'd known people would care that I posted my request on the mailing list instead of here, I would have put it here. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 00:51, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
"If I'd known I'd be found out I'd never have have done it" is hardly a very convincing defence. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:56, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
"If I'd known people would care if they found out...", which is what he said, is convincing, to me at least. J.delanoygabsadds 01:28, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
"be found out"? Oh yes, my secret secret message is public, I'm ruined. Oh wait, I'm not, because the message wasn't a secret message, it was just posted on a secret mailing list when it could've been posted publically. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 01:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I think it is a big deal yes, and I find it very surprising that you don't. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:53, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
People discuss a potential promotion on the list, and a note that not even a secret is a big deal? I like the logic. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 01:15, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
But then logic doesn't appear to be one of your strengths. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:23, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Oooh, ad hominem. Nice. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 01:24, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Merely an observation based on the evident facts. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:40, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I can post the full text of my e-mail, if people like. It's not very long, and there's nothing particularly interesting in it. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 06:31, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I can't really think of a reason why asking to be allowed to close a particular RFA would be a problem when the declared purpose is not to engineer a particular outcome (which would clearly be inappropriate), but simply to make a show of good will -- a symbolic apology for an acknowledged past error, perhaps. Of course, as Deskana has been saying, such a request does not depend for its effectiveness on its being made privately, and the choice to use the list was just a matter of convenience. Presumably an equivalent effect would be acheived by saying to Enigmaman, "Congratulations on your promotion; I would have been honored to close your RFA if I'd got to it at the right moment; best of luck in your future editing" or some such. Clearly there has been no dishonesty in this quite inadvertent lack of openness, and I reject the implication in some of the cynical remarks above that everybody in a position of authority on Wikipedia is a morally bankrupt power-seeker.

However, what we have accomplished in this discussion, it seems to me, is a clarification of the purpose of the bureaucrats' list: (1) notifying the bureaucrats of an emergency in progress, and (2) discussing a narrow range of private issues such as RTV requests. Everything else belongs on the wiki. This has now been codified (in the expectably over-specific way, since we seem unable to avoid a certain pseudo-legalism in all our official prose) at Wikipedia:Bureaucrat mailing list, and I for one will keep a sharp eye on the list traffic to ensure that as much discussion as possible is done on the wiki. But I suspect this will be an easy job, since, as I've been pointing out the last few days, the bureaucrats as a group have never been given to undue secrecy.

By way of postscript, the hard work of Wikipedia discussion gets done much more smoothly when snarky accusation and ad hominem is kept to a minimum. Someone has stuck a template with links to various discussion guidelines at the top of a lot of talk pages. Let me offer a gentle pointer in the direction of those links, especially Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:No personal attacks -- far more often accusatorily quoted than actually read, I suspect. — Dan | talk 07:05, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that what we can learn from this is while there did not seem to any of the bureaucrats to be a problem with the e-mail, we should remember that there are many people with innate distrust of wikipedia functioning and we need to bend over backwards to ensure that no one worries that we are engaged in anything untoward. -- Avi (talk) 03:30, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't see a problem. If Deskana's motives were insidious and a detriment to the judgement of consensus, perhaps there'd be something to be concerned about. As revealed by the text of the e-mail, this was not the situation, and his closing the request was intended merely as an expression of good will. That's something that should be encouraged, not shunned, in an atmosphere that is so often heated and awkward. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 03:41, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
AD you are so off the scale wrong I'm suprised. Your argument is "because the off wiki communication was nice there isn't a problem" - or to put it another way "he meant well so it must be okay". Plain Wrong. The problem was the off wiki communication in the first bloody place. The fact that the request was to do something "honourable" is utterly academic - your failure to see it very regretful. Deskana should have posted at BN his intent to close a clearly passing RFA. Simple. He screwed up once, and now he's screwed up again trying to fix the first screw frankly. There was no reason for that request to be private - note MBisanz's comments above as well. Deskana would to well to formally apologise in whatever way he feels honourable and in the best interests of Wikipedia as opposed to himself and/or his conscience. Pedro :  Chat  18:51, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
This is making a mountain out of a molehill. This wasn't some evil plan to hijack someone's RFA by getting a biased bureaucrat to close it in their favour - it was simply Deskana wishing to close the RFA as a sign of goodwill, in respect to the disaster that was the last RFA. I honestly do not see what the massive to-do is. I really don't think people should be getting upset about who closes what RFA - as long as it's done right, and respecting consensus, I couldn't care less if a bot was doing the job. It really, really does not mattter in the long run. There will be no need for any apologies at all, and I expect Deskana has no intention to use the list again. Don't get me wrong, I think the list as it stands is a poor idea, but this fuss being made over a single promotion that wasn't even problematic, close or even performed by Deskana in the end, is ridiculous. Majorly talk 19:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
What, exactly, does Deskana need to apologize for? For wanting to eliminate any lingering negative feelings on Engimaman's part? Like Majorly, I'm kinda perplexed as to what the problem is... or rather, I disagree with the sentiment; off-wiki communication is not intrinsically a bad thing (it's what is being communicated that is "good" or "bad"), which is (as far as I can tell) the crux of the entire matter here. EVula // talk // // 19:11, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
The apology would presumably be for using an inappropriate medium to make what was arguably an inappropriate request. I do think reassurance that requests for specific crats to close specific RfAs will never again be made on the list would be appropriate. WJBscribe (talk) 19:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
As an actor I'm suprised you can't comprehend that the way we communicate is often far more important than what we communicate. Pedro :  Chat  19:19, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Majorly, It's not that RFA promotion, that's not the point. The simple fact is Deskana specifically asked to close a specific RFA via a secret closed mailing list. No one doubts he did it with good intentions. No-one doubts he was trying to fix a screw up and make ammends. No-one doubts that the closure was not anything buy clear. But the whole fundamental idea is against everything that consensus driven community discussion is about. This was no foundation level issue. There was no need to make that request on the mailing list that only a dozen or so editors could see and Deskana acted poorly and with impared judgement in doing so This was no ultra sensistve RL issue rename for goodness sake. How about we set up a mailing list for Rollback? AFD closures? UAA reports? All kept to admins only - seem like a good plan? Better yet, let's stuff RFA onto an admin only IRC channel. Slippery slope I feel, and Deskana prooved that it's not paranoia - it's reality. And yes; Deskana should apologise to the community for his poor judgement and abuse of our faith in the mailing list. Pedro :  Chat  19:15, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
With respect, I don't think anybody's faith has been shaken in this instance but yours. Several of us have patiently pointed out that Deskana chose to use the list simply as a convenient way of getting in touch with a lot of bureaucrats at once, and not because it is a private list. We have established that this decision was, regardless of good intentions, a mistake -- happily, one with no adverse consequences at all because of the benign nature of the communication itself -- and we have resolved to be more careful about the list's traffic in future. As it happens, almost all policy-making on Wikipedia occurs in the course of learning from mistakes, so if anything this has been a helpful incident, since it has allowed us to make absolutely clear what is appropriate for the list and what is not (as I pointed out in my last comment). In any case, now the issue is thoroughly resolved -- we have identified the problem and formulated some guidelines that should prevent its occurring again; as there are no victims I see no need for any apologies -- so I think we can stop panicking about it. — Dan | talk 20:30, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the fact that anyone had "resolved to be more careful" was particularly clearly communicated (at least not on wiki). I think, as is often the case, there was little too much emphasis on defending the action and too little on discussing whether it was appropriate or should be repeated... WJBscribe (talk) 19:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I hardly think "panic" is a good word but there we go. I have marked resolved. Please feel free to edit the resolved text if you do not feel it refelects the discussion.Pedro :  Chat  20:49, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Furher, I note you yourself seem to think Deskana's actions were a "mistake". Common courtesy normally demands an apology for a mistake. Not in your world I see. How sad. Pedro :  Chat  20:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Pedro, if I may, let's take a step back here for a moment; I think you are right in your concerns, but that they should all have been addressed at this point. Deskana wrote: "If I'd known people would care that I posted my request on the mailing list instead of here, I would have put it here." What more is necessary? Perhaps he should have posted in on WP:Bn to begin with, and it didn't occur to him. In the future, he, and every other one of us, will have it front and center to post non-privacy related issues here due to the general concerns about cabalism. You do agree that the actual communication was innocuous; it is the fact that such a communication channel exists that bothers you, and while you should understand that there are rare times when it is needed, we need to understand that there are people, such as you, who will be much more at ease if we take the extra steps to ensure that anything that can legally and morally be out in the open, is. I think trying to drag another mea culpa out of Deskana is counterproductive. First, because there exists a valid point of view, that you may not agree with, that he did not do anything wrong, and forcing someone to apologize for something that they feel was not an error only serves to exacerbate bad feelings. Secondly, even if your point of view is correct, is the purpose of this discussion to make Deskana feel bad, or to ensure all of us are aware of the sensitivities of a large part of the community, and to be sure to keep that in mind? If the latter, Deskana's quote from above is clear evidence that he is aware of this, and we all are too by virtue of this conversation here. -- Avi (talk) 01:48, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Deskana did not act poorly or with impaired judgment. I find it absurd to describe his actions with such verbiage. He had good intentions. This was not in any way abuse of the mailing list. Kingturtle (talk) 03:34, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
With respect Kingturtle, I don't think good intentions mean good judgment. I think people are entitled to expect more than their concerns being dismissed so out of hand. Unnecessary communication on private lists causes controversy, which is why people need to be especially careful how they use such lists. Everyone agreeing that coordinating off-wiki which crats close which idea is a bad idea would probably be the most productive way to move forward from here, rather than questioning whether concerns honestly held are meritorious. WJBscribe (talk) 20:04, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I am not saying that he did, KT. My point is that even according to Pedro, who is on record that he (Pedro) believes that Deskana should have posted that on BN, there is no point in dragging this out further. -- Avi (talk) 05:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I've already promised that I'll specifically look at whether any e-mails I send to the list can be posted publically instead. If I've not promised that already, then I've just promised it now. I also agree I did not act poorly or with impaired judgement. I'm sorry if I've offended you, angered you, or upset you Pedro. I really am. But I can't say I'm sorry that I rather innocently posted something on an e-mail list out of convenience. It's not going to happen again, anyway. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 15:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Text of the e-mail

Subject: "Enigmaman's RFA", sent 12th June 2009

To anyone who is thinking of closing this RFA...

Please let me close it. As I'm sure you're aware, there was a situation with his last one where I found out he was making inappropriate edits while logged out, which I handled particularly badly. I would like to be the one to close this RFA, since it seems that, at this stage, it is going to pass.


That's it. Other bureaucrats can verify the above is the entirety of the message, if necessary. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 08:53, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Confirmed that the above is the entirety of the message. -- Avi (talk) 03:29, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Not needed, but I can also confirm that the entire email. EVula // talk // // 19:13, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
NOT - THE - POINT. Complex stuff, clearly. Pedro :  Chat  19:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Privacy vs. openness

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrat mailing list#Privacy vs. openness -- Avi (talk) 22:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Just a mo

Chaps, the Crat mailing list is very "young". Until recently, it's been low on membership and very very low on traffic.

The way forward to ensure people are as happy as can be, and, importantly, that we ensure that we know we're behaving appropriately no matter what others might think, is for us to hammer out onwiki what the list is for, which we've not done yet.

We can and should do that at a subpage. I created one earlier today - let's use it? Please contribute at WP:Bureaucrat mailing list and its talk page. Thanks. --Dweller (talk) 22:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, since we're already discussing it here and this is where the crats are at... ;) Rdsmith4 had it right, above - easiest way to keep the list traffic to a minimum and reduce the chances of any problems is to make the guideline for its use extremely simple. My suggestion is use it only to find available bureaucrats at need when a ping on BN is not ideal. Nathan T 22:30, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Then say so at WP:Bureaucrat mailing list :-P -- Avi (talk) 22:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Frankly there just isn't anything for crats to discuss on a mailing list. I don't care if there is one, but even if one does exist, it won't be used for anything. Prodego talk 22:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

When did the arbs ever ask a crat to put RFX on hold? I'm a crat and arb and have never heard of that. On another note, I can barely keep up with cu-l, arb-l, clerk-l, and funcs-l. ;-) RlevseTalk 01:12, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

They never have. I was thinking of potential issues; hopefully they will never occur. Avi (talk) 01:56, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I think I've only seen a handful of RFA's placed on hold... one was handled poorly by the crat and created more issues than it should have and the other was as the result of the person unexpectedly being unavailable to respond to his/her RfA. besides those two cases, I can't think of an RfA that was put on hold, except for when a crat is closing the RfA and wants to read through it first.---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 16:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm in the same boat as Rlevse of being on so many mailing lists that it becomes effectively impossible to keep up with any of them. If there's a consensus that bureaucrats should be on the mailing list, I'll do it, but don't expect me to do much more than glance at subject lines. Raul654 (talk) 22:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Somehow I doubt most users have great sympathy for those on so many mailing lists that they can't keep track of them all. If someone has so many functions/rights that they cannot keep on top of all of them, it does suggest that they need to focus their time on fewer responsibilities. I don't think people trying to juggle too many balls is great for the wiki and, on reflection, I rather overstretched myself when I was active... WJBscribe (talk) 22:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

To be fair, the Functionaries list comes with getting CU or OS (which both have their own lists), and is very active. I'll agree with the sentiment, however; too many mailing lists is a sign that perhaps you're stretching yourself too thin (something I'll fully admit I've considered for myself). EVula // talk // // 19:21, 18 June 2009 (UTC)