Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard/Archive 16

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Archive 15 Archive 16 Archive 17

Home wiki designated, but no SUL

Resolved: AD has handled it

I'm unsure how to handle this request. The home wiki is designated as pl:, there are accounts all over the place, but no SUL. The requester claims to hold the polish version (verification not yet sought or provided). I'm inclined to ask for verification and agree to the name change, but wanted to check with y'all in case I'm overlooking something. --Dweller (talk) 09:48, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

They now created a SUL account with the en-wiki merged to the pl-wiki one. Unless they have previously created the Miky-account here, I do not see how this is possible. I have taken the liberty of asking them about this situation at the request. Regards SoWhy 09:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec) looks like this was already done by AD [1] --Chris 09:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, thanks folks. --Dweller (talk) 10:07, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Crat feelings

Hey there.

How do you (collectively) feel about this discussion where the idea of an RfA with an explicit request to the 'crats to have "wider latitude" and the possibility of declaring a marginal success is discussed? Would the 'crats be willing to indulge at all? Do you see problems with the format, or the forum? Would you rather we found some other solution? Do you have some other solution? Would you like fries with that?

Thoughts? — Coren (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I certainly agree that, in general, any time someone who has been an active admin for a period of time loses adminship and then reapplies, the RFA is unsuccessful in part because people affected by the admin's blocks, deletions, page protections, and so on come out of the woodwork to issue oppose votes. On the other hand, the performance record of admins who have completed a successful RFA after losing adminship as the result of policy violations is considerably worse than average, though the sample size is small. Still, I would agree in general that a degree of discretion in discounting clearly retaliatory votes might be appropriate.
There has been a tradition of separation of powers between the Arbitration Committee and the, er, bureaucracy. I think that has been a good thing.
The Uninvited Co., Inc. 20:19, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Just to make sure I understand what you meant about separation: did you mean that encouragement from ArbCom to use more discretion in specific RfAs would be an unwelcome intrusion, or that this particular suggestion properly maintains that separation? — Coren (talk) 22:17, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Two thoughts:

  1. If such latitude is ever granted to bureaucrats, please do not extend it toward me. At present I have no plans to run for RFA again, yet in principle this is a troublesome concept.
  2. Having conominated Everyking for one of his RfAs, it would be an honor to have the opportunity to nominate him again.

Respectfully submitted, DurovaCharge! 03:46, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I presume this refers to this discussion. --Dweller (talk) 10:09, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I think anyone considering this would be wise to have a look at Carnildo's third RfA and particularly the threads on the talkpage that followed this one. Whilst letting people know in advance that bureaucrats will have "wide latitude" might overcome some of the issues with the Carnildo close, I think many of the comnments made then remain relevant. Given Everyking's comments on that RfA close: [2], [3], it would surprise me if this sort of an arrangement were acceptable to him. It seems to me that one of the deciding factors in RfAs for Everyking was the fact that ArbCom made it pretty clear that they opposed his candidature. If that is no longer the case, a statement to that effect may go a long way.... WJBscribe (talk) 21:54, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
WJB, there were 4 current arbs (me, Wizardman, CHL and John Vandenberg) supporting in the last RFA, and one opposing, I would have thought that sent a message. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:27, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
In discussions outside of the Committee pages, we do not represent the Committee with our votes. We vote as individuals. If the Committee is going to give a formal statement about an users we will make it clear by announcing it as such. Let's not confuse the two, please. FloNight♥♥♥ 00:49, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Some former Arbs like Neutrality supported as well, for what it's worth. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:43, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Bot to mark completed CHU requests


I've noticed a few times we sometimes don't mark completed CHU requests as "done" before the next Crat takes on the case.

Sometimes, this is due to e/c and sometimes it's just because someone forgot (I've done it myself in the past).

This causes confusion, as the next Crat that comes along thinks the account requested exists (because it does - now).

The people at the very busy AIV board tackled this a long time ago by asking a Bot to scrape the block log and remove reports of blocked usernames and IPs, with a helpful explanatory edit summary. This makes me hopeful that a similar Bot could scrape the user rename log and mark "done by [name of Crat]" against any requests open at CHU that tally with the log.

It won't really help the edit conflicts, but it will help the forgetfuls. And it'll nicely remove the 2 second job of marking "done" from our groaning, excessive Crat workload (I jest, but every little helps).

Thoughts? --Dweller (talk) 10:45, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I've added this functionality to Chris G Bot 3 [4]. --Chris 13:22, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Gosh! Wasn't expecting that! Thanks. How often will it run, Chris? I did a namechange at 14:30 UTC and deliberately didn't amend CHU as a test. --Dweller (talk) 13:50, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Spotted at 15:00. So, is it every 30 mins - or on the hour perhaps? --Dweller (talk) 14:25, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
On the hour. I can make it run most often if you like. --Chris 08:03, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I tagged my WP:CHUU work last night, but later an anon user removed my done and notdone tags. So when Dweller came upon the requests, he was confused to find them done but not tagged as such. Is there a way to get the bot to revert IP edits that remove done and not done tags? Kingturtle (talk) 19:37, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:AF would be the most efficient way to track such things. MBisanz talk 19:42, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Rogue bot, known bot, or human?

Resolved: No rouge bot, unfortunately. –Juliancolton | Talk 05:18, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

User: has suddenly today been making bot-style edits to WP:CHUU. I reverted the first round of such edits, then warned the user. After it happened a second time though, I blocked the user for 48 hours - at least until we can figure out what is happening.

Is this a rogue bot? a known bot? or a human? Kingturtle (talk) 00:09, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The two users, X! and Chris G, whose bots help run CHU, do not live anywhere near where that IP geolocates to (Illinois). NW (Talk) 00:12, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
That's User:ClueBot VI. That IP is, the proxy uses to exit from the ACM subnet, where ClueBot VI runs. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 00:27, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Restarted bot so it is logged in. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 00:29, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I have unblocked the IP; the block seems no longer necessary given Cobi's restart. Useight (talk) 05:02, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

A friendly nudge

Resolved: Done by Rlevse (talk · contribs · rights · renames)

Just a friendly reminder that Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Cool3 4 was supposed to close about two hours ago, if someone has a minute to mosey on over to RfA and close it. Thanks. Cool3 (talk) 17:33, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Now that you seem to have passed RFA, one advice: Patience. You will need it as an admin ;-) SoWhy 20:23, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Point taken :). Cool3 (talk) 20:35, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
All Wikipedia editors, including the bureaucrats, are volunteers. Usually this means we have additional obligations beyond the wiki. Often this results in a slight delay in the closing of an RFA. However, we have never yet forgotten anybody, and we are not about to start. It is therefore unnecessary to remind us, whether in "friendly" or nagging fashion, that an RFA is overdue. Thanks for your understanding. — Dan | talk 22:46, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Crat hats

I was thinking about the German Wikipedia's rule limiting the number of hats a person can wear, specifically that a person can only hold one of the positions of arb, crat, checkuser, or oversight, and while En.Wiki is not De.Wiki and we do have many capable crats who wear more than one hat, I was thinking it might be nice to determine when and where multiple hats are a good, bad, or neutral thing. See the chart I thought up below. MBisanz talk 00:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Hats Good Maybe? Bad Notes Past and present occurrences
Admin May block and rename VOA outing accounts Should not de-bot accounts of users they blocked; should not close RFAs of users they blocked All
Arbitrator May do privacy renames submitted to Arb-l Can re-admins/re-bot per automatic findings Should not de-bot per findings; should not rename per findings Rlevse, Jwrosenzweig, Deskana, Raul654, UninvitedCompany
Checkuser May rename outing accounts discovered during CUs Should not de-bot per CU findings, should not close RFA if involved CU Avraham, Rlevse, Brion VIBBER, Tim Starling, Raul654, Essjay, Redux, Deskana, UninvitedCompany
Oversighter May rename and hide outing accounts Should not hide userrights log actions Rlevse, Brion VIBBER, Tim Starling, Raul654, Taxman, Nichalp, EVula, Deskana, UninvitedCompany
MedCom Should not close RFAs when they have privileged knowledge of mediation conduct Angela, Bcorr, Ed Poor, Deskana, Essjay, Jwrosenzweig, TUF-KAT, WJBscribe, Danny
BAG May de-bot at operator's request Should not bot own bots, should not bot own BRFA closes Andrevan, Essjay
Steward Angela, Rdsmith4, Danny, Redux
Staff Danny, Brion VIBBER, Tim Starling
Sysadmin Reasonable testing of functions Brion VIBBER, Tim Starling, Redux
OTRS May do privacy renames submitted to OTRS Rdsmith4, Tim Starling, Raul654, EVula, Deskana, Brion VIBBER, Angela, Avraham, UninvitedCompany
Mailing list admin/
IRC op
May de-bot per operator request; may rename per user request May not close RFAs of individuals sanctioned on ML/IRC Several
Functionary May do privacy renames submitted to func-en May not close RFA per func-en information, may not de-bot per func-en information UninvitedCompany, Rlevse, Deskana, Raul654, Redux, Nichalp, Taxman, EVula, Brion VIBBER, Avraham
Arbcom Clerk May do privacy renames submitted to clerks-l May not de-bot per findings, may not close RFAs of users whose cases they clerked Rlevse, Essjay
Most of the "conflicts" listed above don't bother me, e.g. a bureaucrat who's also a BAG member adding the bot tag directly to a bot whose BRFA they approved seems perfectly fine. However, there are some which do: I think it's obvious that they shouldn't add the bot tag to their own bots, although I probably wouldn't object if the BRFA had already been closed independently as "approved", since that means its already been evaluated independently. The most important issues above have to do with "privileged knowledge": if the bureaucrat is in a position to have privileged knowledge of a user's previous negative conduct, they should probably not be closing that user's RFA, particularly if it's a borderline case. If it's not borderline, though, does it really make a difference? If an RFA is under 65%, no bureaucrat is going to promote, so does it really matter what other knowledge the bureaucrat is privy to?--Aervanath (talk) 02:19, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that on the whole this is a solution looking for a problem. The difficulty it poses is that when a bureaucrat has the opportunity to become active in another area (in my case OTRS or Arbcom), a policy officially disallowing "multiple hats" would have required me to resign as a bureaucrat, something I would have been reluctant to do. Since some of these areas are high churn (notably, OTRS), while bureaucrats tend to remain involved over a more lengthy period of time, this is problematic. I was not active as a bureaucrat while on Arbcom, and other bureaucrats who have served there have had the sense to behave in a similar fashion. With OTRS and oversight I don't really see a problem. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 02:44, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
In case it wasn't clear, I am not saying we should adopt's one-hat policy, just that our crats shouldn't act with two hats in the same situation. MBisanz talk 05:31, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I think Enigmaman's 2nd RfA established that.
As for the chart, I think there are several stretches being made. For example, Vibber and Starling are 'crats pretty much in name only; they have the permissions simply because there could be a legitimate need for them to test the tools on something, and it's easier for them to just have the bit (though I'm a fan of extraneous flags like that being removed, especially when they are overshadowed by the sysadmin rights). The Functionary items seem strange, too; I honestly wouldn't have thought about the possibility of an RfX closure being based on mailing list content, but then again, I'm not particularly imaginative in that department. :) The Oversight item isn't a valid concern either (though see my previous comment about imagination), since we have very strict rules for what we can and cannot suppress; covering up userright logs would result in some well-deserved bitchslapping (or "userright removal" for those that prefer proper terms) by ArbCom. EVula // talk // // 08:50, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed the oversight one is a bit of a stretch since there are strict rules on what can be oversighted. Also MBisanz, where did you get some of your information? Neither can I recall, nor find in the logs, a time where I hid userrights log actions or either of the items on the functionaries line. Given the nature of the situtations that may be involved, it's probably best not to give details anyway. In general though, listing people for something that there isn't even a consensus that they did anything wrong, but listing it as if they may have isn't in great taste. I suppose it's not a bad idea to encourage separation of the use of tools on a given case. Don't act on your own checkuser data if you can, etc. If you can't convince someone else that it is a good idea, perhaps it's not. Though that can only go so far, since if you tell someone the checkuser data supports X, they need to trust that and take the necessary action. In many cases involving the above userrights it's immaterial then who carries out the next action. - Taxman Talk 19:01, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I meant it as past and present occurrences of a crat wearing the hat in question. If a combination is so odd is has never (or almost never) occurred, like Arbcom Clerk, it doesn't need as much attention as a combination like Crat-Oversight or Crat-Admin which is rather common. No, as far as I know, the current crats haven't done any of the bad things listed above. MBisanz talk 19:56, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I thought that it's widespread consensus that noone should use one "hat" where they were previously involved in any other way, content- or "hat"-like? Is there really a need to codify that in any way? Regards SoWhy 08:53, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Well there are three exceptions I see to that statement. One, if a request is a non-decsion type request like an operator requested de-botting, a crat who had say blocked them in the past could fulfill the request. Two, if it is a privacy related rename, someone could wear two hats and do a rename+oversight or rename per mailing list request. Three, if they are a sysadmin or staff member they could do anything per WP:OFFICE and it probably would be ok (or at least we couldn't undo it). Other than that, standard commonsense COI principles would apply. MBisanz talk 18:46, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Picking one point, given the frequency of privacy-related work we do with renames, I think Oversight is an extremely useful tool for Crats and I'd welcome more of the users who are active with the Crat tools being trusted with it. --Dweller (talk) 12:00, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I recently posted some general thoughts on this topic on my talk page for those interested. I won't reproduce them here, as we can be more or less confident of the response from the users in a position to do anything about it. --JayHenry (talk) 23:09, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I also think this is a solution in search of a problem. Unless there is no other choice (and there is almost always another choice) privileged information from one role should not be used to affect a decision in another role. Also, I think that bureaucrat and oversight are complimentarycomplementary tools, especially as regards HideUser, and CU+OS is VERY complimentarycomplementary, as most of the name-attack sockfarms (of dozens and dozens of names) are found by the CUs and then the names have to be hidden and the revisions suppressed. -- Avi (talk) 00:54, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean complementary? --MZMcBride (talk) 01:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are correct. -- Avi (talk) 02:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I think there's no problem with one editor here having many different hats as long as they act in an open way and don't do things which may compromise their objectivity or move into the realm of COI. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:17, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Requesting bureaucrat opinion

While I believe that most bureaucrats who watchlist WP:BN also watchlist WP:RFA, I advertise a discussion for those who don't. Could a few bureaucrats pop themselves over to Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#Requesting bureaucrat opinion and give a nice conclusive decision, just so that the community doesn't have to bicker over this for months and months? Thanks, NW (Talk) 23:03, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

From what I can tell, this is a massive tempest in a teapot (though I'll admit that TLDR comes to mind).
As far as removing !votes that are going to be disregarded (or weighed less), they are left there because, really, it doesn't matter that they are. [keep in mind I am talking in a very broad sense; I'm not talking about this particular instance] A somewhat inflamatory statement to one person could sound make perfect sense to another; if we squash those comments just because we dislike them, our (the bureaucrat's) sense of true consensus is hindered. If someone keeps saying something and nobody listens at all, it's pretty clear what the true consensus is (on that particular argument) and so it can be properly weighed. EVula // talk // // 05:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
In general these comments generally don't affect the actual course of the RFA, so that would probably account for why we don't physically strike them. bibliomaniac15 23:06, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
There are two advantages and one disadvantage that I can see. Firstly, you send a clear message (to that user and others) as to the sort of comments or rationales that are routinely ignored by crats, which helps to educate RfA contributors and hopefully improve the standard of future discussions. Secondly, you may help to defuse a situation where other contributors would (depending on one's point of view) badger or challenge the contributor, which often leads to unnecessary drama (unnecessary because the !vote will ultimately be ignored). The most likely disadvantage is the drama potential - that users may accuse bureaucrats of censorship, abuse of power, etc. It's my hope that the potential disadvantage can be outweighed by the advantages through clearly explaining the reasoning behind the strikeout when it is performed.
I've written this on the assumption that the comment being struck is uncontroversially non-constructive, for example because it's unrelated to the candidate. I don't think the striking of !votes during an RfA is constructive otherwise. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 17:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Request for guidelines

I would like the bureaucrats to consider collectively producing some guidelines for contributors at RfA. I feel that it would be helpful for contributors and 'crats to have a set of criteria (by analogy to WP:CSD, a deliberately limited set of cases in which deletion is always the right thing) defining those rationales which are universally considered unhelpful and which will always be ignored.

For example, it might be stated that bureaucrats will ignore positions which are...

  • Nothing to do with the candidate (e.g. "Oppose Admins are stinky")
  • Specific to the candidate, but based on Wiki-politics rather than candidate's suitability for adminship (e.g. "Support Candidate is a member of Wikiproject Foo. Down with WP:BAR!")
  • Based on personal prejudice, whether on grounds of religion, gender, etc. (e.g. "Oppose Wikipedia has more than enough left-handed admins already")

The establishment of such guidelines will help to guide contributors at RfA, improve the quality of future contributions, and should help to reduce drama. The discussion, if not the standard itself, may also help to ensure that different crats aren't evaluating and weighting rationales in too divergent a fashion.

One final point. I'm not going to argue that this should be the basis of 'crats striking out or commenting on unsuitable rationales, much less unclear or controversial ones. I think the establishment of this guideline would neatly side-step that can o' worms. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:36, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

This is not a subject the 'crats can decide upon, this is something the larger community would have to weigh in on. While a 'crat can say, "I don't weigh !votes where people use the arguement prima facia" they cannot dictate the types of !votes people make. Any such discussion would have to be supported by the larger community. 'crats have extra responsibility/authority in closing RfA's, not in their operation/administration. While an RfA is open, a 'crat is no different from anybody else (although their input is often more respected---but that is true of many non-crats as well.)---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 19:40, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying we should encourage anyone to pounce on a comment during an ongoing RfA and say, "A-ha! This rationale is subject to speedy deletion!". I'm saying we should have a document that says, "Bureaucrats will always ignore too many admins as a rationale, so don't bother posting it, and if you do see it, don't bother replying." SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
That's fine and dandy, but if such a document/policy came about, it would need to stem from community consensus. If the community wants to encase certain criteria as policy/guideline, then the community can, but it's a community responsibility. Now an individual 'crat could say, "I don't weigh" specific types of objections. But I think that might lead to a slippery slope wherein crat candidates will be asked for such as list and it might lead to customized opposes knowing how 'crats think.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:16, 2 July 2009 (UTC) Plus consensus changes. Before Kurt finally left us, he started to win people over. There was a short period where others were !voting opposes due to self-noms. By cementing in rationales, you limit growth and diversity.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:18, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Well said. I personally don't understand why people get so het up about obviously off the wall !votes but clearly they do. However, judging the admissibly of any argument in an RfA is a slippery slope because it discourages other new reasons for !voting, especially where the rationale is close to the off-the-wall one but not quite there. Once a few specific rationale are banned, we'll have a list that will only keep growing and soon reasons that are borderline kosher today will find their way onto the list (there will always be at least one rationale that will drive everyone crazy!).--RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 20:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank God for a rational voice! --Malleus Fatuorum 21:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

A set rationale for judging RfA comments would not work because each RfA is different with a unique editor. Where some guidelines will work with a specific RfA, in another it will make no sense. We choose bureaucrats because we trust them to determine consensus correctly, so let's allow them to do their jobs. Malinaccier P. (talk) 20:39, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Coffee (talk · contribs)

Per a motion by ArbCom: Coffee's administrator privileges are restored, effective immediately. He is reminded to abide by all policies and guidelines governing the conduct of administrators.

As such, could a 'crat please reinstate Coffee's bit?

For the committee, Tiptoety talk 15:46, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

  •  Done -- Avi (talk) 15:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

CHU policy question

Interested parties, your comments, corrections, and suggestions would be appreciated at Wikipedia talk:Changing username#Renaming accounts with no contributions. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 20:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Vote striking by a crat, reversal by a noncrat

I have alerted Biblio to this already, but in talking with him yesterday, he said he would not be around for the Fourth of July weekend, so I was unsure if he would be here for this discussion. NW (Talk) 16:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Yesterday, at Mikaey's RfA, Bureaucrat bibliomaniac15 stuck Peter Damian's oppose with this rationale. Just very recently, Malleus Fatuorum reverted Biblio[5] and posted on the talk page of the RfA his reason for doing so[6]. I have my own personal feelings on this matter, but I ask that bureaucrats go and affirm or deny that any user can revert a bureaucrat's actions at RfA. NW (Talk) 16:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

In the case of RfAs, I leave in for the historical record any !votes and comments made (with a few exceptions), although I weigh them differently during closing. It is best IMHO not to strike out !votes and comments unless they are solely bigoted, excessively disruptive or made by socks or unqualified users. It is best to leave as much in the closed RfA as possible. I don't think there was anything wrong with reverting bibliomaniac's edit, however, I wish Malleus had been more tactful. Kingturtle (talk) 19:29, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Curious but not altogether surprising that my action is criticised as being tactless while the exact same action from a bureaucrat is considered to be acceptable. You guys clearly just make the rules up as you go along. --Malleus Fatuorum 21:54, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Then I take it you disagree with several of your (present and former) fellow bureaucrats would agreed that a bureaucrat striking votes was acceptable? (See the bottom of Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Mikaey 2). NW (Talk) 19:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Having reverted a 'crats striking of an !vote before, I have zero problem with doing so. We are talking about the BRD cycle here. Biblio is free to strike the !vote, but others are free to say, "there is no consensus to do so" and revert him. Generally, unless the account has been blocked, is a sock, or blatantly offensive in a vandlistic sense, nobody (crat or otherwise) should be striking !votes. At the same time, I fully encourage 'crats to use their discretion in considering the merits of an argument when closing an RfA... and have no problem with them saying, "I gave the John Smith's vote little or no credence because there is no community support for it."---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 19:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, Balloonman, in your reversion of Nichalap, several bureaucrats (WJBScribe and Taxman in particular) said your action was not appropriate. Quoting a few more bureaucrats below:
"I also agree that if a vote is going to be discounted, there is some benefit to the community to knowing that early as Frank mentioned. - Taxman Talk 15:51, 17 November 2008 (UTC)"
"Whilst it is true that bureaucrats enjoy no greater authority than any other editor in general, that isn't the case where RfA is concerned. It is specifically the job of bureaucrats to assess comments made in the course of an RfA and do have the authority to discount comments...WJBscribe (talk) 17:01, 17 November 2008 (UTC)"
"This practice is not new - Nichalp in particular has been striking comments he feels add nothing to the discussion with some time and it is a practice that has generally been approved of. WJBscribe (talk) 17:08, 17 November 2008 (UTC)" (Note that WJBScribe disapproved of his Nichalap's actions, but acknowledged that Nichalap had the right to do it.)
"So, maybe I'd advise Nichalp not to strike votes like that, but as it's just a piece of friendly advice from one bureaucrat to another, he's well within his rights to ignore me and tell me where to go, what cliff to jump off, or somesuch. The absolute difference between striking a vote (what Nichalp did) and telling a user that you have no intention to pay any attention to the vote (what I'd do) to the RFA is minimal- either way the vote does not get counted...Deskana (talk) 20:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)"
"Now to people who have not seen my work, I have indented several RFAs opposes in the past (please go back to 2005, I think you might find some examples there). So, it's nothing new to me, new perhaps to people who have not been around since then. =Nichalp «Talk»= 17:08, 23 November 2008 (UTC)"
NW (Talk) 19:47, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes they did, but I stand behind my actions, as did a number of other people. Nichalp overstepped his bounds in striking the !votes. A crats additional authority comes in closing the RfA and evaluating the consensus at the end of the RfA, they do not have extra administrative authority during the RfA. During the RfA they are free to ask questions, !vote, make comments, etc as anybody else, but they do not have extra authority. The difference between Biblio's actions here and Nichalp's is that Nichalp tried to apply his "crat action" and make it more authoritative, which was an abuse of position.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 19:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC) EDIT: Lest people forget the other comments at the RFC, as I responded to NW on the rfa talk page, most people agreed Nichalp was wrong.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 21:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I disagree here. As Deskana said, there are only minor differences between striking the vote, indenting the vote with a {{crat note}}, and discounting it entirely without telling anyone. Everyone knows that bureaucrats (theoretically) do the latter all the time. I personally see no difference between Biblio's and Nichalp's actions - only to whom they applied it to (which would make Biblio's action even more legitimate, considering Peter Damian's recent past) - and really don't see what the big fuss is with striking a vote. If a vote is discounted by the bureaucrats, would you not want to know now, rather than in 7 days (or more likely, never)? NW (Talk) 19:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The difference is that Nichalp struck votes without asking for clarification from well respected members of the community (without discussion), which lead to one admin relinquishing his bit because he felt it was a slap in the face. A better approach would have been to ask for clarification or elaboration. Everybody knows that Peter's !votes are going to be discounted, that is generally accepted, and discussed to death. The problem is that the community hasn't ruled that he can't make his !vote, and generally it takes a lot to reach the point where they are banned/blocked (although that leash is getting shorter.)---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC) Also, like I said when I undid Nichalp's striking of some !votes, striking !votes during an RfA by a crat is insulting and an affront. There is a HUGE difference between using one's discretion at the end of an RfA and striking an !vote during the RfA. The former is what we appoint crats to do, the later is not.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 22:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Have you not consider such opposes may be insulting too? Majorly talk 22:23, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
To Balloonman.. 'blatantly offensive in a vandalistic sense'... you mean like announcing the intent to disrupt Wikipedia by opposing every RFA and then doing so? I have tried my best, but I am at a complete loss as to why we mollycoddle such people. → ROUX  19:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
(ce)To be honest with you, I haven't looked at Peter's case very closely, but I do know that there are numerous discussions on this thread. He is our latest Kurt/DougsTech. If the community can't reach a consensus on his !vote, then the actions of individuals related to his actions are subject. IMO, Biblio's reverting Peter's !vote is no different than Majorly's reverting KMWeber/Dougstech... they can do so, but the until the community speaks on that particular case, the odds are somebody else will come along and undo it.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:01, 2 July 2009 (UTC) Plus, I've seen both Deskana and EVula making posts telling an opposer essentially, "FYI as written it is likely this !vote will be discounted." Everybody knows that Kurt's prima facia, Dougs too many admins, and Peter's destroy the wiki !votes are going to be discounted.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:10, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
If we know they are going to be discounted, what possible reason is there for allowing the vote to even be made? Majorly talk 22:23, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd suggest that you read what you just said again, slowly, and then think about what the implications of your position might possibly be. How do you know that a vote will be discounted for instance? How does anyone know? What are the criteria that you'd apply to the discounting of support votes? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the bureaucrats said they discounted Kurt and DougsTech's votes. That's how I know. Majorly talk 22:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
A few of them, so far as I recall, made a general statement, not addressing any particular vote on any particular RfA. You have been similarly evasive, in not addressing my question about your criteria for striking support votes. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:43, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think support votes should be discounted unless they are irrelevant to the topic at hand (the user's suitability for adminship. The same for opposition. Majorly talk 22:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Whenever I get a few free lightyears I must try and drop in on your planet. Almost all support votes are "irrelevant to the topic at hand". They're mostly "He's my mate, so of course I support; thought he was an admin already." When I see someone striking out nonsense like that then I'll perhaps take your opinion more seriously than I do now. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:02, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
It is possible for two people to disagree and live on the same planet. In any case, "thought he was one" is most certainly to do with the topic at hand. If you think someone is an admin already, and that they are doing a good job, that is most certainly an on-topic reason for supporting. The buddy-type votes, I can only agree with you, but I consider it only a serious issue when someone does it consistently, or in a disruptive manner. Normally it doesn't make any difference. For example, I know you oppose quite a bit, but I normally find your opposes thoughtful and persuasive. When someone (like Peter) goes on an opposing "spree", using the same copy and pasted "rationale", it's clear very little, if any, thought has gone into it. You could very well argue people go on supporting sprees. I don't like them either, and brought it up with an editor who I saw doing it. Personally though, I consider supporting the default stance on an RFA, and opposition should only happen if absolutely needed. Remember each oppose requires three supports to make up for it. So for every dumb oppose, there could easily be three dumb supports. That's why there's a lot of people upset with these thoughtless opposes – they are dig at the person, and are unnecessary. At least with a thoughtless support vote they are (normally) done in good faith and don't demoralise the candidate needlessly. Majorly talk 23:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Because consensus can change and variants might be derived from them. In this case, there has been several discussions related to Peter, but in none of them has the notion of striking his !vote been supported. I'm not saying if that is right or wrong, but until the community reaches the point where they want to cut him off, then he has the right to vote, even if it is in a manner that nobody respects.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 23:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that we probably broadly agree, just not on the details, or their implementation. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I've got no problem with Biblio (or any crat, for that matter) striking/indenting !votes, but realistically it does seem a tad pointless. The 'crats could just as easily ignore a vote upon closing the discussion; the end result is the same, with far less drama. –Juliancolton | Talk 21:23, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I have to say that if I saw a Crat strike a vote or respond to a vote in any kind of dismissive manner and then close an RfA, I would immediately seek their removal via either RfC or ArbCom. The CoI standards in terms of using rights and participating in an event except in terms of vandalism (or sock puppetry) would be unacceptable. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:28, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think any bureaucrat would do that, but what you're saying is a given really. Majorly talk 23:30, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, a question for you then. Say a user adds a nonsensical rationale in an RfA. The community generally asks us bcrats to use our discretion when closing RfA's and in that case that rationale should add little or no weight to the RfA, and that is typically what bcrats would do in closing an RfA with that type of rationale. What you are saying is that you would not only prefer not to know ahead of time if a bcrat would not put much weight behind a given rationale, but that you would actively seek sanctions against them for pointing out ahead of time that there is a case that they would use their discretion to not consider a given rationale as adding much weight to the consensus. So what about pointing that out makes it participating in the RfA and automatically a COI? - Taxman Talk 17:54, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Ottava and Majorly, I don't think I understand. Surely the authority by which a bureaucrat can strike votes (if he has any such authority, which is what we're arguing about) is the same as the authority by which he can close RFAs? Hence to do both on the same RFA is in no way a conflict of interest; it's simply doing two parts of the same job. The COI problem arises only when a bureaucrat votes in and closes an RFA, i.e. acts both as a regular old user and as a bureaucrat. — Dan | talk 22:20, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
There is a very clear and important difference. By striking vote during an RfA a bureaucrat is influencing the course of an ongoing election. For that same bureaucrat to then decide the result of that election poses obvious dangers. But what if an independent bureaucrat who closes the RfA doesn't agree that the struck-through vote really should be ignored? Whichever way you cut it, bureaucrats striking votes is a very, very, bad idea. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Guidelines and strikings and !votes, oh my

I apologize for the new topic heading, but I would like this to be a combined thought on both issues above:striking !votes and discounting !vote guidelines. First let me preface by saying this solely my own opinion, nothing official, and I am not coming to call anyone else's actions into askance. The thirty-some-odd bureaucrats are all individual people (we are all individuals) and have their own ways of approaching every situation. There is no crat-bot; there are people, and there must be an understanding that two people may come to different decisions. Be that as it may, the following is my understanding, although, as always, I am open to conversation, intellectual debate, and reserve the right to be swayed by superior arguments.

RfX's are, at there core, the opportunity for editors to comment on the judgment and trustworthiness of the individual under discussion. Is there a consensus that the candidate will uphold wikipedia policy and guidelines where they exist, and will make reasoned decisions where policy and guideline is vague (now where have y'all heard that before). Commentators have the opportunity to voice their opinions, and attempt to sway or be swayed by the discussions, that currently take the form of support, oppose, and neutral lists and their associated back-and-forths. In my opinion, I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt that the majority of respondents are of perceptive enough to recognize weaker arguments and when making their own internal judgment, afford them the appropriate weight. As such, I would personally prefer not to strike such votes. For what it is worth, if someone thinks that their are too many admins it is their prerogative to say so. I--the editor/!voter--may disagree and think that their are not enough and will not be influenced by such a vote. I would hope, and counsel, that everyone be proactive with their opinions and not reactive. Just because editor A automatically opposes does not mean that editor B should mechanically support. We are all individuals Face-grin.svg.

That regards the individual comments and opinions that are listed at the RfX. When the alloted time has expired, the bureaucrat in question has to make a decision--what is the consensus. Consensus is not solely a matter of the number of votes; although quite often they are highly correlated. Thankfully, most of the time, their is a clear consensus, or clear lack thereof, and each individual argument's strengths or weakness becomes subsumed into the overall pattern, obviating the need for a case by case analysis. For example, I am uncertain anyone would argue that an RfA closing 5/86/4, where each and every oppose was "too many admins", should be passed due to the "weakness" of the opposes. Consensus, however, also includes the trend of the discussions, the ebb-and-flow as it were, the actual arguments themselves and their relative "strength" for lack of a better term one versus the other. It is in those situations, where the bureaucrats need to determine if a consensus exists, that argument relativity and opinion shifting plays a role. And since each of those cases are unique, there is no way to create a general guideline. The cases where the existence of consensus needs to be decided upon by the bureaucrats requires that each opinion be looked at on a chronological and substantive basis, to see if a "community voice" can be heard over the din. To say that certain opinions should be ipso facto discounted would prevent the bureaucrat from using all available information. Bureaucrats are elected to have the opportunity, when necessary, use their judgment about the relative merits of each RfX; let them exercise it as efficiently and flexibly as possible.

That is not to say certain opinions should not be automatically discarded: the ones that are against wikipedia policy and guideline such as sockpuppets of banned users, IPs (in the support/oppose section), personal attacks, vandalism, etc. should be removed. But, in my opinion, !votes which relate more to the process or project than the candidate should not be struck, and, when necessary, should be given the appropriate relative weight vis-a-vis the entire discussion, which may well be zero or close to it. Again, in the extreme case where the community as a whole felt that there were too many admins, and wanted no more despite the obvious qualities of the candidate, should said candidate be given the bit regardless? I would think not. But where the community wants more admins, a support directed specifically to the candidate and his or her qualities would be a stronger identifier of consensus than a vague oppose that was more a lament about the project than specific to the candidate. The volume of opinions is also a factor, as 4 directed supports are not enough to overwhelm 73 vague oppositions: in that case the consensus is that the community does not want another admin at this time. So, (and I apologize for the redundancy) this demonstrates, that there are enough factors in the decision to preclude any guidelines relating to opinion relevancy outside of the outright vandalistic type in the RfX process. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 23:41, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

well said---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 23:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
A voice of sanity. So does that mean that I'm not going to be blocked for reverting bibliomaniac earlier today? To be honest I'm not bothered either way, I'd just like to know. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:55, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
If you were going to be blocked, it would have happened already. To do so now would be pointless and punitive. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Since I know how MF will respond to this, let me do so... that never stopped some admins ;-)---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 07:08, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not getting too much sleep currently, so I'm a bit fuzzy-headed, but that seems a fair statement of my take on the issue, too. --Dweller (talk) 06:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments, Avi. I think you presented the process very clearly. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Well-put, aside from the tl;dr aspect. ;) –Juliancolton | Talk 06:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Would it be useful to see if there is consensus among bureaucrats to take a consistent stance on these issues or should the current practice of individual discretion be maintained?  Skomorokh  16:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I've largely felt the same way, that poorly reasoned arguments don't sway an Rfx much and can largely be ignored. There is a bit of a problem however where poorly reasoned arguments repeated more often than the better reasoning refuting them can still sway people. It's like the vaccination issue. There really is an extraordinary lack of evidence of harm from vaccines and an extraordinary amount of evidence of the good that they do that vastly outweighs any claimed harm. But the harm claims are loudly repeated enough that increasingly people believe them (or doubt the real facts) despite the weakness of the claims. So my general preference as I have stated before is that anything short of abusive comments, sockpuppets, etc, should be allowed to stand, not be struck or removed, but should simply be pointed out. For example a user showing up to RfA on their 2nd edit shouldn't have their comments struck, but it is helpful to have that fact pointed out so people can take it into account. Similarly for really bad arguments, people can simply point out that they are widely considered to be very poor arguments. I also tend to go for the angle that drama rarely helps improve articles, so the less drama angle is usually better for the project. Striking comments usually leads to drama, and probably isn't worth it. - Taxman Talk 17:47, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I would even go so far as to say that it isn't the 'crats role to do so... one of the things that I think the community does a good job at is pointing out bad/weak arguments. If the argument is really bad, then somebody will make that observation.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 17:52, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi Where's the discussion about the new templates and stuff on CHU? I currently don't get long periods onwiki, so haven't the time to search for it... --Dweller (talk) 14:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, what happened to the clerk bots? (I've been inactive at CHU for a spell as well; yeesh) EVula // talk // // 19:23, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
What new templates and stuff are you referring to exactly? Regards SoWhy 20:13, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I think he means the ones that pop up when you edit the page. -- Avi (talk) 20:44, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, indeed, the new templates that pop up when editing. Where's the discussion? I can't even work out who did it and when because the nested transcluded subpages are too tricksy for my limited brain and limited time onwiki just now. --Dweller (talk) 09:15, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Opinions requested at WT:RfA

People seem to be requesting the opinions of more 'crats at Wikipedia talk:Rfa#Unexplained opposes. hmwithτ 01:07, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I explained my views above at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard#Guidelines and strikings and !votes, oh my, is that what you were looking for? -- Avi (talk) 02:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
A number of Crat opinions are there. --Dweller (talk) 09:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I saw a few comments, but it seems people were looking for a straight answer on how 'crats interpret totally unexplained opposes and even unexplained supports in general. Perhaps, reading through the mess, I missed some good comments. Forgive me if so. :) hmwithτ 15:31, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Reading through the mess (and I agree my edits can charitably be called a mess; actually they're worse :D ) the upshot, at least in my opinion, is that not only is there no straight answer, but there can be no straight answer, for each RfA is unique and the same edit which may be given very little weight in one candidacy may be given more in another, as consensus is not only composed of individual edits, but also the relations between the various edits, the trends of opinions, and the back-and-forth discussions to name a few things. -- Avi (talk) 15:39, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
This is true. For the record, I wasn't calling your comments a mess. I was referring to WT:RFA. I think almost everyone can agree that page is usually a mess. :) hmwithτ 13:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Usually ? Pedro :  Chat  20:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

What's with Soxbot?

Overdue RfB? It was just transcluded tonight? -- Avi (talk) 04:22, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. (X! · talk)  · @506  ·  11:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Exchanging two accounts

Hi, I'm an italian bureaucrat, user:GdaBaskerville asked me to help him arranging his account: he created also user:Giovanni Camporeale, now user should be renamed into a temporary name, then should be renamed into Giovanni_Camporeale and finally the old Giovanni Camporeale into GdaBaskerville. Both the accounts are owned by the same user who have the full access. So I ask for the way he can do the request in the right way, thanks. --Vituzzu (talk) 20:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Is there a reason he has two accounts? On English wikipedia, without an acceptable reason, we usually only allow one account per editor. Please see Wikipedia:Sock puppetry and in specific Wikipedia:Sock puppetry#Legitimate uses of alternative accounts. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 21:00, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
On we allow declarate socks but he wants to use only one of them, he registred two account because he didn't know that an account can be renamed, now he wants his most important edits (that he made with GdaBaskerville account) be under his new username: Giovanni Camporeale. --Vituzzu (talk) 21:12, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Do you accept a request in these terms? --Vituzzu (talk) 10:26, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I think it is OK, provided that the secondary account be retired and the primary account be the only one used going forward. Any other bureaucrats, clerks, or interested parties think otherwise? -- Avi (talk) 00:39, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

 Done. Please have the user retire the User:GdaBaskerville account. -- Avi (talk) 14:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree this account User:GdaBaskerville be closed and its user and talk pages be redirected to my new account User:Giovanni Camporeale. Thank you. --GdaBaskerville (talk) 08:00, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Davemeistermoab‎

Resolved: --Dweller (talk) 14:53, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

FWIW, I've observed at least some canvassing (or close to it) at this RfA. Feel free to e-mail me for evidence. –Juliancolton | Talk 17:29, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

If you cannot disclose the evidence publically, please forward it to --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 00:43, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. –Juliancolton | Talk 00:59, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I am looking into this issue with Julian. There are some awkward legal and privacy issues which necessitate an offwiki approach. Julian and I are online at different times of day currently, which is making communication tediously drawn-out but it can't be helped. If I have anything to report, I will, working creatively within any strictures I encounter, and minimising drama. I can currently give no further detail than that and I'd appreciate your patience with this. --Dweller (talk) 10:19, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Having explored this, the RfA is fine to proceed to a normal close without any concern by the closing Crat. --Dweller (talk) 14:53, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Heads up


Hi folks. Just thought I'd drop you a note about some issues that may be headed your way. At AN/I, several threads start here which involve a multitude of issues, including ones that you folks have already worked on. Content, blocks, bans, admin. conduct, and a whole conglomeration of things that you'll likely be seeing in the future. I'm sure some of you are aware of many of these things, but for those of you who don't keep close tabs on the AN boards I thought you might want to start your research. I hope I'm not out of line for posting here - just trying to keep folks from being blind-sided. Best to all. — Ched :  ?  07:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, but I'm suffering from TLDR - are there issues in there specifically relevant to Crats? --Dweller (talk) 10:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, nothing specific to you guys yet. It's tough to follow given the multiple forks, twists & turns, and volume of participants. I think that Ancient Egyptian race controversy may be a focal point. Perhaps it's just a tempest in a teacup, but even the recent blocks and bans seem to be objectionable to some; in the sense that they aren't always applied equally. It seems to have quieted down over the last few hours, so hopefully it's simply a fire that's now died out. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I'm not familiar with many of the issues, or even many of the participants. Perhaps I saw more to it than there actually is. — Ched :  ?  15:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Unless there's something there that relates to bots, username changes, or RfA/RfB, then it's not something that will come to the bureaucrats, unless you're calling on a 'crat as an outside WP:UNINVOLVED admin to evaluate consensus (in which case, any admin or experienced user can do it).--Aervanath (talk) 20:54, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
You're right of course Aevanath. I guess it was just "outside the box thinking" (or rather hoping) that an "unofficial" solution could be found. Crats tend to have exceptional clue, along with community trust - so I thought perhaps something in-between the AN/I sideshow and the ArbCom "official channels" might find a solution in sorting out the whole thing. Thanks anyways for looking guys, I'll tag as resolved. — Ched :  ?  03:17, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Participation in bureaucrat discussion when having opined on the candidate

In general, bureaucrats do not close RfX's in which they have participated. What about participating in a bureaucrat discussion? I raise this now as although there is plenty of time left, Julian's RfB may end up in the "gray" zone and there have been a number of bureaucrats, myself included, who have stated their support or opposition. I would like to have the following three cases discussed:

  1. Participation in the discussion by a bureaucrat who opined in the RfX
  2. Closure of an RfX that required a bureaucratic discussion where the consensus of bureaucrats is clear
  3. Closure of an RfX that required a bureaucratic discussion where the consensus of bureaucrats is not clear

My personal opinions are:

  1. I think that as a bureaucrat discussion is open for all to see, and no bits are being flipped and rights given during the discussion, there should not be an issue with a bureaucrat giving his or her opinion as to the what consensus was shown, if any, in an RfX in which they had participated. Stating an opinion about the candidate should not forbid the bureaucrat from discussing, in public, the consensus, and engaging in weighing the arguments pro and con. The concern that has the bureaucrats recuse from closing a discussion in which they have participated are that they may be subconsciously affected by their opinion and not the community's consensus. Here, it is solely a discussion as to how to read the community, which is further removed.
  2. While for propriety's sake I believe this should be avoided, if it was done, I do not see this as a violation of trust, as they would only be implementing the collective discussion of the bureaucrats and not using their "own" judgment, as it were.
  3. This should not be done by a bureaucrat who participated in the RfX for the same reason as to why they should not close such candidacies.

-- Avi (talk) 01:55, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I feel that if you !Voted, you should not close the RFx nor particpate in any "crat chat" discussion pertaining thereto. On the other hand, I feel if all you did was make a comment in response to a !Vote (such as asking what someone meant or clarify a point that was brought up) you could participate in said chat or close the RFx. So, to me, if you by "opined" you mean !Voted, I'd say said crat should not participate in any of your scenarios. RlevseTalk 02:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

This despite the fact that the decision is not in the hands of the bureaucrat who opined and his or her opinion of the consensus is open for all, bureaucrat and non-bureaucrat alike, to see and identify if the arguments are logical and valid or not? -- Avi (talk) 02:18, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it'd be like an arb particpating in an RFC on an admin's conduct and then voting on a subsequent arb case on that admin. RlevseTalk 02:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Rlevse, I think there is a difference, as in the arb case, the arb is being asked to use their judgment about the person and actions of the admin; in a bureaucratic discussion, the 'crats are asked to discuss the community's response--not the candidate themselves. -- Avi (talk) 02:28, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The way I see it: I don't care who closes the RFA/B, or who participates in any discussion. As long as they close it right, according to the consensus of the "vote/discussion", there is no issue for me. I wouldn't care if a bureaucrat closed the RFA of their own nominee, as long as they did it correctly and not against the wishes of the consensus developed. Majorly talk 02:24, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I would not close the RFx of my own nominee nor of one I !Voted in, not even an obvious case. Certainly not a gray area case. RlevseTalk 02:26, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
That's OK, but I'm saying I don't mind as long as it's done according to what the community wanted. I think bureaucrats have their hands tied enough as it is. Majorly talk 02:28, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree there's some wiggle room here, but I try to avoid even an appearance of impropriety. We all make mistakes, we're all human, but I simply try to avoid "asking for trouble" so to speak. RlevseTalk 02:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I whole-heartedly agree with bending over backwards to avoid the appearance of impropriety, which is why I opened the discussion very early in Julian's RfB :) -- Avi (talk) 02:35, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I thought this was sorted out a long time ago. Bureaucrats who !vote in an RfX do not participate in that RfX's closure or closure discussion. There are no ifs, ands or buts. Kingturtle (talk) 02:49, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Can you point me to the archives of that discussion, then, please? I'd like to see it, and, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments, it may be prudent to revisit it and get opinions from the community again. -- Avi (talk) 03:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Total agreement with Kingturtle. I'm not sure if there is an actual archived discussion about it; it seems pretty straight forward. I'd be inclined not to bother asking the community, not because I don't want their opinion, but because I can't honestly fathom them being comfortable with a biased bureaucrat not recusing themselves (for example, I recused myself from Mazca's RfA because he is a friend I've known for years and I co-nommed [the latter because of the former], and I'll recuse myself again from any closure discussion for Julian's current RfB). However, it couldn't hurt to ask... EVula // talk // // 03:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
So you do not see a difference between opining on the candidate and opining on the community's response, in an open forum? -- Avi (talk) 03:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
No, there's a difference, but 'crats that have participated are likely to be somewhat biased. Obviously, if it were a life or death situation, I think a bureaucrat could purge any bias from their decision, but thankfully RfXs are rarely life or death situations. ;) EVula // talk // // 03:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Note Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Danny/Bureaucrat chat for historical reference, where User:Rdsmith4 was both a supporter of the RfA as well as a key bureaucrat in the discussion itself. Not saying that it was a good idea; just that bureaucrats haven't always seen the necessity to recuse themselves. NW (Talk) 03:31, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Warofdreams participated in Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Gracenotes/Bureaucrat chat despite being support #40 Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Gracenotes. -- Avi (talk) 03:48, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I think that Avi's initial summation is correct: a bureaucrat should not be closing an RfX they've commented in, no matter what, but they can participate in the crat chat. However, I think they should mention in the crat chat that they've taken part in the RfX; I know there's already a public record that they've participated, but it would be best if it's clear just from reading the crat chat that they did, and I think that would still preserve the impression of crat impartiality; complete recusal from the crat chat isn't necessary.--Aervanath (talk) 03:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
  • If I was a bureaucrat, and I opined (voted) in an RfX, I would not comment in any crat chat that may follow. That said, I would only recuse myself because of my own personal views on the issue, not because I think that it would be unambiguously incorrect for a crat to opine in an RfX and comment on an ensuing crat chat. Opining on and then closing the same RfA is another matter, and I would never support crats doing that, except possibly if the RfA was obviously passing (e.g. 110/0/3) and was like 18 hours overdue or something. Pretty much, I feel that Rlevse sums it up well: there is no point in giving people an opportunity to accuse you of bias if you don't need to. Once again speaking hypothetically, if the other crats felt my opinion was desirable, they could/would ask me on the crat chat page or my talk page. If the other crats were absolutely deadlocked, I would probably say on the chat page what I thought, but I would not "vote" on the outcome or something similar, if it came to that. J.delanoygabsadds 04:52, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

In my RfB, I committed to not closing a RfX I made a significant contribution to, except under extraordinary circumstances (and that'd be pretty much never). Since passing RfB I therefore rarely make a significant contribution to RfX discussions in case I'm needed to close them.

I think a Crat chat is slightly different - when one is next needed, I'd like the widest possible participation by us - those who made significant contributions can and should state that up front. I would like to think that any Crat contributions to Crat chat would be about assessment of the RfX, rather than about the candidate's merits and I'd trust my colleagues to be able to separate the two. Avoiding closure of the RfX is because of the unilateral nature of it, and the obvious problem this can present. A Crat chat is collegiate, which negates this danger. And (say) four voices assessing something tricky are better than (say) two.

If consensus were to form that Crats should not participate in Crat chats where they have made significant contributions, I'd be urging my colleagues never to participate significantly in RfX. Which would be a shame. --Dweller (talk) 09:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I think it's more about avoiding the appearance of a conflict of interest. While I agree that the crat chat as you describe it would be more about assessing the consensus of the discussion, if you have participated in that discussion your further participation in assessing the outcome of that discussion would be seen as a conflict of interest. This would only be in cases where you voiced one of the three opinions (Support, Oppose, Neutral), not if you asked for clarifications, or tagged likely SPAs. If you have participated in the discussion itself (not just asked for clarification), then you shouldn't be closing the discussion or participating in the assessment of the discussion prior to that closing. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 09:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the problem that Avi raised here will only arise if at almost all active crats had !voted on the RfX in question because then it becomes a simple logistics problem. If only 1 or 2 crats remain who have not !voted, there will be noone to have a crat chat with, thus the crat who will have to close this RfX will not be able to consult anyone, which cannot be the desired outcome of a "no participation at all"-rule. As such, I think, similar to Dweller above, that participation in a crat chat should be allowed even if the crat in question has !voted on the RfX in those cases where otherwise there would simply be not enough crats to have a productive crat chat. After all, discounting the inactive ones, there is only 14 crats active (far too few imho), so it's quite realistic that 12 of them !voted in that particular RfX, especially if it's one where the candidate is controversial or well-liked. And 2 crats simply cannot have a "crat chat" in the sense of having a wider discussion about the closing and we cannot want that. So I think if say 75% of active crats participated on an RfX, we should make an exception to the rule that someone who participated cannot be involved in closing the RfX. But only then, because the concerns raised above are very valid after all. Regards SoWhy 10:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

In a case like that, perhaps, but I still think it should be avoided if at all possible. If that were to happen, then the ones who did !vote in the RfA should definitely be completely up front about things and double and triple check anything they write for possible bias. I trust all of them to do that, but there are plenty of people here who are looking for even the slightest misstep. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 10:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. As long as there is enough crats who have not participated, there should be no such considerations at all. Just in those cases where there aren't, we need to be able to have such a discussion taking place without people "revolting". Regards SoWhy 18:57, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
In the past, it's been accepted that bureaucrats who have commented in an Rfx can take part in a bureaucrat discussion, but they are expected to state that they have commented - it's in the information I put together some time ago, at Wikipedia:Bureaucrat discussion. At the moment, there are plenty of active bureaucrats, so it's unlikely to cause difficulties if any who have participated recuse themselves, but if we ever return to a situation where only a small number of bureaucrats are active, such a policy could lead to chats which have few participants, who may not be the most involved. Warofdreams talk 21:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Anyone feel like re-granting rights?

I am not as active as I would like to be but I do catch cross wiki spammers via Commons & Meta from time to time. I had sysop rights & dropped them a while back - I would make some use of them again I guess. Probably worth bearing in mind that such abuse is often in user: namespace so if deletions there bother folk....

AFAIK I was of "good standing" (of course it depends who you ask!).

Thanks & regards --Herby talk thyme 18:49, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, our speedy criterion G11 covers User: namespace spam as well, so there should be no bothering, should there? Anyway, (preemptively at the moment) welcome back :-) Regards SoWhy 18:54, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah.... but it doesn't always get deleted..... :) & thanks Avi (ec) --Herby talk thyme 19:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
    •  Done - Welcome back, Herby! -- Avi (talk) 19:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

RfB promotion standard

Hi—just a quick question. I would be interested to know if any bureaucrats (who are still able to do so) are potentially going to consider closing Juliancolton's RfB as successful if it ends up having a percentage less than the traditional ~90%. I wouldn't normally think to ask, but this RfA was just successful at 67.8%, which is below the general 70% rule. I know that I didn't oppose the RfA because I didn't imagine it could possibly be closed as successful, and so my oppose vote would be unnecessary. I know it may not be a fair question, but I'd like to have a bit of heads up if such a closure may be coming our way again. Thanks! ÷seresin 09:14, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I think it's far too soon to speculate on how this RFB will be closed and I would advice everyone to cast their !votes regardless of how it might seem the RfX is going. Dave's RFA is an example that no predictions can and should be made based on percentage and numbers alone but we should not make any deductions from this RfA to Julian's RFB. Or, to allow me to be bold and answer your question without being a crat: Closures that are not fitting the traditional support % examples can always occur and the crats will never close something as unsuccessful or successful based on such % alone, so you should not worry about it but cast your !vote anyway regardless of such concerns.
To phrase it another way: If the crats told you they would or would not close it as successful, would that really make a difference for what you think about whether Julian should be granted cratship? I don't think it would or indeed should, which makes the question moot. Regards SoWhy 09:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
As a participant, I may not be entirely impartial here, but I would advise everyone to participate based on the candidate and not the percentage. How the RfB is going shouldn't really be material to a person's opinion. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
SoWhy and Anonymous Dissident have given the correct answer. If you have any opinion on a candidate's suitability for adminship or bureaucratship, say so and say why, regardless which direction you think it's going. (It's your duty as a wiki-citizen, or something like that.) Also, there have been a number of successful sub-70% RFAs, which makes voting based on a guess at the outcome even more difficult. An RFA closed at 67.8% has not been as sure to fail as you suggest for a long time now. (However, RFB closing conventions have tended to change more slowly than those of RFA - to date, I don't think we have had any successful sub-90% RFBs, though someone with a better historical memory than I is welcome to correct me if I'm mistaken.) — Dan | talk 16:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Well there have actually been three, including on below 80%. Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Andrevan3 closed at 78/12/2 in July 2007, which is 87.67% support. Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Essjay closed at 143/16/4, which is 89.94% (ok so that's just barely below 90%). Finally, way back in 2004 Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Cimon avaro closed at 11/3/2 which comes out to a (shockingly) low 78.57%. Cool3 (talk) 16:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Andre's has only 86,6% support and is the RFB with the lowest support ratio so far (not counting those from way back like Cimon avaro). Regards SoWhy 17:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, quite right my math seems to have been wrong. 86.7% if we round though :). Cool3 (talk) 17:15, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
And as a matter of fact, there was one more sub 90% "back in the day", the very first one to use the current format Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Ed Poor passed at 28/4/2 which amounts to 87.5%. So of the 34 (I believe I counted right) RfBs since the initial mailing list selection, 4 passed with less than 90% support (11.8%), which is to say that it's really not that uncommon. Cool3 (talk) 17:19, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I've always thought of RFB as >90% = almost sure pass, and >85% = maybe. J.delanoygabsadds 17:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a pretty rough calculation. There is a similar one for RfAs, >80% = pretty sure pass, >70% maybe and still Dan's aforementioned close of Dave's RFA shows us that success is always possible outside those numbers; so we should abandon such calculations and just discuss on the merits of a candidate. Regards SoWhy 17:26, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
As a note, I don't think Cimon avaro's candidacy can be considered a reasonable outlier, or can be discussed to that end. There were 16 participants; percentages really don't come into it. The candidacy took place at a very early time in RfB history, and the atmosphere and standards are completely different today. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 02:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I've put together hard data on all of the RfBs thus far to determine where consensus is now. Of course, the immediate fact that jumps out to anyone who glances through RfB is that it just doesn't happen much anymore. There have been 34 successful RfBs (not including those on the mailing list) since the beginning of the project. 16 of them, roughly half, occurred in 2004, and only 5 (14.7%0 occurred within the last 12 months. Thus, it is in fact rather difficult to talk in a definite sense about where the "modern" line falls.

Support Percentage Range Total Successful Unsuccessful Percentage Successful
95-100% 21 0 100%
90-94.99% 7 0 100%
85-89.99% 4 3 57%
80-84.99% 0 6 0%
75-79.99% 1 9 10%
Less than 75% 0 55 0%

The conclusion from this data is that the crats do act roughly according to <90% is successful with a discretion zone of 85-90%. There is the one notable anomaly, of a successful RfA in the 75-80% range being successful. It was a long time ago (18 March 2004) and as stated above, it was also very low participation. I will leave you as to your own conclusions about whether or not that was a valid close and whether it has any applicability to today. Cool3 (talk) 02:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe that the last attempt to find a community consensus for the requirements of a successful RfB was Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/RfB bar. At the time, I attempted to distill what could be taken from the comments made on that page to a short statement to the effect that: "Whilst RfB is not a vote, it is generally expected that RfBs with more than 90% will be successful, whereas those with less than 80% will not be. Bureaucrats should assess the level of consensus bearing in mind the high levels of community trust expected for appointment." That formulation found some support on the talkpage. WJBscribe (talk) 10:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Barring any changes that I am unaware of, this is true to this day. Obviously, we can't keep everyone happy, but what Will has said above seems to be what the majority of people agree is acceptable. --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 10:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I like to view it in terms of Support:Oppose ratios. A percentage of 90% is a 9:1 ratio. A percentage of 80 is a 4:1 ratio. I agree that <4:1 ratio is in general not accepted and >9:1 is in general a no-brainer, and in between is where discussion and discretion take hold. -- Avi (talk) 15:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I've never been a big fan of percentages. Dave's RfA below proves that people are too hung up on raw numbers IMO. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Disputed closure of Davemeistermoab to admin.

Rdsmith4 (talk · contribs) has explained his close in detail. Consensus appears to be that Rdsmith4 has, by no means, abused his bureaucrat rights. Nothing sensible is going to happen here anymore, thus, I am archiving this “discussion”. — Aitias // discussion 23:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Davemeistermoab, closed 11 July by Rdsmith4 at (69/33/4) Could I ask here for a detailed explanation as to the figures and the considered points regarding the successful closing of Davemeistermoabs RFA by Rdsmith4. I see..69 supports and 33 opposes, close to 50 precent? I dispute this closure.(Off2riorob (talk) 21:02, 11 July 2009 (UTC))

For the record, 69/(69+33)= .6969 = 69.7% Dave (talk) 21:07, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I've getting 67.64%, FWIW. –Juliancolton | Talk 21:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Correct, finger slip on the calculator, my apologies.Dave (talk) 21:13, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
edit C..That is a strange way to work out the figure, the number of supports divided by the total number of votes (neutral votes are ignored) gives a figure, what is that figure called? Its not 69.7 support is it, as the percentage of support is closer to 50 percent. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
I still disagree with the closure and would like another B. to look at it, according to your figures the result is still a long way away from passing. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:22, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
That is the standard way to compute percentages.Dave (talk) 21:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. And while it is a bit of an unusual close, consensus isn't determined by numbers alone. –Juliancolton | Talk 21:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
What is it called then this percentage? If you ask me the consensus from the votes was not to pass. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:27, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
To find the percentage of support, divide the number of supports by the total number of support and oppose votes cast. Julian is correct with both of his statements. J.delanoygabsadds 21:31, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
To calculate the support %, neutral !votes are not counted by long-standing consensus. They can range from anything like "I really like you but very tiny detail" to "just a tiny thing stops me from opposing" and as such they cannot simply be added to the "everything else" pile when it comes to percentage. Regards SoWhy 21:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
.....What do you call it, this figure? What is it's name?(Off2riorob (talk) 21:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
It's called "percentage in support" I'd say. Since we only examine supports and opposes to calculate it, the name is correct although somewhat misleading maybe. Regards SoWhy 21:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

(od)Rob, I'm not sure if we've moved beyond the math or not. If we have please forgive. The %support and %oppose should sum to 100. Try it both methods and see which works.

  • Method One: Support - 69/(69+33), Oppose - 33/(69+33)
  • Method two: Support - 33/69, oppose - 69/33

Run those numbers, it should be obvious which is correct Dave (talk) 21:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I still dispute this closure, there was a strong opinion amongst the voters that dave was not ready. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:34, 11 July 2009 (UTC))

Well Rob why don't you wait a little while and see what the crats' have to say? Chillum 21:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
I must admit I am curious myself. Chillum 21:43, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
To reach the desired 75 percent using these methods, you would need to include all the support votes as good informed votes and you would have to reject thirty percent of the opposes. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:56, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
I supported Davemeistermoab's RFA, but to close an RFA at 67% as successful is wrong. I think Rdsmith4 has abused the community trust. We elect bureaucrats so that they listen to the community; we don't elect them so that they can pass their own judgment and turn a deaf ear to the community. In this case, only 67% editors supported the candidate. Bureaucrats should pass an RFA with less than 70% support only under the most extreme circumstances. There was no consensus to promote the candidate. AdjustShift (talk) 22:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Strongly agreeing with AdjustShift here. — Aitias // discussion 22:27, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
So Rdsmith4 should ignore the 67% who supported the candidate? Why should the minority of people get their way here? Especially if they were wrong. This is not a "deaf ear", Rdsmith4 clearly explained his closure. There's nothing wrong with this closure at all. It is not a nose-counting exercise, as you seem to believe. Clearly Rdsmith believed the arguments to promote the candidate were stronger. If/until Dave actually causes a problem, please stop causing a scene about this. Bureaucrats should be doing this more often, not less. Frivolous non-arguments are all too often counted by bureaucrats. Majorly talk 22:33, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Majorly, please go and read WP:RFA. This is sometimes difficult to ascertain, and is not a numerical measurement, but as a general descriptive rule of thumb most of those above ~80% approval pass, most of those below ~70% fail, and the area between is subject to bureaucratic discretion. If a candidate has 70-80% support, a bureaucrat can decide whether to promote or not to promote a candidate. So Rdsmith4 should ignore the 67% who supported the candidate? If you believe that candidates with 67% support should be promoted as admins, please go to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) and ask the community to introduce such a policy. The role of a bureaucrat is important when a candidate has 70-80% support. If the support is below 70%, bureaucrats should close the RFA as either "No consensus" or "Unsuccessful". If the support is over 80%, bureaucrats should close the RFA as successful. Bureaucrats should pass or fail an RFA with less than 70% support or over 80% support only under the most extreme circumstances. We elect bureaucrats to listen to the community. In this particular case, Rdsmith4 didn't listen to the community. AdjustShift (talk) 22:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, it's a rule of thumb, not a set in stone policy. We have, FYI, had several RFAs closed as successful with less that 70%, and the admins have been fine. Rdsmith4 listened to the community, in that 67% of the voters argued for promotion, and he felt the 33% who did not had weak or invalid arguments. That's his job, as a bureaucrat. To find the consensus. It is not a head count, otherwise a bot would do it. He clearly listened to the community. If you want the rule of thumb made into a rule, go to the policy page and suggest it yourself. This was perfectly in line with the current guidelines. Majorly talk 23:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • There were no "Too many admins currently" type of opposes in the oppose side. I supported the RFA; but, the oppose side also had some valid points. AdjustShift (talk) 23:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

::::::And knowing Marjorly's anger upset at his recent unsucsessful attempt at RFA, perhaps his comments should be taken with a pinch of salt(Off2riorob (talk) 22:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC))

Red flag on the play there, Off2riorob. Not cool, not appropriate. More to the point, Majorly is saying the promotion is good. Not sure how his unfortunately unsuccessful RFA has much to do with that. → ROUX  22:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Rob, please explain why you inserted and underlined a word in retracting your statementDave (talk) 23:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
First I thought my comment was too strong and changed anger to upset and wanted to strike anger and underlined it as well as struck it by mistake and then changed my mind to strike the whole thing and have left an apology on Marjorly's talk page. (Off2riorob (talk) 23:16, 11 July 2009 (UTC))

Kinda curious how WP:BN has been mistaken for User talk:Rdsmith4. EVula // talk // // 22:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I dunno, I'd think this is the logical place to bring it up, in order to gain the input of as many crats as possible. → ROUX  22:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Considering that the closing statement ended with "I will be glad to answer any further questions" and this thread started off with "Could I ask here for a detailed explanation as to the figures and the considered points regarding the successful closing of Davemeistermoabs RFA by Rdsmith4" (emphasis mine), it should have been taken to Dan first and foremost. EVula // talk // // 23:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I just can't believe what Rdsmith4 did. He is a steward of the Wikimedia Foundation projects. Promoting a candidate with only 67% support is just unacceptable. As an admin, I can't block whoever I want; I've to listen to the community. I want Everyking to be an admin; I supported his RFA. I want Ironholds to be an admin; I supported his RFA. But, the community thinks otherwise. As a Wikipedian, I've to respect the wishes of the community. This is an example of abuse of power by a "trusted member" of our community. AdjustShift (talk) 22:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It isn't only 67%. That's quite a high figure in a vote. Consider real life elections, such as those for the UK. You'd be lucky getting more than 40%. In any case, how is it "just unacceptable"? A massive 3% out of the rule of thumb is that awful how? The wishes of the community were to promote Dave. You cannot measure that in numbers, but the bureaucrat is supposed to figure it out. Rdsmith4 figured there was community consensus.
  • As an admin, you can block without listening to the community. No one is going to complain that you didn't ask before blocking a vandal. This promotion is completely uncharacteristic of "abusive". You disagree with it, yes, that doesn't make it abusive in any way. Is there any way Rdsmith4 is affiliated with Dave that makes him biased? Did he support the candidate? Is he friends? I simply cannot see the abuse. Abuse needs a motive, and I can't see it, at all. Please don't go throwing words like abuse without thinking of the consequences. Majorly talk 23:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree with Majorly on this one. While I'm not sure this was the right decision – if I was a crat, I'd probably have closed it no consensus – the whole point of discretion is the element of choice. Otherwise, we could just automate the process. (FWIW, ^demon 3's and Krimpet's RFAs were successful with lower percentages, so it's not like we're in some unheard-of territory here.) – iridescent 23:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I would have probably closed this as no consensus. The opposition arguments were fairly strong in my view. But, there has been no abuse here, and this promotion is quite within community norms. An unusual amount of opposition, but again, it's not just a headcount. The opposition said little about the candidate as an admin, more about other unrelated issues. If the opposers had perhaps brought up problematic speedy-deletion tagging, grossly uncivil behaviour, a long block log for edit warring or whatever, maybe Rdsmith4 would have given them a stronger base. As such the opposes were mostly something unrelated to working as an admin. Majorly talk 23:26, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Iridesant has linked to two other successfull similar promotions, One in 2007 and one in 2008, I would call this kind of promotion rare, we would rather wait for the closers comments. (Off2riorob (talk) 23:34, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
  • Majorly, please stop talking about UK's election. I'm not a British, and I have zero interest in those elections. Rdsmith4 thinks that there was a consensus to promote the candidate, but Iridescent disagrees with him. And many other editors will agree with Iridescent. Rdsmith4 made no effort whatsoever to do what WjBscribe did during Riana's RFB. See Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Riana/Bureaucrat discussion. He should have at least talked with other bureaucrats before making his decision. Rdsmith4 may think that there is a consensus to promote the candidate, but lot of editors will disagree with him. AdjustShift (talk) 23:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • And many will agree with Rdsmith4. Is disagreement now the same thing as abuse? Rdsmith has been a bureaucrat for nearly four years, and is normally very good at explaining his closures, of which he has made some difficult ones. Did you actually think of asking for an explanation on his talk page, before making wild accusations of abuse on here? Majorly talk 23:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • What "wild accusation"? I strongly believe that bureaucrats should pass an RFA with less than 70% support only under the most extreme circumstances. His decision to close the RFA as "successful" was incorrect. He didn't listen to the community. AdjustShift (talk) 23:52, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • User:Majorly/RfA/Stats/all (warning, 300kb page) shows that there have been 5 RfAs closed with less than 70% supporting. RfAs are not a vote, but instead an attempt to find consensus among the community, as judged by a bureaucrat. Consensus isn't found by counting votes, but by measuring the strength of arguments. It doesn't matter whether we particularly agree or disagree with this call; the bureaucrats have the power to weigh supports and opposes differently, and Dan clearly did. The bureaucrats are not obligated to open a 'crat chat even in cases not within the traditional discretionary zone if they feel that after weighing the opinions, consensus is clear. In any case, I probably should not have even said as much, as my original intent in coming here was to ask us to wait for Dan to come and further explain. NW (Talk) 23:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, my dear, you are absolutely right. At least two of them (Successful RFA with less than 70% support) were very controversial. Yes, RfAs are not a vote, but instead an attempt to find consensus among the community. Bureaucrats should try to "find consensus" when a candidate has 70-80% support. Rlevse did that perfectly on two occasions. See Rootology's RFA and Aervanath's RFA. When support level falls below 70%, bureaucrats shouldn't promote the candidate. AdjustShift (talk) 00:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The 'crat chat on Riana's RfB is in no way analogous to the situation here. This is getting ridiculous; let's just wait for Dan to actually respond to this thread. EVula // talk // // 23:57, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • EVula, Dan should have consulted other bureaucrats. He should have at least talked to couple of bureaucrats before passing the RFA. AdjustShift (talk) 00:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Your opinion, which you're certainly welcome to, but I fail to see the parallel between this RfA (which was rather hum-drum with the exception of its closure) and Riana's RfB, which was rather unique in both the sheer number of participants and the fact that there was a concurrent discussion about what the passing consensus threshold was. Hence, my statement that the two are not analogous. EVula // talk // // 00:38, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Majorly, "the opposition said little about the candidate as admin" is a gross misrepresentation. There were many voices expressing concern that a misunderstanding of core content policies made the candidate unfit for deletion work, and many more pointing out his complete track record in deletion - the area he expressed interest for. Likewise, stop talking about 67% support, surely if so many opposes have been overlooked or discounted, the "support because of opposes" must have been discounted too. This closure most definitely requires more ample explanation from the closer, not preemptive attempts to shut up those who dare ask the question by others. Let's hear from Rdsmith. MLauba (talk) 23:59, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Guys, there's no point in having this argument. Let's wait for Rdsmith to chime in. –Juliancolton | Talk 23:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
edit C..[Here] are the closers recent contributions. Have a look. (Off2riorob (talk) 23:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC))
As far as I can tell, he's never failed to respond to queries in the past. –Juliancolton | Talk 23:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd also like to hear a detailed rationale for the closure. As it stands, it seems like the sky's the limit. Might as well disregard all the opposes in JC's RfB that mention his age. After all, age has nothing to do with the ability to close RfA's, authorize bots, yada yada.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that nobody bothered to inform Dan that this thread was here; I did so not too long ago, but he hadn't edited several hours prior to my comment. We're better off simply waiting for for him to respond rather claim abuse or using questionable math or [insert drama form here]. (I, for one, am not commenting on the RfA itself until Dan's had a chance to comment) EVula // talk // // 23:51, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
No, I went to Dan's talk page to see if he had posted anything and saw your note to him, directing him here. Otherwise I would have posted there. There seems no point in splitting the discussion.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
My note came more than an hour and a half after this thread was started. (although, admittedly, both were a few hours after Dan's last edit, suggesting he may be in bed; I really don't envy him for having to deal with all this drama first thing in the morning) EVula // talk // // 00:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
's OK, he'll save money on liquid caffeine. That thumping of his heart when he sees that orange message banner and then follows it here, it's better than Nescafe!--Wehwalt (talk) 00:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the supports, there are quite a few with no comment at all, just a signature? Are these votes good? Is no comment better than a comment. (Off2riorob (talk) 00:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

Is this really where this is headed? Dragging out every fathomable repeated question about the RfA process before the closing bureaucrat has responded? Is it really that difficult to wait? There's an entire encyclopedia right here we could work on while we wait, and entire world out there as an alternative (though I think some people would reverse those two in terms of priority, and they'd be correct to do so). Everyone needs to disengage for a bit. EVula // talk // // 00:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
This is quite a rare occurrence, according to the figures here..only 5 similar closures in over 5 years. The closer has recently posted, so we may get some insight soon. I would also suggest that to make a controversial disputable decision like this the closer would perhaps be better to be more involved in the day to day situation here at the wikipedia.(Off2riorob (talk) 00:49, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
Off2riorob, could you please allow time for the closing bureaucrat to comment? Thank you, –Juliancolton | Talk 01:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello everybody. I've only recently become aware of this thread, having been out all day. I have every intention of replying in detail; unfortunately I have to go away again just now, but I'll be back soon. If I may, I'd like to offer a polite reminder to those who are clamoring for an immediate response - we are all volunteers, even the bureaucrats, and have our extra-wiki obligations (usually these are the condition of our being able to participate in this project in the first place). Also, when I reply I intend to do so carefully - I don't like to fire off quick rejoinders, which tend toward the counterproductive. Cheers — Dan | talk 01:15, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I must have missed the demand for immediate comment, looking forward to reading the well considered one. Thank you for taking the time.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting Rdsmith4, I can only suggest that anyone involved in the discussion use this time to look at the opposing votes and the supports to weigh up the possible decisions on closure. (Off2riorob (talk) 01:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
Alternatively, we could use this time to contribute or review encyclopedia content. The rationale behind the closure of a borderline RfA is hardly of such moment that everyone needs to "down tools" to focus on it. The closing bureaucrat will post some reasoning in due course - if there's a need for further debate over it we will all have the opportunity at that time. Euryalus (talk) 02:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Without hearing Dan's rationale, I agree with Majorly and Irridescence.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 02:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree too. After all, we should expect closures at the 3sigma level and, given the structure of wikipedia, it is a fait accompli anyway. However, just because the decision is unlikely to be reversed or RegentsPark thinks it fine, I don't see anything wrong in discussing/criticizing/supporting the closure (politely, of course) because that's how the community learns and moves forward. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 03:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC) (Addendum on rereading my comment: I do not mean to imply that Balloonman or anyone else thinks otherwise re the discussion.) --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 03:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The whole reason to have the 70% criteria is that below this the bureacrat should have no discression. This decision tramples on the opinions of wikipedians. If opposes are reduced to votes based on their rationales then support votes often have much weaker rationales and should be reduced likewise. A terrible terrible descision. I am losing my faith in this project the more I see corruption stuff like this. Be bold and reverse this mistake. Polargeo (talk) 06:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
'Corruption' is pushing it a little far. → ROUX  07:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I just felt it was using bureaucratic powers beyond what is allowed by the community. If it was a politician doing this that is the term that would be used. However, I just fired that one off without thinking. Sorry again. Polargeo (talk) 07:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • This is all completely ridiculous, and unfair on Dan. He hasn't even been given a chance to respond properly yet. Please, everyone, stop posting here until the rationale has been produced. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 07:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    Unfair maybe, but completely ridiculous is too strong. People are entitled to raise questions about how bureaucrats perform their duties and entitled to replies to those questions. Whilst I may wish they had phrased those questions differently and shown greater calm and patience, I don't think dismissing genuinely held concerns as ridiculous is helpful. WJBscribe (talk) 10:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    That's true; people are entitled to question. The display here is not reasonable, though, in my mind. That's a frank phrasing, but I feel it to be true. Rdsmith has promised an answer, and yet criticism of the outcome and demands for an answer have continued unabated. The community's questions will be answered. I never meant to characterise the concerns are ridiculous – the lack of patience and escalation of the situation are what are out of order. Still, perhaps "ridiculous" was too strong; I take your comment on board. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 12:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Anonymous Dissident, it is unfair on the community if a bureaucrat promotes a candidate with less than 70% support. AdjustShift (talk) 09:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    It is? Has there been a discussion since I resigned as a bureaucrat on this project that established a consensus that bureaucrats have no discretion to close an RfA with less that 70% support as successful? I don't think there has been and looking back over the last half dozen successful RfBs, I note that no candidate has acknowledged such a rule or stated that they would never promote under 70%. I think the best formulation of what agreement there is on this area remains that candidates with over 80% support are likely to be successful and those with less than 70% are unlikely to be. It is open to a bureaucrat to determine that a consensus exists for promotion below that percentage - indeed a large proportion of the community is adverse to consensus being tied to numbers at all. The onus is on Rdsmith4 to explain his reasons for finding that a consensus for promotion exists once questions are raised. I do think it more polite to ask such questions on his talkpage than here. If you are unsatisfied with how he is performing his duties as a crat, then your recourse would be a user conduct RfC to establish whether your concerns are widely shared. But like others, can I encourage you to wait and listen for further explanation from Rdsmith4? WJBscribe (talk) 10:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    Thanks for your input, WJB. I've never said that there is a rule on en.wikipedia that says bureaucrats should never promote under 70%. Bureaucrats should pass an RFA with less than 70% support only under the most extreme situations. I will wait for further explanation from Rdsmith4. AdjustShift (talk) 12:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

What we are missing here

Surely it was the fact that I was voting that was discounted? I opposed on the grounds that the candidates' style was truly appalling (fact) and that some of the sourcing was very strange (many sources did not appear to match the claims made in the article). If you take my vote out, and Ottava's (who opposed on the sourcing grounds alone) then that gets us back to 70%, correct? Peter Damian (talk) 07:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

The way I read it is that bureaucrats should only have the discretion to decide your arguments are wrong when there is at least 70 % support. Here the power has been used in a case when it should not have been used. Oppose votes should only be discounted in this circumstance if they are genuinely invalid such as sockpuppet. Below 70% support is not in the bureacrat's discretion to decide Polargeo (talk) 07:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
In effect this descision by an individual has ruled that editing standards do not matter in an RfA. This is terrible. Bureaucratic powers are not given for bureacrats to make this sort of decision. Editing articles is fundamental to wikipedia. Polargeo (talk) 07:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Once that point had been discussed, several folk including the outstanding article writer Irridescent felt it wasnt a valid reason to oppose. Its human nature that many wont change their initial position even when the evidence suggests they should re-evaluate, so its great we have crats bold enough to use their discretion.
This was an outstandingly brave and well judged closure. RfA / RfB are not votes. A key phrase from the main RfA page is "most of those below ~70% fail" . The qualifier "most" clearly implies a significant minority of cases below the 70% threshold can still be passed. Had the folk who drafted the page wanted to communicate that say less than 1 in 20 of such cases would pass, they'd have said something like "the vast majority of those below 70% will fail"
Were RfA a vote , a small group with the kind of morals that allow them to stoop to canvassing and socking could easily blackball any candidate they like – a single oppose vote being sufficient to cancel out 3 supports. It would be only logical for such a group to oppose good hearted honest folk like Dave. It might cause unnecessary drama if Dan reminds us that such corruption was suspected in this RfA, but as a wiki non entity I can hopefully make this point. An exemplary case of someone in power putting the good of the community ahead of his desire to avoid hassle. FeydHuxtable (talk) 07:49, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Article-writing is not fundamental to being an admin. I have seen some editors decline admin nominations because they felt it would take them away from writing the articles they enjoyed. You need no experience in editing articles to block a vandal, to pick one example. None of the admin tools aid in writing articles. An admin has to know when (and when not) to: delete/undelete pages, protect/unprotect pages, block/unblock users, edit protected pages, and perform complicated page moves. They also have to be able to abide by and enforce our conduct policies. The only one of those powers which involve skill in editing is the power to edit protected pages, and those are usually templates or controversial articles. If they are templates, then article-writing skill isn't needed. If it's a controversial article, then all they need to do is determine whether their edit has consensus on the talk page, and determining consensus is also not something which requires article-writing skill. So where is the need for article-writing?--Aervanath (talk) 07:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Can I suggest you both read Wikipedia:Guide_to_requests_for_adminship#What_RfA_contributors_look_for_and_hope_to_see carefully. Requirement on article writing and excellence are clearly spelled out. Until the day that there is a clear separation of powers between those who are promoted for content contribution, and those who are promoted for administrative ability and dispute settling, I will oppose any RfA where there is clear lack of contribution to the project in 'article space'. Being a 'good hearted honest [chap]' is just not enough. Peter Damian (talk) 08:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
That would be different from your announcement that you'll oppose every RFA, somehow? Something something post hoc ergo propter hoc something something. → ROUX  08:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
No I won't oppose every RfA. Of course not. Please assume good faith. Peter Damian (talk) 08:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
In your own words, you said you would oppose every RFA. Don't give me a bunch of tosh about assuming good faith when I'm using your own statements. → ROUX  08:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure I said exactly that, and it was certainly not intended. Please stop this attempt to smear good-faith attempts at improving the RfA process. Peter Damian (talk) 08:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Riiiight. Facts are not 'smearing,' but whatever. "I am consistently opposing the election of every new adminstrator." were your precise words. → ROUX  08:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
And I have consistently been opposing - except for one case (Skomorohk) where I did support briefly, but moved back to oppose based on a careful consideration of the candidate's contributions and views and understanding of policy. There are RfA's coming up that I certainly intend to support, based on my careful research. This smearing is what you get from people who don't bother to do the necessary background work. See my work on the Skomorokh case. Peter Damian (talk) 08:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Do me two favours, ok? 1) Stop calling facts 'smearing'. Saying something repeatedly don't make it so, and 2) Stop assuming I'm stupid. Thanks. → ROUX  09:02, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay so lets make a new RfA rule. Any oppose based on editorial ability is invalid. While we are at it lets make this an invalid support as well. Ridiculous! Polargeo (talk) 08:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Way to miss the point here. → ROUX  08:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

One of the points here is that there is a position of thought around with the opinion that some of the Wikipedian Users voting at RFA don't know what they want and that the crats should just throw away these foolish voters away and pass the vote anyway. Voters often do not say what they really feel when they vote, as sometimes that is frowned upon here, so they say , agree with harry, or just sign there name. But what they are saying after asuming good faith, is that they vote this way or that way and it is not good to discount many or even any peoples votes. The good votes and the bad votes generally will cancel themselves out in a RFA. Taking away the respect for a Users vote is detrimental to the User and to the Wikipedia. All votes are equal, whatever they write. Of course there will be one or two spoilt votes that the closer needs to take into consideration but not as in this case here, which is the acceptance of every support vote and the rejection of thirty percent of the opposes. (Off2riorob (talk) 09:13, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

!votes aren't "accepted" or "rejected", they're considered in proportion to the strength of their arguments. But on a wider issue - you've asked for the closing bureaucrat's rationale in a borderline RfA, and they've said they will provide it shortly. There seems little point in repeating your concern multiple times while we await that rationale. There's many more useful things to do in the mean time, and you'll certainly have a chance to restate your views once the rationale is received. On an even wider issue, in future when you have a concern about someone's action, it's often worth raising it with them on their talk page first. I notice none of the editors opposed to Rdsmith's decision have so far bothered to ask him directly, and suggest this might have been a worthwhile (and courteous) thing to have done. Euryalus (talk) 09:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Unnecessary controversial decisions like this, achieve nothing except reduce peoples individual authority and increase the sweeping powers of the we know best governing authority. (Off2riorob (talk) 09:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
The closing bureaucrat's rationale (as given in his closing statement) was clearly flawed and biased, no statement can change that fact. He excluded oppose votes that focused on article contributions but accepted the greater number of support votes that did the same. That can hardly be considered even-handed, but I do not have the slightest expectation that this unsatisfactory situation will be resolved by anyone showing a little bit of honesty or integrity. After all, an admin is for life. --Malleus Fatuorum 12:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
How long is it respectful to wait for a comment. (Off2riorob (talk) 17:26, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
Given that it's been all of a day or so since the RfA was closed, and that the candidate has not yet been seen deleting the main page, I think we can wait a couple of days to let Dan write a thorough rationale when he has time.--Aervanath (talk) 17:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Especially as he said he had RL chores to take care of; Sunday is a day many of use to take care of errands as we are not working. -- Avi (talk) 17:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think people of position here should do what they know is a controversial action here in their position of authority and then walk away, this is like some kind of drive by, this decision should never have been taken on his own when he is an infrequent user to say the least, less than fifty edits in the last three months.(Off2riorob (talk) 17:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

I think that you have to accept that people aren't going to wait 2 or 3 days before discussing this issue, and that there will be a certain amount of talk, and perhaps it will guide Dan when he gets around to writing his response. Meantime I have to get outside, we are all chanting "Where is my !vote?" and "Jimbo is great!"--Wehwalt (talk) 17:53, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Article writing experience

Reply to Peter Damian (from above): Wikipedia:Guide_to_requests_for_adminship#What_RfA_contributors_look_for_and_hope_to_see is merely a description of what a lot of RFA voters look for. It's not a prescriptive rule in any way. I am aware that a lot of editors here disagree with me on this issue, and believe that article experience is necessary for adminship; my own RFA last November generated a fair bit of conversation along those lines, based mostly around my lack of article experience. However, I was promoted despite those objections, and I think I've done an OK job of being an admin, if I do say so myself. There have also been other admins who were promoted despite a lack of contributions in the realm of article contributions, because their other contributions showed a sufficient amount of WP:CLUE. Again, you are free to disagree with me on whether article experience is necessary to be an admin, and I'm certainly not going to argue that the bureaucrats should ignore arguments based on that, because it is clear that many editors do feel that this is a necessary criterion, even if (in my opinion) they are incorrect. Cheers,--Aervanath (talk) 12:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Aervanath, you are right; article writing is not important for admins. Article writers like Malleus Fatuorum, Ironholds, Everyking, Dr. Blofeld, and Ottava Rima should do all the hard work, and admins should play bullies on en.wikipedia.
Aervanath, your RFA was at 72% support. It was over 70% and below 80%. It was within bureaucratic discretion. AdjustShift (talk) 12:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Come now, AS. The skill sets of 'content developer' and 'good admin' are not the same, and while some people may possess both, such people are in the minority. → ROUX  15:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Sarcasm isn't helpful. Can we please hold our respective horses and stop the negative speculation? EVula // talk // // 16:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
AdjustShift, you are perfectly correct that my RFA was well within bureaucratic discretion; that wasn't my point. I'm just pointing out that not everybody feels article writing experience is integral to being an admin, in contrast to what Peter Damian claimed above. I haven't had much to do with the article writers you just named, which I think proves my point that there's actually not much overlap between article writing and being an admin. If there were, I'd probably have interacted with them a lot more. I'm not saying this to comment on Rdsmith4's close, because I have no opinion on this either way. I'm simply stating my belief that content work is not a necessary prerequisite for adminship. For some people, it seems to be. I'm not sure how to take your "bullies" comment; is this a comment on admins in general or on me in particular? If it's on me personally, I always welcome constructive criticism on my talk page. If it's on admins in general, could you expand here? Thanks, --Aervanath (talk) 17:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I agree with all the users who are calling on this to slow down while we wait for Rdsmith4's further input. I'm just talking about the general issue of requiring article experience for adminhood, not the specific RfA currently being debated. --Aervanath (talk) 17:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Dear Aervanath, the "bullies" comment was directed neither at you, nor at admins in general. The comment was directed at certain admins who are more interested in the political side of WP rather than content building. Aervanath, I personally believe that you are a good admin, and I agree with you on most occasions. But, I disagree with you that content building is not necessary for admin candidates. AdjustShift (talk) 17:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


Could everybody please stop frivolously posting here until Rdsmith4 gets a chance to explain his decision? He's been a bureaucrat for four years, and an editor for even longer; I'm sure he knows what he's doing. There's no point in speculating. Thank you. –Juliancolton | Talk 14:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Yep! I think we should all wait for Rdsmith4's explanation. AdjustShift (talk) 17:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


As I said in my initial closing statement, I am glad to respond to questions - RFAs like this are excellent opportunities to explain the niceties of RFA procedure to anybody who may have forgotten, or to members of the community who may be too new to have lived through the thrill-a-minute history of RFA.

RFA is neither purely a vote nor purely a discussion. This is true of both aspects of the process - the week-long comments-gathering period as well as the closure by a bureaucrat. The comments-gathering period involves both voting - adding your signature to a numbered list in either the "support" or the "oppose" section - and discussion, since you are also obliged to give some semblance of a reason for your vote, to which other users often respond. The closure process likewise involves vote-counting, to arrive at a final percentage of support, as well as reading the discussion that has occurred and making an informed judgment on the basis of all information present. (For those who may not be aware, the final percentage of support is defined as S/(S+O), or in this case 69/(69+33) = 67.6%.)

The percentage serves to place the RFA into one of four general categories, three of which specify a default outcome. These categories serve as an initial heuristic to the closing bureaucrat: they give him a fair, but incomplete, idea of what the community thinks. The categories and their default outcomes are:

  1. >80% : clear consensus in favor; strong pass.
  2. <50% : clear consensus against; strong fail.
  3. 50<x<70% : no clear consensus; weak fail.
  4. 70<x<80% : status indeterminate; no default outcome specified.

These percentage ranges have changed gradually over the history of the project, and should never be taken as permanent; but they seem to give an accurate description of RFA procedure at the moment.

Category 4 is usually called the "discretionary zone," because it does not specify a default outcome of any kind. The bureaucrat thus has no choice but to use his discretion - his qualitative judgment, informed by the discussion that has taken place in the RFA - to arrive at a decision. But of course Category 4 RFAs are not the only ones in which a bureaucrat must use some discretion. Inasmuch as he is not a bot, it is his duty to pay attention what has actually been said in the RFA, regardless what the numbers may look like. And of course the outcomes specified by the categories are only defaults - they are not strict, inviolable instructions to the closing bureaucrat.

So, after coming up with a final percentage and placing the RFA into one of the four basic categories, the bureaucrat's next task is to read through the RFA, paying special attention to the reasons given by voters for their votes, plus whatever discussion of those reasons may have occurred. If he finds no reason to depart from the default (in the cases where there is a default), then the decision is made. This is what happens most of the time. Sometimes, however, in reading the discussion the bureaucrat may receive a different impression than that provided by the initial head-count. This results in a non-default closure. Obviously in these situations he is expected to provide a closing statement explaining his decision, which is what I did in Dave's case. I don't know how many of those commenting here read my closing statement - in any case very few have responded to it directly, and some have asked questions answered by it - so I'll go over my reasoning again.

Dave's RFA fell numerically into category #3, meaning my initial impression was that it was unsuccessful, though barely. On reading it, I noticed that a lot of attention was paid in the oppose section to questions raised by Ottava Rima regarding Dave's citation practices - an issue having to do with the writing of articles. Writing articles is not an administrative task - none of the administrative 'tools' has to do with writing articles. In order for these comments to be relevant to an RFA discussion, whose purpose is to talk about the candidate's suitability for adminship, it would have to be claimed that Dave's citation practices suggest general habits that seem likely to carry over into administrative work. However, these voters did not argue that Dave was untrustworthy in general - only that he seemed to have been acting based on a misinterpretation of a few policies, which may even have been standard practice among contributors to road articles and so not uniquely Dave's fault. So this is an easily correctable error having to do only with one aspect of writing articles, and not a habit that bespeaks deeper dispositional issues that might be relevant to admin tasks. Accordingly, even if these concerns are valid, they are not about Dave's suitability for adminship per se. The fact that quite a few of the opposing voters (about a third, I'd guess) gave Dave's citation pratices as their reason led me to conclude that the initial impression provided by the final percentage was misleading: enough of the reasoning in the oppose section lacked the appropriate degree of rigor and relevance that I decided a non-default outcome was required.

Three final notes in response to some specific comments above:

  • Some of you have asked why I did not mention the other significant group of oppose voters, those raising concerns about experience. It has even been suggested that I have ignored these votes. Naturally I have done nothing of the kind - I read them all, and it seems to me they were exactly the right kind of reasons for the oppose section of an RFA. They are directly based on the candidate's own wiki-history, and are directly related to his suitability for specific administrative tasks. (Obviously I make no judgment as to whether they are true of the candidate; that's not my job.) Had the opposing voters all been as rigorous as this, or had there been wider agreement that the candidate lacked experience, doubtless the RFA would not have succeeded. But those opposing for experience comprised only about half of all those opposing - not enough, on their own, to bring about the failure of the RFA. And my concerns with another third of the opposing votes were enough to convince me that the RFA was to pass.
  • Some others of you have wondered why I did not say anything about the support comments. The reason is this: the burden is on those opposing an RFA nomination to give convincing reasons that the candidate is not suited to adminship, rather than on those supporting to give reasons he is suited. (The exception is of course the nominating statement, which is something like a letter of recommendation.) This is perhaps the only way in which it is still true that "adminship is no big deal."
  • No part of my decision to promote Dave turned on the first opposing vote, which mentioned an awkward sentence the candidate had written in an article. I'd like to see much more discussion of the relevance of communication skills to adminship, and of the best way of evaluating a candidate's communication skills, before I'm confident taking a bureaucratic stand on the matter.

As I hope the above has shown, I have not by any means "turned a deaf ear" to the community - to the contrary, I'm listening as closely as ever, and exercising my own discretion in such minimal ways as seem to encourage a high standard of discussion at RFA. My apologies for the delayed arrival of these remarks. — Dan | talk 18:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. Reading your not too frequent edits , it is easy to read that you have the opinion that the standards for Adminship are set too high, this is your opinion and not a policy, can you say that you have not allowed your personal opinionns on the matter give personal bias to your community decision. And.. do you not think that this is a controversial decision? considering the small percentage of comparable promotions.. and.. did you not stop to think that considering the controversial nature of your decision and your relative infrequent involvment in the wikipedia that it would have been better to pass over involment or at least to have asked another bureaucrat for a second opinion? (Off2riorob (talk) 18:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
I'm inclined to agree with Off2riorob. You told us of your personal impression of the opposes. Didn't it occur to you that some people did not want to spell out the possible implications of an editor putting material not found in a reference into an article, reffed by that reference? I think we can look forward to even less collegial RfA's as people strive to make very sure their opposes are not disregarded by relating their concerns to the personal traits we hope for in administrators. At the very least, shouldn't you have consulted with other crats to see if what you "seemed" to see was what they saw?--Wehwalt (talk) 18:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid their not wanting to explain the relevance of their votes is precisely the kind of shortcoming that I am talking about. I know of no other way to keep extraneous and irrelevant concerns out of RFA other than by a minimal requirement that each voter explain why something about the candidate makes him suitable or not for the specific jobs that administrators do. — Dan | talk 18:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I suspect that the implications of the apparent violations were fairly clear. I'm a bit troubled by the fact that you seized on the unwillingness of !voters to explain things further (I saw very little "Huh? Why is that relevant to adminship?", thus I assume that most participants knew what it meant). However, I guess it now becomes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." When I feel strongly enough about an RfA to oppose, I will explain in whatever detail is necessary how and why that relates to adminship. I'd rather not have my !vote cast aside a second time. Thanks for your time.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Could you please explain in detail why you did consider a bureaucrat discussion unnecessary? Thanks, — Aitias // discussion 18:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I take "crat chats" to be in order when questions have arisen in an RFA about the procedure itself - i.e., when we don't have any conventions to help individual bureaucrats figure out what to do in a particular situation. Since I was hardly wandering into uncharted territory with this particular decision, I didn't think it necessary to enlist other bureaucrats to advise me or collaborate in making the decision. If this decision provokes any serious discussion about the role of bureaucrats, and if that discussion points toward a sea change in the community's understanding of what bureaucrats do at RFA, then of course I will be the first to acknowledge the change, but there was nothing innovative about this particular decision - aside, perhaps, from its being a slightly bolder application of already-established conventions. — Dan | talk 20:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Dan, with all due respect, it is not up to the closing bureaucrat to judge whether certain rationales are related to or immediately applicable to admin-duties/tasks. Only in extreme cases when certain votes are either abusive, pointy or malicious can they be disregarded. Crats determine consensus - plain and simple. And here, there certainly was none to promote. Wisdom89 (T / C) 18:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, might I point out that you obviously had a very subjective view of this RfA given your closing statement, and the statements above. In this case, it would have been best to recuse yourself from closure. If you want to weigh in on the discussion, do so, or if you are so inclined, disagree with the opposition and then vote support. Wisdom89 (T / C) 18:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. I have no opinion of the candidate - I knew nothing about him before closing his RFA. I made my decision on the basis of what the voters said, not on the basis of my judgment of the candidate himself. To be sure, this is still in some sense "subjective," but as you can see, closing an RFA is basically a task of interpretation - there can be no objectivity here. — Dan | talk 18:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I never implied that you had personal feelings regarding the candidate, only that you appear to have very strong opinions regarding what kind of opposes are acceptable. Unless there was some wankery going on, it isn't a crat's place to decide. Wisdom89 (T / C) 18:59, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
editC..::You have no opinion of the candidate, but you do have opinions of the process, which you have recently stated, can I ask you to confirm that you closed this RFA with regards to the current policys and not your stated personal opinion, also given your stated opinion that the levels for adminship are set too high, I would say that your held beliefs and your relative limited involvment in the wikipedia should have strengthened the importance of requesting a second opinion on this closure. (Off2riorob (talk) 19:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
Regarding the burdon of proof is on the opposers, this is not an excuse to blindly accept all and every support. These votes should also be considered for relativity. (Off2riorob (talk) 18:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
I would also like to know which votes you have discounted, these editors will I am sure like to know why, so they can avoid the same rejection in the future. (Off2riorob (talk) 18:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
  • I am a strong believer in Assume Good Faith. As such, I can only hope that such people accused of violating our most important policies immediately correct themselves and did not do so maliciously. As such, I am unable to legitimately claim that they are untrustworthy or did it maliciously. The decision that raising views with the implicit connection to inability to trust (i.e., you accuse someone of theft do you still think they can be trusted holding your money?) without actually spelling it out no longer has any kind of impact is a little troubling. I struck my vote before this because I have received word that my vote would be discounted anyway. I bring up a major violation that shows that a user has violated our most important rules over a very long period of time and probably should result in a ban and not adminship, and I am called a troll. Of course a Crat was going to ignore my vote. I'm just glad that I was not blocked or banned. But yes, I care far more about my ability to add good content while abiding by all of the content rules, so this will be the only thing I say on the matter. I'm sure you can fill in the obvious blanks. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Before Dan posted this, I had a "what the heck did he just do" feeling. However, after hearing this response, I'e changed my mind. This is exactly why we elect bureaucrats: to weigh each argument individually. For those of you who say that he's just bringing his own personal opinion in to the argument, let me just say that he was discounting opinions that had to do with quality of writing, which does not directly relate to adminship. A techer of mine once said that "you get the leaders you deserve". Rdsmith4 was elected by the community to judge consensus, and you can't say it's his fault for doing his job. (X! · talk)  · @844  ·  19:15, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Rdsmith4, you have tried to justify your decision to promote Davemeistermoab despite the fact that there was no consensus to promote the candidate. I've problems with your explanation.

  • Davemeistermoab's RFA fell numerically into category #3, so it was not within the bureaucratic discretion. Bureaucrats should promote a candidate whose RFA is in category#3 only under the most extreme situations. There were no "Too many admins currently" or "Oppose - The candidate has too little Template talk edits" type of opposes.
  • Writing articles is not an administrative task - none of the administrative 'tools' has to do with writing articles. Disagree. Admin tools have nothing to do with article writing directly, but they are related indirectly. When you write articles, you understand the core policies of en.wikipedia such as WP:V, WP:RS, and so on. When you know the fundamental policies of en.wikipedia, you are likely to become an effective admin.
  • Peter Damian and Ottave Rima raised some valid concerns. I supported Davemeistermoab's RFA per ChildofMidnight's rationale (en.wikipedia is a collaborative project, so perfection is not required). But, the oppose side had valid concerns.

Rdsmith4, your rationales are flawed. You excluded oppose votes that focused on article writing but why didn't you exclude support votes without any rationale? Rdsmith4, you have done lots of nice things for en.wikipedia, but I think you committed a blunder by closing Davemeistermoab's RFA as "Successful". Nothing will happen to you, but please remember that multiple editors are pretty disappointed with your decision. Have a nice day! AdjustShift (talk) 19:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Rationale-free supports are AFAIK generally interpreted as "I agree with the nomination statement." → ROUX  19:21, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Ok, so bureaucrats should count rationale-free supports, and exclude opposes that focuses on article writing? I can agrue that the editor who voted "Support - per this guy" or "Support - ~~~~" didn't do any research on the candidate. So, bureaucrats should discount such support votes.
  • IMO bureaucrats should count both type of votes. They should count both rationale-free supports (which means "I agree with the nomination statement") and opposes that focuses on article writing. If a bureaucrat doesn't want to count certain type of valid opposes (such as opposes that focuses on article writing), he/she should also discount certain type of valid supports (such as rationale-free supports). AdjustShift (talk) 19:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Uh... this would go a lot better if you didn't put words in my mouth. I shared my understanding (echoed by X!, below) of why rationale-free supports are not discounted. I offered no opinion on whether or not they should be, nor whether or not oppose votes relating to article writing should be in- or excluded. → ROUX  19:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. AdjustShift (talk) 19:51, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Well, AdjustShift, technically every RfA falls into the discretionary zone. Bureaucrats have the ability to fail a user at 90% or pass a user at 50%. That is what they were elected to do. Also, a Support without a rationale has been discussed over and over again, and the consensus seems to be that it means "I agree with the nom, and have nothing more to add". (X! · talk)  · @849  ·  19:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
If a bureaucrat promotes someone at 50%, he/she should lose his/her bureaucratship. I don't oppose rationale-free suppoprts. My point is if a bureaucrat doesn't want to count certain type of valid opposes, he/she should also discount certain type of valid supports. AdjustShift (talk) 19:51, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
So we're bound to respect a push by, say, thirty-five socks that tank an RfA? Interesting. EVula // talk // // 20:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
EVula, if it can be proven that there are thirty-five socks out of thirty-five oppose votes, the RFA with 50% support should pass. But, if there are 50% legitimate oppose votes (zero socks, zero "Oppose - Too many admins currently" type of opposes), and a bureaucrat promotes the candidate, the bureaucrat should lose his/her bureaucratship. AdjustShift (talk) 21:08, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur with AdjustShift. Dan, if you had engaged in a discussion with your peers, I don't think you would be getting this shitstorm. But it's over, there's no taking back Dave's adminship, questionable though it is. I really hope all of us have learned something for this, and will apply it next time we are involved in an RfA. Thanks for your time.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
This discussion may be over for you Wehalt, but there are plenty of other people still requesting answers,. (Off2riorob (talk) 19:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
It's over for me because I've gotten my answer, was not satisfied by it, and am convinced the crat screwed up, both in process and in result. I don't need to be convinced further in that department, and I've made my view clear. Therefore I see no point in pestering Dan. Just because he erred doesn't mean he doesn't deserve respect.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Wehwalt, I am sorry you were not satisfied by my comments, and I'd be glad to talk more about it elsewhere or another day if you'd like. The job of a bureaucrat is forever in the process of being discovered, revised, and rearticulated, and every kerfuffle like this one is a step in that process - which is why it is important for users to ask bureaucrats to clarify their decisions, and for bureaucrats to respond to good-faith questions. I appreciate your calm attitude even in disagreement, and I assure you I don't feel pestered by your comments. In fact, I'd like to hear more about the long-term effects you fear decisions like mine will have on RFA. As a bureaucrat, my foremost concern is the optimal functioning of RFA, the ritual center of the English Wikipedia, and in every bureaucratic decision I make I have my eye on the long term as well as on immediate circumstances. So, as I say, if you can spare the time, perhaps you'd consider putting your thoughts together in an e-mail so we can carry on this conversation sometime. — Dan | talk 21:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
To Roux: Many in the support column mentioned that their reason for supporting was content-related, for instance: "As an editor that has worked with Dave for over a year and a half now working on articles, I find his contributions to the encyclopedia to be valuable." I suggest that you take another look through that RfA, to refresh your evidently faulty memory. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:28, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems you are incapable of writing anything without an insult. And you called me the unsavoury character. In any case, you are wholly mistaken as to what I said and why: I said 'rationale-free supports'. Your example does have a rationale. I was responding to AS' "why did you didn't exclude support votes without any rationale" question. → ROUX  19:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
If you believe that stating the self-evident truth is insulting to you then all I have to say is tough. Get used to it. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
What 'self-evident truth'? My memory was not faulty, you were wrong about what I was saying. I would ask for an apology, but I recognise the futility of getting you to ever admit you could have been wrong about anything. → ROUX  19:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
As you say, go blow somewhere else. I'm not interested in what you think or want. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming that a) you can't respond without an insult, b) you are incapable of admitting you were flat-out wrong. Very kind of you. → ROUX  19:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
To Wehwalt: I don't think anyone's learned anything they didn't already know. Bureaucrats have no better judgement than anyone else and RfA is a pile of steaming ordure. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I would like a commitment from User:Rdsmith4 that he will not close another RFA under similar controversial circumstances without accepting a second opinion from another bureaucrat. (Off2riorob (talk) 19:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

And I would like a pony. → ROUX  19:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm allergic to horses :-( --Deskana, Champion of the Frozen Wastes 20:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The pony is for me! You can have a cheese and Marmite sandwich. → ROUX  20:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Users without recent regular contributions to the project will by that very nature have no commitment to the project and should have no say in anything controversial here, these users could also possess outdated authority from the community. This outdated authority is destructive to the project and requires revoking. (Off2riorob (talk) 20:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

What is the point of this?

I'm not really sure what the point of this discussion is. You can't get somebody desysopped without a steward, and a steward isn't going to take "Because we disagree with the bureaucrat" as a good reason for desysopping. --Rschen7754 (T C) 20:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, in all fairness, stewards can desysop at the request of ArbCom, but I doubt it'll get that far... –Juliancolton | Talk 20:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the recently nominated will abdicate the bit under the circumstances. Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:27, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I hope that people realize that we're attacking Rdsmith4 for doing his job that we elected him to do. (X! · talk)  · @896  ·  20:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

No one is attacking anybody here - I see a fairly tolerant and respectful (albeit drama infested) discussion. Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, maybe "attacking" wasn't the right word. Maybe "complaining"? (X! · talk)  · @898  ·  20:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Complaining is definitely more accurate - nevertheless, all noticeboards are a breeding ground for such discussion. Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

This entire discussion should be marked resolved. This is all pure silliness. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Concur. There's nothing left to achieve from this discussion. (X! · talk)  · @899  ·  20:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Probably but we all know that if someone puts a "resolved"-tag on this, someone else will most likely remove it and complain that "critical dissenters are being silenced!" (or similar). Let's just wait until it simply ends by itself. Regards SoWhy 20:38, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, hey. I'm done with it, I've gotten my answer, but editors were told to await Dan's response before discussing. He answered, and they can't discuss it now? Give people a chance to vent, this will all die down by tonight better than throwing a fire blanket over it.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

If you don't mind, there are still unanswered questions here. And.. we are in the right place actually, if you look you will notice that there are few requests for the demopping of davemeistermoab, this actually is about the crats decision. (Off2riorob (talk) 20:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

Maybe my eyes are just glossy, but where have people called or demopping? Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't. He hasn't done anything to deserve demopping. In my view, he should stand for reconfirmation after a decent interval, but that's entirely up to him.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a fair request actually - one that isn't enforceable methinks, but fair nonetheless. Personally, I think Dave should resign the bit and go for RfA at a later date. Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Please, this is a discussion about my decision and not about Dave. If there are to be any adverse consequences of my decision I wish them to be directed at me. — Dan | talk 21:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
What unanswered questions? Dan explained his reasoning, and answered all questions posed. I suspect what you mean is that Dan hasn't kowtowed to your demand, and I am willing to bet cash money that he won't. If you seriously have a problem with the decision made, take it to Arbcom. At this point it's all becoming a bit too much like equine necrosadism. → ROUX  20:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

(OD+EC)I completely understand many may not agree with Dan's decision. However, the obsession some people are showing about it is, frankly scary. I in all seriousness suggest some of you turn off the computer, walk the dog, go to the corner store and down a cold Pepsi, take a nap, and get on with your life.Dave (talk) 20:51, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Dave, that probably wasn't called for. Come on, what good did it do?--Wehwalt (talk) 21:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm just saying that some people have been here for hours, making over a dozen edits to this page. It can wait until tomorrow, when passions have calmed.Dave (talk) 21:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Really, Dave, dropping into this discussion like this (you in particular, because you are the center of the storm, though you are not responsible for the manner in which you were promoted) is not a good way to start off your adminship, with which I of course wish you good luck. It's going to be seen as provocative and it will accomplish little. The discussion's dying, let it die of its own accord.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Dave, today is Sunday, so people have time on their hand. Tomorrow is Monday, people will not have time to analyze this case. This discussion is dying; time to move on. AdjustShift (talk) 21:59, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Make it a Coke and I'm in. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 22:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, that was unfortunate timing on archiving the discussion. Though I certainly have an opinion, I didn't make a single comment here because I was waiting to hear the explanation. When I went to sleep, Dan hadn't replied yet, and when I woke up, the discussion was archived. BN isn't ANI; a thread remaining open here isn't going to draw attention away from other pressing issues. Please let people continue discussion when they have things to say. If there's drama in the meantime, it's always possible to ignore it. Dekimasuよ! 00:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Resysop request for User:SirFozzie

Noting for crat attention that SirFozzie (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) who took an extended wikibreak and cvoluntarily let go of the tools has returned, and says he's ready to take up the mop again.

I'm not aware of any reason this would be considered other than routine, but feel free to check if there is any doubt. FT2 (Talk | email) 00:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

    •  Done Welcome back. -- Avi (talk) 00:44, 13 July 2009 (UTC)



Is is possible for you bureacrats to make the user name Huib free again, so I can register it. I'm using the name Huib in my sig and the only one not free is on the English Wikipedia.

I do not wish a rename, there have been some complains for users that my sig is confusing, so I'm going to make redirect where I'm active, don't want to keep +200 crats or stewards busy with my rename request so this is the second best option.

Best regards, Abigor (talk) 07:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

You need to create another account, (for example, User:Abigor (temp)), and make a request at WP:CHUU. SUL (talk) 12:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Nah, making a new account isn't needed. All Abigor needs to do is post on CHUU asking to usurp the account Huib by having it moved out of the way so it can be registered. There is no need to create another account to do that. But I don't see why any of it is needed since Huib doesn't appear in Abigor's signature at all. - Taxman Talk 15:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
It does on other wikis, (for example, see the first vote on this page: Commons:Commons:Administrators/Requests/Alchemica) and there have been calls for Abigor to change to that ID or stop signing that way in discussion (for example, see the end of this discussion: Commons:Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/User_problems#deletionist_admin) so that may be why Abigor is asking this here. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 16:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

If I am reading this right, a simple WP:CHUU request will work just fine. Kingturtle (talk) 16:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I would agree. I just was answering the question from Taxman as to 'why'... ++Lar: t/c 17:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)y

I have placed a request here I hope this is the correct way of doing this.

@ Taxman: Since I'm almost not active here I don't use the name Huib here in my sig, on all projects where I'm active I use Huib just like Lar told :)

Thank you very much for your input. Abigor (talk) 18:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I do not understand how to proceed, first a bureacurat Lar tells me to go to a page and make a request, another bureaucrat tells me not done. What is needed to get this done? Abigor (talk) 21:19, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
For the record I am not a 'crat on en:wp. Just a bystander. :) ++Lar: t/c 00:14, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

It was marked as "not done" because it was formatted incorrectly. Make a new request with Huib as your target username and Abigor as your Current username. Kingturtle (talk) 02:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Abigor doesn't want to be renamed to Huib. He wants the Huib account renamed to something else so he can register it. SUL (talk) 15:02, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
that's what I wanted, with Puppy, I was advised to make PuppyTEMP and rename that to Puppy.... although I was told later still that might not have been necessary, although it does seem to be a workable solution to the technical issues. Might that work for Abigor/Huib? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:10, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Content contribution as a factor in RfA/B discussions

This issue has been raised many a time, both on specific RfA's, on WT:RFA, and now with the recent closure of Dave's RfA. At the risk of being pelted with rotten fruit, I would like to make a few points, and then have the other bureaucrats respond.

Firstly, I think it is clear that Dan(Rdsmith) did nothing outside of wikipedia policy and guideline. There are fewer than thirty people who have survived the painful and emotionally draining gauntlet that is RfB. Why so few? Is it because of changing usernames or flagging bots? I don't think so. The reason why the bureaucrat job is so gosh-d@rn painful to achieve is that there are rare occasions when the promotion of a potential candidate comes down to one person's decision as to how to weight the discussion at the RfX. The community demands a super-super-super majority of itself to promote a bureaucrat for those rare times when that judgment has to be rendered. OF COURSE there are going to be people who strongly disagree with that judgment; if the RfX was so simple, we wouldn't need the bureaucrat to be making the decision in the first place. We elect our bureaucrats with the knowledge that one day they are going to make a difficult decision, and we trust them to make the best decision they can. And guess what, different bureaucrats will make different decisions; we're people, not bots. As long as the decision was made rationally, not out-of-line with policy and guideline, and can be explained, I do not think there is anything wrong with the decision.

Now that that is said, I think that there needs to be a clarification about how bureaucrats approach certain kinds of oppose votes. Our job, as bureaucrats, is to crystallize the community's discussion into a consensus, or rule that none exists. There are many types of opposition. They range from those that are automatically discounted (banned users) to well-crafted statements capable of swaying the opinion of a large percentage of respondents. Part of the judgment, when necessary, of the bureaucrat is to apply some subjective, yes subjective - we are not bots, weight to these oppositions and supports and decide accordingly.

In the past, there was the opinion that "adminship is no big deal". How true this is today is a separate question, but the philosophy exists. Relatedly, historically, there was the overall feeling that admins are meant to be janitors (hence the fabled "mop"), people who sweep up after vandals and fix cut-and-paste moves, and close AfD's, etc. Please read the very first paragraphs of Wikipedia:Administrators, and I quote:

Administrators, commonly known as admins or sysops (system operators), are Wikipedia editors who have been entrusted with access to restricted technical features ("tools") which help with maintenance. For example, administrators can protect and delete pages, block other editors, and undo these actions as well. (For a more complete list, see Wikipedia:Administrators/Tools.)

Administrators undertake additional responsibilities voluntarily, and are not employees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

In the very early days of Wikipedia, all users functioned as administrators, and in principle they still should. From early on, it has been pointed out that administrators should never develop into a special subgroup of the community but should be a part of the community like anyone else. Generally, the maintenance and administration of Wikipedia can be conducted by anyone, without the specific technical functions granted to administrators.

That philosophy leads to the understandable opinion that content issues, while not to be ignored, are secondary with respect to trust in non-abuse of tools and understanding of the policies and guidelines that administrators enforce. However, I have seen another school of thought, which has its merits as well. The next paragraph in Wikipedia:Administrators reads, and I quote:

Because administrators are expected to be experienced members of the community, those seeking help will often turn to an administrator for advice and information. When the communal feeling may be unclear, administrators may help provide a thoughtful voice in some kinds of consensus (see this comment).

In this particular aspect of the administrator, it is sensible to want the potential sysop to grok the project; and this is often best seen by the nature of the content that the candidate contributes.

The question now is is there a consensus among EnWiki editors that the latter kind of opinion should be given as much weight as the former? If the community can agree that it should, then we, as bureaucrats, need to understand that. If there is no such consensus, then the weight we give to such opinions will perforce be somewhat subjective based on our own understandings of what the RfA process is and what mandate we have.

I would like to hear other bureaucrats' opinions on this, as well as those of people who were way too smart to subject themselves to the public humiliation that is an RfB Face-smile.svg, so forgive me if I make two subsections below. Perhaps we need a project-wide RfC on this particular issue; perhaps not. I would appreciate your suggestions below. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 20:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


People too smart, lazy, busy, or otherwise to be bureaucrats

  • I feel that if a person claims to be a content editor, then their understanding of policies that matter most to content editors is a strong way of gauging if they can properly interpret any policy. Measure a person by what they consider their strength. Obviously, the community as represented by the Bureaucrats disagrees with me and I accept that. I would just like a simple answer on how I can appropriately show where a user has overstepped their role as an editor so that people can be more thoroughly informed so I can do such without having a topic ban of RfA drawn upon me (as per DougsTech with the rational that since the Bureaucrats were already discounting his vote that any participation in that manner is disruptive and should therefore result in a ban). Thank you for your time in responding with a pertinent answer. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • That's not exactly true, Ottava, that this case is indicative of the communities consensus; that is exactly why I posted that tl;dr monstrosity above. In this case, Dan felt that such oppositions carried less weight. Another bureaucrat may or may not have decided that way. Dan may not decide that way in the future. We all may decide that way if it comes out that your opinion is the distinct minority. Personally, I believe that you should continue to voice such opinions; they should not be discounted out-of-hand, but weighed in relation to everything else that is said. Then again, I said that pretty clearly on WT:RFA and here last week. That is also solely my opinion, which is why, once again, I am asking for the other bureaucrats to weigh in and we can perhaps 1)let the community have a clearer understanding of our current decision processes and 2) see if there is sufficient consensus in the community for us to reflect in said decision process. At this point, Ottava, as eloquent as your arguments may be, it is still not clear that the consensus of the project, or at the least of the people who take their time to respond at RfA, is with you, and while your opinions are as valid as anyones, the bureaucrats need to do their best to reflect what the greater community feels, as nebulous as that sounds. I'm sorry I cannot give you a clearer answer; that's part of why I posted here. -- Avi (talk) 20:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I was informed from multiple sources that quite a few people agree with Dan's viewpoint on my oppose. I don't care about that, as it is clear that community consensus is against me. I just want to know how to proceed without being banned. I care more about my ability to edit Wikipedia than letting a few problematic people become admin. I have already asked Deskana, as I respect his voice above most on Wikipedia. I would like other input too. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Speaking only for myself; if an oppose is made in a fashion that is not a violation of editor conduct (personal attack, etc.) it should not be struck nor should the person rendering the opinion be sanctioned. RfA is a discussion, and as long as that discussion is handled with respect, there should not be any repercussions. -- Avi (talk) 21:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Dan made the wrong decision in my opinion, but it was within his discretion to make. Enough with the torches and pitchforks. As for necessity of content building? It's an asset but not essential. Requiring content-building of admins means that people more inclined to be gnomes would never be admins, which is profoundly stupid. → ROUX  20:49, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Regarding Rdsmith4, Users without recent regular contributions to the project will by that very nature have no commitment to the project and should have no say in anything controversial here, these users could also possess outdated authority from the community. This outdated authority is destructive to the project and requires revoking. (Off2riorob (talk) 20:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
    • Stop beating a dead horse. This discussion has nothing to do with what you're on about. → ROUX  21:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Having term limits is a perennial suggestion, one which I personally disagree with for what it is worth. Perhaps this incident will galvanize people to change, perhaps not, but may I respectfully point out that I am looking for guidance specifically with regard to the weight that should be given to content-based opinions on RfX's. Your point, as valid as it may be, doesn't address that. Thanks! -- Avi (talk) 21:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Rob, you've said a few times now that you suspect I'm out of touch with the community due to inactivity. I assure you that I have been quite regularly active on this wiki for fully five years now, am a longtime contributor to the ongoing discussion of the role of bureaucrats, and have my eye keenly fixed on RFA-related debate wherever I may find it. I have every intention of continuing to do the job of a bureaucrat in such a way as to keep the RFA process functioning at the highest level, as best I know how and with continual advice from the community. — Dan | talk 21:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I thank you for you comments, but I dispute your involvment in the project and I respectfuly request you to denounce your outdated authority or reapply for bureaucrat status as you are almost not involved in the project. Looking at your recent edits is a simple denial of your statements. Are you stating that you intend to become more involved in the project? You are almost not involved here, apart from this disputed decision. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:28, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

moved to Rdsmith4 talk page. (Off2riorob (talk) 21:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

        • And again, that has nothing to do with what this discussion is about. Your one-note focus on this is growing tiresome and borderline disruptive. → ROUX  21:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
        • If you really think that Dan made a bad decision, and that he needs to lose his tools, go to ArbCom; they are the only ones who can do anything about it. Quit whining about it here. --Rschen7754 (T C) 21:38, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Forgive me, but you mistate the case. My objection, and it seems to me the objection of many others, is that in this case the bureaucrat decided to ignore content-related opposes while accepting content-related supports. To try to hide that discrepancy by opening a separate discussion is, in my view, highly suspicious of an attempt to cover up one bureaucrat's serious error of judgement. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:49, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Forgive me for refactoring your comments, Malleus; it's the wikignome in me. I do not see where Dan implied he counted content-based supports but ignored content based errors in his detailed explanation here Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard#Reply. I see that he counted content-based oppositions less, and that, combined with his statement that he requires a higher level of clarity for oppositions than supports ("no big deal" mention) was enough to allow him to make his decision. That is not a discrepancy being hidden, that was said outright, and while you and I may disagree with that decision process, that does not mean it was ipso facto incorrect, unless I am misunderstanding you? -- Avi (talk) 21:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It depends, really. A lack of substantial content creation is an issue, but should not be enough to fail an RfA. We are of course an encyclopedia, and article work is essential, but the project wouldn't survive without gnomes and janitors. And as noted, the number of FAs/GAs a given candidate has written rarely equates to level of experience of competence as a sysop. I say this as someone who passed RfA with close to 20 pieces of featured content and about 40 good articles. With that said, obvious, blatant, and consistent violations of core content policies (WP:OR, WP:V, etc) do indicate a lack of overall knowledge of policy, and often bring into the question the candidate's level of experience and competence. I wouldn't expect a user to pass RfA shortly after being blocked for repeated copyright violations. In terms of bureaucrat discretion, it's acceptable for the closing 'crat to decide which votes, content-related or otherwise, hold more water. We elect bureaucrats for a reason. I was Davemeistermoab (talk · contribs)'s nominator, and as someone who has worked with Dave for a year, I'm obviously very happy that he passed; had I been the closing 'crat, I would most likely have not closed it the same way, but the decision was within Rdsmith4's discretion, and was not contrary to any policy. –Juliancolton | Talk 21:08, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Against policy or not, it was a controversial closure and there are people like you and baloonman and a couple of others who have stated here that they would not of closed in the same way. ..No concensus, Simple. (Off2riorob (talk) 22:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

And how does that relate to anything? FWIW, I disagree with the closure as well, but then again, I'm not the closing crat. The closing crat has full say of whether it's a pass or fail. But complaining about it will get you nowhere, and it's just dragging on the drama. There comes a point when you should stop beating the horse and move on to more important things. (X! · talk)  · @972  ·  22:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Just because you don't agree with it doesn't necessarily mean it was controversial or against consensus. –Juliancolton | Talk 22:23, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

It is contoversial, less than one similar closure a year. (Off2riorob (talk) 22:26, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

Similar in terms of percentage, yes. But again, consensus is not determined solely through raw numbers, so for all we know, there could have been plenty of similar cases in the past year. –Juliancolton | Talk 22:27, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
No there haven't, this is a rare closure, you youself have said you would close in a different way. If you have links to other similar closures to show as you say that ..there have been plenty of similar closures, I would have a good look at that, the facts I have dispute your comments, this is a exceptionally rare low percentage closure. (Off2riorob (talk) 22:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
So, am I correct after this discussion that.. In RFA all the supports whatever they say, including only a signature, are good.
If it is necessary in a low percentage then only the opposes are scrutinised as worthwhile or not, the support votes are indisputable , this is at the complete discretion of the individual closing crat. Votes against if just a signature can be ignored but support votes that are just a signature are to be accepted in all cases.(Off2riorob (talk) 22:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC))
Rob - don't worry about it. Consensus is against the closure being problematic. The only thing you can do is wait until there is another time and hope that people agree with you then. You weren't personally involved in it so you have nothing to really lose in the matter. As one of the parties specifically singled out, I would like this to stop. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Ottava, remove this page from your watchlist immediately. I know you have issues related this topic but I am not really up on your personal story.(Off2riorob (talk) 22:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC))

(ec) Rob, the same goes for you. You've dragged this discussion out so long that it's causing nothing but drama. Nothing will come out of this discussion. You've been told this multiple times. Consensus is that Rdsmith4 was acting in his role as a crat to close it this way. The more you complain, the less people will actually take your arguments seriously. (And FWIW, I'm recusing from any further discussion here) (X! · talk)  · @002  ·  23:02, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • As a community, we have rejected candidates for adminship when it's been shown that they have difficulty expressing themselves adequately in English. Many such candidates are not native English speakers; others are those who express their frustration in incivil ways; others are simply not eloquent writers. In all of these cases, the key issue is that when an administrator takes an action, he or she needs to be able to communicate the reasons for doing so in a calm, clear manner. Reviewing the content of mainspace edits is one way to gauge a candidate's communication abilities. In the recent case, there was little work in administration-related areas to use to evaluate the candidate's abilities, so it was reasonable to look at content edits. Most contributors at RFA are aware of the strengths and drawbacks of evaluating a candidate in this way, and it is with those factors in mind that many people opposed the recent RFA. It is, of course, a bureaucrat's responsibility to weigh the arguments in an RFA and find consensus (or a lack thereof). However, it's really not appropriate for the bureaucrats to reject one type of argument categorically when it is clear that a large number of community members share the view that the edits in question are relevant to administrative duties. I hope this will be avoided in the future. Dekimasuよ! 00:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well said, me too. (Off2riorob (talk) 01:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC))
Seems a very sensible discussion to me. I've had my pepsi. I would just like to say, I agree with Avi there are certain opposes that can be given more weight than others. I think the discomfort I feel in the decision was that opposes based on editorial ability were all but ignored. In a situation with less than 70 % support I feel that the bureaucrat should really only discount demonstrably poor opposes. Anyway I'm not coming back into this discussion, my bit said back to another pepsi. Polargeo (talk) 08:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


I have received the e-mail in question, and yes, the sender was concerned about the atmosphere as a whole and specifically mentioned "potential retribution." Whether this person, who wishes to remain anonymous, is justified in his or her reaction to the RfB is a separate issue. KillerChihuahua has not engaged in any deliberate obfuscation or misrepresentation of the message he receieved. However, as this editor voiced his or her opinions off of the RfX page, it cannot be in good faith considered when the close is made. Furthermore, as Julian has specifically stated that no grudges exist, I see no reason to continue this conversation and am closing it. I would like to reiterate, however, that there should never be any reason to fear retribution for honestly and respectfully stating one's opinion, and should there be evidence of such retribution, that is a gross violation of user conduct and the matter should be raised at the appropriate venues. -- Avi (talk) 16:56, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I have received an email from an editor, who wants to oppose Juliancolton ‎'s Rfb but is afraid to do so; Julian has been actively engaging with many of the "oppose" views in a manner I consider aggressively defensive, Julian considers Discussion, and the email sender finds intimidating. Their fear is that JC will hold the "oppose" against them, and they don't want such a powerful "enemy". What do I do about this? Should I just tell them to grow some balls? Its not like we have "vote by proxy" or "mail in voting" when people are intimidated. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 12:30, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think such concerns are really valid. Although I admit I supported Julian's RFB, I do not think there is any reason to have such fears, considering how many people opposed this request so far. Julian might be commenting far too much than it's healthy on opposes (at least healthy for this request) but there is no indication that he ever held a grudge against anyone disagreeing with him and he is correct on one thing: It's really a discussion, even if we have support, oppose and neutral sections. If a user is too afraid to voice their opinion in a discussion, than that is unfortunate but without reason. Wikipedia runs based on consensus and discussion amongst its editors and in order to make it work, people need to participate in these discussions. I think you should advice this user to consider whether their fears really are substantiated in Julian's contributions and ask them, why they think this. Maybe you can alleviate these fears to get them to participate in the discussion. I don't think anything else (like "proxy !voting" or "email !voting") should even be considered. Regards SoWhy 12:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Wel, as an oppose clearly I agree with you. However, when I mentioned my concern at how JC has been treating the opposes as a reason, JC blew me off. Now I find that at least one editor is so intimidated s/he won't make it public. IMO this is a valid concern, and I ask for helpful advice, and I'm sorry to say, SW, but your view, while I share it, does not help me with this editor. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 12:49, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm sorry if it was not more helpful. But (as I said above) I am wondering if you have had more communication with this user and/or were able to determine why exactly they believe that such things may be happening if they opposed this request. While I agree that Julian probably hurts himself by commenting on too many opposes directly, I fail to see how this is different to other RFXs where the candidate does the same or similar. As such, we probably need to figure out why this editor is intimidated by actions on this request in particular and you are the only one who may be able to do so. Regards SoWhy 13:04, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I've expressed concern, others have, and I have a post on my page from another editor which calls it "badgering". Its not like it isn't public that quite a few people think JC is carrying this beyond "defense" and into the realm of inappropriate hounding. If there is confusion, then I'm confused at the confusion, if you see what I mean. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 13:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)other
I agree 100% with every part of SoWhy's response. Encourage the editor to post. Grudges are a risk that one takes by participating in every RfA/B, but I never held grudges against people who opposed my first RfA, and I doubt that JC will for his RfB. hmwithτ 13:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if it might help if JC made a statement? I cannot reassure someone about a third party's intentions. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 13:14, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps that could help. No editor should feel that way. I left a note on his talk page, notifying him of this discussion. hmwithτ 13:40, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec)I don't think it is fair to ask juliancolton to make a statement. There is no evidence that he bears grudges and my suggestion is that the editor be asked to deal with it rather than bringing this up on a public noticeboard. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 13:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Colton can always decline. hmwith, I appreciate you asking; I hesitated to do so due to Colton's recent pursuit of me beyond his Rfb to my talk page, which indicates he's a little hostile towards me right now. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 13:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

He can decide to do what he feels is necessary after reading this discussion. I agree with RegentsPark that it's not needed and he shouldn't have to do so, but I don't feel that it could hurt. hmwithτ 13:53, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I have always found Juliancolton to be a reasonable individual; it was a criterion for my support. I do not think he is the type to bear grudges, or to hold it against people for expressing themselves truthfully. If people have been intimidated by the response to the opposition, it is certainly unfortunate. There is nothing that can be done about it, insofar as the grudge-fostering fear is concerned. I would, though, urge participants at the RfB to perhaps tone down the correspondence with the opposing side. It's always fine to engage in healthy discussion (that's what RfA is, as it happens), but I think the talk has bubbled over a few times in the week – and I do say this in the despite of the fact that I disagree with a few of the oppositional arguments. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:02, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

(ec) I find it distressing that his cavalier attitude towards how his actions have affected people has led to this. This is very upsetting. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 14:03, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The fact that the long-standing standard at RFX is that the candidate should not participate in the discussion is already pathetic. That someone feels "afraid" to oppose because this candidate is one who, unfortunately for himself, has chosen to be active in his own RFB and address concerns sounds like a personal problem to me. Furthermore, considering the negative nature of this thread, I think it is obvious that this email should be forwarded, in full with headers intact, to at least one 'crat. لennavecia 14:04, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I second this course of action. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 14:12, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I third it. hmwithτ 14:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I have emailed the editor to ask if he would mind. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 14:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

This whole thread is highly inappropriate and marks a trend that has been common with KillerChihuahua lately. Yes, it is disruptive and the above amounts to just flat out insults and smears. If you or whoever emailed you isn't a fan of WP:CONSENSUS and actually discussing matters, then why are you on a project that is based around it? If you can't take a response to your statements, then why are you busy disrupting things here? This is a major insult to multiple policies that we hold dear. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:34, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I think that the candidate should be encouraged to engage in dialog with his or her opposition; is not the ultimate point of the opposition to point out potential shortcomings in the candidate for the candidate to improve upon? Engaging in dialog can be extremely fruitful in both clarifying any misconceptions on the part of the opposition, and clarifying the areas on which to concentrate for the candidate. In this case specifically, my opinion of Julian, based on shared work at WP:CHUU and elsewhere, is that while he may be understandably interested in ensuring that his position is properly represented, he will not hold a grudge. People, please understand, speaking from experience, that an RfB is extremely emotionally draining, as it is the closest think to a wiki vivisection that exists. It is open season on EVERY little edit ever made, and perhaps Julian's frustration came through (I don't know the edit so I cannot speak to the cavalierness of the tone). I would counsel Julian to always think three times before hitting "Submit", but there is nothing that I can think of that should have someone afraid. If someone is truly afraid, this is one of the instances where the 'crat mailing list is useful. -- Avi (talk) 14:43, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

As noted above, I've emailed the editor, and am awaiting a response. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 14:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I find this thread extremely disappointing. I bear no grudges, and I have no intention of being defensive or aggressive. To suppress good-spirited discussion goes against the principle of Wikipedia; if that's going to continue, I may have to reconsider my options here. –Juliancolton | Talk 14:56, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
    thanks. A simple "I will not bear grudges against those who oppose me in my Rfb" would have done. I will point the editor who expressed concern to this statement; hopefully it will serve as sufficient reassurance. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:03, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
    With all due respect, that is no different than "I will not beat my wife." The default here is to assume people will not hold grudges unless there is proof that they do. And I'm relatively certain there is no evidence anywhere that Julian holds grudges. Shame on you, puppy. → ROUX  16:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
    Shame on ME? WTF??? I dont' think Julian holds grudges. This wasn't even my idea. Look up. This was hmwith's idea; he thought I should speak for Julain; I said I cannot speak for someone else, and asked if anyone thought it might be helpful if JC said it. hmwith said "perhaps that would help" and left a note. You really need to read more carefully before putting words in my mouth and accusing me of thoughts I don't have. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 16:34, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I just saw that the above was posted to the RFB. Regardless of whether the above statement from JC is enough, the editor either needs to come here and verify the above, or the email needs to be forwarded immediately. If that is not done, then I believe further action is warranted here wrt KillerChihuahua. As OR notes above, this is not appropriate. This is not how Wikipedia works. If the concerned party wants to oppose a candidate, they can do that. If they fear a grudge, all ridiculousness aspects of that aside, then they should get back to editing and stay quiet. The starting of this thread was neither appropriate nor necessary, and the posting of it to the RFB shows staggeringly bad judgment. What should have happened is that the email be immediately forwarded to a 'crat. Why one random opposer would be the target of such an email, and that opposer would think it appropriate to post this thread here and drop the details in the RFB is really just beyond me. لennavecia 15:41, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 16:12, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, I'd like somebody to verify the contents of that e-mail you received. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree this thread is wrong, and should not have been started. The email needs to be looked at and confirmed. (Off2riorob (talk) 16:25, 13 July 2009 (UTC))
  • I'm beginning to be annoyed; all this is tantamount to calling me a liar. I have already stated I emailed the sender for permission; there is no need for Julian and riorob to pile on with their mistrust of me. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 16:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not "piling on", and I don't distrust you. I'm simply asking for confirmation from an uninvolved party. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:33, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) No, you asked for the email to be sent to YOU, and you've accused me of lying already once today, and ignored my request to clarify or withdraw the accusation. I'm about done with this bs. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 16:38, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
At least you recognize that it's bs. لennavecia 16:41, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to allow the other person to have the last word. Perhaps you'll allow me to have it. Let's wait until we hear back from KC's correspondent before clogging this board up anymore; until then, hasn't everything that needs saying already been said a couple of times over? --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:36, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

GrooveDog's RfA

Do you intend to let this run it's full course as he originally asked, or are you going to consider closing it per his no issues with it being closed. It's getting to the point where opposes are repetitive and there's no need for him to be put through the process when everyone is aware that it won't pass, and I doubt he'll learn much more from further opposes or neutrals. Should it be SNOWed? Regards, --—Cyclonenim | Chat  17:55, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with letting it run if he thinks it is useful (my 2 pence) Plastikspork (talk) 17:59, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Plastikspork. It's not hurting anyone being up, and if he wants it up, he wants it up. If the opposes are getting repetitive and it's obvious it's not going to pass, then people can stop opposing/caring. Lәo(βǃʘʘɱ) 18:01, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Okie, just checking. Regards, --—Cyclonenim | Chat  18:05, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

GrooveDog states he wants it open for the full seven days. I don't see anything wrong with that. People are free to refrain from adding repetitive posts. Kingturtle (talk) 19:02, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Completely concur. The point of WP:NOTNOW vis-a-vis RfA's is to 1) prevent unnecessary upsetness on the part of the candidate and 2) prevent extra make-work. When the candidate specifically requests the full length of time, both issues are obviated. -- Avi (talk) 19:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. More importantly, there are legitimate supports, which I believe would render NOTNOW non-applicable. –Juliancolton | Talk 19:51, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
D'you suppose that should be an actual listing in the NOTNOW page? It'd make sense that if there are genuine supports from good-standing editors, then NOTNOW shouldn't be applied. Regards, --—Cyclonenim | Chat  20:29, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, anyone could support anyone. I don't think it should be put in NOTNOW, because it could be taken too generally. What's a good-standing editor? What if other editors like the nominee (who we assume to be fairly new, as we're discussing NOTNOW) support? For the same reason that RfA doesn't give qualifications for an admin, NOTNOW shouldn't define supporters. I think it should just be taken as a sort of unwritten guideline of sorts; common sense. If they have some supports, it doesn't apply. Lәo(βǃʘʘɱ) 20:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Touché. Just an idea! Regards, --—Cyclonenim | Chat  21:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi everyone! :-D Just thought I'd clarify, I don't need my adminship request up. I understand that the reasons nominations are usually closed are "protecting the morale of the candidate" (not an exact quote, mind you), however I understand that no comments are directly personal towards myself therefore it doesn't really bother me in the slightest. If it does severely impact the functioning of RfA in some way, by all means take it down. Even if a crat or other editor just doesn't like it, be BOLD and take it down. :-P GrooveDog (talk) (Review) 03:57, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't impact RfA (as a whole) at all, so I think the point still stands: it doesn't need to be taken down, and that the fact that it's going to fail is irrelevant when you requested that it stay up. The best, Lәo(βǃʘʘɱ) 03:59, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

If the criticism isn't too much of a bother, I suggest leaving it up; you may get some good advice from it. Speaking from experience, I let both of my first two failed RfB's run to completion specifically to get as much advice from the project as I could, and I found it very helpful, albeit emotionally draining. -- Avi (talk) 04:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that Avi, I do agree. Most of the criticism is really the "you've been here for a week" thing, I'll accept that. :-P I understand that if I really want criticism I could just go to editor review, however I went into this RfA with an open mind that whatever happens, happens. It's not bothering anyone from what I can tell, so I may as well collect all the constructive criticism I can get. :-P GrooveDog (talk) (Review) 04:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I put my money where my mouth was :-) -- Avi (talk) 04:29, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Running early is one of those "Be careful what you ask for" things, because the community is likely to tell you exactly what they want, and that may be a problem the next time you run, if what they asked for wasn't the direction you wanted to go. - Dank (push to talk) 18:15, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

SUL server

Is it down, or is it my internet connection?

Is there a page where its status is shown? Perhaps a traffic light could be displayed in a corner of the namechange pages to automatically reflect it? --Dweller (talk) 14:51, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It's not just you. The toolserver has been malfunctioning most of the day for me. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 15:09, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, it's been timing out for me too. bibliomaniac15 18:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

ClueBot VI & WP:CHUU

It appears that ClueBot VI is set to archive successful usurpations on WP:CHUU 12 hours after they are marked done. It should be extended to at least 24 hours, and maybe even 36 hours. Any thoughts? Kingturtle (talk) 18:20, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

How about 3 days, to ensure that things dont get lost over the weekend. -- Avi (talk) 19:38, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I think 3 days is a bit too long (the page might get long and unwieldy), so 36 hours sounds good. –Juliancolton | Talk 19:46, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I do not think that it's too long. The page has on average 15-20 edits per day only (page stats) and 10-15 open requests. RFPP has much more requests at a time without becoming unwieldy. And as Avi says, it might be quite useful to keep them open for a bit longer so people see them easily. Regards SoWhy 07:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Let's try three days, for now. And we can change it if it doesn't work. Kingturtle (talk) 11:21, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, given that CHUU doesn't see as many additions as, say, CHU, I think three days might be a decent starting point. EVula // talk // // 14:32, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. --Dweller (talk) 10:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Who can make this change? Kingturtle (talk) 11:29, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd say Cobi (talk · contribs), it seems to be hardcoded into the bot as far as I can see. Regards SoWhy 11:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
 Done - See here. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 06:17, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Cobi. Kingturtle (talk) 11:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Add different languages to WP:CHU/SUL (and WP:CHU)?

Blinking Spirit (talk · contribs) suggested at WT:Bureaucrats#Add spoken languages ? to add a column "spoken languages" to the crat overview table, saying that people who need assistance with renames might not speak English. As a similar idea, I suggested to make the instructions on WP:CHU and WP:CHU/SUL available in multiple languages since this is where people usually are linked to by interwiki-links; so I decided to place the suggestion here where more crats might read it. What do you think? Regards SoWhy 12:40, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure just how feasible this would be. I'm probably terribly biased, though; I'm used to figuring out what stuff is just by its context (ie: as soon as I see {{ I know it's a template to use, and Google Translate can be helpful in a pinch). How many different languages would we have instructions in? What's the cut-off; the top twenty? Thirty? We've already got so much crap at the top of WP:CHU that I'm worried we'd clutter the page all the more.
As for adding our spoken languages on the main WP:CRAT page, that's not a bad idea at all. EVula // talk // // 14:21, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the how many are feasible argument and if you only include those, what good did it do for how much it will hurt the usability of the page. Besides, on a project you don't speak the language for, how badly do you need a username change? And if you really do, I suppose that's what the embassies are for, getting someone that speaks your language to help you out. - Taxman Talk 15:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, for example to get another account renamed so you can SUL is probably something one needs to request. And I see no harm in having a subpage with however many languages people translate for us. They would not make the main page less easy to navigate. Regards SoWhy 15:42, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
  • If translation of anything is to occur, I think all we should worry about is the instruction list for /SUL. That's the locus of interest for non-native users. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 15:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we could do something like metawiki does and have a "select language" box at the instructions for people with JavaScript. (X! · talk)  · @177  ·  03:14, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Changing username/SUL needs attention

Hi there, Wikipedia:Changing username/SUL seems to need some crat attention. Would be nice if someone could take a look at it. Regards SoWhy 10:31, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Bot flag needed for split task

I would like to split Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Xenobot 5 from Xenobot (already flagged) to a new user account [7]. Please +makebot Xenobot Mk V. Thanks in advance, –xenotalk 22:02, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Done, but makebot was deprecated long ago in favor of userrights.RlevseTalk 22:14, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
hehe, I know. I was being nostalgic =) thanks again, –xenotalk 22:16, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

What's the upper limit on our performing renames?

Dr. Blofeld has requested a rename at CHU. Thing is, he has 263,063 edits. An editor has suggested that only a steward can perform the rename; I'm not certain if that's true, but it does bring up an interesting point.

If for no other reason than personal knowledge, is there a limit to the number of edits we should try to rename? Or should we just hit the button and walk away knowing that, indirectly, we've protected Wikipedia from being vandalized for about an hour? ;) EVula // talk // // 15:48, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know, the limit is two million, not 200000. And I think it takes a developer, not a Steward, to do that. With regard to crashing the wiki, a rename of any user with more than 10000 edits will enter the job queue, so it shouldn't crash the project, although it may force people to manually purge pages more often. J.delanoygabsadds 15:53, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I haven't kept up with the most recent limits in the code, but I'd assume you're right it would take a developer to change above whatever the limit is. Last I heard though, below whatever limit is available to bcrats and stewards (which was the same and rather large) it doesn't lock up the servers anymore it just goes into the job queue and completes someday maybe. Some of them don't work with large numbers of edits. - Taxman Talk 16:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

It's probably not a great idea to put that much load on the servers because somebody is bored of their novelty name, and wants to change it from 'Dr. Blofeld' to 'Himalayan Explorer'. The job queue loads servers, too. If the name change is truly necessary, perhaps we can work something out, or he can create a new account. — Werdna • talk 16:23, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

So I'm stuck with my user name because I put a lot of hard work into wiki? Dr. Blofeld White cat 16:27, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

No, but I am e-mailing Brion just to make sure. Please bear with us. -- Avi (talk) 16:33, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Not unless there is a software limit we can't do anything about. And we all appreciate your contributions, but is your continued contribution really conditioned upon the username which you contribute under? - Taxman Talk 16:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Not to be picky, but it is difficult for me to imagine anyone averaging 200 edits per day for three years without doing things that at least border on bot activity. Have you perhaps considered that some of your activities might be better managed under one or more separate accounts anyway? Dragons flight (talk) 17:07, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Another solution would be to just start a new username, and stop using the old name. The old name could have manually created redirects to the new username. Not as pretty, but a lot less stress on the system. Kingturtle (talk) 16:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

True, but if we can, I think we should try to keep the edits with the new account. -- Avi (talk) 16:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Ironically, that seems to be the case. I trust that you are happy with your username, since you have made over 260,000 edits with it. — Werdna • talk 16:49, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Pictogram voting delete.svg Decline then, OK, forget the idea then. Don't want to cause any server trouble. The next time somebody says I'm lazy and do little to improve this site tell em I couldn't change my user name because it is embedded in too many articles!! I'll have to build a Buddhist meditation chamber in my volcano with panoramic scenery of mountains then. I'm happy then to pretend it is still the swinging 60s and the war is still a Cold one then... Dr. Blofeld White cat 16:48, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm still waiting on Brion :) -- Avi (talk) 17:01, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, Werdna is a developer as well. –Juliancolton | Talk 17:03, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
True, sorry Werdna. Are you saying that it is not suggested? -- Avi (talk) 17:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Nevermind. Per the evil Dr. Vibber "Servers would not be very happy; don't do it." Sorry Face-sad.svg -- Avi (talk) 18:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Altering your perception of reality is far less taxing on the servers. ;) EVula // talk // // 17:10, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

There's absolutely no reason not to rename if the user requests it. This is a classic example of Don't worry about performance. Due to his high edit count, the rename will enter the job queue. It won't crash the servers or kill any small furry animals. If he wants to be renamed, fill out whatever silly forms have been devised and press the button. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:23, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Brion Vibber specifically requested that we not do it, MZM. -- Avi (talk) 20:26, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
And the page MZM refers to states "listen to the system administrators if they tell you not to do something." Kingturtle (talk) 20:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Then file a bug, please. Were his comments only in private correspondence? --MZMcBride (talk) 20:30, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I e-mailed him earlier, due to the expediency of the matter, as if the rename could have been done, it should have been started ASAP. I have since asked him to make a post here as well. -- Avi (talk) 20:33, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't know for sure about the theoretical limit of edits for renames, but I can tell you it's unpredictable over 5,000 edits. I've seen 15,000 edit renames work fine (though it can take 1-2 days for it to work through the system and rename all edits) and I've seen 7k or so crash and never recover. RlevseTalk 20:40, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The highest I renamed was User:Altenmann (current username, has renamed twice, of which I renamed the first time), who had over 100k edits when I renamed him. Took me 10 tries to get him to rename, but luckily all his edits have reattributed. bibliomaniac15 23:11, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Tell me more. If you just repeat the process a few times, eventually the edits that didn't reattribute before, do so? Of course I'm talking about waiting days or more in between tries. I thought repeating it would really cause havoc with the accounts. - Taxman Talk 13:10, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Basically, the present system is crap for user name changes. :) If there's doubt as to whether it'll work, just leave the old account in place. It's trivial to create your new account with your new name and you're done! On the other hand if we haven't put in place a limit that needs to be overcome by special action, then I'm not sure why folks are asking here -- just push the button and get it over with. :) --brion (talk) 23:59, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

So you won't mind if we push the button on Blofield's 260K edits Face-devil-grin.svg -- Avi (talk) 00:01, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, If indeed this CHU approved, please make 110% certain that you can live with the new name. Changing it again isn't going to be pretty. Kingturtle (talk) 00:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, of notable interest, I just performed a CHU that involved 93,247 edits. It took a few minutes, but less than 10, to complete. There don't appear to be any hang ups or problems. Kingturtle (talk) 04:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, there are still a few thousand residual edits on the old account. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:37, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah... these things take time. Edits can take up to a day to reattribute. Nothing problematic, I think. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
And sometimes they take weeks plus dev intervention (xeno comes to mind). Occasionally, with a large number of edits, the job queue craps out, and stops the rename. It requires a sysadmin to reset it. (X! · talk)  · @648  ·  14:32, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Chiming in here to support those at WP:CHU who preferred the Dr. Blofield name. Keep it! –xenotalk 14:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


Just a kindly reminder that Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Kingpin13 has been open 9 days by my reckoning. A crat stopping by at their leisure would be appreciated. MBisanz talk 13:13, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Done, thanks for the heads up. - Taxman Talk 14:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. MBisanz talk 14:31, 29 July 2009 (UTC)