Forum:Moderator elections and sock puppets

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Preliminary results for the moderator election will be announced shortly. But there is another issue we need to have a discussion about. I noticed a strange pattern in the votes that had me double check who actually voted. I can not tell who voted for who so no privacy was violated there but the list of voters included well known sock puppets from multiple different users. I estimate that 10 percent or so of the vote is from obvious sock puppets, less obvious who knows.

We do not have a specific rule against using sock puppets to vote, but it was not known whether it would actually be an issue or not. So we, as a community, need to have a rational discussion addressing this. Here is what I think we need to discuss:

  1. Do we care about sock puppets voting?
  2. Does the sock puppet votes in anyway invalidate this election round?
  3. If we do decide sock puppets are an issue how best to address it for this election, how best to address it in future elections?

This is the internet so sock puppets will always be a problem in some form or another. But there are ways we might limit it to some degree. One suggestion I have is to not use a criterion like number of edits/age of account, but rather have a public vote registration role that can allow people to parse for obvious sock puppets. We could also implement more stringent requirements in IP checks, but that likely won't help much. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:43, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. Yes. It's a source of illegitimacy.
  2. That depends on how much data is released. Probably shouldn't comment considering the circumstance.
  3. IP checks wouldn't help, what with proxies and all. I very much like the public registration idea. It's been floated a few times but dismissed as too cumbersome. Blue (pester) 02:48, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought about this too. 10% seems like a lot. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 02:50, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
What about using the facebook page (not the group) to vote. Each person is presumed to only have 1 FB account, as sockpuppeteering there is somewhat difficult, and check their friends, activity, for legitimacy? (talk) 02:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Not everyone has a facebook. Тytalk 02:57, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Has to be done on-wiki, not everyone is a member of the group and probably not everyone on the group is an editor here. Blue (is useful) 02:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I can hardly say I'm terribly surprised. I've been in favor of releasing the list of voting accounts for some time now, but people erroneously seemed to think it violated the concept of secret ballot. It wouldn't end the problem, but it would likely minimize it, at least a little. If there is no rule against socks voting then it seems it was an oversight when drafting the policy. I do believe our regular recently drafted voting standards prohibit it, but I guess those don't apply to mod elections. DickTurpis (talk) 02:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The voting standards prohibit sock voting, but they don't apply to board and moderator elections because of the secret ballot. Blue (is useful) 03:01, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Lol, you really think? Gawd you are a power hungry idiot. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

As far as the "10 percent" I am looking at what I think are 6 or 7 votes of "established" users and "sock puppets" combined so maybe half again as many actual sock puppets. Just for clarification. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:00, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Can you say whether or not the sock puppet votes had a noticeable impact? If you were to remove those votes, what would the results be? When I say remove the votes, I don't mean officially, just to see.--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:34, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
There is no way to tell because I don't know how people voted, only who voted. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:37, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Also. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL @ Brxbrx Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 06:32, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
As someone who has no socks, this saddens me. Is my input worth less than the input of someone who stuffs the ballot box? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 03:03, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I also have no socks. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:06, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh noes! I forgot to vote! Kendoll (talk) 03:09, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

We can go down two paths. One is to declare the election invalid, institute public registration or even public voting, and re-hold the election in some way, dragging on the process for weeks. The other is to recognize that there's always been sock voting, the difference now is that it appears to have come from a few more users than usual, and try to fix the issue over the next six months before the next election. The second approach would be easier, to be sure, but legitimacy is an important thing too. Since the current results have me winning, I won't opine on which we should do. Blue (pester) 03:13, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Or we could not take so goddamned seriously because the mods barely do anything anyway. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:17, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. I was one for a term and all I got was a hate mail from Blue. The mods do nothing, so who cares? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:02, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't see us throwing out these results either way. Especially if sock voting isn't specifically prohibited. I do think we can learn from this and go into the next election with slightly more evidence that this method of voting is not without its problems. We have 6 months to collectively decide if we want to use a different system in the future. In the meantime we have what appears to be a pretty decent group of supreme overlords, by and large. I guess if a bunch of obvious joke candidates had won I might be singing a different tune, but we don't need to explore counterfactuals now. DickTurpis (talk) 03:22, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Тytalk 03:27, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I like dick's idea too. And Ace's. Peter HFB2 03:32, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Just trying to be neutral here. Blue (is useful) 03:35, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah right. You just want power, which RW is antithetically opposed to. You are an embarrassment to the mission. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:04, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Whoever was doing was trying to stop me returning to the throne. I am going to seek out my political enemies one night and make them....disappear. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:25, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Can that involve Brx? (talk) 04:48, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Seems fairly cut-and-dry. Especially now that people know this will work, it's just going to be a bigger problem. Since I was elected, I hope I'm not out of line in agreeing with Dick and saying that probably no one wants to run the whole damn thing again, but let's just spend this mod term putting in place public registration.--ADtalkModerator 05:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
You are not out of line, AD. In fact, that may be the only viable solution to the problem at hand. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 12:54, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Public registration will mean the furore gets moved to "Who is whose sock?" It won't solve anything unless people really are voting twice with publicly declared socks. rpeh •TCE 13:07, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

It's pretty pathetic that people do this. Especially since mostly first and second place votes counts, it's not hard to imagine the swing they have. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 12:50, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Some history[edit]

Enjoy -- Nx / talk 05:39, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, well, we've lived and we learned. Now it's up to the community whether or not they like the results of not doing something earlier about the sock vote. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 06:00, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

A note for discussion[edit]

Let me just say that, regardless of what the community decides about the sock vote and moderator elections, there's a much larger issue here: we use the same system to elect moderators as we do Trustees. While the moderators are a site-specific group, the Trustees are the power behind this Wiki and our projects. Can you imagine, had this been a few short years ago, what would've happened if people like TK or Karajou had socked up and voted in people you cannot trust as Trustees? The damage could've been permanent, and the threat of something like that, in our current electoral process, is very real. There is no doubt: the sockpuppet vote poses a serious threat to our electoral system. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 05:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Good post! Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:09, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
But we must remember that any discussion about altering the voting process is fascism! Secret ballot means socks can vote, and we cannot even consider trying to stop them or we're no better than the Nazis. DickTurpis (talk) 06:10, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
How about creating a new user group for approved voters? Known sockpuppets would not be included in this group. It might be a pain to manually make everybody an elector, but once the bulk of it is done we'll only be doing a few every so often--User:Brxbrx/sig 06:15, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The problem there is, since we don't and won't have checkuser installed, it would require Trent to manually go through the server logs and check every single user who wants to vote, and then make them a member of said group. From a server-side aspect, that's a tedious task for one person atop all their other maintenance tasks. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 06:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
[EC] That's basically the registration idea, which has been suggested already. I'm personally not in favor of it at this stage, as I think it's probably overkill for a problem we don't know the extent of. Since Trent has already seen the list of voters, I'm not convinced the rest of us seeing them is a terrible idea, so we can make a call on how extensive this sockpuppet problem is, and decide based on that if voting procedures need to change. At the very least I think we need to clear up the ambiguity about whether socks are allowed to vote, and answer that with a "no". It won't stop them in itself, of course, but it will prevent their users from taking a faux innocent "don't look at me, I didn't do anything wrong!" approach. DickTurpis (talk) 06:23, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable with the idea of open ballots. That just opens up a ton of "you voted for x, what is wrong with you/why didn't you vote for me" drama, and it would give characters like Ace McWicked a list of targets for his poster spamming. --User:Brxbrx/sig 06:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Characters like Ace McWicked? You mean good, looking intelligent people? Word. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 07:10, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
As of now, no one's suggesting open ballots, so you needn't fear. To be honest, I'm not entirely opposed to them, as I don't think we need to worry about intimidation, and we should be above the schoolyard antics of "why didn't you vote for me! I thought you were my friend! WAAAAAHHHHH!" Fuck it, if anyone wants to know who I voted for and why I'll tell you. I got nothing to hide. DickTurpis (talk) 06:34, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Harassment, intimidation, and drama are monnaie courante on this wiki. People will feel pressure to vote certain ways just to avoid grudges and screeds--User:Brxbrx/sig 06:37, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
But other than hurl a bunch of juvenile insults around (which happens anyway) what are people going to do? Fire you from your job? Send jack-booted thugs to beat you up? Those are concerns in the real world, but not here. DickTurpis (talk) 06:39, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
One would assume somebody who acts that way (whining about not winning, certain people voting against them, and then spamming their pages with posters next time) would be doing more harm for their election chances. --il'Dictator Mikal 06:40, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
One would assume, yet look at all the votes Ace got. -- Nx / talk 08:13, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Someone guess who took a strong position in this thread and voted early and often? Who do you think it was? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 06:48, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
You. Since the beginning, you have been an opponent of any measures to prevent socks from voting.--User:Brxbrx/sig 06:51, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
No, I opposed a voter role because I thought it was pointless with the lack of misconduct thus far. I was very clear that I'd string someone who abused the franchise up with a thick rope. Welcome, Brxbrx. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 06:54, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
And Mikal, nobody ever calls you out on how absolutely cretinous some of the things you say are. I want you to puzzle that statement out loud and doo 20 pushups when you realize you're a fucking moron. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 06:50, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
My view is that unless it's against the rules to vote with sockpuppets that are otherwise eligible (hint: it's not and never will be because there's no way to fairly enforce such a rule), Blue even suggesting that names be published in an election in which people were promised a secret ballot is a breach of trust. "Having more information and keeping the process open" in this regard is a pointlessly destructive exercise that I strenuously oppose. I've got multiple sockpuppets I use to edit on different subjects that are eligible to vote. I will not vote with them. Whether others will vote with theirs is not for anyone but them to decide. -- Nx / talk 08:16, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Lol I love it when you collect diffs. I'm so glad to see you posting again, Nx. What a precious delight you are. Now go find the part where I said I didn't think the benefit was worth the intrusion because there was no evidence it had ever happened. Now there is. I thought it was difficult to identify likely sockpuppet voters. Apparently it's not. Go figure. So what you should be saying here is "you were wrong about some of that stuff you said back then." And I was. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:08, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Block socks if they vote?[edit]

How about this: in future, permablock socks if they vote. I wouldn't want to permablock all socks from RW, they can be fun, but using your sock to vote twice is taking the mick. There should be some kind of barrier against double voting. Sophiebecause liberals 06:28, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Problem with that: other than Trent, no one knows who voted, so we have no way of knowing which socks voted (or even if they did, can we really trust the word of this Trent fellow? A Trusworthy encyclopedia says he runs a terrorist vandal site!). Even if we knew who voted, ascertaining with 100% certainty who is a sock is not always easy, although there re admitted socks which I guess we can be pretty certain of. DickTurpis (talk) 06:31, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
And, even more problematic: how would we go about doing so pro-actively. As Trent alluded to before, we know who voted, but we cannot find out how they voted. We couldn't readily purge the sock vote unless we were somehow proactive. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 06:34, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Presumably it wouldn't purge the vote, but would prevent them from voting in the future. Actually, would it? Can blocked accounts vote? DickTurpis (talk) 06:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
What if Trent determined irregularities may have occurred (a cabal of socks voting for themselves to retain or overthrow power), refused to certify results, and called for a special election? Then, who would serve in the interim, and how could the special election results be certified as authentic? nobsCorporations are people, too. 20:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

List of socks who voted[edit]

I'm not awfully keen on releasing a full list of voters (though not necessarily completely opposed) but it would be more useful to have a list of the known socks who voted. I think this is an issue where naming & shaming would be appropriate, especially if any of the voters were known socks of the elected moderators. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:04, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

That being said, even if we know which socks voted we don't actually know who they voted for, and we risk a situation where the authority of a moderator is ignored on the grounds that it is assumed that a given sock voted them in even though it might not have. Also I think releasing a full list would be better than just the list of the people tmt is sure are sockpuppets - the Almighty might have made a mistake here or there, you know. Peter HFB2 07:08, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The authority (if that even is the right word) of any mod can be ignored if someone wants to ignore it, and regardless of whatever evidence there is or isn't that their election was tainted; if someone wants to believe it was, they'll likely treat it that way. I think it's pretty clear we aren't going to void the election regardless, so we'll have to move forward with the mods we have for the next 6 months. The problem, to me, in publicizing the names of the known socks is that it's a pretty loose criterion. What constitutes a "known" sock, exactly? DickTurpis (talk) 07:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
For whatever it is worth, I just went through the voting looking for suspicious patterns and really couldn't find anything conclusive. There are a few votes that have a similar opening run, but these fall in line with the overall voting pattern and there is no reason to conclude they aren't legitimate. There is a possible case for looking at the pair of votes that initially went 21-6-12-8 (Human/Dick Turpis/LArron/Genghis), because those do not fall in line with the general voting trend for the first four rankings. this is not true and was a total error on my part, please ignore it But that observation is far from declaring "sockpuppet". VOXHUMANA 07:22, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
There was more suspicious activity in the first election. Raw ballots were listed chronologically, and recall there were some adjacent identical or near identical sets. It's not proof of anything, but it was certainly suspect. DickTurpis (talk) 07:27, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Yes, that was a poor choice of words - what I really meant was something like SR's behaviour in results archive #2 ("ace is mod" etc).
If I were sock-voting (I have no socks beside my bot, btw, and bots can't vote if I remember correctly) I'd probably get a list of my top ten and split it so that my 1, 3, 5th choices were voted for by me, and my 2, 4, 6th choices by my sock - you couldn't really detect that by looking for patterns in the votes, could you? Peter HFB2 07:29, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Bots can vote. -- Nx / talk 08:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought you fixed that? Not that it matters, really. Peter HFB2 08:24, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
How? I didn't have server access. I'm pretty sure I told Trent to fix it, but he ignored me, as usual. -- Nx / talk 08:35, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Peter - if it was wildly different to the general trend then it might stand out, but the answer is probably no. VOXHUMANA 07:35, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting that the whole vote be invalidated, but if any of the elected mods were guilty of voter fraud (& I hope they weren't), we should know about it. I think it would be reasonable grounds for resignation or impeachment, regardless of whether they used their extra votes for their own gain or some other purpose. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:43, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

On that subject, does anyone know if RW:CS#Voting covers moderator impeachment? Or do we still have no rules on that?
I highly doubt anyone actually running themselves would have cheated in this manner, but I suppose you never know 'till you look. Peter HFB2 07:49, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
In all votes, if both a user and his or her known sockpuppet attempt to vote, the sockpuppet vote may be stricken by anyone. Importantly, if a user votes only with his or her known sockpuppet, their vote is still valid. - Seems fairly clear-cut to me. Trent is at this point the only "anyone" who can act (being the only person capable of identifying the sock). VOXHUMANA 07:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I meant specifically for impeachment - there is a recurring meme, if you will, that we have no process to democratically remove moderators and thus must wait for them to resign, die, or lose the next election. But it would seem that the same system that exists for promoting sysops could be used, but the threshold is a bit low. Peter HFB2 07:57, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
You're right. We should add something to the standards. I'd assume that 2/3 would probably be good. It's not fair that there's no mechanism for removing mods at the moment.--ADtalkModerator 08:16, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
It's already covered under "penalty votes". Somebody would propose impeachment at the Chicken Coop (same as with bans, demotions, etc.), and users would vote. As it doesn't involve "removal from the site", it would need a simple majority rather than two thirds. Hopefully this shouldn't be necessary, as if any of the mods are guilty of double-voting (which they probably aren't), I would hope that they would have the decency to stand down rather than be impeached. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:25, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
A simple No Confidence poll (in the Coop, presumably) requesting a resignation could be a first step. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:24, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Well one confirmed sock who "voted" is SuspectedReplicant. I deliberately cast a blank ballot so I wouldn't come back home drunk one night and use it to vote twice after reading some pile of authoritarian nonsense from Blue one of the candidates. rpeh •TCE 07:55, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

How does one define a confirmed or known sock-puppet unless it is self-confessed? Because I have no idea who most socks are except when pointed out by someone else. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 12:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Well in this case, I can confirm it because he's my sockpuppet. Or the other way round. I never can remember. As for the rest, dunno. rpeh •TCE 12:32, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

This calls for a whole new motion....[edit]

FFS, guys! Look at ourselves. Is it really that important? Sure, as someone pointed out, a Kara or a TK pulling multiple sock votes might be able to cause minor damage to the wiki but, really, talk about a storm in a teacup. Bad Faith (talk) 08:49, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

But it just wouldn't be RW without a big argument somewhere about voting or user rights! Sophiebecause liberals 08:57, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, we're below quota this election already, pull your weight! Peter HFB2 09:00, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that people are standing for what amounts to a position of trust on the wiki. If it can be proven that they used socks to vote for themselves, then those people should be automatically excluded from the process. Likewise, and sock votes in general should be disregarded. --PsyGremlinPrata! 09:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Where do people get the idea that a calm and rational discussion about options and the situation is somehow this terrible thing? No one's upset (except Human) and no one's spewing bile (ditto). We're placidly going over events and thinking about whether or not we can improve the process, and there's nothing wrong with that.
This cynical "why are you foolish peons worrying" attitude is easy and silly.--ADtalkModerator 11:47, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes you just spot a text wall and assume the worst. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:52, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

What an enormous pile of unbridled bullshit. Wow, I mean really? What the fuck? Read the preceding comments on this page, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself "Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now? Does this matter?"
Depending on your answer either grab some scotch and head outside feeling grand....or sit back down and create an RW United Nations. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 10:22, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Ooooh! I want to be Slovakia! The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 10:25, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Only if I can be The Vatican. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 10:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Fuck yeah you can! The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 10:31, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Come 'ere lad, God wants to show you something....... AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 10:33, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
If we seriously asked ourselves "Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now? Does this matter?" on a regular basis none of us would ever edit RationalWiki. Ever. DickTurpis (talk) 12:54, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
So what country are you, Turpis? France? The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 12:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm the goddamn MOON, motherfuckers! DickTurpis (talk) 12:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
But, seriously, I have been a mod 3 fucking times and haven't done fucking nothing. The whole position is worthless yet people are complaining about the process.....AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 13:03, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
We definitely need a better process for complaining about processes. rpeh •TCE 13:10, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Synopsis of the issues[edit]

As I see it:

  • Trent, having examined the list of those who voted, found known sockpuppets among the rolls (and potentially many more unknown ones, presumably). According to the voter guide, this is fraud.
  • While some have argued that mods are lame and it doesn't matter, it has been pointed out that this is the same system for electing trustees, which is "srs bsns". For that reason this discussion should probably be moved to a non moderator specific forum.
  • Some have argued that since sockpuppetry can never be 100% eliminated, it is fine and no efforts should be made to prevent it. This is likely a minority viewpoint.
  • If changes are to be made to the voting system, it is best they are done before it becomes a significant problem (e.g. RobSmith or Cretinous Incompetent is elected to the Board of Trustees).

Should the voting procedure be changed? Some certainly argue it should, particularly with an estimate that the fraud rate is as high as 10%, which can easily swing an election in which it took a mere 8 votes to win this time around. We should also keep in mind that this method of voting was never decided on by the community, it is basically what we were handed. There is also the argument that is isn't worth the hassle. (It will be a hassle.) If no changes are made, the next step is simple: nothing is done and things stay as they are. The other option is less straightforward, and specific changes are decided upon. Potential changes to the voting system include:

  • Publicizing the names of all voting accounts.
    • This won't stop the problem in and of itself obviously, but could certainly discourage at least the known sockpuppets, and give the entire community (not just Trent) a much clearer idea of the extent of the problem.
    • Some have argued this negates the concept of secret ballot, though provided who voted for whom is still secret, this is not the case. It happens all the time in the US, and other countries too, I imagine. It could be argued that a key difference is that in real life voters are informed that voting records will be public (if they pay attention to such things anyway), whereas they weren't in this case. Of course, they weren't told they wouldn't be public either, so it could go either way. We were simply promised secret ballot (i.e. your preferences are secret).
    • If anyone still maintains a list of voters violates the principle of secret ballot, it should be noted that Trent himself has already violated this by looking at the rolls. Let the lynching commence.
  • Voter registration
    • This would almost certainly cut sockpuppet activity down to a bare minimum, but it would be a difficult process full of drama and sockpuppet accusations flying back and forth. To many it seems like overkill, at least at this juncture.
  • A voting system other than STV.
    • This will basically do nothing to eliminate socks, but could make it more difficult for a handful of them to have a significant impact on the election. With as few as 7 votes needed to win (in the January mod election), it's easy to see how 3 or 4 sockpuppets could elevated their choice into the top 7. In a system in which everyone votes for up to 7, all of equal weight, it will likely take upwards of 30 to be elected, so a handful of socks won't be such a significant factor. Also, many editors are still confused by STV, which isn't good either.
  • Public voting
    • This would be a big change, as it would eliminate all pretexts of secret ballot, and making voting something like all the other votes on this site, at the Coop and such. Wikipedia's Requests for Adminship could be a model for such a system as well. Details would clearly have to be worked out, as with the above option. Also probably overkill.
  • Other
    • Ideas are welcome.

And of course here's always the "leave it alone" option.

What it seems is off the table is anything negating this election. Short of actual violation of secret ballot its impossible to know what votes are fraudulent, so try to undo them or something would be mere guesswork. Nor can we even be sure the sockpuppets actually voted for anyone, as they could have cast blank ballots, as has apparently happened on at least 2 occasions in the last 2 elections. (The number of blank ballots cast is probably knowable and easily made public.) The only option above which could apply here and now would be publicizing voters, which would only give us an idea of the extent of the problem, and publicly shame those known socks, hopefully discouraging them in the future. About the only thing that can be done relatively easily and uncontroversially is to disenfranchise bots, which most of us probably thought had already happened. This of course will do little, if anything. DickTurpis (talk) 15:07, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Public voting is not preferable. The secret ballot not only grants more legitimacy to the process, but also efficiently keeps hundreds of project-space edits off Recent Changes. However, as socks are a problem, I do think we should change the procedure by which users are added to the franchise - it shouldn't be automatic.
For that purpose, the "eligible" or "voter" usergroup should not be implicit like "autoconfirmed." It should be added like any other usergroup. But by whom? Sysops here frequently make their socks sysops, or have leftovers from the bureaucrat era. Sysops should not have the ability to add the voter group. Nor should moderators, because they're the ones in power and accusations of election-fixing might fly.
It seems to me that the mods should appoint one or two editors to be registrars of voters, who would be given tech rights and thus the ability to add the voter group. As this would be a time-consuming task, the registrar(s) would have to want to do the job. Editors could bring appeals and accusations of sockpuppetry to their attention in a public forum. Blue (pester) 18:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like a lot of needlessly complicated red tape. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Let me try again then, in a simpler way:
  1. The "eligible" usergroup changes from implicit to something techs can add.
  2. Techs then add everyone who should be enfranchised and is not a known sockpuppet to the group.
Blue (pester) 18:42, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
"Add everyone who should be enfranchised and is not a known sockpuppet" is a lot harder than it sounds. That's got to be several hundred editors. If there are going to be changes to the usergroup structure to restrict voting, why not focus them on the minority users who are known sockpuppets rather than those who aren't? Create a new user right groups that is not eligible to vote, and add known or suspected sockpuppets to it. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:51, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
We don't need this kind of silly makework. Registration can be done automatically prior to opening the polls. It's trivially easy to bash out a Ruby script that can check whether someone's entitled to vote according to existing criteria and just add them to the public list. Then people can go apeshit questioning who is and is not a sockpuppet. The only additional hurdle we could possibly add is prohibiting more than 1 vote from a single IP and blocking TOR nodes and proxies. Otherwise you'll never be able to catch every single bit of monkeying around. The significant difference between a registered voter list and a list of who voted is obviously that it still doesn't necessarily need to be anyone's business whether someone did or didn't show up at the polling place. There are valid reasons for both choices.
I have to confess I'm changing my position on this stuff now that it's clear a few people couldn't resist the temptation to horse around. I avoided conceding the need for an open voter roll or registration without solid evidence of fraud because both could serve to discourage people who jealously guard their privacy from exercising their rights. Or not exercising them. Or whatever. But we have to take a look at things if people can sock vote from the same IP and the same system is used for electing people to positions with real legal responsibilities on the board of directors of a corporation. I would have thought, despite there being no clear guideline on this, people would recognize how inappropriate it is to cheat, but some of the editors here are real creepers. Who knows what goes through their heads. I like the idea of publishing a registered voter list. It forces people to commit to voting with whichever account they wish, creates a layer of transparency that we apparently need, but preserves enough privacy to at least partially justify the compromise. I assume people would register their regular accounts to avoid the inevitable clamor Dick referred to, but they don't have to.
Also, IIRC we hashed this system out based on the trustee election system. At least that sounds right. Is that right? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:54, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that a form of active voter registration could be acceptable but it becomes difficult when we slap known or suspected sock-puppet labels on editors. How many people would it take to ban a suspected sock from voting? I thought that last time we decided that the eligibility criteria were high enough to prevent a host of socks from voting and that we would live with the possibility that there might be a couple. So perhaps a tightening up on the qualifications to vote based on a minimum number of edits in the last so many months would be in order. Banning proxies or TOR nodes also gets us into problematic areas and it's not difficult to obtain new IPs by resetting your router, using public wifi hotspots, or voting from both home and work. I'm currently using a proxy because I am away from home for a month and my current work location restricts access to RationalWiki. I also think that the fewer positions for trustees makes it much harder to game the system. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:37, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Creating and publishing a list of eligible voters is very simple and a necessary step, that's right. But we still would need a way of disenfranchising socks from that list, preferably one that doesn't force Trent to do it manually for each one or go in and alter the voting extension. There's nothing wrong with the extension, just the franchise.
Weaseloid's idea - instead of adding non-socks to the eligible group, add known socks to an ineligible group - would work, though it would add another layer of confusion to the user rights system, and would be the path of least resistance. Blue (pester) 19:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, please tell me how you identify socks, all of them. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(EC, in the same vein as GK) How are you ever going to know who's legit or not? Even linking voting to IPs is problematic. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 19:59, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
There should be no problem publishing a list of voters. Although I don't think it'll help that much. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 20:04, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(ECx2) You're not going to know completely who's legit and who's not, but people appear to be concerned that "known" socks - like, for instance, NxBot, Blue2, Tiberius Gracchus (Bricks'), any of Marcus' - were voting with impunity. If this is not a major concern, then we don't have to do anything; keeping mind mind, however, that this is the same system we use to elect the Board of Trustees. Blue (pester) 20:07, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason it has to be the same method for all the variety of votes here. If the mob wants to keep mods without bots, that might be fine, but we can then change how we elect trustees. It's a different position, and trustees do not represent the wiki, but all of RWF's projects, whatever they be. Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 20:40, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
You're right, there's no reason except convenience. The Board election method is in the Foundation by-laws, however, so that's not for us plebeians ("the mob") to change. We can change the moderator election method and the way eligible voters are determined. There are some great ideas being tossed around here if we do want change. Blue (pester) 20:48, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Mh, I'll attempt a "compromise": The current usergroup of eligible voters is purged entirely. A page for voter registration is opened where users can ask to be member of the group (in a simple way like putting your signature with the timestamp down in a list). This page is managed by 1-3 registrar(es) who are nominated by the mods and approved by the mob (so mods can't pull on the system, and the mob has somebody trusted) and also have the ability to make somebody a reg. voter based on the criteria of account age, edit number and not being a known sock. The list of registered voters is held public, the list of people that voted is not. If voter fraud is found registrat(es) give it over to the coop and the moderators. Registrates are allowed to look into the list of voters (and if RWians ever get less paranoid might work checkuser), set up the vote itself and publish the results (to take some weight of Trent's back, who seems annoyed) but are themselves excluded from running for moderator position.
If people think this is "too much process", I'm sorry. Some equally heavy meassures are taken in many modern democracies to insure that no one's fidling with the system. As I have read, this election had 74 voters, not all that much considering a user base of several hundred. --Rutherford (talk) 22:19, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
[EC] My opinion is that we have a lot of ideas here, most of which are not very good, which is fine, as at least people are thinking about it, and this could be the sort of situation in which a bad idea leads you to a good one. Blue's idea of registrars strikes me as particularly problematic, as it would create a few users who wield a great deal of power, effectively deciding who can vote and who can not. How would these users get chosen via a fair process when the whole reason we would have them is to fix a broken process? Techs would be particularly problematical, as they seem to be created willy nilly, which I guess works for their current job, but would be a fiasco if they become some sort of superuser. Having a list of all eligible voters and having a way of removing known socks from it sounds better in theory, but would still be a nightmare to put into place. Since the enfranchisement bar is really pretty damn low, we must have hundreds upon hundreds of users who are technically eligible to vote, most of which no one knows anything about, many of which haven't edited in years and aren't part of the community anymore, a bunch of which are pretty clear socks/joke accounts, but aren't officially "known", etc. No one wants to see a witch hunt, nor do we (or at least I) want to see unpopular users deemed to be "sockpuppets" merely as a pretext to deny them a vote. I'd like to think we're above such blatantly abusive tactics, but you never know for sure here. I also think we should nto let the perfect be the enemy of the good here (if I'm using that right), and admit we're not going to be able to stop all sockpuppetry, but we can significantly mitigate it and prevent a few people from voting with 20 different accounts.
Right now it seems if we want to take a more scientific approach to this (we are supposed to favor that sort of thing here) we need facts upon which to base any proposals. Right now all we have is Trent saying he saw a bunch of socks in the rolls. That isn't a hell of a lot to go on. Nutty Roux has stated he was against listing voters because there was no evidence of any malfeasance, but now that there is he's a bit more flexible on some policy changes. The thing is, the only reason we know there are issues is because Trent "broke the rules" and examined this "secret list" of voters. To be honest, I'm not sure why he did this. Based on my casual look of the raw data, and Voxhumana's more statistic analysis, there actually doesn't seem to be much suspicious here. Contrast that with the first election in which we had a few identical or near identical votes placed one right after the other, and in that election no one checked to see who voted. I'm a bit curious as to why this time was different, and whether Trent as the authority to examine the rolls when none of the rest of us seem to. Not that I care, really, but it seems clear to me is that the reason we didn't have evidence of trouble before now is because we refused to look for it. That has now changed. There has been some suggestion that the names of these socks be made known, though exactly what that would accomplish is questionable, and it might serve to poison the well. Publishing the complete voter list might be more fair, though also has the potential to create a whole slew of problems. Alright, at this point I'm just sort of rambling. I'll shut up now, try to collect my thoughts in a cohesive manner, and let others rant for a while. DickTurpis (talk) 22:40, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The registrars would have about as much power as the moderators; to wit, next to none, unless they abuse their rights. Let's examine this more closely.
If we want to disenfranchise "known" socks, we need a process for doing so. I'd think that would be obvious. Who gets to decide what a "known" sock is? That decision is fraught with potential abuses, as Dick points out. What if we decided to remove people like Occasionaluse and Brxbrx on "suspicion" of being socks? What if there's disagreement over whether an account is really a sock or not? Who decides? These questions will come up no matter what process we use.
Thus, if we want to make a change to the franchise based on subjective criteria (status of sockpuppetry), we need to put decision-making power in the hands of people whose judgment we can trust. "The mob" is not a good solution. As to how these people - I call them registrars - are chosen, the best way would seem to be an internal vote of the Board of Trustees. We could make do with Trent himself in his capacity as Operations Manager, but he might not want the responsibility.
If there is no support for this idea, I submit that we cannot make any fair modifications to the voting procedure. The criteria for the franchise would be too subjective to be implemented by the mob. What we could do is release the list of voters so we can publicly shame whoever used socks, but I don't favor that as we are already rather acrimonious about this stuff. Perhaps we could agree that the list of voters will be released next time? Blue (pester) 23:46, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
we need to put decision-making power in the hands of people whose judgment we can trust. "The mob" is not a good solution. What's wrong with a list on a page that anyone can add themselves to, and a talk page where anyone can challenge them as a sock? Sure, you still need somebody to make the call, but it should be clear enough at that point that you could trust anyone to do it. Peter HFB2 23:54, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Dick is concerned that the people who make the call would have too much power. I disagree, but I elaborated on his objection and took it to its logical conclusion. I agree with you, Peter, that the registrar would be pretty effectively kept in check by the community and the process would be very simple. Blue (pester) 23:58, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
So it seems the favored solution here, or at least the one most discussed at the moment, is some sort of registration system. It does strike me, and I'm pretty sure many others, as a bit burdensome, but it is probably the most effective way to eliminate a substantial sock problem. Registrars certainly could work, but no matter how they're implemented we would seem to be creating a new group of users with some pretty substantial power, or at least the appearance of substantial power, which is just about as problematical. Yeah, for the obvious cases we're probably more or less safe, but what about those suspicious accounts that aren't known sockpuppets, but really carry the stench of them? It could get ugly. The problem now may be the known socks, but its the unknowns that carry real potential for trouble down the road. I'm sort of in favor of not reinventing the wheel here. The easiest thing to do for now (other than nothing) is either with this election or the next one, publish the list of voters, which should deter the obvious socks, and will give us insight into whether a lot of additional suspect votes are being cast. That can be implemented quite easily and without a huge cumbersome process. If big problem are revealed we can discuss registration then. Convincing people it isn't some nefarious ploy to undermine secret ballot seems to be the challenge. The truth is, knowing the real names of many people in this thread, and basically where they live, I can probably find out if they voted in actual state and federal elections recently, which makes knowing that they cast some sort of vote in an insignificant wiki's circle jerk seem pretty inconsequential. DickTurpis (talk) 00:11, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the 'suspected socks' are the biggest problem with that solution, though I have a feeling that they haven't actually voted this time around. Did they, Trent? Peter HFB2 00:22, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't expect him to answer that. It would be a pretty strong accusation to make, basing it only on what must be a hunch and information only he is partial to. DickTurpis (talk) 00:26, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
There's also the situation where there's an account that's obviously a sock, but it's not clear to whom it belongs. Or where there's an account that only certain people are aware is a sock - do they have an obligation to publicize that information? Public registration could get very nasty. Blue (is useful) 00:43, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Could? I'm pretty sure it would. And who a sock belongs to is inconsequential. You don't have to know User:Kendoll is me to know it's a joke account that shouldn't be voting. DickTurpis (talk) 00:50, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
True, but we don't know who to run out of town with torches and pitchforks, so I was just anticipating that some nasty accusations might fly. Blue (pester) 00:54, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Possibilities: "Aschlafly should definitely vote, har-har-har!" "Brxbrx is definitely a sock of Psygremlin, he told me in an email." It has so much potential to go badly. Blue (pester) 03:56, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Good legislative drafting starts with finding the least possible amount of policy necessary to achieve an acceptable result, not necessarily the best result, if it's even achievable, just a good result. That's particularly important where Blue's familiar style of overblown whatthefuckery won't give any better result than publishing a registered voters list, yet creates a host of potentially explosive problems. Diminishing returns and all that. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 05:39, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
And incrementally. Anyone accepting a Nomination for any position should be monitored for socks and allowed only one vote. This would narrow the list of suspected socks, in keeping with COI rules. If implemented incrementally, the problem of other peoples socks could be addressed after the next election. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:08, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
This bullshit all started because Trent abused his position and looked at data he had no right to access. He then started flinging shit into the fan by starting this page based on his own personal beliefs of what accounts are socks. Now we're getting unbelievably authoritarian suggestions like "we need to put decision-making power in the hands of people whose judgment we can trust" - a suggestion, by the way, that should immediately exclude Blue from any position on this site. The simple fact is that none of this crap matters. Now it's being used to further the personal agendas of one or two people who want to turn RW into something it has never been. rpeh •TCE 07:37, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Jesus. You and Nutty are confusing what I was criticizing with what I was proposing. Blue (pester) 07:49, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
No, we're calling you out on it. Your comment was quite clear and entirely typical. rpeh •TCE 07:56, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Did you just propose and defend new user rights groups, a new position of superuser that gets to decide who can't vote, and new procedures for dealing with it? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:43, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

You guys are overthinking this. Disenfranchising bots would've prevented me from voting with two of the four accounts I used (Capturebot2 and NxBot). Add in another requirement like, I dunno, 10 edits in the last 6 months, and it would've probably prevented me from voting with Ponder Stibbons as well. Adjust as necessary (one could make 10 quick edits with a sock that meets the other requirements, but then they'd probably arouse suspicion if they're obvious socks) -- Nx / talk 07:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Lets make this clear: are you saying that you sock voted? Peter HFB2 07:39, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
What was unclear? He just said he used four accounts to vote. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:04, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I voted with Capturebot2, NxBot, Ponder Stibbons and Nx. Though that's not 10% I think. -- Nx / talk 07:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe it is. Trent said that he was counting the people who voted along with their socks to get 10%, so if we take Nx|Capturebot2|NxBot|Ponder Stibbons and add Rpeh|Suspected Replicant (which I suspect would also have appeared, as I doubt Trent's list excluded blank votes) we have a number (6 out of ~75) that is close enough for the accuracy implied. Peter HFB2 08:54, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Excluding bots would be fairly meaningless, as it only applies to a few users who make their spare account a bot. It's not difficult to maintain a non-bot sock account. Making everyone go through voter registration causes unnecessary hassle for everyone, when it's actually only a small minority who are socks. I'm reminded of last year's desysoping fiasco: everyone loses rights they already had & has to apply for them again. + Let's not become one of those sites that assumes the worst of editors until they've proven themselves. Much better to keep the franchise requirements much as they are (possibly add Nx's suggestion re recent edits) but add a non-eligible user rights group as I suggested above ("voterevoke" or some such). Known socks can be added to this group, along with joke/parodist account (which we know are somebody's sock) and possibly known trolls etc. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:04, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Excluding bots should also be pretty easy and uncontroversial, which is something no other proposal is right now. Yes, it would do little, but it would do something, so I see no reason not to do that much, at least, especially since it does appear that bots voted this time. However, couldn't someone running a bot just change its usergroup so it's officially not a bot anymore, and then vote? DickTurpis (talk) 12:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
In theory, yes. But in practice: we'd all be able to see what's going on. When, for example, is Capturebot2 not actually a bot? Especially around election times. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 12:14, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily against bots being excluded (there's no particular reason why they should be able to vote); I just don't see it as much of a solution, since it only excludes a fraction of socks & it's so easy to get around. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:22, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I imagine it as a small part of a larger solution, assuming it is decided we need one, and yes, it wouldn't do much. I want to get back to something rpeh said: Trent abused his position and looked at data he had no right to access. While there has been opposition to the idea of publicizing it, I don't think it was ever firmly established that the voter list was to remain secret from everyone. However, I don't see why Trent is the only one who should have access to it. Right now we're all making speculations based on a few words by Trent as if it were some letter from George Washington to his nephew, and now Nx is chiming in claiming he's likely the socks we're concerned about, but for all we know he's lying. The cat's halfway out of the bag, the well is poisoned, we might as well all see for ourselves from whence this controversy is arising. Maybe it does begin and end with Nx, and all we need is an Nx-specific solution, which would be much easier than some sort of goddamn constitutional convention. Release the data! There's no rule specifically against it, and it's secret ballot either way. Let's get some more sunshine on this. DickTurpis (talk) 12:39, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Fuck these hanging chads. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 12:41, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
We must put it to the vote as to whether we release the raw data or not. Just one moment while we sort out who is eligible, what voting system we're going to use, .... Bad Faith (talk) 12:58, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I say we storm Trent's apartment, grab the server & tear the voter list out by hand. Then with the guillotining. Not a sock will be spared. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:47, 7 July 2012 (UTC)


We don't need a host of bureaucratic procedures. I think that it is simply a matter of having a sufficient number of edits in the last three months and excluding bot edits/accounts because I noticed that an old sock account of mine is actually an eligible voter solely because it has made the occasional edit but over a long period; with RW having been going for 5 years the total edits is a pretty low requirement for enfranchisement. If people are concerned that they may be excluded from voting and actually care about RW then they just need to be more active on the site. If people can be active enough to fulfil the requirements for multiple accounts and vote multiple times then we may just have to live with that. After all, a moderator position is only one of 7 and is pretty much a 'meh' role arbitrating petty spats, it's not wielding super powers. From a cursory examination of recent activity the unelected tech position seems more open to arbitrary abuse. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 08:14, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Ah! If I understand you right, you're suggesting just raise the standards for voting? More edits and a longer time? That seems like the best idea that I've heard so far.--ADtalkModerator 08:17, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually a shorter time, the most recent three months (for example), so that long-time slow-burning socks are excluded from voting. We can't eliminate all socks, so clobbering the known ones and arguing about suspected ones is a pointless bureaucratic exercise. Personally I would also go for only mainspace and perhaps mainspace-talk edits but I know a lot of people who use RW as a social site would object to that. Bot edits such not count towards contributions. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 08:32, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Hm. So I guess the time wouldn't matter (might as well leave it at three months) but we drastically increase the amount of edits required to be a voter?--ADtalkModerator 08:54, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
IIRC the current edit requirement is not time restricted, only that the account is older than three months and edits are cumulative since account creation. I think voting should be limited to active editors, so the current minimum of 75 edits (discuss) could stand but you would need to "keep your membership up"; if you want to take part in the voting then take part in the site. My proposal would be: 1) Account registered for minimum of 3 months, 2) Minimum of 75 non-bot edits in 3 months prior to official announcement of election, 3) Forget about vetting of sock accounts. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:24, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
One further thing about socks, I would guess that most sock accounts are used in user talk pages and not editing mainspace. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:29, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that definitely some changes to the numbers on franchise would be the ideal way to solve this problem. We need an automated process, because otherwise it is just going to be a ridiculous amount of work for some poor few people.
So the meat of this is that you want to limit voting to active editors, here defined as 75 edits in mainspace within the last three months? Sounds good. I don't think that's quite enough edits, though - I'd suggest bumping it up to 100.
Obviously this system could still be circumvented, but is it a high enough bar to prevent almost all fraud? I think so. But we need some other opinions.--ADtalkModerator 09:32, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
For some of us AD, 100 mainspace edits is a not a high bar but not everyone is so addicted to RW and I think attempting to eliminate all possible fraud is unrealistic, we just need to reduce it to a non-significant level. One thing I would like to see changed behind the scenes is a list of Eligible voters from the user rights page. You can browse all the other categories of editor but you need to examine individual user rights to see who's an eligible voter. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:47, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Obvious Conspiracy[edit]

It's obvious to me that it was the people clamouring for tighter restrictions that were the ones who cast sock-like votes. Just as in the USA, where the GOP keep going on about voter fraud being a problem when it's only their own operatives causing the problem, it's clear that the people highlighting the alleged problem on RW are the ones causing it. Therefore, all votes cast by anyone moaning about sockpuppet fraud in any discussion above it hereby stricken. It's only fair. Deny this and lose all credibility. rpeh •TCE 20:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Mea culpa. Silly twit (talk) 20:46, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

There really is no issue here.[edit]

This is self-aggrandising bullshit. A trustee has to be, you know, a real person therefore sock issues are irrelevant. If some sock called "Wishy washy masturbatory gorilla" gets elected and then turns out to be Ace it'll be discovered fairly quickly. Rationalwiki is a small, chaotic, wiki based website and these layers of bureaucracy are totally out of spec in regards to the website as a whole. I think everyone needs to go outside or have sex or something. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 00:49, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't think the danger is socks getting elected so much as casting multiple votes for someone who has no business being on the board. Think Marcus Cicero. Hell, if Jpatt ever bothered registering accounts instead of using anon ips he could be eligible to run and give himself a fair number of votes. Unlikely to happen, but the trustees are about the only part of the site that we need to take seriously. DickTurpis (talk) 00:56, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
but the trustees are about the only part of the site that we need to take seriously Which is why this red-tape, open polling, political postulating shit is completely out of scope with the size of the problem. If I was elected to trustee and it turned out I was Karajou then it'd be obvious from the first meeting and dealt with at the time. Seriously man, get some fucking perspective here. I feel embarrassed having even waded into this conversation. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 01:01, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
The fuck is wrong with you today? 10% of votes for a nonserious position were socks. Now that people know it works and there's an upcoming serious election, it could be a hell of a lot worse. Stop mocking people for trying to productively discuss the problem. If it doesn't interest you, go do something else and stop shoving your really annoying "golly you're all stupid this doesn't matter" attitude in our faces. We get it, you don't give a shit. Message received. Go masturbate in a corner.--ADtalkModerator 03:52, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
golly you're all stupid this doesn't matter. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:56, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh my. The punctuation and capitalization! It pains me! What's wrong, Ace? Are you are 14 year old using Twitter for the first time? DickTurpis (talk) 03:58, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
That would explain a lot. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 04:00, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
You know, it really would. DickTurpis (talk) 04:01, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
ahh well. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 04:04, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Goddamn it, there really is no tissue here, and some of us really need to masturbate in a corner... DickTurpis (talk) 04:13, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

A general question for the community[edit]

It seems there is strong opposition to anything except secret ballot, and I'm sort of wondering why that is. I'm not proposing we get rid of secret ballot, and I see why people prefer it, but I seem to sense a "no way in hell" attitude towards open voting, and I'm wondering why. Obviously in the real world it's different, and there can be serious consequences, but this is a wiki. No one's going to lose their job or be disappeared for the way they vote. Sure, it can cause drama, but we get that anyway, and we should be mature enough to be able to handle that certain people didn't vote the way we wanted. We have public voting on blocks, promotions, and other punishments in the Coop, and the butthurt there seems to be minimal. Would it be so much worse to handle mod and trustee elections the same way? Again, I'm not saying this is how it should be done, but I'm wondering why it isn't part of the discussion. It's less of a policy change and burden than a cumbersome registration process, and it's probably the surest way to prevent obvious socks from voting (or at least having their votes count). We would've been able to dismiss Nx's extra votes before they were even tallied (assuming he did vote 4 times; I'm not 100% sure he isn't trolling us). I get that there could be pressure to vote a certain way, either real, implied, or imagined, but we should be able to overcome that. Any real harassment or intimidation could be dealt with these issues already. I see some benefit to keeping the process open, and making people put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. So, anyone want to chime in? DickTurpis (talk) 18:00, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm open to anything that Trent isn't in charge of. He has now twice demonstrated that he can't be trusted. Beyond that: let's talk. rpeh •TCE 18:08, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Some of the objecting to open votes is on the basis of "it'll clog recent changes" which is just twatty, really. Who cares if RC clogs up for the day? Use the javescript collapser thing, or your watchlist, or choose which space to view. Honestly people, have a better reason than that. Sophiebecause liberals 19:00, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that's a non-starter. When the voting on the CP space articles was going it it was removed from RC for a few days. It was no big deal. DickTurpis (talk) 19:11, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Nominees for office could be questioned in a candidate forum beforehand to disclose a full list of their socks; the relative bona fidas of a candidate then could be judged by voters. Vote stacking by non-candidate socks, if it's still perceived as a problem, could then be discussed after the next election's results are certified. nobsCorporations are people, too 06:32, 9 July 2012 (UTC)