Forum:Plan of action for user rights and moderation

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I am the Operations Manager of the RWF, and of this website. I am the closest thing there is to someone being in charge. I also have a long history of making decisions, and of proving my positive intents to this website and its users. I am now going to use both this actual authority, and defacto moral authority, to deal with a situation that is out of hand. I am going to put a solution in place via fiat eventually. But I do want everyone’s feedback in order to make it as palatable to everyone as possible, and give it the best chance to succeed.

At the moment things like sysops, and crats are just labels, with extra buttons that many people don’t even know what to do with. The back and forth rights battles reminds me of The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. So my first major proposal is the complete removal of bureaucrat as a user group. It’s gone. Instead there will be three groups with different rights spread out:

  • Sysops-patrol, auto-patrol, delete, restore, semi-protect, vandal bin, and blocking for spammers and obvious vandalism and for fun, can make and remove sysops rights.
  • Tech-Bigdelete, edit MW and JS, interwiki tables, etc. Things needed for tech reasons on the wiki.
  • Moderators-full protect, full rights grant and removal, blocking for trolling/disruption, hide/view revisions.

The sysops group and continue as it is, a fun group that spread around useful tools to people that have been here a little while. The purpose of letting sysops add or remove the sysops right is so that people can continue to grant the privilege to new users, but if someone starts abusing it badly, say deleting tons of pages they can be removed without having to wait for someone further up the chain to act.

The sysops will not have the moral authority to block anyone but for short periods for either the typical “fun” blocks, or for obvious vandalism or spam. Blocking for any other reason is grounds for removal of that right.

The tech group will be for those who are doing things in the cogs and wheels of the wiki and need to edit and do things most users won’t. It keeps those powers with the people that need them but doesn’t confuse things by giving them authority over the wiki.

The moderators group will be an elected position. Elected using the same criteria and extension that the board of trustees uses. Since the sole purpose of the moderators is to deal with trolling, or disruption we don’t need tons of them. A mere handful of trusted users, that are given the authority and the tools to respond to situations that are disrupting the wiki. They can temporarily block people, remove rights, or protect pages. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Feedback here[edit]

  • could we edit our own vector.js files? To add mark as patrolled hot vandal, etc. ? ТyTalk. 16:04, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Editing JS in your own user space should remain intact. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:05, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining. ТyTalk. 16:06, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
This looks like a good idea to me. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:07, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I like this idea. It's simple. Simple is good. Senator Harrison (talk) 16:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. That's my feedback. SJ Debaser 16:15, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Notwithstanding the disheartening bullshit that happened yesterday, I don't believe the political process is over yet or that it's necessary for you to intervene. Some of the disruptive reactive types are running out steam and bile (I am referring to a tiny few shit stirring motherfuckers here - you assholes know who you are) and leaving space for those with good ideas who nonetheless got dragged into this miasma of atomized diarrhea but are inclined to cool the fuck down to get some good work done. Please give everyone a few more days to get some cream for that butthurt and drink their anger into submission. Nutty Roux (talk) 16:18, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I am not doing it right this second. I am leaving plenty of time for people to state their ideas and suggestions and to build off this framework. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:22, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I was overstating my confidence in this community. I sometimes let my cheeriness get the best of my impeccable judgment. Do what you think is best. Nutty Roux (talk) 16:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Full support for this general roadmap. --Sid (talk) 16:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Generally looks good. I suggest that it be specifically spelled out that sysops are not allowed to do moderator blocks, or undo a desysop from the moderators. Doing so would automatically earn themselves a moderator desysop and block as punishment, no questions or trial or HCM necessary. And that moderators are specifically directed to enforce the Community Standards, and not arbitrary personal reasons. (Meaning: each desysop/block should have an indication of what Community Standard was violated.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It's time to give fascism a chance - David Gerard (talk) 17:09, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't like the look of what's been going on in the last few days, but the suggestions above look reasonable. My biggest concern is about authority rather than abilities, as I think the site should remain essentially egalitarian. So I think it's important to establish whether Moderators would actually hold more authority than other users, or just more abilities.

My own opinion is that the things Moderator abilities should be used for (except hiding revisions for privacy reasons) should be decided by the community, much as they are now, rather than an individual. Giving another user Moderator rights would only be done when the user is elected, and removing rights or issuing a lengthy block to a troublemakers should only be done when agreed at the Chicken Coop. Hence it would then be the Moderator's role simply to enact the community decision rather than making the decision themselves. It should be emphasised that a Moderator's opinion on any issue carries no more weight than any other user's. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The whole issue of this is that most disruption needs a quick but temporary response, and the "mob" moves very slowly and usually with a heavy hammer when it strikes. By empowering a small number of individuals to take actions to break up heated fights/disruption we decrease the HCM issues. Moderators can lock a page, or block a user on a temporary basis till things cool. Permanent blocking or the like could still be left up to community cluster fuck. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:14, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
How would that, for example, to use a real example, have helped the mess that Blue and I got ourselves mired in last week? To use a real world example of something I assume we are trying to solve? What would the new process potentially look like? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:06, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Having actual rules that you guys could use to support your positions would have lead to a better discussion than "I like human, so I support him" and "I like Blue so I support her". We could have had a reasoned argument about which rules apply, and how. And before a bunch of people who are invested in the site rather than the entire mob of concern trolls. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 03:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Reasonable compromise to me. Weaseloid's question still remains un answered though... would moderators be considered to "hold authority"? I believe your response implies "yes". (But then I am a pedantic bitch, I like things explicit.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:25, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Question: Has anyone ever recieved a permaban (who didn't return has a sock, etc) in RW? even TK never recieved more than a two year block, I think. nobsViva la Revolucion! 20:40, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I think permabans are mostly reserved for blatant and unfunny vandalism (single-purpose accounts) and spambots, and even then, they're pretty rare since we also got the bin and escalating blocks. Check out Special:BlockList for the list if you're curious. But I guess the answer to your actual question would be "No." --Sid (talk) 22:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I like the suggestions.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Not bad ideas. But Technical Power != Social Power. Everyone here is obsessing over UserRights, when the problem has never been the technical one of which users are in which groups, it has been the social one of who has authority and whether those having authority are willing to show good leadership. A "Moderators" group is a good idea, but giving it extra technical rights compared to others is not the point. The point is to give it social authority — this requires both others to respect the group, and the group and its members to conduct themselves in such a way so as to retain the respect of others. If you want to mark membership of this group, a Wiki page would work just as well as a UserRights group. (((Zack Martin))) 19:45, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I mostly agree with what I think is your main point: The distinguishing feature of the Mods will be their crisis-time authority and not some fancy wiki power. But (and I'm not sure if I'm disagreeing with you, filling in another angle of your idea, or just phrasing your thoughts in a different way) social and technical power should be linked: Don't give nukes to people with lacking leadership qualities (like foresight and a cool head), and also don't establish an institution with authority without giving said institution some way to actually exercise said authority. Limiting the Full Rights Alteration user-right (which is basically the only Mod-only technical power of interest here) to a select few people with authority both limits the fallout of HCM (just look at the User Rights log of the last few days...) and gives the people in charge another tool to use against wikilawyering trolls. It won't define the group, but it'll help. --Sid (talk) 22:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh I agree some sort crat authority (ability to control other's user rights) needs to be restricted to people who can be trusted not to abuse it, and needs to exist so people abusing lesser rights can quickly be dealt with. But the old system was mostly fine by that - only crats could change user rights. The recent HCM started because the crats themselves lacked sufficiently clear and respected and enforced guidelines as to how to use that power. Really, all these people arguing about who should be a crat or a sysop, when that wasn't actually the problem to begin with. (((Zack Martin))) 08:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

It looks pretty good actually. It doesn't seem radically different from what we're trying to get done now, but cratship is so tainted that it might be a good idea to nuke it altogether and give it a different form. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 22:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:53, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Idears (braindrizzling)[edit]

The lowest level "sysop," half of these will be able to block, but not unblock; the other half of the group will have the keys to unblock but no handcuffs. Members of this group would be in the group about a month lernin' what's kosher blocking vs what ain't. [This level would be for future sysops-to-be; people who are already here probably already know these things, could also be used as a punishment level short of full user privileges being axed.] 17:09, 17 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

I think we should forgo block rights for common users in favor of vandal bin rights.--brxbrx-brxbrx 17:57, 17 May 2011 (UTC)


  • To avoid a janitor (I'd like to keep the old vocabulary, it was fun to read about) cancelling the promotion of a troll or vandal done by a moderator, I propose you create a second group with the same rights as a normal user. You could name that a "on probation" group. Janitors could move people between the normal users and janitors group, as suggested, but only moderators could move people to and from the "on probation" group. dx (talk) 20:37, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Loya Jirga[edit]

Would we still need them? Have we ever actually needed them? Can we scrap the LJ? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:43, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

LJ should be scrapped and replaced with mods. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:58, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Now that's a good idea OzdemocracyTalk! 01:49, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
See Forum:Order_or_No_Order#I.27d_just_like_to_mention for some off-topic drifting to this topic. Trent, I think you should wait until the mob forms an opinion. This isn't like you, and lest you forget, you gave up ownership a while ago. Not the respect and moral authority, but ownership. If people with server access can unilaterally redefine this site (ok, I know you have asked for input and all...), then we are in a weird place, especially regarding recent history. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it Trent has asked for comments on his suggestions before implementation. That is, I suppose, why we are commenting on this page. Under the process above the LG would seem to have no function.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:33, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
But I see no alternate versions of the ideas here, despite various commentary besides "it's perfect". There aren't header that say "alternate text or ideas". It seems like it is all about Trent evaluating the "commentary" and deciding what to do based on that. But I suppose any of us could add sections. Some of his sections are rather opaque, though, especially the tech one. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:15, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
You know what that sounds like to me? People implicitly agreeing that the text is acceptable. Trent isn't calling for anything nutso here at all, and so I don't think it's unreasonable that people are only calling for minor tweaks, and changes. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 05:19, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the main purpose the LJ served was as a kind of security blanket - at least in my opinion. It got formed, but was never really needed after that particularly biblical HCM died-out. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 15:44, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

The role & authority of the Loya Jirga was never sufficiently well defined anyway. The one time they were invoked, they were supposed to be dealing with one specific user (MC) & the problems he was creating, & the outcome was LJ making a decision about site policy (the talk-page revert rule), something which I & some other users thought they had no authority to do. This is why I think we need to agree very clearly about the Moderator role & what kinds of authority it involves before electing anyone to this position. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:55, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it was unfortunate it was formed during a shitstorm. Kind of like having to design a parachute after an engine has already failed. I think we're slightly better organised now, and it'll be easier to define the New World Order without the emotional baggage that was being flung around. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:01, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Great comments, indeed. We never work on how to deal with problems except when we are in the middle of them. A very interesting problem that poses. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:32, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Sysops[edit]

These will work almost exactly the same as they currently work on the wiki. It provides useful tools to manage and deal with the day-to-day issues of the wiki such as deleting articles or dealing with spam. The major difference is that sysops can add and remove people from the sysops group. Adding people should follow the current set of guidelines we use (been here a little while, mostly harmless), removing people should only be done if that individual is doing something that needs immediate action. Such as mass deletion of pages, or mass revoking of user rights.

Syops will be able to block and vandal bin people, but will ‘’not’’ have the authority to do this to anyone except for obvious vandalism or spam. Fun blocks of other sysops can continue as they are, well, fun.

Sysops can also semi-protect pages up to autoconfirmed users if something is getting repeatedly hit by spam bots or something. Sysops will have no added authority in any dispute or dispute moderation when compared with any other users.

Feedback on sysops[edit]

I don't think the "mostly harmless" rule was working well, since people were being sysopped almost on sight. I'd set the bar slightly higher - at least a couple weeks with a couple dozen decent edits. But then, I may be glorifying the "old days" when I used to "consider" before doing it. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:26, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion over at some other page was to set edit count criteria for the user class that's supposed to make up the bulk of the editors, mostly as a way of determining who should be given the right to vote, which could then be made a sysop ability. I'd still set it rather low (like 100 edits total, 50 mainspace), so newbies could be quickly integrated, but high enough as to require some effort before users can get their sockpuppets to sysop rank. Röstigraben (talk) 06:39, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif (((Zack Martin))) 08:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The "rule" I used back in the day was if I felt no need to go check an edit unless I was curious what was being written, I'd sysop the user. That was my rule of thumb for "trusted/useful". It rather defies simple enumeration as a rule, but made sense and was easy to implement. But then, I was also here about 27/8 back then... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:02, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Leave it at the new ruling class's discretion to demote - with the understanding that they'd need a decent reason not to. i.e. no point in demoting someone who racks up the time and edits, yet is acting the arse. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:05, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I must say, though, that the sooner sysops lose the power to make sysops, the better IMO. I think giving sysops that much power permanently will only cause much greater problems than we have now. The Noisy Orchestra Oi! Oi! Oi! 09:09, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Patrolling edits[edit]

This features has always seemed to me much more user-unfriendly than it is useful. Could we just drop it? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

+1 - David Gerard (talk) 20:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I dunno, I always thought I was being user-friendly when I marked an edit "patrolled", or further edited the article. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:08, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Human is useful. I like having the patrol thing running as a prompt to keep an eye on the edits of newbies and BoNs. Those red exclamations are pretty eye-catching and purdy. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:07, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we could just have a probationary period. Should the wiki grow further, there may come a time where looking for red exclamation points is the only way to spot noobs.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:11, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes even without the red marks we can tell who they are... ħumanUser talk:Human 09:24, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
If autoconfirmed users were automatically patrolled it wouldn't be so bad, but since the mass desysoping there are veteran users showing up red in RC. Also the fact that if you re-edit or revert a noob's comment, you still have to patrol it to make the red ! disappear is pretty annoying. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:47, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Tech[edit]

Given out to people that have a reason and a need for the tools it provides. Basically the ability to edit any of the site wide scripts or settings, as well as MW namespace, big delete, and interwiki tables.

Because of the potential security issues this invokes tech users will need to request this user right from mods or other tech users and give reasons why they need it, what their plans are, etc.

There is no authority for community or content management with this user right. Its purely a nuts and bolts thing.

Feedback on tech[edit]

So only Techs can edit the MW stuff? We have made this place so much cooler by everybody (as far as I know, I usually had a gold badge) being able to customize the MW things. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:23, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I think that this user group is a good idea. Especially since people who edit the MediaWiki space and make changes to the Wiki itself should be held to a high level of trust here. Punky Your mental puke relief 15:14, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The MW things haven't changed in a very long time, they are customized, and if someone wants to add or change something and they are not in the tech group there is the talk page. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:18, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, tech guys is a good idea.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 17:26, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Fine as long as they're using their abilities for things the site/community needs or wants them to do & not just following personal whims. Would techies also be eligible for sysop &/or Mod positions, or is it an either/or deal? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:36, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I misunderstood what this meant. As some know, there is a huge list of MW default pages or templates or whatever they are - like the text used for the bar across the top ("fossil record"). I guess Trent didn't mean that stuff? He meant the extensions, the custom stuff? If so I stand corrected. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:02, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
When RW moved to Trent's home, Jeeves used some js hackery to take over several other accounts on the old server. So before giving someone the ability to edit MW space, think about that. -- Nx / talk 05:13, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Jealous you didn't think of it first? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:08, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Eh? What I was trying to show you is, while "everybody ... being able to customize the MW things" may be cool, it's also dangerous. That's why we removed that from sysops a while ago. -- Nx / talk 08:10, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

I would also add, regarding "there is always the talk page", that 2 out of 3 people with the tech group currently hate me with a burning passion. That's a bit intimidating. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:05, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

I would also add... and what if they just do what they want based on wiki-politics? Are they accountable in any way? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:10, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Which two? -- Nx / talk 05:13, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
You and somebody else. You have trying to drive me off the wiki for almost eight months now. It might not be intentional on your part, of course, it could be a language issue. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:30, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait, I thought this wasn't yet implemented. Who has the tech group? Blue Talk 03:51, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
It's just Human's paranoia. Apparently he still thinks that Pi has access to the server. -- Nx / talk 04:00, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I keep forgetting that, yes. There are two, and one hates me with an ignorant passion. And abuses their access any time they feel like it. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:30, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, for Pete's sake. Human, in the unlikely event that Nx acts maliciously with the server, I suspect that at least one of the other editors would lodge a complaint with the Board of Trustees. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:53, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not unlikely; it happens all the time. Wasn't it only a couple of days ago we had checkuser installed without warning? & Users should be accountable to the community, not the Board. See my suggestion below. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:20, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I do not think Nx did that with malicious intent. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:28, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Malicious intent is not the only reason to hold techs responsible... they should ensure that all their server access is used responsibly. (I could care less for their wiki edits, but they shouldn't abuse their server access to delete everyone's user rights, or install CheckUser, just because they can.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 06:33, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Whether it was done maliciously, for a joke, to prove a point or just to show off is immaterial; whatever the motive, it was an unjustified use of server access to unilaterally dictate site policy & practice, which is a gross assumption of authority. It's hardly the first time we've seen this, but it would be nice if it was the last. Site users of all user rights levels should be help accountable to the community. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:27, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
What a joke. At best if someone does something really bad, we have a huge HCM and maybe they get a slap on the wrist and they promise not to do it again. And then we go on our merry way like nothing happened. Hell, Human hates me and he wants to convince the board to remove my server access and yet I still have it. I even got away with installing checkuser. -- Nx / talk 07:05, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't hate you, I am sick of you. There's a difference. Who leaked private Board discussions to you? And the Checkuser thing has yet to be dealt with. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
No one leaked private discussions to me, you said it yourself. Hey, maybe you can convince the board to remove Trent's access as well, since he's also using it for political ends, and then give you access to the server, so you can finally run this cesspit the way you like. -- Nx / talk 08:29, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Or actually, you don't even have to do that, Trent shared the root password in google docs. All you have to do is "passwd -l nx" -- Nx / talk 08:37, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Accountability of tech users[edit]

Tech users should be accountable to the community (like all other admins). Aside from routine maintenance and emergency fixes, anything they do should have been discussed first. Using their abilities to do anything controversial at the site without appropriate prior discussion should be regarded as an abuse of privileges & dealt with as such (i.e. at the Chicken Coop or equivalent). €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:51, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

As the techs have server access, they will need to answer to the Board, since the Foundation maintains the server. Having their actions approved by the community can be a separate process. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:28, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Moderators[edit]

This is the big one, the new one. This will be a set number of individuals elected by the users following the guidelines set forth on board elections. Let’s say 7 people. They are empowered as ‘’individuals’’ to act to prevent or stop disruptive activities on the wiki. We have a set of rules/guildlines in place that can be used and followed. But I don’t want to create a complex script or algorithm for the mods. Instead the goal would be to elect clear minded people who we trust to make the right decisions as individuals on issues that can’t be addressed by the “mob”.

Moderators should see themselves as what the name implies: moderators of dispute. The first step should be conversation, and trying to encourage people to calm down or refocus their energies. If action needs to be taken beyond that it should be all about the minimal action needed to resolve the situation. Perhaps a 2 hour block, or just a 2 hour page protection.

Other issues moderators might be called upon to deal with are posting of personal information, or libelous statements. Moderators are empowered by the community, and answerable to that community. There will be an election, and a term of position, let’s say 6 months. If a moderator is seriously abusing the position the other moderators can act to remove the rights. An impeachment procedure could be useful to draft up but I don’t think it’s something we have to prioritize.

Basic common sense should apply, moderators should not act as moderators in disputes they are involved in, keep actions to a minimum, talk first, act as a last resort, etc. Hopefully we won’t have a need to use the tools very often, most of our issues are far and few between and become only a major hassle because we have to start up the argument about how we don’t have a way to deal with it.

Feedback on moderators[edit]

"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." 00:48, 19 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

I loved "basic common sense". ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Revision delete[edit]

Is probably the one key tool that must be used in a timely fashion - removing personal information, say, from the bar or twigoCP. If delayed, it is much harder and messier, and also more embarrassing. Having "just a few" people with this might be an issue. I estimate it takes about 20 or so users to adequately keep an eye on the wiki 24/7. JMHO. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:22, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Seven is far too few for this. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:22, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, regarding rarely-used "powers" like this, we should have a "crat school" (or will it be "mod school"? Secondary Modern?) where they practice what to do in a pinch? ħumanUser talk:Human 07:19, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I re-assert my original (before all the shit was mascerated) proposal of 12 'crats.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:24, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Crats are gone, no more, their is very little the mods need to do that requires action right this second. We need quality over quantity here. If we set this number too high their might not even be enough volunteers to fill all the spots, and if we don't allow the site to vote and select amongst volunteers they won't have the moral authority or we might wind up with individuals that shouldn't have the job and have it only because they volunteered when others didn't. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:20, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
A problem with a having a small fixed number of Mods is that, once elected to the position, most Mods will probably want to stay in it & the community will probably be happy to keep them in office, barring any cases of abuse. So it will become an oligarchy of sorts, while new editors will have very slim chances of ever achieving the position of Moderator. I think it would be better for all volunteers who receive more than a threshold number of votes to be elected as Mods rather than keeping a fixed number of positions to fill. & If we end up with 20-odd Mods, so what? I don't see why that would be a problem. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Then put in term limits. ТyTalk. 19:16, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
But if moderators have to moderate disputes, then having too many just re-created HCM. Imagine a Supreme Court of 55 people. I think your points are good, however, and that there is a legitimate concern that moderators would become an entrenched cabal. Maybe they could be elected to a one year term, and then not stand for election again for another year, or something like that? (Just sort of thinking out loud here.) DickTurpis (talk) 17:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Human's points about the timeliness of revisiondelete are excellent. Revisiondelete is best suited for sysops. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:21, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Occasionaluse here. Human's argument that we need a lot of people with revision hide/show can just as easily be solved by keeping as a sysop right like it was before. Let the mods have the hide/show lock the crats had before. - π 01:54, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
For moderators, the most important quality would be their ability to resolve disputes. Not just "not cause them" - which would apparently already exceed the old cratship criteria - but actual competence in stopping editors from ripping each other apart. If there were 20 people like that here, the latest HCM wouldn't have happened in the first place. i'd go with a smaller number, but it doesn't have to be a fixed one either: over at the old crat election page, there were some suggestions on how to make their number proportional to that of active editors, so the administration could grow with the community. Röstigraben (talk) 19:29, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we could do with a pool of mods, say 25: 11 being needed to "adjudicate" any one issue, done on a first come-first (to) serve basis, if more than 14 demur the case is placed on hold until the 11 can mustered. 20:20, 18 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
One way to think about it is if you have 12 moderators, they "ought" to be on the wiki 2 hours a day, but only if you need them constantly. I also think that you could have ad hoc groups to mediate conflicts: you don't need all 55 of a time. Although, I suppose there are potential problems with factionalism. steriletalk 00:58, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
It's hard keeping up with all the proposals and potential change ideas, but if RD is handled at the non-mod level, then a small number of mods is fine with me. As Rosty said, if we had 20 people good at this, the place would be much smilier. I see the mod "job" as similar to the trustee one - activity is not necessary, but 100% commitment to turn up for the job when called is. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:58, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
That's the way I was thinking about it... what could really be so serious that we need to ensure that there is a mod here 24/7? With a lot of sysops most problems can be cut off super fast. The mods are supposed to be there to handle things that sysops can't handle (because the sysops might be the problem). --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 03:56, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
KISS, 3 mods, with 2 alternates in case of an incapacity. 2 may act by unanimous consent in case of incapacity of 3 others. If 4 are incapacited, special elections called. If need for more, add them later. Most important responsibility is on the voters to elect a balance of views and temperment, else what's the purpose of a committe of clones rubberstamping each views? nobsViva la Revolución! 22:05, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
a question: is there a way of hiding stuff that should not be seen apart from a delete ? is it possible to create a script to hide things as a moderator without the person running the script having that authority ? Hamster (talk) 05:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Moderator suggestion[edit]

I entirely support Trent's ideas. Any reduction in bureaucracy is an excellent idea, and a reduction in number of titles - and their perceived importance - is overdue. Re. the Mods, why not email a Mod if they haven't made an edit in more than, say, three months and ask them if they want to continue to be a Mod. If yes, they stay, if no, go to a pool of editors who have been regular editors for at least the previous year for candidates and let just the existing Mods vote someone new in. There's no risk that Mods will become a set-in-stone cabal - we've lost so many senior members over the years - and there's only been four years. In internet time, that's an Ice Age. Please, just do something, ANYTHING to stop the laughable bureaucracy creation - it's hideously embarrassing and utterly pathetic. DogP (talk) 01:38, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The mods need to be active; not just someone who gets a title, swans off for a while and then returns expecting to continue with their same position. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 23:13, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Moderator elections[edit]

Will we be able to vote against users as well as for them, as we've done with bureaucrat elections, or just vote in favour of users, like with the LJ & RWF board elections? I think we should should be able to vote against users if we want to, since it's pretty obvious that many users have strong views about who they don't want in office as well as who they do. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:15, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

That is both an excellent and terrible idea. I support it. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 14:50, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, makes sense. We should at a minimum have open discussions on pros and cons as part of the process - even if not literal for and against voting. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!!
Can we also create a "dislike" button for arsebook? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:25, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Abolish Chicken Coop[edit]

Chicken coop doesn't help, it just makes things worse.

Suggest to replace it with the following structure:

  1. The complaintant approaches the Moderators collectively, to ask them to appoint a Moderator (uninvolved in the original dispute)
  2. The assigned Moderator attempts to mediate privately between the parties
  3. If mediation fails, then a public dispute resolution process can follow
  4. Moderators can collectively make a binding decision at end of public process (similar to WP ArbCom process)

Hopefully, by requiring private mediation before public disputation, the temperature will go down rather than up. (((Zack Martin))) 13:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree!--Colonel Sanders (talk) 13:38, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Private mediation first is a very good idea. Then we don't have to get everyone and their mothers involved with every petty squabble. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 14:14, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Moderators would seem to make the concept of the Chicken Coup redundant.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think so. As I raised further up the page, I don't think Mods should have authority to make executive decisions about the site or users. They should just have the abilities to use when required. Decisions, including on conflicts or cases of abuse, should still be made by the community. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
The coop is just a bitching box. I say we devote a page for moderators to discuss and evaluate users they deem troublesome.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Moving forward with step 1[edit]

Step one will consist of nuking the crat position, restructuring the sysops position as documented and creation of the tech user group. Other random user groups like irrational number will also be nuked. I still haven't decided the best way to deal with "ninja" whether keeping it the same or some other option. The status quo can continue on that for now.

I will also create the mod positions with corresponding rights but wont add anyone to it. We can then move forward with the getting the specifics of the mod group finalized and setting up elections. Tmtoulouse (talk) 01:09, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

I like the Ninja user group, because it allows people to bot themselves and thus perform category work without spamming RC if you have bot work disabled. Perhaps giving it a different name like "Botable" or something more clear like that would be a good idea. This argument is based on the way Blue worked... for a long time she had crat just so she could bot/debot herself... seems like a more or less pointless waste of passing a lot of wiki rights for a narrow scope. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:15, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Some people have a separate account which has bot status, and they use that for the boring stuff. the main drawback I see is having to log in and out, unless they have two browsers. Real first name and last initialTalk, talk, talk skim my contributions 13:23, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Logging in and out isn't that big a deal. If you are doing work requiring a bot status, you are used to tedium. Aboriginal Noise What the ... 13:29, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
what I mean is if you have to log in and out, you might as well get ninja rights, it's probably just as many clicks. Real first name and last initialTalk, talk, talk skim my contributions 13:31, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Ninja works better IMHO. ТyTalk. 15:09, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Why? It's fewer clicks to log out and log in. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:48, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Having a ninja bit also isn't that big of a deal. If you're the type of tedious bastard who does bot work, we should make it as easy for you as possible. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:18, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
There are a few other tedious bastards like me here. ТyTalk. 15:20, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we name it "BotWorker" then to get rid of the "coolness" factor in the word Ninja? So that people aren't scrambling to get it, just because they think it would have to be cool? (Why else would they name it something cool like "Ninja"?) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:20, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Ninja is what it is called on MediaWiki. By all means call it whatever you like. ТyTalk. 16:21, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

For us ignorant ones, what does the ninja group do again? TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 15:57, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Allows people to "bot themselves". Occasionaluse (talk) 15:58, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Kinky! TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 16:12, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Installing checkuser for mods too? If your going to do fascism, may as well do it properly. Nightwish (talk) 16:37, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
No to checkuser, or in the very least, very strict and transparent rules around its use. For instance, I think that every time it is used, it should be made public, and the reasons for its use. DamoHi 03:54, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Why would we ever need CheckUser? Blue Talk 03:56, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

As you have laid out here, Trent, I support implementation. We do need to sort out the authority of and procedure surrounding the moderators, though. Blue Talk 03:50, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Dispute resolution[edit]

As there is some ambiguity re the authority of the new Moderators, and some users are suggesting that we abolish the Chicken Coop & let Mods make all decisions about abuse/conflict/trolling, which I do not find very mobocratic, I suggest we agree now on how these cases should be resolved. My own suggestion is:

  • If necessary, a Moderator should take emergency action to defuse or contain the situation. This may mean temporarily blocking a user or users, locking a page, or removing a user's Sysop or Moderator rights. It should only be done if the situation demands it, e.g. deletion sprees, mass blocking, wheel warring, etc.
  • The case should be brought before the Chicken coop & everyone given a chance to comment, including any involved or accused parties (hence why any block at this stage should be short-term only).
  • If the community agrees that long-term action should be taken - e.g. a lengthy block or removal of admin abilities - a Moderator should take the necessary action.
  • In the rare case of a deadlock, the case could be referred on to a panel of Moderators for a final decision. This is somewhat similar to the Loya Jirga role, but should be a last resort to be used only in cases where the community can't reach a consensus at the Chicken Coop.
  • In all other areas of decision-making (e.g. article content disputes, site policy discussions, etc.) Moderators should have no more authority than any other member of the community.

Feedback & alternative suggestions welcome. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

What is this "community" you talk of? It must be something nazist since it is supposed to be in "agreement". --85.78.24.238 (talk) 17:06, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
And if we take these suggestions, we don't actually solve the problem of issues being public, and everyone putting in their two cents. I mean, if we want to keep solving our problems by invoking shit storms, then sure... why not. But that's kind of the reason that all those people LANCB... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. --85.78.55.247 (talk) 01:00, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The site is a mobocracy. That means issues being public and everyone putting in their two cents, so I don't see that as a problem that needs solving. Most of those people who left have already come back, & I see no reason why less people would LANCB if decisions were imposed from above; if anything, it would be more likely to cause resentments. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:56, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I know what this site has been, and I like it operating as such. But some people have gotten seriously abusive over things, and it happens in every single goatdamn coop. You literally cannot stand up any assert any position without someone abusively attack you. Thus, as long as people assert that members of the board of trustees have to be above all this bullshit, leaves board members with one and only one solution: don't be active on this wiki at all. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:22, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
"Most of those people who left have already come back ..." Just because people have come back does not mean that we don't have a problem. Blue Talk 03:48, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I am every other poster in this thread, thus representing a majority opinion of the wiki. --85.78.55.247 (talk) 01:00, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
This is always how it's worked:
Step 1: Dispute is brought to the community
Step 2: Everyone adds their 2 cents
Step 3: ?????
Step 4: RESOLUTION!
That's how I see it. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 01:05, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Well... as long as you remove Step 4 from that list, yes, that is exactly how everything has been going... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:23, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

"In the rare case of a deadlock, the case could be referred on to a panel of Moderators for a final decision. This is somewhat similar to the Loya Jirga role, but should be a last resort to be used only in cases where the community can't reach a consensus at the Chicken Coop." I agree with this in terms of language, but probably not in spirit. The trouble is that there is nobody to determine what a "deadlock" might look like, to say "Now we should transfer this case to the moderators." To say "use common sense" is pointless, because most of our trouble has been helped by people having very different definitions of "common sense." Who would decide when to bring in this panel of moderators, Weaseloid? Would their decision mean anything if they can't legitimately take over a case? Blue Talk 03:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I think that if a dispute goes to the coop, onlky the moderators should be allowed to vote on the outcome. Everyone should be able to make their case, and say what they like, but ultimately, only a select group of people should have the final say. Of course if the dispute involves 1 or more of the moderators, they should recuse themselves for the period of the coop proceeding (although they would be able to present their arguments as they see fit). DamoHi 03:49, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I strongly agree. Blue Talk 04:57, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for jumping in without being part of it, but isn't the problem that everyone puts in their 2 cents or whatever?? How do you know when everyone has put that in and how do you know that their being paid attention too?? People end up with more say if their pessistant or loud about it so its not fair. Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 11:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Not really. Cf recent Coop cases. Being loud & persistent doesn't guarantee the support of the community. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:54, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Dispute "moderation," moved from above[edit]

Beyond trolling and other disruptive behavior, how would these moderators be empowered to moderate disputes between users? Would they form a sort of arbitration committee and vote on guilt and/or penalties? Blue Talk 03:54, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

They would need checkuser and could then block people and their IPs and their proxies. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:36, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Support Trent's proposal[edit]

  • I support Trent's proposal to the letter.
The fact that Trent had to take unilateral action on this illustrates, to my mind, the need for a regular procedure and system of voting to settle questions of changes to Wiki policy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:30, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Let's get this going already. - π 11:44, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • yeah why not Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 11:59, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Phase one is complete. (evil laugh) ТyTalk. 12:00, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Sounds good to me, though some details still need to be worked out. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 12:02, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Aye. --Sid (talk) 12:32, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • EddyP Great King! Disaster! 12:47, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I was convinced by MC larronsicut fur in nocte 12:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • NDSP 13:36, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Are we already voting on this? If so, how about a two-step process: first vote on Trent's proposal versus the status quo, then discuss and vote on amendments along the lines of the suggestions above. That ought to satisfy both those who're tired of debates without conclusions and those who have specific objections. Röstigraben (talk) 18:34, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Trent seems to be saying that the mob is not voting on this, but commenting on it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:38, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Then how will the final version be decided? Seems to me there's a general preference for reform with this as the baseline - so far so good, but there are also lots of open questions and comments that contradict each other, so there's no apparent consensus on specifics. Röstigraben (talk) 18:47, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
We could start discussing the regular voting procedure I mentioned. If that could be put in place, there is a chance that we could hammer out the remaining specifics for ourselves without it being derailed by a bout of HCM. Another benefit is that it might obviate the need for Trent to take this kind of unilateral action again. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:55, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
We could already hammer out the specifics without HCM. That's what this page is for & I don't see much HCM on it. Neither is there a pressing need for unilateral action until the boundaries of the proposed roles have been clearly drawn. At present there are more questions than answers on this page, & only a few editors have commented. It's too soon to implement. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:04, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, parts of it are already being implemented. And I can also understand those who are wary of neverending debates, although I'm not one of them. That's why I suggested a vote now to create the necessary legitimacy for any change to the ststus quo, and then take some time to discuss details and smaller changes. If those debates get nowhere, there's the original proposal to fall back on. It would also offer everyone a clear choice - if you're satisfied with the current system, vote nay now; if you want reform, vote yes; if you'd like some changes to Trent's proposal, vote on them afterwards. Röstigraben (talk) 19:20, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I am certainly not opposed to voting as a refelection of expressing community support or disapproval. I have sought community consensus and feedback as well as consensus and feedback from the RWF. It certainly helps legitimize the action as more than just my whim by fiat. At the moment I am focusing on the technical aspects of implementing the plan. Once the infrastructure is firmly in place we can hammer out some of the social and community details more firmly. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:06, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:14, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Kiss-arse Bondurant (talk) 19:16, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I see no changes based on input, the proposal is still exactly as you first typed it, grammatical errors and all. This is not the way to do this. But if it be done, then it be done. Server access = Complete Control. As we have seen with Nx' recent hijinks. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:28, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
As you yourself said above, "I see no alternate versions of the ideas here, despite various commentary besides 'it's perfect'." The suggestions that have appeared are more addenda to Trent's plan than alternatives to it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:40, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
And none of the suggestions seem to have been incorporated. So anyway, we are now going to try the "control from the top down" method of running the wiki? I'm sure trent is as curious as I am to how that will work out. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:45, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Cats are dogs. --85.78.199.96 (talk) 06:48, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I support Trent's plan wholeheartedly, although I'm done here anyway. I really can't be arsed to be part of a community that prefers rules over content. DogP (talk) 19:30, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I support the plan--"Shut up, Brx." 20:25, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Ahh, what the hell. --ǓḤṂ³ 22:22, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't have the whole history, but I'd like this community to get back to adding content. Having Trent put a basic structure in place looks good to stop the political bitching. We can discuss the modification we'd like later. dx (talk) 21:15, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • --BobSpring is sprung! 21:28, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Aboriginal Noise What the ... 22:47, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Most certainly, I support this proposal. The Noisy Orchestra Oi! Oi! Oi! 22:50, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Enough of this endless saga already. Also, ban users named after Conservapedia in-jokes. Real first name and last initialTalk, talk, talk skim my contributions 09:41, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I put my sig here, right? Blue Talk 16:10, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • PACODOGwoof, bitches 16:13, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • --OompaLoompa (talk) 16:21, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Voices in head say yes. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 08:38, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Aye.--Bertran (talk) 17:40, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Still think 7 Mods is too bureacratic who will either reinforce each others prejudices or deadlock by talking things to death, but it's a start. nobsViva la Revolución! 19:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It is worth a try although I would call the sysops, "bureaucrats", because they can promote/demote and this way newcomers would be like "Whoa, everybody gets to be bureaucrats here!?!?! I pledge allegiance to RatWiki, with liberty and justice for all." I'll have to see what actually happens before actually voting. ~ Lumenos (talk) 04:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Jesus Fucking Christ Lumenos, could you be any later to the party? We are about to have the second mod elections. - π Moderator 04:47, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
It was Lumenos? Ah, I'd been wondering why this thread got bumped. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:19, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Reject Trent's proposal[edit]

  • I have outlined my reasons for opposing his proposal on his talk page, for which he has not responded. I feel this will grant draconian powers to a new moderating class who will abuse their powers and will persecute all site dissidents who respectfully disagree with both the aims and the inherent hypocrisy of this website. Dissent should be valued and should not lead to accusations of trollery and blocking. MarcusCicero (talk) 11:49, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Idiot. Your fascist abuse of this site sickens me. Are you an aspie? Fascist. I shall write an essay on your abuse of the system. Idiot. Are you an aspie? Idiot. fascist. Idiot. Censorship. Pretentious waffle about ancient Rome. Idiot. Fascist. Are you an aspie? Idiot. I wrote a play about you which shows in a really bad light. Fascist. Look at me, I'm really intelligent and you're all idiots. Idiot. Fascist. Are you an aspie? I have started the Save RationalWiki From Fascist Censorship society, written in bad mock-intellectual English. — Unsigned, by: 213.1.33.1 / talk / contribs
  • Are we voting here on the autocratic imposition that was never adapted to incorporate suggestions or answer critiques and has already been implemented by fiat? NAY. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:35, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Restoration of Sysops[edit]

Since Trent's proposal seems to be being implemented... and since it involves retaining "Sysops" much as it was before... does that mean the people who used to be Sysops will get their Sysop back? (((Zack Martin))) 10:37, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

This is a good example of why sysop-ships shouldn't be handed out like candy. --OompaLoompa (talk) 11:00, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
You've now got yours back, Maratrean. I doubt that anybody's going to go through the logs & resysop everybody who lost their rights, but if people ask for them back & there's no good reason not to, they might as well be a sysop again. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:10, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I like how a user monikered OompaLoompa thinks candy is a good thing to hand out...you're not related to Ed Poor are ye?? — Unsigned, by: Cracker / talk / contribs
I have no idea what's going on, but I notice that I'm not a sysop anymore. Is there a correlation here? --emc [TALK]

Any chance I could be demoted again? I feel the urge to block someone for 3.141 seconds. —Tom Morris (talk) 20:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

So what next?[edit]

The mob seems to have spoken, and with only 2 demurs the consensus is strongly in favor of this proposal. This seems pretty typical of RW. 1) someone proposes something, 2) most of the mob agrees, 3) nothing happens as everyone waits around for someone to actually do something. At times like this some sort of small hierarchy could come in handy; people who are authorized or obligated to put things into effect when they have been decided on. So, is this happening? TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 12:50, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

4) someone actually does something, and then a HCM breaks out because not everyone was asked/not everyone agreed to do this. -- Nx / talk 06:51, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The tech group seems to have been implemented, that's it. Anyone willing to kick-start this back into gear? ТyTalk. 12:52, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Trent seems to have taken point on this, so it seems to me it's kind of incumbent on him to get it rolling. If he doesn't want to, appointing someone else would be good. Generally in these sorts of cases it's legit for anyone to set up the proper pages and get the ball rolling, but this is sort of a delicate situation, and for any random editor to do it might seem presumptuous. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 12:57, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Nobody wants to risk their neck. We still need to find out how many moderators there will be etc. Anybody got an expendable sock? ТyTalk. 13:01, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
From what I can gather they seem to be looking into ways for mods to be able to block sysops without the sysop unblocking themselves in such a way that it doesn't require either a) a hack that would need to be redone on every update, or b) a patch that would require MediaWiki to actually respond to a request. I am given to understand that in the past major errors were pointed out by Nx to MediaWiki that were promptly ignored and still persist to this day. - π 13:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
That seems to be a technical issue that doesn't warrant holding up everything else, especially since there are ways around that. At WP a sysop unblocking themselves is a big deal that gets them demoted permanently, I think. Also, a sysop could have their sysopness revoked for the duration of their block. As for the number of moderators, that's a good point. Someone should instigate a vote or whatever on that. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 13:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
But sysops can sysop and desysop other sysops here, won't be long before there is wheel-warring again. There seems to be a new mute group, might be something to do with it. - π 13:27, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
They can only sysop. No one but Commandos, or whatever they are called, and of course the special Tech group, can desysop. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:04, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
i agree - seems to be too complex. If a sysop has screwed up and needs to be blocked, then demoting him for the duration of the block isn't going to hurt. It's not like he can edit anyway. By the way - who moderates the mods? --OompaLoompa (talk) 13:29, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I still think we can get around this without significant tech changes. For example, if a sysop gets blocked, promote him to user for the duration. Put a template on his userpage or whatever alerting the mob that this user is blocked and should not be demoted or unblocked for the duration. A link to the relevant discussion and decision would be a good idea as well. Anyone who demotes or unblocks gets reverted with a warning, and continuation results in that user getting the same treatment. Considering we have very few non-fun blocks of legit editors I doubt this will happen terribly often. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 13:43, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
There is always someone around here that will stickup for the "rights" of a vandal/troll/whatever, that will denounce the decisions as unfair/censorship/whatever and go ahead and ignore such a decision. Basically Trent/Nx want to take this out of the hands of everyone. As a rather loose analogy, imagine a prison for which everyone but the prisoners has key. How long do you think the prisoners would remain in that prison? - π 02:23, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, a simpler solution would be to just not give out sysopship like candy, but whatever. This is a disaster waiting to happen, especially since sysops can now demote as well as promote sysops. -- Nx / talk 06:50, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
On the first point, I stand vindicated. On the second, I stand corrected. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:06, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, that is the HCM this is meant to replace, and if some actual rules are put in place we may be able to keep that to a minimum. In the past people could do whatever they want because for all intents and purposes this site has had no rules, so anyone can make a somewhat fair claim that they haven't broken any. All one could do is try to enact some ex post facto ruling, which doesn't serve anyone's interest. Haphazardly made blocks could be haphazardly reversed. What I think we're looking to do is eliminate haphazard blocks made by any random sysop (i.e. anyone on this site), with the exception of blatant vandalism and fun blocks. Introducing due process would make blocks of established users rarer and more legitimate, as well as make claims of unfairness a bit more impotent. It seems to me blocks are rare as it is, so I'm not sure this will necessarily be such a problem. If someone goes around reversing blocks because they think blocking any user is fascism, regardless of the will of the community, that user can risk losing their ability to block and unblock as well. (Perhaps we could have a position that is the same as current sysop, but without blocking powers, which we could promote such troublesome users to?) At some point this site needs a few rules spelled out. "Everyone be nice" is a great concept, but no country has ever been able to write a constitution that concise. The site's gotten too big and there is too much disagreement for the old "let things work themselves out; we all get along pretty well here" concept that used to work for a while. Actual policies, specifically on blocking and promotion/demotion, are needed. Demotion to sysop is still a minor enough issue, and with bureaucrats gone and replaced by a set number of elected moderators we can hopefully solve the the latter issue, and due process should put to rest some fears of abusive blocking. That's my thought anyway. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 03:12, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
What specific due process are you talking about? & What actual policies & rules? I find it disappointing that people have been called on to vote aye or nay & now apparently to implement a plan that still has so many holes in it. It really makes this whole feedback exercise a waste of time. It wasn't waiting around for something to happen that killed discussion on this page; it was a premature vote that seems to have made people think this was an all or nothing deal & that a motion has been carried when actually very little has actually been decided. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:52, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Almost everyone voted for the "feel good plan of daddy taking care of us" but no one read the swiss cheese of the fine print. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:08, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
We weren't called on to vote. The sections above were a poll - there are no structures to facilitate "voting." Blue Talk 17:33, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit button 1[edit]

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It doesn't seem to me this proposal is a final one - it's a bit brief for that - but rather a way to get a general idea as to whether this sort of idea is acceptable. There's no point in taking the time to write a detailed proposal if it's immediately clear everyone hates the entire concept. People seem to like this basic plan, so a few details should be worked out, and if those are also acceptable, then the plan should be put into action. No one likes tons of rules, so while this proposal should be expanded on before a final decision is made it should still be kept rather succinct.
While Nx's proposal that sysops shouldn't be made in such a willy-nilly manner has merit, it seems to me that the community is not entirely in agreement on that. Even when people agree with Nx in principle, I see no support for a Wikipedia-style RFA or such. I believe we still want to keep rules to a minimum, so proposing new standards and rules for sysops might open up an unpleasant can of worms. The point has been made a few times that there's nothing a sysop can do that can't easily be undone, so there is little harm in the system as it currently is there. The exception is re-demotion of sysop who had their powers removed for violations of rules/standards, as Pi points out above. We should be able to deal with this without a huge shakeup in tech aspects and such. Or at least we can try. Since I don't suspect we'll see promotion being necessary too often, I don't forsee a big problem. We can always adjust later.
Now, if I recall correctly, the primary catalyst for the current crisis was the controversy over Human and Blue taking away bureaucrat rights of other users, which is seen as a bigger deal than sysop rights. The general lack of guidelines for who gets to be a crat has always been problematical, and the latest shitstorm is a case in point. Removing crats entirely and replacing them with elected moderators solves this problem.
The specifics of what moderators do and how many there will be is what really needs to be worked out. Trent describes the position as having "the authority and the tools to respond to situations that are disrupting the wiki", which I assume means deciding if a block or promotion is necessary, as well as serving as arbitrators for disputes between users and resolving edit wars. I'd certainly prefer if actions involving rights of others were decided by majority vote of moderators, and they are not given authority to decide such things unilaterally. Again, details to be worked out.
The next quandary is community input for working out the specifics, now that the general idea has been deemed acceptable to the large majority (of those who showed any interest at all). This will likely involve 20,000 more comments by everybody and their uncle, all of which will have to be taken into account and out of this mess someone will have to extract something that can be close to being regarded as a general consensus. The fact that no one on the site currently has specific authority to do such a thing is why so much goes unresolved. That's something that needs fixing. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 13:59, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The biggest issues re the new roles would seem to be authority, accountability, and due process. Personally, I don't support mods being arbitrators. Mods responding to situations that are getting out of hand by taking temporary measures is fair enough, but how a dispute is settled or a troublemaker is dealt with should still be a community decision. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:44, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Why? It's just as arbitrary. --85.78.194.49 (talk) 19:04, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Not really. The site only exists because of its community of editors, & decisions made collectively by as much of the community as possible are more likely to reflect the community's interests than decisions made by a few übermensch. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:56, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
But then what would stop the utterly massive HCM that happens when that laudable community happens to disagree vehemently within itself over disputes? Nothing. And the fight would escalate like it did just a few weeks ago, because there is literally nothing with the power to actually make a legitimate decision. Yes, everyone should be able to put their two cents in for Coop cases and the like. But we'll have not actually achieved any progress if there ends up being no arbitration body smaller than the mob at large, because HCM and general dysfunction will continue to proliferate. Blue Talk 21:14, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The point has been made a few times that there's nothing a sysop can do that can't easily be undone That was before sysops could promote and demote sysops. A vandal could remove everyone's sysop rights if they're fast enough, and then we'd have to wait for a moderator or a tech to fix it. -- Nx / talk 19:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
That's the funniest thing I've read on RW for a long time. Does that make you and Armodikov vandals for doing exactly that? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:01, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No, we didn't vandalize any articles. -- Nx / talk 09:18, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Nx, sysops can only promote. Not demote. RWisms aside (also, pl0x bot ninja me, thank you)--"Shut up, Brx." 04:05, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No bricks, it's been changed. Sysops can now make sysops and unmake them. It's a brave new world! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:23, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
that just seems like a dumb idea.--"Shut up, Brx." 05:56, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Why? Tmtoulouse (talk) 06:08, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Because it enables gratuitous rights wars, although the moderator class could stem that (is that what stem means? Apart from a bit of plant).--"Shut up, Brx." 06:16, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Dunno where this myth of sysops only being able to make & not unmake other sysops comes from, when it says clearly at the top of this page that sysops "can make and remove sysops rights". WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:21, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Because first they could only make sysops and not unmake. -- Nx / talk 09:06, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Now that you are around, Nx, I think you missed my above comment on your comment. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:14, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
That's a good point. Is this sysop demotional power a permanent thing, or is it still in trial mode? I personally don't have a problem with being slightly more discriminating than the "everybody's a sysop" thing, but I don't think anyone wants an onerous procedure for demotion, particularly when we tend to pride ourselves on granting these powers liberally. Trying to change the sysop policy in any way is going to create another huge discussion which will likely sidetrack everything else, and will still probably not lead to any clear decision. Which brings me to Weaseloid's comment about community decisions. I agree in principle, but a group of 100+ editors is unlikely to reach a decision; in most discussions there is going to be a diversity of opinions, and trying to sort them out into a rough consensus isn't always going to be easy. Even in the best scenarios, someone still needs to "certify" the result and implement it, and it's better if that person is seen to have some sort of authority, and not just the first person to come along and say "I'm calling this one for Editor-X". This will be more important in cases wherein there is no clear decision by the community, and calls have to be made on sockpuppets, disingenuous votes or comments, or just working out a compromise between 3 or 4 different, somewhat evenly split results. Too often we have a range of opinions/comments by diverse users and in the end, after everyone's commented, people look around and basically say "OK, um, now what?" There should be someone authorized to take the next step. I see moderators filling that role. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 20:16, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with the idea of working out more structured process for dispute resolution or with moderators officiating it in some way e.g. "certifying" the outcome of a vote or discussion & putting it into action, but don't like the idea proposed by some that it should be mods alone voting on disputes & coop cases. That seems overly hierarchical. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:30, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
You're not exactly harmless either...I wonder what we should do with you? Occasionaluse (talk) 20:01, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The same thing we did with you, or Marcus, or Human. Nothing. -- Nx / talk 09:06, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Moderate him? --85.78.158.55 (talk) 20:20, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I know. People like Nx need to be reminded of "no perfect solution" fallacies, just like all techies. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:38, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Working out details[edit]

I think we're getting somewhere here, and it seems it's time for us as a community to try to work out details. 3 of the biggest issues as I see them are:

  1. Ability of sysops to demote/promote sysops, and the possibility of abuse
  2. The specifics of the roles of moderators
  3. How many moderators there will be

The final question is probably the easiest to address, as there's been relevant polls elsewhere, so perhaps that should be addressed first (although it might make more sense to address specifically what they'll do before we settle on a number, it would also be nice to get something settled for once; we have a general idea of what they'll be doing anyway). A recent poll on Bureaucrats (which moderators will effectively replace) showed 7 to be the clear frontrunner. How about a further poll with 3 choices: 7, more than 7, less than 7? If the mores or the lesses win then we have further discussion/polling to pinpoint an exact number. What do people think? TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 12:55, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Just noticed Forum:Moderators, which is a discussion of some of these very issues. So we can ignore this section for now, and instead use it as a plug for Forum:Moderators. So go to Forum:Moderators for discussion. TrickyDickTurpis (talk) 15:32, 8 June 2011 (UTC)