Forum:Sysop powers

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I propose we stop sysoping people on sight. If people support me on this I will later propose that we buy a lot of ice cream and then eat it. -- Mei (talk) 18:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Sysops should be 'mostly useful' (credit to Gooniepunk 2010 for the phrase)[edit]

  • -- Mei (talk) 18:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:26, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with this though sysoping shouldn't be considered some sort of "better" level of user, if you follow. Acei9 18:26, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • TheoryOfPractice (talk) 18:27, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • While sysopping shouldn't be considered some sort of better level, we have, recently, sysopped folks for being "mostly harmless" when they have done nothing of value to this site, either. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 18:48, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • As long as I can keep my mop. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 18:50, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Not bloody likely. I'll have it soon enough. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 19:03, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
      • TOP, my dossier on you is complete. At the time of my choosing, Operation: Tarred Jerboa will launch and the world will know exactly who you are. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 19:08, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Getting a rough idea of what someone is like before sysopping makes sense. Sysops should be the norm, but the norm shouldn't be some nutter who wanders in and gets sysopped before they get a chance to take off their coat. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 18:51, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Seems to me that a lot of problems have been caused by sysopping people who aren't "mostly harmless." It makes sense to hold off on demoting people until they've done a few edits. Colonel of Squirrels (talk) 19:01, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • 19:37, 16 March 2010 (UTC) SusanGContribsTalk
  • Agree. Though, as the debate below shows, we might need a bit more clarity.--BobIt's windy! 19:59, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Editor at CPmały książe 20:39, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Ditto to Bob's comment. Some objective and clear cut criteria need to be met. When I was "sysoped" it was almost two months and dozens of edits after joining; not five minutes and two "lolz@conseravpeda, wut idiots!!!111" style comments on WIGO:CP. Ditto with the cratting - people need to prove that they are willing to take on some responsibility to hold the mantle. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:10, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

What exactly does "mostly useful" mean?[edit]

Shouldn't we work out a more concrete definition? Tetronian you're clueless 19:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Sysops should be 'moving organisms with a computer' (what we do now)[edit]

  • Not really. But since "useful" is a rather subjective word, I'm afraid I could have never been a sysop. --Earthland (talk) 18:50, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

You should learn to patrol edits instead of promoting everyone to get rid of OMGZ RED EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! Reds under beds small.svg[edit]

  • -- Nx / talk 18:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:35, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • -- Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC) and BTW I also think we need to define the authority of crats better - a coherent code of authority and conduct for crats would have rendered the Lawyer Jerka' completely unnecessary IMO.
  • --SJ Debaser 20:05, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Totnesmartin (talk) 21:03, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • ħumanUser talk:Human 23:11, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

"mostly useful" is a meaningless buzzword that makes me cringe nearly as much as Mei's "useful" meme[edit]

  • Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:44, 16 March 2010 (UTC) Sysops are the front line when it comes to protecting the site. They should be demoted on the basis of objective criteria that include having the site's best interests in mind when patrolling RC, not some undefined silliness intentionally modeled after a meme for which I have heretofore silent but near Macrus Ciceronean contempt. Given that the LJ, which I find ill-advised for reasons I'll be happy to share elsewhere, was invented under circumstances like this I object to site policy being decided without all the relevant parameters being nailed down. Either do it right or don't do it at all and leave things the way RA unilaterally made them. What does "mostly useful" mean and can we please get off this "useful" shit already?
    1. You're right - I didn't mean anything specific by 'mostly useful', I just thought it was a quick way of saying 'let's take this more seriously than we have been'. I thought we could discuss the exact criteria (if people do think we need them - this is RW after all and I tend to reflexively assume people won't want hard definitions for policies) afterwards. This was only a general poll to see if people wanted to change things, not a 'decide everything now' kind of thing.
    2. FTR, I don't say 'Mei is useful' any more, but I can't see the harm in other people playing with the meme. -- Mei (talk) 19:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    3. I agree that we should have 'objective criteria'.
    4. I don't agree that 'mostly harmless' was singlehandedly masterminded by RA. Relaxed standards of sysoping are just a natural product of having crats that aren't told exactly what they can and can't do. -- Mei (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    5. 'undefined silliness intentionally modeled after a meme' - I don't think 'mostly useful' is intentionally modeled on 'Mei is useful'. If it bothers you, just substitute 'productive' or 'responsible'. -- Mei (talk) 20:01, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we need a detailed set of criteria, & it should still be at bureaucrats' discretion. I would agree with adding a section to the bureaucrat guide with some basic guidelines about sysoping, but it shouldn't be a set of rules. My thoughts are:
  1. The user should have been around long enough to show an interest in participating in the site (not just a drive-by poster).
  2. A few days of editing or maybe a couple of weeks is probably long enough.
  3. They should have shown some interest in the site missions (even if it's disagreeing with them / constructive dialogue).
  4. No vandalism & trolling. If there's a bit of mostly-harmless playful wandalism, leave them unsysoped for a bit longer & see how it pans out.
  5. Anyone demanding to be a sysop in their first few edits should be treated with caution, unless there's a really good reason why they need the abilities.
That's all I can think of for now. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:15, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Weasel's suggestions are useful. They seem pretty fair to me. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 20:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Weaseloid's suggestions are composed of productive and beneficial elements. Totnesmartin (talk) 21:07, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Just as a point of interest, back in the old days I used to sysop people who been around and edited enough (a few weeks, a few dozen edits at least) that I "recognized" the user name, then a little bit longer. This was when we had very few, if any, crats. I wonder if Larron can make a graph showing my early-ish sysopping pattern? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:02, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

A more fundamental question[edit]

Thinking about this a bit more - perhaps, instead of addressing the question, "When should we sysop editors", we should ask the question "Why do we sysop editors?"

Do we do it so that that they can beat back the hordes of vandals who daily assault our fortress? Do we do it to show our contempt for the way that other unnamed wiki projects jealously guard their sysop powers? Have we just slipped into this standard (or lack of standard) by inertia and without too much thought?

It seems to me that until we understand, and agree on, why we create sysops we can't really consider when we should create sysops. I also think that a "why" which seemed good and relevant in the past might not be so good and relevant in the present.--BobIt's windy! 18:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Another reason to create sysops--editing the wiki is easier when one has the power to delete pages, let's say. And the "block joke" culture is pretty firmly ingrained--it would hardly be fair to keep people out of that loop...TheoryOfPractice (talk) 18:03, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Right, and neither of those things are something someone who has been on the site 3 days needs to be able to do. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:29, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I think it is to avoid the kind of hierarchical emphasis that other sites put on sysopship/adminship/modship, & for the reasons ToP mentions. I think sysop status should continue to be the default for people who contribute to the site; we just need to be a bit less hasty than we have been so that we are sysoping people who do actually contribute to the site & not just sysoping everyone who wanders by the moment they post anything. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:39, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
So - the two reasons for making sysops are 1. to show that we do not have a hierarchy like "somewhere else" (though we do have crats) and 2. to allow people to block other. ??--BobIt's windy! 20:16, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
To expand on Bob's first point, I would argue that it prevents sysops from abusing the banhammer. Sysoping everyone prevents any sysop from unilaterally blocking or binning anyone. Tetronian you're clueless 21:37, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd definitely agree it's the "anti-hierarchy" thing, however (and we've discussed this point before) the site is bigger than it was 1-2 years ago. That system begins to fall when you have too many people. We're in a position where we need leadership with power and responsibility. As we've seen with the farce involving people not adding the right info on uploads and people renaming at will or deleting unilaterally or blocking/binning with impunity, not everyone will use such powers responsibly. And as for blocking, we do it for 0-3 seconds at a time just as a way to send messages; considering the existence of 1) talk pages 2) the forum 3) the saloon bar and 4) the intercom, that's not necessary. It's the equivalent of the "poke" button on Facebook - totally useless and not going to be missed. So the answer to the question of "why" is "nothing particularly valid". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:07, 17 March 2010 (UTC)