RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Archive10

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Old community standards

RationalWiki prefers that a page's history ("fossil record") be preserved and publicly available. Therefore, if a user wants a page deleted, they must bring it up on the talk page first. If the page is a smaller, long-neglected one, this may mean waiting a while (remember that you can always drop a line on someone's talkpage pointing them to it, or use the intercom).

Proposed revamp

If a user wants a page deleted, he or she must bring it up on the talk page first and add the "{{delete|reason}}" template. If the page is a smaller, long-neglected one, this may mean waiting a while (remember that you can always drop a line on someone's talkpage pointing them to it, or use the intercom). There should usually be at least a few days between a deletion proposal and a final verdict.

Eh? Discuss? Blue (is useful) 21:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand the "therefore" statement (in both versions). Surely the reason why deletions must be proposed on the talk page is to gather consensus on whether the page should be deleted or not, which has nothing to do with the fact that we like to preserve fossil records (on undeleted articles). €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree with weasel on wording, but I like the proposed revamp. ТyTalk. 21:55, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that the deletion template should be "and/or". It's better if that becomes compulsory. Also, we tend to operate on the idea of at least three of us agreeing to a deletion. Worth making that formal? Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 08:04, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I suggest not. It's a rule of thumb at best. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:42, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the revamp is necessary in the two ways discussed here. We should pass it. Blue (is useful) 18:02, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that we should first confirm the conditions under which a page can be deleted. In order to to this we need to clarify the functions and approved content in both fun space and essay space.
Traditionally we deleted nothing from fun because it was a sort of all purpose dumping ground and we deleted nothing from essay as it was (partly) designed to be a space to allow people to express and defend views which went against the consensus. More recently people have wanted to (and have) deleted content from both these spaces.
If we are going to delete stuff from these spaces we need to redefine their purpose and clarify what may be deleted. Having that debate here, now, will remove many potential debates in the future.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Bob. It's generally best to address issues before they explode. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:11, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Pardon me for jumping ahead a bit (as we have not even finished discussing whether we should have another discussion :-) ), but, if such a discussion were to be held, where do you think the best place for it would be, Bob? This page is a bit cluttered and unwieldy to hold what could potentially spawn a lengthy debate. Forum pages tend to die down to a trickle very quickly, so perhaps a dedicated subpage? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:11, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Forum:Deletion policy? Totnesmartin (talk) 19:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Could be. But I think this is a Community Standards issue which should be recorded at community standards. Forum stuff doesn't seem to go anywhere. There are a number of issues at the moment:
  • The purpose of fun. What is it for and what should be permitted to be in it.
  • What is permissible for essay space and when, if ever, can things be removed from that space.
  • In mainspace - notability and missionality. What is the balance? When can we remove for "non" one or the other.
  • Once we have (re)defined these issues and created standards we can set about setting guidelines for deletion of content which does not meet those standards. I would suggest that the entire current content of this page be archived and that these issues be addressed here. I further suggest that we allow ourselves a period of two weeks to debate and vote on these issues otherwise we'll never do anything.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:25, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I think we could add the currently proposed (relatively minor) changes before getting into the weeds about substantive deletion policy. The current proposal merely addresses procedure, not what should or should not be grounds for deletion. Blue (pester) 19:40, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I support the revamp text proposed above (at the time of writing). I do not support the rule-of-three meme become a CS, or any other fixed number of editors being required for deletion. As for the namespaces, their purposes are defined at help:namespace & have not changed. People tend to sometimes use fun & essay as a dumping ground because it's an easy option when you're not sure where to put something, but I doubt that anyone genuinely supports them becoming an all-purpose dumping ground. The only essays which should really be considered for deletion are the ones which go outside the conduct guidelines (i.e. overtly offensive content, personal attacks, etc.). The people who supported deletion of essays on ideological/mission grounds were largely opposed, so I don't think there's been much of a shift in the community's attitude on this issue. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:56, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Agreed with Weasel, though I'd prefer Essayspace be better-defined and a little less inclusive than it is right now. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 20:19, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

A week not a day (a day is frankly ridiculous), and if there is a principal author they should be notified on their talk page. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:32, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Changed to 'a few days.' This is more of a guideline than an actual rule, so it's best to leave it stretchable. Blue (pester) 04:59, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
2-3 good? ТyTalk. 22:51, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Impatient? 5-9 better. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:33, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
So what do you want, "several" instead of "a few?" Blue (is useful) 06:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
A "couple" = 2/3. A few = 4/5/7. Several = 5-9. Why not just use numbers? ħumanUser talk:Human 09:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Because it's a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. Blue (pester) 16:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
R i g h t...but what ends up happening is that Page X gets deleted after 4 days and the author complains bitterly @ which time we have the numbers debate and settle on a number (I'd personally go with Eight days since that's the amount of time Biblegod allowed boys to say goodbye to their foreskins). 16:39, 23 April 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
" Please keep in mind that the standards below are only an approximation of the site's working practices. "
Can we just say "a few days" and vote on the bastard? It's not really a big change, and it doesn't seem like people are very passionate about the precise length. Blue (is useful) 22:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Vote on current changes[edit]


What's the hurry, Ty? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:47, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


Bureaucratizations: No demotion without discussion[edit]

Old community standards

Any user who is not a vandal or troll is generally "demoted" to sysop. It is left up to bureaucrats to judge for themselves whether or not a user is a vandal. (Remember that this is a wiki, so any damage done by a vandal who manages to be "demoted" can easily be undone.) A user can always request not to be "demoted", and bureaucrats are to respect these requests. ... ...to determine whether the user should remain de-sysoped.

Proposed revamp

Any user who is not a vandal or troll is generally "demoted" to sysop. (Remember that this is a wiki, so any damage done by a vandal who manages to be "demoted" can easily be undone.) A user can always request not to be "demoted", and bureaucrats are to respect these requests. ... ...to determine whether the user should remain de-sysoped.

Bureaucrats may demote users to sysop at their individual discretion; but a user should not be demoted to bureaucrat without a proposal for such demotion having been discussed by the community. The bureaucrat nominations page is the dedicated location for such discussions.

Whereas, a controversy has recently erupted concerning the unilateral bureaucratization of a user; and

Whereas, said user's status as a member of the old cabal makes this bureaucratization politically uncontroversial, and probably the best opportunity to isolate the question of a procedure for bureaucratization; therefore be it

Proposed, that unilateral bureaucratizations be proscribed by making the above alterations to the community standards. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Human's not going to care that it's in the standards and he's going to do it anyway. It's his wiki. -- Nx / talk 07:12, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Pardon me. Can we leave personalities out of this, please? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:33, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the proposal. DamoHi 07:53, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Two things on this. 1. Whatever the final decision, it is not applied retroactively, because that will spark a whole new level of HCM (which I think is the intention sometimes) 2. Demotion to sysop needs to be reviewed as well. RW has grown beyond the days of "Oh, you were also blocked on CP, here, have a sysop." We can no longer run around handing out buckets and mops to every Tom, Dick and Harry. We've had more than a few occasions where sysop rights have been abused and more than a few editors who are currently undeserving of having those rights.
At present, it is very easy to create sysops and very hard to promote them should they fuck up. That system needs to change and change now. In addition, as it's the 'crats who decides who get cratted, they will have the say on who gets cratted.
Also, I'm opposing this motion, because a great deal of personal agenda seems to be attached to this. --PsyGremlinParla! 08:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I support this motion. A rational community is governed by rules and procedures that are adhered to, and provide the opportunity for fair discussion before any final decisions are taken (emergencies excepted of course). A rational community is not one governed by the whims and fancies of those in power. Thus I support this motion, since it will help this so-called "RationalWiki" do a better job of living up to its name. --(((Zack Martin))) 08:24, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's another suggestion - n00bs with big mouths need to prove their worth to the site and community before having a say in how it's run. --PsyGremlinZungumza! 08:45, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Is this supposed to be a "rational" community, or some kind of "cool kids club" (or, more accurately, kids who think they are cool)? A rational community will focus on a person's arguments, not who is making them. An irrational community is based on an in-group who makes all the decisions, and an out-group whose opinions are worthless unless they happen to agree with the in-group's, unless and until they find enough favour with the in-group to be admitted to their number. --(((Zack Martin))) 09:07, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Come off it Maratrean, you are being overly dramatic with that last comment. The point is that you are a relatively new member of the site (and a relatively disrespected member at that) and yet you seem to have a disproportionate opinion on all our policies and standards. Maybe you need to wait a while, get the lay of the land before you start attempting to influence the rules of the site. DamoHi 09:14, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
It was my understanding that this was already our policy as suggested here and logically implied here. But if we want to write it up a third time here it's fine by me. Though I also agree that this might be a good moment to review our existing super-liberal Sysop system.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Possibly Bob, but I think we should get things like this down in the community standards, rather than spread all over the wiki. I also note that the first of your links says "it is recommended that" rather than it is forbidden. DamoHi 09:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Which is why I used the word "suggested". As I said, I have no objection to it being restated here.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:39, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Damo, either my arguments are right or they are wrong - that has nothing to do with how long I have been a member of the site, or what people think of me. Maybe people should start focusing on what is said rather than who is saying it? That is the rational way. --(((Zack Martin))) 09:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you have a right to participate in the site, but with rights come responsibilities. When people demonstrate they can act responsibly, they will enjoy their rights. But the running of the wiki is not gong to be handed over to every little concern troll that comes along. That is why there are crats there in the first place.
In fact, I feel the time has come where RW has out-grown its old laissez-faire management style and needs to implement more top-down management. Mobocracy is fun when everybody serves a common goal, but not everybody has that goal anymore and we're not becoming a haven for /b/tards and lost EDer's. Nor for cranks with their own agendas. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 09:50, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me, how am I asserting any right to control the running of this wiki? I am not a crat, I am not a Foundation board member, etc. I am simply expressing my viewpoint. Either my viewpoint is right, or it is wrong, but the rightness or wrongness of my viewpoint is about the viewpoint itself, not who is the person who is proposing it is. You seem to be suggesting those of differing opinions should be silenced. --(((Zack Martin))) 09:57, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Really? Am I suggesting that? Where did I say that? What I am suggesting is that management of this site in general needs a drastic overhaul and tightening up. --PsyGremlin講話 10:18, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's what I've understood you to be saying. If that is not what you are saying after all, I withdraw the comment. --(((Zack Martin))) 10:23, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I rather think that this part of the discussion has gone off the rails somewhat, but I do agree that it may be time to again review the concept of the mobocracy.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:48, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea, but maybe it doesn't need to be a whole community thing. The goal of the change seems to be preventing crats from giving out arbitrary bureaucratizations. It could be accomplished by requiring two or three bureaucrats to endorse a demotion to bureaucrats, or something similar involving sysops nominating sysops. Te issue could be prevented without requiring the whole community to act.Klaus Vos (talk) 03:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Keep in mind[edit]

that the current proposal does not address the sysop policy as much as the bureaucrat policy. What it means is simply "no bureaucratizing without discussion," as the title suggests. We don't need to have arguments about the sysop policy here, let alone the entire concept of mobocracy. I strongly support the motion. Blue (pester) 19:47, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

By this motion I was not suggesting any of the following:
  • Reworking of sysoping rules.
  • Retroactive application of the proposed new rule.
  • Any personal vendetta. I could not in good conscience have proposed this had I been opposed to the demotion under controversy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:56, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I think one of us should send an intercom to get this more attention. Hey, if I post here, I think Human will show up and start trolling this page! Blue (is useful) 01:55, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Blue, consider yourself trolled. Loser. OMG you wouldn't want "Human" to turn up and have an opinion, would you, Blue??? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:03, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe she actually wanted your input.ChristopherS (talk) 03:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
That's why she called me a troll, obviously. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:49, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Sending the intercom now. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:49, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
guise, it's really hard to read with the small font you keep using. On another note, I shall soon leave to go grocery shopping, and I shan't be the resident annoying twat for the rest of the evening.--brxbrx-brxbrx 03:08, 8 May 2011 (UTC)



  • Some of us got it the hard way. ChristopherS (talk) 02:59, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:00, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I vote yes, if this yes if for discussion before demotion. Otherwise, I vote no. My vote counts, right? Spare my feelings and say yes.--brxbrx-brxbrx 03:01, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you have a vote modron. ChristopherS (talk) 03:03, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Blue (is useful) 03:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Why not, we are suppose to anyway. - π 03:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Rationalize (talk) 05:19, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. As a victim who deysoped punitively by a suck-up bureaucrat for arguing with RW editors on another wiki, this is long overdue . nobsdon't bother me 06:23, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
My ears are burning. Ace of Spades 21:44, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • --(((Zack Martin))) 07:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Well yes. This is simply a restatement of the existing position.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:30, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I of approve this proposal DamoHi 10:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I approve of the proposal, but what's this "SOMEONE DESYSOPPED ME" and "IT'S ABOUT TIME WE DITCHED CP" stuff? It has nothing to do with the demotion of bureaucrats. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 10:37, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, without doubt OzdemocracyTalk! 11:13, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm always wary of adding more pointless layers of paperwork to any site, but the Human case has proven that there needs to be a check on certain people getting certain rights. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 18:01, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • --Röstigraben (talk) 05:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Sensible enough for me--JabberwockDownTheHole (talk) 02:45, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Definitely, this proposal makes more sense.Several ingredients (talk) 06:29, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I approve, even though RobSmith approves. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:10, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


Except for having more rules! I don't see the point of this. Bureaucrats are bureaucrats simply because they've proven trustiworthiness, and should be assumed to know what it is they are doing. That n00bs and janitors don't like it, sort it out on a case-by-case basis, (we all need a good dramastorm now and again).

Once again, (sigh), READ THIS. The only thing that more rules gets ya is orthodoxy and heretics...if you wish to make RW into a religion, go on knock yerselves out.

18:44, 8 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

I think you mean orthopraxis. But in any event, I believe that for any given set of rules, there is a corresponding set of people who will exploit those rules. Anomie is no different; that is why we have laws in the first place. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:25, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

It's a popularity contest anyways. There are those of us that have contributed much but chose to avoid discussion as much as possible (mostly because those who have enough time to waste on here are halfwit morons) aren't given a chance as it is, by putting it to a vote nothing would ever get done. Time and time again here it's been proven that mob rule doesn't work. This site leaves the true experts to sort out the mob rule of many, many idiots.δij 05:37, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


  • I don't see the problems... perhaps it's because I'm not sticking my head in the shitter full of drama? I honestly don't know what "crat" rights even are, and I have to ask... are they really so super special as to warrant all this drama? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 07:30, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
A bureaucrat's rights include user group management. Hence, a rogue bureaucrat could do enough damage to the Wiki that the Foundation (or at least someone with server access) would have to intervene to rectify it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:45, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Also crats can change the interface somewhat. - π 07:47, 8 May 2011 (UTC)


  • Yea: 15
  • Nay: 2
  • Goat: 1

Carried. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

In response to procedural complaints, I have re-opened this vote. It will close on May 15 at 2:59 A.M. UTC, one week after it opened. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:09, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
What is carried. There's been no valid vote on a single thing here. Nutty Roux (talk) 10:45, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't quite figure out what it's for, either. ADK...I'll bake your engraving! 11:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
LX, if you changed the CS page based on this mess, you are less bright than I gave you credit for. Quit ramrodding dumb ideas based on a few days "voting" by whoever turned up. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:51, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
It would appear from the above votes that not everyone thinks it is a "dumb idea." As to the other question, I put a notification on the intercom about the vote; it is not possible to do more to alert anyone to the vote's presence. If you object to the duration of the vote, the poll can be re-opened for a week. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
A CP editor agreed with your idea, therefore, as Human has said, it is a really dumb fuck idea. δij 06:01, 13 May 2011 (UTC) (Wikilink by Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:09, 13 May 2011 (UTC))

No idea where to put this[edit]

The existing "everyone's a sysop" policy with a concomitant "Lots of people are 'crats" policy was only ever a reaction to CP's "meritocracy". If RW wants to be able to leave CP behind, it has got to leave behind the idea of defining its own policies in terms of CP policies, and that means acting like a proper wiki. There are now elections to the board of trustees. I propose that the only 'crats are members of that group. No exceptions. Sysops should be elected by community vote, as at WP, and only those people gaining a clear consensus should be appointed. All current sysops should be given "Patroller" status so that the original idea of not covering RecentChanges in red exclamation marks is still met.

It's time RW grew up, and this would be a good first step. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 03:03, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

That is an entirely separate proposal and should be treated as such. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Well I'm not voting on the current proposals, because I don't support either the existing or proposed policy. It is, and always has been, a joke. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 03:18, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree, actually. This site has never treated policy terribly seriously, other than putting grim faces on during discussions of it then proceeding to do whatever people wanted anyway. Having actual rules that make sense and following them would help a lot, and probably keep trolls from gumming up the works quite as much. I'd be happy to sacrifice crap like "fun blocks" (which are pretty old by now) for a site that's not run in the least sensible way possible. --Kels (talk) 04:57, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Kels.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:29, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that only board members should be crats. The two groups are entirely separate and have different functions. -- Nx / talk 05:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Nx.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:29, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I think, it would still be useful for many users to have block, delete/undelete and vandal bin/unbin capabilities. Whether you want to call it "sysop" or not, that's another question. Those abilities are useful for dealing with uncontroversial issues like spambots, unfunny wandals, etc. Those who misuse those abilities can always have them removed. In fact, I think renaming sysopship might not be a bad idea, since sysop implies some kind of authority or respect, and thus along comes the suggestion that certain people, disfavoured by the community, should be deprived of that authority or respect. Call it something else (like police or janitor), which makes clear it does not mean any particular position of authority or respect, and it should be removed only where it is abused, separate from what the community otherwise thinks of that user. --(((Zack Martin))) 07:34, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The board's involvement with the site basically begins and ends at funding it. The only other time it would come out of its hiding hole would be to step in when the site's name is being abused (although not "abused" the Russian language project is one of those things) or there are lawyers involved - but hopefully those situations can be taken care of through sensible work by the users so the odds of that having to happen are pretty low. We are communists collectively and community driven and that isn't going to change. While I agree that better and more restrictive criteria for user rights need to be implemented, as we've seen that people will dick about with those powers quite happily if they feel pissed off enough and don't think there are serious consequences to be had, being on the Board is not a suitable criterion for 'cratship. I also think we shouldn't get too over the top with positions. Granular user rights has a use, but it's also complicated. We can take a look at Citizendium where there are practically more positions than there are users and RWW where I can't remember who has what and where and why. Also, if we were to seriously consider more strict criteria for 'crats, then we may also need to consider giving them authority in return so that they can execute their abilities better. But I doubt things will change much, this discussion comes up at least every 5-6 months. ADK...I'll snap your plastic! 10:26, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I really do think that we should examine the purpose of what the user rights are. I have not been a fan of the sysopping every new user on sight; sometimes it appeared like a competition to see who could be the first to "demote" a new user. When I took some time off last year I handed in my bureaucrat's pen and nobody has given it me back since I returned, and to be honest I haven't really missed it. It seems that some votes for 'cratship have been little more than mutual admiration awards. I know that some of the more anarchist 'old guard' have been against too many rules but as the site grows then we need to evolve our systems to meet the new circumstances. We don't need too many layers but I would like to see a restricted 'cratship who deal with membership issues and are active long-term members - thereby showing their ongoing commitment to the site. If you take an extended sabbatical then you forfeit your position and someone else takes over. Newbie sysops (or whatever we wanted to call them) would have less powers than sysops currently do but should not be allowed rights such as see hidden revisions or create accounts. Not liking red marks in RC is not a sufficient reason to hand out sysopships. Most members would have current sysop powers and voting rights in site policy. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 11:23, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I was surprised to get sysop since I hardly did anything. I thought it would have been harder. I don't know what the exact difference between different 'powers' are, but I remember moving something once or twice and I'm sure it was reverted. So maybe it shouldn't be given out to easily? I'd like the challenge to get it, it'd mean something. Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 13:13, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The time way well have come to (again) review questions of site governance, authorities, dispute resolution and so on. The LJ was the result of our last attempt to do this but in they end the body was given no real powers and never really acted. Perhaps the time has come to set up a real governing body with some actual authority to act as opposed to to leaving problems to site-wide HCM. We may also want to consider questions of sock-puppetry and voting eligibility. But that's a hell of a lot of ground to cover.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:04, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Good post! --(((Zack Martin))) 19:13, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If this is the way we're going to go perhaps the call for Loya Jirga erections should be postponed until we have a more firm foundation as to how we proceed: (if the LJ is scrapped the howls of newly elected jirgaers will be loud and long). 19:42, 8 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

Let's get real[edit]

How about we desysop all 1000 of them (sysops) and decrat all 30 of them (crats) and start from scratch, with some standards? Also, regarding "voting", I think cratting/decratting should take approval of, say 2/3 of the current crats. Which might be hard to bootstrap from scratch, of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:55, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I could go with this. Maybe have the board set up who is left as 'crat. Revamp the "mostly harmless" criterion for mop status?C®ackeЯ
I'm cool with clearing the boards, setting some basic standards and starting fresh. How about canvas the current 'crats who should remain and not de-crat them? That would save the bootstrap issue. --Kels (talk) 05:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Decrat EVERYONE except TMT. NOW. DogP (talk)
I guess I'd be ok with Human's idea only if the mob would agree to it. Good luck with that, of course. Punky Your mental puke relief 05:09, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
We could propose it here as a modification after debate has concluded on this one. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:25, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
yes, but I'd like to keep rollback rights and the ability to see deleted revisions, if possible.--brxbrx-brxbrx 05:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Promote everyone? Seriously? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
How about recognizing a certain set of rules among the "guidelines" set forth here? And creating, along the suggested lines, actual official policies for user rights? Let's not fight fire with fire. Mass action is not necessary or even possible without a policy developed first. Blue (pester) 05:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we should also get real with the promotion/demotion terminology. Currently we have people getting upset because they've been 'promoted'.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I like the terminology, it just needs to be explained properly to the newies instead of having an in-joke dropped on their heads. Totnesmartin (talk) 09:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

New idea[edit]

Instead of rewriting site policy from scratch in response to a brief act of dickery, how about we create a time out box (filled with goats and jerboas, of course) where the offending user is placed to think about what he's done and maybe have a little nap time. Each act of dickery would result in an exponential increase in time in the time out box. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:43, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Ooh, a "sin bin" like in rugby? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


So, people feel RW needs to tighten up its procedures and needs to be run like a "rational" website. Very well, then the first thing we need to realise is that "proper" websites don't have 100 little Indians all shouting the odds. That is a recipe for disaster.

Thus, I propose that all current sysops are demoted (to use the proper sense of the word) to editor level, and the management of RW is returned to the trusted editor body - the crats. Here some can be demoted to sysop level if they so wish, and sysops can be promoted from trusted and long-time editors within the editor base. After this, sysop and crat positions are only filled if and when a position becomes vacant. Whereas suggestions and nominations from the masses will be taken into consideration, ALL promotions and ALL policy decisions rest in hands of the people running the site. And not 100 hecklers shouting from the sidelines.

People who are interested in making the site better, will then work to ensure they can be raised to crat level.

This way we have a streamlined management and decision-making process. We've become too big to fool ourselves into think a mobocrasy is still viable, especially when there are people taking advantage of the mob. --PsyGremlinSprich! 10:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

That's basically what I was proposing, except I suggested the RWF being 'crats as of right to avoid wars over who gets the gig. If that's not what people want, then fine. A site this size doesn't need more than 2 bureaucrats and maybe 6 or 7 sysops. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:19, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, have the RWF as crats, and remaining crats (or even less) as sysops. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 10:24, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I've often thought that a clean slate would be the best way to go. While I don't agree with the board-member criterion for 'cratship, with respect to the reasoning about avoiding fighting, I think that works fine as a starting point - and we then elect up and actually set a max number of 'crats. Of course, people won't be happy with this wiping-the-slate approach and getting consensus would be impossible, even if it's a sensible approach. ADK...I'll swim your fetus! 10:27, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, reading some of the above it seems like the start-from-scratch idea has more support than you'd expect. ADK...I'll admonish your hobgoblin! 10:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd go as far as to say that anybody who objects to wiping the slate clean, is only here for the "thrill" of being a sysop anyway and we don't need that kind of person around. We'll not only cean the slate structure-wise, but also clean out a lot of dead wood. --PsyGremlinSprich! 10:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd be fine with it.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess I'm a waste of space, since I think this proposal is violently unnecessary. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 10:59, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, if there was going to be de-cratting and re-cratting based on new criteria, I was going to volunteer as a test case. ADK...I'll kill your plague! 11:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Given that the board was elected by the community in the first place then I think that they can be regarded as an acceptable interim. What I would suggest is that a core group of 13(?) crats then be elected from within the current contingent (30?) - preferably only by themselves to avoid any sock-puppetry - and that the board members stand in the election for the new 'cracy if they wish. Candidates should explicitly express a desire to stand and voting should be open for a minimum of 14 days; none of this 72 hour, rush it through bullshit. It would require a majority of the 'cracy to determine the promotion/demotion of other editors and how to deal with other 'crats. The rest of the current 'crats would become sysops but this would not be the limit. A 'crat should be an active member so inactive accounts would be demoted after a period of site inactivity. There should also be a time limit before re-election is required. A new user group should be created for trusted users to perform basic janitorial duties. Oversight and deleted revisions are serious business so should not be available to all. Some of these proposals may sound hard but I think that those who run the site should show commitment and participation and not be honorifics.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
"Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge" ADK...I'll hear your cheese! 11:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
LOL! But we're not talking 'lots' here.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
But you have to admit that the Venetian republic was pretty stable and prosperous. Though as a serious answer, I do think that people who want user rights need to remember that there are responsibilities as well as rights. We're maintaining a collective website here - that's what a wiki is - and that means knuckling down and spring cleaning every now and then. Keeping an eye on the AFD lists and duplicate lists for example. And certainly inactivity means they're no longer needed so shouldn't clutter up the lists of administrators. ADK...I'll incarcerate your hot dog! 11:45, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Obviously vile comments[edit]

So, who gets to decide what's an obviously vile comment and what's trolling? What happens when the person who posted the comment starts edit warring against the removal? This thing will not work in a mobocracy. -- Nx / talk 06:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, particularly when things are so factionalized. Nutty Roux (talk) 06:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
A good standard to start with is that a comment is not "obviously vile" if some trusted editor besides its author restores it as non-vile. Details still need working out, but that would be better than nothing. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:02, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
But what if there's a dispute? Should we take it to the chicken coop? Should there be a HCM over every "obviously vile" comment? -- Nx / talk 07:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree that there is a very large margin of error; my suggestion entailed that if there is any doubt whatsoever, the comment should not be deleted. The policy was designed to enable the removal of vile comments from persistent trolls, and we have very few trusted editors who would restore those sorts of comments. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the policy is being abused, by "trusted editors". "Any doubt whatsoever" doesn't work either, because we'll always have people like Occasionaluse. -- Nx / talk 07:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I would almost argue that when its on a user's talk page it's that person's prerogative; if it's on a mainspace/other talk page ... i mean if users are revert warring over it? Then it shouldn't be considered trolling. If there's a dispute you default to show the comment.--Danielfolsom (talk) 07:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Issue there is that it's been used to stifle criticism because the line is so subjective. One person's "fuck your mother you cunt" is another persons "your comments were unreasonable and I am displeased with that". That ends up exacerbating the situation because either a) a wheel war ensues or b) it's taken elsewhere where the offended person doesn't have the right to revert. I agree with disputes should favour showing rather than hiding, but as Nx pointed out, we'll always have certain individuals who want to mess about and so will dispute for the sake of it - which is what I think is the problem, people just want to dispute for the sake of disputing. ADK...I'll voice your imitation fake vomit! 11:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
And what happens when it turns into an edit war? Should the editor be blocked? Should they be desysopped if they're a sysop? Should they be taken to the chicken coop for moar drama? You cannot have a rule like this on a site that abhors authority as much as RW does. -- Nx / talk 15:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Why is Nx the sole arbiter of what is "vile", "attacks", and "trolling"? Because he has nothing better to do? Was that an attack? Is this trolling? What a bunch of bullshit. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:35, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
So long as people want to act their shoe size rather than real age, it'll be a problem. Elsewhere you'd just issue a "cooling off" block of a couple of hours so people can get bored and wander off but as we've sysoped everyone and abhor blocking, that cannot and does not happen. If this was any other forum outside of 4Chan Occasionaluse would have been banhammered for a day by now for being a cock (not to say that's the only example) and it would have ended there. ADK...I'll plagiarize your deity of personal preference! 15:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Good post! ТyTalk. 15:42, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Ignoring completely the subjective nature of labeling comments and users, we have our completely logical reasoning: everyone else is doing it. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:51, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Clean slate user rights[edit]

As the idea of wiping the slate clean regarding user rights, particularly with respect to bureaucrat rights, has been proposed I would like to offer the pros and cons. Feel free to add any people can think of with adequate justification, I've got most that I can think of. ADK...I'll plagiarize your gelato! 11:33, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


  • Gives greater authority to those with user rights leading to a proper level of governance befitting the site's current size.
  • More formal processes also lends greater legitimacy to the actions, decisions and authority of these.
  • More rewarding process to obtain additional powers - given value by rarity.
  • Eases bickering regarding giving or removing powers as there would be set criteria and a limited number.
  • Would reduce the speed at which things are deleted unilaterally as fewer users will be around to hit the vapourize button.
  • Restricting higher admin privileges to only active users makes it easier to find administrators.


  • Potential to leave the site open to more vandalism as fewer users have block rights or vandal bin rights.
  • Would end the "fun blocks" as a way of sending messages.
  • Less egalitarianism as not everyone is given these admin privileges.
  • !
  • Issues with addressing how to define people as "trustworthy".
  • Unfair on those who would be demoted.


Block/vandal bin rights need not necessarily be revoked for most editors.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, and rollback is always available. While I know the potentially dangerous "big delete" is restricted, what about deletion? ADK...I'll condense your DJ! 11:41, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
There's no need for everybody to have block or delete. Rollback isn't really necessary either, since you can always Undo an edit. As for ! you could always create a new group for users who have been around for a couple of days that has the "autopatrol" right, or simply give autopatrol to the current Autoconfirmed users group. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:53, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC) My point was really to counter one of your 'cons' but exactly what function each user level should have is something that is up for debate. Also there are normally enough active 'crats/new sysops to deal with serious deletes. One further idea is that there should be a sysop only intercom which may be used by anyone but only visible to sysops.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:54, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Block I don't mind people having (my god - I sound like Andy - "sure give everybody block rights as reward for their hard work".) Deletion can be left to sysops & crats - it's not as if there's that much stuff that needs deleting. Trustworthyness would actually be easier to assess, as promotion wouldn't be based on one person going 'Oh, he's been here for 3 days...' Like the idea of auto--patrol, if such an option is available. --PsyGremlinSprich! 12:03, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Block rights should definitely be left for everyone. It's not just a nod to tradition, but also prevents administrative abuse - if a sysop or crat issues an unwarranted long-term block (which will continue to happen), they can just shrug it off. If someone's to be blocked because of a really serious offense, this should be discussed anyway, and in that case, it should be easy to find a bureaucrat who could promote them and take block/unblock away first. The rest I don't really care about, and it's just not necessary for everybody - I don't think I've used the bin and deletion more than half a dozen times in a year as a janitor. The only thing I'm worried about is the prospect of having to vote for a dozen new crats and three times as many sysops, all at once - that could quickly lead to a kind of election fatigue. Röstigraben (talk) 12:41, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It shouldn't involve voting for sysops. Indeed, I don't think voting is particularly warranted unless 1) that person is representing or 2) that person is making decisions. So the RWF is worth a proper vote, crats and sysops less so. But we do need to work on the criteria a little and at least put a few more hoops than "10 edits and 2 days". The standards did have something like a few hundred edits and a few weeks as a guideline but that was stripped out in favour of something vague. But it's not just user powers, you can also see some hidden and deleted information, often information that was hidden or deleted for a reason - and that means nothing if someone can turn up, do the minimum amount of "lol@CP" and get the sysop powers. ADK...I'll terrorize your deviant! 12:46, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
As one of the sysop horde, I see no need for the majority of my powahz; honestly, I'd say leave the vast majority of users with autopatrol/hide red-marky thing, vandal bin and perhaps rollback (i.e. make them mini-sysops), but I see no need for us to have anything more.I would have a small group of 'crats, a few sysops, ninjas for the hardworking categorisers etc. and the majority of users as mini-sysops. Those few non-(mini-sysops) (ocd parentheses so as not to imply huge sysops) would still leave red "!"s, but I would try to limit this group to those we want to be alert for, such as JimJast and Rob. Just my $0.02. NDSP 15:44, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
re red exclamation marks: if you don't like them, patrol the fucking edit! or is that too much like work? Totnesmartin (talk) 11:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Martin is exactly right there. Also, ADK, you forgot * Profit! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Okay, how about this?[edit]

I'm a fan of the whole "clean slate" approach to userrights, since I think the system really does need some tweaking to prevent our fascination with drama and trolling that really shouldn't exist. So, here's a little proposal I whipped up last night about how user rights be divided up into five levels:

    • User: A regular user who just signed up, no special privileges given beyond what MediaWiki already has.
    • Member: The "new" sysop. Vandal, a whole mess of editing rights, autopatrol, rollback, etc. Anyone "mostly harmless" goes in here after a few days. All current sysops would be promoted to this status.
    • Sysop: The "new" bureaucrat. Same rights as above, plus block, bigdelete, and revisiondelete. You'd need to qualify with a certain duration and edit count, plus a vote of other sysops. I think that 1 year and 1,000 edits are nice round numbers. There's no limit on the number of sysops. All current bureaucrats would be promoted to this status, except Trustees.
    • Bureaucrat: No current equivalent. These would be the senior editors, who've been here for years and are clearly recognizable. They'd have all the rights they have now I'm not a fan of hard caps, but I'd much rather have a ratio of sysops to bureaucrats like 3:1 or 4:1 or so, that way it allows their ranks to grow, and if growth becomes too much of a problem, the ratio can always be raised. I'm thinking that they could be elected by the other current bureaucrats, or something like that.
    • Trustee: What it says on the tin. Elected from the pool of bureaucrats and entrusted with financially running the site. Still functions exactly as they do now, but this time with a special User Rights label that denote them.

Thoughts? I'm thinking it's good, but I may have missed one or two things that someone else might have thought of... --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 12:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Member sounds pretty similar to "autoconfirmed" but since I don't know what those settings are I couldn't say. I'm usually against too many levels but I have to admit that given the sheer number of users this may be a necessity. Also, I don't agree that "trustee" needs to be cemented as a separate user group, even if they are functionally no different to crats. ADK...I'll riot your toothpick! 12:17, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd go with it as it's pretty much like I am suggesting, although Trustee sounds like RWF board member and I don't think that needs a special flag.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
This doesn't really change anything. The deciding factor in assigning users rights should be about what is needed to keep the site running as well as possible. The fact is that RW doesn't need so many people with rollback, block or delete rights. In general, wikis have ~1% of users as sysops, and there's no reason for RW to be any different. The best reasons for giving so many rights to so many people are "We've always done it" and "We don't want to be like CP", which aren't good enough. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, and pretty much what I've said for a long while now. Our current rules and rule enforcement is a dog's breakfast at best, mostly cobbled together based on "we don't wanna be like CP" and "don't tell me what I can do". As I said back at the Chicken Coop, if we don't take how the site is run seriously, why should we expect anyone else to take us seriously. Either change it so it works properly, or wear it with pride and become ED-lite. Clearly, I'm in the former camp. --Kels (talk) 14:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Emperor's idea is what I had cooked up in my head anyway. I think it's the best way to go. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:43, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Last month we raised almost $2000. That means it's time to stop running this place like a kindergarten kingdom. I like Emperor's proposal. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 14:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Good point. However, you have to ask - as that money came as donations from users, do they have a right to dictate how the site is run, and importantly, do they get a say proportional to their donation? I would say no. 1) Because they're donations, not shares. 2) They were given to the RWF for hosting and cost purposes, not to RW. 3) Operations costs are independent of site rules. 4) If you're not happy with RW, don't donate next quarter. ADK...I'll calcify your cob! 15:03, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Anything that takes away rights that people already have will make for the biggest HCM ever. Apart from that, the issue is changes in rights--when to sysopship or cratship, or de-sysop or de-crat--not the rights people already have. Is what we have really that dysfucntional? steriletalk 15:09, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
AK, I agree with what you're saying, but I'm not saying that donations give the users a say in what goes on or whatever. I'm simply saying that the large sum raised is an indication of how much the site has grown and it's necessary to grow the society with it. Sterile, I don't think people will have an issue with having their rights taken away, as long as it's fair and equal, rather than as punishment or a petty act during a dispute. I don't doubt that MC will come around and declare that power is being taken from the people and concentrated in the hands of the few, but fuck MC. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 15:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
"I don't think people will have an issue with having their rights taken away, as long as it's fair and equal, rather than as punishment or a petty act during a dispute." Considering what started this, that's fucking hilarious. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
There you go, OU answers Sterile's question. The current system doesn't work. In fact, for anything more advanced than a life support system for WiGO CP, I don't think it's ever worked. --Kels (talk) 15:24, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
"as long as it's fair and equal, rather than as punishment or a petty act during a dispute". EddyP Great King! Disaster! 15:26, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
a petty act during a dispute...and the irony is lost on Eddy. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
What irony? EddyP Great King! Disaster! 15:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
So in this power structure proposed by The Emperor, what is the difference between Sysop and Bureaucrat? Bureaucrats have no additional rights as opposed to sysops. Is the only difference the ability to vote someone into their ranks, or is there something more (the ability to dictate site policy, control over pro-/de-motion)? Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 16:07, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to go with what you list under "something more", probably including these are the people you go to if a sysop's made a bad call/abused their position or whatever. --Kels (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)On the face of it, 'crats can control user rights management. But there's also the fact that they can suppress edits. While sysops can do that, sysops can see it. When crats do it, only crats can see it. Obviously, if personal information that needs to be removed is released here we need it under the control of only a few people. ADK...I'll burglarize your centrifuge! 16:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, it wasn't clear to me what the difference was. I admit I kinda like the idea. Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 16:19, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I would hope that the 'crats as a group (not individuals) would be arbiters of sysop infringements and would only promote/demote sysops as a consensus rather than any individual's whim. We need to remove the capricious nature of some unilateral actions and also their capricious reversal as well as appeals to the mob for decisions against individuals.  Lily Inspirate me. 16:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
P.S. When he says that "sysops are the new bureaucrat" I take it to mean that their status would be equivalent to that of current bureaucrats, i.e. something to distinguish those who had put in good service over a reasonable time, but their rights would only be on par with what sysops have now. Basically the position of sysop is being revalued.  Lily Inspirate me. 16:50, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I have a simpler proposal[edit]

I have a stone and I hope to hit two birds with it. Introduce the supercrat group wikipedia uses and take away the bureaucrats ability to promote and demote one another. The group would be limited to Trent, and probably Nx as he has server access anyway. They demotes bureaucrat if their bureaucrat demotion passes and promotes them if they get culled in the chicken coop. This reinstates Trent as our benevolent dictator, but he was always a King Log (RIP Susan). - π 12:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Issue there is that Trent wants to get away from the "benevolent dictator" role so you'd be stuck with grabbing enough active people to fill the supercrat roll effectively. ADK...I'll explicate your riddle! 12:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay we get the crats to elect our new Pope and he can choose the crats, worked for the Catholic Church for 2,000 years. - π 12:22, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Ooh! ooh! Can I be Borgia? --PsyGremlinSermā! 12:25, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The idea of locking all the crats is a room together is appealing and there is fire involved. - π 12:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The idea is good, but I question whether two people would be stable enough and if Trent even wants to be one. I propose three supercrats (Triumvirate so to speak) and Trent with role such as a King in a constitutional monarchy, meaning he only comes it when the shit is cooking up to 11. --UHMrambling incoherently for 20+ years! 16:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

My lame idea[edit]

Slowly drain the rights from "sysops" and "bureacrats" server-side until they don't matter. Create 2 or 3 new user groups, with "RULZ" for entry, say "dishwasher", "line cook", and "chef". ħumanUser talk:Human 03:53, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Constitutional Convention proposal[edit]

I have put forth the beginnings of a proposal for a Constitutional Convention, which starts from the point of how to handle the interim administration. Several people have suggested putting Trent in charge while everything is settled, so I have proposed that. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:03, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

A comment[edit]

Swapping the generally accepted meanings of the words "promote" and "demote" is horribly confusing, especially when only half the user-base actually bothers perpetuating this meme. I thought it was just a cliquey thing but to see it written into the community standards is just baffling. I suspect the site is getting too big and should grow out of it. I'm not making this a formal proposal, I just wanted to offer some input from a (mostly) lurker. ONE / TALK 09:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

You are right: the use of "promote" should be sanctioned. larronsicut fur in nocte 09:37, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. All institutions need to have their traditions and little quirks, its a part of the fabric of the place. It might be a bit quirky and provide a very small amount of confusion for newbies, but it is part of who we are and should not be removed. It is one of the little quirks we are known for. --DamoHi 10:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
As long as we call sysops janitors and provide a link to the guidelines it should be understandable. Somebody who is new with the software will have problems anyway and most people that know the software will get the joke. --UHMrambling incoherently for 20+ years! 10:18, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Considering the confusion it can cause to n00bs, the ridiculousness that it causes in the documentation and the fact that people who like the swapping will continue to swap it, the concept of promote/demote should just be abandoned entirely when referring to a change in user rights. ADK...I'll baste your embryo! 10:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Calling an increase in rights a "demotion" is an in-joke that makes light of the powers that people are given and really only applies to the most basic step up from plain editor to someone who can block and clean-up vandalism/spam. Once we go beyond those rights people are given powers over a much wider range of the site's operation and give people some pleasure in using them so they get pissed off when they are taken away in what may be seen as an arbitrary fashion. That's why the conferring of rights and sanctions for misusing them needs to be more explicitly delineated for the sake of the future expansion of the site as a rational/skeptical resource rather a playground. Although Human has been the centre of attention here I think that cases like RobSmith and MarcusCicero are more important. In Rob's case a known CP sysop was arbitrarily given powers which included viewing deleted revisions and then endlessly bleats and trolls about it when those same rights are taken away citing it as abuse of power. Individual decisions can have far-reaching implications for the site as a whole and that is why approval needs to be a corporate rather than individual responsibility.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Collectively admitting that these rights are no longer arbitrary would be progress. We've evolved beyond the point where we can do it the old way. ADK...I'll sniff your Texas! 12:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Bureaucratizations: No promotion without trial[edit]

Old community standards

A sysop can only be "promoted" back down to regular editor status if they request it, or if they are causing trouble ... and the decision to "promote" the sysop should only be reached ...

Proposed revamp

A sysop can only be "promoted" back down to regular editor status, or a bureaucrat down to sysop status, if they request it, or if they are causing trouble ... and the decision to "promote" the sysop or bureaucrat should only be reached ...

Proposed, that the protections currently enjoyed in the case of sysops promoted to regular users be also extended to the case of bureaucrats promoted to sysops. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:36, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


Am I the only one who sees the clear imbalance in the situation as proposed. I know trying to get ListenerX to change tack is akin to getting the Titanic to turn on a farthing, but if demotion (to use the proper sense of the word) can only take place after a "trial," then it stands to reason that promotion can no longer be an ad hoc system of "whoever thinks so-and-so is ok".

You can't have one without the other. Which is why - for the umpteeth time - we need to sort out the initial rights FIRST. There is no if and but about this. Here, you are not only putting the cart before the horse, the horse is in a different town, while you sit on the cart, yelling "Mush!" --PsyGremlin講話 09:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

(1) The word "balance" does not really apply to this situation. Look at U.S. citizenship as an analogy: you can obtain it with a fairly simple-minded exam, but only lose it if you commit treason or something of that sort.
(2) A measure was recently approved here that requires nominations for bureaucrat to be voted on over at the bureaucrat nominations page, so I think this is introducing balance rather than imbalance. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:23, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
The Supreme Court has ruled that US Citizenship cannot be taken away from a citizen without their permission. Thus, US citizenship cannot be taken away even for treason. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 12:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)




  • --PsyGremlin話しなさい 09:29, 12 May 2011 (UTC) There are many other things that need resolving, which take precedence over ListenerX's continuing childish butt-hurt with Human.
  • LX, I know you're perhaps the only other person who read Huw's discussion of the Crat Guide Promotion Section. What you've got here doesn't even address the situation we just got over. Take the vote down. You're draft is shit and putting it to vote is not productive. I'm sick of seeing people slap a voting section up just because they want the issue resolved NOW. Nutty Roux (talk) 10:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about that. As I read it, the amendment is essentially saying that in order to promote a crat you need to follow the same procedure as for promoting a sysop. That reads:
In some extreme cases, where a sysop is being particularly disruptive, a bureaucrat may need to "promote" them as soon as possible to prevent further vandalism or abuse, but they must then discuss their decision with others at the Administrative Abuse page, to determine whether the user should remain de-sysoped.
Seems to me this would solve the problem we just had completely, if this procedure was followed DamoHi 11:58, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't address the conflicting provision in the Crat Guide. Nutty Roux (talk) 12:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I am confused. What in this proposal conflicts with the Bureaucrat Guide? If you mean that "pre-emptive" promotions are allowed there, they are allowed here also, so that is not a conflict. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
The standards are different and the relevant terms remain undefined. Different standards with no definitions in 2 different policies purporting to regulate the same conduct is unacceptable. I propose that we hand RW's fate over to Cthulhu for safekeeping (talk) 16:43, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
You will need to be more specific; I have just been over the "Demoting and promoting users" section on this page and saw nothing that contradicted the "Promotion" section in the Bureaucrat Guide. This proposed modification adds a requirement for Chicken Coop discussion in any promotion, but the Bureaucrat Guide also requires that now. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:53, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • NO. I do not think now is the right time to be having this sort of debate. It is being driven forward by personal concerns and has become a vendetta. We do need to look at the way user rights and issued (and taken away) on RW, but not like this, and not in this sort of environment. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 21:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
As this will not be applied retroactively, it is unfortunate if anyone should see it as a vendetta against Human. Although the recent HCM did prompt this proppsal, as far as I am concerned, Human personally does not figure into it at all; I am merely trying to plug a hole in our site rules that is large enough to drive a truck through. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Nay. "Causing trouble" is ill-defined, for one, I reserve the right to add additional criticisms. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:37, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The proper place to address crat abuse is in the Chicken Coop through HCM, if a crat can be demoted simply for "causing trouble"...? Sysops and crats should rightly be treated differently. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 12:36, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


I second that. CZ and CP spring to mind. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 21:41, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
That's so wrong I don't even. Blue (pester) 22:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Blue, when you say "I don't even", it would be so much more useful if you finished your sentence. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:42, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Administrative Abuse procedure[edit]

Add the following new section under the above header: If a complaint is brought at the Administrative Abuse page, the following procedure may be invoked to resolve it at the motion of one bureaucrat and the concurrence of four others.

  1. Complaint. The complainant shall restate the complaint, with a description of the alleged act or acts, a reason why the complainant believes it to be a violation of site policy, and a suggested sentence for the defendant.
  2. Trial. There shall first be a discussion as to the alleged offense. The defendant shall be given the opportunity to make a defense; if blocked, they may do so through their user talk-page. In the course of this discussion, the complainant may drop the charge.
  3. Rendering of verdict. There shall then be a vote as to whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. The verdict shall be "guilty" if and only if a 60% majority of eligible voters cast their vote thusly. If the verdict is not "guilty," the proceeding ends.
  4. Discussion of sentence. If the verdict is "guilty," there shall then be a discussion concerning an appropriate sentence. The defendant will be given the opportunity to make a statement or otherwise participate in this discussion. In the course of this discussion, the original complainant may seek a lighter sentence.
  5. Vote on sentence. There shall then be a vote as to whether the defendant should receive the sentence, whether the one originally proposed or a lighter one sought by the complainant. The sentence shall be executed if and only if a simple majority of eligible voters cast their votes in favor. If the vote comes against the sentence, the proceeding ends.
  6. Execution of sentence. The sentence shall be executed immediately following a vote in favor of it. If the sentence involves the defendant being vandal-binned, blocked, or stripped of any user rights for a given period of time, the user may not be (respectively) removed from the vandal bin, unblocked, or restored to those user rights until that period of time shall have elapsed.

Each of the two discussions, once they commence, may not be ended until 12 hours have elapsed. After that time they may be ended at the motion of one bureaucrat and the concurrence of two others.

Each vote shall be held in the following manner:

  1. A section shall be created on the Administrative Abuse page for the vote with subsections for those in favor, those opposed, and those abstaining. Users may cast exactly one vote, which they will do by placing their signature in the corresponding subsection.
  2. No user shall cast a vote who (a) was not a member of the site at the time the complaint was brought, or (b) is known to be a sockpuppet. If an ineligible user votes, their signature may be stricken from the roll by the use of comment tags.
  3. Users are entitled to change their votes while the vote is still open.
  4. Votes shall remain open for a period of 168 hours following the edit in which the vote section was added to the page.

Proposed, that the preceding section be added to the Community Standards, to put a stumbling block in the way of lynchings such as the sort that very nearly occurred over at the Chicken Coop recently.

Note that the use of this procedure would be optional, since it takes at least eight days, and is intended for emergency use only. Note also that this is not intended to be a permanent measure, what with all these constitutional reform proposals flying around.

TL;DR version: If five bureaucrats agree to invoke this procedure, the complainant will restate the complaint and suggest a sentence, we all bicker about it for at least twelve hours, vote "guilty" or "not guilty," bicker over the sentence for at least twelve hours, vote "mercy" or "no mercy," and then have to stick to whatever the sentence was. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:36, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


I missed the definition of "eligible voters". Also I think all procedures on RW should run for one week at each stage. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:35, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Point 2 in the second numbered list. Three days seemed to shake out all the voters for your Chicken Coop vote, but a week might be better. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:43, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Three days barely gave me time to respond, you moron. A week is the absolute minimum for each stage of a process. By the way, all the green crap above is just a bunch of badly written junk. Sorry about that. Secret ballots or none. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:36, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I suppose we shall see what the voters think. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:23, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

My proposal[edit]

  • Use common sense.
  • If an action will probably lead to a public outcry, discuss before taking such an action.
  • Ignore the trolls.
  • Hint: an action which has lead to a public outcry in the past will most certainly do so again in the future.
  • If someone is wronged or has a not too unsubstantiated feeling to have been wronged, apologize to her/him. Gracefully.
  • Ignore the trolls.

larronsicut fur in nocte 18:34, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

As our community is a fractious one and does not ignore trolls, that policy would be approximately as effective for stopping controversy as Christianity has been for stopping "sin." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:43, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Okay, point one tells me the current method of handling disputes, promotions/demotions and the general structure of user rights is not working. Shouldn't we do something about that instead of hoping people suddenly start acting differently than they have in the past? --Kels (talk) 18:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)In kind:
Use common sense - what if people have different definitions of "common sense?"
If an action will probably lead to a public outcry, discuss before taking such an action - how are people supposed to know whether or not "public outcry" will occur?
Ignore the trolls - ha! Ha! almost four years and this still hasn't started working. Blue (is useful) 18:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Good posts both. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:50, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Larron. And I do not agree with the rapid collapsing of user's comments. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:33, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Voting and making it smarter[edit]

First, we should use the secret ballot for anything that matters.

Second, as long as we aren't, anyone intruding in public voting procedures with opinion and argument should be blocked for the duration of said vote for violating the "no propagandizing/pressuring in the polling place" rule I just made up for the last few hundred years. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:39, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I would agree to this change for votes initiated in the future, provided that the voters are also not permitted to put opinions by their votes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:57, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Starting with any since now. Or yesterday. We did it for the Board election. I think you kinda missed my point. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
By the way, this isn't an agree/disagree thing. I insist that all future ballots on RW be conducted in secret, the way all civilized Western democracies have done for centuries. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
That is reasonable. Has Nx shaken the bugs out of the machinery since he made that vote in Lumenos's name? And is there a good way to regulate the franchise as necessary (all users who joined before the vote began)? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:36, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I think whoever wrote it for the board election made it work about as tight as they could - it involved using one's RW login, and probably had some safeguards against sockpuppetry. But we can always check and we can always ask, before rushing to some "vote" where you declare a change to the CS "approved" because six people said "yea". ħumanUser talk:Human 06:39, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
There is precedent for that. Check the archives of this page. And I do not recall that the people who started some of those votes broadcast it on the intercom. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:45, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
"Check the archives"? Too lazy to link to my past transgressions of your new policies? ħumanUser talk:Human 07:02, 13 May 2011 (UTC)