Requests for comment/Activity levels of advanced administrative rights holders

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The following request for comments is closed. 68 support vs. 28 opposes, around 70-71% support, hence closed as successful for the listed proposal. Theo10011 (talk) 21:55, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
?

The following is a proposed Wikimedia model guideline for WMF public wikis. The proposal currently has the following status: closed.

Please see the summary subpage for translations.

  • Comment was scheduled to close on 21 May 2013

Purpose[edit]

The purpose of this discussion is to determine a model guideline for use of all Wikimedia Foundation public wikis to determine minimum expected activity of advanced administrative rights holders, and a process to remove rights where there has been an exceptional duration of inactivity.

Background[edit]

A review by stewards of the activity of bureaucrats and administrators on all wikis (both concerning editing and administrative actions) has shown that there are significant numbers of bureaucrats and administrators:—

  • who have never used their rights;
  • who may have used their rights in the past, however, are no longer active on the wiki where they maintain such rights

Further, through anecdotal review of "requests for username changes" there is an indication that at some wikis these actions are either not done by the local bureaucrats at all, or only after an extraordinarily long time passing.

Comment[edit]

For the purpose of clarity, holders of advanced administrative rights in this document are defined as

  • administrators
  • bureaucrats
  • oversight
  • checkusers
  • stewards

Some WMF communities already have processes to review holders of advanced administrative rights. Examples of processes in use are:

  • minimum activity levels by numbers of edits or administrative actions;
  • maximum inactivity by time period;
  • a recall process; or
  • a confirmation process.

From a quick review by stewards, those wikis that have review processes mostly utilise a process that reviews activity for the past twelve months.

Notes:

  1. It is not the purpose of this proposal to override any existing means of review through the community, nor override any higher standard currently used by the community. For example, stewards are currently confirmed on an annual basis by the whole of the Wikimedia Foundation community; whereas checkusers and oversight currently have a higher standard with regard to periods of activity.
  2. It is not the purpose of this proposal to identify or specify the lists of either wikis or rights that have review processes or higher standards in place; such a list will be dynamic and would be developed subsequently. See the talk page for an incomplete list of examples.

Proposal[edit]

  1. To define a period of time for maximum inactivity without community review[1].

    The stewards recommend that a maximum time period of two years[2] of inactivity be allowed for holders of advanced administrative rights, where this activity would be classed as zero edits, and zero administrative actions on the wiki where the rights are maintained.

  2. That a regular audit of advanced administrative rights will be undertaken by stewards.[3]
  3. To define the method to contact inactive advanced administrative rights holder, the required response from these rights holders on the respective wikis, and the process for removal of rights.

    On the wikis where there is no formal advanced rights review process in place[4] the stewards, or their delegates, will

    • notify those advanced rights holders who have exceeded the maximum time period of inactivity (proposal 1). Such a notification (notice of maximum inactivity) will take place by a message on the user's talk page on the wiki where the rights are held.
    • The notified users should then notify their community of the receipt of the notice of maximum inactivity from stewards to discuss the matter. Following a community's discussion, if the community then wishes to keep some, or all, of these notified rights, they should contact the stewards at Steward requests/Permissions, and in that contact the user should point to the discussion raised at their community, express their wish to continue to maintain the rights, and demonstrate a continued requirement to maintain these rights.
    • In cases where stewards do not receive such a suitable reply, after approximately one month they will evaluate the responses and will either refer a decision back to local communities for their comment and review, or proceed to remove advanced administrative rights. With the continued aim for the process to be each community's decision, and to be supported by the stewards.

Notes[edit]

  1. Amending clarification made 2013-04-26
    • Initial statement: To define a period of time for maximum inactivity.
    • Amended statement: To define a period of time for maximum inactivity without community review (as part of the request for comment from consultation)
  2. Some points were made that one year may be better, at this point the longer duration forms the proposal for the community. Part of the recommendation is in light of the low traffic levels of some of the small wikis.
  3. It is suggested that the audit will be either an annual, or semi-annual process, determined by each current set of stewards.
  4. Clarity: All public wikis will be examined by the stewards review process. However, neither notification nor removal actions will be taken with regard to communities with
    • an active Arbitration Committee, eg. English Wikipedia, as such projects can decide about their inactivity removals;
    • communities with active review processes, eg. Commons; or
    • special wikis — as determined by Wikimedia Foundation which includes private wikis and wikis operated by chapters.

Additional information[edit]

The general topic has been discussed by stewards for a number of months. The proposal has been drafted by a number of stewards to a point where the community's input and suggested improvements are now sought.

If there is general agreement in the community, the points that we especially would like feedback from the community are with regard to

  • suggested time period of activity
  • suggested measure of activity
  • suggested methodology of contact to inactive rights holders, and progressing of rights removals
  • proposed that this RFC be open for a month, closing on 17 May 2013
    Extended to 21 May, four weeks after global message is planned to be delivered

Feedback requested[edit]

Requested points of discussion[edit]

Time period of activity[edit]

(initially suggested as 2 years)

  • A year is more than enough.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:36, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I would say 2 years, solely to remain consistent with the longer inactivity times of some wikis. --Rschen7754 19:35, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  • No less than one year, no more than two. Let's say eighteen months :P -- Quentinv57 (talk) 13:44, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Of technical reasons I believe it must be 2 year. On sv:wp there is a review every 12 month. And it could be be OK to have inacivty for a couple of months but not a year, but his means that it could grow to clõse to two years of inactivity by next review, and to desysop before would be too fiddly.Yger (talk) 13:51, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years sounds OK. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:37, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Imho 1 year inactivity is enough. --Holder (talk) 10:08, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years looks fine. Projects who only have temporary user-rights (like svwp) or already have an own inactivity-policy and can maintain it, can be ignored by our Stewards. -- Lavallen 15:12, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years, because it seems like all local policies in existence come into play at a shorter period of time. --MF-W 17:20, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. Global policies should always be more conservative than local ones usually are. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 23:42, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • A year of inactivity is enough. --Bill william compton (talk) 16:44, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. Per Lavallen, MF-Warburg et al. Trijnsteltalk 20:14, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm with Quentinv57 on this one. -- DQ on the road (ʞlɐʇ) 21:10, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years.--Simon Shek (talk) 13:39, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years is a good idea. 1 Year is a very short time, and people needs sometimes a sabbatical year. Jmvkrecords (Intracorrespondencia) 05:04, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Cytuno/agree; this is our agreed / stated period on wiki-cy. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 1 year is more than enough.--Lam-ang (talk) 05:21, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is very long period. On cs.projects we have six months without sysop action, after this period is user noticed. Ususally there is no reaction or sysop resign. If not, there is posibility of reconfirmation on annual month. JAn Dudík (talk) 05:35, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is enough. - Joxemai (talk) 06:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 1 year is enough.--Beko (talk) 06:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is more than enough.-- Mirzali (talk) 06:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • No less than one year, no more than two.--EileenSanda (talk) 06:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I would believe one year to be sufficient, but I see no problems with waiting two years for Wikis with low activities. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:47, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is enough for high traffic wikis. But I think two years is better for this global policies, per PinkAmpersand. --β16 - (talk) 07:53, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years is fine. Some people take a sabbatical year, and they could need some time to retake their wikiactivities. --Xabier Armendaritz (talk) 08:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year. --N KOziTalk 09:05, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Years mean a very big term. I suggest a term period of two months with zero worthwhile edits (OTHER THAN TALK PAGES/ USER PAGE EDITS) should be enough for desysoping. The lifesaving edit could be as simple as the correction of a single typo, categorization, file movement, etc. Hindustanilanguage (talk) 10:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC).
  • Question: what will be the policy with regard to self-blocked admins? Should they hold sysopship? Hindustanilanguage (talk) 10:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC).
    This is a decision of each community, they appoint and remove your advanced rights holders. Personal opinion is an admin has self-blocked and it is for an extended period, then that community should review that circumstance. — billinghurst sDrewth 10:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years is a good choice to avoid compromising local processes. JeepdaySock (talk) 10:40, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. Don't be overly restricting. -- Jtneill - Talk 13:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years are good to see if someone is really away. Romaine (talk) 14:05, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Matter of technicalitty, but 2 years max.--Laslovarga (talk) 16:11, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is enough. Beyond that, you're not supporting the community anymore and are more of a risk than a benefit. -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 16:20, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • In my opinion 1 year is more than enough! For instance, in the Neapolitan Wikipedia I'm the only administrator who still contribute since one or two years! --Chelin (talk) 16:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year, in case of no edits, and two years, in case of edits but no administrative actions. This way I think we don't have to worry about "measure of activity". -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 16:56, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is a perfectly fine criteria in the case of complete inactivity. I prefer the lose measure of activity because the best administration hardly uses the tools at all. --Gmaxwell (talk) 19:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Vogone talk 20:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year inactivity is enough. Bishnu Saikia 20:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is more than enough. If someone's has been unavailable to help the project for several (3–6) months then it does not benefit the project to keep listing them at Special:ListAdmins. ~ Ningauble (talk) 20:53, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Six months in case of edits but no administrative actions. Xaris333 (talk) 21:46, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. We don't have any hurry! :-) Don't forget small wikis or multi-wiki admins. --Lucas (talk) 05:53, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I think one year is more than enough. --Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasivetalk • 09:07, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 360 days! :D Bennylin 12:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 2 years are good. People get kids etc. and the one year is pretty short. Jc8136 (talk) 14:04, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years is quite enough. --Emaus (talk) 15:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Year is enough.--DJ EV (talk) 16:20, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I think we should make a difference between an officeholder who is active (e.g. in the creation of articles), and one who uses the powers bestowed upon him/her. There are different cases:
    1. Wikis who periodically elect/confirm their officeholders need no policy, as they simply won't get re-elected/re-confirmed (In other words: only contributing editors are eligible, at the very least).
    2. Some powers are used more than ohers. When I look at what I od at Simple English Wikipedia, deletions far outnumber oversight, which by far outnumbers checkuser requests. Since we have few editors, rename requests are somewhere between oversight and checkuser request, by numbers. So, for a reasonably active wiki, I'd say someone who did not use the tools in about six months probably does not need them. At the same time, there should be rules that allow officeholders who were inactive and come back, to regain some of their tools more easily, for a given time period, probably twice the inactivity period, so in this case, a year. --Eptalon (talk) 20:44, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. There may be valid reasons to be absent for a pretty long period of time (for example, compulsory military service in some countries, when user may just have no possibility to edit Wikipedia, or a sabbatical year), but usually this does not last longer then two years — NickK (talk) 22:18, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year. A trustworthy user away for such a long time should be examined by the community as it is and, hopefully, will have no difficulties doing so. But communities evolve and a year is fair enough. José Luiz talk 22:42, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is more than enough. In it.wiki we have 6 months --Sailko (talk) 06:01, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I forgot to mention above: We probably need to make a difference between a user vanishing without trace (eg. lost interest), and the user being unable to contribute because of some compulsory sevice (military, firefighters,...). In other words: Users announcing a prolonged absence should have their rights revoked, but should be able to regain them faitly easily upon return. --Eptalon (talk) 11:16, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I've never administrated a small wikiproject, maybe in some of them there is no need for administrative activity for years. Looking on my ceiling, I would say that two years of inactivity is better, admin may return to project if some requester lost patience write im a mail. Ignatus (talk) 13:59, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years, per PinkAmper's comment: Global policies should always be more conservative than local ones usually are. -- Edinwiki (talk) 08:16, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 6 months without any activity, 1 year without any logged admin activity (to approach to the conservative opinions above, however, I'd personally go for 6 months only at all - see the following text).
    Re the conservativeness: If the user was uncontroversial admin, there is no problem to assign him the rights again (maybe there can be additional rule about "speed granting if user has been sysop in past desysopped because of inactivity" to make it yet simplier). It does not make a sense to keep inactive admins because it has two bad side-effects (both proved by experience on some wikis): 1) it looks like the wiki has enough admins, so new potential users are discouraged from RfA by looking at the list of admins; 2) If somebody wants to turn to admins with request for admin action, he has to wait for long (in extreme case when no admin is active even forever).
    Danny B. 09:58, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  • one year --Sasakubo1717 (talk) 14:37, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years-will embrace most local rules, if local projects wish to adopt a shorter period then that's fine too.--KTo288 (talk) 13:05, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year ok  Klaas|Z4␟V:  10:44, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 2 years for all is ok, but locally, each wiki, should be able to shorten this period. This should be clearly stated somewhere. --Andyrom75 (talk) 06:44, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
    The purpose of the proposal is attempting to set a model standard with a maximum period of inactivity; yet give space for communities to set their activity appropriately. If the proposal passes, I would think that any explanatory information as you indicate could be added to the text being compiled on the talk page. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:36, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Not less than 1.5 years to avoid conflict with local policies. ...Aurora... (talk) 07:45, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is enough; in case conflict of policies local policy should get preference.--Vyom25 (talk) 18:37, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I think two years is fine, unless the wiki specifies a longer period. (If they specify a shorter period, then they need to run their own reports, as several of them already do.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • One year is enough, even more then enough. Lazy administrators only stop the evaluation of the project. --A1 (talk) 13:31, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years. There are times when your life crashes to a halt for a while. One year can go by like it is nothing. Two is a reasonable amount of time. Jusdafax (talk) 04:52, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Two years for the small wikis and those who have no own rules, but wikis with already existing rules (at dewiki we've got one year) should be allowed to have their own criteria. -- Milad A380 (talk) 13:54, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Measure of activity[edit]

(initially suggested as "no edits and no administrative actions on the local wiki")

  • Sounds okay to me, as it aims at removing the privileges of advanced administrative rights holders who are totally inactive, not the ones that are considered not active enough. By the way, I do not agree to remove the sysop rights of active people who never made any logged actions. Finally, to avoid any missunderstanding, I would like the following precision to be added at the end of the proposal : no edits and no administrative actions on the local wiki. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 13:51, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    The text in the proposal is specific about activity being to the local wiki, added text here to help the example. — billinghurst sDrewth 16:20, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Quentin that admins who edit but don't use their admin privileges are still active. Deryck C. 15:06, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Quentinv57 --Shizhao (talk) 18:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with suggestion. --Holder (talk) 10:10, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Rschen7754 10:14, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, otherwise the user maybe have to block herself to not be classified as inactive. -- Lavallen 15:05, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --MF-W 17:20, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Trijnsteltalk 20:14, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. -- DQ on the road (ʞlɐʇ) 21:10, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --Bill william compton (talk) 01:18, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Only sysop actions should be counted.--Anatoliy (talk) 10:57, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Quentinv57. --Simon Shek (talk) 13:41, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Cytuno/agreed. This is our currant procedure on Wiki-cy. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:17, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Quentinv57--Lam-ang (talk) 05:25, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed.--Γλαύκος (talk) 06:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed.-Beko (talk) 06:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --β16 - (talk) 07:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed - an admin do not need to use his/her tools to be an admin, but no edits should be a good indicator of inactivity. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:49, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with suggestion. --Xabier Armendaritz (talk) 08:15, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Concur. JeepdaySock (talk) 10:41, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed: on small wikis with little vandalism/problems not much admin actions are needed. Also the MediaWiki namespace edits count as admin action. Romaine (talk) 14:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree: no edits and no administrative actions on the local wiki!--Laslovarga (talk) 16:08, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 16:23, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --Chelin (talk) 16:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:38, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Xaris333 (talk) 19:30, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Vogone talk 20:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed.--Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasivetalk • 09:19, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree. A user might be active on sister projects and just watching on others. - Averater (talk) 20:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    • But don't you think that in two years, he will find an opportunity to make one edit or log action then? --MF-W 20:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
      • Not necessarily. Especially if a user is somewhat active on a lot of projects. Then that user might still be valuable as a backup admin. - Averater (talk) 20:21, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree. And definitely agree with Averater here above: don't forget small wikis and multi-wiki users. There is no hurry on editing, and users are all and always volunteers. [BTW, in case of strong consensus, I agree with Quentinv57's proposal]. --Lucas (talk) 05:58, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree: All edits should count, some projects have enough admins and i'm (admin at Wikivoyage) only rarely need sysop rights but do lots of normal editing. Jc8136 (talk) 14:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree. On lv.wikipedia its a big problem--DJ EV (talk) 16:21, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I basically disagree: The number of edits is independent of the activity level on a given wiki, the number of admin actions is tied to the activity level . If on a given wiki you get 10 edits / day this is fundamentally less than one that gets 100 or 1000 edits a day. At Simple English Wikipedia, we define active as having 150 admin actions in the last six months. But please be aware that we get an estimated 750-1000 edits a day. In short, this should porbably be percentageof the daily edits, over the six months. --Eptalon (talk) 20:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. There is however a completely unlikely situation that there will just be no need in admin rights for a year or two, while admin remains available and active in other projects, but I think we may consider this on the exceptional basis — NickK (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. José Luiz talk 22:45, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Quentinv57. -- Edinwiki (talk) 08:19, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Since this is about adminship, it does not make any sense to measure edit activity (unless the method I proposed in #Time period of activity applies). Also, no wiki is that small to not be able to undergo any admin action within half a year. So basically the only reason why admins become inactive is that they left (or took wikibreak).
    Danny B. 10:05, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
    Actually, measuring editing activity could have benefits. What about an admin who just edits the MediaWiki namespace, and is doing so actively? What if the user continues to edit actively, but there's no sysop action to do on his small wiki? PiRSquared17 (talk) 10:54, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
    • In fact, edits in the MediaWiki namespace are administrative actions. -Geraki TL 07:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed, subject to appeal by admin.--KTo288 (talk) 13:11, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Most logical measurement Admin not using her/his modbits don't do the job they're supposed to do. Besides they need to do normal edits in main namespace as well (like 200+ or so)  Klaas|Z4␟V:  10:47, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Pro --Andyrom75 (talk) 06:47, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with and. ...Aurora... (talk) 07:46, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Only admin actions should be counted to indicate if he/she is an active admin. If he/she didn't need the tools for 1-2 years even for a single action in order to show some activity and keep the tools, then the tools are not needed. -Geraki TL 07:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --A1 (talk) 13:32, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. -- Milad A380 (talk) 13:56, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Methodology to undertake[edit]

(as listed above)

  1. I oppose the stewards audit by coherence for the few wikis having requested to transfer the deadminship responsibility from stewards to buraucrats: that seems for me to include the inactivity deadminship. --Dereckson (talk) 14:07, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    If they are wikis with an identified review process they are excluded from the guidance. (Bureaucrat#Removing_access) ... numbers are already excluded, though some of these exclusions are just weird. What if the 'crats go missing? Still excluded?
    The audit process is a bot run, and the proposal is for that to run for all wikis for the data collection, though for the steward to only to take action by notification where an admin is absent for nn period on the wikis identified being with the scope. The idea is to push as much as responsibility as possible back to communities, so I don't see that the plan is antithesis to what you suggest, but I don't see the benefit in prohibiting the audit. — billinghurst sDrewth 14:47, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  2. This should include a requirement to send an e-mail to admins who are about to lose their rights, if they have e-mail enabled. This, that and the other (talk) 08:17, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    What admin/crat doesn't have their notification settings turned on for their talk page? Or check it at least once a week, once a month? If an admin/crat has a wikibreak banner up, I would consider that an email would then be reasonable. Admins/crats have volunteered to do the respective community's wishes, and talk pages are an accepted means of contact. Remember that we are talking inactive admins for a period of ??? (two) years. In my opinion there needs to be reasonable and acceptable balance of responsibility, not stewards jumping through hoops to find a person. If the respective community wishes to email the person after we have notified the person, then that becomes that community's method of action. We could consider that information in the wording of the message to the talk page. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:57, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    I believe that many people already have their prefs set so that they get e-mail if there is any change to their user talk pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    Leaving a note on the users talk page is sufficient. If they care, they have preferences set to send an email, if they don't, it was their choice. JeepdaySock (talk) 10:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  3. Would it be possible to automate the check and initial contact? JeepdaySock (talk) 10:47, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    1. I have written a simple scripts, which detects inactive admins, crats, and others. Example here: User:FischBot/inactive/wikibooks/de/sysop I can also send emails to the users to inform them, if they had set an email. --Pyfisch (talk) 19:01, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Length of this RFC[edit]

(initially suggested as closing 17 May 2013)

  • As indicated at the bottom around circulation of a global message, the suggestion has been made to circulate, and as there are some translations some have recommended to get done, it seems opportune to set four weeks so maybe call this 21 May. — billinghurst sDrewth 04:59, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  1. I support this. I am active on a number of small wikis, and some of them are fairly dead - meaning there might be some sporadic activity but no regular activity. If there are inactive admins, or, worse, crats there, getting a flag becomes a nightmare, since they would never show up, and stewards at best would give a temporary flag after at least a week waiting. Protecting an article becomes a real problem. In addition, an obvious argument is that if someone is not on wiki for an extended period of time they just do not need advanced permissions.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:36, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  2. Support Support --Rschen7754 05:47, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  3. Support Support--Jusjih (talk) 12:34, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  4. Support Support Yger (talk) 13:52, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  5. Of course. This cleanup will make lots of global processes far easier and faster. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 13:57, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  6. Support Support · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:46, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  7. Support Support inactive local bureaucrats have always been a problem. We should make sure communities are 'forced' to look into this issue (note that this proposal doesn't 'force' removal itself). --Bencmq (talk) 04:44, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  8. Support Support --Holder (talk) 10:08, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  9. Support Support --Dyolf77 (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  10. Support Support ok FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 02:45, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  11. The proposal sounds good, with the reserve I expressed about steward responsibility for the wikis where bureaucrats have the deadminship responsibility. --Dereckson (talk) 14:09, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  12. Support Support — Racconish Tk 17:16, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  13. --MF-W 17:20, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  14. Definitely support this proposal. Also, could we make the inactivity rules for CU and OS a bit clearer please? Trijnsteltalk 20:14, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
    I think that this would be a natural consequence of the community providing this clarity on expectations that we can go and make proposals for clarity. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:31, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
    Can you reformulate that? I think I didn't understand it. --MF-W 01:11, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
    me neither! Once we have a model standard from the community's opinions, reviewing other guidance/rules that addresses (in)activity for global rights, etc. makes perfect sense — billinghurst sDrewth 03:41, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  15. Support Support Because of the lack of finding a crosswiki functionary on smaller wikis primarily, but the same with other permissions too. -- DQ on the road (ʞlɐʇ) 21:12, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  16. Support Support --Bill william compton (talk) 01:27, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  17. Support Support Yosri (talk) 05:30, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  18. Support Support --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:43, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  19. Support Support This, that and the other (talk) 08:19, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  20. Support Support --N KOziTalk 04:55, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  21. Support Support. If I made a similar proposal in eswiki why I will not support this proposal. Jmvkrecords (Intracorrespondencia) 05:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  22. Support Support --Lam-ang (talk) 05:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  23. Support Support --EileenSanda (talk) 06:23, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  24. Support Support Adminship should not be eternal. Definitely agree with this proposal.--Alperen (talk) 06:43, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  25. Support Support --Kolega2357 (talk) 07:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  26. Support Support --β16 - (talk) 07:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  27. Support Support --Xabier Armendaritz (talk) 08:17, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  28. Support Support some accounts with admin and 'crat rights have been inactive for more than five years. These accounts are vulnerable to hacking and if the owner returns would find the community totaled transformed since they were last there. The rights were given to serve the community need - long absent users can't do that QuiteUnusual (talk) 09:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  29. Support Support--Модернатор (talk · contribs) 10:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  30. Support Support --Pxos (talk) 12:56, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  31. Support Support --Γλαύκος (talk) 13:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  32. Support Support Without any review process, the numbers of inactive admins/bureaucrats can only increase. So, in 100 years time, how many inactive special right accounts will there be? So, some process to review rights for inactive and unwanted accounts seems necessary sooner or later. -- Jtneill - Talk 13:54, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  33. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 14:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  34. Support Support An administrator must not remain passive more than ONE YEAR. Other contributors are prevented to get the admin flag by this.--Ganesh Paudel (talk) 15:32, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  35. Support Support -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 16:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  36. Support Support I do not understand the opposes below though. Well, from my personal experience I just can tell that several bureaucrats being inactive for several years on a local wiki is the most annoying thing that could happen. A colleague on betawikiversity (Crochet.david) for example had to wait 8 months until his request was approved – by a steward. The local 'crats are still all inactive. Regards, Vogone talk 16:35, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  37. Support Support PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:05, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  38. Support Support Bishnu Saikia 20:01, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  39. Support Support.  It's not an honorary title, it's a job. Special:ListAdmins should identify people who are available to get the job done, not people who are sentimentally keeping an old hat from a job they might have done in the past. ~ Ningauble (talk) 20:33, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  40. Support Support as the sole active admin and crat on Māori Wikipedia.-Gadfium (talk) 20:57, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  41. Support Support As a member of Thai Wikipedia ArbCom, we had gone through a similar policy/process before. I believe that it is beneficial to the community. --Taweethaも (talk) 12:53, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  42. Support Support Good idea! --Pyfisch (talk) 15:37, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  43. Support Support--DJ EV (talk) 16:22, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  44. Support Support Jklamo (talk) 20:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  45. Support SupportNickK (talk) 22:24, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  46. Support Support José Luiz talk 22:50, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  47. Support Support --Ignacio Flag of Uruguay.svg (talk) 23:58, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  48. Support Support LlamaAl (talk) 03:16, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  49. Support Support --Sailko (talk) 06:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  50. Support Support --99of9 (talk) 15:21, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  51. Support Support. SM ** =^^= ** 19:17, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  52. Support Support: At the very least, it'll prompt small communities to define a policy. --Edgefield (talk) 01:45, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  53. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 03:44, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  54. Support Support -- Edinwiki (talk) 08:25, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  55. Support Support --Metsavend (talk) 12:37, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  56. Support Support I strongly support this. I have raised the same issue a few times in past, as I am admin on small wiki (gu.wiki) where we have 3 inactive admins, I was told in past to keep them there as it doesn't harm, which I strongly disagree with. Nice to see this discussion started here.--DhavalTalk 11:18, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  57. Support Support--subject to local opt outs and desires of local communities.--KTo288 (talk) 13:19, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  58. Support Support a minimum per my very long held views --Herby talk thyme 14:09, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  59. Support Support--777sms (talk) 12:52, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  60. Support Support --Andyrom75 (talk) 06:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  61. Support Support --Qa003qa003 (talk) 01:52, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  62. Support Support Is there any reason to have lazy administrators who do nothing in a project? I`m sure none. --A1 (talk) 13:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  63. Support Support But we should count, not edits but only sysop actions.--Anatoliy (talk) 18:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  64. Support Support -- Milad A380 (talk) 14:00, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
  65. Support Support It does not harm to have inactive admins, but it would not be a good idea to have a large number of inactive admins for ever. Just imagine, twenty years from now, to have more inactive than active. It does not make sense. I am in favour of the existence of a time limit. Even if more than two years, I would not mind, but there has to be a limit. --FocalPoint (talk) 18:34, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
  66. Support Support An inactive admin cannot anymore be an admin after two years of inactivity, as he/she has lost his/her contact with the local community and its trends. --Ttzavaras (talk) 18:07, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
  67. Support Support Inactive admins do nothing. — ΛΧΣ21 06:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  68. Support Support Many times when "total number" of admins is sufficient, there is no new request for admin rights. I believe that at least on some wikis will desysoping of really inactive admins bring new active ones. --KuboF (talk) 16:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  1. I don't find on this page a list of issues need to be addressed. If there is no problem, a reform is not necessary. ~Pyb (talk) 12:17, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
    • #Background lists some of the problems. --MF-W 13:46, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  2. Same as ~Pyb. #Background doesn't list any problem. Boréal (talk) 13:13, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    at some wikis these actions are either not done by the local bureaucrats at all, or only after an extraordinarily long time passing., for one. --Bencmq (talk) 14:55, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    Don't understand how this statement relates in any way to the removal of admin rights to contributors because of inactivity, for instance. Reiterates: no problem listed that this "solution" is supposed to solve. Boréal (talk) 13:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Clarification: By policy, stewards and global sysops only provide certain services when there are no locally authorized people to handle it (or not enough of them in cases that require more than one). A local roster full of inactive persons prevents them from assisting in cases where in effect there are no locally authorized people who are actually available. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:52, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  3. Oppose Oppose It is better to have some inactive admins than to few. But of course is active admins the best. - Averater (talk) 05:46, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    1. Oppose Oppose If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the local community does not see a problem with having some inactive administrators, why should outsiders decide for them that this is a bad thing? Whom does it hurt to have inactive admins on some wikis - except maybe for the local community itself? Darkweasel94 (talk) 05:51, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
      • If the accounts are hacked, that is a problem. --Rschen7754 06:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        Further global sysops and stewards refrain from certain tasks where admins and crats are present. This has been presenting clear issues in the management of rights promotions, renames, and the like. We are here with this proposal as stewards see that in certain wikis that it clearly >is broken. We are not here solely for more rules, let me promise you that. The proposal states that we are pushing this matter to the community for their decision, it is not about automatic cancellation of rights. — billinghurst sDrewth 07:18, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        Do I understand this correctly that this doesn't apply if there are some active admins and some that ain't active, but only at projects where it is hard to see if there are any active admins at all? At sv.wikibooks I don't think we have any specified way to deadmin users but of the few admins we have are at least some are active. Those not active are sometimes active on other sister projects or checking in from time to time even if they don't do any edits of any kind. - Averater (talk) 07:49, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        Ok, it does seem like I have misread the proposal. If the community is first asked if they really want to keep a certain inactive admin's rights, and that decision is respected, then that does not violate its autonomy. My problem was with a global policy deciding for them "no, you cannot keep administrative rights of users who have been inactive for two years, or at least you have to make a local policy saying that inactive admins cannot keep their rights" even though they really want to keep them. Darkweasel94 (talk) 08:21, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        No, I rather think Averater misread it. :) --Nemo 08:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        Please don't remove my <del> tags. Darkweasel94 (talk) 08:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
        I've read the proposal again now. If I now understand correctly there is a need for global admins to know if there are any active local admins or not. This proposal aims at making sure ALL the local admins are active unless the local community whishes something else. Wouldn't it be enogh if there are some active local admins? But it might be easy to adapt a local policy to override this proposal for the active local admins. - Averater (talk) 09:35, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Oppose Why should such a rule apply to perfectly healthy projects such as English Wiktionary? They can decide on their own what they want, and don't need outside people to mess with the project in ways not supported by local consensus. I can see why this can be useful particularly for global sysop wikis - but why should this apply globally to everything? -- Liliana 06:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Liliana, the whole purpose of this proposal is designed to do exactly what you desire. Where a community has a process, the community's process takes precedence; where it does not have a process, the proposal gives the decision-making to the community. Which parts of the proposal do you see that do not explain that. — billinghurst sDrewth 07:10, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    As I understand it, even if the community holds a vote and decides to not demote inactive administrators (and there are good reasons for that), this proposal will simply override the local community's consensus and force an opinion on them that the people simply do not want. It will lead to edit-warring between stewards removing admin rights and local bureaucrats re-adding them - and this cannot seriously be the intent. -- Liliana 08:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    If you read the proposal, that is not the intent. "With the continued aim for the process to be each community's decision, and to be supported by the stewards." --Rschen7754 08:19, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    If you read the proposal, that doesn't matter. --Nemo 08:23, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    @Liliana. The intent is very firmly for the communities to continue to have the decision-making authority, though with their "eyes wide open". If there is a better wording, then please suggest one. Alternatively, we can look to an explanatory note, or some make-believe examples of this guide in practice. I will ignore Nemo's cynicism. Stewards are here, being open, our intent is not hidden, we are conversing, we are open to improvements. — billinghurst sDrewth 10:54, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Further comment. Would it help if we qualify the first point that reflects that two year inactivity period is two years without community review and thus each community providing instructing for rights continuance. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  5. Proposal is incoherent, what are "higher standards"? For me an higher standard is not having removal for inactivity, and some projects agree with this. This proposal opens doors to many actions against the communities' will; the policy should be opt-in like the bot policy.
    Further, the proposal doesn't address any actual problem, except that the stewards' policies are not clear on where stewards can operate; the actual problem should be fixed, not hidden. See Requests for comment/Minimum voting requirements. --Nemo 08:23, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    There is a green box up top, and it clearly states what we are looking to do. The rest is context. Communities who openly say they wish to retain an admin or bureaucrat who hasn't edited or used their tools in five years will not have them removed under this process. Stewards roles are clearly defined see the lead paragraph at Stewards, and there is zero push by stewards to increase our powers. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  6. Oppose Oppose--Targovishtenec bg (talk) 08:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Oppose On German Wikiversity some university professors have been given sysop rights because it it much easier for them to maintain course pages when working with their students. It may occur that they do not work on Wikiversity for a while, only to return to the platform for another course later. This interval may be longer than two years. In these cases we would have to hold a new elction if sysop rights were withdrawn because of inactivity. This is why an inflexible term of two years does not make sense for all Wikimedia projects. We need exceptions to the two-year rule proposed.--Aschmidt (talk) 12:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Please refer to point 3 of the proposal. We are not going to simply remove everyone that's inactive for 2 years. If the community wish to keep them, that's no problem. --Bencmq (talk) 13:42, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    I'm afraid the clause you've referred to misses the point. We do not have too many sysops, but too few. German Wikiversity will probably never remove administrative rights, unless the sysop has committed severe faults. This probably holds true for other small projects, too. I oppose a rule that will consequently harm small projects with very few editors and, hence, sysops. This would be a severe intrusion upon the self-governing rights of small projects. They should, therefore, please be exempt from the two-year rule. If this could be done, I would favour your move apart from this.--Aschmidt (talk) 18:18, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Of course, any project can opt out through the very simple expedient of adopting a local policy that addresses the issue. So if you don't want de.wikiversity to participate, then you should go there and propose a local policy on desysopping inactive admins. For example, you might have a policy that inactive sysops are removed only after five years of inactivity on all WMF projects. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  8. Oppose Oppose it's more possible to be hacked an active account that an inactive account, the small wikis will lost potential qualified collaborators Esteban (talk) 13:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Not necessarily, with an inactive account the real owner would not notice. --Rschen7754 18:31, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  9. Oppose Oppose Same as ~Pyb.-- Bertrand GRONDIN  → (Talk) 14:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  10. Oppose Oppose I consider this page to be continued militating against Jimbo's original vision of having a wikipedia for speakers of every major language. When it turns out that a small group who mostly speak just one language, still tries to flex its muscles over other languages and cultures they don't understand, it feels rather like we've been led down the primrose path. 71.127.135.179 14:19, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  11. Oppose Oppose #Background doesn't list any problem and this policy should apply only to inactive wiki, if an active wiki didn't feel it's necessary to create a deadminhsip policy why stweard try to enforce it ? Phe (talk) 14:38, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    No, if the community wants to keep the inactive users' rights, that's no problem. --MF-W 15:37, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    That's not what the policy says "The notified users should then notify their community", "and in that contact the user should point to the discussion raised at their community". If the user is inactive how it can do that ? The policy allow steward to deadminishp inactive admin on any wiki where a deadminship process doesn't exist, whatsoever if the community think such process is not necessary. Phe (talk) 16:05, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Please keep reading the remainder of that sentence, it then says that there is a range of activities that the stewards can do. As has been expressed through the body of this proposal we seek improvement and clarifications, the purpose here is to inform and empower each community. — billinghurst sDrewth
  12. Oppose Oppose Sysop get their tools because the community believes that their approach are reliable,
    So, of course it should be removed when in proved approach or edits are not reliable, and not because it took some time to yourself.
    Why we should remove the ability to work in maintenance because of inactivity?
    By this reasoning we should remove the ability to edit user who does not edit. or remove from group autoconfirmed who stay away too long.
    That seems like an attempt to make administrative positions even more elitist.
    I do not speak for the community, but please do not apply this in pt.wikibooks, we want our own community is sovereign about this. And we assume good faith until proven otherwise. -Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 15:56, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Oppose Oppose I agree with the overall rationale of this RfC, but would prefer 2 years of full inactivity. Inactive admins should however not prevent a wiki from having global sysops. Elfix 17:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Perhaps it would make more sense to comment in the "Measure of activity", then. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:08, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    where it is currently the majority opinion that "no edits and no administrative actions on the local wiki" (=full inactivity) should be the measure. --MF-W 17:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Whoops, it appears I skipped an entire page of this RfC. Elfix 17:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  13. Oppose Oppose not strongly against the proposal itself (even though I don't think this is in general an important issue: same as ~Pyb, in the beginning), but mainly against the length of this RfC: should we decide what to do with inactive users in just a bunch of weeks? It sounds very ironic: only active users will say their opinion here. :-)) --Lucas (talk) 06:02, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    I based my initial estimate of duration on the length of time we elect stewards. It was one of the items that I requested feedback on when we should close at #Length of this RFC. If you have a better suggestion for the duration, then please make it. — billinghurst sDrewth 06:38, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    I understand. It is not easy to decide a deadline, but definitely I would say more than 4 (or 5) weeks. Probably at least two or three months (and it is still roughly 10 times less than the proposed inactivity threshold). ;) --Lucas (talk) 21:30, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    Oppose Oppose The wording of the limitation to wikis without review procedures is far to vague. When is a review procedure 'active'? I would not like to see stewards overriding local policies (e.g. our local policy that after one year of inactivity an admin will first be contacted before finally requesting removal of admin rights) on grounds that it is alledgedly not 'active'. For us, it will not yet be any problem with current 2 year inactivity limit, but these limits may be changed also.. KKoolstra (talk) 07:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    How do you propose it is reworded then? No local policy is going to be overridden - that is not the intention. Stewards do not want to remove advanced rights from users that are or plan to use them. QuiteUnusual (talk) 08:02, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    Well, I would propose to limit to wiki's having both no review procedure nor inactivity regulation. Additionally, you might add to this wiki's with such a procedure, but where all admins are inactive resulting in policies not being implemented. But I have no clear formulation in mind for this possible exception. KKoolstra (talk) 08:12, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    @KKoolstra. That is a review process. The so-called vague wording is so we catch all meanings of review and process, whatever each community calls it, it is meant to be loose. A review process contains all the subsets of review procedure, inactivity regulation, etc. Anyone of those in place puts a community outside of "#proposal 3". Have a look at the list that is being developed on the talk page, and you will see a list of wikis that have a review process of some form and therefore outside the scope of the proposed activity.
    OK, that changes my opinion to neutral (no real objections, no real pro's) KKoolstra (talk) 21:19, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
  14. Oppose Oppose In considering subtleties of the meaning of this, I find that, uniformly, all questions are of the form "what would protect small projects against such-and-such". This is a warning sign of a pronounced effective —and apparently inherent— bias toward weakening small projects. To emphasize: It's not just that the wording needs tightening up, but that it always needs tightening in the same direction. This starts with overkill for the alleged problem by proposing to force a project-weakening policy on any project that doesn't self-inflict such a policy, and then one spends all one's time trying to beat back the proposal's excesses. --Pi zero (talk) 11:12, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  15. Oppose Oppose This is extremely damaging to small projects and non-English project. It also fails to take into consideration real life issues that may temporarily leave one unable to edit. Suggest that this policy be taken up locally on projects if there is a concern regarding it for specific projects. --LauraHale (talk) 11:35, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  16. Oppose Oppose I have never agreed with removing privileges based solely on inactivity. There is no real harm in having a surplus of administrators. Also, I'm not comfortable with the centralised, top-down approach to policymaking that we're adopting here. Individual communities surely know what works best for them regarding activity levels, moreso than a group of people -- no matter how diverse -- on Meta trying to decide for them. Tempodivalse [talk] 13:43, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    Take brwiki as a case study. There are active sysops, but both 'crats are completely inactive (more than two years gone). If someone on brwiki has a successful RfA, who will judge the consensus and promote them as both 'crats are unavailable? It will be the Stewards. Same for a bot flag. Therefore, without an inactivity policy we still have the situation where the Stewards are acting on behalf of the community. All this policy would change is that a notice would be placed on the wiki noting that both 'crats are inactive and asking the community if they want to remove their rights. If their rights are removed the situation is status quo - the Stewards continue to perform +sysop, etc. If the community responds that they want the rights retained then the situation is status quo - inactive 'crats so Stewards still do the work. If the notice, email to the inactive users, etc., prompts the 'crat to come back then we have an improved situation for the community. If the community asks for the rights to be removed, then all we are doing is serving the community request. The only "bad outcome" I can see is if nobody responds either to oppose or support removal and we were to default to removing the rights. But that's not very likely on these wikis as there are active users, and in this case study, several active sysops. If the policy only allowed rights removal if there was a positive vote in favour (i.e., no default to remove) would that be better? QuiteUnusual (talk) 16:47, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    It's also possible the community doesn't even know they have 'crats or permanent sysops and the notice may prompt active users to an RFA - which is also good QuiteUnusual (talk) 16:49, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  17. Oppose Oppose I hope that Portuguese Wikipedia case will not repeat anymore.--NuvieK (talk) 14:03, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  18. Oppose Oppose No need for this. Orašnik (talk) 19:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  19. Oppose Oppose If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Like for this explanation. Zer (talk) 22:44, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  20. Oppose Oppose See Aschmidt's comment above. Jan Luca (talk) 08:59, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
    If the active local community disagrees with right removal due to inactivity, the stewards will never remove the permissions. Regards, Vogone talk 19:39, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  21. Oppose Oppose see #commentary from Mahitgar -- Mahitgar (talk) 09:15, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  22. Oppose Oppose I suggest inactivity of 2 months to be taken seriously if the sysop doesn't have single edit at all. Six months with zero admin action should then have similar effect.
    PS: Please ensure proper formatting for counting opinions. Hindustanilanguage (talk) 07:37, 29 April 2013 (UTC).
    Hi. Currently some sysops are inactive for more than five years. They have for sure quit Wikimedia, and we have no policy to remove their rights. That's why we are proposing this policy. I don't understand the reason of your oppose because you agree with the automatic removal of inactivity. If you don't agree with the delay, you should refer to the #Time_period_of_activity section above. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 08:43, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  23. Oppose Oppose The bureaucracy has nothing smarter to do. Jarebika (talk) 18:31, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  24. I'm not seeing any need for this being demonstrated. I can think of valid reasons for it, and I would support this proposal, however, considering no matter how badly abused checkuser tools are, nothing at all is done, not even investigation or acknowledgement of a complaint being received, so start with overt public abuse if you're going to formulate a way to remove tools. Start there, where the damage is the greatest rather than giving everyone who covers up and argues that there is no abuse another stick to hit the victims with ("oh tools are taken away all the time (for inactivity))". If they were trusted, they are trusted, so I Oppose Oppose this. It's just littering the landscape with pointless bureaucracy. Penyulap (talk) 08:29, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  25. Same as Grondin. koiNonne aka ONaNcle (talk) 11:31, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  26. Oppose Oppose This means more work for the users with the global tools, that already have too much to do. This problem is the matter for the local policies. Rikovers (talk) 21:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
    Most (all?) the global tool users who have commented support the proposal in part because I suspect they think it will end up creating less work and more certainty to their work QuiteUnusual (talk) 08:29, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
  27. Oppose Oppose. There are some small wikipedias where the rules for deciding when to deactivate rights could be improved. When such problems are recognised, they should be tacled on a case-by-case basis, however. The reason is that the circumstances are widely different for different WP's, and what is a good idea in some of them isn't in some others. Therefore, no binding policy should be taken. (A proposal for e. g. recommendations I might have supported.) JoergenB (talk) 00:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
    The community is still allowed to decide on a case-by-case basis, but the rights will be removed if stewards don't receive a message in a month (see #Proposal). PiRSquared17 (talk) 00:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
    In theory, sure, but in practice major policy adjustments are difficult and slow to arrange and bring about, and it seems likely small struggling projects may simply get flattened by this. --Pi zero (talk) 04:15, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  28. Oppose Oppose The presence of people who may return and talk as administrators has significant useful effect on the currently active administrators.Audriusa (talk) 06:39, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Neutral[edit]

  1. In general, I agree that global policy is needed and I welcome it. However, no policy is better than bad policy. So my support or oppose will actually depend on points do discuss. 2 years is a nonsense as well as taking edits into account. Rahter than setting very benevolent criteria, set them more strict AND set the rule to speed re-gaining of the rights in case the because-of-inactivity-desysopped user requests the rights again.
    Danny B. 10:12, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Other commentary and points of discussion[edit]

  • Question Question: I don't quite get what this statement means: "in that contact the user should point to the discussion raised at their community, express their wish to continue to maintain the rights, and demonstrate a continued requirement to maintain these rights."? What if there is no requirement to maintain the right? Who needs to express their wish to maintain the rights? I thought the community should be the one who decides it.Trongphu (talk) 09:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    This proposal is about moving/making the default requirement 'to having a maximum level of inactivity without a review after (nnn period of time)' from the current 'no requirement'. The list being built on the talk page will be used as a reference for where a community has discussed and reached a consensus for not being on the default. — billinghurst sDrewth

Regaining permissions lost due to inactivity[edit]

  • An interesting issue is how an inactive user gets their advanced permissions back. The English Wikipedia allows for a simple request provided they have not lost the permissions under the cloud. Wikidata recently adopted the same policy (I personally opposed). The Russian Wikipedia requires a new RFA does not matter what.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:39, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    Wikidata explicitly did not adopt such a policy. Vogone talk 20:50, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
    No change, communities retain their decision-making process, so however a community currently allocates their rights will continue to exist. If no specific provision is in place in a community, then the standard process utilised where stewards act as de facto bureaucrats would apply. — billinghurst sDrewth 15:54, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    Would this apply to chapter wikis or test wikis? --Rschen7754 19:33, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    Are there lots of inactive users with advanced permissions on test wikis? I suppose it could apply to CUs and OSs there, but what's the harm of being an inactive admin on a test wiki? PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:46, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    Outreach is another example. --Rschen7754 19:50, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Test wikis was not in our area of concern, and doesn't follow standard practices, though there is possibly value in the occasional tidy out.
    • Outreach wiki, yes.
    • Chapter wikis, no. I see would be more equivalent to arbcom wikis (have appointed roles for management), though as we will have data, if we saw a concern there may be value in providing the data to that chapter.
    We would appreciate your points of view on these. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:09, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
    Outreach gives out sysop to all trusted users, on the decision of any bureaucrat, and takes it away also on the decision of any bureaucrat. Thus I'm a bit wary of taking away sysop there, though that would not extend to crat. But that's a finer detail that perhaps should be discussed there. I'd agree with your comments on test and chapters. --Rschen7754 00:38, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
    Which is why the proposed methodology is for the person [contacted after (N duration)] to notify their community that they still exist, ... [procedure]. The idea was to keep each process within each community as much as possible, not so much for stewards to take on the burden. — billinghurst sDrewth 04:36, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  • They should be able to regain their adminship if they're active again, which from my experience didn't happen that often. Bennylin 12:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    I would disagree to such a rule, except if the local community wants so. 1. Policies can change during 2 years heavily and 2. regaining consensus for adminship should not be that hard. Especially since sysops still need the trust of the community, also from a completely new community which was developed during the long period of inactivity. Vogone talk 20:50, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Exemption of wikis with review processes in place[edit]

  • The exemption of the larger projects/better organized projects should be built into the policy more clearly, not just as a footnote. Nathan T 13:27, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    The footnote is just the examples, the policy says "On the wikis where there is no formal advanced rights review process in place …". As said in the #Comment section I would predict that a list of excluded wikis would be built afterwards and be a schedule to the guide, but not form part of the policy. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:51, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    But the scope as defined by the footnote is ambiguous. For example, in the Chinese Wikipedia, there is neither ArbCom equivalent nor systematic reviews of admin privileges, but there is an institutionalised recall petition system (which sometimes recalls admins with long-term inactivity) (see here). This sounds pretty adequate as a "formal advanced rights review process", but wouldn't fit the definition in the footnote. Deryck C. 14:42, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    If you see that the situation at zhWP fits within the scope, however, the footnote doesn't suitably cover it, then can you think of some words that the footnote can contain to provide the clarity. If the zhWP situation falls outside of the policy statement, and you believe that it should fall within, what suggested change would you recommend. — billinghurst sDrewth 15:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    This is the interpretation of formal together with rights review process that is causing the uncertainty. I read these words to mean any codified policy that might lead to the removal of advanced rights. If the policy is that rights are retained unless a recall petition succeeds then that would, in my interpretation, count as a "formal advanced rights review process". Perhaps wording it as "On the wikis where there is no formal process or policy that can lead to the removal of advanced rights" would be clearer? QuiteUnusual (talk) 16:57, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
    @Deryck Chan are you sure? zhWP has compulsory inactivity removal policy for no edits in 6 months + 1month after notification. It doesn't need a petition to remove inactive admin. That counts. --Bencmq (talk) 04:46, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
    Regardless, any steward can of their own initiative notify the local community of this and thus spark a recall, just as any other user can. --Rschen7754 10:16, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • The proposal says that a list of affected wikis will need to be created. Has anyone started it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:57, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • To start:
    sv.wikipedia has a formal process maintained every three months for admins/crats/CU/OS, which is a part of the re-election-process for all users once a year.
    sv.wikisource has a continous procedure (a bot is every week updating a page) for all local userrights, bots and autopatrollers are included.
    -- Lavallen 15:30, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
    To make the RfC more efficient, it isn't the goal of this proposal itself to come up with a list. (But feel free to do so anyway...) --Bencmq (talk) 06:24, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    Moving the list to the talk page as it is ancilliary to the proposal. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    Thanks. I agree that creating this list isn't the goal here, but I think that providing a list of examples will help some people understand it, and therefore reduce opposition based on misinformation. I'll add a link at the top for those who want to see it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:16, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Notifying the commmunity[edit]

Have the communities been notified of this RfC? For example, as an admin-only CentralNotice or by using global message delivery. If not, I'll try to notify some places on Meta. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:38, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

An all/all small wiki notice would be a good idea IMO QuiteUnusual (talk) 16:58, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Notified the Forum and the Main Page. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:47, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I know the arbcoms of dewiki, enwiki, frwiki, kowiki, nlwiki and the checkuser list have been mailed. We could use EdwardsBot to spam the usual noticeboards globally. --MF-W 18:24, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
While admins are concerned in this proposal, we also welcome/need other users' input, so I think EdwardsBot is better than admin-only centralnotice. (centralnotice for all logged users is obviously too much). --Bencmq (talk) 04:50, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Community has been informed via Wikimedia-L. — billinghurst sDrewth 10:04, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Checkuser wikis have been notified. — billinghurst sDrewth 10:04, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Wikimedia Foundation has been notified via email and Philippe's talk page. — billinghurst sDrewth 10:04, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Message box at SRGbillinghurst sDrewth 10:05, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • How does User:PiRSquared17/Sandbox4 look for GMD (I know the nowiki is broken)? PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:23, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    Maybe it should be signed as Billinghurst? :P PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:24, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    Updated version. Like it? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:11, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    Probably should mention the list is on the talk page... --Rschen7754 22:51, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    A global message notification went out to the community today. My humble thanks to PiRSquared17 and the team of translators that did the work to get the notifications in multiple languages. It is well appreciated! — billinghurst sDrewth 07:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    I'm amazed by how well the global message translation went! If anyone has any suggestions for the future, feel free to mention them on User talk:PiRSquared17 before I write my notes on how I did this. PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Justification missing from RfC[edit]

This RfC appears to be missing a rational to justify the removing privileges in the first place. Presumably it's been discussed elsewhere but the main pros/cons should be distilled into some form of "Justification" section above. Only with the justification of removing privileges in mind can editors give informed suggestions for the topics in the proposal. What are the motivating factors? Presumably security is the primary reason but that word isn't mentioned in this RfC even once. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Two problems that this addresses come immediately to mind:
  1. As alluded to at #Background, and clarified in subsequent discussion above, a local roster full of inactive persons prevents global functionaries from providing assistance when in effect there are no locally authorized people who are actually available.
  2. I have noticed several occasions when people requested assistance by writing to an administrator's talk page (a sensible thing to do) without realizing s/he was long gone – an exercise in futility.
Clearing out those who are not on the job is justified, IMO, by the need to get the job done. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:30, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Retroactivity[edit]

Sorry if this was discussed already, but should this be enforced retroactively? Let us say this policy will take effect on 30 May 2013 and an administrator will have been inactive since 30 May 2011. Should he/she be a subject of the removal procedure immediately then? Or should there be some "graceful" migration period? --whym (talk) 21:48, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

This is not about any punitive action, nor a requirement for admins to do more than assist in the management of their communities; we are clearly trying to identify accounts that are moribund, or people who no longer wish to undertake the role. Where someone is inactive, we will ping their talk page, and they should take that matter to their community, it is for each community. I do not see that there is no need for a migration period. — billinghurst sDrewth 07:05, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
It seems likely that there will be a migration period simply because, as a practical matter, the stewards aren't likely to perform the first audit the day after this is approved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
The mechanics have not been determined, that would be getting ahead of the game. I would suspect that it would be an annual audit, or maybe semi-annual, would need to get through the first and major rendition. — billinghurst sDrewth 02:03, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Merge inactive Sysop account with active user account[edit]

On ln: are two sysop. One of them was blocked in 2007 by a bot without warning before, because he used the user name as password (shame on him, but many years ago, this was possible). It was said, that the account could be reopened by a bureaucrate, but all requests were not answered. He is contributor no 2 by contributions and translated a lot of the interface. The guy is still there with a new account and does more than 50% of sysop work without having sysop rights on his new account, while the blocked account has all rights, but no access. May be it is a single case, maybe there are similare cases on other small wikis. On a small wiki with 0-2 active users per week, it is hard to be nominated again. Could it be possible to merge the two accounts in such a case instead of delete after two years and lose 50% of sysops on ln:? --83.228.216.52 06:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Stewards cannot merge accounts. Your community can ask stewards to reassign admin rights to the new account. Please open that discussion on your community's Village Pump (ore equivalent) and after a week or consensus is reached (whichever is longer) please request the changes at Steward requests/Permissions

This is a clear example of why this proposal is being put to the community in that bureaucrats go missing, and as such heed the development of a community. — billinghurst sDrewth 06:53, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Auto reminder[edit]

I support that the deactivation is automate, preferable after 6 month inactive, a monthly reminder be send out and admin right revoked afer 6 reminders. Alternately, the period is parametarised based on local community concensus. Yosri (talk) 05:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Warning of impending loss of sysop rights[edit]

As written, the policy doesn't include any warning to the user that sysop rights will be lost. Is this what people want? Wouldn't it make sense to warn the user say 30 days before the two-year deadline? (Or even more often... six-month or 12-month inactivity warnings wouldn't be crazy.) Rd232 (talk) 13:09, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, the proposal is not that sysop rights should be removed immediately: When the sysop is inactive for two years, then he gets a notification and a removal would only happen some time later, if the community doesn't decide that they want to keep him the rights. --MF-W 15:09, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but the way the proposal is laid out, you'll have a "you exceeded the maximum inactive time" notification, followed by community discussion. How much time before community discussion starts, how much before it's completed? The user may not get round to responding before it's all over, if they don't log in often or have email notifications sent to a little-used email address. Basically, the user could be given a chance to log in and say that they want to keep the rights. (I also like the idea of regular "hey, you've not been active a while..." reminders, but I guess that's beyond the scope of this, although if we had that, it would address my question, as the user would get a few reminders before going into a "desysop for inactivity" discussion.) Rd232 (talk) 16:40, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
This proposal is not about an impending loss of rights, though it may be the outcome of such a process. With regard to your discussion about the mechanics, and the practice, which all fits into how we could make this work. Some of your suppositions are correct, and that is why we are wishing for it to be community discussion. Conversely a rights holder who is dead will not login, will not say anything, and the community will later get the opportunity to consider what they want to do about the inactive rights holder. Your thoughts about a reminder tool can be something that could be something that communit(y|ies) could discuss to see if there is a need for their communities. I don't think that it is something for which the stewards would collectively endorse or disendorse, as it is outside our area of remit. — billinghurst sDrewth 03:02, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Warning doesn't make a sense. If you warn the inactive user, he can simply make one admin action or edit (depending on the policy set) and be inactive again for allowed period of time (proved by experience). Also, if there will be warnings, they should come before the end of period (a month to two weeks) and not after, because it yet prolongs the period (which, as it unfortunately seems, will be set to be absurdly long). Cf. Toolserver accounts for example - a month before expiration you are noticed to prolong your account. Sharply on the deadline, if you did not prolong, your account is locked. This is how it works in most cases in real life - warnings before expiration, not after, or no warnings at all. It is on you to follow the policies and deadlines coming from them, and especially if you have more rights than others.
Danny B. 10:27, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

At this time, we do not believe that activity will be checked every day or every month. That is too much work for these busy people. It is likely to happen once or twice a year. It is therefore not possible to provide a warning exactly 30 days in advance. If early warning is wanted, then the local wiki will have to give early warning itself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:31, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Notification of change of rights[edit]

When a steward changes user rights (regardless of the reason), the steward should leave notification of the change on the user's talk page on the local wiki. Perhaps this can be automated? -- Jtneill - Talk 13:57, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

If this policy gets assent, there will be work and information required on the mechanics of the task. Otherwise there is a whole lot to your statement that sits outside of this guidance. Can I ask that if the current practices are deemed insufficient that it might be worthwhile starting a discussion at Stewards' noticeboard. Similarly if there is someone willing and able to build tools to help stewards do their tasks, then I think that we would appreciate both the volunteers and helpful suggestions, and again to Stewards' noticeboard. — billinghurst sDrewth 02:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Potential repetition[edit]

A local wiki doesn't have an inactive user policy.

User A is a custodian on the local wiki who has been inactive for 2+ years. Stewards inform the user and local community who indicate that they wish to maintain User A's rights at least for the time being or perhaps as long as indefinitely.

User A is identified in the next review due to continued inactivity. Thus, the discussion and notification process occurs again. Ad infinitum. -- Jtneill - Talk 14:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

We can create a list of wikis not to remove rights on / admins the other communities want to keep. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Based on the experience at en.wikipedia, this will be a short list, because many of the people threatened with desysopping promptly logged in and made at least one edit, thus re-setting the clock. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:33, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
If the messages would be in the local language, perhaps they would at other wikis. However, I guess the notifications will be in a certain language. And if it isn't answered in that language, the answer will be ignored. --80.114.178.7 20:09, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think so. The best would be tried to find out what the answer means. (Should be relatively easy for most languages, since stewards & other users on Meta are a quite multilingual group). --MF-W 20:17, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I've been thinking of localizing the message, but we need to have a message first. Let's wait and see what happens with the RfC. Don't worry; I'll make sure it gets translated. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:20, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Some of this is detail, which has been lightly mentioned, but not determined ahead of getting a policy to do it in the first place. I would think that if there is the ability to do something language specific, (and probably language specific and English) that it would be the right way to go, it shows the right respect. That is a long road to drive to get to that, so no holding your breath, and isn't going to work on many of the small wikis where we struggle for people let alone translators. If the RFC gets assent of the community, there will be numerous aspects of the mechanics to be determined, both by the community, and procedurally by the stewards. Nothing is looking to be rushed, it is looking to be moving forward with the community, as the communities grow and mature. — billinghurst sDrewth
That's the first time I've seen "quite multilingual" for "mostly monolingual English or bilingual in some other language and English". --80.114.178.7 22:21, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, the collective of stewards does at least speak French, English, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, German, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Javanese, Georgian, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Malayalam, Hindi, Polish, Azeri, Persian, Turkish, Danish, Dutch, Sicilian, Maltese, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Portuguese, Bengali (from Stewards). Is that not multilingual? --MF-W 15:59, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
That is just a bit more than 10% of the languages with a wikipedia. And this discussion is almost entirely in one language. That "one language per discussion" is to be expected, but it is always the same language. If this discussion would have been in, say, Arabic or Japanese, not many stewards would participate (and neither would I). --80.114.178.7 18:35, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

I see a lack of w:Wikipedia:Assume good faith in your comment. :-) Don't forget that we are all volunteers. Perhaps some local admins will act in this (bad) way, but (I hope) the most of them won't. Furthermore, even in that unlikely case, we will have some admin's activity which is (almost) never a bad thing. --Lucas (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

What counts as community review?[edit]

Imagine a project that has no formal policy statement on inactive admins. Occasionally, a user will start a discussion (similar to any other discussion) about desysopping a particular inactive admin. The discussion may or may not result in any change to the inactive admin's status. Is this sufficient process to count as "any existing means of review through the community"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:11, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

It probably isn't. However, it is easy to establish those users who contributed most to the wiki in question, say in the last six months. A "community review" should run for a time that is long enough (point of discussion: wikis with little activity probably need longer), so that at least half of those users express their opinion; note that there should also be a lower bound, eg. reviews with less than five valid "expressions" are invalid. After this has happened, it gets down to weighting arguments/counting, which can probably be done by any uninvolved person (local office holder, or steward). To make it easier for the stewards, one could imagine three or four such procedures per year, ending on specific dates (1/1,1,5,1/9, or 1/1,/1/4,1/7,1/10). The actvity level would then be measured from the end date backwards. --Eptalon (talk) 11:11, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that it's realistic for half of the active users at a large wiki to express a view on anything. There are more than 130,000 active users at en.wikipedia. It is rare to get even 0.1% of them to comment on an admin. I've never seen a single proposal that has attracted the attention of half its users. Actually, I've never seen a single proposal that has produced comments from even 1% of users. I'm also not convinced that a minimum of five responses is going to work for a tiny wiki.
But leaving the numerical details aside, does this seem about right to everyone? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:53, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
What orchestrates as a community review is developing on the Talk page. Reality is that large wikis have these processes in place, so this becomes an exercise in arguing semantics. The aim here is to encourage communities to have an active review process and where they have the rights granted to remove rights of inactive people; where they do not have the rights to remove, they will come to stewards and request the requisite removals. Stewards really want this to happen. This will then leave stewards to assist the small communities who do not have the ability to collate the data, or may not have the manpower to run these checks to identify their inactive accounts, and to work out how they wish to progress. If things work out perfectly, stewards will send notices, all communities will respond that their inactive admin right holders are now active and nothing else to do. PERFECT! To the mechanics, who knows?!? Let us get the first iteration done, and it should be the heaviest, then we will have a clue. In all these things, starting momentum is often the hardest. — billinghurst sDrewth 06:37, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
The process on the talk page is what prompted my question. En.wikt has been listed as not being affectd because it desysops "by vote". As far as I can tell, this is purely ad hoc, i.e., a user randomly noticing an inactive admin and proposing de-adminship, without any written policy behind it. Today, I see es.wikt listed as not being affected on the grounds that they chose to be affected by this policy! ("we just discussed this for the first time, and agreed to let the stewards do what is proposed after two years".) If that doesn't count, then these need to be relocated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
I am aware, that for wikis with more than about 50-70 "active" ediors, it will more likely be about fixing a lower bound (say: 20 people), and a time period. As outlined above, the larger wikis will likely already have some rules, so this will not be an issue. Note: I come from a small wiki, so I have that view. The lower bound is important; many countries also have a qourum (eg. five percent of the valid votes) for some elections. --Eptalon (talk) 21:13, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Can local policy call for non-expiry?[edit]

I'm trying to understand what the proposal means, in this regard. For example —setting aside that English Wikinews has an ArbCom— the English Wikinews Privilege Expiry Policy explicitly says that Checkusers and Oversighters are exempted from expiry of privileges (that is, exempt from expiry of any privileges, not just exempt from expiry of Checkuser or Oversight). We deliberately excluded Checkusers and Oversighters from expiry. If a project has an explicit policy about privilege expiry, that explicitly says some user groups are exempt from privilege expiry, does that, or does it not, exempt the project from outside intervention? --Pi zero (talk) 02:40, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The proposal is the text in the green box, anything else is explanatory. Checkusers, Oversight and Stewards already have a higher standard and an active review process, they will be applied to this higher standard by other processes. The statement is about excluding them from this phigher standard means that this three part process does not apply. *If* there was ever a rewrite for such rights holders, one would expect that it would not fall below that of the community.

I fail to understand all these statements about outside intervention as the wording is clearly about notifications and community involvement, nothing about intervention. The ability to remove administrator rights is currently with stewards for the vast predominance of wikis, this process makes no change to either policy or approach. For many wikis stewards act as bureaucrats, this process makes no change to either policy or approach. The procedural step 3 (in the box) simply reflects existing community practice, and expresses it overtly.

The reason why procedural step 3 puts in the reference to the page Steward requests/Permissions and drives the process from there is that is the page that manages rights changes undertaken by stewards. It puts the responses in one place so stewards can easily check returns and mark them off our list (rather than run to every wiki); and it gives a central archive. There is no change to policy or approach, it is the page that requests are made to stewards to add or remove rights. There is no outside intervention.billinghurst sDrewth 06:19, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I think there may be a problem with supporters of this proposal not having a sense of what the world looks like from inside a small project. Some of the supporting comments put me in mind of the quote (from Anatole France I think), "Oh, the majesty of French Justice, which forbids rich and poor, alike, to sleep on park benches!"
I find it implausible that this proposal does nothing, because it seems unlikely that doing nothing would be presented as a proposal. --Pi zero (talk) 13:15, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. The policy sets a benchmark; it addresses expectations, and it gives the stewards the ability to push information to the community within a framework, and manages the "oh why are they doing that?" factor. The communities can have a yardstick to reflect upon what they want, and decide how they wish to move forward. In some places it will lead to the removal of missing/long term inactive administrators. In some places it will clarify whether they adopt the model proposed here at meta, or it may push for a stronger or a weaker approach, at least it leads to the conversation. The stewards hear on a regular basis about missing/non-responsive administrators, and see the effects of missing/non-responsive bureaucrats. Stewards see some advanced rights holders who have neither edited, nor undertaken administrative actions in five years. Eyes wide open. I definitely hope that this proposal does something … empower communities to have active and interested administrators. — billinghurst sDrewth 16:34, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Small wikis see foreigners, who never edited, override local policies. If you want to force something, please use a non-NATO language. --80.114.178.7 21:53, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that a formal, written local policy of non-expiry should be respected. I'm not aware of any such policies for admins, but if a wiki adopted such a policy, we aren't harmed by respecting it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:29, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

commentary from Mahitgar[edit]

moved from #oppose to manage formatting of section

A) Out of proportion solution , to the background stated above i.e. defficulties in carrying out botflag and user name change task.
The simple solution could have been define total administrative or beurocrat inactivity of a project.Ascertain administratively inactive projects with the help of software. Communicate through pagetop notice on their village pump that, till inactive admins/crat does not communicate stewards are running administrative activity. As any admin/crat communicates and shows he is active reduce and subsequently stop steward intervention in local aspect.
  • When task is too big or excessive; promise which not likely to be delivered with deligence and quality.
What this proposal is indirectly promising right now is every steward will regular audit of advanced administrative rights of about 80 admins or beurocrats each, that is aprox 1574 admins +beurocrats each six months. Is this not out of proportion of the capacity to give fair justice to the job at their hand ?
B) What I fore see is this proposal gives opportunity to remaining admins to be more autocratic since siniors can no more intereven effectively.And this may hamper neutrality of the projects in big way.A feeling that boss (pl dont take this word literally) is sitting in the glass cabin and not looking at the boys ,superwisors are under feeling that some one is there. Here this proposal is removing substantial unseen intermidiary.
Pure democracies can do mistakes and loose their neutrality,Many wikipedia projects are getting democratised.Consensus is now a days being defined as most voted. There is a concept of upper house/house of lords/Rajysabha/ in well evolved democracies like UK or India where senior do have role to play. Seniors need not be present everyday.But feeling of there is a house of senior provides stability and balance of perspective.If not for life time old admin must remain in chair for 12 to 18 years if one does not want to loose basic balance since wikipedia are no democracies. What I fore see is we are opting to loose that with this proposal.
C) Wikipedias were not supposed to be democratic and most of admins and beurocrats were selected for life. What I fore see the effect of this proposal would be indirect democratisation by putting experienced talent at the mercy of handfull stewards at Meta, since these set of stewards themselves are democratically elected.
D)What I fore see is further level of indirect dilution of project indipendence concept.Since some stewards will be taking more interest in the projects.The project users also will stop having necessary urge to select their sysop / beurocrat .Also this will lead more and more conflicts coming to meta .
Header text Total number of Header text
Total Number of Wiki's 787
Less Aprox Big projects 20
Less Aprox self Opting out projects 20
Total wikis Stewards propose review 6 monthly basis 737
Aprox minimum non active Admins or crats @ 2 each project Stewards propose review admins 6 monthly basis 737 *2 = 1574
Total number of meta stewards 41
Total number of aprox active meta stewards participate in the project 20
Per active ms user rights to be reviewed 6 monthly Aprox 78
  • As stated above instead of a simple solution ; this proposal intends to present an outof proportion, complex,against ensrined core values of wikipedia and wikimedia values hence stands to become ultra vires ; hence I oppose.
Thanks for taking positive note of my constructive opposition. Warm regards and seasons greetings to every one.
Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 09:15, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Preclose observational comment (from Mahitgar) just for record sake[edit]

These comments are just for record sake,may help, if some one wants to do any case study,in future, on process of policy formation.These are not necessarilly objections/criticism to affect current this policy process.

  • Observation 1 : Process does not have necessary checks and balance to find out whether a policy proposal is logically soundproof sans logical fallacies and logical lacunae .
Whether policy proposals should necessarily begin with SWOT analysis discussion to find out and report weakenesses and threats clearly.
WMF needs to recruit better no of critical trainers/examiners who are well versed in philosophy and logical thinking and who's job necessarily has to find and report logical fallacies.
Even when near end of its close proposal, no one asked a logical issues like, Why intrude in a low profile project where say one admin/crat is active and some others are not active.The question is not importance level of the question,but no one reported the fallacy.
One of the discussion participant informed that their project takes/has univeristy professors on their list and some of them wont be using given rights, Now this policy forces such projects also to have some policy or we will give you this forced policy.
The question is not importance level of the question but in the whole process likely to get ignored, and proposal all the way works contrary to wmf field efforts to include academic segment in better fashion.
  • Observation 2 : As of today a day before proposed closure date total votes at this moment what I see is 92 and then read table 2 below.Now imagine for yourself,what is the involvement level, how many would have voted from meta admin ?, how many would have voted from rest of active users on meta(in past month)?,and how many users from local projects would have visited here and voted who usually do not visit meta; in a far reaching policy proposal .Let readers of this comment work out their own conclusions.
Table 1 details
Support Vote at the moment 66
Oppose Vote 26
Total Vote 92

Compair above table with following table giving figures from Special:Statistics (meta)


Table 2 details
Support Vote at the moment 66
No. of Meta admins 80+15+41 136
No of Auto patroller on meta 1387
Active user on meta in last month 3018
  • Observation 3 : Voters vote just at the face value or as a part of knee jerk reaction they have got no cautionary pillars. Even list of oppose vote comes chronologically in second number so it is more unlikely that an oppose/a caution voice will be heard before a positive vote is made .
  • Observation 4 :Votes are open votes and are not secret ballot , in an open vote system a good number of votes usually automatically go pro majority.Once proposal is floated for voting and such a majior difference is visible, even if, the person who wants to take final call and has formed a contrary openion after discussion will remain under pressuer of the already voted proposal and usually will need to go for the same.(The purpose of this comment is not writting off current process of the proposal in entirity; but the purpose is to point out how any proposal how so ever ultra vires can over ride even founding priciples a movement is supposed to be governed with.

As earlier said this not the comment to write off this proposal, but to just take note of weak points in a policy formation process in general.

Thanks and the best wishes for all the good work active users and stewards are putting on meta.

With regards

Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 07:35, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

I think that you have overlooked an important fact: policies can be changed. We don't actually need a full SWOT analysis (which, in my experience, are easily manipulated and somehow always produce the "right" answer) and a perfect policy. If it doesn't work, we'll stop doing it. If it works partly, then we'll change it. This isn't a permanent-policy-for-life process. This is a "try it, then refine it" policy system. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

My consideration is about SWOT is atleast, weaknessess and threats are discussed before hand , before a vote starts.If certain weakess is not pointed out, some one else gets an opportunity; but this issue can be discussed latter separately, here I was making a brief note for future purposes.

Second point, with respect to your point view ,I beg to differ, can it be revisited ? Meta policies may not be life time and subject to change and all, but is it so easy for smaller projects to come here and influence the meta policies day in and day out on their own, so those are going to be usually long term.

The another more important aspect to your second point, in this particular case in first instance itself next to blindness we will be eliminating an experienced pool of people in first stroke itself , Whats the point and benefit in changing policy latter.Policy may not remain permanent, usually loss is a loss, and loss remains permanent.Incubation of a sysop with proper wiki values is a long term process.In this proposal existing non active sysops could have been deactivated till do not start working.But as I earlier stated in my commentary, this proposal has asked for out of proportion remedy. Just this month on enwiki I was reading their sign post referring difficulties in recruiting new sysop force and is the same case everywhere.(I could not relocate link to the en sign post may take more time.)

Thanks for your response.

and Regards Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 04:07, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

The English Wikipedia has difficulties with recruiting sysops because the English Wikipedia community has developed a reputation for being abusive to the people who apply. Also, anyone at en.wp who loses sysop rights due to inactivity can become a sysop again simply by asking for it. It does not eliminate experienced people; it only temporarily suspends an unused right in an unused account. If the person ever starts using the account again, then he can ask to be re-sysopped. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:14, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

(Sorry for post close reply, any way this discussion is not expecting any direct bearing on ongoing results.)

  • >>The English Wikipedia has difficulties with recruiting sysops because...<< are you sure, is this limited to english wikipedia ?
  • >>Also, anyone at en.wp who loses sysop rights due to inactivity can become a sysop again simply by asking for it. It does not eliminate experienced people; it only temporarily suspends an unused right in an unused account. If the person ever starts using the account again, then he can ask to be re-sysopped.<<
And precisely, this is one of the missing links in this particular proposal process. Thanks for supporting my comment :)

Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 09:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Not all projects are having trouble recruiting sysops. You commented specifically about problems at the English Wikipedia, and I am telling you what the main problem is there.
This proposal does not include a rule about regaining sysop rights because we do not wish to require that other projects do things the way that the English Wikipedia does. They may set up their own rules (including, if they wish, rules about inactive sysops that would completely exempt them from this program). You wrongly asserted that the English Wikipedia was losing experienced people this way, and I am correcting your error, so that you will know the facts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:27, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


>>because we do not wish to require that other projects do things the way that<<
Sorry my freinds,with all due respect, I failed to understand this part of the above statement.
>> Not all projects are having trouble recruiting sysops.<< are you sure does this go really right with logical reasoning and does not have any en:logical fallacy. Not all , but some may have isn't it.
I hate blindly following english wikipedia policies.But here in this case,small projects are being threatened,'you better set up your rules,or you accept our meta rule no.XYZ' And this meta rule XYZ will not give authorative preference to reactive old sysop over a global sysop.Global sysops will rule the project untill the genetelman/woman gets reelected.(If the rule on english wikipedia is wrong why meta should not force this rule on en wiki also?,not a hyppocracy isn't it?)
We are asking reactive gentleman to face the local crowd again; it has two meanings one you work the same length again in number of edits .What is important ? his already honed sysop skills or his number of edits again to prove he is reactive enough ?
The second meaning you face and (please) the crowd again, and surrender to democracy, rather if you were neutral earlier and if your neutrality has offended some member of the community mostly you will not get reelected itself.
And all this local projects are not doing on their own but a meta proposal is being pushed through their nose.(Sorry this strong language does not intend to offend any one)
Including my project some projects have such sysops who are honed in certain technical skills like .js etc they come only when a technical reason is their and not at the other times .Now these sysops you intend to eliminate and asking my project forcibly to adopt some policy because meta is ordering us to do so !
There is another example of out of my own experience, is I know additional language and I am sysop on a different language wictionary (duly elected long time back).I am busy on other projects .Once in a blue moon I visit that wiktionary.In my recent visit I found that a local language bot has made a huge blunder.I know the language, in my 'once in blue moon visit',presently I can set the problem right.But this proposal shall eliminate my powers entirely from that wiktionary with some flimsy rule. Then in my next, 'once in blue moon visit', if, I get to know some problem, I won't have sysop rights, any more, and I am expected to run behind at global sysops or some one to fix the problem.So this proposal does want to scrap my valueable time and energy in convinncing some one who does not know that language also. Why do I ? I will say forget it . So are you not eliminating a valuable support in an overdrive, and that too duly elected.Now with the new situation a global sysop is more smart than a duly elected previous old sysop who knows some local language.how does, no more comments from me ?!
Any way forget it this is just a preclose comment for future reference, you and me need not take this rant seriously, how ever logical it is.Because not the reason,but democracy has to win.I suppose I have covered all my points for now.It was very nice discussing with you .Thanks warm regards and best wishes
Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 03:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Notification language[edit]

As I see, there is no remarks about the notification language. Perhaps, it is meant that these notififations will be in English, but I'm sure that there are lot of admins who don't know Enlish and even more people who don't know English in the local communities. You can imagine how the situation looks strange when somebody writes something on your page in the language that you don't understand and then removes your sysop rights.

In my opinion, it is very necessary to make these notifications only in the local languages, if it possible. --Emaus (talk) 13:00, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

The notifications will be translated, as mentioned in #Potential repetition. Let's wait to see how the RfC turns out. PiRSquared17 (talk) 13:49, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure why it would be important to make the notification only in the local language. We have many messages available in multiple languages. Why not make it like commons:Template:Welcome, and let each reader pick whichever language the reader wants? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Nobody said it would only be in the local language, or only in English. It will either have a link to the other translations, or to the English version. However, let's wait for the RfC to end, get a message, then get it translated. Then we'll worry about how to distribute the translations. Perhaps like nap:Wikipedia:Cìrculo#Request_for_comment_on_inactive_administrators, but with only the language names/codes instead of the full translations of "Read this message in (language)". PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:54, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
As a point of fact, Emaus recommended exactly that: "it is very necessary to make these notifications only in the local languages" (emphasis added). WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I guess I missed that. Unfortunately, that was not part of the RfC. Going forward, which should we use? English+local or just local? PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Stop press 2013-04-25 suggested modification[edit]

Reading the commentary above, it seems that the first statement in the proposal (green box) is being read as absolute, and not in the context of the succeeding statements. The ambiguity has clearly been an error in drafting. I am proposing that the following change is made to the proposal to remove that ambiguity.
Statement 1 is modified according to the purple text.
FROM

  • To define a period of time for maximum inactivity.

TO

  • To define a period of time for maximum inactivity without community review<ref name="amendment1"/>.

    To "notes" section add ... <ref name="amendment1">Amending clarification made 2013-04-26<br /> * Initial statement: ''To define a period of time for maximum inactivity.'' * Amended statement: ''To define a period of time for maximum inactivity without community review'' as part of the request for comment consultation. </ref>

If there is no opposition to this modification, or there is significant support versus opposition for this change, then I will make the change in 24 hours. If there is significant opposition, then the status quo will remain. — billinghurst sDrewth 04:11, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Support your change QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed. In my opinion community may overwrite this decision in both ways — either by establishing stricter activity levels or by keeping rights of a user who is considered inactive within those rules (for example, admin rights of Rydel, founder of be-x-old Wikipedia, that are kept as a tribute although he died 5 years ago) — NickK (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done with a grammar correction. [1]billinghurst sDrewth 05:28, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
If you update /Summary I'll re-mark it for translation. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:43, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done [2]billinghurst sDrewth 06:25, 27 April 2013 (UTC)