Requests for comment/Activity levels of advanced administrative rights holders/Summary

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To comment on this RFC (Request for Comment), please see the main proposal.

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  • who may have used their rights in the past, however, are no longer active on the wiki where they maintain such rights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

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 oversighters 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 21 May 2013