Meta:Requests for comment/Adding a local rollbacker flag or alternatives

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The following request for comments is closed. The proposal to create a 'patroller' user group passed with ten votes in favor and none against. With regards to the first proposal, proposal 1.1 (standalone rollback permission), it was the second most supported one with 6 votes in favor and 2 votes against. The proposal 1.2 (add rollback to autopatrolled users) had no support.

Statement of the issue[edit]

Currently the only local volunteer user group on Meta that has access to rollback right is Administrator.

In order to use the feature on this wiki users have to either become a sysop here, which requires a considerable amount of activity in Meta's meta-space (as opposed to participating in editing global-community oriented pages such as Steward requests/Permissions or global Requests for comment) as well as cross-wiki activity, or become a global rollbacker, which requires a considerable amount of cross-wiki vandal fighting (perfectly participating in Small Wiki Monitoring Team activity eagerly for a couple of months).

While the options work for some number of users, they do not for others. We have a recent ongoing example with Asaf/Ijon requesting the non-existing local flag at Wikimedia_Forum#Standalone_rollbacker_permission.3F (permalink), being sent to request the global flag instead, and currently being rightfully opposed in the nomination (permalink) for lack of x-wiki CVN activity.

There are JavaScript powered alternatives such as Twinkle, but it makes no sense to find workarounds for something in our power to change, besides scripts sometimes take time to load (especially when using mobile data) and generally are not always stable enough.

I remember experiencing the issue when I was not yet an administrator myself, and the past no-decision discussion shows that there are people who would like to have access to the permission.

To provide an example of potential bearers of this flag, I would name a big Wikimedia project 10,000k+ edits sysop with 50 edits on Meta or a 1000+ edits big Wikimedia project rollbacker with 100 edits on Meta, or a long term trusted volunteer (from Meta-admin to the things mentioned before) in his or her staff role: I would most probably not support either of them at local RfA here yet (nor staffers would get the flag their way) without a very good reason, but I would absolutely trust granting them local rollback. I do not list any concrete usernames, but we have many of such and similar users editing on Meta from time to time.

Thus proposal 1 is the following:

Add local "rollbacker" flag on Meta-Wiki, with the sole permission of

  • Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page (rollback)

The flag should be granted and removed by Administrators

I do not see Meta-Wiki already having many flags as an obstacle. We in no (not negligible) way are limited in numbers of flags we can have, and I believe that another line in Special:Statistics and Special:ListGroupRights are not something to worry about in face of the pros of users who can occasionally help reverting harmful edits.

But as the matter of fact personally I think that the way we handle autopatrolled flag we already give it to the users known to be not vandals (usually trusted users from other communities or staffers who had shown that they know how to edit). While not all of this flag bearers might have experience with rollback I generally would trust them having this.

Thus the 2nd (alternative) proposal:

Extend "autopatrolled" Meta-Wiki flag, with the permission of

  • Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page (rollback)

This would allow to avoid creating a new flag after all. On the other hand this might be too lax and would cause problems in case of right abuse, while there are flags such as Meta:Central notice administrators or Meta:Translation administrators which require and entail more trust and responsibility and would be more fit for this. As it is unwise to stuff add the rollbacker permissions into a constellation of such flags (tA, CN, MassMessage…), I suggest opting for a separate flag for more flexibility if you do not like the second proposal.

As we would need a policy on usage I suggest we borrow ideas c:Commons:Rollback to base our own on, basically we keep it simple. For this reason I do not suggest draft-page at this moment, it is easy to create one around an approved idea if it is approved indeed. I suggest that in case of the separate flag we use RFH for RfP for this as it is a routine assignment based on admin judgement rather than something requiring a week long discussion for each case.

As this is an RfC rather than a vote, you are free to suggest any compromises you see. In case you feel like supporting one of the proposals already presented please indicate so for the sake of easier final decision making.

--Base (talk) 22:24, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • I Support Support this as the proposer, I am personally pro the first of the proposals. I also want the flag to have "Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled (autopatrol)" permission, but it is not very important for me thus I did not put it into the statement body. --Base (talk) 22:24, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
    I am switching the priority to the alternate patroller with rollback rights proposal below. --Base (talk) 19:51, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - this will be useful for those people who revert vandalism here, yet do not meet the requirements (or are not interested in) global rollback or higher permissions. My preference would be for the first proposal. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:44, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
    While I am OK with a standalone rollback group, if we are making a patroller group as described below then the standalone rollback group is not necessary. – Ajraddatz (talk) 07:02, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support as Base stated, scripts aren't always stable and can have its issues. I don't see an issue with an additional flag being added to Meta, and think that having local rollbackers can help reduce vandalism. --eurodyne (talk) 00:21, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I support the first proposal, rather than the second. --Eurodyne (talk) 01:09, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support the first proposal only and Oppose Oppose the second since it would open up the right to a lot of misuse. Another possible alternative would be adding the rollback permission to be included in global renamer, translationadmin, Mass message senders, and centralnoticeadmin. Autopatrolled was added recently to those rights so I don't see the problem with rollbacker being thrown in as well. --Rschen7754 19:23, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
    • Moving to Oppose Oppose both proposals for clarity. --Rschen7754 19:32, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I am sorry but I do not see any pressing need to do this and therefore respectfully oppose both proposals. Vandalism can still be reverted in the old fashion, it requires two clicks instead of one, not much of a burden IMHO. Thankfully we don't face the same huge ammounts of vandalism as larger sister projects face so IMHO our current tools and systems work just fine. Those who really want to help will try to help, with or without flags. If the proposal passes however my preference would be to create a standalone rollbacker group; and I'm fine to handle this over a request on RFH rather than RFA, however I'd like to see a policy with some objective minimum requirements so this is not handled like a candy, in case this proposal passes. Thanks. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:21, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
    • I have never understood this sort of argument in the years that I've seen it presented. This wiki does face a good amount of vandalism from cross-wiki abusers, considering that pages like SRG are hosted here, and this wiki is exempted from global IP blocks by default. FWIW, those two clicks are often separated by lengthy page load if it is a larger page like SRG. Quite frankly, if I hadn't retained my GR flag, I'm not sure I'd bother - JS is so slow and unreliable for me on Wikimedia sites nowadays that I have to keep scripts to a minimum. --Rschen7754 04:34, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
      • I've made an alternate proposal below so it's not just a mere group to rollback things. In any case, while I do not support creating a standalone rollbacker group, I'd go with that option instead of the second option. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 10:21, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I am not totally in favor of the first proposal as I don't see much of a need for adding this local group to Meta-Wiki. However I won't oppose this one as long as we can count on some criteria for granting the permissions locally. Btw, I oppose the "alternative" (2nd) proposal - fighting vandalism has nothing to do with users' ability to have their own edits automatically marked as patrolled. RadiX 03:46, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
    Well, there may not be a huge need for it, but it's a 0-cost way to let some of the people already reverting vandalism here do it a bit easier. For the volunteers! Or something like that. – Ajraddatz (talk) 05:04, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I Support Support the first proposal, I've always been favorable to this, and this time will not be different. I would propose to create a local "rollbacker" flag, with the permissions autopatrol and rollback. I also would propose to manage requests for this flag at RFH. I Oppose Oppose the second proposal.--Syum90 (talk) 09:21, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support the first proposal but Oppose Oppose the second as it can lead to potential abuse of rollback. I think creating a rollbacker flag is a good idea as there are many users who revert vandalism here but are not interested in adminship or global rollback. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 09:49, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support For first proposal, see explanation. Oppose Oppose For second proposal, per above. —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 18:42, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support adding the rollback flag. Oppose Oppose re-purposing the autopatrolled flag to add this function. That's not what autopatrolled is given for. Courcelles 00:24, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Alternate proposal: 'patroller' user group[edit]

If we're going to create a new group, maybe we can make it more productive but just not adding rollback but let them:

  • Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled (autopatrol)
  • Mark others' edits as patrolled (patrol)
  • View recent changes patrol marks (patrolmarks)
  • Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page (rollback)

This will allow folks to do some Special:NewPages maintenance as well. Thoughts? —MarcoAurelio (talk) 10:16, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Alternate proposal: 'patroller' user group: comments[edit]

  • Support Support as proposer. Resolves the issues explained in the first proposal and expands its scope so it's not just a group that can rollback. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 10:20, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support This would reduce the major difficulty currently encountered in accessing the patroller and rollbacker tools. In this project there is vandalism on certain occasions and this would greatly facilitate this task without the need to ask for full administrator tools. —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 18:37, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support equal as the other proposal. --Rschen7754 00:16, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - excellent idea. – Ajraddatz (talk) 01:13, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support although I prefer not to mix up things. Anyway I think it'd better if we use "rollbacker" instead of "patroller" here. RadiX 02:08, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Would be useful to some folks, would not cause harm. Courcelles 00:21, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jianhui67 talkcontribs 13:52, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support This works for me absolutely. It makes sense to create a tad wider scope flag. --Base (talk) 19:23, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
    Syum90, Eurodyne, is this alternative OK with you? You voted for the first of mine proposals while this alternative did not exist. I do not think that it makes sense to create both the rollbacker and the patroller flags considering the configuration of patroller flag proposed. --Base (talk) 19:28, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support per Base --Eurodyne (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support. Totally agree with this proposal.--Syum90 (talk) 06:47, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Policy[edit]

Seeing as this is moving forward, I'd like to propose that, for the sake of reducing bureaucracy, that we create a policy based on what c:COM:Rollbackers and c:COM:Patrollers say. Right to be granted and removed by regular Meta-Wiki administrators. Thoughts? —MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:21, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Agree with rights being granted and removed by Meta admins. I don't think we need so... bulbous a page as found on Commons, but a quick two-paragraph deal covering appropriate use of the bit would be good. – Ajraddatz (talk) 07:00, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Agree with the two points: I think the flag can be handled by regular administrators, and I also think that the mentioned policies from Common are short and concise enough and they could be adapted to Meta easily. Requests for the new permission could be managed at RFH.--Syum90 (talk) 09:00, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

@Ajraddatz, Base, Syum90, and Rschen7754:: Meta:Patrollers as draft. Feel free to expand. Regards, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:21, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

"(...) but can be given to trustworthy users upon request on Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat" It should be noted somehow that the permission may also be assigned to them at the admin's discretion (and not exclusively upon their request on that page). RadiX 11:56, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I'd prefer that the permission be assigned only upon request. It costs nothing for the interested user to post a message at RFH. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:09, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
It wouldn't really hurt things if this was allowed as a secondary option for granting the permission. There is no need for such an extra bureaucracy in some clear-cut cases imo. RadiX 14:58, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I would feel better if it was only upon request, just as with any non-passive user right, since you are responsible for the consequences if the right is misused. --Rschen7754 00:20, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
What would be the difference regarding this case if someone requested the patroller right at RFH and then started misusing it? RadiX 02:12, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
It's harder to fault them because they might not have realized what the button was for. --Rschen7754 04:58, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree with RadiX, the permissions can be easily granted as well as being easily removed by administrators, these permissions do not generate potential damage and their possible abuses can be easily reverted. —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 02:22, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't make sense to add active rights to an account without the consent of the user. For autopatrol, sure, because it doesn't actually change their workflow. But for this they should request or we should ask. I'm not worried about it being abused, it just seems very odd to go around forcing this flag on people. – Ajraddatz (talk) 03:02, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
@Ajraddatz: I didn't mean we should go and add these rights to any trusted/experienced user for the sake of doing it. A strong record of antivandalism work and other routine maintenance tasks would be required in such cases. Otherwise I'd pretty much concur with your view. RadiX 03:34, 20 September 2017 (UTC)