Meta talk:Administrators

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Inactivity criteria[edit]

I would like to bring one topic to think about - inactivity criteria.

The current policy (By the way, I didn't find any discussion and/or voting on which it would be based, could anybody point me to the relevant place if it exists? Thanks.) says:

Inactivity

Any sysop inactive on Meta will be desysopped. "Inactivity" is normally defined as fewer than 10 logged actions in the past six months. Desysopping is formally undertaken at Meta:Administrators/Removal. Users who are desysopped may reapply through the regular avenue.

Removal criteria

  • Users who have made fewer than ten edits in the six months immediately before the removal date (April 1 or October 1) are desysopped without notice.
  • Users who have made more than ten edits but fewer than ten actions requiring admin privileges in the same period are given a week to indicate they would like to retain their access. Users in this category are to be notified on the first day, and adminship is removed without notice on the seventh day if there is no response.

I see two issues (apart from possible (see the small note above) lack of proper procedure to create this policy) there:

The first is rather formal: The first paragraph mentions limit of logged actions as a requirement, the bullet list mentions edits as a (primary) requirement and logged actions as secondary. I would prefer that this should be unified and/or reformulated thus it would be clear which requirement is in fact being used.

The second issue is quite essential: Requiring edits for adminship confirmation seems a bit odd to me (and while looking around some other wikis (not all obviously) I didn't find any similar requirement anywhere else; logged actions are mentioned as the only or primary criteria). Adminship gives some extra rights on top of basic user rights, such as (un)deleting or (un)blocking. Thus I believe that eligibility for further usage of adminship rights should be based on usage of those and not on the trivial number of edits.

Consider the following scenario (all users with admin rights): User 1 discusses a lot on Meta, but did just two deletions, User 2 popped around for a week within the halfyear period, did 10 random edits (ie. of his userpage) and 10 logged admin actions and then hibernated for half a year again, User 3 did not find so many relevant or interesting things to discuss, thus made just few edits, but is continuously patrolling eg. against spam, vandalism and test edits, thus deleted ie. hundred of pages and blocked some users.

Now, which scenario testifies the best about the usage of admin rights? I strongly believe that the third one. However, paradoxically exactly the third user is going to be automatically removed such rights, while the first will be "warned" and the second will automatically continue (in fact technically only two calendar days of activity in a whole year, which could be only few hours if spread over the midnight, are enough to be considered "active admin").

I think that the current criteria are significantly unbalanced and do not reflect the reality when being applied, thus I would advocate and speak for change.

Considering that usage of absolute numbers is popular for policies, I would propose for example to use the following set of criteria:

× Logged admin actions
>N M–N <M
Edits >N auto pass auto pass notification
M–N auto pass auto pass notification
<M auto pass notification auto remove

(M & N to be set based on discussion, assuming M would perhaps stay on the current 10)

Thanks for thoughts.

Danny B. 12:58, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Add on based on oppose comments:

The core of this proposal is to remove contradictory statements in the policy and preferably remove dependency on pure edit count which does not reflect usage of admin rights.

Please feel free to throw in your own replacement proposal for criteria if you are not comfortable with the one (table) proposed above, the discussion is not "current policy vs. this single proposal". (BTW, I created that one based on looking around on other policies here and on other wikis while I realized that counting or setting minimal absolute numbers is the most popular method assuming it would be the most acceptable way.)

Danny B. 11:31, 3 November 2018 (UTC)


  • Support Support. I don't think the current method makes any sense. Most admin actions actually only show up in logs, and with the exception of stuff like page protections, do not show up as "edits" at all. Blocking users, deleting pages, etc. are the main purpose of having a user as an admin. It makes no sense that if someone blocked 10 users every week for the last 6 months and deleted 10 pages every week for the last 6 months, that they completely lose these rights just because they've made too few actual edits... they're too inactive? The new proposal makes much more sense to me.--SkyGazer 512 (talk) 14:55, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support. I agree. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:06, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • In principle, something should also be added about when the rules kick in for new administrators. I'm new, was an admin for most of the six-month window, and had no problem fulfilling the criteria. But the way the rules are currently worded, I might have been granted the rights on September 20, and without six edits, had them removed October 1. So new admins either need to be screened on a pro rata basis based on the number of days as admin, or else exempt for the first evaluation period. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:06, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Can we just throw a "or logged actions" on to criteria one to fix this? — xaosflux Talk 15:27, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • This seems too convoluted (see this discussion). Requiring one month talk page and email notices for all people should be required regardless, and it should be limited to admin/OS/CU actions only (as in, meeting the requirement with your OS actions will satisfy the requirement for admin actions). This isn't necessarily a wiki that requires a ton of editing. The limit can be five to make it easy to remember. Nihlus 15:34, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
    This also isn't a wiki that requires a ton of administrators, and due to the global disruption our admins can perform we have a fairly light and easy vetting process, especially when a former admin wants to return after being inactive. — xaosflux Talk 15:38, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose; very incomprehensible proposal. What is "N" even supposed to be? Apart from that, you mention a real problem, namely that technically only two calendar days of activity in a whole year, which could be only few hours if spread over the midnight, are enough to be considered "active admin", but that's a problem that is present with every inactivity policy. The Meta policy is already very lenient and I see no reason to further reduce it. I also, honestly, don't see how it's possible to make oh-so-many admin actions without also making 10 edits - it's not like there is never a user to be warned or something to record or whatever. --MF-W 15:46, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Algebra should not be required to be a bureaucrat. --Rschen7754 18:17, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment Things need to change an old rule for a different meta is not the rules we need for meta in 2018. We have patrolling, abuse filters, silent actions, etc. we have spam and title blacklists. I would agree with Rschen7754 that we don't want arithmetic. I would prefer a simple process. Automate removal (kill it), or only use it where someone has gone completely WMF-inactive. Where admins are borderline for activity, that we look to a simple community confirmation process. No I haven't thought of all the detail, I just don't want to have to battle to keep admins who are doing bits.  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:15, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Can we just change this to logged actions or edits? TonyBallioni (talk) 01:09, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support the table, but do we really need automatic removal without notice?--Jusjih (talk) 01:52, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support the table. Vermont (talk) 02:13, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that "Fewer than 10 admin actions. Admin actions include both logged actions and administrative actions that aren't logged such as edits to protected pages, block threats etc." would be a better definition than "logged" action which creates a bias in favour of (possibly unnecessary/harmful) action. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:50, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I think it is very clear that the community wants a simpler, kinder inactivity process that doesn't remove people who are obviously still around. I think the first step towards that is adding "log actions" to the current 10 edits requirement per six months. We don't need a table for this - just count both edits and log actions. I know a lot of people want more relaxed standards as well, but let's make a change we can all agree with first. Meta is a unique project; people usually aren't primarily active here. We should have an inactivity policy that encourages people to remain, rather than showing them the door immediately after they fall behind an arbitrary threshold. – Ajraddatz (talk) 17:00, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Is it clear? I, for one, think the process is too lenient. --Rschen7754 19:20, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
      • Yes. There is a minority (not a bad thing, I often hold minority views) that wants this enforced strictly, but I think ajr's point is true. Meta admins are usually trusted users who hold sysop rights on other projects and are also involved here and volunteer to help out with maintenance tasks on this project that has significantly less maintenance needs than most. The value add of it is that having more sysops who are primarily active on local projects but who are familiar with meta enables the majority of Wikimedians who may make no edits here to reach out to a name they recognize when they need help here (i.e. when they are getting harassed by a troll after its been blocked locally, which is probably the first time most users learn that meta exists...) This is a huge benefit to the Wikimedia movement.

        I'm all for encouraging people to be more active on meta, but this whole inactivity thing has devolved into a semi-annual joke where highly respected individuals are forced to go through RfA again even though they are active here by any reasonable measure for a project of this sort. It's divisive and does nothing to actually encourage more useful activity, so it pretty clearly needs reform.

        Another solution would be just to do away with the removal without warning and move everyone to the "signature or removed" process for anyone with 10 edits or actions but not 10 of both. I think that would be a nice splitting of the baby. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:24, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose per MF-W and Rschen7754, sorry. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:05, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Alternative Proposal[edit]

Current policy
Inactivity

Any sysop inactive on Meta will be desysopped. "Inactivity" is normally defined as fewer than 10 logged actions in the past six months. Desysopping is formally undertaken at Meta:Administrators/Removal. Users who are desysopped may reapply through the regular avenue.

The next formal administrator review takes place on: 1 April 2019 (update)

Removal criteria
  1. Users who have made fewer than ten edits in the six months immediately before the removal date (April 1 or October 1) are desysopped without notice.
  2. Users who have made more than ten edits but fewer than ten actions requiring admin privileges in the same period are given a week to indicate they would like to retain their access. Users in this category are to be notified on the first day, and adminship is removed without notice on the seventh day if there is no response.

Exception
  • Newly elected administrators are exempt from the first evaluation date following their election. The evaluation criteria apply only to users who were administrators for the full six-month evaluation period.
Proposed policy
Inactivity

Any sysop inactive on Meta may be desysopped. "Inactivity" is defined as fewer than 10 edits and/or logged actions in the six months preceding the evaluation date. Desysopping is formally undertaken at Meta:Administrators/Removal. Users who are desysopped may reapply for adminship through the standard process.

The next formal administrator evaluation takes place on: 1 April 2019 (update)

Removal criteria
  1. Administrators who have made zero edits or logged actions in the six months preceding the evaluation date (April 1 or October 1) are desysopped without notice.
  2. Administrators who have made fewer than a combined total of ten edits and/or logged actions but more than zero in the six months preceding the evaluation date (April 1 or October 1) are notified of their pending desysop.
    • These administrators are given a week to indicate they would like to retain their access. They are to be notified on the evaluation date and are desysopped seven days later if there is no response.

Exception
  • Newly elected administrators are exempt from the first evaluation date following their election. The evaluation criteria apply only to users who were administrators for the full six-month evaluation period.

Hopefully this is less confusing than the table above. Feel free to suggest some tweaks to the wording. Nihlus 22:08, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Pinging prior discussion participants: Danny B., SkyGazer 512, StevenJ81, Xaosflux, MF-Warburg, Rschen7754, billinghurst, TonyBallioni, Jusjih, Vermont, Jo-Jo Eumerus, and Ajraddatz. Nihlus 22:12, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Support - yes please, this is ideal. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:14, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - absolutely. I'm still unclear despite asking several times, what edits some of our administrators are expected to make. There's really not a massive amount of things going on here on Meta that requires administrators to make many edits now, policy is pretty much static (or moves at a glacial pace) so there's not even much in the way of policy and guideline discussions to get involved with. And frankly, with projects losing editors hand over foot, do we want to lose experience over a small number of edits/logged actions ? Nick (talk) 22:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    I don't want to derail this discussion too much, but that's a good question. 99% of my edits are on steward request pages which just happen to be hosted on Meta-Wiki. Most global policy is set, and has been for years now. RFH is the only active place where admin edits are needed; that and RfD, but the latter doesn't have many nominations usually. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:22, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    There are lots of things to be done on metawiki. CentralNotice requests, handle translations (or even translate pages yourself, if possible), protected edit requests, any user can make 10 or more reverts on 1 or 2 days easily. Matiia (talk) 22:57, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support This is exactly what I had in mind. Simple, easy to understand, and what the current situation on meta needs. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:19, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support. I would rather to have a one line rule, like “an admin is removed when less than 10 logged actions are performed in six months”. However, the proposed above is better than the current one.—Teles «Talk to me ˱C L @ S˲» 22:27, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • (Edit conflict.) Support Support I'm good with this.
    My only question is about newly appointed administrators: are they exempt from the first evaluation after their appointment, or are they evaluated on a pro rata basis based on the number of days since appointment? Either one is fine with me, but we just ought to say which one it is. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:29, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    I think exempting them would be the simplest approach. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:44, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    Agree, call out that this only applies to administrators that were admins at the beginning of the period. I don't think we have to worry about gaming that as anyone trying to resign and rejoin will be whacked with trout on their RfA. — xaosflux Talk 00:22, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • 'Support Support. I actually like this better than the proposal above. It still achieves the main purpose of the OP, to include logged actions, as well as a secondary purpose, to give a week's notice for almost all cases of inactivity desysopping. And of course, it's much simpler than the proposal above, which I also like.--SkyGazer 512 (talk) 22:42, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support Great. Vermont (talk) 23:39, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support with some notes: (1) where did the "may" come from - whose discretion is being allowed for here? (2)Logged actions should probably "publicly logged actions" for transparency. — xaosflux Talk 00:02, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: I used may to show that it is not a definite removal of rights, as in "it may happen based on the criteria below." I can clarify that if you think it is important. Nihlus 00:08, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    @Nihlus: OK seems fine, I think 'publicly' should be non-controversial, that we shouldn't be counting things most people can't see like oversightings, redacted logs etc. Similarly, edits could be 'live edits' as we shouldn't tell observers oh well so-and-so has 10 deleted edits but you just can't see them. — xaosflux Talk 00:20, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    I don't see why those would be disqualified. They can be verified by multiple parties if some people are unable to see them. Activity is activity as long as it occurred. Nihlus 01:58, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose because this means that an admin could delete 2 pages a year and still retain the flags. There is something to be said for community accountability and being involved with the Meta community. (If anyone tried this on enwiki I am sure people would be up in arms. I'm not sure why it's okay on Meta). --Rschen7754 01:59, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    Meta isn't content-oriented. A user could be active (and keep up to date, and remain in-the-loop) and make 5 edits a year on meta, or even less. Vermont (talk) 02:12, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    This is merely a rework of this process. If you wish to completely desysop users for different activity requirements or set up a procedure by which the community can vote administrators out, then I suggest you propose something to that effect. Enwiki and Meta are entirely different, and any comparison between the two makes little sense. It would be helpful if you provided suggestions on how you think this can be handled appropriately. Your two opposes on this page seem to be knee-jerk opposes without much reason being put behind them. Nihlus 02:22, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    I have held adminship on both enwiki and meta, FWIW. I think we need to get past this fuzzy notion that we don't dare take someone's rights away or they will be chased from Meta never to return. Tools are to be used, and are not a sign of status. Moreover, administrators are supposed to be accountable to the community. I have always found it weird when admins use their tools in a sort of detached way (think about this: why is Meta not a global sysop wiki?) I doubt that any of my proposals would be seriously considered at this point, but I would move towards what Commons uses as there is actually some teeth in that inactivity policy. --Rschen7754 05:44, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    Is that the same Commons activity policy which only requires logged actions and not logged edits, by any chance ? The same activity policy which you can easily game by closing a handful of DRs in a five minute window without actually having to do anything more than click some buttons (i.e not actually type anything on your keyboard). Nick (talk) 09:12, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    FWIW, meta admins can currently make zero admin actions and keep the tools, so the argument they could make 2 deletions isn't very convincing to me at least.

    On the global sysop point: I know the theory behind that (i.e. meta has a distinct community), but I've always found that explanation wanting and honestly not very convincing at least within the last few years. Meta for all intents and purposes does not have a distinct community apart from those who are regularly involved in global tasks or discussions in some capacity. I'd personally support making meta a GS wiki because of this. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:16, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose, way too weak. --MF-W 08:38, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment This wiki is so mature in its content and its approach, and I truly doubt that people retain their rights for the glory or the pay scale. Edits here are somewhat inconsequential; one can add ten welcome messages and tick off that aspect without issue, so I don't value the criteria particularly. If someone has less than ten logged actions as an admin, then they are not adminning. If someone has less than ten logged actions, that should be put before the person, and/or the community, and I have seen a confirmation process work well, and would feel comfortable with having that review where someone is on the borderline. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Billinghurst (talk)
    I actually wouldn't be opposed to some form of reconfirmation for those on the "edge" so to speak, as, looking through the current admins, there are a few that don't seem to be particularly interested in the actual duties of adminship. Perhaps two periods in a row of low activity can trigger a community discussion based on a bureaucrats judgment of the admin's actions. I just wouldn't necessarily want it to become some form of RfA Part 2 for the admins though. Not sure if there are any existing policies on a wiki out there that work, but it wouldn't hurt to evaluate them. Nihlus 09:44, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I would agree with Teles' "one line rule" proposal above, but, in my opinion, the proposal here does not solve any problem and instead almost removes all activity requirements by setting the threshold for automatic removal to 0. It is remarkable how much hysteria there has been concerning possible "attack surfaces" during the interface admin debates, while allowing near-dormant admin accounts appears to be totally fine. --Vogone (talk) 17:10, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Meta needs better administrators, not more. Guido den Broeder (talk) 23:42, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
    Note for any closer: This oppose is merely a retaliatory oppose for Guido not getting his way on the Public speakers page. Nihlus 01:10, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
    I don't think making ad-hominem comments will help your case. FYI, I've said this a dozen times before. Guido den Broeder (talk) 01:17, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
    That's not what that means, but okay. Nihlus 01:18, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm basically in agreement with Vogone, Rschen7754 and MF-W here, so I cannot support this proposal either, sorry. I would also like to see a mechanism to remove admins not using the tools to prevent the situation Billinghurst describes above, somewhat to what happens in Commons with those that signed to keep the tools, but failed to make usage of the tools in the next inactivity round. In any case, I agree with StevenJ81 above that we should make a paragraph that states that newly appointed administrators are exempted from the next inactivity round to be held inmediately after their appointment. Thank you, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:05, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Vogone, i cannot support this proposal. --Steinsplitter (talk) 14:43, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

New administrators[edit]

It seems (whatever else happens) that people are comfortable inserting the following:

Newly elected administrators are exempt from the first evaluation date following their election. The evaluation criteria apply only to users who were administrators for the full six-month evaluation period.

If that is true, then I will add this to both the current policy and the proposed policy. StevenJ81 (talk) 20:05, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done StevenJ81 (talk) 15:51, 11 December 2018 (UTC)