Meta talk:Administrators/confirm

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Tired of this[edit]

I'm starting to get tired of confirmations. Looking at the current page, people are arguing to keep user rights for people who have either never used the rights, or last used them well over a year ago. We have an inactivity policy for a reason - why are some people above the rules? The whole point of these confirmations is to remove people's rights that are not being used actively in the community, to ensure our admin team are all familiar with each other and can work well together. What I'm seeing is people making unnecessary exceptions to the rules - Brion Vibber and Tim Starling do not need local admin rights. Not only do they seldom use them, they have them already under a global right. They are completely redundant, so in all honestly, should just be removed now without discussion. Another issue is with Jimbo, who I proposed lose his rights on Babel. Jimbo doesn't seem to understand he has sysop rights as a steward already, and he has never used his bcrat flag, and didn't give a reason for wanting to keep it. Our philosophy is get it if you need it, lose it if you don't. Inactive people, who people are for some reason voting keep for, do not need an admin flag.

So in order to stop this silliness once and for all, I propose that every 6 months we do something similar to Commons: we look at every admin who has not made any edits/logs in the past x months, and if they do not meet a certain criteria, they are removed without a vote. All this voting every 3 months is tiresome, and causes a lot of unnecessary drama.

This way would solve the problem when someone is up for confirmation at a certain time every year, preventing them from making null edits in order to cancel out the inactivity. If every admin was looked over regularly, we wouldn't have that kind of problem. There's also the problem with separate rights. If someone literally just gained a user right, the right would be ignored in looking at how active they are until they'd held the right for x months. This is currently a problem with EVula on the current confirmation. Perhaps if he'd held the rights longer, he would have made one action. But we're judging him from a period of less than a year, which may not be fair.

I think I make a rant every time one of these confirmations is up, but nothing ever seems to change. I think this whole system needs a complete revamp; remove the voting, set some basic criteria, deal with every admin that does not meet it. This voting has to stop. Majorly talk 16:24, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely agreed! Both my other home wikis remove inactive admins without a vote- a far more efficient and effective system. Note that on Commons, admins who respond to the notification that their activity is being removed are exempted (quite possibly the silliest requirement, as it removes all the teeth from the inactivity policy - I would not want something like that here).  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 23:37, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm obviously biased in regards to my own situation, but I'm in total agreement that reconfirmation discussions for Brion, Tim, etc. are a total waste of time. Any userright higher than Steward is, in my opinion, irrelevant when it comes to reconfirmation. We need to keep those people out of the regular "ranks"; a newbie who only knows that they need sysop help from someone shouldn't be asking Brion directly for something that anyone else can do (for example, he has better things to do with his time than protect someone's page for them). Regular stewards being up for reconfirmation? Largely irrelevant, since they have access to the rights on an as-needed basis anyway, but I can't quite bring myself to say that they're pointless; but for Jimbo, who's likely to never not be a steward? Come on, that's just silly. EVula // talk // // 00:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is not with user right confirmations, I believe this is needed, but the problem might be with admins confirmations where a major problem is that some admins/crats don't do anything throughout the whole year but when confirmation times are near, they somehow magically get active just to save their hineys' and after the confirmations finish, they get back to being lazy, that should really be discouraged and to do that, we must make sure when we support or oppose removal that the user has been 'consistent' as an admin an crat rather than basing your opinions on recent developments. This problem exists on all wikis with a de-sysop policy and honestly, this s the problem. I remember a few confirmations a few months back where the users promise to be active during the confirmations and everyone voted to keep them but after the confirmations ended, these users were no where to be seen, which I find disgusting, dishonest and deceiving and regarding Tim/brion and others, its about time all their rights are removed from all the wikis they are in and be assigned their global sysadmin rights. I remember a recent username attack on wikimedia and since there was no stewards online I was desperate and so I went to Tim to ask for his help since he is on the stewards list and he truly completely ignored me which made me realise its about time to clear out the trash. why do these devs need so many rights across so many wikis anymore, I know it was necessary previously when we didn't have CentralAuth, but now it seems redundant. I would like to start a new vote (sadly) to get rid of rights from those users that would no longer need that right i.e the developers only. RobH, Kate, Tim and Brion SHOULD be removed from the stewards list since they are not actually elected stewards and secondly, there are some devs which have rights on wikis they don't need mainly Checkuser rights or sysop rights and it should be removed because they already have global rights as sysadmins....--Cometstyles 01:09, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
You can't think of this as a vendetta against all those who do not meet your standards. We have a policy and that's what we apply it to. It doesn't matter to us if they don't do anything the whole year except for enough to get them through. Cbrown1023 talk 03:18, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The Commons policy of asking to retain only gets you exempted once... if you continue to do nothing at all, you will eventually lose your rights. I guess my desire would be to see a policy that if you are active on Meta, you can retain the rights the community granted you. All or nothing. I admit that is at least in part because of my own situation. I'm active here, I participate in discussions, I vote, I edit things, including things that you need to be an admin to edit, but I don't have a lot of 'crat actions... so does that mean I should lose 'crat? Not really, at least not in my view. If we are to have confirmations, I'd almost (ideally) rather see them be about whether the actions that were done were actually good ones (radical suggestion, if someone doesn't use their rights at all in that scheme they can't well have done any bad actions, can they?) that helped the wiki. ++Lar: t/c 03:31, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I guess I agree most with you then, Lar. Cbrown1023 talk 03:36, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with Majorly's proposal to remove the vote. The reconfirmation cannot work if people keep coming asking for exceptions for some, when, in fact, everyone has work hard and for free for wikimedia. Hillgentleman 03:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Agreed, and I also think Lar makes an excellent point in questioning the definition of "activity"; someone that's at least active in participation here (voting, commenting, etc) is more likely to notice a particular need when it comes up, versus those that aren't here at all. Is there any detriment to the project if we have a slew of inactive bureaucrats?
      The other thing that I find interesting is that the emphasis placed on keeping the 'crat bit is wildly disproportionate to the amount of emphasis placed on getting the 'crat bit. I understand that it's not a trophy, but... really, why do we even bother drawing the distinction between the two? In theory, I could have my 'crat bit removed and, in two months time, get it back again (it would be a supreme waste of time for all involved, of course, and I probably wouldn't even bother, but still). At this point, it seems a bit silly. EVula // talk // // 04:26, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    All that says to me is that we need to reconsider the current process for adding bureaucrats. The problem there is not the inactivity policy, but rather the lack of real RFBs.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 13:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Yes, I'm starting to think that perhaps we have too many bcrats, if the policy is so strict as it is. It doesn't seem fair to remove someone because they never got a chance to use their tools. How many bcrats are there, 30 something? And how many actions a year? Fewer than 30? Majorly talk 13:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Why don't we just abolish the entire "crat" level and add all the privledges (makesysop etc) to the administrator level? EVula // talk // // 16:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    I'd be happy with that. We've never (touch wood) had a rogue admin on Meta-wiki, and with all the actions being reversible, if there ever was one, they could be stopped quite easily - and we have the unusual benefit on having stewards very active here. Majorly talk 17:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Majorly says, we have a few 'crat actions (I never use the makebot, p.e.). In many Wikipedias, p.e., the number of bureaucrats is limited (5, in pt:wp), and they have much more 'crat actions (bots, renames, make sysops, discussions). The EVula's propose is a start about a new policy from 'Crats on Meta, I think. Alex Pereira falaê 17:13, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Stewards are rarely active on meta-related stuff, why get rid of a group just because the "inactive" lot aren't bothered to use that right. I may support a policy where a user will choose to remove his crats right if that person realises he/she will never get to use it. Why have it and show it off as a trophy but never use it?. Majorly also mentioned the number of crats we have, yes its high and only about 6 or so crats are actually active but we also have inactive crats on larger wikis who never do anything because they know they will never lose their rights since those big wikis have no de-sysop/de-crat policies, why trying to fix something on meta which isn't broken?....--Cometstyles 20:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Meta formerly had a fairly conventional 'crat selection process, and a reasonable (not too large, not too small) number of 'crats. The community decided to experiment with a somewhat different selection process, (ask for it, if you're an admin with some experience here, and you get it) since admins here, almost by definition, have more experience elsewhere than their edits HERE would indicate. That process was, IIRC, suggested, or at least advocated, by Majorly. I think most of us that participated in the discussion thought "why not? ... we can always change it later". Well, now it's later, and Majorly (at least by my read) is one of the voices saying maybe it didn't work out perfectly... and so am I. We have 30 'crats. We need to either go back to a model where we select crats deliberatively, and then hold crats to an activity level, or we have to reaffirm the "cratship HERE is not the big deal it is elsewhere" and then not hold crats to the activity level. Right now we're a bit schizophrenic. I myself am not keen on abolishing 'crats entirely and transferring permissions. We already had an experiment with some of that and it did not go well, and the permissions were taken away again.

Personally I'd rather have fewer crats that did more work, instead of a bunch that only dabbled. Why? because practice makes perfect. On Commons ( I know, I know, you're all tired of hearing about Commons, but it's a good example) there are only a few crats and promotions, renames, bot flaggings are done fairly crisply I think. Everything is done in a given place, documented, archived, the formats of promotions are the same, etc. etc. I think that's goodness, because it means people can consistently look stuff up. Majorly did some amazing work here to get the archives straightened around IIRC, but are they still in perfect shape, or did they deteriorate again? Or do many hands make randomness? If there were fewer crats here I think the timeliness would not suffer, but the quality might increase. Not because anyone is a bad person, but just because ... practice makes perfect. You get in a groove. If we go to only a few, and the community chooses to retain me, I would definitely work here, as I have at Commons, to make sure that things remain crisp. ++Lar: t/c 21:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

But!!! that said, I'm also ok with keeping the current "loosey goosey" system, if we drop the activity requirement. Just judge people during confirmation based on whether they are weenies or not. If someone is gone gone gone, yes, pull the bit, but don't let's have people racing to do one rename so they can keep their standing. ++Lar: t/c 21:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy for people to keep rights, but I don't think we should be judging people's rights separately. Either you keep both or lose both. In EVula's case, he is somewhat active, but just hasn't found the time to use bcrat tools as much as others. Since he is fairly active, it would seem silly to remove bcrat rights because he may come across a rename that needs doing. It's not like he's untrustworthy to do a rename. I said something similar for FrancoGG the other month - he wasn't that active, but he made a few reverts/deletes during confirmation. If his rights had been removed, he would not have been able to continue. Though I favour people losing rights if they never use them, I think some people are overly strict with activity requirements. Some of us have other things to do other than sit on Meta-wiki all day long. So in summary, I'm happy with people keeping bcrat rights, as it would be too much hassle removing. But we should count admin and bcrat as one lump thing, and either have both, or none. And of course, per my original comment, we should not be voting on this, we should be doing similar to what Commons does. Majorly talk 21:45, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Totally agree with Majorly regarding activity being based off edits+admin+crat combined, rather than individual things. Daniel (talk) 23:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I find it hard to do admin tasks as much as I'd like to, because everyone else is too efficient! I don't sit on meta: all day either, but do check in usually at least once a day. xaosflux Talk 01:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree as well. So do we have a consensus forming here that perhaps we should make an effort to change policy (that presumably requires a wider consensus, but we could perhaps agree it should be changed and hammer out what the changes ought to be, and then put them forward)? ++Lar: t/c 05:39, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Meh, whatever the decision is, I'd rather keep the 6 month rule policy in attaining cratship intact, no changes needed there, but if a user is in confirmations, he should be judged wholly on his admin edits and log rights and even if the user isn't an active crat, he may keep the right "if", he is an active admin..--Cometstyles 05:53, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I think there is agreement that confirmations are not a very good idea, and it would be better to remove inactive people in another way. Before this goes stale as what normally happens, we need to decide what the criteria for removal are, and when such removals would take place. As much as people apparently hate polls, I think a poll would be a great way to do it, with options for people's idea of activity, and the most popular one is the one we pick. Majorly talk 14:47, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I am in agreement with Majorly here. But I would note that I think EVula's idea of merging rights is not a good one. Such development would be completely superfluous. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:46, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    • That was only in response to the idea of each right being judged separately; I'd much prefer we gauge activity by more than just individual logs (as Daniel said, edits+admin+crat). EVula // talk // // 16:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I measure activity by sysop actions for sysop, and similarly for the other bits - not edits (& in fact, that is what the policy says). Any deviation from that would not be welcomed by me. I would say less than 10 relevant actions in the previous 6 months would be good, and one can simply use the admin stats tool to generate a list (& check if each person is doing {{editprotected}} requests or something which wouldn't show up there). Easy as pie.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 18:42, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I find this entire discussion ridiculous. It's Meta adminship. It's not a content project. It's not even a very active wiki. It's adminship at Meta. If it were up to me, we would abolish the entire practice of removing rights as it's unnecessary and a waste of time. There's no issue with people having +sysop here, even if it only comes in handy once every five years. Adminship is about trust and all that. --MZMcBride 07:00, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I do not trust people who get admin rights and never use them. Likewise, I do not trust inactive people who have user rights, and cling on to them. Adminship is not a reward you keep forever. If you feel it's a waste of time, go and do something else. There's a lot of people who think it's a very important issue. Majorly talk 13:06, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
You honestly believe this is a very important issue? --MZMcBride 17:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and it's something every project needs to look at. Adminship should not be indefinite. Majorly talk 18:19, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Simply imagine if someone stood for RFA saying "I think I've done such a good job that I deserve this trophy. I may not use it very much, but I want to keep it forever." No, that RFA would be a lesson in masochism. We appreciate the work various people have done for Meta, but if they're no longer doing it then they simply do not need the tools any longer. This has been discussed over and over again on this and other projects. Here, we have a consensus that adminship should not be permanent, and inactivity is a valid reason for removal. Let's make that process more painless for the future.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 18:55, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

If the criteria is simply activity here, I'm on board. As soon as it became "admin actions" or "'crat actions" I'm less keen. But yes, I'd like to see us move from a voting process to something a bit more mechanical, but with allowances for community override for whatever reason. ++Lar: t/c 18:51, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Can I ask why you think editing is activity enough? I can imagine someone standing for RFA saying "I'll stick around, but I'm not really going to use these tools." Maybe they will, maybe they won't - regardless, the sysop tools are for doing sysop actions, not just to have. Would that person end up with the tools? I hope not. If someone isn't using the tools then they simply aren't needed - whether one discovers that the tools aren't needed before the RFA (as in this example) or afterwards (as in the confirmations) seems to me to be irrelevant. Thus, editing (apart from editing admin areas) is not the correct measure - sysop actions (including sysop edits) is. Whether we want to split off bureaucrat actions separately is another question - if we're going to continue with the "ask for it and get it" method then I don't think that'd make sense. But then again, I don't think that method makes sense.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 19:45, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Because though someone may be active, it is not always possible to make x deletions and y right changes in z amount of time. Sometimes there just isn't anything there. (And I don't intend to start on the blacklist). It should not be a case that someone has to look for something to do in order to keep the admin right. If they are here fairly often, they may come across a page that needs deleting. If they are trusted, then it is silly to take away the admin tools just because they don't use it all the time. Some people are busy enough, but still find time to contribute to Meta occasionally. When they do, I think they should be able to delete something if they see it. Majorly talk 19:54, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Contrary to the claims, there's plenty to do without looking to the blacklists, though that's one sorely neglected area. Of course, if it were the case that there isn't enough work to go around then we wouldn't need so many sysops, and we could safely remove some. However, in the real world, there is no such shortage.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 20:02, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I only ever requested adminship to deal with ordinary run-of-the-mill vandalism and test pages. If there is nothing there to do, I don't do it (hence I sometimes go for a few days without editing Meta, though I check RC every day). I think removing people, despite editing, is rather spiteful (for what of a better word...), and will simply inconvenience them should they happen to come across something that requires admin rights. I'm all for removing inactive people, but active people? I'm just not seeing what positive point it has, and can see many negatives. Majorly talk 20:24, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Majorly's comment of 19:54, 13 January 2009 (UTC) is exactly right, in my view. Thanks! ++Lar: t/c 01:15, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

Given the above, how do we move forward? Do we have a consensus among us for change? If so, what next? ++Lar: t/c 18:51, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

There is certainly consensus for change. We just need to decide how to determine inactivity in people. A poll would probably be a good way. Majorly talk 19:00, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I will NOT support the removal of confirmations because that will mean a right becomes Permanent which is something i totally disagree with, find another means because this was a workable policy and it failed because we have more inactive people who supported the removal of this idea...--Cometstyles 20:16, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
No, inactive people will still be removed, we just won't vote on it. If there is an admin you have a problem with, bring it up on Babel or create an RFC. Majorly talk 21:48, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


I find also the these confirmation like the are now are not a good idea. I suggest to keep it very simple. Do not look of particular user rights are used or not. Only look of that user is still around or not. If a user has not been seen in X years remove all rights. That is all. See no need to make it more complicated. --Walter 21:40, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
This is the approach I support as well. And if there are huge backlogs of unfun stuff, jawbone people to get with helping. (I don't exclude myself from needing nudging from time to time...) ++Lar: t/c 01:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Daniel (talk) 01:24, 14 January 2009 (UTC)