Requests for comment/Locally indef-blocked global sysops

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The following request for comments is closed. RfCs should not mix issues re individual users and policies, it may confuse those who watch the RfC page. Stale, user global right removed, 4 July 2010. --Abd 18:48, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Issue[edit]

I hereby request comments on global sysops who have been locally indef-blocked for vandalism and how to handle such a situation.

This RFC was triggered by the case of User:Innv who hasn't commented, but since this seems to constitute a precedent, I would ask to keep this as general as possible so that the discussion could lead to a general rule/policy to be included on the Global Sysops-page. (I will notify Innv nonetheless) Thank you. --Seb az86556 18:15, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

It appears that Innv was blocked for sockpuppetry and not really vandalism [1]. I think that there are a number of things that need to be followed up with this specific case before we discuss the broader issue. NW (Talk) 19:02, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, he was blocked after making a series of edits with inflammatory edit summaries (sufficiently against policy that the summaries were suppressed - ru:wp seems to be rather strict on this point), which made it appear that he was a sock of a banned user. And there was some discussion on a Russian livejournal community similar to Wikipedia Review where that user talked about using the Innv account as an experiment... –SJ · talk | translate

About Innv in particular[edit]

This was first discussed as a permissions request last month, but not resolved for lack of information. Innv's account may or may not have been hacked, but he seems to have asked to be blocked on ru, and was voting on meta a week later. SJ · talk | translate 12:57, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


I have left requests for clarification for VVV and for User:DR on ru:wp. DR seems to be the last admin who was involved in clarifying Innv's block there. It's not clear to me from the discussions on ru:wp whether Innv's account was hacked, or whether he really consciously asked to be blocked... either way, it seems unlikely that this account will be doing useful global sysop work until Innv posts some sort of explanation (and perhaps a request to recover a hacked account). SJ · talk | translate 12:48, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


DR's statement[edit]

Innv is a well-known sockpuppeter in ru.wiki. He began as Оллэгиуссс late 2006, later changed to Afinogenoff and after many warnings and short blocks he was finally blocked indefinite in May 2007. During 2007-2008 he tried to evade this block by creating new sockpuppets, Innv was one of them. In May 2009 he made an Arbcom request ВП:462, where he apologised for all that he has done before and promised not to break rules and not to create new sockpuppets in return for unblocking his Innv user account. Assuming good faith Arbcom unblocked him and allowed him to work with some restrictions as Innv.

In the late spring/summer 2010 ru:wp account Innv was used nearly only for voting, but at 4th June he suddenly made a number of edits with inflammatory edit summary, that breach ru:wp rules (currently suppressed by Alex Smotrov); used foul language and finally requested to be blocked "Per user request". Because in ru:wp it is not allowed to be blocked "per user request" if user had broken rules right before request, I've notified blocked admin and after his agreement changed the blocking reason .

Later this account was checked by checkusers (ru:Википедия:Проверка участников/Innv 2) to check that the account wasn't hacked. On the next day he used his old Livejournal account "afinogenoff" to publish in Livejournal-community ru_wikipedia (please note, that this isn't ru:wp livejournal forum, but a community moderated and primarily used by indefinite blocked ru:wp users) a post, where he states, that the Innv account was "only a special project" to find out how much wiki-flags can be collected by a known sockpuppet. He confirmed it by publishing parts of letters, that arbcom wrote him during discussion of case ВП:462 and abusing commenting them. DR 14:53, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarifications. SJ · talk | translate 17:46, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
(Unsure what the format on meta is. Move this comment if that's required) "find out how much wiki-flags can be collected by a known sockpuppet" - if that turns out to be an accurate quote, then this "special project"-account should have the flag withdrawn immediately. Seb az86556 23:55, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Please see Meta:Requests for adminship/Innv (removal) for discussion in regards to his sysop tools here. — Dferg 10:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Policy[edit]

Continued global sysop access depends on both activity and the continued support of the Wikimedia community.

Inactivity
Global sysops will automatically lose their access if it is unused for more than six months.
Vote of confidence
Any steward may remove a global sysop's rights at any time if they feel the tools have been misused, or if a request for comment has shown that a significant minority does not trust the global sysop. If this occurs and the global sysop wants the tools back, a vote of confidence shall occur, where the global sysop must retain the consensus of the community in order to return their access.
— Global sysops#Removal - emphasis added

As things are now and as far as I know, Innv has not missused the global sysops tools (correct me if I'm wrong and then speedy remove) notwhistanding there is some trust issues that concerns we, the community. As things stand now, I think that we should start a one week poll to allow the community to voice their comments wether the user should or should not continue having access to the global sysop tools. I intend to do that in ~1 day or so if nobody raises points against that. — Dferg 15:59, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm aware of that policy. It was my understanding that such a request for comment was to be posted exactly in this place, thus I did so. Was that wrong? Or do you think a separate page is required? (Since no-one's ever launched anything like this before, I had no precedent to go by) Seb az86556 16:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Hello Seb az86556. Yes, I think that this RfC is correctly placed and I am sure you are aware of the policy. I also think that the poll should be done on this page too since we are discussing this matter here. My quotation of that part of the policy is with the aim of illustrate the way I think we should follow to determine if Innv should have continued access to the tools he's been given. Regards, — Dferg 17:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Personally, being blocked on another project for being a sockpuppet and then failing to respond to a reasonable inquiry results in a huge lost of trust. I think it is rather clear that such users should not have globalsysop or globalrollback. Innv should have both bits removed. Tiptoety talk 02:54, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I think like you in this and would have removed their bits days ago if I weren't involved in this. However since we can not decide, it's the community that should speak now (& then, we will enact that consensus). I'm opening a poll bellow to look for consensus regarding this issue. --dferg ☎ talk 09:30, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. (@Tiptoety, edit conflict) --Erwin 09:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) To clarify: I agree too with Tiptoety FWIW. --dferg ☎ talk 09:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Tiptoety. Global permissions require a large amount of trust and clue. fr33kman t - c 10:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Poll[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
Ending: July, 17 - 2010
  • Remove both: global sysop and global rollback as per evidence provided by DR and VasilievVV. --dferg ☎ talk 09:30, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove both per #DR's statement and lack of reply. --Erwin 09:36, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove all! Frankly, globally trusted users should only be those that have either had zero blocks anywhere, or have no recent blocks and have shown a massive, permanent change in behaviour/attitude and have shown remorse. fr33kman t - c 10:33, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove per DR's statement. Shouldn't have such wmf-wide tools. -Barras talk 10:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove both per DR's evidence. Pmlineditor  11:18, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove - Per my statement above. User clearly gamed the system and has lost all trust. Both globalsysop and globalrollback should be removed. Tiptoety talk 15:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove (both) inapropriate to allow these rights in the circumstances --Herby talk thyme 15:44, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Again, Remove Remove. My opinion did not change since voting: a female sockpuppet of an indefblocked male user can't be trusted. Even if we are sure that situation has significantly changed and a previously blocked user wants to make a clean start, it obviously shouldn't be a sockpuppet of a different sex — NickK 16:07, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove (see below) Seb az86556 19:00, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove per dferg et al. -- Avi 12:36, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove - Sock puppetry invalidates any election under a new name. The status is based on trust, and trust cannot be given to a sock as a sock is not real. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:25, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove (both) per Dr, dferg. Stephen G. Brown 22:38, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove Per the above comments. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 01:23, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

About this subject in general[edit]

I think that being indef-blocked anywhere should be a strong reason to review whether a user is still trusted (or, in the case of a suspected account hack, trustable). If this is a case of one wiki having a massive internal conflict resulting in some formerly-good contributers receiving strong sanctions, then some cross-wiki mediation might be appropriate. However if a global sysop has truly alienated an entire wiki for any reason, that seems like an indication that they may not be even-handed enough to provide neutral support for the development and protection of smaller wikis.

At the very least, we might set up a guideline of posting a clear description here on Meta of the reasons for a local block of a GS. That way anyone interested in reviewing GS work can see it. SJ · talk | translate 12:46, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me that there could be valid reasons for still being trusted to be a global sysop while at the same time being indef-blocked on a project. However, I agree with Sj that such a block is a strong reason to review the user's global positions. I like the idea of having to post a description on Meta. If someone doesn't think that is a sufficient explanation for the block an RfC can be started possibly resulting in the loss of global rights. --Erwin 09:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I can understand when someone had a bad day, "loses it" for a moment, and gets a short block. I can even understand when someone is at odds with a wiki where one is a regular contributor and has a block-log with more than one entry due to having been there for years and having a long history there. I am quite understanding in those cases; however, getting an indefinite block should in my view require that said user come to meta immediately (without being asked) and explain the situation (without having us guess around). At the least, I would write a rule that says something like "after receiving an indefinite block, a global sysop must, without being asked to do so, inform meta immediately by giving a statement which explains the circumstances of the block. Failure to do so within 24 hours will result in the flag's being removed." Seb az86556 18:59, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • It should be enough to make it clear that we invalidate any global status if it is revealed that the account was an undeclared sock puppet of any form. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:26, 11 July 2010 (UTC)