Requests for comment/Rights and closed wikis

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The following request for comments is closed. See #Result for the closing rationale and the result.

Rationale[edit]

I open this request for comments regarding users with rights on projects that have been closed. For those not knowing the process: when a wiki is closed (locked) it can be only edited by stewards, system administrators and staff users; nobody else. Not even administrators or bureaucrats hence the question: what should we do with those users? Shall they keep their rights, or shall they have them suspended? Please share your thoughts. Thanks for your time. --dferg ☎ talk 17:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

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Comment by Dferg[edit]

I'm personally for removal, simply because they will not be able to use them. Those users won't be able even to edit, they won't be able to do nothing, as everybody else on that project; so IMHO there's no need for them to have access to those tools. --dferg ☎ talk 17:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by Herby[edit]

If the wiki does not exist in a public and meaningful way then I see no reason why anyone on that wiki should have rights (given they cannot use them). --Herby talk thyme 17:55, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

And I agree with DeHexer - if re-opened rights should be restored. --Herby talk thyme 10:14, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by Ningauble[edit]

Since the old rights are ineffectual, they might as well be removed as null and void. If a closed project is adopted at the incubator or elsewhere then it is the right of, and is incumbent upon, the adopting community to institute its own rights. (Furthermore, when it comes to cleaning up closed projects, I fail to understand why they retain the right to display Wikimedia logos. Cf. discussion at en.Wikiquote.[1]) ~ Ningauble 18:42, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by Avi[edit]

I agree with the above. If the wiki closes, it is removed as a viable site from project space and the rights disappear. If the wiki reopens in the future, it is different enough that all rights need to be achieved anew, in my opinion. -- Avi 20:40, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

  • In practice, the backlog for removing closed projects from project space can be measured in years,[2] so I don't think that can be considered true at this time, even in principle. The effective default is that if nobody wants to adopt it, it persists in project space indefinitely. ~ Ningauble 23:01, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
    Well, a closure is not the same as a project deletion. When a wiki is closed it's database is simply locked (can't be edited except by those usergroups mentioned above - gets added to closed.dblist), but its content continues to be visible. When a project is deleted I think his database gets erased, it is removed from Special:Sitematrix and the domain ceases to exist. However, regarding the project deletions, sitematrix removal, etc I might be wrong. I think we should point this to a sysadmin so that he/she can explain us better. --dferg ☎ talk 09:45, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by DerHexer[edit]

Same for me: Rights should be removed but should be restored in case of re-opening. Kind regards, —DerHexer (Talk) 22:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by Lestaty[edit]

Idem DerHexer. --- @lestaty discuţie 23:08, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Comment by Nemo[edit]

As DerHexer said. It's no big deal because local flags are (locally) harmless as well, and removal of flags because of inactivity is not a general rule, but it's good to signal the completely different status of locked wikis. This is easier than changing an unknown number of policies or whatever which e.g. could consider "being sysop on a Wikimedia project" significant for something. --Nemo 07:23, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment by DS[edit]

Well, as DerHexer and Nemo said. In my opinion, most wikis will not be reopened anymore, and the number of users with rights in these wikis is small, so it won't be hard restoring rights. --DS-fax 09:31, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment by Maximillion Pegasus[edit]

I agree with all the above. Rights should be removed from admin accounts on closed wikis. I was an admin on two closed projects myself, but had it removed after they were closed. Maximillion Pegasus 22:12, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment by MF-Warburg[edit]

I agree with the above that the rights should be removed, however I think they should not be restored when a wiki is re-opened - as this will probably only happen after going through the process of Requests for new languages, there will be a community to determine who should become sysop etc., and those who had rights on a wiki when it was closed, might not be active anymore when it's re-opened. --MF-W 12:22, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

General comment regarding restoration of rights in case of wiki reopening[edit]

As it has been a point raised at the proposal, and there are different opinions on the matter I do think this needs individual discussion.

Since wiki-reopening needs to be done via requests for new languages, full discussion and Board Approval is required - old rules have also changed. As Avi said it's a totally different project and thus, in my opinion the community needs to re-discuss if they want User:X as administrator or not. Moreover I do think that most closed projects either will not be reopened anymore or at any near future so the trust deposited in said user time ago might cease and needs to be renewed.

To sum-up: I am not in favour of automatic restoration of rights in cases of wiki-closure for the reasons stated above.

-- Dferg ☎ talk 12:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC) Edited: -- Dferg ☎ talk 10:20, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I am not neutral on the question. Although my remark that "it is the right of, and is incumbent upon, the adopting community to institute its own rights" was in the context of adoption elsewhere; I believe the same principle applies to any wiki inheriting the old content anywhere, even one that is "re-opened" in situ. Except in the unlikely case of a closure that is immediately reversed as a mistake, without loss of continuity, a restarted wiki is a new undertaking by a newly constituted community. ~ Ningauble 15:49, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
My apologies for missinterpretting your statements, Ningauble. I've added you in the right section I hope! Regards, -- Dferg ☎ talk 01:01, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
No need to apologize. My original remark was made before the issue of re-opening in situ was explicitly raised, so clarification/expansion of my thoughts was in order. ~ Ningauble 14:13, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I personally don't see why rights are removed on closed wikis anyways, so I would definitely support re-assigning previous rights to those who held them before the wiki was closed. Ajraddatz (Talk) 01:17, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Result[edit]

The following request for comment is closed as follows:

  • Whereas this discussion have been opened since October 2010 and seems to be a consensus regarding removal of user rights on wikis upon closing.
  • Whereas the new closing projects policy has been approved and considering that said policy in the Closing_projects_policy#Definition_of_actions section defines the actions to be taken upon a wiki closure («Closing a wiki means locking its database so that it cannot be edited by anyone except stewards but all pages are still visible to public. User rights (sysop, ...) are removed and can be restored on user request when the wiki is re-activated.»)

It is hereby resolved that:

  • Per the new closing projects policy, upon closing a project all user rights from local users will be removed without exception and if the project is later reopened they can be restored on user request.

I'd like to thank the Language committee to have taken into count the arguments hereby exposed.

In the following days, rights on remaining closed wikis will start being removed by the stewards as per the policy and this rfc.

-- Dferg ☎ talk 20:09, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

Please use the talk page.