Stewards' noticeboard

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Welcome to the stewards' noticeboard. This message board is for discussing issues on Wikimedia projects that are related to steward work. Please post your messages at the bottom of the page and do not forget to sign it. Thank you.
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Stewards as ambassadors (or thoughts on IA granting change)[edit]

I'm of the mind that project security is a legitimate foundation function and so it's with-in the foundation's purview to make a change in how/who can grant IA. I think consulting with the stewards is also a reasonable enough step though also consulting with the communities whose crats are impacted seems like a no brainer. I'm curious why they didn't. That said, if Stewards are going to be consulted in cases like this I wish they would have supplied the "Maybe you should talk to the communities" feedback of the type now being suggested in the phab ticket. I'm guessing that Stewards gave feedback more in the realm of "we have capacity to do this work" rather than taking on the role of ambassador. Perhaps Stewards didn't sign up to be ambassadors but if the foundation is going to treat them as such they either need to no do it (i.e. not provide feedback in situations like this) or to make an attempt to represent the projects on whose behalf they're speaking. Or perhaps my guess about what kind of feedback offered is wrong. However, as someone who serves as an ambassador to the foundation for a particular project (as a sitting Arb on enwiki) I do think this is a valuable role for stewards to play and I hope that they see it as a fit. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:38, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Indeed. Stewards aren't a GovCom. In hindsight it wasn't okay with the whole global renamers debacle and it's not okay now. (Happy to elaborate what I mean more offwiki, I don't remember how much of this aired onwiki versus offwiki). --Rschen7754 18:06, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Stewards will always fill the strange role at the top of the global hierarchy communicating between the Foundation and the community. Because they are volunteers, not necessarily selected for that type of role, and not necessarily interested in that role there will always be some cases that go well (such as global renaming, which I think was one of the best examples of top-down leadership that led to a good change) and some that don't.
More fundamentally, though, the Wikimedia community has repeatedly demonstrated that it hates the status quo and hates any attempt to change it. There's no point in opining about whether the role of stewards is good or bad; roles on Wikimedia evolve through necessity and common practice and will continue to do so, and no attempt at top down or bottom up policy formation is going to change that. – Ajraddatz (talk) 18:39, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
I'm afraid that you're forgetting the initial global renamer elections, SE2015, and all the events that led up to it (and that I'm sure continued after I resigned). Communication is okay, but in this case stewards should have made more clear, presumably, that they were not sufficient for ticking off the "we consulted the community" checkbox. --Rschen7754 18:46, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Can you point to anything in particular? Candidates in SE2015 for whom there were significant issues related to global renaming? Evidence of widespread community discontent with the initial elections/process? I remember some roadbumps, for sure, including many that were internal to the stewards group. But I also remember the establishment of a system that still seems to be working now, and giving general hints towards insufficient consultations doesn't help me remember any better. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:40, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
As anything discussed on stewards-l is confidential, no, I can't. Which is the problem: consequential policy decisions like this need to be made onwiki, because of consensus and transparency - not on a private mailing list or in private discussions with the WMF. And while there are reasons to communicate and discuss things with WMF, stewards are not elected to make policy decisions like this. If we think they should, maybe we need to change the Stewards policy. --Rschen7754 00:37, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
Comment Comment Stewards implement consensus, just like anywhere else. Either based on consensus policy; or based on process that allows the development of consensus. They don't make policy, though they may propose policy. They do make operating processes based on community consensus, be it from discussion or agreed policy. It has been my experience that they have been a source of consultation for their area of knowledge and operations (like any other group); they have been confidentially informed of situations and implementations where it impacts their duties. They are stakeholders, and participate in stakeholder management.  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:11, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
I'm afraid that you are saying that community consensus does not have to come from the community. I hope this is a misunderstanding. --Rschen7754 00:16, 14 May 2021 (UTC)
No Rschen7754, if I was vague my apologies. There is active consensus—current discussions; there is historical consensus—our policies and agreed practice. Stewards/Crats/Admins get to operate within those boundaries. If they hit a novel situation they should consult and get a consensus. That consensus can be affirming an action, or requesting permission to act.  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:48, 14 May 2021 (UTC)
  • @Barkeep49: Background? Seems you are starting a conversation halfway through. Or has this change just been bugging you to now have an opinion on IA and stewards?  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:55, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
    @Billinghurst: fair point. The background is this phab ticket. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:30, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
    @Barkeep49: Thanks indeed, quite concerning. Stewards do indeed need to push back and tell them to talk to the community, so I hope that it occurred on this occasion. It is important to stewards to remember that they have a role delegated, but it is always about implementing consensus. They truly need to be aware of mission and power creep. I hope that they are able to be that reflective and responsive.

    The WMF staff's approach to "management by phabricator" is a concern. They have many more staff now, and many are seen less and less. Seems that the more there are, the more that they make decisions behind closed doors. The days of decisions by the community ... ???  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:33, 14 May 2021 (UTC)

Are any current stewards planning on responding? --Rschen7754 17:43, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

It's difficult to talk when you have a gag in your mouth. I'll go with the obvious and say that 2FA is and was always a WMF decision and theirs alone and that I agree with phab:T282624#7080456. See also here. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:33, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
@MarcoAurelio: Gag in your mouth? I can understand a requirement for confidentiality, no issue where it is reasonable over matters that need to be kept quiet. I don't agree with "in camera" conversations about proposed changes that can never be discussed where WMF is purporting that you are a point of consultation for the community and stewards are supposedly representing that community. I, for one, would like to hear what the general feedback was provided. It can come in the form a response from stewards to WMF initiated discussions "Stewards were consulted, and robust feedback was provided" or even to say "we gave our candid opinions about the proposed changes, and asked them to consult with the community prior to initiating any actions." Now that conversation is public, stewards should be able to give a reasonable indication of the tenet of their response. Otherwise you face being tarred with the same brush, and it is not reasonable for stewards to lose the confidence of the community for failures in process. It is not reasonable for stewards be gagged afterwards. Maybe Barkeep49 is right and we need to put this to a more general RFC to provide guidance to stewards on their role for the community where it is not currently covered in Stewards.  — billinghurst sDrewth 06:19, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
Where did the confidentiality requirement come from? Is it under the general "stewards-l is confidential" or is it an additional requirement from WMF? --Rschen7754 06:25, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
My message above was not clear, apologies. There's no additional gags appart from the general expectations you both mentioned. As the Phab. ticket says, we were asked for our opinions and some input was provided; but the standard reminder of "maybe you should consider talking to the communities" was also provided; as our role is not to speak on behalf of nobody but to enact valid community consensus. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:01, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
My message was less about what happened in this particular instance (it happened and is on a better path) and more about what happens next time. I would hope that the Stewards are discussing that amongst themselves. If Stewards are like enwiki ArbCom I know how on/off and slow such discussions can be but I hope they are happening. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:36, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
In this particular case it was discussed with the subset of Stewards who attended a regular monthly call with the Foundation and, by extension, those who read the minutes of these meetings. I don't go to those calls as they are scheduled at a poor time for me, but on the very rare occasions that I have, and from other email conversations, I am pretty comfortable that most Stewards most of the time suggest strongly that the Foundation discusses proposals with the impacted communities. We do not want to get caught between the Foundation and a community. However, looking at it from the Foundation's point of view, proposals for global change need to be discussed with someone and not just with the largest project - enwiki. But who represents the hundreds of smaller projects? Maybe global RFCs on Meta are the only way forward. QuiteUnusual (talk) 15:29, 17 May 2021 (UTC)


For notice: I have made a proposal to remove Automatic approval entirely.--GZWDer (talk) 16:56, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

Remove French Wikinews and French Wikibooks from GS opt-out[edit]

See wikinews:fr:Wikinews:Salle_café/2021/mai#Enabling_global_sysops_on_this_wiki (for Wikinews) and wikibooks:fr:Wikilivres:Le_Bistro/2021#Enabling_global_sysops_on_this_wiki for Wikibooks. No opposition (or discussion for that matter) to the proposal, and the wiki appears to be quite small as well (Wikinews), while there is support from a 'crat at fr.wikibooks. Thanks in advance. Leaderboard (talk) 07:57, 18 May 2021 (UTC)

These discussions should stay open for more time. Ruslik (talk) 10:15, 20 May 2021 (UTC)
@Ruslik0: How much longer? I ask so that I can wait till then. Leaderboard (talk) 10:36, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
I think that one month is sufficient. Ruslik (talk) 19:48, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
@Ruslik0: Think you can do it now? Leaderboard (talk) 16:23, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

Local inactivity policies[edit]

Just note that I've re-added English Wikinews as per n:en:Wikinews:Privilege expiry policy, no idea why it was removed some months ago. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:11, 30 May 2021 (UTC)

Is WM:NOP targeting VPSs?[edit]

It's questionable, since I thought they're not public (their usage is restricted to their customers) in most case; such as GCP and AWS. --Semi-Brace (talk) 06:43, 4 June 2021 (UTC)

Generally not but it may be difficult to distinguish them in practice. So, if an IP address is abused then it will be assumed that it is an open proxy. Ruslik (talk) 16:25, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
@Semi-Brace Note it's very easy to spin an AWS/GCP instance and proxy your traffic through it (and to become their customer). Any time you spin an instance there, you'll generally receive a new IP address. It works similar to "normal" VPN – you can't use ProtonVPN without registering with them (and becoming their customer, even if on the free plan), but since anyone can register and use ProtonVPN's services to get new and new IPs, it's considered open as well.
Corporate proxies are different, as they require you to be somehow affiliated with the company (you can't use my employer's VPN without being their employee, for instance).
This is my personal understanding of the policy, and not a statement on behalf of stewards Martin Urbanec (talk) 12:40, 8 June 2021 (UTC)

Add maiwiki for AAR[edit]

Here is the community consensus opened for a week now, could you please add maiwiki for AAR? Kind regards, — Tulsi Bhagat contribs | talk ] 03:58, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

@Tulsi Bhagat: Why does it need to be added? It has no activity policy, thus it will be affected by AAR. --Rschen7754 05:06, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
Oh sorry, my bad. I got something wrong. Kind regards, — Tulsi Bhagat contribs | talk ] 06:22, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. — Tulsi Bhagat contribs | talk ] 06:22, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

Requests for comment/IP editors are auto-blocked on Russian Wikipedia[edit]

The RFC was closed on 18 February 2021‎ by Martin Urbanec stating that The bot had a genuine mistake that caused some non-proxy IP addresses to be blocked. This bug was fixed. There is nothing else to do here., even though the operator of the bot never reported fixing the bot, and quite the opposite, repeatedly denied existence of the bug in his bot. I don't see any indication that the bug was fixed, and Martin Urbanec didn't want to elaborate on this when I asked him at his talk page. Consequently, I would like the RFC reopened. --Crash48 (talk) 17:21, 7 June 2021 (UTC)

@Crash48 I'd appreciate a reminder before escalating the issue to the rest of the stewards. I didn't reply only because I didn't see your message.
I talked to @Q-bit array about their bot, and they admitted the bug and fixed it. Once I confirmed that the IPs I was aware of were unblocked (and not blocked when I edited ruwiki from them), I closed the RfC, as I believed (and I still believe) it is now unactionable.
Before reopening the RfC, I recommend to talk to @Q-bit array first – communication is much more efficient than RfCs. If you wish, I'm happy to act as a mediator.
Sincerely, Martin Urbanec (talk) 12:36, 8 June 2021 (UTC)

SRG backlog[edit]

There's a lot of requests in SRG that have not been taken any action yet, the oldest of which is almost a month old (16 May). MarioJump83! 02:05, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

@MarioJump83: Probably relates to the quality of the requests. Some people jump to requesting blocks when it is not appropriate (for example, dynamic IP addresses, local abuse, very short term abuse), and/or place a big long list of IP addresses. Stewards are responsible for blocking people and fielding the complaints so would typically check such requests by various means and in a thorough, somewhat time-consuming manner. So when the enthusiastic, though not necessarily diligent, place requests based on their limited knowledge it can hinder rather than help the process. [This is not reflecting on all requests there, just some of them. Also noting that I am long not a steward, so I am talking in general rather than knowing exactly where and what is happening in steward-world.]  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:27, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
To me it seems that what is lacking is 1) user education about what is abuse, and what stewards can reasonably do about it. that the template. 2) Modification to the template syructure so that reports that are typically about IPs where the abuse is short term in duration, firstly is more obvious that it is a short term block required, AND autocloses after a day or two, so that that such requests are quietly archived if not actioned. Maybe the ability to set a close date/time in status, or a modified form of status.  — billinghurst sDrewth 03:51, 13 June 2021 (UTC)