Stewards' noticeboard/Archives/2010-03

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Public places for steward discussions

There don't seem to be many public places for discussions relating to steward activities, though there is always Babel and the Wikimedia Forum.

Topics of interest to me as part of a global community that sometimes is forced to come discuss things on this wiki in a foreign language:

  • how can we improve our ability to assess consensus? obviously this is partly a role of stewards, but members of every community participate in this.
    complicating factors : language barriers, extra attention give to users who can write english to defend themselves; awareness of meta and steward protocols or services
  • how can we improve local empowerment of small communities to create their own administrators and bureaucrats and take control of maintaining their own wikis?
    complicating factors : basic descriptions of wiki principles, and essays about why and how to use wikis, which were essential in founding meta and wikipedia, may not be available in the local language.
  • how can we improve responsiveness to crises (spam, vandals, excess rouge)?
  • it should be easier for anyone in the community to help out as a steward-process clerk. what can be done to facilitate this? are there obvious candidates

There are some good discussions that have taken place on irc or in private which would be productive if discussed somewhere where they can be added to by many people over time. -- sj | help translate |+ 04:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I've found that most of the useful discussion happens on IRC in #wikimedia-stewards which is a public channel. It's a good place for getting advice and second opinions. Angela 10:36, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
That's a good channel for advice and opinions, but not so good for capturing policy or process discussions to work on them over time. And as usual when replacing wiki with IRC, replies are weighted towards short answers, and towards the opinions of people who are present at the time, not towards longer discussion or those who have devoted blocks of time to contribute each week. 23:48, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

A discussion is much faster on IRC than on a wiki. So I personally prefer IRC for such things. --Thogo (talk) 09:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Can the #wikimedia-stewards chan logs be published? As long as the results of the conversation are shared in a lasting public way, fast is good. If it's fast for one person but not helpful to anyone else, it may not be worth the trade. -- sj | help translate |+ 23:55, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Stewardship of requests from quasi-wikimedia sites

There are sites related to Wikimedia which are not handled by the same sets of tools, and over which stewards have no technical control. The concept of stewardship, addressing empowerment and communication, is independent of this, however. It would be helpful to have a single place to organize information about how to work with / get permissions on these sites.

  • Toolserver[s] for running wikimedia scripts and related code. some are community owned, some are Wikimedia owned.
  • Wikimedia and related blogs : Wikizine, the WMF blog, related planets
  • IRC channels and related ops
  • Wikimedia Usability wiki

Just putting an index together would be goodness... go here for this system, go there for this other system... these tend to go stale but would be helpful. ++Lar: t/c 23:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not really sure I understand what you mean here. Do you want a list of tools (not just on the toolserver) that are useful for stewards? That, I think, would be quite useful (and we may discover new ones). If not... I don't get it :D  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Language support

Can people submit requests in any language? In principle yes, but in practice? It's rare that I see anyone even contributing to discussions on request sections in languages other than English. This seems like a part of Meta that should be particularly careful about its openness to native-language requests and communication.

A fair bit of prominence is given to the language support offered by individual stewards, however the following top WP languages are missing:

Ca, Da  [though these have related language overlap]
Ru, Uk 
Sv, Fi 
Ro, Sk 
Id, Ms
Te, Hi, Mr

We also have many key pages for making requests which are only available in English and need translation. For instance, while stewards is in over twenty languages, Steward requests/Permissions is in only one.

See Meta:Babel#Embassy for a related discussion about the Wikimedia Embassy. Sj 01:47, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

At the moment, there are a few editors who do the occasional archival work (myself, for instance). We could use a set of actual "clerks" who are multilingual and willing to work on steward request page translation and (more importantly) help verify requests which may not be covered by a language that a current steward is capable of reading. Personally, I'm quite fine with anyone who wants to put in a permission request in another language. Kylu 01:02, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I would like to see a formal call for multilingual clerks, in part covering the above langs. Perhaps "finding clerks" and defining the coverage we want would be a good monthly project. This isn't a matter of having access to tools, this reflects our need to communicate better with projects where the process for getting local feedback is broken (projects where ther are no local posts on the community portal, even though it is by default the place to put bot requests; projects where there are apparently active admin editors who don't know where their input is being requested, projects where most edits and the main page are fully translated but policy pages are in english!). -- sj | help translate |+ 23:53, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Occasional working sprints?

It might help to have weekend sprints to encourage working through backlogs or take on special projects on many wikis at once. For instance...

  • suggest or help implement standard bot policy on a block of smaller wikis,
  • work through a backlog of cross-wiki vandals/issues,
  • find wikis above a certain size with no active bureaucrats and encourage them to elect one
  • identify core documentation about Steward processes and get them translated

This might help stewards who normally focus on one type of request learn how to be efficient at handling others. And some of these working sprints could be public (i.e., anyone could take part). It's nice to have a steward visit your wiki and point out cross-wiki policy, but anyone can do it. -- sj | help translate |+ 02:15, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. And brainstorming about what tasks to do might be good But care is needed. An example: I miss my standard templates. (language/babel related, for example but there are others) But I have seen some wikis that do not want or like things standardized. Just coming in and laying down a bunch of standard templates might not be received well. (Ditto the bot policy, for that matter...) So some investigation may be needed in advance. Perhaps a process where part of the sprint is doing, and part is thinking about what to do next? ++Lar: t/c 23:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
It might be nice to overhaul the steward policies and processes first, that way the translators have a standing target vs. a moving one. Maybe we could invite all the projects to help our "Meta-Project of the Month Club" or something, where each month we focus on one issue and resolve to finish it by month's end (or, perhaps, at least try?). Kylu 00:58, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I like this idea. It's also a way to help make Meta more useful for others : providing better information about how to get things done across wikis, or on new wikis. Some potential month projects, roughly in order of operation:
* Find local admins/crats : find wikis with 0-1 admins or crats and remedy this. Draft 'default global policy' a la bot policies that new wikis are encouraged to adopt. Perhaps it's useful to have a more widely applied 'temporary admin/crat' for the 1st one. Work with / revitalize the local embassy. Example : the 3500 stubs on ht:wp that have been marked for speedy deletion for quite some time... with active discussion with the creator... but no action one way or another.
* Activate local admins/crats : I see a lot of steward requests that are actually "my local admins/crats are inactive" comments. The right response to this should be finding better ways to spur local contributors to action -- often they have a hard time remembering / learning all of the tasks expected of them. Doing their job for them doesn't help them take more interest... Also, while I like the idea of having global admins, this should not replace a drive for local admins.
* Start local discussion about standards : templates, basic policies, announcement/translation pages. Of course this should not be done without local buy-in. Find / track the on-wiki activity, start a discussion in the wiki's language about a standard set of policies (with explanations of why they are useful/helpful, and the sort of cross-wiki work stewards and others do to help bots and vandalfighters do their work).
-- sj | help translate |+ 23:48, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Steward helper tools

Are there more scripts in the pipeline like the steward javascript tools? Can there be steward bots? There should be a page to discuss what tools should look like, ways to combine multiple special-page interfaces into a smaller number with richer information, &c. Those who don't work on the toolserver may need guidance as to what's being drafted there, as well. -- sj | help translate |+ 23:59, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Steward tools and scripts are listed at Steward handbook#Tools. The proposal for a steward bot was rejected on stewards-l. Feel free to propose new features or scripts on this page. —Pathoschild 20:26:59, 08 March 2009 (UTC)

Special page information

Help:Special pages and related docs don't mention steward special pages. This whole subset of MW code deserves careful description so that others can use it -- both to help improve its modularity and to make it a valuable general library for large-site administration. Any specialized info in / linked from the Stewards handbook should be migrated to help pages as possible.

There's a related discussion at Help_talk:Special_page. -- sj | help translate |+ 01:10, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Apostrophe in page title

The following discussion is closed: apostrophe re-added.

Why did we drop the apostrophe from the page title? Common grammatical precedent would suggest that the apostrophe was more correct. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 01:20, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, OK, your'e right. -- sj | help translate |+ 06:29, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

locking and hiding names

I think locking and hiding usernames should be taken more seriously, especially considering the lack of error message or clear recourse for someone mistakenly locked out. A couple names that have been locked today, presumably as they came through the pipe and before they made their first edits:

Wack Job Nuke

There are all sorts of names out there that I personally dislike, which I would not block if they were editing meta. I don't even dislike either of the ones above; but even if they were more extreme, it seems to me locking is too hardcore a response. I think we can agree that hiding is only for blatantly offensive usernames. So when is locking appropriate?

Even users actively engaged in vandalism shouldn't be locked + hidden -- by current standards they should be blocked, perhaps for a long time; left talk-page messages, and welcome to come back and be good editors...

Changing traditions of how to deal with vandals and troublesome editors should come from proper discussion with the communities in question. I'm not opposed to a projects-wide name policy, but stewards should be following it, not setting it; and the guidelines for good names (something even en:wp is unwilling to lay out very clearly, sticking to "I know it when I see it" and en:Wikipedia:Usernames_for_administrator_attention) should be clear. -- sj | help translate |+ 06:29, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

These are bad examples for lock and hide (if the name only was really the only reason for lock!), we do usually only lock hide the accounts which are crosswiki vandals and already blocked in many projects, the long term vandals, it is so far the only resource we have to stop them from switching from project to project and vandalizing there, a bug had been filed for a global block or better error message for lock iirc. If You say we should use it with more care You should perhaps ask those who were not carefully, thanks, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 08:09, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
This relates to discussion further down the page, and also on the stewards mailing list. I think the best solution is to make global hiding oversight-like. Then it will be a serious thing and overuse will be a serious thing, making it easier to combat.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:18, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Flood flag

I'd urge Stewards to consider using this utility when they can; the task seems to often involve large sprees of log actions, an this would help keep RecentChanges tidy. In addition to that, some of the usernames that are blocked are sometimes offensive or even libellous, so this would help in that regard as well. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 12:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Good point, and it applies to anyone; if you're going to do something you know will flood the logs, ask for a temporary flood flag. -- sj | help translate |+ 14:06, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes... I think we've been better about remembering this. Just a note that CentralAuth stuff usually ends up being hidden, so I don't think using the flood flag to hide that (and it's barely hidden anyways) is the right reason. But for flooding - Yes! Definitely! That's what it's for.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 14:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Stewards and oversight rights

See Meta:Babel#Stewards and oversight rights for an ongoing discussion. Currently tending towards bringing back separate oversighters on Meta, and perhaps having some stewards leave their oversight toggle on for meta. -- sj | help translate |+ 14:08, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Discussions about merging access request sections

There's a bit too much process and too many separate sections for the limited # of requests of any sort that come in. This could probably be reduced from the current ~5 pages, and some sections on single pages could be merged.

One step currently discussed on Talk:Steward requests/Permissions : merging req's for temporary and permanent sysop flags. Surely there are other areas where sections can be merged for simplicity... for the requestors if not the fulfillers. one-wiki and global bot requests comes to mind; what else? -- sj | help translate |+ 01:39, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Hiding usernames locally

We still need to rethink guidelines for hiding usernames; global lock-and-hide is still being applied to some cross-wiki sock users, vandals, or cranks whose names are not at all offensive... when they should at worst be locked, and perhaps not even that. But this is about local username hiding, which has additional side-effects.

This is posted to the stewards' noticeboard because the global lock-and-hide backcatalogue has been suggested for use to script local hiding... which means that a mistaken global-hide starts to have more repercussions.

My thoughts:

  1. local hiding is harmful if the username is not offensive. (are there exceptions to this?)
    • redacting a username destroys useful information. (Example: luoguozhang on en:wp)
    • editors can no longer easily find all of a user's contributions from running across one of them -- using the the (talk | contribs | block) links from page-diff views, for instance, that disappear when a name is hidden.
    • attribution information that may have been relied on in the past in stats or other summaries disappears. Some accounts have positive early edits and only turn to vandalism later.
  2. The CentralAuth extension should be patched to preserve those links for all readers, without showing the [presumed offensive, hidden] username, but using the userid to identify the user.
  3. Should local admins be able to see locally-hidden users if they want to? Perhaps this could be a user pref for admins... at least until these two CentralAuth bugs are resolved : 18525 and 18526

-- sj | help translate |+ 10:59, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Good stuff, Sj I agree with your points 1 and 2 (as we've been discussing in various places, we need to only hide usernames that are truly problematic or that expose personally identifiable information (PII) ). However in the case of point 3 I think there are situations where the username needs to be hidden, even from local admins. For example a username of the form "Sj has SSN 123-45-6789" contains PII and should not be available to anyone. ++Lar: t/c 11:47, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

On measuring and responding to [in]activity

I started a thread on the stewards talk page about steward reflection & activity - ways to measure inactivity and provide friendly reminders to stewards to help steadily; and to automatically remove flags from the inactive without drama. Open questions: what are the core steward activities? A script to aggregate relevant work would be handy. Mike notes VVV has done something similar for admin activity and may be interested. -- sj | help translate |+ 22:13, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Global blocking/log

The page Global blocking/log is being considered for deletion in Meta:Requests_for_deletion#Global_blocking.2Flog. Given that that page was intended for steward use I feel that a courtesy note regarding this is appropiate so that the stewards can voice its opinion in the case they want to comment. Best regards, df|  09:40, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Strategic Planning Wiki

Hi folks -

I'd like to ask for your help in keeping an eye on the strategic planning wiki for the next few days. At some point tomorrow we're going to run a centralnotice asking for volunteers for task forces, and you know as well as I do that centralnotice often ends up driving up rates of vandalism. We have a good team of local administrators, but if they should be overrun, I was hoping that stewards would be willing to jump in and back-stop us. The centralnotice will launch tomorrow afternoon, North American time (I'm not sure exactly when yet) and run for a week or so.

Our position for that wiki has been that stewards are welcome to perform any actions necessary to protect the wiki in case of vandalism or other trouble. We have a (newly created) administrator noticeboard at strategy:Strategic Planning:AN and I intend to be in #wikimedia-strategy all day tomorrow.

I hope we won't need your help and that all goes smoothly - but if we do, please know that we appreciate it. If there's anything you need from me or anything I can do to make your lives easier, please ask. --Philippe 17:43, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Cherokee Wiki

I've been kind of wandering around trying to find where to put this comment because I'm not sure where to request it (because the correct project is fairly quiet at the moment). I have been cleaning off the dust of Cherokee Wikipedia[1] for the last few days. Editing details here, and fixing things there. In the process of house cleaning, I noticed a lot of quality orphaned articles. I realized that's because the main page hasn't been updated much since 2005 (?!!!) I was going to revamp the page and add links, icons and all that, but the page is protected. Can it be temporary unprotected (or I given rights to edit it, or something) so I can go about my cleaning spree? Thanks kindly, Nesnad 18:05, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

request regarding ta.wikinews and ta.wikiquote site notices

I was bold and closed the closure discussion for Tamil Wikinews and Tamil Wikiquote. I would love it if someone was able to remove the site notices on each of these wikis that say they are under discussion.

Thanks in advance Jamesofur 02:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

FYI: I removed the notice on Wikiquote since it was just a main page notice instead of a site notice so the only one remaining is the wikinews site notice. I left a note on their main talk page to notify the community but the site notice itself is still up. If its still up when I get home in 12 hours I'll poke someone on IRC :P Jamesofur 17:16, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Nevermind, I appear to be blind (or stewardy lied to me, we'll go with that) and the sysop that I thought was inactive is indeed quite active on wikinews. So I left a note on the admins talk page and I don't actually need any of you to do anything! :) Jamesofur 07:21, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Glad we were able to (not) help. ++Lar: t/c 21:27, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you all. We made the right decision. --Natkeeran 01:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)


Usuario me persigue borrando todas mis contribuciones, imagenes en Commons y despues de enviarle humildemente un e-mail pidiendo desbloqueo, a dos semanas, el mismo la negó. Imagenes de se encuentran en el dominio público en Chile previo acuerdo con el webmaster. Sin embargo, Drini insiste en borrar todo lo que hago y estoy por hacer. Exijo que sea desestewardeado. --MisterWiki (talk) 23:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Lo siento, pero stewards no pueden ayudarte en esta situación. Si quieres estar debloqueado, tienes que hablar con los biblios de Commons. (Mira: commons:Template:Unblock). Cbrown1023 hablar 23:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
For the record.
He uploaded images from, which clearly states © Ilustre Municipalidad de Pichilemu 2008.
I asked him to justify the PD tag and he said that under Chilean law , Goverment works fall into PD.
I asked him which article on the law mentioned it and he replied "I don't even remember, you go read it"
I went to check the law and there was no trace of such statement.
When I confronted him he said "ok, but on such website, only text is copyrighted, not images".
Again, I asked him for proof and he answered "I will ask tomorrow for a confirmation".
Therefore, he's been uploading files under false license claims. Given he's sockpuppeting and evading a block given for uploading copyvios, I proceeded to delete the image.
He may get a permission if he asks tomorrow, but the 'fact is that he uploaded without permission, lied about the justification, lied again when confronted and besides evading a block for copyvios. es:Drini 02:00, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I know this is no steward matter, but I wanted to make it clear for the record I had reasons to delete his images. es:Drini 02:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, this might be stewards matter, he's been posting english pages to other languages claiming they were "translated":

Someone needs to review his crosswiki contribs. es:Drini 02:49, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi, all. As I have been somewhat inactive in the past few weeks and will likely continue to be so in the next few months, I decided to resign as a steward. I wish all the best to all candidates in the upcoming steward elections. Thanks. --Meno25 23:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

We have to thank you, Meno! We all appreciate your work and hope to see you again. Kind regards, —DerHexer (Talk) 23:57, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to see you go, Meno25, and take care of yourself. Hopefully the inactivity is a sign of your finding more fulfilling things off-wiki. :) Kylu 01:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Meno, I'm sorry to see you've become inactive; it is always great to collaborate with you. Sj+ help translate 22:40, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Cross-wiki barnraisings

Somewhere within the body of {stewards, g.sysops} are people doing many of the tasks that Ambassadors used to do as an active part of the global community. It would be good to have more cross-wiki barnraisings that require steward or global sysop interaction; that would both help stewards maintain their level of activity and bring new people into the fold.

This is one possible way to use the current interest of the excellent steward candidates who didn't make the cut. Those who aren't normally part of the meta community might benefit from more interaction here (on meta) and on smaller wikis. For instance, we could organize a drive to help clean up the main sidebar-linked pages, or nominate for incubator-transfer, the 20 smallest wiktionaries (starting with zhuang and lingala). SJ+ 08:03, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Activity policy review

A proposal for a revised activity policy is posted at Talk:Stewards policy#Activity. Comments and revisions are welcome. SJ+ 06:31, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

sidebar on lijwiki

I had done some changes on lijwiki and saw the bad sidebar which is not translatable to the user language. The two admins are inactive since 2008[2]. So perhaps someone could do the following changes:

Change lij:Mediawiki:sidebar to

* navigation
** mainpage|mainpage-description
** portal-url|portal
** recentchanges-url|recentchanges
** randompage-url|randompage
** helppage|help
** sitesupport-url|sitesupport

change lij:Mediawiki:helppage to (existing valie is a redirect to that page)

Wikipedia:Istrossioin essenziali

Delete message (so translatewiki version will be shown):

I don't speak that language, but i checked all messages on wiki and language file. The result will be nearly the same. I only removed the link to lij:Wikipedia:Eventi because it redirects to the portal page which is already linked above. Merlissimo 04:02, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Implementation of bureaucrat removal of admin/crat flags on enwiki

Following two discussions on the subject, there is community support on enwiki for bureaucrats to have the technical ability to remove admin and bureaucrat bits, in the situations where this is currently handled by the Stewards. There are a number of issues which need to be considered in light of this, particularly thoughts on how this will affect Stewards' response to requests at SRP. All (stewards especially) are invited to participate in the discussion at en:Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Bureaucrat Unchecking. Happymelon 23:07, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the post. Kylu 23:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Following from this, and the more recent discussion on implementation, there is now a policy proposal at en:Wikipedia:Administrators#Bureaucrat removal, which mandates bureaucrats to remove rights in the uncontroversial instances. Any comments from Stewards would be very warmly received. Happymelon 12:28, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

anwiki & GS has been added to Special:EditWikiSets/7 as per local voting on their village pump & a request from a local sysop at my talk page on that project. I had to remove (twice O-o) simplewikiquote from the list because it prevented from saving the settings. Leaving note here as courtesy. Thanks, — Dferg (talk) 16:35, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

"What adminship is not" does not work in the Portuguese Wiktionary

Hello! Please, look at Requests for comment/"What adminship is not" does not work in the Portuguese Wiktionary. Luan 19:52, 23 March 2010 (UTC)