Stewards/Elections 2012/Questions

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The following discussion is closed: This election is closed and these pages are an archive of that event.
2012 Elections 2012 Steward Elections (Questions)
العربية: المصوتون المؤهلون (انظر إرشادات التقدم) يمكنهم توجيه أسئلة لكل المرشحون على هذه الصفحة. من فضلك لا توجه أكثر من سؤالين متعلقين لكل مرشح، واجعلهما أقصر ما يمكن. المرشحون، من فضلك أجب باختصار وبساطة.
বাংলা: যোগ্য ভোটারগণ (মনোনয়নের নির্দেশাবলী) এই পাতায় সকল প্রার্থীদেরকেই প্রশ্ন করতে পারেন। অনুগ্রহ করে বিষয়ের সাথে সংশ্লিষ্ট প্রশ্ন করুন, এবং প্রত্যেক প্রার্থীকে ২টির বেশি প্রশ্ন করবেন না, সেই সাথে আপনার প্রশ্ন যতোটা সম্ভব ছোট রাখুন। প্রার্থীগণ, অনুগ্রহপূর্বক যতোটা সম্ভব বিস্তারিতভাবে ও সহজ ভাষায় উত্তর দেওয়ার চেষ্টা করুন।
Čeština: Uživatelé s volebním právem (viz požadavky na voliče) mohou pokládat otázky všem kandidátům na této stránce. Prosím, nepokládajte více než dvě věcné otázky každému z kandidátů a snažte se o co největší stručnost. Kandidáti se prosí, aby odpověděli co nejrychleji a nejsrozumitelněji to bude možné.
Deutsch: Wahlberechtigte Benutzer (siehe Richtlinien) dürfen allen Kandidaten auf dieser Seite Fragen stellen. Bitte stell nicht mehr als zwei Fragen pro Kandidat und halte sie so kurz wie möglich. Die Kandidaten sollen so kurz und einfach wie möglich antworten.
Deutsch (Sie-Form)‎: Wahlberechtigte Benutzer (siehe Richtlinien) dürfen allen Kandidaten auf dieser Seite Fragen stellen. Bitte stellen Sie nicht mehr als zwei Fragen pro Kandidat und halten Sie diese so kurz wie möglich. Die Kandidaten sollen so kurz und einfach wie möglich antworten.
Ελληνικά: Οι έγκυροι ψηφοφόροι (δείτε:οδηγίες) μπορούν να κάνουν ερωτήσεις σε όλους του υποψήφιους σε αυτή την σελίδα. Παρακαλώ να μην κάνετε πάνω από δύο σχετικές ερωτήσεις ανά υποψήφιο, και κάντε τες όσο σύντομες γίνεται. Οι υποψήφιοι απαντήστε όσο πιο σύντομα και απλά μπορείτε.
English: Eligible voters (see application guidelines) can ask questions to all candidates on this page. Please post no more than 2 relevant questions per candidate, and keep them as short as possible. Candidates, please answer as briefly and simply as possible.
Esperanto: Validaj balotantoj (vidu kandidatiga gvidilo) povas fari demandojn al la kandidatoj en tiu paĝo. Bonvolu ne faru pli ol du demandojn po kandidato, kaj farigu ilin tiel mallongaj kaj rektaj kiel ebla. Kandidatoj, bonvolu respondi tiel mallonga kaj simpla kiel ebla.
Español : Los usuarios con derecho al voto (vea guía de solicitud) pueden hacer preguntas a los candidatos en esta página. Por favor no haga más de dos preguntas por cada candidato y manténgalas tan cortas y directas como le sea posible. Candidatos: por favor contesten tan resumida y símplemente como les sea posible.
فارسی: رأی‌دهندگان واجد شرایط (بنگرید به دستورکار برنامه) می‌توانند در این صفحه سؤال‌هایشان را از همهٔ نامزدها بپرسند. لطفاً برای هر نامزد بیش از ۲ سؤال نپرسید و سؤال‌هایتان کوتاه و مختصر باشند. نامزدها، لطفاً پاسخ‌هایتان را تا حد ممکن کوتاه و مختصر و ساده بیان کنید.
Suomi: Äänioikeutetut käyttäjät (katso ohjeet) voivat esittää tällä sivulla kysymyksiä kaikille ehdokkaille. Teethän korkeintaan kaksi oleellista kysymystä ehdokasta kohti ja pidäthän ne mahdollisimman lyhyinä. Ehdokkaita pyydetään vastaamaan kysymyksiin mahdollisimman lyhyesti ja yksinkertaisesti.
Français : Les personnes éligibles à voter (voir instructions) peuvent poser des questions à chacun des candidats sur cette page. Merci de ne pas poster plus de 2 questions pertinentes par candidat, et de faire en sorte qu'elles soient les plus courtes possible. Merci aux candidats de répondre le plus brièvement et simplement possible.
Alemannisch : Wahlbrächtigti Benutzer (lueg d Richtlinie) derfen allene Kandidate uf däre Syte Froge stelle. Bittschen, stell nit meh wie zwo Froge pro Kandidat un halte si eso churz wie megli. Kandidate, gän eso churz un eifach wie megli Antwort.
עברית: מצביעים העומדים בתנאים (ראו הנחיות) יכולים להציג שאלות לכל המועמדים בדף זה. בבקשה, הציגו עד שתי שאלות קצרות לכל מועמד. מועמדים, בבקשה ענו בקצרה ובפשטות.
Hrvatski: Suradnici koji imaju pravo glasovati (vidite upute za prijavu) mogu postaviti umjesno pitanje svakom kandidatu na ovoj stranici. Suradnici, molimo da ne pitate više od dva pitanja po kandidatu i neka budu što kraća. Kandidati, molimo vas da odgovorite što je kraće i jednostavnije moguće.
Italiano: Gli aventi diritto al voto (vedi le linee guida in proposito) possono porre su questa pagina delle domande ai candidati. Per cortesia non fate più di due domande per ciascun candidato, cercando per quanto possibile di mantenerle brevi. L'invito ai candidati è di rispondere altrettanto brevemente.
日本語: 投票権のある方 (参加ガイドをご覧ください) はこのページでどの候補者にも質問することができます。候補者1人につき1つ、端的に質問をするよう心がけてください。候補者のみなさんは、できるだけ簡潔に回答してください。
Македонски: Корисниците со право на глас (видете напатствија за пријава) на оваа страница можат да им поставуваат прашања на сите кандидати. Не поставувајте повеќе од 2 релевантни прашања по кандидат, и гледајте да бидете што пократки. Кандидатите се молат да одговараат на прашањата што е можно пократко и поедноставно.
Nederlands: Stemgerechtigden (zie de instructies) kunnen op deze pagina aan alle kandidaten vragen stellen. Stel alstublieft niet meer dan twee relevante vragen per kandidaat en hou de vragen zo kort als mogelijk. Kandidaten, antwoord alstublieft zo kort en duidelijk mogelijk.
Norsk bokmål: Stemmeberettigede (se retningslinjene) kan stille spørsmål til alle kandidater på denne siden. Vennligst begrens antall spørsmål per kandidat til to relevante spørsmål, og forsøk å holde spørsmålene korte. Kandidater bes besvare spørsmål så kort og enkelt som mulig.
Norsk: Stemmeberettigede (se retningslinjene) kan stille spørsmål til alle kandidater på denne siden. Vennligst begrens antall spørsmål per kandidat til to relevante spørsmål, og forsøk å holde spørsmålene korte. Kandidater bes besvare spørsmål så kort og enkelt som mulig.
Polski: Uprawnieni do głosowania (patrz kryteria) mogą zadawać pytania wszystkim kandydatom na tej stronie. Każdemu kandydatowi proszę zadawać nie więcej niż dwa konkretne pytania, w jak najkrótszej formie. Kandydatów uprasza się o udzielanie odpowiedzi w możliwe krótkiej i zrozumiałej formie.
Português : Os utilizadores com direito ao voto (veja o guia de candidaturas) podem fazer perguntas a todos os candidatos nesta página. Por favor, não coloque mais de 2 questões pertinentes por candidato, e mantenha-as o mais curtas possível. Candidatos, por favor respondam o mais simples e resumido quanto possível.
Português do Brasil : Os usuários com direito ao voto (veja o guia de candidaturas) podem fazer perguntas a todos os candidatos nesta página. Por favor, não coloque mais de 2 questões pertinentes por candidato, e mantenha-as o mais curtas possível. Candidatos, por favor respondam o mais simples e resumido quanto possível.
Русский: Имеющие право голоса (см. application guidelines/ru) могут задавать вопросы всем кандидатам на этой странице. Пожалуйста, пишите не более двух уместных вопросов каждому кандидату и формулируйте их по возможности кратко. Кандидаты, пожалуйста, отвечайте по возможности быстро и просто.
Српски / srpski: Корисници са правом гласа (видите смернице) могу да постављају питања свим кандидатима на овој страни. Молимо, немојте поставити више од 2 релевантна питања по кандидату и покушајте да их учините што краћима. Кандидати, молимо одговорите на питања што је могуће краће и простије.
Українська: Учасники з правом голосу (див. application guidelines/uk) можуть ставити питання всім кандидатам на цій сторінці. Просимо ставити не більше ніж по два конкретних питання і формулювати їх якомога коротше. Кандидатам прохання відповідати якнайшвидше і якнайчіткіше.
Tiếng Việt: Cử tri hợp lệ (xem hướng dẫn nộp đơn) có thể đặt câu hỏi cho bất kỳ ứng cử viên nào trong trang này. Xin vui lòng gửi không quá 2 câu hỏi, càng ngắn gọn càng tốt, liên quan đến các ứng cử viên. Ứng cử viên, xin bạn vui lòng trả lời đơn giản và ngắn gọn nhất có thể.
粵語: 合資格選民(見申請指引)可提問任何候選人,惟請勿提問一位候選人多過兩條問題,並須保持問題簡潔。參選人,則請扼要答題。
中文: 合資格投票者(見申請指引)可於此頁提問任何候選人,惟請勿提問一位候選人多於兩條問題,並維持問題簡潔。候選人,則請扼要答題。
中文(简体)‎: 合资格投票者(见申请指引)可于此页向任何一位候选人发问问题,但请勿向任何一位候选人发问多于两条问题,亦请维持问题的简洁度。候选人,则请您简洁且扼要地回应这些问题。
中文(繁體)‎: 合資格投票者(見申請指引)可於此頁提問任何候選人,惟請勿提問一位候選人多於兩條問題,並維持問題簡潔。候選人,則請扼要答題。
Azərbaycanca: Səsvermə hüququna malik (bax: application guidelines/az) istənilən istifadəçi bu səhifədə bütün namizədlərə suallar ünvanlaya bilər. Zəhmət olmasa, hər bir namizədə münasib bildiyiniz iki sualdan artıq sual verməyin və bu suallarınızı mümkün qədər qısa və dürüst şəkildə ifadə edin. Namizədlər, lütfən, suallara imkan daxilində tez bir zamanda və sadə cavablar verin.

Per candidate[edit]

Billinghurst[edit]

Questions from Quentinv57 :

Hello and thanks for volunteering. Could you please clarify the following points in your answer to my general question bellow ?
  1. What do you mean by "delete problems (all where allowed)" ? What do you plan to delete exactly ? And what tools are you referring to while saying "improvements to crosswiki tools, filters" ?
    Some wikis allow allowed access to Stewards, some do not, so "where allowed". Deletion of pages that the communities believe are problematic, usually spam. Crosswiki? I would like to explore more universal tools, examples would be bot-created accounts where we know that Abuse Filters can be a means to capture the problem, though at the moment they would be wiki by wiki which is cumbersome, so streamlining the exploration of spam and those intent on trying to corrupt the system, and move to other wikis. Similarly we have tools at some wikis that that revert problematic edits, and I believe that there is scope for further exploring some of these techniques and looking to seek community approval for such
  2. Do you have plans right now about the improvement of spamming techniques ?
    Some mentioned above as generalities, but specific tight plans, no. Ideas to further explore, and discussions to be had and consensus to be sort. billinghurst sDrewth 12:15, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks and good luck with your nomination. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 08:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Questions from Petrb:

Why do you think that being a steward would help you to work in the areas you mentioned in your statement more than being a global admin (sysop)? I mean, that you mentioned that your crosswiki work made you regularly ask for blocks, and undertaking partial clean-ups; The steward would probably enable you to do more, so are you willing to work in other areas than fighting cross wiki vandalism too? Thank you Petrb 16:21, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I expressed what brought me to submitting a nomination. The prime action to resolve xwiki spam which is essentially globally (b)locking the spammer, an action only available to a steward, not a global admin (prevent at source and prevent the propagation comes first). Then comes the clean up, in conjunction with global sysop & rollbacker, and then the investigative, eg. a checkuser action if required, which cannot be done by a global sysop. I work in areas of need, and while my focus and experience is in spam fighting and checkuser, stewardry is a team exercise and WMF wide, so yes I would work broader as needed, required and/or requested. I believe that I have an admin history demonstrating that, though I am specifically not citing that admin work as it is primarily in English speaking wikis, and much stewardry is not required there. I am not one to over-promise. billinghurst sDrewth 02:58, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Dream Focus :

  • I don't recall ever having crossed paths with you on Wikipedia, so I checked your recent contributions. You recently banned a user who apparently had no edits whatsoever, simply because of their name. [1] There was no communications with the user on their talk page before hand. Savingsplus does sound like it might be a spam bot, then again perhaps it means they are saving information, plus, or something. Instead of just blocking someone who hasn't done anything at all yet, shouldn't you have talked to them before hand? Dream Focus 04:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
    I am not even certain of the protocol for responding to questions asked after the deadline, especially if it may be more more appropriate question over at Wikipedia, or my talk page here. In short, you won't see edits of accounts where those edits are deleted as spam. The clear practice for WP administrators for spam username accounts is to be blocked where they align with a product that is being promoted, see w:en:Wikipedia:Username policy. So my action there is in alignment with the expected practice to hard block spam users. Happy to further discuss this matter on one of my talk pages. billinghurst sDrewth 05:40, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
    It looks like questions can be asked for another week and four days -- the deadline for them is the 27th of February. :) Banaticus (talk) 18:41, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Beeblebrox 22:48, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

  • During the recent kerfuffle regarding an RFC on an issue already resolved locally, some admins and other users on Meta insisted that it is ok to open such discussions here, to the point where they attempted to block any discussion of deleting said RFC. While deleting an RFC is not normal practice here, I should certainly hope that consensus is still the standard by which decisions are made and that stewards, with their advanced permissions across so many projects, would respect local consensus. So I guess I'm asking what your take is on this issue and if you believe the deletion discussion should have been quashed in the manner it was, now thankfully re-opened. (by the way the guidelines state that questions may be added as late as the February 27th)
    On a more general level, Meta and Commons (M&C) are, to me, both different animals than our straight subject matter wikis, in that a request for deletion or comment at a local wiki does not directly impact the M&C wikis, though the reverse can be of consequence. Being an administrator across a range of these I am aware of their significantly different approaches, and the due consideration that one needs to be provided to local culture and rules. I also reflect on the passion, and sometimes the tribalism, that can eventuate in such circumstances, and it entails viewing issues from a range of perspectives. (I note that the guidelines for questions changed following the start of voting)

    To the specific question: RfD are meant to stand open for at least a week to allow for cross-community discussion, and the mission would guide local admins to have a collaborative approach, bound by principle, flexible and considerate in approach as we know that the rules don't encompass every situation. As the kerfuffle (and I do love that word) has shown, there is still some work to be done to resolve some process, though I don't think that the differences are irreconcilable once some of the energy and "harumph"-factor dissipates. Happy to discuss further on my talk page. billinghurst sDrewth 01:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Questions from trongphu :

  • I feel that you are a great candidate for steward but unfortunately you only know 1 language and don't even know any bit of any other languages. Steward should at least some what know few languages at some basic level or fluent in 2 languages in my opinion. I did oppose you for that reason. But i might change my vote depend on your answer. Are you going to learn a second language after being elected? It's quite easy to learn another language, not that hard. What are you going to as a steward with those sysops that obviously abused their power? Desysop them?Trongphu (talk) 00:24, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    There are a range of activities that get done with steward tools, and my strength lies in the technical and related to spam, so, as I indicated, that is the bulk that of the work that will continue to take up my time. The stewards have a range of skills, and have a range of tasks, but most importantly they work as a team, as I have done with them in IRC and through checkuser activities. Re sysops, those are community decisions in which the stewards undertake the technical components, such that where a community says that they want someone desysop'd, then that will be what happens. Re languages, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion, and I learnt two at school, I just don't rate them beyond reading. I also believe that there is still plenty of steward work to be done that requires a technical ability and in that I can make a significant contribution, and I feel that is supported by those who recognised my technical aptitude, and other work, and asked me to consider my nominating. billinghurst sDrewth 12:19, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    I just went around to take a look at your overall contributions. A lot people seem to like you a lot due to your dedication and great contribution to Wiki in general. The only flaw you have is you only know 1 language as majority of people who opposed you for that reason. I would say you will become even a greater steward with a lot more people favor you only if you try to learn another language, that's something you should consider doing in the next few years. You're right, there are a lot of technical works that could have done without knowing more than 1 language. But steward as its natural, people expect a steward to work with many groups of people of different languages. And people are just really picky. You don't have to listen to me but i believe if you want to become an even greater steward then the best thing you can do is learn another language. People would rather you see spend more time to learn another language than to spend more time with Wiki in general, you already have done so much. It's for your own benefit. And i think your hard work has overcome your flaw of having one language anyway. Last thing, what do you mean by this "I learnt two at school, I just don't rate them beyond reading.". What is the other one you learned at school? How would you rate your fluency of that language you learned from school on scale from 1 to 5? Trongphu (talk) 19:05, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Cekli829[edit]

Questions from Pmlineditor :

In what ways, do you think, have you worked on the concerns mentioned in your previous attempts in the elections? Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 18:47, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I worked according to the technical point of view. Thanks for the question! --►Safir yüzüklü Ceklimesaj 10:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Abronikowski :

Hi! Did you do anything about your block at hy.wiki? Abronikowski 22:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Bináris :

How many users have you spammed in e-mail to vote for you? Bináris tell me 11:20, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Geitost:

(English) How would you be able to communicate with other stewards and wikipedians of other communities that don't speak “your” languages? For example, I don't speak a word Turkish or Azerbayjan and don't even know what crh and gag are, and I also don't understand Russian, and so do a lot of people, so for example noone has translated your statement into English or other languages yet (or could do that), so there's no such text for more information about you for most of the voters, because you didn't put one yourself in a language that's more comprehendable for more people here. How can you process steward requests that are most of the time placed in English? How can you ask further questions about the requests if anything is unclear about them? You have en-1 and de-1, which one would be better?
(Deutsch) Wie würdest du mit anderen Stewards oder Wikipedianern anderer Gemeinschaften kommunizieren können, die „deine“ Sprachen nicht sprechen? Ich spreche zum Beispiel gar kein Türkisch oder Aserbaidschanisch und weiß nicht mal, was crh und gag für Sprachen sind, verstehe auch kein Russisch, und so geht es vielen Leuten hier, beispielsweise hat bislang niemand deinen Kandidaturtext ins Englische oder andere Sprachen übersetzt (bzw. dies gekonnt), sodass es für die meisten Wähler keinen solchen Text mit weiteren Informationen zu dir gibt, da du selbst keinen in einer für viele Leute hier verständliche Sprache eingestellt hast. Wie kannst du Stewardanfragen bearbeiten, die meistens in Englisch gestellt werden? Wie kannst du Nachfragen zu den Anfragen stellen, wenn dabei irgendetwas unklar geblieben ist? Du hast en-1 und de-1, was wäre davon besser? --Geitost diskusjon 14:09, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Elfix[edit]

Questions from Reder:

(English) Hi. What experience have you in cross-wiki countervandalism?
(French) Bonjour. Quelle expérience avez vous dans le cross-wiki countervandalism?
--Reder 11:18, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi. As an admin, I have often had to deal with long term vandals, firstly vandalizing on my main wiki, then on other smaller wikis. This leads me then to requesting help from the stewards, usually on IRC, to have the accounts globally locked, and possibly have a check-user be performed (when possible per the steward policies) on them.
As a CU, I have access to a mailing-list where all the WMF check-users discuss user-related local or crosswiki matters. Whenever I can, I help out, within the bounds of my home wiki.
On the other hand, I don't participate in the SWMT.
I hope this answers your question. If you would like, I could also show you some concrete examples. Elfix 17:22, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Dream Focus

  • On Wikipedia you don't have many edits. [2] Only four in 2010, and not that many real edits in 2011 either. Are you more active elsewhere? Dream Focus 04:37, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
    I'm mainly active on the French-speaking Wikipedia (here); sometimes on commons. I periodically contribute to frwiktionary and enwiktionary (at a much smaller degree). Elfix 07:21, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Luckas Blade[edit]

  • Do you think your experience as a global interwiki bot owner will be helpful for your work as a steward? --MF-W 18:26, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, mainly on SRB, because I myself have done a lot of requests there and know all the procedure for granting global and/or local bot status. --Lucas Nunes 19:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

MBisanz[edit]

Questions from MF-Warburg :

  • Have you any experience with the checkuser tool? You say you were in a committee to review checkusers' actions, but have you also been a checkuser yourself? --MF-W 20:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • No, I have not been a checkuser myself. I've assisted as a checkuser clerk and been an auditor of the checkuser tool, but not an actual checkuser. MBisanz talk 20:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Do you have experience in global vandal fighting? --MF-W 20:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Not particularly. My global experience runs more in coordinating rename requests and my anti-vandal experience runs more at en.wiki and commons. I would participate in global vandal fighting as a steward as needed and would make myself available for things like global lock requests, but it is not my primary area of expertise. MBisanz talk 20:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Quentinv57 :

Hello Matthew and thanks for volunteering. In the answer to the question I asked bellow you said that you "will be available on IRC (...) to handle requests and emergencies".
Please imagine you are in the following situation. You have been elected as a steward, you're idling for requests on IRC and somebody comes up on the steward public channel to request some help. He wants stewards to perform a check on a user on dewiki which has uttered death threats against some contributors and politicians on 2 November 2011. He tells you that a complain has been filed to the police, and they have asked for the IPs, who are now about to expire. He already posted a request on the checkuser page, but they seem to ignore it. What will be your decision, providing that you are the only steward online ? Thanks. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 10:42, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for asking it, Quentin. I think it's first important to recognize that German WP is a very large and established project with its own constraints on the checkuser policy at CheckUser_policy/Local_policies#de_.E2.80.93_German_Wikipedia. This indicates strongly against the user of checkuser by a steward. As your hypo proposes he has listed it on de:Wikipedia:Checkuser/Anfragen without comment, I would wonder how the entire project, not just the checkusers, has failed to comment. Also, the harm which is animating the request is not of the type that is urgent. The threats were made ~90 days ago and do not specifically implicate something like cross-wiki vandalism. Further, actual requests for cooperation by authorities should almost always be referred to the WMF because of the difficulty of judging validity of requests from multiple jurisdiction (a discovery subpoena in the U.S. is far different than a judicial order of disclosure). I would therefore decline the check. MBisanz talk 15:26, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Questions from Ajraddatz:

You have idenitified global rights assignment as an area that you would work on as a steward. What would you generally look for in a candidate applying for global rollback? Obviously each candidate should be judged on a case-by-case basis, but I am just interested in what you would generally consider to be acceptable thresholds in terms of activity and experience. Ajraddatz (Talk) 20:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
As I understand it, GR is assigned by stewards pursuant to a community discussion/vote. Therefore, if I had a strong opinion on a candidate, I would comment on their suitability, but not grant the right, as that would be a conflict of interest. If I was assigning the right per a community discussion, I would look at the general ratio of comments and any details provided by the commentors, with a eye towards divining an overwhelming consensus to assign the right. Assuming I was simply commenting on a user's suitability, I would look at their cross-wiki work, as evidenced by participation in the SWMT, knowledge and use of automated reverting tools like Huggle on multiple wikis, availability on IRC, and breadth and depth of contributions to smaller projects. It would be a trade-off between how deep their contributions are (100s of reverts on a dozen projects v. tens of reverts on a 100 projects). Also, I would look for good-behavior and be inclined to oppose anyone currently blocked at a project or those who lack the character to respond to complaining users. MBisanz talk 23:12, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
What would you consider the purpose of global sysops to be, and what is the relationship between the GS and steward policies? Are there situations in which global sysops would be better suited to handle a problem than a steward? If so, where and when? Ajraddatz (Talk) 20:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Global sysops exist to perform background tasks like anti-vandal work and maintenance work (protected templates for example) on projects that lack the critical mass to perform those functions for themselves. For some small wikis with limited regional languages, there are many hours of the day that no one is available to perform these tasks and for those editors who are active, they could be easily overwhelmed and spend all their time blocking vandals or reverting vandalism. This would prevent the wider community from benefiting from their unique language and subject-matter knowledge. Therefore, global sysops exist to relieve them of these demands which do not require language skills.
I see the relation of stewards and global sysops as complimentary specialists with the potential for overlap. Stewards are selected primarily for their neutrality and activity in performing functions which have a large impact on the WM-family. Global sysops are chosen for their activity and responsible dedication to vandalism/maintenance tasks. As they are defined, all stewards possess the level of trust and responsibility of global sysops and usually have the activity required, but may lack the specific dedication to vandal fighting. Global sysops on the other hand may lack the level of trust of a steward because of the stewards' ability to do things like lock accounts, rename users, and assign userrights, which can be very destructive and hard to undo. Global sysops have the level of trust though to do the dedicated tasks assigned to them and compliment the stewards by handling a function that otherwise could overwhelm the limited number of users trusted to be stewards.
I could imagine two situations where GS would be better suited to handle a problem than a steward. First, if the global sysop has particular technical knowledge of rapid editing tools and coding that would permit them to handle a vandal attack better, jumping between projects and tracking edits on those projects. A steward may lack that specific level of elite expertise. Second, if there are limited resources in a wiedspread attack, a GS would be better to do reverts/deletion and blocking while a steward was checkusering the offending accounts to perform a range block. MBisanz talk 23:25, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Hazard-SJ:

I have a minor concern about your not being multilingual. Do you thing this will pose as a problem for you if elected as a steward?  Hazard-SJ  ±  20:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I recognize that my lack of multilingualism is a concern and thought in-depth on it before running for six reasons,stated below. I further recognize that this job will involve dealing with mostly people who do not speak English as a first language and intend to be cognizant of their needs in my interactions with them.
First, Google Translator is surprisingly effective at divining intent on things like rename requests or requests for right changes.
Second, I use IRC and recognize there are a number of bilingual individuals who I can rely on for translating publicly available material or confirming my interpretation of Google translation results.
Third, many projects conveniently make use of colored icons in holding discussions. While there is still commentary I would need to translate or otherwise understand, I can readily interpret the ratio of colored icons.
Fourth, many users who primarily speak another language, already make an effort to translate their request into broken English or provide a simple translation when coming to Meta.
Fifth, I already deal with non-English speakers at en:WP:CHUU for SUL unification purposes and generally have had no problem in fixing this requests.
Sixth, while many other stewards are multilingual, it is impossible to cover all the languages and the existing stewards who may not speak a rare language seem to get by fine relying on the things I mentioned in #1 and #2. MBisanz talk 20:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Seem satisfactory and well thought through, but I am concerned about your cress-wiki activity.  Hazard-SJ  ±  04:03, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Nihonjoe[edit]

Questions from Pedroca cerebral:

  1. Do you have experience in combating global vandalism? PcTalk 12:28, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    I have done some between jawiki and enwiki, but not much beyond that. A little bit on commons, too. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  2. Among these tools steward, which you will use most? Why? Sorry for bad English. PcTalk 12:28, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    I don't know that there is a specific tool or group of tools which I will use more than others. I have some experience with range blocks as well as individual IP and account blocks. I think I would try to help most on smaller wikis which need my assistance, and I would also help out with other requests made here as I learn the ropes. I suspect the learning curve won't be too steep given my experience on enwiki, but I'm sure there will be plenty to learn even with my prior experience. I will take things slowly and make sure I fully understand any action before taking it. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Quentinv57:

Hello Nihonjoe and thanks for volunteering. I see you don't have a lot of crosswiki experience but you said you're willing to help with small wikis. Why didn't you get interested by that before applying for the steward status ? I mean that at least 50% of the fight against vandalism work can be done without the steward status, as for example rollbacking spam, marking pages for deletions or reporting issues to current stewards. Are you sure that once a steward you will appreciate this kind of work ? Thanks. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 10:59, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the question. The biggest reason is language barrier. Most of the small wikis are in languages I don't understand, so I haven't done a lot that way due to that. As I mentioned, I have done some crosswiki work between enwiki and jawiki, as well as some on commons, so I do have some experience. Most of my time has been spent building and improving enwiki, with minor forays into jawiki; wikignome/wikifairy stuff, mostly. I like doing behind-the-scenes work (as evidenced by a fair amount of my work on enwiki), and I don't forsee that changing. I definitely appreciate that kind of work. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Ajraddatz:

What do you feel is the largest area of current need in regards to use of the steward tools? What evidence do you have of the need in this area, and how it compares to need in other areas? Ajraddatz (Talk) 20:02, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
The one which seems to generally have the most requests listed is Steward requests/Permissions (at least when I've looked), though the requests seem to generally be handled in a timely manner. The only other request area I've seen that sometimes has more requests is Steward requests/Checkuser, but again, the requests seem to be generally handled in a timely manner. I don't know that there's any specific area I would consider most needy, really, and I haven't done any data collection which would allow me to do comparisons across areas. It seems to me that, similar to the role of bureaucrats on enwiki, the needs in the various areas come and go, so anyone who is acting as a steward should be ready to act in any of those areas as needed. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Pundit[edit]

  • Hi Pundit, thanks for volunteering. Just to clarify, are you aware that you cannot be both a member of the Ombudsman Commission and a steward? You can only be one or the other. If you're aware, that's fine; just wanted to make sure! Thanks, PeterSymonds (talk) 20:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    It is only natural that one cannot perform both the acting and the controlling role in the same time, as it would create an obvious conflict of interest. Should I be elected as a steward, I am going to step down from my role of an ombudsman, naturally - thanks for this question, as I should have made it explicit from the beginning! Pundit 20:31, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    I thought you would be aware. :-) Best of luck with the election. PeterSymonds (talk) 20:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Just the matter of curiosity. You said that you can understand Russian pretty well. And you are native Polish speaker. Doesn't that mean that you should be able to understand Ukrainian or Belarusian as well? --Синдар 11:50, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
    Thanks for asking. Yes, it has been my experience that I do have a threshold understanding of Belarussian, and maybe to some limited extent, Ukrainian (it is quite difficult to measure, though, since many of Ukrainians and Belarussians I talked to spoke better Russian than I do). With my native Polish and a little bit of Russian especially Belarussian is quite close. Also, communicating with Slovenians is possible on some simple level. Czech and Slovakian are a bit more difficult, and so is Serbian and Croatian, as well as Bulgarian - I've tried all of them and it is my experience that if my interlocutors don't speak English at all, a mixture of Polish and Russian may serve as a very rudimentary medium of communication sometimes. However, since I have never learned these languages, I cannot declare that they are within my grasp. Elen sila lumen omentielvo! Pundit (talk) 19:17, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Snowolf[edit]

Questions from Ajraddatz:

From your statement, you suggest that your areas of interest as a steward would be global countervandalism and global bot approvals. Ajraddatz (Talk) 02:38, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi :) While it may be true that grobal countervandalism and bot approvals would be areas of interest, I can help in general with romance languages-related tasks. As a native Italian speaker, I'm able to understand basic stuff in the various romance languages (with limitations obviously, and writing is another matter of course ;-) ), which would be an area I could focus on.
  1. What experience do you have with reverting vandalism past language barriers, and with using crosswiki countervandalism tools?
    I have not had much experience in reverting vandalism past language barriers, given my activity has been focused on enwiki (and a bit on itwiki) in this field, but I have some experience from lmowiki in dealing with a language that is not my own (tho in the family of romance languages).
  2. What would you define as "active on several wikis" and "with long-term contributions" per the policy surrounding global bots?
    Regarding global bots, almost all global bots are active on well over a dozen wikis, so that would give a good idea of what numbers we're talking about, tho I would suggest the number can be lower than that, as for long-term contributions, it requires that the bot be active for a reasonable lenght of time to establish that the bot is widely accepted and unproblematic, somewhere around 6 months might be a reasonable indication, but there is no numeric requirement in the policy for a good reason :)
  3. Are there any other areas of work that you would be interested in as a steward, and what prior experience can you bring to those roles?
    As for other areas I could contribute and bring experience to, I've been active for a long time on the subject of speedy deletions on the English Wikipedia both as an administrator and even before as a user and as access moderator for tool, now out of date, to monitor new pages. That is one area that I could help with (Steward requests/Speedy deletions) and that immediately comes to mind, but in general I can bring a very active presence in reacting to requests, especially regarding romance languages :) Regards, Snowolf How can I help? 06:56, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Split the answer per request, for clarity, maintaining intact the original text. Snowolf How can I help? 10:46, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Question from Quentinv57:

Hello Snowolf and thanks for volunteering. I would like to ask you a question which is really similar to the one I asked to Nihonjoe. I never saw you working with steward requests or idling on steward-related IRC channels past years, except recently. How can you be sure you will appreciate the steward work ? I'm telling that because on last elections, two candidates said me that finally they are happy not to have been elected when they had seen what the crosswiki work is. I would like you to convince me that you will be an active steward next year. Thanks for your answer. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 14:57, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Hello. I do believe I appreciate the stewards' duties, functions and workload, while I was already familiar with most of them thru monitoring of the SR pages (I regularly read them as they are watchlisted for quite a long time now, tho rarely comment), reading the documentation and forums on meta, and keeping an eye on the stewards channel for a while before.
Before and since my candidacy, I have re-looked at everything to make sure the role indeed is something I could contribute in. I would not candidating myself if I did not feel I could be active and effective in the role, then again, I would assume anybody would do so. I really like the predominantly “reactive” nature of the role, where the issues are brought up in a somewhat limited number of avenues and then handled “from there”. It is a focused and relatively drama-free role, with a strong emphasis on getting the job done, with a focus on availability, which I believe offer. I do not know how I could set about convincing you I would be active as a steward, beyond what Iwrote and in general assuring you that I feel I familiarized myself with the role, its nature and the related workload and guarantee I will be very active, should I be elected. I've seen the nature of the work and would be confortable in doing my part. Snowolf How can I help? 18:46, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Tegel[edit]

Teles[edit]

Willy Weazley[edit]

For all candidates[edit]

Question from Quentinv57[edit]

I just read most of your statements and notice you did not explicit on which areas you plan to work if you are elected as stewards. Will you answer user requests and emergencies on IRC ? What kind of meta-wiki requests will you handle ? Please also mention if you have a specific project that require stewards rights that will improve stewards global work. Thanks by advance for your answer. -- Quentinv57 (talk) 15:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Answer from Elfix: As suggested in my statement and up here: taking care of locking abusive global accounts, performing checkusers (where possible) to track long term crosswiki vandals, blocking widely-used open proxies (what my blocklog on frwiki mainly consists of), and of course, handling requests on IRC, where I am most of the time. Elfix 18:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from MBisanz: I will be available on IRC and via my smartphone to handle requests and emergencies. I intend to focus on granting userrights requests (bot, admin, crat etc.) on small wikis/removal of userrights as well as granting of global permissions. Also, given my background, I intend to be involved in SUL requests and renaming on non-crat wikis. On an as-needed basis, I would participate in oversight/deletions on small wikis and would generally handle global blocks/locks. I admit to not being an expert with CheckUser, but am generally familar with sock-hunting and the CheckUser interface. My background on handling bot approvals and also renames at en.wiki and the incumbent SUL disputes with renames would help improve the stewards global work. MBisanz talk 19:32, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Pundit: I believe I have reasonable experience with WMF privacy policy, and performing careful CUs should be something I could handle. I would also address smaller Wikis requests on projects without bureaucrats. My current bureaucratic experience has occasionally lead me to wikis other than pl-wiki and en-wiki, and I believe I could handle renames properly. I don't have extensive experience in hunting down cross-wiki vandals and dealing with proxy jugglers, but I believe I would be able to manage them, if need arose. For most of the time I am at my computer and I would be available at the proper IRC channel. Pundit 20:27, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Billinghurst: I have a prime purpose to continue the xwiki spam, blacklist and cleanup, and the steward bit would allow me to utilise blocking tools, undertake checkuser, delete problems (all where allowed) rather than have to find and hassle someone else. After that I consider myself a broad generalist, I have skills in Mediawiki, improving in writing Abuse Filters, and happily take my turn on doing queues here and there, responding to queries in IRC. I am hoping that we can coordinate improvements to crosswiki tools, filters, ... to better fight the unfortunately improving spamming techniques. billinghurst sDrewth 11:08, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Luckas Blade: I intend to answer emergencies on IRC, grant and remove user rights on small wikis (specially bots, because I've made myself many of these requests), block and lock vandal's global accounts, gain some experience with checkuser and oversight tools. --Lucas Nunes 17:07, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Nihonjoe: I generally don't use IRC as I can't use it at work and I don't generally have it running at home (as I don't have a particular reason for doing so). That said, I have an IRC client and I can run it while at home, so I can be available should I be elected. I intend to focus on whichever area needs the most assistance at any given time, so I don't have a specific area in mind as the needs seem to fluctuate somewhat. I'm quite experienced at renaming accounts on enwiki, I've done revdels many times as well, and I've also spent some time cleaning up after and finding abusive sock accounts and IPs in several different cases, so I plan to help out with checkuser and oversight as I get the experience. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:47, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Snowolf: I would envisage myself being most active in handling emergencies/urgent requests on IRC (I'm generally very present there), global locking of accounts and bot status requests at first. I have technical experience with the Checkuser extension and the RevisionDelete feature (and the old Oversight extension), and would help tacking those requests as well if elected, but only after additional guidance from experienced stewards. Snowolf How can I help? 05:55, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Teles: I will focus my job on antivandalism tasks, but not limit it to them. I can also help on renamings and handle rights changes. I don't have too much experience with bots usage, so I will be less active on that area. I already attend emergency requests on IRC, doing what I can do as a global sysop and rollback and, if there is something else to be done, I report it to stewards. Most of the times, there is something else. Global sysop tools are great, but not enough to stop some kinds of vandalism. For watching closely the job of experienced stewards, I could learn when to (and specially when not to) use tools like checkuser, oversight, locking and blocking. I won't bring anything new; just keep with the good regular procedures, sharing the workload, which makes the job faster and less tiresome for others stewards.” Teles (T @ L C S) 16:29, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Answer from Tegel: I will continue with what I do today, vandal fighting and crat activities, like renaming accounts, handle right changes and approving bot flags. I will answer user requests and will be available on IRC for emergencies. But I will not limit myself to this and will help out wherever I can. -- Tegel (Talk) 13:30, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Questions from Ruslik0[edit]

Reposting from the previous elections. Ruslik 11:55, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

  1. What is your position regarding Global Requests Committee? Should it be created?
    Answer from Pundit: I am observing the advancing bureaucratization of Wikipedia with wary caution, and I am not a big fan of multiplying decisional/advisory/mediation bodies. However, I do recognize the need for facilitating the resolution of disputes across multiple projects, processing requests for global blocks and bans, as well as addressing disputes on projects that do not yet have any mediation or dispute resolution mechanisms. Some cases call for global measures, otherwise we're wasting time and efforts of many project consecutively. Also, my experience from ombudsman commission makes me believe that in some cases there is a strong need for conflict resolution facilitated by people from outside of the project, impartial to any local nuances and history, and this may be so in particular when disputes reach beyond just one project. Therefore I believe that a global request committee may serve a useful role for Wikimedia community.
    Answer from Elfix: I haven't been following SRG much (and I can't say whether I will be following it as a steward, simply because it is not something I plan to do if I am elected), but I do think setting up such a committee would be a benefit for the stewards, and the local communities affected by the disruption. On of my concerns is the way they would be elected. The best way to ensure that they are vouched by most Wikimedian communities is to start a vote on a year basis, just like stewards; but I don't think wikimedians are fond of spending their time voting, especially for elections they don't fully understand (see the last elections for the Board of Trustees). So I would rather opt for every project's (existing) arbcom voting themselves for the GRCs: at least they are chosen by elected people who are used to dealing with complex matters with editors (this would in fact make this GRC a sort of global ArbCom, more appropriate). Another concern I have is, is there going to be many volunteers for such a role? It doesn't seem to be pleasant at all, particularly because of the language barrier. Elfix 19:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from MBisanz: I would generally be opposed to a concept that creates new classes of users and new elections. I agree we need new processes to assist the stewards and relieve them of decision-making in close calls. However, there are a limited number of trusted users who are suitable for such a position and already an excessive proliferation of elections on major wikis. Adding a new group of users who, presumably, would be excluded from performing other duties like steward or global sysop, would be a drain on our already small global pool of trusted users. Also, as the number of elections increases, the voter participation and level of due diligence applied in each election will decline. Also, it appears the proposed committee might rely on the WMF Board to appoint its members, which, given the board's general removal from community affairs, seems to be an incongruous re-introduction. Some idea of active arbcoms designating members to serve on the GRC might be workable, but I would want further input from communities that don't have arbcoms as to how they feel. Overall we need some way to coordinate these things like a GRC, but I don't think the current proposal balances the resources of the global community properly. MBisanz talk 19:52, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: I think further discussion is certainly warranted as the current proposal doesn't seem completely sure of itself yet. Having yet another global body doesn't seem an effective way to go, especially as the current proposal sounds to me like a cross between an arbitrator and a steward: basically a final step when all other steps have been exhausted. As at least one person has pointed out, stewards should be implementing consensus based on solid policy grounds, and this steps outside of that as it appears to require a decision be made even if no consensus exists. I think it needs a fair amount more work before being implemented. Perhaps something along the lines of a bureaucrat chat can be implemented which would allow the issue to be thoroughly discussed and a consensus among stewards to be reached concerning any highly controversial issues. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:12, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Snowolf: As it is structured, it seems to me a lot like an Arbitration Committee, and should probably have a clearer name (“The committee will work towards conflict resolution, will give advice to projects without internal conflict handling devices and will mediate in conflicts involving more than one project.”). That said, it is not necessarily a bad thing, and could have its uses, but I believe that the creation of special committees to which tasks previously run by the community are “offloaded” to, should be limited as much as possible, and community discussion and consensus-building processes be used in its place when it can be. Would it make the stewards' job easier? Yes, but the problems would most likely only shift place, not substance. Snowolf How can I help? 05:55, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: I believe it should be created. I have only positive thinkings from a commitee that is intended to facilitate some more sensitive discussions, whose members are chosen for having more experience on issues related. As long as it is ruled careful enough to keep their scope and don't make it too much 'powerful' and arbitrary, I am sure it will be necessary even more on future with the increasing of participation on all Wikimedia projects and there will be potentially more difficult cases to be solved. As we all know, stewards should avoid making decisions and having a committee to decide whether there is consensus or not on a controversial discussion would be undoubtely needed. Note: As my opinion remains the same, I copied my previous answer from last year.” Teles (T @ L C S) 16:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Luckas Blade: The idea sounds good to me, I can see good points in the proposal, like monitoring steward elections and some requests on meta, but I have some doubts about crosswiki issues, in these cases it's good have to impartial people, who aren't involved with; however, it would create a new class of users, these users wouldn't be eligible for some other status and there aren't a lot of them available. --Lucas Nunes 21:13, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst: Ambivalent to the current proposal would be my general response,some elements are useful, some simply not. It appears to fail the w:KISS principle and in my experience bureaucracies that are complex are doomed to fail no matter the amount of good faith and the best intentions. Many people are buried in detail and yet there is no agreement on either the principle or the scope. The discussion has been progressing for over 15 months, and to my external view it is trying to achieve too much in a single proposal (see previous sentence). If it is created, then its recommendations are there to be implemented by Stewards. billinghurst sDrewth 12:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Cekli829: I am believe it should be created. I agree with more Teles. --►Safir yüzüklü Ceklimesaj 13:46, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Tegel: I think it could be a good idea for supporting new and upcoming communities. The intention is good about the second part about them handling controversial cross-project requests and the Stewards handling the rest. The risk there is that there will be discussions about if a case is a "Controversial requests" or not instead of solving the problem. Other than that I agree with Luckas Blade above. -- Tegel (Talk) 22:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Under what circumstances may users be globally banned? What is your opinion about the proposed Global blocks and bans policy? Question no. 2 from Ruslik
    Answer from Pundit: Global blocks and bans should not be treated lightly. After all, the true reason for them is preventing further disruption, and not punishment. However, I believe that there is a breed of trolls and vandals, who somehow enjoy wreaking havoc or inciting the community members against each other on Wikimedia projects. When denied access to one project, they eagerly migrate to another, with more and more skill in wiki-lawyering their cases and balancing on the borderline. Since there is so many Wikimedia projects now (especially for those, who speak more than one language), there is a clear need for measures, which could restore peace and prevent further harm on other projects. If a user truly proves to be irresponsible enough not to be allowed to edit (temporarily or permanently) on several different, independent projects, the chances that s/he is irresponsible to edit on another are drastically high. The proposed criteria for global bans seem quite reasonable and conservative. Thus, I believe that global blocks and bans should be introduced. Still, I believe that the devil is in the details (e.g. determining the length of blocks, etc.), and also that practicalities of the discussed solution would have to be carefully evaluated after some trial period.
    Answer from Elfix: These two policies seem mostly sensible to me. Those requests should logically be controversial (otherwise there wouldn't be so much for banning a user), and should therefore be examined by the possibly future GRC, that will determine whether harm has been caused to multiple projects or not. If this entity requests the global ban of a user, communities should be able to locally unban them, should they disagree with the decision, since we know it is very hard to gain approval from every party on such matter. If a large number of projects has set up a local unban for the user, the global ban should be overturned. However, I don't quite grasp the idea of a selective global ban - either you participate in the projects, or you don't (if you refuse to contribute collaboratively, you probably don't belong here). Elfix 19:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from MBisanz: A user should be globally banned when they have shown a consistent inability to participate in any community within the WM-universe. This inability can generally be presumed when a user has been indefinitely banned from multiple independent project, but in the interests of due process, the method outlined in the proposed policy of an RFC at Meta, seems appropriate. I'm not sure that two pages are required though. While a global block is different from a global ban in that a ban is usually an adjudicated decision of incompatibility, while a block may simply reflect the technical injunction of editing rights, I visualize global blocks as a subset of global bans that are simply non-controversial because the user has made no intelligible contribution to any project and would not benefit from due process. I also agree with Elfix that there should be a local whitelist ability for the rare instance a globally banned user desires to participate in a community and the community reciprocates that desire. MBisanz talk 20:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: Users may be globally banned when they have clearly shown they can't play nicely with any of the various communities, and after all local remedies have been attempted and have failed to address the problem. I don't foresee this happening all that often (when compared against the large number of productive edits being made across all projects), but it's good to have a solid policy in place to deal with the potential harm someone of this ilk could cause. I also really like the idea that a local community can choose to locally unblock an editor if they choose as I believe the local communities should have as much autonomy as possible. I think the proposed policy has merit and I think discussion should continue to hammer out a solid policy which balances the needs of both the global and local communities. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:12, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Snowolf: Great care must be exercised so that these remedies are used only as a last resort, and only when it's really needed. The technical means to do so are at the moment limited, and as such, these policies will have to be reviewed again to make sure they work well once true global blocks are implemented. As for the circumstances of when users may be globally banned, I pretty much agree with the proposed Global bans policy and the need for it, a global ban should be applied only when the user is a serious threat to multiple wikimedia projects and the resolution on local wikis is not enough or not applicable. Also, I believe local projects should have the authority and technical means to override a global ban and allow a user in their project if they so desire. Snowolf How can I help? 05:55, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: It is difficult to foresee all possibilities. In my opinion users may be banned when there is clear and repetitive bad faith on some of his/her actions and other measures don't fit or were already tried to stop it, like local blocks, for example. It would be interesting to disallow an user from using a specific tool or from editing on a namespace if s/he has a history of abuse of them and maintain this user as a contributor as his/her edits might be valid. It still depends on establishment of a better way of decision. I don't think that any of existent processes (as RfC) are the best for that. As it might be controversial, it depends on the creation of a Dispute resolution committee or the GRC. Of course, I'm not referring to those cases when there is clear vandalism and also bad faith, but a steward action can be done without discussion as there is no need for a 'decision'; just applying community rules. Note: I partially copied my previous answer from last year as my opinion remains the same.” Teles (T @ L C S) 16:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Luckas Blade: Global bans should be the last action, when a user can't stop vandalizing or disegarding wiki's policies, in other words, when other possible and softer actions were tried and haven't worked. About the proposed policies for global bans and blocks, I believe that some details may be changed and improved, but the most important is that we need to develop tools to really do these new tasks. --Lucas Nunes 21:13, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. Banning globally is the last resort, and in my opinion is undertaken by stewards at the wish/direction of the WMF Board, and/or a clear majority of the community. Such wish/direction is judged to the agreed existing processes that are in place to manage abuse of the Terms of Use of Wikimedia, hopefully explicitly, though clearly within specified principles. Communities have the ability to lock their community to specific users, and the processes to manage that, they also have the ability to whitelist a user in their community to override a block. In this I am not certain that my personal opinion specifically matters, a steward's role is to undertake the task; if I was involved in a discussion that would rule me out of a decision-making role. billinghurst sDrewth 13:07, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Tegel: A global ban is the last resort when a user has proven on numerous projects that they can't/will not work in the direction of the basic foundation of the project. If they always work on the borderline of the policy's and when they get blocked on one project they take their agenda and move to the next project. I think that the criteria for global ban is good. -- Tegel (Talk) 22:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Questions from MarcoAurelio[edit]

Questions from real cases in the past years. We deal with this more than once per year.
I've clarified some of my questions per requests of some candidates. I'd like to excuse for my apparent unclear meaning. I'd like also to thank those who already answered my questions. Thanks.
  1. A user from a middle-sized X project approaches you seeking help because that Wikimedia Project is being vandalized en masse. The project has active administrators and checkusers but no one seems to be available at that time. Please describe what kind of actions —if any— would you take & why. Thank you in advance. Good luck. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 16:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    I'll be more than happy to provide an answer, but could you specify if by en masse you mean vandalization from a massive range of IPs and/or by a large number of accounts, or just a series of vandalizations from a single IP/user? Pundit 16:36, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Hello Pundit (and all). Sorry if my meaning is not clear. I'll try to elaborate. By "en masse" I mean, yes, vandalization by a large number of accounts and/or IP addresses (plural). Let me know if you need more details. Thanks. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 21:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Many thanks for this clarification! :) Pundit 22:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Elfix: I would at first get to the project's IRC channel and call on possibly idle admins to make sure that no admin is available. If no response is given, I would perform admin actions myself (such as blocking vandal accounts/reverting changes). If vandalism should persist, I would grant myself checkuser rights to perform IP checks myself. When the wave of vandalism is over, I would leave a message on the local admin's noticeboard or village pump (depending on the former's existence). Naturally, stewards would be informed of my intervention, and would possibly be called upon for assistance. Elfix 17:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from MBisanz: I assume by mid-size you mean a project large enough it does not permit global sysops, but smaller then de/en/fr-wp. If it was small enough to permit global sysops, I would first try to raise them on IRC. In any event, I would look around the project IRC channel to see if anyone was around. If it didn't include global sysops or none were around, I would start by blocking the offending users, making it clear I was doing so as a steward and that less deference should be given to my blocks. If it looked odd, like an established user who suddenly started blanking 100s of articles, I would be inclined to set a mid-length duration block. If it was just a vandal-bot or random IP, I would set an indef/longer block. If blocks could not contain it, I would grant myself checkuser powers unless the local policy specifically prohibited it and attempt to fight the attack by that means. I'd then post a notice to the local noticeboard and the the stewards list for outside review. MBisanz talk 17:36, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Hi MBisanz, do you know that Stewards are actually allowed to do what GS does? :) Bencmq 01:55, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
    I gathered they were based on common sense and because none of the stewards hold the GS right, but it seemed odd given there is no mention of it in policy. In any event, the reason I said I would flag down a GS is that while I can and have fought vandalism, I recognize that I don't have all the technical knowledge and tools that other more experienced crosswiki vandal fighters have developed. While I know I could stop an attack, a GS could do it even more efficiently then I could do it. That is the same reason I would make it clear that my block should be given less then the usual deference as I would be necessarily acting in haste and in something that I am not at an elite skill level in performing. MBisanz talk 04:07, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: I would first find out what the user meant by "en masse": just issues on that particular wiki, or spread across multiple wikis? I would also find out exactly what kind of vandalism it was and how long it had been happening (and if it was still ongoing) as some kinds don't absolutely require immediate attention and are more of a nuisance than anything detrimental. As you indicate the project already has admins and checkusers, I would first check to make sure none of them could handle the problem by checking to see if requests had been already made at appropriate noticeboards and that enough time had been allowed to give them a chance to respond (and if not, I would refer the user to make a post there first). Then I would check IRC to see if anyone was available there and point them to the post(s) on the noticeboard(s). If all that failed to get a response, and enough time had elapsed to allow them to have a chance to respond, and the vandalism was still actively happening, I would then then determine what kind of policies that project had as far as stewards intervening in such cases, and follow them. If no such policies existed, or the vandalism was extreme (such as that described by MBisanz, above), I would block the responsible account(s) and post a notice on the appropriate message board to the local admins could take it from there. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:59, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Pundit: After reading the answers I started to think that the described situation involved one person (account or IP) making en masse changes. In such a case, I'd use my own judgment in trying to establish if the changes are harmful or not (sometimes there is a series of massive technical changes/deletions needed, and not all users remember to ask for a flood flag), but if it indeed was a vandalism, stopping it would be very easy. However, it seems now that the described case is different: there is a massive, clearly vandalizing attack on Wikipedia articles from various accounts or IPs on one particular project (not spreading globally); it is persistent, and local admins/CUs are unavailable through regular communication channels. The first thing I'd do would be determining if the attacks can come from the same source. For example, "a lot of" IPs may be actually from the same range, possibly 15 students enjoying their prank from a dorm. For such a situation an IP range block would be sufficient. Also, as long as the number of accounts involved in the same attack was stable, it would be easy to just block them all - in both cases I would step in and perform the necessary emergency blocks (and reverts). I would also perform CU checks if the same kind of persistent and massive attacks was performed from a series of registered accounts (there was strong indication of sockpuppetry), as a necessary emergency measure in this case. As such a situation, depending on the scale, could sometimes even indicate a malicious and well organized attempt to disrupt Wikipedia, conducted by dozens of well-prepared people, I would alert other stewards to the situation, if the threat seemed major. I would try to determine the pattern in either the attackers or the attacked articles, to act preventively (for instance, protecting or semi-protecting articles from the attacked topic category, if there was just one or two). In any case, I would report the whole incident to local administrators on their board, as well as possibly try to contact some of them (from the recently active ones) by email. Once the situation stabilized, I would still periodically monitor the project just in case. Pundit 22:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Snowolf: I assume this means a project that has enough admins to do not have global sysops automatically enabled but not one of the bigger 50+ admin projects (there are over a hundred projects that fall under these criterias). After establishing that no admins are around thru various methods such as IRC, Administrator's Noticeboard, Emails, etc., I would notify the local community and administrator on the appropriate noticeboards, and proceed with the emergency blocks as needed, making it clear it was an emergency action subject to review of the local community after the fact. If necessary to stop the attack, I would temporarily grant myself local CU rights and perform the necessary checks and blocks, notifying again the local administrators' noticeboard and CU mailing list, and would collaborate with the local CU once they would become available, and monitor the situation in the meantime. I write this under the impression that the scenario is mean to be one where “I'm the only one around”, and consulting more experienced stewards to make sure my actions are correct is not available, but if it was, I would absolutely discuss this first with them. Snowolf How can I help? 18:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. This has elements of "how long is a piece of string", so I will try to answer with a principled approach, and hope that we are talking about the same piece of string. 1) Do no evil. 2) Act openly and within principles, 3) Clearly notify the community of any action undertaken. 4) Do the minimum to manage the situation, not the maximum. Procedurally a) Check for restrictions that are in place for stewards for that wiki Steward_policy#Check_local_policies, b) Ensure that there is vandalisation in place, c) Look to prevent vandalisation from the outside wiki by legitimate means, predominantly tools at Meta, d) check IRC for community members and local lists for admins, e) seek confirmation from fellow stewards, f) ("AND" statement time) if outside interventions have not worked, and no wiki-person is available, and operating within allowable restrictions, and vandalisation is severe, undertake the minimum action to slow/stop the vandal, notify the community of actions taken. Worst case scenario that I can see is if a bot accounts was/were in action, creating accounts, spamming and we had to get in and undertake a CheckUser to find the underlying IP address(es) to then act at a global level, so primarily that would be an investigative action so stewards could quickly halt the abuse external to the specific wiki, then the remedial action could be undertaken by locals. billinghurst sDrewth 13:33, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: In this case, we need to check if local sysops were already informed about it. As the community is not too small, it might have a place for reporting vandalism (Administrator noticeboard or vandalism report page). I would check if a block request is already placed there. If not, I could report it and wait for any response. At the same time, I would try to find help on local IRC channel. In the most of the cases, the vandalism is not so agressive or I can get an answer from a local sysop. Assuming that I fail on getting an answer from a sysop and the vandalism is being occurring for a while, I would block accounts and IP and keep reverting them. If there were no account creation, there is no need to grant me checkuser flag. If possible, I would block small ranges for a short duration. Even if there are multiple accounts vandalizing, I would initially just block the accounts and wait to see if autoblock is enough. If autoblock is enough to stop account creation and current vandalism, I would report to local checkusers, keep watching the wiki and nothing else. Only if I keep blocking accounts and they keep creating others for some time, I would grant myself checkuser rights, looking for open proxies or a possible range to block. I would also notify local checkusers on this case. After all that, I would notify local community of what I did, so they are able to agree/disagree of my actions, able to remove or change any block or protection I may have done. A good example of that occured on simple.wiki (see), where several IP were used to vandalize pages and no sysop was around. Global sysops were enabled as an emergency measure. Local community was notified of what was done, so they became aware of everything. In a nutshell, to do any administrative action on a local community, there must have a real need, no locals around to take action, transparency and make as minimum measures as possible.” Teles (T @ L C S) 16:45, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Tegel: First try to get hold of a local admin on their talk page or on IRC. It that is not possible I have to assess how big damage this is to the project and act according to that. The action could be anything from doing nothing and just reporting it to the community, to deleting articles, blocking users and do IP-check to block the IP-address behind. -- Tegel (Talk) 16:44, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Luckas Blade: I would try to call an active local admin, and if I couldn't find anybody, would do the administrative actions myself, and if necessary, would do checkuser actions too. After, I would inform what I did on local village pump and meta. --Lucas Nunes 00:08, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. At the project Y a dispute has started between two administrators. They've started to block each other & other users that told them to calm down. Some users approach you at meta and explain you the situation. Please describe what kind of actions —if any— would you take and why. Thank you. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 16:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Again, one clarification requested: does project Y have dispute resolution institutions? Pundit 16:36, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Hello again, Pundit. (a) No, the project does not have an ArbCom nor any official conflict resolution body. (b) The project do not have bureaucrats able to desysop (in fact in the 99% of the projects they can not). Let me know if you need more details. Thanks and sorry. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 21:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    No prob, I actually assumed so and answered previously, apologies for not crossing my question out :) Pundit 22:19, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Elfix: If it is clear that both admins have entered into a wheel war, blocking each other (and not stopping in spite of the warnings other editors have addressed to them), I would desysop them both, but wouldn't revert blocks or anything they've done, leaving it at the local community's discretion. I would then leave a message on the local administrator's noticeboard about my action. The rest isn't of my concern. (Note: If the wiki has bureaucrats able to desysop, I would at first check for active bureaucrats before acting. Also, if the dispute is over, I wouldn't do anything, considering desysopping would no longer be necessary on the spot.) Elfix 17:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from MBisanz: I'll make some assumptions that there are no local crats with the power to desysop who are active and that you mean admins who are not only blocking their admin opponents, but also other admins who are attempting to defuse the situation. I would pop into their IRC channel to see if anyone knew what was going on or if I could convince them to stop, but otherwise I would desysop them. The key here is that they are blocking people other then their direct opponents, thus creating an urgent situation that is endangering the local project. It would need to be both on-going and involving other users though to warrant me invoking my steward powers and I would of course immediately post to the local community's noticeboard and to the steward-l list. MBisanz talk 17:29, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Pundit: OK, I'll answer basing on general assumptions. If the conflict is going beyond a simple edit war - e.g. blocking intervening admins, as well as unblocking themselves by the conflicted parties, I would maybe try to get a quick update on the situation on IRC, but if it not was immediately available for whatever reason I would intervene and desysop both of them, and posted proper info on the noticeboard and the list. I would treat this as an emergency intervention. Crats often are not allowed to perform emergency desysopping, and also on most projects there is just a couple of them, so I would not wait for help from there, if the situation required immediate attention. Some of the picture would depend on the size of the project (it would, for example, be unusual for such an intervention to be necessary on en-wiki, as long as the edit-warriors were not unblocking themselves, since the war would be stopped much earlier than steward's intervention would be even necessary). On the other hand, on some small projects, where the number of admins is much more limited, even one or two blocks of regular editors, who tried to intervene, would be much more damaging. In general, emergency situations require immediate interventions, and the generally described scenario would in most cases require a quick stop (if the pattern of blocked intervening users could be observed), before the situation exacerbates. A steward should be careful, however, not to step into a conflict which does not call for emergency measures (e.g. regular edit warring). As a rule of thumb, in projects where there is plenty of admins, an edit war between two of them calls for steward intervention usually only when admins abuse their unblocking rights by unblocking themselves. Pundit 18:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: Making the assumption that there are no local bureaucrats who can do an emergency desysop, and I could clearly see how they had been acting inappropriately (invalidly blocking others simply for disagreeing with them and unblocking themselves), I would desysop the two of them and then let the locals sort things out from there. The main issue here is to prevent further damage by removing the core problem so the local wiki can then discuss the issue and come to a solution without the two problem admins being able to continue being a problem. I think the local community should generally be in charge of dealing with as much of the issue as they can, and think stewards should only step in when absolutely necessary (pretty much as a last resort). ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:59, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Snowolf: The first step for me, however obvious, would always be to attempt to discuss the issue with both admins on their talk pages, asking them to disengage from the dispute and let other, less involved administrators handle it. Assuming such attempts did not have the best of results, the road would now be divided. Should the wheelwarring, rampant blocking of users for no reason/no valid reason be rampant and evident, I would have no choice but to proceed to emergency removal of the administrator priviledges pending review by the local community. Should this be the avenue of choice, regretfully, I would do so, notify the local community on the appropriate boards, invite review of my actions, notify the users blocked in the blocking spree that the blocks would remain in place until another local administrator would have a chance of reviewing the actions (I believe stewards' involvement should be limited as much as possible). However should the issue be somewhat milder and offer some hope of a mediated solution (tho not immediately) and the damage done would be much, much more limited, I would attempt to contact users that could have some chance of talking some sense into the involved admins, such as the local bureaucrats, and delay the desysopping measures if at all possible. It's a bit difficoult to tell from such a short summary, and the spectrum of possibilities is pretty wide, but I would definitively focus on trying to reason with the users before taking emergency actions (I know it might be obvious, but I wanted to emphatize this point). As with the other question, I assume the situation implies is akin to a “only steward around, nobody else replies, etc” situation, but if not, I would absolutely try to get into contact with other stewards who might be around, and discuss the matter before anything is done. Snowolf How can I help? 18:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. I believe that in the example given that the local community has the primary responsibility to resolve this situation, and that they should be making all efforts to do so (other admins, crats, CUs), and that approaching a steward should be a last resort. Occasional reversion fisticuffs will unfortunately happen, however, such communities have to learn to resolve their issues, and have processes to manage. [Noting that edit-wise administrators are unable to do anything that is not recoverable.] If we are getting into special cases, in that it continues, and there are no other admins, etc., then it may be discussion time with admins asking /pushing/requiring them to get into a mediation, which should be done in conversation with other stewards. I doubt that I would intervene to remove rights without first consulting fellow stewards seeking opinions, and such removals would be extreme circumstances as these communities do have the ability to manage and resolve their own fate, which stewards then implement via tools, in line with Stewards don't override consensus billinghurst sDrewth 13:59, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: That is a new situation for me. Assuming that there is no other steward around to ask for an opinion, I would only do anything after making sure it is an emergency and after being sure of what is going on. The first thing to do is just trying to contact both users on their talk pages (I would leave a message in English if I couldn't find another trusted user to translate the message for me). I would ask them to stop blocking for a while and ask for an explanation. If they stop, I wouldn't unblock accounts, but just report it to local sysops. If they ignore my message and keep blocking users with no reason, that is an important signal that they may be doing something wrong. In this meanwhile, I would ask those other users to start a quick discussion on a highly visible local place (like a Village Pump), looking for some support for desysopping (since some users were already blocked, the discussion might be a little compromised and a Request for comment on Meta is also a possibility). As I couldn't have any response from both users and they keep abusing blocking tool by blocking a large number of users with no reason, I still would give a last warn to them, now saying that I will remove their tools if they don't stop and wait that community review their actions. If I'm still being ignored by them, I would remove sysop tools and left a message on a highly visible community discussion place, referring that what I did should be reviewed by community and may be undone by its decision. As I could understand from the situation exposed here, it is not only a simple conflict between users and a clear abuse of blocking tool is occurring, which requires a fast response to avoid more damage. For being an emergency, the interference is in the scope of Stewards policy.” Teles (T @ L C S) 18:10, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Tegel: Difficult question. I would check how it effects other users and if it could be considered as an emergency. At the same time I would try to consult with other Stewards. I would ask them to calm down and discuss the problem in a civil way. Also post a message on the village pump (or similar page) to see if some other user can calm them down. An emergency de-sysoping is the last resort, and that is after we have tried everything else. It's in the end the local community that elects the admins and they should decide if the user should be admin or not. The emergency de-sysoping should only be use to protect the project and it's user. -- Tegel (Talk) 16:44, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Luckas Blade: I believe such cases could be solved locally, and call a steward to do something should be the last resort. But if this happened to me and was urgent, I would talk with another stewards and ask their opinions. --Lucas Nunes 00:08, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Barras[edit]

  • Supposing you run a check on a vandal and you find out that the vandal is a steward, local admin or otherwise well-known user. What would you do in such a case and why would you handle it this way? -Barras 17:16, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Pundit: There should be no cabalism. If there were grounds to check against a particular user, it is irrelevant what their position in the community is and they should receive no pardon or special treatment in favor of privileged users. Rather, users of high trust fall from a high horse, when the trust is breached. Sam Blacketer controversy was a good example in this respect. However, you should note that I would find it very difficult to satisfy your criteria of "finding out that the vandal is a steward (etc.)" for sure (I'll stick to steward as an example for our discussion). A regular check may confirm only a limited number of things in the server log, such as IP address or browser. I could only confirm to a certain degree that the vandal account consistently points to a certain other account. As usual, a more thorough analysis would be needed to assure beyond any reasonable doubt that this is the same person (e.g. similar language used, articles edited, topics, POV, etc.). Also, you have not explained the context of my legitimate check, the size and policies of the project, or how it was that I did run a check at all (as you perfectly know, general fishing is not a good idea). In any case, basing on general assumptions, the vandalising account should be blocked immediately. The situation with full description of the investigation should be reported on the stewards IRC channel and the distribution list. Since the described situation would be very highly unusual, I believe that the case should be investigated and discussed by other stewards (considered as a "private request"). Depending on the circumstances, steward notice board on meta could be considered, but there would be a risk, as with any RfC, of unproductive comments from whoever comes by (including trolls with their own agendas and gripes). Meanwhile, until the situation is clarified (and I would assume a good explanation is necessary), I would globally block the discussed steward's account. Pundit 20:06, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: I agree that there should be no cabalism. In the case of a situation where it appears at first glance to be a higher-profile account as you describe, I would want to make sure I was very sure of what I was seeing before taking action unless it was a case of urgency (the vandalism is ongoing, for instance, and appears to be moving across multiple wikis). Depending on how the internet access for the individual is set up, they could be sharing the same set of IP addresses with multiple other people, so I think it's important to do the proper homework (as already described by Pundit). I would also discuss it with other stewards either before any blocks (in non-urgent cases) or after the block (in an urgent case as I described above). It's also important to make sure that the policies of the local wiki are followed, and in cases where the vandalism is limited to that one project the locals should have precedence in handling the issue as they wish. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 08:10, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. Two types of vandalism scenarios
    • primary account — being used for overt vandalism or senseless changes, and it is causing damage. Easy, I would lock/suspend the account and contact the person directly, as the account mostly likely has been hijacked. Any person with advanced rights would have the expectation that there account be blocked, not due to the editing but due to the advanced rights, and what can be done with them. Security wins, convenience comes second, apologies, if required, come third
    • non-primary account — If the vandal account is typical (senseless|spam) vandal account and just causing damage then it probably is going to be blocked before I even know who is behind/what is the account. So primary response is vandalism control to protect the wikis. My approach and training in investigation has always been with the provision of the concept of natural justice, so … If my (initial) investigation shows a sock that looks like someone with a wiki-reputation, that seems contrary to their contributions on wiki, then one has to be wary and considerate of any accusations that are made, as an accusation in an open forum can harm a reputation. Good investigative practice says for any proper/full investigation it requires more than one person, and that would always be the goal, and at some point would be to where I would pursue a formal investigation.

      I can see three general avenues to take (which avenue I would take is hard to tell without data and circumstance), so either a) get someone else to check my investigation data, either blind to my supposition, or with suspicions attached; noting that if is CU data that is being replied upon, it is never 100% conclusive, and one can generally not see all data anyway; b) depending on the relationship and the data, address it to the person directly; c) collect more data, revert more vandalism, do more analysis, then go back a) or b).

    billinghurst sDrewth 10:59, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Elfix: (I'll answer, assuming that I've run every possible check, asked for the others' opinion, and that there is no doubt whatsoever the vandal and the user in question are the same person.) Well, it's a rather broad question, here is how I would generally deal with it (it may differ depending on a lot of other factors):
    1. Remove their extra permissions - if any - from everywhere possible.
    2. Let the affected projects know about my findings, and possibly my actions, so they can take the next decisions (confirming the loss of sysop permissions, blocking the account, or whatever).
    3. Is the vandal a long term crosswiki problem?
      • Yes: I would open an RfC on meta - or submit a request to the GRC (once created, if ever). If disruption continues, I would lock the account until clarification is brought.
      • No: No further action - no crosswiki disruption, so no crosswiki account blocking. The concerned community (or the very few ones) will take their decisions separately (assuming it is only a local issue).
    My interventions here are purely technical, without any means to interfere with the local community policies or decisions; they are just performed to prevent any possible damage to the WMF projects.
    As to a steward being a vandal... aouch :) I suppose I would privately ask advice from some other experienced stewards that will take action themselves (I'm not so good at dealing with inner-originating problems...) Needless to say, the vandal account would be locked as usual, if crosswiki active, and the stewards would get notified of my actions. Elfix 12:13, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from MBisanz: If the user was a local admin or other well known user and was running a sockpuppet crosswiki vandalism-only account, I would simply lock the account (if I was wearing my checkuser for small projects hat, I would simply do a local block). Since a locked account cannot do any damage, I would not deflag the local user's account as that would be a decision for their community and if their community decided they could remain editing, I'm sure some combination of blocks on other wikis and a global unlock would satisfy that request (until global blocking is/if enabled). I would notify the local community that I had blocked the user for vandalism sockpuppetry and request they weigh in, as well as notifying my fellow stewards.
    If the user were a steward, I would do the same action and request review from my fellow stewards. Since a global lock would prohibit the user from logging-in, there would be no need to immediately de-flag them. Given Billinghurt's wise counsel above about the effects on a person's reputation, I would want to minimize the potential damage and do only what was necessary to fully protect the projects. MBisanz talk 15:24, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: First of all, we need to make sure that the information we got from checkuser is enough to confirm relation between users. From what the question states ("...you find out that the vandal is..."), we can undoubtely confirm relation between users. I will answer as if it is confirmed and we are not being "deceived" by a misinterpretation of checkuser info. In all cases, it definitely requires a second (or third) opinion. I wouldn't take a decision all by myself. If the main account is not being used so far to do anything wrong (no harm from main account), I believe I can wait a few hours for a second opinion before doing anything.
    1. Main account is a known user: on large or average projects, I think that stewards shouldn't do anything, but posting checkuser results. Let the community decide what to do. Small projects may not have a local community to decide it. In this case, I can block the account and announce on wiki or - if vandalism is not too much agressive and recurrent - open a request for comment on Meta with a link to this discussion on local wiki.
    2. Main account is a sysop: it depends on how big the project is and on how fast can local community decide about it. If it is a small wiki, I would discuss with other stewards the removal of tools before posting checkuser results. After knowing that his/her vandalism acts are not a secret anymore, the vandal might use his/her tools to vandalize, so we get to be careful on that. I would probably remove tools and post full explanation right after, but I wouldn't do anything by my own. If the wiki is large or average, I would also try to contact local users to know what they think we should do. Local sysops, bureaucrats and trusted users are preferable.
    3. Main account is a steward: If steward tools are not being abused, I would contact other stewards in private and we would decide what to do. The removal of tools would probably be necessary as there is too much danger on his/her hands. The consequences of a vandalism with steward tools are unpredictable to say the least, with severe danger for important policies. For safety, I would argue for removal of steward tools, then announce checkuser results and wait for community opinion. Trustees would become aware of it... just in case.” Teles (T @ L C S) 11:09, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Snowolf: Many situations can fit this broad description. I am assuming that the question refers to a situation in which the results are conclusive and prove the issue at hand definitively and the main account shows no vandalism or questionable behavior.
    Stewards run checks thru SRCU on behalf of all wikimedia projects without local checkusers. In such a case, a steward should if possible limit himself to posting the results and let the local communities decide what actions if any to take. An example would be a local check on wiki X revealing that admin Y is also vandal user Z. Provided no misuse happens on the admin account, I would report the issue to the local community and monitor the situation to react in case problems develop on the main account. Stewards routinely run checks on several “big wikis” such as ptwiki and zhwiki where there's plenty of local administrators (and in case of ptwiki, arbcom too) that should handle the matter once the results are posted. As a steward I would step in to block the vandal account myself only if there are no active local admins and the account was vandalizing rampantly, if the vandal account was vandalizing across multiple wikis (hence requiring a global lock) or if it was a wiki part of the gs-set. I would not touch the main account under normal circumstances, as it is up to the local community to, once the information is available to them, make an informed decision about what to do with the user.
    Should a check reveal that a steward is also running a vandal account, I would discuss the matter with other stewards to decide what to do (it should be a collective decision if at all possible) and notify the Ombudsman commission just in case. Removal of tools should be discussed and agreed to with other stewards before such action is taken.
    If a check would reveal a local checkuser or oversighter was also running a vandal account or was a vandal account, I would immediately contact other stewards, notify again the Ombudsman commission and verify that no abuse happened/is happening on the account with the permissions. If abuse was shown or the user posed an imminent danger (such as a long term abuser or that kind of thing, let's say like the whole Poetlister mess where it was feared/assumed that once publicily connected to the vandal account the advanced permissions might be abused and the public “connection between the accounts” was either already there or about to become public), I would proceed to immediate removal of the permissions. Otherwise, I would not publish my findings and allow for other stewards to fully review them and act on it after some consensus on the matter.
    Each one situation is unique, and how I would react would depend on the specific of the case at hand, but in general I do believe that local communities should be allowed to deal with their problems and make their own determinations. Emergency measures are sometimes needed, and that's obvious and fine, but if it can be resolved by simply posting the results and let the local community decide whether the user should or should not be an admin, then that should be the way to go, while obviously keeping a very, very close eye on the user to make sure no abuse of permissions happens. Snowolf How can I help? 19:41, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    It has been pointed out to me that ptwiki no longer has an arbcom (thanks teles!). I have accordingly struck the reference. Snowolf How can I help? 20:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Tegel: I agree with the analysis made by Teles. If it would be an admin on a project where I'm active I would hand it over to another Steward. -- Tegel (Talk) 23:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Luckas Blade: In a case like this, I would immediately contact another stewards to explain all situation and decide exactly what to do. Specially if it happens where I'm active, I wouldn't get involved. --Lucas Nunes 00:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Question from Carlossuarez46[edit]

  • Different projects seem to have different standards or tolerances for discord, and what may seem disruptive in one wiki may not be in another. How would you familiarize yourself with the norms of the wiki - and which side in a dispute is correct - before undertaking actions; especially if you are not conversant in the language in which the exchanges are made? Carlossuarez46 (talk) 19:40, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. I have faith that willing parties are generally able to resolve their issues, though parties may need some mediation to resolution, and generally you will find that a result with agreed positions are better than externally enforced positions. Those who are good faith editors generally agree upon much more than they disagree, so in modern mediation it is about narrowing the gap in the area of disagreement. Even where I have seen toxic workplaces, there is usually a path to resolution and it is often about getting reflective time and focusing on what the parties are looking to to resolve the situation. There is also value in getting neutral opinion in review, one-person decisions for complex situations are usually prone to error. My matra … Fools rush in billinghurst sDrewth 12:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: Hi. Stewards are elected to implement community consensus. They are not up to decide which side in a dispute is correct or not. Any action from them will follow something already decided by community members. So, in a dispute, I wouldn't act as an arbitrator or as a sysop that decides about the closure of a discussion. The final decision have to be already established by community and I would just follow their decision. From what you said, I understand that it might be a controversial decision and a non-regular procedure, which makes even more necessary to have a clear consensus about any decision. As I don't know the language, it might be necessary to ask a trusted user to translate a local policy or the discussion.
    Maybe I couldn't understand your question. If you can explain better or point to a real case, I can try to see what you mean. Sorry for the delay. I have too much pages on my watchlist and just saw that. Perhaps others candidates didn't see that either.Teles (T @ L C S) 07:56, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: As Teles mentioned, stewards are generally not called upon to resolve disputes, but instead to implement already-existing consensus. It's up to those on a local wiki to determine the consensus themselves as stewards should only be implementing what they decide. If something is occuring in a language I don't know or can't figure out, I would definitely seek assistance in understanding what was being requested (or what needed to be done) in the local language wiki before taking any action (except in cases of blatant vandalism or spamming). ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:33, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Questions from Aspiriniks[edit]

  • What is your opinion concerning the planned opt-in personal image hiding feature?
  • How would you act, if conflicts between administrators and the foundation, or among administrators would appear
    1. about implementing the image filter in a wikipedia, where this is rejected by most users (like German or Swedish WP), as the foundation wants to force this against their wills ([3]: The feature will be developed for, and implemented on, all projects.)
    2. about categorizing pictures in commons into one of the filter-categories.
  • Thank you! -- Aspiriniks (talk) 11:08, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Billinghurst. 1) My opinion is personal and about personal choice. 2) Stewards are there to implement the wish of a community within the boundaries set by WMF, not to impose the will of a steward. Personal opinion is that if the Foundation instructs something to happen then staff will follow that direction, and it will not be something that the stewards can or would be able to override. Either way a steward's task is to implement each communities' wishes and that is "no skin off my nose". billinghurst sDrewth 12:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Teles: Can you, please, explain better what do you mean by "conflicts"? These are differences of opinions? Is there having any misuse of tools? I might be wrong (and that is why I am asking you to explain better), but maybe it is not between stewards tasks to act here, though they are free to participate in a discussion related like any other user. I will be waiting for your message. Thanks.” Teles (T @ L C S) 08:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    Answer from Nihonjoe: I think the feature is a good one as it allows individual users to determine if there are certain categories of images they don't wish to see. This will possibly reduce the number of "well-meaning" editors who currently vandalize in order to remove images they don't like since they can just hide the images instead. I don't know how that would hurt any local wiki with it being an individual setting for logged-in editors, but it wouldn't be my place as a steward to dictate my opinion to any specific local wiki (though I could offer an opinion as just an editor there, just like any other editor). As for conflicts between the foundation and local wikis (or local wiki conflicts between admins), that's for the foundations and the local wikis (or the local admins, in the second case) to work things out. If some sort of discussion needs to be had to come to a consensus on how to deal with an issue, then that discussion needs to happen and stewards can then implement that consensus once it is determined. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:54, 26 February 2012 (UTC)