Stewards/Elections 2018/Questions

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The 2018 steward elections are finished. No further votes will be accepted.

Eligible voters (see application guidelines) can ask questions to all candidates on this page. Please post no more than 2 relevant questions per candidate (in total; ie. all questions a candidate needs to answer are counted), and keep them as concise and relevant as possible. Candidates, please answer as briefly and simply as possible.

For all candidates[edit]

Question 1: Home wikis[edit]

  • Per the m:Stewards policy, stewards are required to avoid "changing rights on home wikis (wikis where they are active community members), except for clearcut cases (such as self-requested removal or emergencies)." If elected, how would you practice this? What would you consider to be your homewikis? --Rschen7754 03:03, 20 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • -revi's answer: I consider following wikis to be my homewiki: Korean Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Meta-Wiki. All of the wikis are where I already hold admin status, and all of them have active bureaucrats, therefore I cannot act as bureaucrat there per Stewards Policy. Korean Wikipedia lacks Oversight and Wikidata lacks CheckUser, therefore I will refrain from using these permissions. Additionally, I have temporary admin status on Korean Wikinews and Korean Wikiversity, and will avoid using Stewards permission there. Anything found on homewikis will be forwarded to other stewards for their decision. — regards, Revi 13:08, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Ciell's answer: Thank you for the question. I would handle according to the policy, so wouldn't do any steward actions on my home wiki. I consider the Dutch Wikipedia to be my home wiki, since I'n an administrator there. Ciell (talk) 14:25, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Coffee's answer: I would consider the English Wikipedia my home wiki, and would ensure to never make any actions there whatsoever (unless it is an emergency and no other stewards can be found). I would always relay anything I see of concern on en.wp to any of my colleagues so that they could impartially handle the situation. Appearing involved is something I never want to happen while having the steward right. Coffee // have a cup // 12:36, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Cyberpower678's answer: I am primarily active on the English Wikipedia where I hold sysop access. Naturally, if I can't change rights with the privileges I hold there, then I won't change it with my steward bit. That also goes for any wiki I hold elevated permissions on. With that being said, if the user self-requests removal of access, and local users cannot do it amongst themselves, I will consider it, only if another more neutral steward is unavailable to do it after some time, such as if a Bureaucrat requests removal of access, I would defer to another steward unless the request sits for 3 days. In cases of emergencies, if another steward isn't readily available to make the necessary rights changes on my wiki, or another user on enwiki for cases of sysop abuse, then I will carry out the removal myself. To sum up, I would only ever intervene on my own wiki, if there was really no other option available, given the circumstances.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:17, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Faendalimas's answer: Thanks for the question, I was asked a similar question below, However, my home wiki is Wikispeciies, where I am a Bureaucrat and a CheckUser. I would not change User Rights as a Steward on Wikispecies (except as clearly defined as exceptions) and would request on Meta in Steward requests/Permissions for a neutral Steward to do this for me as I currently do in my administrative activities on Wikispecies. I would continue to do those tasks I can currently do as a bureaucrat, however this is mostly tasks such as giving approved bots the bot flag and possibly admin rights if its been asked for and approved etc. As a bureaucrat I cannot remove the admin or bureaucrat flag from a user on Wikispecies, I would not do it on Wikispecies if given the role of Steward. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:30, 20 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Green Giant's answer: Thank you for the question. If elected, I would be wary of doing this on Commons, English Wikipedia or English Wikiversity (my home wikis), unless it was an genuine exception. On Commons it is usually a bureaucrat who closes RfA's so I would leave the rights change to a less-involved steward. However, I would continue to add or remove license reviewer or file mover rights on Commons using the admin interface as long as there were no other issues. I would also hesitate to change rights for any user who I might have a significant disagreement with because of the risk of appearing partial. Green Giant (talk) 12:28, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Rxy's answer: Thanks for the question. Same as 2 years ago, I copied from Special:Diff/15310263 ; I consider to these are Japanese projects, meta, and wikidata. When emergency occurred at my home wikis, and need to change an user rights for that measures, I'll request it to another stewards in first. if another stewards were not available, I'll talk it to local bureaucrats or sysops. Then these were not available or if they are agreed to that, I'll do it. --rxy (talk) 18:47, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • There'sNoTime's answer: Thank you for the question - I consider my home wiki to be the English Wikipedia, where I hold admin, CU and OS. I would continue my activities there as I would were I not a steward, by only changing user rights when requested at WP:PERM (or another suitable venue). I would not use the rights granted by the steward group to make any rights changes - TNT 23:11, 25 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Wiki13's answer: Thank you for this question, I consider the Dutch Wikipedia as my home wiki. I would avoid doing any rights changes related to that wiki, except in the afore mentioned exceptions. But even in in those exceptions I would wait to see if any "neutral" steward steps in, before actually acting myself. --Wiki13 talk 23:17, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • علاء's answer: Hi Rschen7754, thanks for the question. I currently consider Arabic Wikipedia, Wikidata and Arabic Wikibooks as my home wikis. I'll not use my steward tools on those wikis. In emergencies, I'll try to find another steward and help them with language if necessary. In few exception -(1) global rename rights on meta, which isn't a Meta-Wiki thing and (2) urgent cases requiring immediate response to protect the project, if I there's no other steward (or local user with the necessary rights) at the time- I'll use my steward tools on those wikis. Generally, there are enough other stewards to handle such requests --Alaa :)..! 16:23, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question 2: Role and challenges of stewards[edit]

  • Please, describe in your own words how do you see the role of a steward as and what is your expectation if you are elected. And, in short, what do you think will be the biggest challenge facing stewards within the next few years? RadiX 02:40, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • -revi's answer: Hi, while some meta-ignorant people think Stewards are like Judge or the ArbCom — the final dispute-resolving entity, this is not true, and Stewards are, imo, executor of the consensus. While Stewards have discretion on their own, for example whether or not to lock the 'claimed' LTAs or how long should new RfA candidates are given temp (or permanent) admin, their actions should be within the limit of consensus, and they cannot override the consensus to inject their own opinions.
    As a steward, I will try to verify there is a consensus to do something (i.e. promoting someone to admin), and when details match the request and they are within our permitted actions (i.e. they are not requesting checkuser on IP and accounts), then I will do the request as requested. As I stated in my statement, I will start with comfort zone - continue global renaming, locking obvious spams, then expand to other areas.
    I can't predict future, but as in previous years, spams and LTAs won't stop, which will continue to be our pain point. — regards, Revi 05:25, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Ciell's answer: as an admin I've seen a few trigger-happy admins: I do not consider myself to be one of those and hope not to be a trigger-happy steward. I believe in the power exchanging ideas to come to of consensus. I do realise though, stewards are called to action when mostly this point has past, for instance with small wiki vandalism. I do believe that it is important to put a stop to behaviour that are abusive and causes damage to other users. The biggest challenge is difficult to say: I believe in the usage of Wikidata for small wiki's to compose their articles (like Welsh does) and believe that the vandalism on the small wiki's will change because of that, maybe even move to Wikidata? Who can see, let's see and find out. Ciell (talk) 20:17, 2 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Coffee's answer: My view is that stewardship is not much different that having most any other rights: Without any personal authority; executors of community consensus. It also carries with it a grave level of responsibility in the same nature as OTRS, both in privacy related matters and in how one being in the role is expected to act as an example of the Foundation (in their stewarding duties). I expect to also have to use my experience to identify and prevent LTAs from disrupting the site, proactively. I also expect to use my knowledge in dealing with abusefilters, always ensuring above all, that we have as few filters as is possible to reduce server lag. As far as the biggest challenge we may face? I can't speak to that honestly, as in my eyes it is best to approach every situation as it comes and assess it for it's worth/destructive properties at that point. Ask me this question again if I get elected, in about a years time after working in the area... and I'll likely be able to give a more enlightened answer to this. Coffee // have a cup // 13:30, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Cyberpower678's answer: In my own words, I view stewardships as being guardians, or protectors, of WMF wikis. They are tasked with making sure the wikis are kept from harm by blocking, or locking, notably problematic users, and carrying out tasks that require very powerful tools, at the request of respective communities, backed by consensus or policy. They are entrusted to use the tools responsibly, to be neutral, and assist in resolving disputes, as needed, on a global scale. They are the in between for the WMF, and the global community. Of course naturally they can't do whatever they want. Their actions have to be justified, and said justification is normally through an established policy or a community request. The problems Stewards currently face and will likely continue to face, is that there will always be cases of global abuse requiring their intervention. However on top of that, there is a declining population of administrators on the English Wikipedia, and I can reasonably assume this is true on other wikis as well. With the declining population and the growing size of the wikis, eventually it may eventually fall on the Stewards to figure out some kind of solution to this problem if the local communities can not figure it out themselves. It has become increasingly difficult to become an administrator there, and consequently it's often referred to as "going through the gauntlet". Too many users that would otherwise be excellent administrators are deterred from even running as a result of serial opposers opposing for the silliest of reasons. Even though RfA has gotten slightly better in that regard, the demoralizing effect has already spread resulting in no one willing to even try.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 00:57, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Faendalimas's answer: Thank you for the question. Like others here I see the role as an executor of the decisions reached by consensus for a number of administrative tasks where there is a high level of restriction for the tools to carry it out, such as the giving and removal of various user rights. They are also capable of extending rights and other similar decisions globally. In their position that encompasses all Wikimedia projects they are able to liaise between multiple projects as necessary which will come into play in particular with global blocks for example, also they can assist with problems that are cross-wiki in nature. However, they are required to follow consensus, so for example in giving or removing a user right, such as checkuser as an example, the request must first have consensus on the relevant project among the users, and admins etc of the project in question following the policies of that project and Mikimedia foundation. Therefore what I am expecting is significant administrative tasks those of which cannot be done locally, that I will be needing to pay significant attention to issues, and discussions on many Wikimedia Projects. As for the future I think a major issue is the balance of Stewards available, for example if a majority are from the English Wikipedia as their home Wiki then there is a shortage of Stewards who can act with neutrality there. We are probably, and I have seen some discussion on this, short on many language capabilities. It would seem from some discussion I have seen that becoming a Sysop on EN WP has become an increasingly difficult path and I wonder at the long term issues of that. Although I agree that sysop should not be too easy to get, too hard is also a deterrent for people who may make excellent admins, and eventually possible stewards. So possibly we need to open discussions on issues such as this. As a steward it would be an issue I would need to be involved in as long term goals for projects are important, and issues are best dealt with before they become too critical. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:09, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Green Giant's answer: The steward role is best summed up as being the last point of contact for the community and the first point of contact for the WMF. The community trusts them with tools that are not available to every user (for good reasons). For the WMF, the stewards represent community consensus (whether or not they ageee with it). To give a recent(ish) example, there have been a number of global bans, which is the most serious on-wiki action that can be taken against a user. For a group of projects that pride themselves on openness and allowing anyone to participate, it is essential for the community to publicly agree to ban someone from participation. The actual implementation of the ban falls to the stewards. The WMF can also ban users but they cannot always publicise the reasons. These are situations where, on request, I think the WMF should at least give some information to stewards, which they shouldn’t publicise themselves but it would give the community the confidence that the WMF are held to account by the elected servants of the community. Of course holding the WMF to account is also one of the tasks In terms of the future, my crystal ball is not working, but I predict that there will be a continuing challenge from LTA's and spammers but also from the sheer pressure of new users. Those of us who started years ago are going to be gradually outnumbered by new users, and rightly so. The difficulty will be in how to cope with increasing numbers of requests for global renaming, locks and blocks, rights changes etc. The obvious solution will be to encourage more people to apply to become administrators, bureaucrats, oversighters and checkusers, and to encourage more A/B/CU/OS to apply for global renamer, global sysop and steward. Green Giant (talk) 10:04, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • There'sNoTime's answer: Thanks for the question. To me, the role of a steward is still that of a caretaker, but with a wider scope in regards to who they are able to assist and where they can "clean up". They have the purview to act globally (through locks, blocks and edit filters) but the responsibility to ensure consensus is gained locally - this is something which I expect to take some getting used to, so any actions I initially make would be cautious. My expectation is a learning curve as I come to grips with the global (and local) implications of actions I could potentially take, but this is something I pride myself in being able to handle, from both real world and Wikimedia experiences. The biggest challenge I can see stewards facing in the coming years has been mentioned above already - our ability to counter cross-wiki long term abuse is lacking, and this is where I believe I can be of help, through my experience with the edit filters and CU/OS. - TNT 10:52, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Rxy's answer: Thanks for the question. I think steward role is promote the Wikimedia movement with execute a consensus things when that is cross wiki or no available executor in that wiki. That must be comply each policies that based on Wikimedia vision. if I had an elected, I'm helpful for fighting vandalism, and I will be write scripts or patch for improve efficiency to steward tasks. ; After SUL finalization, some local tasks is migrated to global task (e.g. username blacklist, global abuse filter,rename user... etc). It means centralised and that are increases of steward tasks. I think how to improve that or what we delegate things to the local community is biggest challenge facing stewards within the next few years. I think we should have aggressive communication with each local community.--rxy (talk) 11:49, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Wiki13's answer: Personally I would see them as a so-called "liaison" between the global community and the Wikimedia Foundation. For the community this is for executing the established consensus, even when stewards might not particularly agree with that. Personally I see stewards are not that not very different from most other people. In the sense of "rights" the stewards have rights globally that a lot of of wiki's already have (think Administrators, Bureaucrats, CheckUsers, Oversighters) locally. This does not necessarily mean they can do whatever and get away with it, no, in the contrary even. Regarding my expectation on what I will do after being elected: I will keep doing what I already do now and will build out from there. This means first getting the grasp of working as one before trying to take additional tasks onto myself. In my personal opinion, after working with quite a number of stewards already, is that the problem that we are already facing, is the amount of work and requests which needs to be done keeps increasing ever so slightly. From what I see there is no real clear-cut solution for this problem, other than try to convince more people of running for steward/global sysop or even as local administrators. Regards, Wiki13 talk 14:25, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • علاء's answer: Thanks for the question. As mentioned on Stewards policy that stewards follow community consensus and they're dealing with emergencies, but generally stewards don't exercise their powers in a project that has local users with the required rights. Also we should consider that Stewards are trusted by global community, and they assist in two fields; global (like SRUC & SRGP) & local (like SRP). Well, if elected, I would like to help with the steward requests backlog. I would like to handle requests on Meta, mostly on SRUC, SRCU, SRGP, SRP and various other maintenance tasks from time to time. I want, also, to use my steward access for fighting crosswiki vandals/spammers. I also believe that, being an Arabic speaker will bring linguistic and cultural diversity to the steward team, as there is no currently-active Arabic steward. I think the biggest challenge facing Stewards the point that many users think (misbelief) Stewards have a great power and no one can face them and they not make mistakes. Best --Alaa :)..! 16:32, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question 3: Stho002's lock and when to lock users[edit]

  • Stho002 is a former administrator with over 500.000 contributions of which most were good faith contributions that have improved various Wikimedia projects, but this user is currently globally locked without there being a request for comment to get a Global ban, would you set global locks like these? When would you set the line that a global ban should be requested instead of a global lock? Note that global locks are already treated as global bans, so under what circumstances should a global ban be requested to the community and when should stewards decide to lock users like they did wirh Stho002? Locks like these can be controversial and seeing how first Billinghurst removed the lock with the claim that this should be brought to the community a steward must have a clear motivation to lock a user like this so would you have locked Stho002 under these circumstances?--Donald Trung (Talk 🤳🏻) 13:13, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Comment Comment I think it's fair to the stew candidates if you tell you were yourself locked in August 2017, and unlocked a month later under conditions. Trijnsteltalk 20:56, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • -revi's answer: I am uncomfortable speaking about a real case without proper background information. However, I also disagree that "global locks are already treated as global bans". Global ban is "exclusively applied where multiple independent communities have previously elected to ban a user for a pattern of abuse", while global lock "happen(s) rarely and almost always in clear-cut situations." Global lock is a method of implementing global ban, but this does not mean global lock happens in place of global ban. — regards, Revi 03:07, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Ciell's answer: I have to say that I haven't dealt with global bans and locks before. I think, like Coffee, that the amount of good edits a user has done, does not rectify his right to misbehave. A good user turning bad might even be more harmful to the projects, then just your average vandal. I don't think I would handle these cases yet, but would surely be interested how my colleague's do and learn from that. Ciell (talk) 20:26, 2 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Coffee's answer: Just a few notes: The amount of good edits someone has done do not prevent them from being globally locked if deemed necessary by consensus. From what I can tell (with the caveat that I cannot see all the details on this) from the cross-wiki logs, this administrator had begun to abusively use accounts across multiple projects and they had become such a wiki-wide nuisance that they needed to be locked to prevent further disruption. Such cases are extremely unfortunate, albeit, as it means we lose a prolific contributor to the site. Which means that as a steward I would take especially high care in considering their actions, as a whole, before taking any steps. The largest consideration however, has to be community consensus. If the community believes someone is too much of an administrative burden to allow them to continue editing, and that (regardless of their years of good work) they have become a net-negative to Wikimedia as a whole, then they have to go sadly. But, like I said, since it has the potential to have a large impact on both the user and anyone they've worked with, this is something I would definitely confer with another steward with about before taking action, it is merely our duty to ensure that consensus is enforced properly. Other than that I'd prefer to stay away from some of the hypotheticals in this statement, as I believe I simply do not have enough familiarity with this global lock at this time. Coffee // have a cup // 16:47, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Cyberpower678's answer: I personally think the first part of this question is a pointless question. It doesn't matter how many good edits any user makes, if they act, or behave, in some manner that is disruptive to the project, or community, and they refuse, or are unable, to address those issues, the result will always be a block. If that disruption is on a global level, then a global (b)lock or a ban is necessary. I will not comment if the current global lock is appropriate or not, as I have no background on that situation, but being a steward does not mean they get a free pass to do whatever they want. If it was really inappropriate to globally lock this user, it would have been overturned the second time as well, since stewards look over each others shoulders. It's as TNT said above, it's all dependent on the situation and the circumstances, and of course a matter of following policy, or the WMF. It's also as everyone else said, global locks are not the same as global bans. It's just a means to implement a ban.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 01:05, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Faendalimas's answer: This is complicated for me to answer. Since some of what happened to the user that has been given as an example fell under my role as a CheckUser. His initital de-sysop and ban on Wikispecies was done by Admins and Bureaucrats from before I became involved. However subsequent issues came up afterwards and some of them were involving sock-puppetry. No matter how many good faith edits, and in this case many of them were good edits, were done this is no excuse for the abuse of other users and admins and the repeated socks to avoid blocks that this user did. He was in the end doing this on both Wikispecies and the EN-WP where he was permanently blocked in both cases. He then began abusively attacking people on Meta. In one discussion I clearly stated this user could be an asset to any wiki, if he would just follow consensus, stop the abuse, and follow policy regarding account creation. The user has stated that he creates the socks because he does not agree with the block decisions. The global block I believe was put in place after he started using Meta as a way to abuse those he could no longer attack on EN-WP and Wikispecies. He also, while blocked, attempted to interfere with a number of RfC`s on other Wiki`s. Being familiar with this situation I believe if a similar set of circumstances came up with another user I would have, as a steward, come to a similar decision. Its to do with the level of disruption, in this case as a former admin the user knew how to be disruptive on Wikimedia. I recognise that an RfC is the preferred path, however, sometimes situations require more urgent action. The evidence in this case was a major escalation in abuse of privelages, abuse of other users and damage to many pages. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:27, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Green Giant's answer: Interesting question(s) but as TNT and Coffee have pointed out there is a difference between a ban and a lock (although to all intents and purposes it may feel exactly the same to the affected user). You give a rather poor example to illustrate your point; perhaps you could point to a policy or a community discussion rather than a single administrator's comment on one wiki. It is to be noted that the user in question is blocked from editing on four wikis (and has been blocked on Commons previously) and found to have engaged in sockpuppetry. When someone has been blocked on more than one wiki, it becomes quite clear that there is a build-up of community consensus against the actions of that user. Whether that consensus is sought out on Meta or on individual wikis is frankly irrelevant. I don't disagree that the user made many good contributions but whether they have made a million contributions or just one should not be a deciding factor when it comes to blocking or locking. I won't list them but quite a few blocked, locked, banned and canned users have made great contributions but they were unable or unwilling to work collaboratively. On the pther hand I can also think of quite a few people who were blocked, who then made an effort to answer the criticisms by cooling off and returning to constructiuve editing. Let's be honest, 500K edits is very good, but what about the value of the millions of edits made by thousands of users who somehow manage to avoid creating disruption? To answer the question, yes I probably would have locked an account that has been so disruptive, blocked on multiple wikis, used sockpuppets etc. The community consensus that you seem to suggest was lacking for the locking seems to be present in the various wikis affected by this disruption. Green Giant (talk) 18:09, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • There'sNoTime's answer: Global bans and global locks are two separate things, so I disagree with the statement that "global locks are already treated as global bans". The key element I take away from the related policy pages is again one of level of consensus required. Given the majority of this question involves an actual global lock, and that it would be inappropriate for me to comment in a situation where I don't have all the facts of the case, I will not make specific comments. If in a similar situation, I will of course follow policy and ensure consensus is gained for any actions, and listen to the advice of more experienced stewards and Wikimedians - TNT 13:42, 30 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Rxy's answer: I refrain from write an opinion to specific case in here. As general logic, global lock or global block is technically restriction method and that is stewards have discretion it based on related policies. Globally blocked users are not applied to global ban automatically (except already globally banned user). Any stewards can be remove a global lock or global block when no reason to continues it (except clear case, it is better for consult to that to another stewards before do it). In contrast, global ban is community consensus. Any stewards must not remove a global lock to globally banned user because stewards have no right to decide of global ban without community consensus.
    In usually, blocks are applied to person for prevent abusive edits, not an IP address or a user account (except uncontrolled bot or irregular case). If the person have been active block, that person is not permitted to editing. For example, when a person created two user accounts, one is good faith account with many good edits, alternative one is bad faith account with personal attacking edits. in this case, that will be block both accounts because a person violated to our terms of service or policy. if that person want to unblock, that should be take a policy defined regular means. Any case does not acceptable for block evasion when the person with active block.--rxy (talk) 11:49, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Wiki13's answer: Global locks and bans, are like others told above here, two entirely different things. A lock can be used to implement a ban (whether it be a community or WMF one). Regarding the named user in the question. I can't answer this is detail, as I don't know any of the background of how it came to be. I do want to note that whatever the amount of (good-faith) edits from an user may be, it doesn't give him immunity/free pass from a global lock when people deem it is necessary to prevent further abuse/disruption over multiple wiki's. I can't say what I would have done with this user if I would have been a steward at that point in time. This is because I don't know the whole story, so I rather not judge without knowing all of the facts surrounding this user. Regards, Wiki13 talk 23:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • علاء's answer: All above explain the differences between Global lock and Global ban. Also every action dependent on the specific situation and the circumstances, and of course Stewards should follow the policies. --Alaa :)..! 16:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question 4: Pourquoi faire compliqué?[edit]

Désormais la moindre décision donne lieu à des modalités décourageantes même pour un utilisateur de longue date tel que moi (dix ans comme contributeur inscrit), avec des modèles de vote aberrants – si quelqu'un peut m'expliquer en quoi le modèle {{Se-vote|2018|Wischmat|checked=e|cb=AlvaroMolina}} est supérieur à un simple {{neutral}}, en quoi il a la moindre utilité statistique et tout simplement, comment on l'utilise, merci de ne pas me le dire, ça ne m'intéresse pas. Je suis persuadé que les personnes concevant ces complexifications ont de bonnes intentions et d'excellentes raisons, comme en ont toutes les personnes qui vont vers la complexité dans toute organisation, je constate que ce genre de complexité inutile a surtout pour conséquence de dissuader toute personne qui ne possède pas les codes ou qui n'y consent pas aveuglément à prendre de la distance avec le projet, que ce soit pour la simple contribution dans les articles ou pour la participation à la gestion même du projet. Ceci est une question qui ne demande pas de réponse autre que celle que chacun peut se faire, en tout premier les partisans actifs ou passifs de la complexification.

Si une bonne âme souhaite traduire ma remarque, merci d'avance. Olivier Hammam (talk) 07:31, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Green Giant's answer in Broken French: Olivier, merci pour la question. Je ne suis pas certain de la quantité de réponse que vous cherchez. Le {{se-vote}} modèle est utilisé pour faciliter la vérification de l'éligibilité de l'électeur à cette élection. C'est en raison des exigences minimales de vote qui ont été décidées avant l'élection. Je ne pense pas que ce soit trop complexe à utiliser, mais il y a beaucoup d'observateurs qui vont aider à corriger les erreurs dans le code. À votre santé.
In English: Thank you for the question. I am not sure how much of an answer you are looking for. The Se-vote template is used to make it easier to verify the voters eligibility for this election. This is because of the minimum voting requirements that were decided before the election. I don't think it's too complex to use, but there are many observers who will help correct any mistakes in the code. Cheers. Green Giant (talk) 11:17, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Faendalimas' Answer I will not attempt french it would only be possible using google translate which is not good. I can read your question however, french is a language I am very weak in hence I do not list it. I have to say my view of the template in question is the same as GreenGiant's in that it is a useful tool for purposes of checking the eligibility of the voters. I get what I think is you point which is that being overly complex detracts from an interface, however, in this case I think it adds convenience and usability to the voting process and hence is an acceptable complication, as against just using {{neutral}}. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 22:01, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
There'sNoTime's answer: Mes excuses pour ne pas avoir remarqué cela plus tôt. Cependant, les autres réponses couvrent essentiellement ce que je ressens - c'est un peu complexe, mais il semble que d'autres éditeurs sont heureux de corriger les erreurs mineures.
Merci pour la question :) - TNT 22:35, 27 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Per candidate[edit]


Question from Jjw:

  • What is your thought about the emergent necessary on Wikimedia projects, and how we can solve it? -- Jjw (talk) 15:21, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    Steward is not a 'content editing roles' so I won't speak about 'we need more editors' cliche here. I think one of the important stuff that needs attention is more language diversity. While our current stewards are capable of speaking 23 languages (Native and lang-2 or above only, from "Languages spoken" at S#List of current stewards), that is 7.7% of the numbers in List of Wikipedias. (23 out of 298) This number is not problematic by itself, but we could make some improvements here. Another factor is timezone. We have 30 stewards in total, but during European night to European late morning, we usually have less than 10 stewards available. This is sometimes problematic that no stewards are available during ongoing spam/LTA raid. Unfortunately, I don't have a solution for these problems, but my addition to the team will certainly contribute toward the goal, reducing the gap. — regards, Revi 18:36, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    What does "emergent necessary" mean? --MF-W 01:18, 6 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    I interpreted that as 'something that needs to be done urgently'. @Jjw: will know for sure. — regards, Revi 01:20, 6 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    I was curious about that too actually. No matter how many times I read it, I couldn't figure out what the question was asking.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 02:21, 6 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    The mean of "emergent necessary", what I said, is what are urgently issues to need solve it as soon as possible. I'd just like to know @-revi:'s thought or vision about that. And I think, his words are good. -- Jjw (talk) 04:02, 6 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear -revi, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

A user who was globally banned by the WMF asks you why he was banned and whether you can help him to revert the ban. What do you respond to him?

--MF-W 10:45, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I will reply "I can't tell you why you were banned, and I also cannot help you revert the ban. You should contact ca(_AT_) for more information".
Some diffs (i.e. User:Rschen7754/SE2015 "However, stewards are sometimes consulted on these [WMF global ban] matters, which involves confidential and sometimes, downright disturbing information", Special:Diff/16269288 "You will learn about the WMF's intentions to globally ban editors for many reasons including, but not limited to, child protection and harassment of other editors in real life.") indicates WMF SuSa is telling Stewards bit more details than what is publicly released (that the user is banned), but the information is confidential - anything learned from them can't be distributed to non-authorized parties, including the banned user themselves, as it is nonpublic information outlined in Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information.
Since WMF Global Ban Policy is a policy by WMF (who operates the Wikimedia sites legally and technically) pursuant to their Terms of Use, I can't help them reversing the ban, and WMF Global Ban Policy says "Foundation global bans are final; they are not appealable, not negotiable and not reversible".
As we can't really answer them, they are better addressed to WMF SuSa - The policy (WMF Global Ban Policy)'s General information section says "The immediately affected individual may reach out to SuSa, via ca(_AT_), should they need clarifications to any of the notices they have received regarding their global ban and further information may be provided as a courtesy".
Thanks! — regards, Revi 11:30, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your insightful answer. --MF-W 13:21, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Tomchiukc:

As a Korean wikipedia participant, when disagreement happens in Korean wikipedia around topics that Korean users hold different point of view towards other international users. How would you do to try to resolve the conflict?--Tomchiukc (talk) 16:19, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

In such case (i.e. "Sea of Japan" known as "East Sea" in Korea, "Dokdo" internationally known as "Liancourt rocks") there is already a long-established consensus that "Majority of Korean (language) speaker do not use other 'internationall used terminologies'". And... everything is case by case, I can't say much about it here. (I don't think stewards' role has something to do with contents.) — regards, Revi 17:58, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Jianhui67:

A user from an established project with 9 admins approaches you to take action on an IP as no admin is currently available. The IP has been vandalising for 30 minutes and a report has been made on the administrators' noticeboard. Several users have been reverting edits made by the IP but there is no sign of an active administrator. Please describe how you will deal with the situation. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 18:20, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply] is a great tool checking local admin's recent activity.
Project with 9 admins means it is quite likely that there are at least one 'active' (definition of active might differ, but I consider active as "green/yellow indicator in stewardry") admins around, so if the situation is really severe (like, whole RC is flooded by them) and no local admins pop up in few hours (say 2-4 hours), I will have to intervene, but otherwise, I will leave it for local handling. I can help reverting them until admins pop up or enough time has passed.
Depending on the situation (i.e. IP is blocked on multiple other wikis for vandalism), it might qualify for a global block. — regards, Revi 05:37, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Questions from AlvaroMolina:

What experience do you have with the work areas that stewards perform? In which one would you work mainly if you were chosen? —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 15:42, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I have experience in international work through my work at commons and OTRS: I would like to help out with the requests for stewards at first, like role changes, and then see if there are any other tasks that need to be done. Ciell (talk) 07:57, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Rschen7754:

I've read your statement, and you may have the right experience, but I'm left wondering: why steward, specifically, as opposed to some other role? --Rschen7754 20:05, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I have to be honest here: it could have been another role, it's really because I have more time, I want to spend it on Wikimedia and Trijnstel pointed me at the election. I think indeed that with my experience it won't be a huge leap from adminstrator, towards steward. This does mean I would resign again, if time gets to tight to be an active steward. For me the role of steward would really come next to being an active administrator on the Dutch Wikipedia: that comes first. Ciell (talk) 16:04, 2 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from RadiX:

You mentioned you are willing to deal with user rights changes if elected. So please describe what would be the proper course of action(s) in the following hypothetical situation: "Someone files a request for removal at SRP under these conditions: 'I hereby ask for the removal of admin rights from Example@yiwiktionary, considering that he has been inactive on this Wikimedia project for a full year.' How would you handle it? " RadiX 18:48, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Well, there has to be consensus on the project that a year of inactivity is inactive enough for a user to have his rights removed. The requests for stewards page clearly states: To request the removal of another user's permissions, you must gain consensus on the local wiki first. When there is community consensus that the user's access should be removed, a trusted user from that wiki should provide a link here to the discussion, a brief explanation of the reason for the request, and summarize the results of discussion. There are certain wiki's that have a special status for special admins for instance: I remember Jimmy Wales being one on the Dutch Wikipedia, until the community voted about it and his rights where removed. Ciell (talk) 16:12, 2 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Please have a look at AAR. RadiX 02:02, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

What do you plan to do in the area of "fighting vandalism on small wiki's" specifically? --MF-W 09:50, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from My name is not dave:

Let's try Rschen's question again, which I believed you dodged (unintentionally perhaps), with two specific roles—why not global sysop or global rollback? My name is not dave (talk) 15:19, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from Rschen7754

Your recent editing history on en.wikipedia has had some controversy, with a block in 2017 for personal attacks that was later reduced, ArbCom discussing your administrator actions, and an editor asking you to take a wikibreak. Do you believe that this would affect your ability to perform your duties as a steward, including resolving disagreements over interpretation of the (very few) policies in private and in public, and in interacting with the community over matters such as whether to remove sysop rights in unclear cases? (FWIW, I was somewhat of a controversial candidate, so I don't see that in itself as a disqualifier.) Rschen7754 18:47, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Unfortunately the block you are referring to, in my opinion, was not in accordance with policy; I had been quite crass with my fellow admin, but I did not attack him as a person. I never would. (If I had been in a better state of mind I would have appealed the block, but I instead took a very long wikibreak.) This block is in fact the reason I contacted ArbCom originally, of my own volition, and requested answers as to why they never spoke about it nor overturned it. They simply stated that they don't do such things unless a case was opened (per the policies). And due to the fact that I don't want to bring on-wiki a lot of personal matters that could affect several people (including myself) I have of course decided to let it drop: something I conveyed to the committee. I also explained to them in my original email some of my recent actions to better explain to them what my perspective was, and my newly decided intentions with my enforcement procedures.
All of these communications were private (I'm only revealing things they said that are well-known procedures) and strictly voluntary. Alex Shih (the Arb who claimed I was being "discussed") has been told by several Arbs, administrators and editors that he was incredibly out-of-line to allude to such a concept (that my sysop actions were under question) when there is no open case on me, nor has there been since this entire 2017 block situation happened. It is truly unfortunate that he revealed private communications as a way to chastise Nihonjoe for trying to raise my spirits (see here) after a bunch of "talk-page-stalkers" had recently gave their opinions about a recent erroneous block I had made (which I had allowed to be overturned immediately if another admin felt it should be). The editor who said I should take a wikibreak, is purely looking out for my own sanity because they believe that there are people who (I have previously sanctioned/blocked/warned/etc) are jumping at any chance to make me lose my cool. (I'll note that I've received messages from people I cannot name that have warned me that heat was coming my way too, and to avoid the site...) I can only state two things to this: 1. My emotional state is more than stable enough to handle this position (I've not had any complaints about my OTRS work in the entire time I've assisted there). 2. Being a former SSgt in the Air Force, I don't tend to run away from things that I think need to be handled, just because some shrapnel (flack) might be in my line of sight.
So in summary: No. I do not believe those things in any way would effect my ability to enforce regulations cross-wikis. And my OTRS work speaks for itself about how professionally I can handle interactions with persons/communities/etc. But, still worthy questions to ask, and I'm happy to answer more if you have them. Coffee // have a cup // 00:24, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Hiàn

Do you have any experience with cross-wiki abuse and LTA? hiàn 20:43, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, a lot. In over 10 years of experience as an administrator on the English Wikipedia I've had to deal with LTAs on an almost weekly basis (if not more so) and attempting to prevent their disruption. I've had to create abusefilters in order to stop some, and have had to edit others to update the LTAs' new methods. Whenever we saw that the LTAs were going cross-wiki to continue disrupting WMF sites after we attempted/succeeded at banning them from our site, I/we would immediately contact stewards to shut down the accounts/IPs (if we couldn't handle it via contacting just one wiki... which in some cases was all that was necessary). Coffee // have a cup // 00:24, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Chris troutman

I'm confused why your statement contains assertions about you receiving a series of low-level military awards after presumably having served for a fair number of years. Beyond my doubts that anyone at the WMF has submitted a US Freedom of Information Act request to independently verify these details, could you explain why you felt it necessary to list these as "qualifications" when the position you're requesting is to be a Wikimedia steward? Chris Troutman (talk) 04:47, 4 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

It's just that I have always listed them on my resumes, as many military members are advised to by different people during our transition to civilian life. I do understand how they may seem like "low-level" meaninglessness (and who knows, maybe they are), but in my eyes they at least show an ability to present above average results in difficult and new tasks. That being said, I don't in any form expect anyone to vote yes for me to become steward based on what prior recognition I've been given or not been given (in any of the career fields I've worked in). I just think they add a bit more color to the picture of who I am as a person. I hope that answer is satisfactory to your concerns. (Note: If you or anyone else requires as much, I'd also be happy to provide actual government documentation to certify the authenticity of them via OTRS. FOIA requests take months.) Coffee // have a cup // 09:07, 4 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Ritchie333

You recently opened an Arbitration Enforcement request on the English Wikipedia, which was criticised by longstanding and respected admins NeilN and SoWhy as they believed you had used your administrator tools to advance a content dispute you were directly involved with. You also threatened the community with an argument from authority, saying "The Executive Director of the Foundation is being notified of all of this on Saturday", which was not true and based on a misunderstanding over what another editor said. I then discovered you created a hidden bunch of diffs on your talk page made by editors you don't like, including the edit summaries "trolling away on the big blue sea, fish in my boat flyin to me...", "meat is burning" and "guess some popcorn will have to be returned to the store". In April 2017, you told an editor "You can shove that entire (sly) aspersion casting comment up your ass." and the resulting fallout caused longstanding admin and Featured Article co-ordinator Laser Brain to resign his tools and quit the project, saying "Coffee, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a disgrace to the admin corps. I'm done with this project. I no longer want to be a part of a system where this kind of bullshit is tolerated and admins are held up on a special platter". Based on all of that, why on earth should I trust you with any other advanced tools on this project anywhere? Ritchie333 (talk) 11:08, 5 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Coffee, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

A user from requests adminship there. He has been a temporary sysop thrice before and now insists on permanent adminship. You notice that the wiki has 1 permanent sysop, who is however inactive. In the RFA, 4 users supported whose editcounts are 601, 302, 25 and 3.

--MF-W 10:59, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Leaky Caldron

You have had a troubled couple of weeks on en-Wiki and are currently on a break. How does this affect your suitability for the role you are applying for here? Leaky caldron (talk) 09:41, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Wikicology

  1. Have you ever criticize the WMF?
  2. If you are allowed to change any policy, what policy(s) will you change?
  3. What are the relationships between WMF, Stewards and the community?
  4. Do you agree that someone, a non-admin who has never hold any advance permission (sysop, Bureaucrat, CU OS) in any Wikimedia project should serve as member of ombudsman committee? If yes, why? Regards. Wikicology (talk) 20:35, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from AlvaroMolina:

Do you have any experience managing private information in real life and that can relate to steward's work? —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 15:47, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@AlvaroMolina: I'm not sure I understand the question, but if you are asking if I am able to keep information, meant to stay private, private, then yes. Having worked as a member of ACC, I'm regularly confronted with private data, similar to what a CheckUser sees on wiki. I go to lengths to ensure that I don't reveal anything private to other users, or publicly. I have been a member of ACC since early 2013. If this isn't what you're looking for, please let me know.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:23, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from RadiX:

Please point out under what circumstances it is allowed to suppress an account globally. RadiX 23:38, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@RadiX: I assume by suppressing a global account, that you mean using the centralauth-oversight function, which globally hides the username in every edit the account ever made. While I've never actually encountered a scenario where an account needed global suppression, I would think the circumstances to suppressing an account would be similar to circumstances to suppressing an edit. With that being said, per the Oversight policy, the username would be blatantly inappropriate to the point where it's possibly outing, doxing, or implying some form of threat. Naturally if it's solvable on a local scale, then it should be done on a local scale. If the offending user is engaged in crosswiki abuse, then global suppression is likely warranted. Should I become a steward, as a new steward I wouldn't do this without consulting other experienced stewards.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 04:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Jcc:

Above, you stated that "I go to lengths to ensure that I don't reveal anything private to other users, or publicly". Please then explain why you publicly posted a rejection to a user's request to vanish, on the user's talk page, something which the editor found very offensive? Jcc (talk) 23:01, 2 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Jcc: There is a very simple explanation for that. At the time I posted that notice, I was under the impression that the rename requests, where public, and that anyone could see the requests if linked to. It wasn't very clear when I became a renamer that the rename queue, and it's requests were only visible to renamers. It wasn't until he reverted me with that edit summary, did I only have that "Oh shit!" moment and realize that the entire queue and requests were actually private. I felt horrible about that, and since then refrained from mentioning rename requests in the queue in public, and started being more careful about revealing potentially private data. Part of the reason I was under this misconception was that rename requests used to be a public process, requested locally on wiki, and sometimes via email. I've seen requests to vanish filed on wiki. So yes, I admit, I messed up, but I have learned from it. To be fair though, I wasn't the only one operating on this misconception. Not long after that user received another public rejection notice.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 04:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Rschen7754:

In your statement you say: "I have been very active developing InternetArchiveBot, and moving to deploy it cross wiki. ... My development of IABot and engaging with different language communities have definitely broadened my understanding of different cultures on different language Wikipedias, as well as partially learn new languages." Could you expand on that and how it would affect your service as a steward? --Rschen7754 05:30, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Rschen7754: If there's anything specific you would like me to expand on, please feel free to ask. To expand in the general sense, working with different communities to deploy InternetArchiveBot has given me some more insight on the behavior and attitude of the Wikipedians on a given language. It has given me some insight on the policies and how procedures work there. I feel overall this experience can only help my role as a steward to better understand local issues requiring steward intervention. With that being said, while I have engaged with different wiki communities, I still only consider the English Wikipedia my primary wiki as I have spent most of my wiki life there. My engagements on the other wikis, where mostly setting up IABot to comply with local policy and filing for local bot approval, so when it comes to being neutral on those wikis, I shouldn't have any problems acting as a steward there when necessary. This answer might be a bit vague, so feel free to follow up. :-)—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 06:30, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Cyberpower, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

You receive the following e-mail:
Gott zum Gruße!
Betrüblicherweise habe ich auf meiner sog. Benutzerseite auf der deutschen Wikipedia meinen Klarnamen und meine Kreditkartennummer gepostet. Würden Sie diese Informationen wohl schnellstmöglich aus dem Internet löschen? Dem Oversight-Team habe ich bereits vor einer dreiviertel Stunde ein Mail geschickt aber keine Antwort erhalten! Bitte helfen Sie mir!!
Martin Schulz

--MF-W 11:05, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@MF-Warburg: Thanks for the question. This is indeed a situation for the user. As per the Oversight policy, Local oversighters should generally handle local oversighting, when they're available. Stewards may perform local oversighting in emergencies, during crosswiki issues, or if there are no local oversighters available. Given that this user has somehow inadvertently posted their own credit card information, I would think this warrants as an emergency situation, so my first steps would be to try and reach out to the German oversight team on IRC, as well as on their mailing list, to see if I get a response a minute later. If I do, I will leave the oversighting to them, otherwise, I will carry out the oversighting myself and respond to the user accordingly.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:53, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your insightful answer. --MF-W 22:36, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from TheDragonFire:

As an administrator on the English Wikipedia, you should be aware that applicants for extended permissions are subject to extreme scrutiny during the discussion process, and are heavily advised to avoid engaging with oppose !votes. To quote en:Wikipedia:Advice for RfA candidates: Rebuttals are dangerous, and Rebuke with utmost care, or preferably ignore. Do you consider your response to a user's non-disruptive criticism to be consistent with this advice? Do you consider your comment during the discussion of a returning matter in a active election where you have an actual conflict of interest to be consistent with this advice, and your further obligation as a would-be steward to avoid conflicts of interest? TheDragonFire (talk) 03:40, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@TheDragonFire: So having gone through, and passed, the RfA process myself, and having observed it for other users, I am very well aware of the consequences commenting or disputing an oppose vote can have on your own nomination. With that being said, I take criticism very well, I'd like to think at least. Often, cases where people oppose, even with no rationale, I accept it without question. However, if someone leaves a rationale, I strongly feel misrepresents things, I will of course comment on the oppose asking the user to either clarify their position or to point out that the rationale doesn't correct represent the facts, as I perceive them. In the case of JCC, when he opposed. There were two components. He opposed me lack of experience, which I accepted, and for shrugging off a privacy concern based on an answer I gave him. When I saw that, I was confused how he could take my admittance to messing up in areas of privacy, and only focus on the aspect that I wasn't the only one to mess up in the same way. It turns out my answer wasn't very clear. What I thought would be read as "It's not particularly obvious to renamers that non-renamers can't access this info" was instead perceived by him as "I messed up, but hey so did this user too, so it can't be all bad right?" I got that insight only by rebuking this user's oppose and as a result he amended his vote to acknowledge that clarity. I was satisfied with the discussion afterwards, even though he didn't change his vote to support. Moving on to Donald Trung, I considered the vote to be disruptive, and whether I was a candidate or not, I would have expressed my opinion the same way. Yes, there is a conflict of interest here, but that would only actually be a problem if I actually removed the votes myself. When one has a conflict of interest, the best way to handle it is to discuss the proposed change and form a consensus, and allow a neutral party to enact the consensus. Whether or not the votes will be removed, I will leave up to the decision of ElectCom. They are aware of the discussion, and that is all I can ask for.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:27, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Wikicology

  1. Have you ever criticize the WMF?
  2. If you are allowed to change any policy, what policy(s) will you change?
  3. What are the relationships between WMF, Stewards and the community?
  4. Do you agree that someone, a non-admin who has never hold any advance permission (sysop, Bureaucrat, CU OS) in any Wikimedia project should serve as member of ombudsman committee? If yes, why? Regards. Wikicology (talk) 20:31, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Wikicology: I apologize for the delayed response. I was unaware of your question to me until a voter pointed out that I had not answered all of your questions.
  1. Yes, I have criticized the WMF. I usually criticize them for making changes that had no apparent prior discussion or consensus to implement. While they have improved in that aspect, I still think they are still making changes that are very controversial and should have been discussed first. It's also possible I missed these discussions, and I'm criticizing them needlessly, but in that case, it was poorly advertised to begin with.
  2. Hmm, that's a tough one. I tend to simply adapt my behavior to fit policy. Most of the time the policies revolve around my sense of common sense. At this time, I have no inclination to change any policy. However, as Green Giant pointed out, I do support greater transparency in the Global Banning Policy, however only as long as it doesn't open the door to risking the safety and/or privacy of users on Wikimedia projects.
  3. I view stewards as the connection/conduit/liaison between the community and the WMF. Stewards are expected to enforce community consensus while also serving as a voice for the WMF to the community and back. Sometimes the decisions of the community may conflict, unavoidably, with the decisions of the WMF, and this is where the stewards come in. They are tasked with finding a balance that both sides can agree on.
  4. Absolutely not. Anyone that should serve in the ombudsman committee should have at least prior experience with advanced permission for two reasons. The first reason is that they should have the community trust to serve which is demonstrated by being appointed a position as a CU, OS, Steward, or at the very least administrator. The second reason is that serving in that committee should have had prior experience to the responsibilities of wielding advanced permissions and the implications of misusing them. It's easy to say someone is being irresponsible with tools, it's another to actually have a sense of responsibility required when possessing the tools.
I again apologize for the delayed response. Take care.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:52, 27 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from Ajraddatz:

How do you interpret Stewards policy#Avoid conflicts of interest? If you were a steward, would you use your steward access to perform actions on your home wiki? – Ajraddatz (talk) 07:27, 19 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Neutrality of Stewards is important, for example on Wikispecies I am involved in the admin review process following the local policy here. At the end of this any inactive admins that meet the criteria for removal of rights have a request made on Meta for removal. This is then taken up by one of the stewards. I would continue the practice of posting on Meta for the removal of rights so that a neutral admin can do this. As the policy states I can remove rights if the user requests it themselves which has also happened in the past. Basically the important thing is neutrality and transparency. If the admins and bureaucrats on Wikispecies come to a consensus that some steward action is required I would take this to Meta to bring it to the attention of a neutral steward. My only exceptions would be as stated simple processes of removal of rights when it is requested, or in the event of some emergency though in the latter I may act but would invite a neutral steward to over see the decision. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 15:40, 19 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Hiàn:

Can you provide examples of cross-wiki work you have done? Hiàn (talk) 14:10, 19 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I generally work across Wikispecies, EN WP and Wikidata, with Wikispecies being my home Wiki. On Wikidata I examine and comment on new property proposals (eg this diff). I have also become involved in resolution of issues where they have come up (a recent one this topic). On Wikipedia, apart from editing, I also comment on a variety of issues and assist in mediation if I can for example this has happened in conjunction with the pages on Rana (genus), Lithobates and Homopus. Further recent examples can be found in Project Tree of Life talk page. In another area I have been slowly translating pages for the Portuguese Wikipedia (eg this page) however I have not done any administrative work there. There are many other examples but are often now archived however if you need more I am happy to dig up the diffs. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 15:40, 19 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Rschen7754:

What is your experience with the CheckUser tool? --Rschen7754 03:38, 20 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

To date I have only used the tool in conjunction with Wikispecies. We can be asked to assist on other wikis, particularly those without CheckUsers, however this has not come up for me at this time. On Wikispecies we have had a number of queries about possible sockpuppets but to date (since we first obtained CheckUser rights) only one that went through to the point of using the tool; this case. It turned out to be a repeated sockpuppet and hence the account was blocked and added to the list of known socks for that User in this particular case. Of course all CheckUsers, from all Wikis, do also communicate with each other. I find it a valuable tool used correctly. The CheckUser tool is a powerful tool capable of identifying problematic accounts. However, privacy for users is also a right and the tool must be used with discretion and very carefully. Of course all CheckUsers must be identified users and have signed the privacy policy. The privacy issue is a very serious matter. For example, one user who had been accused of possible sockpuppetry challenged us to use the tool on his account. This was of course denied. The tool itself is not difficult to use, I will not go into it, more importantly is the trust required for users to be CheckUsers. We are trusted to respect the privacy of people whilst protecting respective Wikis from the abuse caused by sockpuppetry. Hence we must have a very convincing case before we use the tool. We also communicate as I said with CheckUsers from other wikis to gather information on possible cross-wiki sockpuppets. I consider CheckUser a process of which the tools themselves are just a small part. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 04:09, 20 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Faendalimas, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

At Mirandese Wikipedia a dispute has started between two administrators who are now going even as far as to block each other plus other users involved in the conflict. One of the users informs you about the current situation.

--MF-W 11:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for this interesting question. Clearly this would be a case requiring mediation at the least and my hope would be that it could be resolved with this process. However, initially I would put a stop to the situation before it escalates further. From what you describe in your hypothetical scenario this is a situation initiated by two admins other users that have become involved probably joined the discussion and took one side or another resulting in them being blocked. So my answer is reflecting this. I would initially request that all involved cease and desist from any further actions and bring all to the table to discuss the matter. I would keep in mind that the admins involved have abused admin privileges in all likelihood, however, I would refrain from dealing with that immediately. The reason for this is that others have become involved and I would like to find out, in detail, what had occurred before taking any actions. If this is possible, obviously it will require compliance to my request for cooperation between all users involved. If any refused to cooperate I would have to resort to warnings, temporary blocks etc to prevent further harm.
From here I would determine what actually happened to escalate this issue. Determine what the community consensus is (for example if it started from an edit dispute). I would go through a process similar to that of WP:DRN that I am familiar with, this being a controlled process allowing all participants to have their say. Hopefully at the end of this the matter can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Whatever the consensus achieved would then be put in place. At this point I need to deal with the issue of two admins abusing their privileges and possibly other editors edit warring. I would have already warned them about this and would examine their past records to see if this kind of behavior had happened before. If this is a one off event, ie all participants have good records, I would ask a second opinion but would recommend a severe warning, possible 24-72 hour blocks and leave it at this to make the point. I recognize that people can loose their patience and temper over issues important to them. I would not want to loose admins or users over what is clearly a one off event and hence the severe warning only. However, if there has been a history of this I would open a discussion to de-sysop the admins inviting comment from other sysops of the site and also ask for second opinions from other stewards. From here it is a process from which the outcome would depend on the consensus of this discussion. If a recommendation for de-sysop follows then I would carry this out, as the Wiki you hypothesised is not my home wiki I am neutral and can act. However I do believe that all concerned must have the opportunity to state their case first and am well aware tha actions such as de-sysop can cost Wiki projects not only admins but editors. I prefer to avoid it if possible, however, sometimes that is not possible. It may be that a wiki-break recommendation could help the situation. Its all going to depend on the discussion. For other users if any have broken the 3RR then this may have to be dealt with, my own role in this would be in conjunction with local bureaucrats and admins of the Mirandese Wikipedia.
In summary my view to approach disputes is mediation first, action should be the result of mediation, or only in te case that mediatiion is rejected. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 14:47, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your insightful answer. --MF-W 13:21, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Green Giant[edit]

Question from Eurodyne:

Do you have any experience handling cross-wiki vandalism and long term abuse? --Eurodyne (talk) 01:38, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Yes. Commons is in a unique position because it’s files can be viewed on many other wikis (unless there is a local file with the same name). This makes it imperative to keep an eye on uploads to make sure they are not being used wrongly in other wikis. I tend to use a three-pronged approach. Firstly, when I’m about to delete tagged Commons files I check what the global usage is and if necessary remove the links from articles/books/news etc. Secondly, I try to look at what’s happening on a few other wikis (mainly English ones but occasionally other languages) especially recent block logs to see if there is anyone who might have Commons uploads. Thirdly I try to keep an eye on the admin boards and respond to requests for blocking or mass deletion. To give some recent examples (please note I blocked each one on Commons):
  • Special:CentralAuth/TheFlyingElk was blocked on 8 December because I noticed they had been blocked on ENWP for vandalism - I found they had uploaded a derogatory file targeting someone that I assumed they knew.
  • Special:CentralAuth/Anasos2002 was blocked on 19 December 2017 because they were adding links to their blog in description pages of files which were in use on other wikis (see their contributions for examples);
  • Special:CentralAuth/Greaterwalt blocked on 31 December 2017 - uploading unfree screenshots for use on ZHWP, later confirmed as a sock puppet of a blocked user;
  • Special:CentralAuth/Zlinkered was blocked on 31 December 2017 after I deleted their Commons userpage (at their request) but discovered they had just been blocked on DEWP on 27 December and some of their files had been tagged for deletion because they were of an inappropriate nature;
  • Special:CentralAuth/HillJess was blocked on 17 January 2018 because the uploads were promotional material that could have been used to advertise services;
  • Special:CentralAuth/JonHeadingley was blocked on 17 January - promoting Interflora (a flower company); I deleted their Commons edits, reverted some on the other wikis and tagged others for speedy deletion;
  • Special:CentralAuth/Samsung Mobile was blocked on 20 January - I deleted the Commons user page and tagged user pages on other wikis;
  • And just today I have tagged for deletion a group of promotional articles on Wikisource, after I deleted several Commons files uploaded by two (possibly linked) accounts (noting also two Draft articles on ENWP).
In terms of long-term abuse I also keep an eye on w:WP:LTA, but I’d rather not name particular users who I know also frequent Commons. Green Giant (talk) 03:35, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Rschen7754:

Stewards often have to interact with WMF on various topics, including global bans and occasionally other difficult disputes between the community and WMF. What do you see as the appropriate roles of stewards and the WMF in such cases? --Rschen7754 03:49, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The interaction between the stewards and the WMF is of crucial importance because their purposes are neither mutually exclusive nor necessarily antagonistic. The role of stewards is of course to carry out the consensus of the community, but within reason. The role of the community is acknowledged by the WMF in the Terms of Use. The role of the WMF as outlined on that page is to uphold the values and policies but also to act in those areas where users (including stewards) simply cannot e.g. legal matters such as DMCA takedown requests. To take one of the examples above, the global ban arrangements were/are something that needed greater discussion because of the potential impact. I recall asking about transparency in the global ban process during the 2015 steward elections because I felt (and still do) that the stewards are the obvious choice for at least hearing about situations where the WMF has banned someone but cannot publicly reveal the background reasons for the ban. For the community it would be some sort of reassurance that such actions of the WMF are not entirely beyond question. What the stewards can and should do is explain the community consensus (if there is any) and request as much transparency as is possible to ensure the community retains confidence in the WMF. My purpose in asking the transparency question (which I also asked of Board members) is that of the two global ban processes, the WMF one should be used in extreme circumstances, but the community process should be the default process wherever possible. Since stewards would be involved in the community ban process, they are the natural points of contact between the WMF and the community in such circumstances. As an aside, transparency is an issue I felt strongly about even before the superprotect and global ban issues arose. In contrast there are of course other ways for the community to express their views including but not limited to electing Board members. The stewards have a challenging act of balancing community views and wider WMF matters but we have to be realistic about what stewards can and should do. Green Giant (talk) 09:57, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Green Giant, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

A request from incubatorwiki is brought to SRP, requesting the removal of 2 inactive sysops. There is an inactivity policy on Incubator, but the request does not reference it, instead pointing to a voting where 5 users support the removal.

--MF-W 10:39, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@MF-Warburg: Thank you for the question. If I was elected a steward and received this request, I would change the request status to "onhold" so that it is clear it is being acted on but also to avoid another steward wasting time on processing the same request. I'd have to bear in mind both the inactivity policy (no separate page as far as I can see other than incubator:I:A) and the vote, although I can see no immediate reason to hold a vote over inactivity (something to inform the requestor about). I would check if the requestor had made any efforts to contact the admins in question (because a lack of communication often unnecessarily exacerbates situations like this). If there is little or no activity by the admins in the previous 12 months, I would prefer to first leave a note on their respective user talk pages, saying that they could lose their sysop rights, and send each of them an email saying the same, bearing in mind which language they might be fluent in (often indicated by a Babel box but also noting that there is a manually updated list at incubator:Incubator:Administrators/List by languages spoken). Meta and Commons differ on the length of time to wait (7 and 30 days respectively), so I would go for a midpoint i.e. 14 days, although I might be wrong on this. If there is a response and they want to retain their rights, no further action is needed unless they actually don't do any further edits/actions. Again I am unsure how long to wait for them to do some edits/actions. If however, there is no response in 14 days, I would remove their sysop rights and again leave a note on their talkpage to that effect plus an email. I would also leave a note at incubator:Incubator:Administrators' noticeboard, explaining the removal of rights. Then I would close the request at SRP. I hope that answers your question, but if not, feel free to prod me for more. Green Giant (talk) 12:32, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your insightful answer. But no need to ping me, I watch this page :P --MF-W 13:21, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Ajraddatz:

A bit late here, but I was wondering why you want to be a steward. What areas do you expect to be active in? Your statement doesn't really give much indication of this. – Ajraddatz (talk) 21:06, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for the question (and being late is not always a bad thing because you might have more information by then). Basically, I want to be more involved in countering global spam and vandalism by being able to lock/block accounts that disrupt the normal work of wikis e.g. cross-wiki vandals such as this one who was vandalizing Simple Wikipedia pages after being blocked on two other wikis, and the several I noted in my answer to Eurodyne above.
I’ve been thinking of standing for years, particularly since about the time of the superprotect and global ban issues came up. Looking back, my reasons for wanting to stand at the time were as much to do with those specific issues as the actual work of stewards. After reading some of the steward candidate statements in 2015 I realized there were several things I needed to improve before standing as a candidate, particularly because up until then my experience was largely based on English Wikipedia. Each year since then, I have re-evaluated whether I want to stand as a stewardship candidate and until now I have felt I needed more experience. I don’t like to cast aspersions but there have been past candidates who have stood repeatedly without having a clear idea of what stewardship is about. I don’t want to be such a candidate (and for the record, if I’m unsuccessful, I will not be standing again until I’m sure I’ve addressed any serious concerns).
I’ve spent much of the previous three or four years trying to gain experience of several other wikis (especially Commons because of its multilingual nature) and OTRS (where sometimes I have redirected emails that were intended for the steward queue but for some reason ended up in other queues and I’ve been involved in discussions concerning tickets from banned users for example). I'm also fairly active on Meta, for example tagging out of scope pages for deletion (including a number of file pages without attached files), and working on the "Move to Commons" categories here and on other wikis (fixing copyright issues and moving freely licensed ones to Commons). As a consequence I believe I have a clearer understanding of cross-wiki issues than I did three or four years ago. I hope that answers your question but if not, I'm happy to expand on these reasons. Green Giant (talk) 00:51, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Wikicology

  1. Have you ever criticize the WMF?
  2. If you are allowed to change any policy, what policy(s) will you change?
  3. What are the relationships between WMF, Stewards and the community?
  4. Do you agree that someone, a non-admin who has never hold any advance permission (sysop, Bureaucrat, CU OS) in any Wikimedia project should serve as member of ombudsman committee? If yes, why? Regards. Wikicology (talk) 20:32, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for the questions, and although there is a limit of two relevant questions per candidate, I’ll try to answer all four.
  1. Yes, I’ve criticised the WMF several times:
    1. for the paid contributions amendment, which I strongly opposed;
    2. for transparency issues related to the global ban policy (see Stewards/Elections 2015/Questions#Question from Green Giant); and
    3. for the lack of progress on non-free content;
  2. If I could change just one policy, it would be either or both:
    1. instituting greater transparency over global bans with steward involvement to represent the community (because there inevitably going to be situations that either cannot or should not be made public); and
    2. the WMF to get serious about non-free content (11 years after passing a resolution about it), by at least looking into the feasability of a NonFreeWiki (a proposal I started in an attempt to address the matter).
  3. The relationship in your third question is one of consensus, communication and reliance. The WMF exists because the needs of the wiki project grew far beyond the capabilities of a few people working out of a small office. Without it, we, the community, would probably struggle to implement the more complex aspects of wikis. It is important to appreciate the background work they do that we often don’t see. However, they should be answerable to the community but this isn’t always as feasible as it sounds, which is where the stewards have a role. As is often stated, they are the last point of contact for the community and the first point of contact for the WMF, i.e. they have a double role, which requires tactfulness and caution. When I say we should hold the WMF accountable, I don’t mean we should be nasty to them but we shouldn’t be afraid to ask difficult questions.
  4. I don’t agree with the assertion that someone should be able to become a member of the ombudsman commission without having some experience of advanced permissions. The role involves investigation of Checkuser and Oversight activities, which are not something to be taken lightly. Equally important is that an ombudsman needs to have a neutral approach i.e. not favouring one person or another but having a policy-oriented focus (with a human touch). One of the best ways to demonstrate this is to have used advanced tools effectively.
--Green Giant (talk) 23:05, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for the answers. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 05:26, 19 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Rxy, please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

A user from Malayalam Wikipedia approaches you seeking help because the wiki is under a serious vandalism attack. The project has active administrators and checkusers but no one seems to be available at that time.

--MF-W 11:11, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the question. I would verify that is really vandalism and no available local sysops at that time. If so, I'd take these actions by each case.
  1. When that is Open proxy IP address or Vandalism only account, I will globally block or lock it.
  2. When that is one user or single IP address by the hand of man, I ping to that for recently active sysops at their talk pages or Administrators' noticeboard (find up from d:Q4580256), and I will check to that user is already warned. If I waits to few minutes but continuing vandals, I will block it for short time. then I report to Administrators' noticeboard for my actions.
  3. When that is many IP addresses or many registered users attacks to single page or few pages, I will (semi) protect the page for short time. then I report to Administrators' noticeboard for my actions.
  4. When that is many IP addresses or many registered users attacks to many pages, or that by bot/scripts attacking, I will set titleblacklist or abusefilter. then I report to Administrators' noticeboard for my actions.
--rxy (talk) 06:07, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your insightful answer. --MF-W 22:36, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from Ajraddatz:

How proficient are you with creating and modifying abusefilters? As you may know, the global abusefilters are in the remit of the steward group, and we are currently short on stewards with the technical knowledge of how to effectively use and maintain them. – Ajraddatz (talk) 01:20, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Thank you for your question - on the English Wikipedia, I became an Edit Filter Manager before becoming an administrator due to my work with the abuse filter. I would describe my technical competency with the abuse filter extension to be reasonable, and have created and maintained a number on my home wiki. I would feel comfortable working with global abuse filters - TNT 16:40, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Rschen7754:

Stewards often receive complaints of administrators on various wikis misusing their tools. When is it appropriate for stewards to intervene, and what actions would be appropriate? --Rschen7754 03:28, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Thanks for the question - the Stewards policy states rather simply "Don't override consensus". In this case, I take this to mean that complaints of an administrator abusing their tools should be made locally (as many wikis do have a local procedure) and consensus to remove rights be formed before a steward would possibly act. There are, of course, examples where a steward may need to act in a situation where "local users are unable or unavailable" - TNT 16:40, 26 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear There'sNoTime, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

A request for bureaucrat rights on is posted on SRP. There are 11 supports and 1 oppose. Half of the participants have 1-100 edits, the others 101-10000. There are 2 permanent sysops and 2 temporary sysops (each with a duration of 1 year). Do you grant this request? Why (not)?

--MF-W 11:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Thank you for this question, it definitely made me think - bureaucrat states "A small community generally doesn't require a local bureaucrat, because stewards can easily handle the low traffic of requests from that wiki with little delay; generally a user with this access is not needed until several local administrators are present". With only two permanent administrators, I would likely not grant the request, as tcy.wikipedia is a relatively small community (898 articles, 1750 users) and does not meet the general expectations set out in the above linked page. As always, were I a newly elected steward, I would seek the opinion of more experienced stewards were I not entirely confident of the action I was about to take - TNT 12:27, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from Rschen7754:

As alluded to in your statement, you have resigned from a few of your roles, sometimes multiple times, but none of them "functionary" roles that handle private data. Being a steward sometimes has its unpleasant moments where you are exposed to the nasty side of the project (and humanity) that is hidden from most non-functionaries. Do you think that both of these combined will have an effect on your ability to be a steward? --Rschen7754 08:40, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Hello @Rschen7754: I already expected this question, so thanks for asking it. I have dealt with private info in the way of requesting steward help in order to help to get something oversighted. For this kind of stuff I always follow the oversight policy and related policies like the Privacy policy and the Access to nonpublic information policy. I have already seen my fair share of nasty stuff on projects (before it got oversighted) over the years. Personally I would say this has very little effect on me, when I would be elected as steward. I hope this answers your question and if not, please let me know and I'll try to clarify it further where needed. With kind regards, Wiki13 talk 10:13, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Atcovi:

Hi Wiki13. As an active SWMT patroller, I always see you actively reverting vandalism and locking spambots. That's good! My question: I'd like for you to state the ways on how you find out if an account is a spambot or not. --Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:43, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Hello @Atcovi: and thanks for your question. Nowadays most of the spams can easily be recognized by certain patterns that seem to come back again and again. It's usually based on homewiki of the account + the name + has the account tripped the abusefilter? An example of this is the spambot account RoxieSeymour56: it has an English username on the Japanese Wikiquote (doesn't make sense), falls within patterns used for a long time by spambots and triggered the global anti-spambot filter here on Meta. In my personal opinion it would be nice if AbuseFilters were truly global (apart from the private and fishbowl wikis) so spam can be stopped everywhere. At this moment the AbuseFilter is what I would call semi-global. It's only enabled on small and medium sized wikis, and wikis which opted-in to use it by filling a ticket on Phabricator (see here for the complete list). I hope this answers your question. Regards, Wiki13 talk 22:58, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Taught me something new. Thanks! --Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 23:18, 31 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from Garam:

Hello, Wiki13. I had a question while seeing vote page. Do you have any thoughts on the comments of user Rschen7754 in Stewards/Elections 2018/Votes/Wiki13? I would like to know what you think about this, if you don't mind. Thanks. --Garam (talk) 13:56, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Hello @Garam:, I don't mind. Concerning the stance I took around that incident, I kind of had mixed feelings at that time. I didn't have the greatest of periods in real life so that also contributed to that. I took a break and came back recharged. Since then I have been quite active again. --Wiki13 talk 10:14, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your answer. --Garam (talk) 10:25, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Question from Hiàn

What is your experience with the checkuser tool? hiàn 23:31, 27 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Hello @Hiàn:, thanks for the question. I am currently a checkuser on Arabic Wikipedia, if you browse Arabic Wikipedia CU archives you'll find my name a lot. I solved few chronic sockpuppeteers problems in Arabic wikipedia. Moreover, I wrote several reports on CheckUser wiki, and I reported a global bug related to CU tool. I'm active in CU mailing list, also I communicate many times with CheckUsers from other wikis to gather information on possible cross-wiki sockpuppets. All of this under respect of the privacy policy --Alaa :)..! 15:10, 28 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from RadiX:

Have you ever dealt with unpleasant issues such as doxing, outing and/or on-line harassment? Are you aware of the proper steps/ways to communicate with WMF if needed? RadiX 01:52, 1 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Hello @RadiX:, thanks for the question. I believe that online harassment increased in recent years on the Internet to an alarming level. We do face some harassment complains on arwiki sometimes. Recent examples include a certain edit (now rev deleted) where a female teenager was being harassed. (I don't want to give more details for privacy reasons.) The mitigation of each case is different depending on the case circumstances. However, mitigations normally include: blocking persistent harassers, and oversighting any personal information revealed by them (according to the Oversight policy point 1.) In cases where I feel that the support of WMF is needed, I would contact Support and Safety team for guidance. In addition to this, this resources page has many websites providing support against online harassment --Alaa :)..! 09:43, 4 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your answer. Good luck. RadiX 02:05, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear علاء, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Thanks in advance.

While checkusering because of some spambots on, you notice that a trusted, globally known user appears in the results with similar or same times, IPs and user-agents. What measures do you take, apart from informing the global checkuser community and asking for their input?

--MF-W 10:11, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Hello @MF-Warburg:, thanks for your question. The main confirmation of sockpuppetry is the similarity in editing patterns. So, I would examine edits of all involved accounts to see whether editing patterns match. We have two scenarios, First: The said globally trusted user indeed abused the system by operating spambots. In this case, I will email the said user asking him for his justification (without revealing any private checkuser data of course) and depending on his answer, I may initiate a request for Global banning of the account. (As the process of Global locks applies only to accounts whose sole purpose is vandalism and the said account is globally trusted, so, an extensive discussion is needed in this case. The other spambot accounts can be globally locked right away.) The other possibility that we have is that there is a software bug that makes MediaWiki wrongly reports the checkuser results. We had this exact scenario on arwiki, where I discovered a MediaWiki bug that made us falsely accuse one of our admins with sockpuppetry. (This is explained in T181889.) In all cases, I will write a detailed report of the case on the CheckUser wiki so that my colleagues would benefit from this case in the future. --Alaa :)..! 19:04, 7 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • Thank you for your insightful answer. How peculiar that such a situation occurred to you already. I must say however that I don't understand the bug - could you explain a bit what happened? --MF-W 13:21, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@MF-Warburg: sorry for late. Due to privacy issues, I sent a message to you that includes some related links --Alaa :)..! 21:28, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. I shall peruse it. --MF-W 22:36, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Question from koussayou003

@علاء: you always says that i must be global blocked, if you were elected as a steward, w'll you global block me? Koussayou003 (talk) 18:38, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]