Talk:Steward requests/Permissions/2014

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Standard practice

Recently I asked a couple of questions here and here about the apparently well known but evidently undocumented standard practice of keeping requests on hold for 24 hours. Unfortunately the discussions were archived before anyone could provide a non-evasive answer. I guess this is because my general inquiry was mixed with the specific circumstances of the individual cases. Looking for a more suitable place where general questions can be discussed, Wikimedia Forum pointed me to Meta:Babel which pointed me to this page. The basic question is really quite simple: where can I read more about this supposedly standard practice? No difficult explanations necessary, a link or two will do. I found one discussion myself, at Talk:Steward requests/Permissions/2012#On hold, but it doesn't look like strong support for the practice, to put it mildly. Thanks again, Ivory (talk) 01:11, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe your questions have already been answered but I will attempt to explain it once more. This practice has been adopted by the stewards to ensure a requester has enough time to think over their request and can make a calm and collected decision about it. We have found over time that this helps a lot and on several occasions users have withdrawn their requests once given time to think it over. It also allows for communities to contact the admin if they wish to do so. This is done in almost all cases where a user requests the removal of one's own sysop flag, except when it is deemed not necessary for some specific reason. I hope that answered your question. Kind regards, Snowolf How can I help? 01:19, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I see you found the discussion from 2012. See also from 2011. There have been some cases where the user decided they should not leave, and were overreacting to some drama. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:20, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
@Ivory: see this diff. Is that good documentation? Perhaps we should add it to SRP removal section header. What do you think, Snowolf? PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:26, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
That page has been out of date for years, it should be one day rewritten from scratch. I've modified your edit a bit to be more reflective of the current situation and reasoning behind the practice. I don't think there's much benefit in updating it to reflect any minute detail of steward work, but, if Ivory finds it useful, that's fine by me. Snowolf How can I help? 01:43, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think something like that would be really useful, although perhaps more so for infrequent visitors to this page like me than for the stewards who are the primary audience of the Steward handbook. It would certainly have helped me make better sense of yesterday's decision to put a case on hold, it might even have prevented me from entering the discussion. I understand it will not be possible to cover each minute detail, and I am aware of the dangers of instruction creep, but it doesn't hurt to at least mention some of the common sense criteria used when deciding what to put on hold and what not. I do not wish to put the wisdom of yesterday's decisions into question, only their clarity, but generally having good guidelines also helps to make better decisions. The link to Talk:Steward requests/Permissions/2011#Self requests that PiRSquared17 added is super for context and imho definitely needs to stay, especially because it shows how the practice arose in the shape that it did as it is a discussion page and not a handbook. Such a link was all I asked for in the beginning. The only link to the handbook is at the bottom of the requests page which may explain why I needed your help to find it. Again, especially for infrequent visitors, I suggest a link at the top of the page. Thanks to all for your thoughts on this so far, Ivory (talk) 06:17, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
As a note, practice (no.5) is rarely documented, especially in a formal sense, it is practice. The documentation that you will expect with practice is the reasoning behind a decision or a deferral of a decision. Similarly convention (no.6) is not documented either, it is convention. When it is documented it becomes a procedure. Sometimes stewards will make a note about a practice, either a change or reinforcement at Stewards' noticeboard and I can see value in us reinforcing that practice when we do.  — billinghurst sDrewth 15:49, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
To note your referral to the on hold decision, there were two decisions made for on hold, subsequent to each and for different reasons. 1) initially referral back to the wiki, to await a confirmation of a decision-making process (no time period on this it was information pending); 2) then when the admin resigned, our standard 24 hour self-wait. There is only one 24 hour wait, and that is resignations by admins only.  — billinghurst sDrewth 15:56, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Fine. Please put this in a place where visitors can find it so that they can do not need to ask anymore what is going on when a decision is published. It will really help to clarify things. A decision may be quite logical but when I arrived at this page last week I was totally flabbergasted. I recommend the text proposed by PiRSquared17, the 24 hours that all seem to agree on is now presented as "some time" which only creates more confusion. Please try to imagine a newbie reader, who will ask: how long, an hour, a week? Because the element of possible overreacting is not mentioned now, the part about allowing the user "to change their mind" will also raise some eyebrows. Ivory (talk) 00:14, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
I have pointed out this conversation to all stewards, as well as the circumstance in the archives. I will also look to see if we can better utilise {{on hold}} with some standard texts. Note that this won't change the usage in the overarching template.  — billinghurst sDrewth 05:22, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done and we can add others if thought necessary.  — billinghurst sDrewth 05:40, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Do you think it would be good to link to the 2011 discussion for historical context, or is that overkill? PiRSquared17 (talk) 05:43, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
My opinion is overkill.  — billinghurst sDrewth 07:04, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
And my idea (not an opinion but an inescapable conclusion from analysis, reinforced by first-hand experience as can easily be retraced from my contributions this week) is it would be more than good, it is necessary. Given that practise is rarely documented, especially in a formal sense, I believe that historical context is more important than any new text we can come up with. Put the link there, with or without additional explanatory prose, and anyone looking for answers will find them there. Ivory (talk) 13:30, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

@Ivory: is the text at Steward_requests/Permissions/Removal-header enough? PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:28, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your continued effort to reach some better understanding concerning this issue. If you are referring to this edit, yes, it is certainly an improvement, but will help only those who visit that particular form page, and not those who -like me last week- primarily encounter poorly motivated (read: unmotivated) decisions on the request page itself. The link goes some way to explain the remark about "time to rethink your request" which is really really weird without such context. So I continue -with all respect and restraint towards anyone with differing opinions- to plea for better descriptions on the handbook page and elsewhere. Despite billinghurst's efforts in the discussion above, I still don't understand why "some time" would be better than "usually 24 hours (and if we deviate from that standard, we provide the rationale for doing so)" in the handbook documentation. We don't need more dictionary definitions, we need more responsibility. Ivory (talk) 21:40, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
That page is transcluded directly onto SRP. PiRSquared17 (talk) 13:07, 5 March 2014 (UTC)