User talk:Nemo bis/User rights process

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Nemo bis: This proposal appears to be well thought-out, and I have no doubt it would lead to good results if passed. However, in the current climate, I expect if it came up for a vote, the majority of Trustees would adopt the position that this Resolution would unnecessarily meddle with the ED's authority. I don't believe that is true; but in order to persuade six Trustees to vote for this, I think the case must be made much more clearly.

Even if it fails, a resolution can have impact by providing insight into the thinking of individual Trustees. For instance, when there is a vote or decision about renewing a Trustee's term, you might want to refer back to this, and ask pointed questions about why they took a certain position. Again, in order for the Resolution to have impact, I think it must be much more pointed -- perhaps even at the expense of specificity. -Pete F (talk) 16:58, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Pete, I'm not sure I understand. My aim in writing this text is that it should be both obvious and useful. It should be something that everyone can agree with and that can be useful in 5 or 10 years from now as well, in very different situations. I don't want the board to do harakiri nor to lack a benefit/use in voting. I think that merely stating the best practices which worked in 99.9 % of cases, and using the courtesy which we seem to have entirely forgotten, will do good.
What could be seen as diminishing the ED's power, in the current text, and how to rephrase is so that it doesn't? I was rather worried about the text being interpreted as meddling with the local wikis' ability to change group configuration... I doubt the ED currently desires keeping superprotect, it's clearly a useless tool. This is a honorable way to remove it without requiring anyone to change mind. --Nemo 19:57, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
My expectation may be wrong, and it is worth exploring how the proposal would be received by current board members, and also by candidates. I do not see any flaws in the proposal itself; I think it is a viable way to proceed in a good direction. Perhaps 2-3 introductory sentences (which might or might not be part of the resolution itself) would help the less-informed reader grasp why it is important. -Pete F (talk) 20:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I don't think the text is that good currently, but I have few ideas on how to improve it. I'll try. --Nemo 16:06, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I've struck some of my speculation above, I am glad to see Sj's robust engagement below. I still think this is an important topic, and as such should be presented in a way that is very accessible; without a bit more of a preamble giving context and explaining why this stuff is important, I think many Wikimedians' eyes would glaze over. I am happy to propose some text to help with that, if you like Nemo bis. -Pete F (talk) 16:16, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Sigh, I'm re-reading most of the wmf:Resolutions and it's depressing: I can't find any consistency in style, format or anything. --Nemo 16:48, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Nemo, this does seem straightforward, empowering, and useful in various situations. It doesn't change the fact that developers in an emergency could use their de facto power to implement something in code rather than via user-group-enabled action. And it focuses on the role and value of stewards in maintaining clarity and consistency. I'll see what I can do about raising it for a vote. SJ talk  18:06, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
A letter might be more appropriate than a resolution here. It's hard to nail down the criteria for the first point. Avoiding extra bureaucracy: which of the past dozen new user groups or user rights changes would have triggered such a discussion? How do rights changes currently happen among devs? We don't want to make what's currently routine more complicated; just to add discussion for major changes that will affect all projects.
Related: have the stewards ever decided on a user rights question before, for global sysop or other? SJ talk  18:20, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
SJ, I'm not the board but I don't see how a letter would help in the long run; IMHO we need something stable useful also for a future ED/user rights conflict. The criteria for the first point are meant to be flexible (please amend if they don't seem so): if nobody complains then there is a consensus, if a lot of people see a permission as a threat then they'll request a consensus verification.
Stewards handle such requests routinely, as far as I can see. Most of them are discussed on SRGP and are discussed with a level of scrutiny proportional to the actual importance of the matter (which varies from few minutes of discussion to some weeks). There's also the occasional complaint (e.g. from a local wiki) which resulted in some right being removed from a global group, or in a deflag of some user. --Nemo 12:24, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

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Hi Nemo, I agree re: having a clear & stable guideline; that's the reason to say this in the first place. But we don't have 'board-resolution-based' policies for similar parts of the projects [how devs use their dev powers, how other new features are implemented]. I dislike policy creep, and I'm wary of falling into the trap of designing policy as responses to bad examples. I am glad to see just now that MF-W likes the proposal - good to confirm that stewards want to do this work [historically the board hasn't dictated what they do]. Flexibility is good for point 1 - what about saying explicitly "similar to current SRGP discussions"? . Can you link to a recent complaint resulting in a rights removal from a global group? SJ talk  12:43, 15 May 2015 (UTC)