Wikipedia talk:Administrators

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RfC about paid use of administrator tools[edit]

With the 30 days of this RFC having come to an end, here are the results:
  • With 71 votes in support and 27 votes against, the first proposal has been approved by a supermajority of 72%.
    The first proposal (with an addendum from the totality of the discussion is to update the administration policy to state the following: "Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA whether they have ever edited for pay." Questions regarding this are permitted to be asked of every candidate, by any editor in the community, throughout the RFA process.
  • With 85 votes in support, and 29 votes against (this is including 19 who were against the exception of WIR/WMF staff in this proposal), the second proposal has been approved by a supermajority of 75%.
    This second proposal was to update the administraton policy to state the following: "Administrators may never use administrative tools as part of any paid editing activity, except when they are acting as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or the payment is made by the Wikimedia Foundation or an affiliate of the WMF." - This is to be implemented immediately per consensus. Coffee // have a ☕️ // beans // 08:56, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Based on the above proposal and leaving out point number 2. Should we do the following?

Under "Becoming an administrator" after the 2nd paragraph as a separate paragraph include:

"Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA whether they have ever edited for pay."

And under "Misuse of administrative tools" as the 3rd sentence in the 1st paragraph, include

"Administrators may never use administrative tools as part of any paid editing activity, except when they are acting as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or the payment is made by the Wikimedia Foundation or an affiliate of the WMF."

Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:44, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer. If people want to tweak the wording - while keeping it simple - I'll gladly withdraw this. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:30, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    Can you help clarify: is this a simplified proposal for an RfC? Your "support" statement makes it seem like an RfC rather than a proposal. isaacl (talk) 19:52, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    It's an RfC, based on the proposal above where almost everybody said they liked points 1 and 3 but didn't like point 2. So I left out point number 2 and simplified the wording of 1&3. No need to stand on ceremony, you can !vote for this or propose something different. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:37, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    Smallbones, I've added an RfC header then. This should probably be advertised on CENT and notice posted at VPP. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:44, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    I've also bolded the proposed additions so people can see them easier. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:05, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per above, whatever the status of the consensus on admins editing for pay, there does seem to be a pre-existing consensus that admins should not use their tools for pay. Support this to formalize that already existing consensus. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:44, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Question - Should point number two also list WIRs, or is that intended to be covered by the "affiliates" clause? Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:45, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Wikipedians in Residence typically edit from a distinct account, so I suppose the question there mainly would be with granting themselves permissions. I wouldn't oppose adding it to the exemption, but it also wouldn't likely come up that often. Smallbones, before this gets too big, you might want to consider tweaking the wording on that point. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:52, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
      • I doubt it would ever come up, and if it did come up I wouldn't be against it. So why not? I added the exemption. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:07, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support clause two only I don't think there is consensus for "paid editing" witchhunts at RFA, which I think will result if people are required to disclose at that point. My biggest concern has always been about admins using their tools for paid editing, so I'm limiting my support to that clause. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:00, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. I strongly support the second point. I support the idea behind the first point as well, but I see some reasons for revising it. I'm not sure whether it must be in the opening statement, just so long as it's somewhere. Should it instead be a fourth standard question? --Tryptofish (talk) 00:11, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Regarding the first point, in the wake of recent events it was my intention to ask all viable RfA candidates that question, but since I could get run over by a bus at any time, it might be better to have it be an official inquiry. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:19, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I think that the current wording is flexible enough for us to either have it in the acceptance or as a 4th question. I consider the standard questions to be part of the "opening statement", especially if one doesn't self-nom, so one could meet this proposal that way. FWIW, I would prefer it as a 4th question. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:22, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • When I read this RfC, I took "opening statement" to mean where the candidate says thank you to the nominators and accepts the nomination. I don't think of answers to questions as a "statement". But I can also see it the other way. So I think that there might be a problem with clarity of wording here. It would be a simple matter to change: "Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA opening statement whether they have ever edited for pay." --Tryptofish (talk) 00:32, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I've IAR tweaked it since everyone who has commented in support seems to be fine with the 4th question option, and I don't think Smallbones would mind based on their statement proposing this. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:36, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Checking back, I now strongly support all parts of the proposal. I've also considered the oppose rationales, and they do not change my mind. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:22, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - I would like to see WIRs be mentioned, but I can support at this time. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:19, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, echoing the request for WIR clarification. Would also support the first point as a standard fourth question in RfA. --AntiCompositeNumber (Ring me) 00:32, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I would prefer to expand the first line to include even current administrators rather than just admin candidates. In my opinion, current administrators should also disclose on their respective user page whether they have ever edited for pay. Thanks, Lourdes 01:23, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Under the ToU, they are already required to disclose any paid editing they engage in. - Bilby (talk) 08:43, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Admining for pay sounds like the ultimate COI. Dlohcierekim (talk) 02:18, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Perfect common sense. And agree completely with Dlohcierekim above. - The Bushranger One ping only 03:21, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Mainly for the second point but I guess RfA disclosure is a good start. I would like to see a requirement that all admins disclose whether they are editing for pay. The history of a candidate is less of an issue than what they are doing now or what they may be doing after they get the tools. I would be much more likely to support an editor who disclosed they had edited for pay but undertake that they will not than one who says they have never edited for pay but would not undertake not to.

    I have, in the past, said I feel that paid editing and adminship do not mix. At least now, well over a year since I last looked at Wikipedia, there seems to be a solid consensus that admins can not be paid for admin action. Now we just need to get people to recognize that the admin bit is monetizable not just because of the tools but because of the actual and perceived authority they wield from the explicit endorsement of the community that a successful RfA brings. To me it is a 'God or Mammon' thing. Jbh Talk 03:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Support quite strongly. I also support Lourdes' proposal that this should be expanded to all administrators. Ifnord (talk) 04:14, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Any concerned about the first point should realize that whether it's mentioned in the self-nom/acceptance statement or not, paid editing will (1) be the subject of a question and (2) get found out anyways. So making it a required disclosure in an RfA doesn't change anything, but shifts the onus of presenting the fact away from !voters and onto the candidate themselves. Ben · Salvidrim!  04:33, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - This should have been done a long time ago, and I commend Smallbones for the Rfa. I also support Lourdes' proposal to extend this to all current and retired admins who may return. Jusdafax (talk) 04:41, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support This should help against any future administrators fucking up as badly as Salvidrim did. PeterTheFourth (talk) 06:09, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I can support the second statement. Originally I didn't mind the first, but on reflection it seems like a bit of overreach so I've moved to oppose, given that paid editing is not prohibited, we're not banning it from admins at this stage, and this could be easily managed by those who care via asking the candidate if they've engaged in paid editing as one of the questions in the RfA. I also note that if the paid editing was before the change to the ToU, it is so historical as to be unlikely to be relevant. If it was post the ToU, then if they were going to disclose they would have already done so, and accordingly we just need to check their user page to get the answer to this question. - Bilby (talk) 06:48, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Sandstein 08:31, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strongly support both points -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 08:32, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose Although this feels like more spreading of moral panic-itis concerning paid editing, it is a serious issue. However, I think it needs to be modified to reflect on being paid only for content creation. This disables people like Cyberpower678 recieving perfectly legitimate and positive contributions from the Internet Archive, which allows us to have continued usage of his very good archive bot. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is that paid editing for creation of content cannot be neutral, but in other areas (like the example above) getting paid is actually quite a positive. !dave 08:41, 21 December 2017 (UTC) (changed vote)
  • To my knowledge, the only time Cyberpower678’s payment comes up is in policy debates when someone is trying to make a point without actually clicking on his name in the paid editors category. No one opposes the excellent work that he does and the work on IABot is done only with local community consensus. On top of that, to the best of my knowledge, IABot is not an adminbot, so would not at all be impacted by this. At the current AC case Cyber said he didn’t really appreciate being drawn into it, and I think we should also extend to him that same courtesy in discussions like this: to the best of my knowledge his work would not be impacted at all by this proposal, so holding him up as an example of why to oppose isn’t really fair to him or a good argument. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:59, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • @TonyBallioni: With this I am probably therefore going to change my vote, but I must be missing something -- how can a bot be paid? The money is going to Cyber, no? !dave 14:07, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A bit confused as to that question, but yes, the money would be going to Cyber (I’m assuming, I don’t know his personal finances). TonyBallioni (talk) 14:12, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Right, right, my mistake. I re-read the proposal. !dave 14:20, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, very emphatically, and I am amazed that this isn't already enshrined in policy. Yunshui  09:15, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, providing we make it very clear that opposing an RFA candidacy simply because a candidate has engaged / is engaged in disclosed paid editing, which is within policy, is not a valid reason for opposal, and any such opposal should be ignored by the closer. fish&karate 10:16, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose Like !dave, I have concerns about the very limited range of freedom in that second point.. I don't think we should care where that money comes from. We should care about the reasons. Just disclose the paid editing activity, answer questions when people have them, back down when you have to and take away someones tools when they abuse them. Common sense really. We want to stop abuse, not people's ability to be productive. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:21, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both statements. MER-C 11:06, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak support first statement - we encourage disclosure but should only add as much red-tape as minimally necessary. Strong oppose second statement's separation of Wikimedians in Residence from other forms of paid editing, as if wearing a "Wikimedian in Residence" hat would absolve the act of paying from community scrutiny. Deryck C. 11:12, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support 2nd point, on admins not using bit for pay (and fine with WiR etc exceptions). Oppose 1st point as unnecessary drama-magnet. If someone at RFA is currently or recently editing for pay, then if they are TOU-compliant, this should be highly visible already. If they have done so in the distant past, this is irrelevant now except insofar they violated TOU or community norms while doing it, which is just as important as other skeletons they might have in their closet and I'm not sure why to elevate this one. So therefore this is only likely to "have teeth" insofar as being a drama and RFA Oppose-!vote target for users who in a transparent and TOU/norm-compliant way edited for pay noncontroversially in their distant past. (Of course, nothing stops concerned RFA participants from asking RFA gauntlet-runners about paid editing or other COI they might have had....) Finally, I could get behind a stronger "legislation of clue" type add to the admin policy, if needed, that admins are (of course!) to lead the community in avoiding any actions with a COI, except most noncontroversial use of tools e.g. responding to clear vandalism. Shouldn't need to be said, but recent events show it may be best to be explicit - and the type of stuff that has prompted this discussion is unacceptable whether the COI is $, personal friendships, or merely firmly held political or other beliefs. Martinp (talk) 12:22, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both, but oppose the WiR exception. Wikipedians-in-Residence should not directly be using their admin tools in connection with their paid position either. It's a conflict of interest. ~ Rob13Talk 13:14, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1, Support #2 with change. As for #2, I agree with Rob above: Using your tools in connection with paid editing is always a potential COI, no matter who pays you. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. I oppose #1 on policy grounds. Per WP:SOCK#LEGIT you are actually allowed to create a second account and not disclose it if you wish to keep certain editing secret from people who might otherwise judge you negatively. This imho includes established well-known editors who wish to engage in allowed paid editing without "sullying" their reputation. Since a significant portion of the community abhors paid editing in general and wishes to treat such editors worse than others, it's understandable that some editors might not want to disclose what they don't have to disclose. That it will become another unnecessary drama magnet as Martinp points out is another good reason to oppose this point. Regards SoWhy 13:50, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 support #2 The first as pointed out by Bilby is unnecessary. Also a drama magnet. #2 is fine, advanced tools shouldn't be used in the process of paid editing. !dave 14:20, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support These things are already expected but it does not hurt saying them again, we already expect admin candidates to stand openly on thier Wikipedia history (the 'drama' objection is make-weight, unless your objection is RfA is 'drama'), and we already expect tools will not be sold, we did not make you buy them and we do not expect you to sell them. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:37, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support the first point in spirit, the second in letter, per recent events and basically what TonyBallioni said. On the first point, I would rather simplify this even further and just add a standard Q4 to the RfA template which asks the question. Something like: "Q4. Have you ever received or expected to receive payment for any edit you made on Wikipedia?" Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:43, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
Expanding: yes, there are a significant number of editors who would flat out oppose any candidate who discloses that they have ever made a paid edit anywhere ever. In exactly the same way, there are already editors who flat out oppose because a candidate hasn't created 12 featured articles from scratch, or has too many edits at WP:ANI, or they once said "fuck", or they can't explain in perfect detail how to perform a history merge. And with the recent events I and others have referred to, I'm pretty sure you can count on this question being asked in every future RfA whether it's automatic or not. It remains up to the community to decide what to do with that information. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with it. GMGtalk 15:01, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • *Support both, but oppose the WiR exception. Wikipedians-in-Residence should not directly be using their admin tools in connection with their paid position either. It's a conflict of interest. (as per Rob above). Hchc2009 (talk) 15:45, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both. SarahSV (talk) 15:46, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both, oppose the WiR exception. Rentier (talk) 15:49, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment on the RfA point: I think one of the reasons why the RfA point matters is because what has been found over the last year and even over the last few months as the community's focus has turned to this topic is that what we are seeing is that even the white hat commercial editors who have been long time community members (and I am not just referencing Salv and the current ArbCom case) are unable to actually follow our core content policies when working in Wikipedia for their clients. This is true even of the ones who want to do so. While opposing on the grounds that an individual was a commercial editor who edited in line with policy would not be useful in my opinion, we can't actually know if someone edited in line with policy until we actually review the content they have contributed. I know it has been my mantra for the better part of a year, but disclosure is only the bare minimum first step that allows you the right to hit the save button.
    Once that step has been complete, an editor must comply with local policies and guidelines. In particular, they must comply with NPOV, NOR, BLP, and NOTSPAM. The contributions that have been paid are the most likely to not follow these local guidelines, even by the white hat commercial editors, and the community has a right to review them before deciding whether they trust the individual with the tools. Making it required disclosure in an RfA simply makes this much easier to do, and I think that is a positive. This is not about punishing people for disclosing or causing drama. This is about recognizing that policies are as applicable to commercial editors as they are to volunteer editors, and making it easier for the local community to review a candidate's work. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:50, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both. Anarchyte (work | talk) 15:50, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both the first and second clauses. --Joshualouie711talk 16:23, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Likely futile as everyone seems to be caught up in the frenzy over paid editing, but oppose #1. It will only encourage people to dig up dirt on others' personal lives, we don't need more reasons to oppose RfAs, how volunteers make a living is none of our business as long as it doesn't impact the encyclopaedia, and the corporate spamming rings that are the main problem with paid editing aren't interested in adminship anyway; more importantly, it's a meaningless gesture to ask someone to make a completely unverifiable statement. There's absolutely nothing to stop an unscrupulous person from making a false statement, and once we find out that it's false there's no sanction we can levy that will affect them in the least. All this will do is lead to witch hunts against good editors and discourage people from disclosing their paid 'status'. I'm ambivalent on #2 as it's much less likely that admin actions done with an ulterior motive will be in the encyclopaedia's best interests, but we already have a policy on admins with a conflict of interest and we should be careful not to get fixated on the "paid" aspect. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:30, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 on the grounds of "are you now or have you ever been". Kind of support #2, but I'm a bit concerned about the possibility of WMF affiliates not necessarily acting in enwp's best interest. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:43, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support for both 1 and 2. Not perfect, but it's a start. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:44, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • What does "edited for pay" mean? Does it include editing/admin-ing while on the job? The wording is too vague. (Which I haven't done at my current job, but I have done in the past at places where it was okay to do so, hi crazy Wikipedia stalker sites). --Rschen7754 16:54, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't believe it's the least bit vague. It means to receive compensation in return for editing Wikipedia. Unless your job, or part of it, is editing Wikipedia, simply being located at work while editing is obviously not that. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:39, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • It does not mean that you simply edited at work, if the editing wasn't actually related to your job. However, if part of your job is editing on behalf of your employer, then that certainly counts as paid editing.--Aervanath (talk) 17:46, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support that editors should be forbidden from accepting compensation in exchange for use of advanced tools. Weak oppose to adding the proposed statement to the RfA.--Aervanath (talk) 17:46, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Neutral as written on #2, because I'm tired of endless slicing at this topic. I would support a flat prohibition of holders of admin or advanced rights on en.wp making money off their connection to Wikipedia or WMF, which would obviously include the proposal above. Making money does not include programs such as WIR, The Wikipedia Library's programs, or reimbursements of expenses. I oppose #1 since nothing has been done inconsistent with the terms of use or policies, and such things can be asked about in the standard questions.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:59, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It takes hundreds if not thousands of hours to become an admin. Why not get paid? Oshek asher ashak (talk) 18:13, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Actually, it's their only edit, and on that basis I am striking it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:21, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both but with two reservations. Firstly any restriction on paid contributions shouldn't apply only to administrators, but to all rights above auto-confirmed. Secondly, the aim should be for this principle (and all others) to be followed rather than enforced, so we're really barking up the wrong tree here. See here for more on this. But these are improvements on the current (imperfect) processes. Andrewa (talk) 18:20, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support #2 and neutral on #1 as it strikes me as a little pointless. If a candidate is following the COI guideline then they should have disclosed any conflicts of interest already (and if they aren't than that is itself an excellent reason to oppose an RfA). I support the exemptions from #2, it doesn't make any sense to prevent an admin from using their tools in an area which is generally seen as harmless. Hut 8.5 18:48, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strongly support both. Administrators should not edit for pay. Ever. James (talk/contribs) 18:55, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Shearonink (talk) 19:17, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both, though I wouldn't mind an additional clarification that "I'm a WiR" or "I'm an employee of WMF" isn't blanket license; all other tool-abuse concerns still apply.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  19:19, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    PS: I support the idea of adding #1 to the standard RfA questions.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:03, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The issue is not ripe and not a significant problem right now. How many paid editor admins do we have right now? The prohibited activities are vague. Yes, Warp Drive, Inc. hiring a PR firm to improve its image and exposure on WP is a no-no. Joe should not have a business of writing articles for hire. Those are the bad activities. Such activities should also be pretty obvious. They are also pretty narrow. A candidate will not be viable if he has only edited the articles about Acme Products, Inc. or done a series a fluff corporate articles. Candidates need to have contributed to many articles. What about Warp Drive, Inc. employee J. Q. Engineer contributing to many articles but also adding content to articles about faster-than-light travel? Warp Drive is paying her salary, but her duties may not include editing WP. She is interested in warp drives and wants others to know how they work. If J. Q. E. adds some factual details to the article on Warp Drive, Inc., does she automatically become tainted and non-admin worthy? What if J. Q. E. has been using a pseudonym and the disclosure about paid editing will identify her because she is the only engineer at Warp Drive? A university pays a mathematics professor to teach and do research. He writes a WP article on an obscure topic in his field and continues to improve that article while collecting a university salary. He writes some well-received journal articles. Is that paid editing? What if Mojo, Inc. notices his work, has a commercial application for it, and hires him as a part-time consultant? Does Mojo money disqualify him for adminship the next time he edits the article? What if Jim worked for and was paid by the Red Cross during Hurricane Harvey. If Jim edits anything about Harvey, is he now tainted? What if Jim updates the Red Cross article to say that the Red Cross spent $148.6M on Hurricane Harvey relief? There's huge difference between editing articles to include encyclopedic content or editing articles to promote a company or a viewpoint. And why pick on just paid editors? Unpaid editors with polar political, religious, or ideological viewpoints can be just as bad. The admin question should be based more on what an editor contributes rather than who signs her paycheck. The thrust of this proposal seems to violate WP:AGF. Glrx (talk) 19:42, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    • See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Conduct of Mister Wiki editors, an open ArbCom case that involves this issue and that raised the profile of this topic. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:48, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
      That case does not change my opinion. The proposal is too broad (captures too many innocent, well-intentioned, editors) and misses others (e.g., COI editors). The exceptions are not broad enough. What about User:CFCF, who has been a WiR but has also separately taken WMF grant money to supply Commons with medical related images? Do you really want to put a well-meaning medical student in the paid editing camp? Direct the RfA question to the bad behavior rather than a correlation that ignores WP:AGF. Glrx (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    Both of those circumstances are explicitly allowed under this proposal. I also prefer the term commercial editors to make a distinction, but it hasn't caught on yet. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:55, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    No. The proposal labels CFCF as a paid editor in an RfA (CFC has edited for pay); it permits CFCF to use tools on behalf of WMF. See User:SarekOfVulcan above. I have no problem with stripping the admin bit from somebody who misuses it for paid editing, COI advocacy, or edit warring. I'd even support fast-tracking such an action. I don't want a big bucket of bad people. A paid PR person for Democratic/Republican party would be noncommercial. A NASA employee/contractor could be improving the encyclopedia; the employee could also cross the line by puffing NASA. Glrx (talk) 21:09, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
    "Not ripe"? Does the community have to be in flames, with hundreds of users staging an editorial sit-in? This has been ripe for a long time and is now verging on rotten.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:00, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support with the understanding that "editing for pay" is understood in a narrower sense than in Glrx' examples. If we prohibit or restrict to non-admins "editing pages related to your paid work", that comes close to prohibiting experts from contributing to the topics they are experts in, and we certainly shouldn't do that. —Kusma (t·c) 20:17, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support on both points. The 'pedia is a volunteer project and a form of community service. It takes a certain state of mind to be a productive and contributing part of this community. If this sort of question weeds out those who see it as a commercial enterprise, maybe they don't have the right temperament for the job. (And yes, this should have been formalized long ago.) - CorbieV 21:32, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both and ban anybody who has ever edited for pay from being an administrator. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:34, 21 December 2017 (UTC).
  • Support both. --Tom (LT) (talk) 22:40, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. The existence of the WIR clause demonstrates that there is no logical equivalence between being paid and not acting in the interests of the project. Any hard rule will have so many exceptions that it becomes unenforceable and/or drives otherwise good editors into avoiding declaring potential conflicts of interest. Every situation must be judged on its own merits - what matters is the content not the contributor. Thryduulf (talk) 22:47, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • First, I am opposed to proposal two without a narrow and clear definition of paid editing. It is very important to clarify what exactly paid editing is—does this include COI edits? If so, do we go by the nebulous definition laid out in Wikipedia:Conflict of interest? This is far too broad. If this only includes paid editing as defined in Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure, then I would support the proposal wholeheartedly (though even here the language is vague: "If you receive, or expect to receive, compensation for your contributions to Wikipedia, either directly or indirectly..."). Second, I am opposed to mandatory disclosure of paid editing at RFA. This is an additional barrier to becoming an administrator. I am much more supportive of having a rule that administrators cannot use the tools as part of paid editing, narrowly defined, which makes mandatory disclosure pointless. If administrators cannot use their tools for paid editing, why should this question be an issue at RFA? Malinaccier (talk) 00:33, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • What is nebulous about "receiving compensation in return for editing Wikipedia"? Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:39, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I am not sure what you are quoting, but WP:COI conflates having any degree of financial conflict of interest with paid editing. Even the more narrow definition of paid editing at WP:PAID includes the vague phrase "directly or indirectly". If an administrator works in a field producing widgets and comes across an article about a startup widget producer that does not assert notability, does deleting it under A7 count as paid editing? The administrator is indirectly being compensated by reducing the amount of exposure the competitor has. Similarly, any administrator that is an academic would be prohibited from using page protection on articles within his or her field—depending on how broad we interpret direct or indirect compensation. These seem like unhelpful restrictions to me, but maybe I worry too much. Malinaccier (talk) 01:13, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Paid contributions without disclosure
These Terms of Use prohibit engaging in deceptive activities, including misrepresentation of affiliation, impersonation, and fraud. As part of these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation. You must make that disclosure in at least one of the following ways:
  • a statement on your user page,
  • a statement on the talk page accompanying any paid contributions, or
  • a statement in the edit summary accompanying any paid contributions.
Applicable law, or community and Foundation policies and guidelines, such as those addressing conflicts of interest, may further limit paid contributions or require more detailed disclosure.
A Wikimedia Project community may adopt an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy. If a Project adopts an alternative disclosure policy, you may comply with that policy instead of the requirements in this section when contributing to that Project. An alternative paid contribution policy will only supersede these requirements if it is approved by the relevant Project community and listed in the alternative disclosure policy page.
For more information, please read our FAQ on disclosure of paid contributions. (Emphasis added)
The FAQ answers the inevitable questions, including yours, such as what "compensation" is. Our WP:COI policy is an addendum to these Terms of Use, which are binding on anyone who uses the WMF sites. There's really nothing very nebulous about this, it's quite concrete. It's also only tangentially relevant here, because we're not discussing whether paid editing is allowed, but what should be done about admins who are paid editors. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:10, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Re: Widgets and academics: "Compensation" is, according to the FAQ, "an exchange of money, goods, or services." If there's no quid pro quo, then there's no compensation, and no paid editing. Far-fetched changes in the real world which could, might, maybe, possibly occur as a result of editing are not compensation. If the widget boss says "Hey, you're a Wikipedia administrator, go make our competitors look like fools, or maybe you could even delete their articles. I'm sure you can come up with some rationale that looks reasonable", then you're an admin editing for pay, because it just became part of your job, and you're paid for your work. That's compensation.
    Let's keep this discussion grounded in reality, please. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:18, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me to the TOU language, I definitely find it to be more clear. That being said, "editors who receive payment for their edits or actions on the English Wikipedia must comply with both the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use and the local policies and guidelines of the English Wikipedia" (from WP:PAID). If our local enwiki policies are different (which, they do appear to me to be), then it is not clear what this proposal means by paid editing. Thanks again for the link! Malinaccier (talk) 04:51, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
What I'm not sure about in terms of real world examples are editathons where there is a free lunch, or where travel costs are refunded for classroom assistants. I get that if I attend an editathon and use the tools then I have to decline any lunch, I'm less sure about travel costs as the only person to mention that said that expenses are not pay. I suspect that the next time I'm at an editathon and someone says "oh the article on professor X has already been deleted" nobody really minds if I view deleted and say "was he a pro skateboarder in his adolescence? If so just make sure the article concentrates on his adult achievements". People probably regard a free coffee as de minimis, but sandwiches? ϢereSpielChequers 13:54, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support #2 only. #1 is likely to incite lots of drama and #2 sounds like a reasonable proposal. Enterprisey (talk!) 05:20, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment/Support I would still prefer a blanket 'You may not hold advanced tools if you are a paid editor'. Support 1 regardless, but 2 implies that administrators can still be paid editors, and the conflict of interest in being paid to edit is too much of a risk. It should be either/or. You can edit for pay, but you cant be an administrator. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:14, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both - in principle. It's common sense, and it's a shame it even needs instruction creep to spell it out. That said, in the current climate anyway, an RfA candidate would have to be crazy to admit to PE. And similar to Only in death, I would also prefer a blanket policy on the lines 'No user may hold any advanced tools on any of their accounts if they are a paid editor' (WIR excepted, of course). We have to be careful that the wording would not be construed by other editors who don't enjoy advanced privileges, to mean that paid editing is expressly permitted and/or encouraged; it is not, and if condoned, only barely tolerated. I make no secret of the fact that I am strongly opposed to paid editing whether declared or not.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:35, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: If the "Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA whether they have ever edited for pay." then this means that they have been an undisclosed paid editor. This is inconsistent with adminship and seems to be reason to terminate the RfA for violations of the ToU. No RfA could proceed with such admission. If they hide it and then get adminship and it is discovered later, they will be indef blocked. This admin would not allow Super Mario effect under a deceptive RfA.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 12:30, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Not necessarily. If they edited for pay prior to the disclosure rules coming into effect, they would only be an undisclosed paid editor if they continued to edit for pay afterwards. There has not been a policy or TOU anywhere that says if you have ever edited for pay you must disclose it. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:42, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
@Only in death: is correct that the first point covers disclosing paid editing before June 16, 2014 when paid editing disclosure was not required. I don't think it's a big deal - many editors want to know what an admin candidate's attitude is toward paid editing. The proposed point is *not* a statement that "no candidate that ever done paid editing" will be rejected. There are enough editors supporting the 1st point that we can be absolutely sure that the question will be asked in every future RfA, so why not make the question automatic?
@Kudpung: makes an important point "We have to be careful that the wording would not be construed by other editors who don't enjoy advanced privileges, to mean that paid editing is expressly permitted and/or encouraged; it is not." In particular WP:NOTPROMOTION prohibits almost all paid editing that I've seen. Putting this point into a bright-line rule has not happened yet, but not gaining consensus for an easily enforced rule against something is not the same as a policy saying that the something is allowed. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:32, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I see the distinguishment and understand that this is strictly about those that edited before the disclosure rules changed.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 14:52, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, it is for every candidate: paid, past, present, never -- all, should be open in experience and demonstrate understanding of the issues. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:57, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both to disallow any conflict of interest and require transparency through disclosure.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:03, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Question... I already !voted above but for those who try to argue that adminship and paid editing are mutually exclusive, I submit the following scenario: Imagine I somehow become very rich (for example if I had bought some bitcoins years ago) and I set up a charitable foundation whose whole goal is to encourage people to create quality articles on subjects that are still in need of an article (using the most requested articles list or some other random metric with no connection to myself or the foundation itself). The foundation offers a bounty of $100 for every FA created, paid to the editor who created it. No other obligations, just creating. You can also choose your own subject as you like. Are all those editors who participate in this unfit to be administrators when their actions only benefit the project? To spin it further, WP:BOUNTY already existed at some time, with the difference that the money went to the WMF. Are all editors who participated unfit to be admins? Or are all editors who participated in the last WiR edit-a-thon, just because the top article creators received some compensation? I'm genuinely curious where the line is drawn and why. Regards SoWhy 15:38, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
    • This is where I draw the distinction between paid and commercial editing (and yes, I know there are flaws there too, internal employees wouldn't be commercial, etc. but I think it is at least more nuanced than the current paid editing construct). Having dealt with a lot of these cases, commercial editing is very rarely ever done in accordance with local policies and guidelines, even by those with good faith and who want to follow them. It's a structural problem more so than a bad person problem. I'm not sure if I would say it necessarily makes one unfit for adminship, but if one engages in it because of the tendency for it to overlap with policy violations, it gives the community a reason to look closer at the commercial contributions. I'm not sure if that answers your question as I'm not really advocating the position, but I think it hopefully brings some nuance and puts it in a perspective as to why people might feel that way. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:45, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I raised this scenario recently, using the case of Historica Canada funding its own online encyclopedia as a similar initiative that under somewhat different circumstances I could envision funding the creation of Wikipedia articles to improve coverage of Canadian history. The lone response was that it sounds like the Wikipedia-in-residence program (which it isn't exactly). I think the distinction is not so much commercial versus non-commercial, but educational from a neutral point of view versus non-educational. isaacl (talk) 19:39, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
To tweak your point, maybe a good illustration of what Tony is trying to formulate is not commercial editing v volunteer editing, but rather commercial editing v educational editing. If you are lucky enough to wind up getting paid precisely to advance the goal of making more knowledge more free to more people, then our goals perfectly align. But if they don't then they don't, and we are right to be suspicious of anyone here with any goal in mind but exactly that. GMGtalk 20:23, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Agreed with GMG. That is the distinction that I think we miss when we discuss paid vs. volunteer. Commercial vs. educational misses somethings and isn't a perfect dichotomy (and none will be), but it is the distinction I think most people have in their mind when they are talking about "paid editing". TonyBallioni (talk) 20:53, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support though some tweaking may be needed. AnAwesomeArticleEditor (talk) 16:53, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I would like to go further, but this is a good start. I do wish people would stop citing this pedantic, entirely spurious strawman that equates WiR etc. with paid editing. – Joe (talk) 22:10, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for being too weak As someone who was pinged into this discussion by Glrx as being both a WiR and funded by the WMF I can say I have no problem disclosing these things, and it is not something I try to hide (in fact I feature them on my talk-page). If all that is needed at RfA is disclosure, and this not disqualifying me I don't see the issue that Glrx raises. While I appreciate the wish to spell out exceptions for good paid editing in WiRs and through the WMF, I don't think this is how we should do it. Especially not when we don't even have a proper definition of what a WiR is (COI disclosure: I'm working on such a definition for Wikimedia Sweden now and will likely be presenting something soon). What is stopping a major publisher from getting a WiR to promote their books by citing only their books on Wikipedia? We need a proper definition before we reference the role in official texts. Without that we'll just see corruption of what a WiR is.
    The addition in change 1 seems superfluous, because we already require everyone, and not only admins to disclose such things. Regarding 2, I've never seen the need in either of the abovementioned projects to use admin tools. Granted, I do not have access to such tools, but if I did I would still not see the purpose of using them within the tasks I have in my projects. If I wanted to for example move a protected page as part of any role, I would feel that I could not do this using admin tools — as this would be dishonest and in violation of both my job-role as a WiR (by endangering the community reputation of my employer) and my role as an admin. The idea that it would ever be okay to use admin tools as a WiR displeases me, and it might even promote the idea that it would be better to employ admins as WiRs, which I think goes against the non-heirarchical nature of Wikipedia. I'd like to ask if there are any cases where using admin tools would be appropriate as a WiR? I'm even tempted to say that it is often inappropriate for WMF employees to use admin tools in that role.
    If I understand it correctly consensus has not been found to prohibit admins from engaging in paid editing, but I can't find anything about no consensus for prohibiting admins from using admin tools for paid editing. Why can't we just have that? Carl Fredrik talk 02:33, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    CFCF thanks for the feedback. The reasons I included the exemptions are a) for WMF employees - they need to do office actions sometimes, keep the servers running, and many misc. tasks that might require admin tools. I expect that this will be entirely transparent and that the WMF will police this, b) WMF affiliates - probably much less common and should also be completely transparent. The one example that comes to mind involved an edit-a-thon and a chapter employee was there to help create new accounts. This needs special permission if too many accounts are created from the same IP address on the same day. WIR - there are WIRs who are admins, but I can't imagine them needing admin tools for their WIR duties, unless it would be similar to the example in the last sentence. Nevertheless, some WIRs do complain that COI or WP:Paid rules restrict their activities. I don't see how (unless they are just not very familiar with the rules) - but I don't want to discourage WIRs in any way and several people mentioned this at the start of the RfC. BTW, I applaud your efforts to make the definition of WIRs a bit more formal. Your question "What would prevent ..." The answer now is "self-policing by other WIRs and the GLAM community," which is probably adequate now, but with GLAM-Wikipedia cooperation growing a formal definition of WIRs can only help everybody.
    As a practical matter, supporting both proposed points will probably move enWiki in the direction you'd like, even if they are not perfectly written. Any help appreciated. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:59, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    @Smallbones: As a pedantic practical note, an exemption for office actions or WMF-related actions is unnecessary. Per WP:CONEXCEPT, office actions and the actions of the WMF are not subject to consensus, and so any consensus reached here does not affect them. We could safely drop that from any phrasing without mucking anything up if that is a point of contention. ~ Rob13Talk 05:18, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    The perfect should not be the enemy of the good here. This is a step in the right direction in that it formalizes an existing consensus against this within the community. Additional conversation can take place over time to tweak it, but in general these principles are a positive, even if not perfect. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:41, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    • If you wish to compare WiR to PAID, you need to ackowledge that WiR is already highly regulated and disclosed, down to the very details of their duties (we do not get that kind disclosure with PAID, we get a much more limited disclosure) - it's not that WiR are regulated like PAID, WiR are much more specifically regulated and cabined by guideline. They are treated differently because that is the set-up, we have designed. If you wish to regulate WiR even more, then go ahead and propose that but propose it, and get consensus for it in the WiR guidance, not in the PAID sphere. As for your outlandish scenario with the publisher, the user would be blocked and likely banned but no policy or guideline can make you ethical. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:48, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
Alanscottwalker — It's an open secret that WiRs are not regulated whatsoever, which is an even bigger problem if people like you incorrectly believe they are. The only reason they seem to work is that by being mostly set up by Wikimedia chapters they have been set up by people with understanding of the issues involved. However, no regulation exists and we have nothing that stops anyone from any organization calling themselves a WiR. As for the publisher example, those things are happening today under the guise of the visiting scholar program and some other programs, so it isn't a deluded example — it is fact. I think your comment was very rude, especially as it tries to refute my comment by disseminating falsehood. Carl Fredrik talk 23:28, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
If this is happening right now as you say, bring it to AN or ANI, for that person to get blocked or banned. It's, shall we say rude, for you to make vague charges against unnamed people. If you have a proposal to tighten the regulation of WiR, make it at VPP, but the WIR program is quite clear about what we expect, and so it is highly regulated, in that we regulate through guideline. There is no falsehood about it. Unless, what you are actually suggesting is there are no problems now with WiR, and it works well currently - 'because those people know how', in which case, you're being very free with your charges. As for rude, I don't think disagreeing with you is rude - I think you should act on these WiR concerns you have, if they are actual concerns you have - please, go to the admin notice board and VPP- so, we all may collectively act on it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:29, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both, oppose WiR exception They both seem necessary to maintain our credibility. The WiR exception is underspecified, and I'm not sure they should be using admin tools for pay anyway. Tamwin (talk) 05:27, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support 2, neutral on 1 - No administrators should be using their tools for pay; as stated above, it is too much of a conflict of interest. WiR should be exempt from this, although, as the organizations that have WiRs should have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart; otherwise, they shouldn't have a WiR. RileyBugz会話投稿記録 16:07, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both: admins must not only act fairly, they must be seen to be acting fairly. Admins using their tools for pay looks wrong, however well they actually behave. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:44, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both This is Ethics 101. Johnuniq (talk) 22:53, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Question With regard to point 1, how would this be verified? I ask because I cannot see any way you could get someone to virtually put a hand on the Bible and swear an oath that they have never done it and confirm it. For point 2, does that mean as in taking payment to block a particular user or protect a specific page? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:51, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose #1, which may lead to editors being forced to involuntarily out themselves, no opinion on #2. See also this. ansh666 05:40, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Well, if it's a simple yes/no "have you edited for pay" with no followup whatsoever then it won't, but I get the feeling that that's not what people would want as an answer. If for example someone maintains an undisclosed legitimate alternate account for COI editing for privacy reasons, it's one thing to disclose it privately to ARBCOM as is already required and another altogether to be forced to reveal said identity to the peanut gallery at a place where literally everything about you could possibly be scrutinized for not-so-kind purposes. This is in essence the same as SoWhy's argument above. ansh666 06:54, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I think you're wrong. If the answer to the question "Have you ever edited for pay?" is "Yes, I've made paid edits using a legitimate alternate account for privacy reasons", then the follow-up question "What was the name of that account" would not be allowed because it would be an attempt at outing. Probably the only legitimate allowed follow-up question would be "Are you willing to disclose your alternate account to ArbCom or an individual arbitrator?". Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:35, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Which will likely be followed by !votes that can be summed up as "Oppose - didn't disclose his alternate account" or "Oppose, has admitted to editing under another account and since we don't know which one that is, we have to assume that he will use the tools to help that account". Ansh666 is right, no variation of #1 will lead to anything good in the long run. Regards SoWhy 16:42, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Paid editing has to be disclosed. There's nothing wrong with this proposal. --QEDK ( ☃️ ) 06:07, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support Paid editing must be disclosed per the TOU. Undisclosed paid editors is incompatible with being an admin. Admin tools should never be used for pay without explicit permission by the community. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:32, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 as McCarythism, Support #2 if and only if the WIR exception is removed. They are paid editors, treat them the same as any other paid editor as they have the exact same COI pressures. Ravensfire (talk) 18:49, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
  • support both, and with regard to #1, doing this by making it a new standard question #4. This is something that is a) obligated to be disclosed per the ToU anyway, and b) would generally get dug up anyway; the purpose of including it is to have a sound process in which we ensure this aspect of conflict of interest discussed with regard to the specific person becoming an admin. Jytdog (talk) 06:05, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
    I thought that a new standard question ought to be proposed at WT:RFA not here. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:00, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Well WT:RFA has been notified and this is pretty well-advertised RfA so a standard question could be added (though currently it looks pretty mixed) Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:05, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Meh. The proposal here is simply that disclosure must occur during the RfA with no requirement where. If that part happens, given that there has been substantial support for that format when anyone brings up a preference for the way it should occur, it could likely just be implemented as a bold edit without an RfC. I doubt it would be reverted and if it was local consensus there would likely restore it without the need to have a round 2. Not a bureaucracy and whatnot. TonyBallioni (talk) 10:10, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No particular opinion on any of the other issues (it doesn't seem like my opinion is needed anyhow) but strong oppose to any paid editing standard question. I know that the "admins being paid" issue is "in the headlines" so to speak, but we can't add a question for every common admin behaviour problem. We have removed admin status from many admins for many reasons in the past, not counting people resigning while about to be sanctioned or people failing in RfAs due to concerns about future behaviour problems. These removals/non-grantings of admin access happens for many reasons ranging from outing or civility problems oor edit warring or performing involved or otherwise problematic admin actions to this, and I am not being comprehensive. None of these have led to their own standard questions, not even the last one which consumed a lot more community time than the Mister Wiki case did and arguably involved far more severe damage to the encyclopedia. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:36, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both as per COMMONSENSE, It's a shame it all needs to be spelled out really but there we are. Support both. –Davey2010 Merry Xmas / Happy New Year 22:32, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
  • support both - per much of the above. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 02:41, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per common sense. Our continual half-assed kinda-sorta policy weakness on paid editing has been our Achilles' heel for awhile now, and I support any steps in the right direction, even small ones. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 02:45, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both as common sense. Double sharp (talk) 08:19, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both, because such undue influence on editing is inimical to WP:ADMINACCT. GABgab 20:14, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 and support #2 with modification. RfA is already enough of a gauntlet without requiring the disclosure of stuff that's happened in the past. If editors who are voting care enough about it, they'll ask a question about it. We don't currently require editors to disclose all of their accounts at RfA and I don't think we should move in that direction (especially since having an undisclosed alternate account is completely within policy). Regarding option 2, I agree with comments above that using administrative tools in conjunction with any paid position creates a noteworthy COI and so should be prohibited. Therefore I support something like "Administrators may never use administrative tools in conjunction with any activity for which they are receiving money or other inducements" (wording from WP:PAID). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 06:23, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose  This isn't bad, but it comes from a draconian attitude that Wikipedia can't coexist with moneyed interests, which may lead to court challenges that take out autonomy.  I think that the spirit of the above proposal would be preserved by adding a safety valve to #2 that reads, , or is authorized by the WMF.  Unscintillating (talk) 19:14, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 as giving license for witch-hunts, SarekOfVulcan has already used the exact words I would have. Support #2 as a reasonable limitation on editing for pay that is consistent with the expectations and role of administrators. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:41, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both for better transparency and reducing any future conflict of interest.  —  Hei Liebrecht 22:52, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support both -- Euryalus (talk) 02:06, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support #1 as a new Q4 in RfAs because it's asked so often. Support #2 because there's a pretty clear consensus that paid admin work will not be tolerated, but with the caveat that this isn't a prohibition on admins receiving pay for non-admin editing. Frankly, I would also support a prohibition on WIRs using the admin tools for WIR work unless there's a compelling reason to authorize it; I don't think WIR work should require admin tools, and when it does, it should be subject to a high level of scrutiny by the community in advance. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 02:42, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support #1 and first half of #2. I am neutral leaning to oppose on the exception. It is well intentioned but I think we should at least have some oversight over such actions, especially as the exception covers WMF affiliates, which strike me as a very large group of fairly informal organisations. DaßWölf 04:12, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1, Support #2 - Tool use is a big deal. Carrite (talk) 13:56, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both. - Mailer Diablo 16:29, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • support #2 moreso as it absolutely should not be possible to purchase admin actions. #1 seems difficult to enforce/prove. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:55, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No/No (more work on the details needed)
"Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA whether they have ever edited for pay."
Must, or what? Do the paid edits have to be disclosed? Privacy concerns? Very old, early day edits? Is the connectivity between the payment and the edit completely objective a yes/no? what if, five years ago, my employer asked everyone to check the employers page for vandalism or inaccuracies? I removed typos on work time. Is that paid editing? I think this one crosses into "unenforceable" and even "unworkable". Also, it has retrospectivity problems.
"Administrators may never use administrative tools as part of any paid editing activity, except when they are acting as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or the payment is made by the Wikimedia Foundation or an affiliate of the WMF."
Prohibition never works, instead to leads to underground activity. Timely disclosure is a much better answer. I suggest instead:
"Administrators using administrative tools in connection to any payment must disclose this in the edit summary"
There is no reason to carve out WMF or WiR. In fact, WMF-funded staff surrepticiously interefering with the community of volunteers is far more dangerous to the project than a small degree of paid editing in mainspace. To satisfy disclosure, WMF staff and and WiR editors should be required to use "(WMF)" and "(WiR)" suffixed accounts when editng in that capacity, with an explanation of their role on their main userpage.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:09, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose 1 Support 2 per Bilby. feminist (talk) 09:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Question how can the community limit something that is expressly permitted by the WMF TOU? Mr Ernie (talk) 21:16, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    Easily. Next question? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 21:22, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Unhelpful sass? Excuse me? Please help me understand. What a ridiculous way to respond to a good faith question. Misunderstood Sarek’s edit summary - struck where needed. Mr Ernie (talk) 22:00, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Virtually every local policy that we have on is a further limitation of the WMF terms of use. Different wikis have different behavioral guidelines. On I've been told they have a speedy deletion criteria for poor translations from obviously those articles are permitted by the TOU (we host them on, but the local community has decided to enact stricter standards than the foundation requires. A similar thing can be found in regards to admin rights and potential non-admin arbitrators. The foundation views the ArbCom election as being an RfA equivalent process for legal reasons, and thus would have no issue with a non-admin arb being granted the bit. Local English Wikipedia policy, however, does not permit this even though by foundation policy it is allowed. The Foundation also explicitly allowed for local communities to remove or strengthen the paid disclosure requirement of the TOU. This is not doing that (it is a behavioral policy for sysops rather than an alternative PAID policy), but if we wanted to, could allow for undisclosed paid editing (Commons has), or we could ban it completely. The TOU are the default and the minimum, but local communities are free to create local policies to build upon them, and in certain circumstances, replace their requirements. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:25, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
To add on a bit here, local policies are allowed to be more restrictive than global policies. For example, a wiki could decided to make a 6 month activity requirement for CheckUsers instead of the one-year requirement in the global policy, since that would be more restrictive. But local policies cannot be less restrictive; i.e. introducing a two-year activity requirement for CheckUsers. If the TOU explicitly allows something, it can be disallowed in local policy - but something that is explicitly disallowed in the TOU can't be allowed in local policy. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 01:24, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both - The integrity of the project and the trust of its contributors are at stake. This shouldn't have to be part of written policy, but recent events have made it clear that common sense is not so common. - MrX 00:33, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both - Editing for pay is one thing, but the responsibility that comes with the bit should be separated entirely from money. SpencerT♦C 03:01, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support One, oppose Two without mods. Proposal one only asks that wannabee admins disclose a potential COI; no harm in that. Proposal two is a little too strict. Every admin should be able to do stuff like squashing vandals. Perhaps even implementing page-moves for which there is a definite consensus (eg. closed RfC with clear result). Basically, routine admin tasks that wouldn't make anyone blink if an involved admin carried them out should be allowed here too. Zerotalk 03:16, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the first, oppose the second. I am strongly in favour of restricting admin privileges in a paid editing situation, but I don't see why there are exceptions for Wikipedians in Residence or people working on WMF/affiliate projects. I am not an administrator but I have been a paid WiR (at a GLAM). During that period, if I needed an administrator to do something (and I don't recall if I did), I asked in the usual way for that administrative function to be performed just as I normally do as a volunteer. I don't see why WiRs or WMF-funded people who happen to be administrators should be exercising those privileges in relation to any activity they are being paid to perform. If the nature of their WiR/WMF role requires constant access to admin privileges (that would make it terribly inefficient to not have them), then let that case be made at RfA so everyone knows and gets the opportunity to discuss if it is reasonable or not in the specific circumstances. Otherwise every PR firm will be in the market seeking to employ administrators as their Wikipedian-in-Residence. We have had some paid COI scandals in chapters so I don't see projects they fund should be exempt from the rule. To summarise, no administrative functions should be done by paid editors and this applies to everyone with exceptions to be specifically approved through RfA process. Kerry (talk) 07:56, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both statement #1 and statement #2 to be added. Disclosure of a paid editing history is a necessary part of transparency for an RfA—it should be part of the record and scrutinized like every other of the candidate's actions on Wikipedia. Use of the tooks are granted with the undersstanding that this priviledged access to the operations of Wikipedia can only be used to build the encyclopedia—not in the service of a COI. Neonorange (Phil) 09:58, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support in full, it is entirely reasonable. Stifle (talk) 10:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support clause #2 wholeheartedly. It presents the wrong image for an administrator to engage in paid use of the tools, regardless of how this manifests itself. As for clause #1 - mandatory disclosure of past paid editing - I'm on the fence. While I do think it's reasonable to expect RfA candidates to be upfront and honest about their history, there's nothing to prevent anyone from lying about it. We've had sockpuppets and paid advocates become administrators before; a request for disclosure would not have changed anything. Kurtis (talk) 14:21, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support clause 2 only Prior to the change in the Terms of Use, editors (like me) didn't have to declare paid editing. There's no reason to enforce our current puritanical consensus retroactively. (Are you now or have you ever been a paid editor?) The WiR exception makes sense as it's a declared CoI that the WMF doesn't care about. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:19, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support clause #2, support clause #1 in principle but oppose in practice sorry it's a bit wordy, but clause #2 is entirely reasonable, as long as common sense is applied in enforcement. Clause #1 would be reasonable, but too many editors seem to only want perfect editors as admins and that would just give them another small blip on the record to complain about. A lad insane talk 17:26, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1. Support #2 in spirit, unsure in letter. Κσυπ Cyp   17:52, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. It isn't nearly enough, but it's a start. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. The proposals seem poorly drafted and might interfere with good faith or necessary activity. For example, other big sites such as Facebook are being forced by outcry and legislation to employ thousands of moderators to deal with dodgy content. Such activity might be outsourced and so payments to such staff will be made by third parties. It's not our business to constrain such developments in a blanket way. Each case should be dealt with on its merits using more fundamental policies such as WP:NPOV and WP:V. Andrew D. (talk) 18:34, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Question I don't understand why a WiR would need to use admin tools. My impression is that suggestions from various commenters should be taken into consideration for better language that emphasizes clear disclosure. --The Cunctator (talk) 22:12, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    Whilst I've not been a WIR I have been involved in many editathons, including some while I did a stint as chapter staff. Two main scenarios where the tools are useful are 1 when you have more than half a dozen newbie attendees at an editathon per IP address. There are throttles that limit newbie edits per minute and editathons can collapse from the instructor saying all hit save now. Having an admin setting accounts as confirmed is one workaround, having several mobile phones acting as mobile hotspots is another. 2 when one person at the editathon asks why their article was deleted. In both scenarios it is easiest if your admin is there as a classroom assistant, but I can see it sometimes being the WIR. ϢereSpielChequers 22:51, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    • While I don't disagree with you that these are issues for running events, why not give those powers to those who have the course coordinator and course instructor right? I run events all the time (not as a WiR) and have to put up with these problems all the time. This proposal exemption should not be seen as a way to fix the problem of events for WiRs who also happen to be admins. We should fix that problem everyone who runs events whether or not they are admins and whether or not they are WiRs. Kerry (talk) 03:04, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
      • Setting attendees as confirmed is a clutzy workaround, we really need the event organisers userright - but that won't happen unless the WMF decide that GLAM is a program they want to promote and put IT resource into. Good luck with that! Looking at deleted edits is sometimes incredibly useful for having an admin at editathons, we can usually get one or two to ones in London. But view deleted isn't going to get unbundled. ϢereSpielChequers 13:26, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support #2 except for WiR exception. WiRs can ask for admin help, like the rest of us. (Different RfC, I guess, but #2 should also apply to use of the rollback and reviewer tools by non-admins.) Oppose #1 as written. Probably could support with an added time limit—e.g., paid editing within the past five years. (The ToU change isn't a good boundary line, since the community largely disapproved of paid editing long before the WMF acted.) In the unlikely but possible event that a user engaged in paid editing in the distant past but ceased all such activity long ago, disclosure shouldn't be required at RfA. If someone has good reason to suspect it and can provide a compelling rationale for asking, they can ask away, and then the candidate can choose to answer truthfully or decline to answer. But all sorts of wonderful people did stupid things once upon a time, and there's no reason to compel them to pin a badge of shame on themselves in advance of a valid query (i.e., not a fishing expedition). RivertorchFIREWATER 06:15, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 as written the reason several of the editors above, whom I now join, have stated they are opposing this is witch hunts. This is not an academic concern, but a sane reaction to the open hostility to all paid editing expressed by many community members. Since RfA is a percentage vote, the mere disclosure of paid editing, regardless of the past age or circumstances, can be expected to both increase opposes (likely phrased pretextually if we ban people from opposing on disclosed past paid editing grounds) and decrease support (who wants to go on the record as supporting a paid editor?). Thus, any editor standing for RfA has a choice of lying or being a target of a witch hunt, thus rewarding dishonesty in admin candidates, a perverse incentive if I ever heard of one.
Instead, how about Do you certify that any past paid editing that you may have done has been disclosed in full to the Arbitration Committee via email? It works for undisclosed/unlinked alternate accounts for functionaries, so why not give ArbCom one more similar protected oversight task? Jclemens (talk) 06:32, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • You seem to misunderstand the role of the ArbCom, and overestimate the amount of time and manpower they have available to deal with this kinda stuff. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 06:49, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Former arbitrators tend to have a good appreciation of the entire workload of the arbitration committee, particularly given that a lot of it is not visible to the general community. isaacl (talk) 07:26, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Not all of them. Q.E.D. We shouldn't talk about former arbitrators, because inevitably someone will mention stuff like this. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 07:34, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support #2 minus WiR exception, oppose #1 - As has already been stated, if a user at RfA has already been following procedures concerning paid editing they will have disclosed it (if they don't, then whose to say that they wouldn't lie at their RfA anyway, either way being found out for not disclosing paid editing would be grounds for blocking their adminship anyway). And as Rob has explain, Wikipedians-in-Residence could have a potential COI if they use their admin tools to expedite their work—if they're doing nothing malicious than surely an admin could be found to make the proper, objective decisions necessary. So no exception for WiRs, please. And I guess the WMF exception already covers this, but lets just be sure that this proposal doesn't conflict with WMF-paid/granted/compensated/[insert possible PAID coi] users with admin tools carrying out WP:Office actions on behalf of the WMF. -Indy beetle (talk) 20:23, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose 1, support 2 without WIR exception. 1 is redundant to the longstanding, required terms of disclosure, and encourages witch hunts as currently worded and is not nuanced enough to cover edge cases. Oppose WIR exception per Indy beetle above. Admins being paid should never use their tools where there is a COI. If it is non-controversial, an admin without a COI can be found to carry it out, or if it is, would necessitate a community discussion anyway. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 21:27, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Any advanced privileges and conflict of interest are incompatible, and, in the words on the anti-freeze container, "Cannot be made non-poisonous". Robert McClenon (talk) 03:08, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - with regard to the WIR etc. exception in #2, I think it is justified, not to allow admins to take controversial actions regarding articles about their institutions, but to allow routine ones. For example, are reverting vandalism using the rollback tool, or moving an article from draftspace to mainspace which uses the review permission, or creating an article as autopatrolled l, to be considered "administrator actions" because those tools come with adminship? Newyorkbrad (talk) 10:22, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    • @Newyorkbrad:. It's a long way up to the original wording Administrators may never use administrative tools as part of any paid editing activity, except when they are acting as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or the payment is made by the Wikimedia Foundation or an affiliate of the WMF. If an admin is being paid as a WIR by a cultural institution, he or she would not be doing a "paid editing activity" unless it was related to that institution. So most routine actions the admin does wouldn't be considered part of a "paid activity". But the routine activities you mention, if they are related to the institution, would be exempt according to this rule. WIRs do regulate themselves however. As I see their current practices removing real vandalism would not be a problem, but creating a new, auto-patrolled article would be against their current practices which is "don't edit articles pages on your institution" - but letting another editor (not selected by the admin), e.g. through AfC, approve their draft wouldn't be a problem. In general, moving somebody else's draft to article space, might be more controversial. But I trust all the WIRs I've run across, and I trust the GLAM movement to police themselves. From what I've seen they do a great job. @CFCF: (Carl Frederick) above doesn't agree that there is enough structure to the WIR/GLAM rules, but I certainly trust the GLAM and the general communities to catch any problems and make rule changes if needed. In short WIRs are just nothing like the usual commercial paid editors we run into. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:35, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
      • @Smallbones:: Thank you. I understand your general points, but thanks for the cross-references. My comments were aimed mostly to those who suggested taking the WIR exception out of the draft. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:53, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both per Terms of Use this is mandatory and actually should have done much earlier. If the "Administrator candidates must disclose in their RfA whether they have ever edited for pay." then this means that they have been an undisclosed paid editor. This is inconsistent with adminship and seems to be reason to terminate the RfA for violations of the Terms of Use .Further Admin doing paid editing is a inimical of WP:ADMINACCT.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 19:36, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for supporting this! If I may, I'll give a technical correction though. An admin candidate might have made a declared paid edit - perhaps under a different account name - or he or she might have made an undeclared paid edit before the ToU change (June 2014) without having broken our rules. If so, I hope they'd be willing to discuss their attitude towards paid editing, but paid editing in itself is not a reason to disqualify a candidate. That said, I don't think there will be many candidates who will say "I'm a paid editor and am proud of it." Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:14, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not going to ask for a "snow close" here - certainly not, given the weather on the east coast. And everybody should feel like they've had a chance to comment on this. WP:Admin is a very important policy. That said, this RfC has been open for 18 days and the consensus looks clear. May I ask that a long-time admin close this in due course? Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:14, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: With or without this policy, admin paid editing would be a case for ArbCom anyways, and they can assess the case and see if it is harmful or not. In most cases, the admin is stripped of the rights anyways so this policy just adds more red tape without being useful. The fact that Wikipedians in Residence are considered to be non-harmful implies that paid editing ≠ harmful, even though most of the time it is, and all admin cases should be assessed not by a mob of editors but formally using ArbCom. Esquivalience (talk) 02:51, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Administrators have been specifically entrusted with extra tools, and should be using these tools only for the benefit of Wikipedia, not for that of their own bank balance: Noyster (talk), 23:30, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Weakish Oppose, per User:HJ Mitchell and User:Thryduulf. While I appreciate the sentiment and what those supporting this are trying to do, I do not agree with the idea of substituting rigid and possibly unenforceable rules for simple common sense. I'm also not sure what problem this is supposed to solve; in the recent Salvidrim case the problem was quickly identified and the admin in question was stripped of their roles, so it's not like there is any pressing need for these steps. Lankiveil (speak to me) 02:35, 11 January 2018 (UTC).
  • Support both as a matter of common sense. jcc (tea and biscuits) 15:45, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Mixed Oppose 1st clause as being irrelevant and prying. I support clause 2, but without the exception for WIR, per Rob above. This is consistent with only stopping admin from using their tools for pay, which is the real goal. Dennis Brown - 18:29, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support second as a basic requirement to ensure integrity/ Support second as closing a possible loophole DGG ( talk ) 00:38, 12 January 2018 (UTC)`
  • Comment - since this RfC has now been open for 30 days, and the last !vote was 8 days ago, I'll request that it be closed. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:22, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support point 2. No opinion about point 1. Carrite (talk) 05:15, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Hi Tim, you've previously commented supporting point 2 and opposing point one. Just pinging to remind you. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:19, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Damn, this has gone on too long, hasn't it? Carrite (talk) 05:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

RFC about reconfirmation procedures[edit]

SNOW close by proposer. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:32, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

All right, since the point has been raised (in relation to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Harrias 2) that it's difficult to close a reconfirmation RFA within existing policy without invoking IAR, let's see if we can come up with some wording. I propose the following, to be included in WP:RFA#Discussion, decision, and closing procedures.

If an administrator files a request for adminship (commonly known as reconfirmation) without resigning the administrator user right first, the RFA should proceed as if it was any other request. When determining consensus, the closing bureaucrat should review it as if the admin had resigned before the RFA for the purposes of determining community support. If the closing bureaucrat determines that the request has failednot succeeded, they are authorized to consider this as a self-request for removal of permissions and proceed as specified in the Wikipedia:Bureaucrats policy. If they determine that the request has succeeded, it shall be considered a successful request for adminship.

If the administrator withdraws from the RFA before the bureaucrat begins the closing process, then regardless of the current state of the discussion, it shall be closed with no further action taken.

I think this will resolve most of the issues short of howdareyouwasteourtimedoingthis. I'm not happy with allowing withdrawing before close, but I don't see any good way to handle it short of major rewriting. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:15, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:15, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This should be an entirely separate process from RfA and should not permit any form of withdrawal, as that takes any authority out of the reconfirmation process, thereby making it useless. Additionally, there needs to be a process for the community to initiate a reconfirmation under certain circumstances. Either give the bureaucrats the right based on community input or give the community a way to petition for reconfirmation. Either take it all the way or don't bother at all. Nihlus 01:51, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I oppose any attempt at a community based desysop process, which this basically is. The ArbCom model still has issues, but it is the least-bad method I can think of. I think that an admin who has lost the confidence of the community because of violations should resign and stand for a new RfA, but oppose situations where good administrators who are following policy could be pressured into a situation where they have to choose between a hypothetical case request and a reRfA. I would support a policy that required admins to resign before standing for a reRfA. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:58, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I simply don’t think this is enough of a problem to bother with a policy for it. A simpler approach might be to just say we don’t do these if you don’t give up the bits first, thus making it an actual RFA. Beeblebrox (talk)
  • Support as written. This gives the 'crats needed community guidance, which is important because the whole point of being a 'crat is to have great power that is exercised only in support of policies that the community has approved. I would also support a version with the final "If the administrator withdraws from the RFA before the bureaucrat begins the closing process" paragraph removed. While I do support it as written, removing this loophole would be even better and would discourage frivolous reconfirmation RfAs. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:03, 2 January 2018 (UTC) Struck !vote in favor of new "Alternative proposal: requiring resignation before a new RfA" question. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:24, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I have to say, I think the simplest and cleanest solution here is to require resignation of the tools prior to starting a reconfirmation RfA. In other words, all candidates at RfA should not currently hold sysop rights. If a reconfirmation RfA is then unsuccessful (be it through withdrawal or lack of consensus), the candidate would lose their ability to resysop automatically at WP:BN. Mz7 (talk) 06:50, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'd prefer Mz7's solution. If an admin wishes to stand for reconfirmation they should resign the tools first. SQLQuery me! 06:56, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support a restriction that only non-admins can stand for RfA. I think the proposed wording is more bureaucratic than it needs to be, while a simpler wording like what Mz7 put forward would resolve this problem. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 07:18, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    When you oppose a proposal in an RfC, starting your !vote with a bold Support is just asking to get your !vote miscounted. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:32, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    But I do support the proposal, in concept. There is just an easier way of implementing it than the originally proposed wording. What ever happened to the process of building consensus, and of not being a rigid bureaucracy? -- Ajraddatz (talk) 08:39, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support But per Mz7's more lucid wording; before standing for reRfA, an adminstrator must relinquish their tools as the process is meant to determine whether the tools should be returned or not. But the paragraph allowing withdrawing after sensing imminent failure doesn't make sense. Withdrawal should be treated same as resigning (read: withdrawal) under cloud, because withdrawal are naturally effort to curtail impending failed RfA closure. People don't withdraw when there's clear chance of passing. –Ammarpad (talk) 07:43, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The only reason "this process is only open to non-admins" isn't already a formal instruction at RFA is that nobody ever anticipated that some admins would try to hijack the process and turn it into WP:REQUESTSFORPATSONTHEBACK. If you want to re-run at RFA, resign and re-stand; if arbcom want to test the community feeling towards an admin, strip them of the bit and allow them to re-stand. We don't need an additional 135 words of bureaucratese to formalise a process that shouldn't even exist. ‑ Iridescent 08:06, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I also prefer Mz7's solution and agree fully with the sentiment expressed by Iredescent. If an admin wants community reconfirmation rather than an ego massage they should first resign the tools unequivocally. Leaky Caldron 08:36, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose A RfA from someone who is already a sysop is a Request for Appreciation, not a Request for Adminship. A failed RfA should effect a consolation kitten on their talk page or something, not affect the sysop bit. Κσυπ Cyp   10:50, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The clause allowing for withdrawal without action neutralizes the entire rest of the proposal in any case other than an unexpectedly timed snow close of unsuccessful, which is unlikely to happen for any admin, and any who carry any risk of it would likely never stand for reconfirmation in the first place. Support making the process unavailable to anyone who already has the bit. Otherwise you're either going to get 1) no one looking seriously into your contributions because there's no real point, or 2) people looking seriously into your contributions when there's no real point. Either is a waste of effort. GMGtalk 13:19, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I considered commenting at Harrias' reconfirmation RfA, but declined to do so as I felt the message had already been delivered by others and I felt my comments would be abstract and thus in the wrong venue. To this proposal specifically; I have to agree with others' comments that this is adding bureaucratic language where it isn't necessary. I did a cursory search to find other reconfirmation RfAs when I saw Harrias', and found just one other. There might be others, but adding so much language to handle a vanishingly rare case suffers from a number of problems. You don't know what the average case will look like since the set is so small, and you can't adequately predict how reconfirmations will evolve (if they become more common). A solution written now will virtually by definition be wholly inadequate. To the abstract I'm quite concerned that while we could discount Harrias' reconfirmation as an isolated event, and quietly go on about our business, this proposal edges us closer and closer to the idea that we'll implement reconfirmation as a requirement for all admins. This is purposeless. Even if we assumed a grandiose figure of 20% of admins being bad and should lose their admin bits, that's still 80% of admins who shouldn't be facing required reconfirmation. We have ~540 administrators active this week. Assuming a two year reconfirmation period, that's still 10 reconfirmations a week, with 8 of them being a waste of everyone's time. If we view reconfirmation as an involuntary process requested by the community only for the bad apples, we run into a whole host of problems that fall squarely into the territory of why all these proposals failed. Further, RfA isn't designed for this; Using RfA to analyze the performance of an administrator means all contributors should be able see what an administrator has done with the tools. The problem is that non-admin contributors to the discussion can not see what an administrator has deleted to help evaluate if their deletions were proper. They also can not view page revision hiding/deletion to see if their actions there have been within norms. I.e., administrators have a far more complete view of an administrator's performance than non-admins at RfA. The non-admins are handicapped in their ability to evaluate an administrator's performance, and thus have a less than full understanding of their performance. This creates a less informed viewpoint. In sum: RfA has one purpose; to grant administrator tools to those who succeed at RfA. Reconfirmations should be actively discouraged, as this is using the process for something it is not designed for and something it is not capable of handling. I would support adding wording that actively discouraged reconfirmation RfAs until such time as the community figures out a way to handle that thorny issue. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:01, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I find this proposal quite WP:CREEPy. So far, to my knowledge, we have seen EXACTLY ONE TWO (as per Hammersoft) "reconfirmation RFA", and there do not seem to be any more coming down the pipeline. There is no reason to expand any policy because of one exceptional instance. If this becomes some sort of trend, we can and should revisit the issue.--Aervanath (talk) 20:08, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose if the candidate for reconfirmation withdraws, he or she should lose the tools. Mz7's proposal would have my support, but it would likely be shot down given the community's resistance to change, good or bad. I'm disappointed by the self-styled mind readers who presume to know the motives of anyone who might file a reconfirmation RfA. Whatever happened to assuming good faith? Lepricavark (talk) 04:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Here's a better idea - Ban all reconfirmation RFAs, If you want to see if editors are still happy with you being an admin than go to AN, If that AN thread's closed as I dunno "Not happy" then give them some advice and leave it at that, Desysopping and all that is just unnecessary. –Davey2010Talk 20:26, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - wow, we sure have wasted a lot of bytes on this good-faith and entirely symbolic gesture to fulfill a campaign promise. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:34, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Threaded discussion[edit]

Among the support and oppose !votes there was a suggestion to instead require the admin to resign before the RfA. My first question is, should we close this RfC and open a new one with two questions? I am leaning towards supporting that, but I want to see where this discussion goes before deciding.

Now for the practical aspects; right now an admin cam resign and unresign as many times as he wishes with the knowledge that nether the resignation or the unresignation will ever be denied. An exception is when he resigns "under a cloud": See Wikipedia:Under a cloud. (Does anyone have a link to the actual policy that the essay I just linked to explains?)

Unless we change the system so that resigning, posting a reconfirmation RfA and then failing to get sufficient community support is considered to be resigning under a cloud (or some other less accusatory term that means the same thing) then there is zero difference between resigning before the RfA and not resigning before the RfA. If the admin resigns before posting the RfA he can request to be reinstated after failing the RfA and the 'crats must reinstate him. If he doesn't resign before the RfA he can simply not resign after the failed RfA. Either way he ends up as an admin in the end.

And again we have the case where the admin sees that he is losing and withdraws the RfA to game the system -- something that in my opinion the original question that started this RfC handles poorly.

So, may I humbly suggest that we propose various wordings for two or more questions, then when most of us like a particular wording, post a new RfC with the new questions? --Guy Macon (talk) 08:01, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't see it as necessary. All that's needed is the slight reword of Requests for adminship (RfA) is the process by which the Wikipedia community decides who will become administrators to Requests for adminship (RfA) is the process by which the Wikipedia community decides which non-administrators will become administrators, to expressly bar current admins from using the process as a means of requesting attaboys without actually resigning the tools. Yes, it leaves open the theoretical possibility that someone could resign, fail their reconfirmation RFA and then request the bit back anyway, but anyone doing such a thing would be putting their every future action under so much scrutiny they'd be de facto desysopped anyway. ‑ Iridescent 08:24, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Agreed with Iridescent. There will no doubt be drama at some point in the future after a former admin fails a reRFA and requests the tools back anyway, but that can be dealt with as needed. We don't need to make formal rules for every hypothetical situation, just address what has actually happened. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 08:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
No need at all to make a mountain out of a molehill with multiple options generating even more heat than light. This should have been marked as an invalid RFA from the start instead of acquiescing to the "candidate's" request and then perpetuating the belief that this is ok by closing the folly as a "successful" RFA. Resign first / RfA second - simple. Leaky Caldron 08:42, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't disagree that resigning first is the optimum solution - that's why I did it before RFA2. I'm just not convinced it's the only reasonable way to do it. It does reduce the possibilities for gaming, though. I suspect this doesn't need to run very long - shall we give it a week to see if there's any consensus for this wording before going with Mz7's much more straightforward version? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:09, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I think I’m reading Iridescent correctly above in saying we don’t need an RfC to make this clear (pinging to be corrected if I’m reading him wrong.) Community consensus is already that RfAs are for non-admins to become admins (it’s why ‘crats refuse to close reRfAs.) Adjusting the wording here to reflect that shouldn’t require a full RfC. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:17, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
What evidence do you have that community consensus is already that RfAs are for non-admins to become admins? --Guy Macon (talk) 05:34, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
The fact that for the last two that ran bureaucrats explicitly refused to close them for that reason. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:36, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
So now the actions of the bureaucrats define community consensus? I was under the impression that the actions of the bureaucrats were supposed to follow community consensus. Can you name the time and the place where the actual community had a discussion and came to the consensus that you claim exists? --Guy Macon (talk) 19:52, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Consensus is what we do just as much as what is written. We don't need discussions to document what everyone agrees is the status quo. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:57, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
What, we the community have done is support the RfA of a sitting admin. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:02, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
"Everyone agrees"? Bullshit. TonyBallioni. please stop claiming a consensus where no evidence of such a consensus exists. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:09, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Guy Macon, the policy is: Wikipedia:Administrators#Restoration of adminship. As I mentioned above, I'd prefer the language there to be made more clear. –xenotalk 22:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Is "failed" meant to be "NOT SUCCEED" or is a determination of failure needed? — xaosflux Talk 14:20, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    I'm not sure the distinction needs to be made, but adjusted wording for good measure. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:27, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    The difference would be if there is clearly an objection consensus or simply a lack of support consensus. — xaosflux Talk 16:43, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

More than two, actually -- Wikipedia:Standing reconfirmations. See also User:NoSeptember/Desysop. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Ah! Excellent find, Sarek! I added Harrias' reconfirmation to that list. Since that list goes basically back to the beginning of when RfAs were handled on project rather than through email, the scale of the issue should be compared against, perhaps, successful RfAs in the same time period. That's somewhere in the vicinity of 2,120 RfAs. 11 reconfirmations against 2,120 successful RfAs is 0.5%. Reconfirmations are, I think, a rare issue. At the current typical rate of RfAs per year it may be four or five years before we see another reconfirmation attempt. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:34, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

I've sat back and watched a lot of the conversation caused by my reconfirmation RfA (or whatever you want to call it). I really didn't realise what a can of worms I was opening! For my part, having looked through the comments in various places, my support would be for Mz7's suggestion. While I maintain my belief that reconfirmation RfA's have a place, and are a worthwhile process, I agree that within Wikipedia's current policies, the only way that this should be approached is by the administrator in question resigning the tools first. Had I been more aware of these intricacies, I would have happily done so myself. I disagree with the assertion made by Iridescent and some others that in principle a reconfirmation RfA is a waste of time or even disruptive – as I said in answer to question 5; "five years ago, the community made a decision based on how they thought I would be as an admin. Now they can make a decision based on how I have been as an admin. I believe the community deserves the chance to review their decision based on facts, rather than conjecture." I would be in favour of mandatory reconfirmation, but that isn't the topic of discussion here. While there are mechanisms in place currently, my personal belief is that they make it too hard to desysop an admin who is making little but regular poor decisions, but that is an opinion I can't back up with any examples, so is just conjecture. On the other hand, if being an admin is NOBIGDEAL, then maybe it is fitting that an admin only really loses the bit if they royally screw up. Harrias talk 19:22, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

  • A reconfirmation might be (or might not be) a waste of community's time, but we do need a channel for admins to get feedback. The admin review (or whatever it was called) has been closed since it was inactive for a long time. Going to AN, as suggested above - well, I am not sure if I open a thread how the community views me as an admin, the thread is not going to be speedy closed - likely also as a waste of communiy;s time.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
It was not a 'waste of time' to most Wikipedians who participated. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:35, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
If an Admin. really feels the need for community assessment, the answer seems obvious - WP:RFAP. Definitely not requesting something they already have and which cannot be removed regardless of the community "decision". Leaky Caldron 19:41, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
I do not think admins qualify for WP:RFAP.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:46, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Like any editor, they can find a friendly editor they trust and ask for a review or a recommendation for someone (which is suggested on the RfA candidate poll page), or they can start a thread on their talk page and then post to some prominent locations asking for reviews. Historically, there just hasn't been a substantial group of editors who are willing to watch a review request page over the long term and respond in a timely manner (after all, most people will find combing through someone's edits a dry task versus writing content). I don't get why editors feel a need to create all kinds of shortcuts to the same page with different jumbles of letters. It's a tragedy of the commons: simplify your life by choosing a set of characters that you think you will remember, but complicate everyone else's by creating multiple synonyms to the same page. isaacl (talk) 20:52, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Alternative proposal: requiring resignation before a new RfA[edit]

A good number of people above have expressed support for the alternative solution of requiring an administrator to resign their tools before standing at RfA again, so I thought it would be best to formally propose that in this section here.

All candidates at RfA should not currently hold administrator tools, and current administrators should resign before filing a new RFA. If a former administrator decides to file an RfA again, they would lose whatever right they had to have their tools automatically restored at the bureaucrats' noticeboard if the new RfA does not succeed (e.g. via withdrawal or lack of consensus at the new RfA).

Should the above text be added either to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship#About RfA and its process or perhaps to Wikipedia:Administrators#Becoming an administrator? Feel free to tweak the wording as necessary. Mz7 (talk) 19:54, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Support. Tweaked wording, don't think I changed the meaning. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:01, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Nope, looks good. Face-smile.svg Mz7 (talk) 20:03, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and put it in Wikipedia:Administrators#Becoming an administrator as that is the policy that governs 'crats and admins. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, although change the first sentence to All candidates at RfA should not currently hold administrator tools, and current administrators should resign before filing a new RFA. (We'll cross the bridge of what we do when a 'crat fails reconfirmation, and whether they can keep the bureaucrat bit despite losing the admin bit, when we come to it. One would hope that none of the crats would be stupid enough, but long experience has taught me there's no action on Wikipedia so stupid that there won't be someone who tries it.) ‑ Iridescent 20:08, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I've implemented the tweaked wording as suggested. Mz7 (talk) 20:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support this formalises the process of RfA nicely in my opinion. Harrias talk 20:18, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • There have been enough tweaks that I'm wary of doing more within an ongoing discussion. Should this proposal gain consensus, though, I think the second sentence should be made more concise, and possibly changed from a conditional tense to the present tense. Something like: Former administrators who initiate a new RfA relinquish the right to have administrative privileges restored solely by request and must abide by the result of the new RfA. isaacl (talk) 20:28, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - knee-jerk changes to policy over what seems to be an entirely inconsequential thing that happens maybe twice in a decade are a recipe for trouble. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:37, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - much needed, simple, straightforward clarification. Leaky Caldron 20:45, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Succinct and straightforward. –Ammarpad (talk) 20:50, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: fixes all of my concerns with the first proposal, and makes it a lot harder to game the system. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:27, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Why are we doing this? i.e., oppose Come on. This is the first reconfirmation in SEVEN YEARS and suddenly we have to write a whole new bit about it? I concur with Ivanvector. I don't agree with reconfirmation RfAs, but if someone wants to do one, they should feel free. We don't need a new procedure to 'control' this. This is wholly unnecessary. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:41, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    • The last time a reconfirmation happened where the user did not resign their tools beforehand, we also wasted a good amount of bytes discussing how it should be resolved – see Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard/Archive 19#Herostratus' "recall" RfA, which is a link that Xeno provided above. I can understand where you're coming from, and I don't think it's a huge deal if this doesn't pass. However, I suspect that even if it takes years for another reconfirmation RfA to happen, if the user does not resign their tools beforehand then, the community will have another weeks-long discussion about it if we don't decide it today. I see this as a relatively simple procedure that would actively reduce drama moving forward. Mz7 (talk) 22:21, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. This would generate unnecessary work, removing the rights and then reinstating them. Best to wait on the result of the reconfirmation. Andrew D. (talk) 22:02, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    I would be happy with either decision, but in my opinion, doing it your way would create more work, based on my observation of the shitstorm from editors complaining about the recent Harrias 2‎ RfA. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:07, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Oppose Ignore shitstorms, improve encyclopedia. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 22:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm uncomfortable with this change as it seems to imply that reconfirmation RFAs are legit rather than a humongous waste of community time. The most recent one involved !votes from well over a hundred editors for someone in effect seeking admin review after less than a thousand admin actions. Wouldn't it be better to bring back admin review in some shape or form? I'm sure there are people who would happily review something specific such as "I have just returned to AIV after a gap of a few years, would another admin please review my dozen blocks dished out today" ϢereSpielChequers 22:22, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    Isn't it just a simple and effective deterrent though? It seems unlikely anyone would actually risk losing their Admin. rights - and your idea is still available to anyone genuinely needing to have their actions reconsidered. Leaky Caldron 22:28, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    If most of the !voters assess the candidate as if they weren't an admin then I'm not convinced that the risk would deter people unless the perception came about that reRFAs were being judged much more harshly than RFAs. ϢereSpielChequers 22:37, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Should be something like If a current administrator (or a voluntarily resigned administrator) files a RfA, any Oppose sections shall be removed from the RfA, such that the RfA cannot fail regardless of voting outcome. All voters shall attempt to take it seriously., instead. This should eliminate any issues caused by failed RfAs of current administrators. Κσυπ Cyp   22:52, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support RFA is Request for Administrator rights and not RRFA, Re-Request For Administrator rights. It makes sense that if an editor is requesting for the rights, they don't actually have the rights already... Blackmane (talk) 00:15, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support-ish. I'd prefer that any RfA for an active admin be speedily closed instead of the rights being automatically removed - it isn't clear from the current text what exactly would happen - and recommended to an editor review/admin review-like process, per WereSpielChequers; but if they really want to re-run, they'd have to resign first. Otherwise, reconfirmation RfAs really are a waste of time. ansh666 02:22, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Yes, that's what I understand would happen if an administrator decided to ignore this advice and file an RfA without resigning first. The RfA would get speedily closed, but the rights would remain intact unless they explicitly declare resignation. Mz7 (talk) 03:57, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Can we just stop with this? As I said above, Either take it all the way or don't bother at all. Get a new process and stop trying to change the RfA process. Nihlus 02:28, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Most the community was fine with the Harrias 2. Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:10, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment If you look at Wikipedia:Standing_reconfirmations you'll notice that there is a very small group of people who are opposed to reconfirmation RFAs. The last reconfirmation RFA before this one was seven years ago. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 04:17, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Suppose In that I am still basically opposed to the idea that this is a big enough problem to warrant a new rule, but if the community believes we do need one, this is the one we should have as it is very straightforward and not open to interpretation or gaming. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:25, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't see the issue here that we need to fix. It happens so rarely. Knee jerk new policy to fringe cases always leads to bad policy. -DJSasso (talk) 00:01, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the community should make up its collective mind. (I'm kidding, the community clearly does not have a collective mind.) When the re-RfA happened, people kept complaining that it was meaningless and toothless. So, let's give the reconfirmation process some teeth. Nah, we can't do that. Lepricavark (talk) 01:36, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose If someone want to subject themselves to that, more power to them. The current main criteria for being in the admin pool is "got in back when it was easy" — Preceding unsigned comment added by North8000 (talkcontribs) North8000 (talk) 18:48, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose We should not waste any more ink on this triviality. (OK, I know that we don't actually use ink, but everyone should forget about this and move on). Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:57, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    Yet more ink will inevitably be wasted the next time an active administrator decides to run for RfA without resigning first, ink that likely would have been saved if the admin had followed this relatively simple procedure. Mz7 (talk) 20:21, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Solution in search of a problem.--Aervanath (talk) 09:03, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    I disagree that it's a solution in search of a problem - all the discussion that went on before this opened shows that there is a problem. If this isn't the solution, then what is? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:30, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    The solution is working on improving the encyclopedia. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 00:40, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Aervanath. I was literally about to type verbatim what he just did. In the unlikely event that the number of reconfirmation RfAs becomes burdensome, we can consider revisiting the issue. Newyorkbrad (talk) 10:03, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Using RfA while you're an admin is nonsensical. If you want to go through RfA again, resigning the tools first just makes sense and eliminates lots of potential issues with admins failing reconfirmation but refusing to give up the mop. Preventing problems from happening is a valid use of policy, and this prevents problems from happening. ~ Rob13Talk 01:40, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the right reasons, including those offered by Cullen, Nilhus, and that odd Potato. Drmies (talk) 01:43, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I agree that the entire discussion is a waste of time. However, I think that this will prevent future disruption. Some have said that this is a solution without a problem, but repeated discussions prove that this will keep happening until there is a policy consensus on the matter. Tamwin (talk) 22:27, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Effectively prevents unnecessary reconfirmation RFAs. James (talk/contribs) 18:14, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is such a rarity it's not worth the instruction creep. Proposed in good faith to clear up a raised issue, but all this RfC serves is to create more useless discussion. Now if we could get as much discussion on some genuinely needed reforms of the RfA process, that would be progress... Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:47, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I favor the creation of a community-based desysop process. Voluntary reconfirmation RFAs are not that, but they do help to set a precedent for increased community involvement in deadminship, and that's a step in the right direction. I would support a proposal to formalize the role of bureaucrats in closing them, along the lines of the one above by SarekOfVulcan. Tim Smith (talk) 00:05, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. feminist (talk) 11:07, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This isn't common enough to even worry about, so it's a solution looking for a problem. WP:CREEP. A larger discussion is needed re: reconfirmations, and this isn't a valid temporary solution. Dennis Brown - 02:07, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per User:Hammersoft. This is unnecessary instruction creep. Lankiveil (speak to me) 02:20, 12 January 2018 (UTC).
  • Oppose - utterly unnecessary, often the situation is not that black-and-white. And that for something that is so utterly rare to happen? --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:44, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
    Would you haven an example for when the situation is not that black-and-white, Dirk? — Sebastian 08:46, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
    @SebastianHelm: if it is black, you’re in front of ArbCom (hence almost by definition obsolete), or you give up your rights without question, if it is white you block editors, delete rubbish, protect pages and blacklist spam. If you get complaints and you want to see whether the community at large still supports you, it is grey, and you are here. If it is not black, there is no reason to first give up your rights, you do that after you know you lost the trust of the community at large. If you don’t have the rights, it is not a reconfirmation RfA in the first place. If the admin wants to give up their bit before, fine. If they don’t and just stop doing admin actions, fine. If they don't and keep doing good admin stuff, fine (reason to support), if they don’t and screw up admin actions, fine, you have a reason to oppose. Not that it matters, R-RfAs will just attract first all the people who have an axe ready. The whole system is broken, and we will never have consensus on any alternative proposal. But this is just utterly unneccesary bureaucratic instruction creep. —Dirk Beetstra T C 11:02, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
    I think I'm beginning to see what you meant: The situation for the proposed rule is utterly rare, but the circumstances that might induce one to choose this path are not rare, but quite varied. So, if I understand you correctly, your intention is to keep this path open for some of the gray areas of circumstances? I feel that the current choices (listed at Wikipedia:Administrators open to recall and Wikipedia:Administrators open to recall/Reference material) suffice for any circumstances; or can you think of a circumstance in which the current paths are not enough? — Sebastian 12:24, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Drmies, Cullen, Nilhus, Ivanvector and The Quixotic Potato (among others who also give great reasons to oppose this). This does not help fix our low administration promotion rate. In fact I'd be willing to bet it would even lower the amount of people willing to run for RFA: currently 0. When I first joined, RFA wasn't this damn toxic, and you didn't have to be a super-creator or just a very popular person to finally get the votes necessary. It used to be that there were very reasonable minimum requirements, and the only thing we even looked for was whether they might not have the right temperament/knowledge/skillset to be an admin. Nowadays that's gone entirely out the window and we treat it as though we're running for some Congressional seat. Anyone from around my time on the site, looks at RFA with complete distaste now. The system of RFA is slowly dying, and our admin numbers are drying up every year. I'd be interested in hearing ways to fix that actual problem, but this is just another potential deterrence from admins wanting to run at all. And honestly a distraction from what we need to be spending more time on: improving this encyclopedia instead of patrolling and judging our fellow colleagues every move waiting on them to trip up. Focus. Coffee // have a ☕️ // beans // 12:50, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
This proposal has nothing to do with non-admin candidates putting their name forward and it is only a distraction if you allow it to distract you. "...another potential deterrence from admins wanting to run at all" makes no sense. Admins don't need to run for anything, they are already there. Leaky Caldron 14:42, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
"This proposal has nothing to do with non-admin candidates putting their name forward": Isn't the entire point of this proposal that the administrators become non-administrators before they can put their name forward? "it is only a distraction if you allow it to distract you" That makes no logical/psychological sense whatsoever, so I'm not even going to bother to reply to it. "Admins don't need to run for anything, they are already there." Admins actually have to run for Bureaucrat, Oversight, Checkuser, and even re-adminship (if the sysop bit was taken/or resigned under a cloud by the ArbCom). And clearly the idea behind this entire RFC is that they would need to run again. I think you need to review what we're talking about here a bit more before you project whatever your thoughts are about what I'm saying as if they're actually what I'm saying. I'm not going to reply to this further. Good day. Coffee // have a ☕️ // beans // 16:07, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
"Admins actually have to run for Bureaucrat, Oversight, Checkuser," is absolute nonsense. No one has to run for anything. The point of the exercise here is to deter pointless discretionary rRFA for Admins. who have not lost their rights for no good reason. Leaky Caldron 19:04, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
And the point of my opposition to the exercise here is that I find it to be entirely useless instruction creep that's fixing a non-existent problem. Regardless, I'm allowed to have a perspective that differs from your own. So, please stop badgering me. Coffee // have a ☕️ // beans // 11:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This is a solution looking for a problem. An admin running a reconfirmation RFA happens so seldom that it is unnecessary to try to regulate it. The easiest solution is if anyone thinks it is a waste of their time to review the admin and write up their observations about their suitability to continue as an admin then don't do it. The admin can not waste anyone's time, you can only waste your own time and if you think what you are doing is a waste of your time, then it is your own fault. ~ GB fan 12:01, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per above as well as per my comment above, If you want to seek opinions then go to AN otherwise shut up, be happy and help with adminny things. –Davey2010Talk 23:42, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Trying to legislate fringe cases always makes for bad policy. -DJSasso (talk) 13:12, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

Should one of the expectations of administrators be to have email enabled?[edit]

I'd like to see that as a requirement. Doug Weller talk 19:00, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I agree. Totally. I suppose it would be OK to temporarily disable one's e-mail during a wikibreak, but otherwise, users should be able to e-mail all admins. Bishonen | talk 19:54, 24 January 2018 (UTC).
  • Best practice, yes, required? No. My email is enabled (and I don't think I ever had it disabled when I wasn't an admin), but there may be valid privacy and harassment reasons why an admin does not want email enabled. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:01, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, instead of getting the message that the admin's email is disabled, and knowing to move on to another admin / process / etc, you would end up with emails falling off into the void (either switching to a bs email address, or filtering mail from wikipedia most likely). I agree with Tony - it is a best practice. SQLQuery me! 20:49, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm an admin. My email is enabled, and that is only for the situation where I forget my password (it has happened). If anybody else emails me, I usually ignore the email, so it does fall off into the void in a sense. My reason is that I believe in openness, so I discuss Wikipedia matters on-wiki, the only exception being at organised meetups such as m:Meetup/Oxford/57. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:30, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
    I agree with this.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:12, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, this should be a requirement per the general sense of WP:ADMINACCT which requires that admins be contactable. Some issues might be sensitive, such as BLP enforcement, and so open discussion on talk pages might be considered inappropriate. There then needs to be a private communication channel and email seems to be the standard alternative. Andrew D. (talk) 08:34, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. -- Euryalus (talk) 09:07, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, a requirement. The question of where one replies (per RedRose64 above) is actually distinct to the question asked. All admins should have email enabled in the spirit of making oneself openly communicable, particularly so as not to deter editors from sending private info. Or indeed, editors who just do not want to be seen asking a certain question  :) However, per RedRose— with whom I agree—this does not automatically mean one is entitled to a reply, and the choice to do so, or to otherwise reply publicly, is very much still reserved to the admin. >SerialNumber54129...speculates 09:48, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
    Actually, administrators are not really authorised to deal with private info, and I was always uncomfortable when I was sent pieces of private information. I would say if issues can not be discussed onwiki, they should be sent to WP:OTRS or even WP:OVERSIGHT if needed.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:11, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
    But there is not a single quality called privacy, and a thing that is not oversightable may still be private. I'd like to think that admins were willing to save editors' good faith embarrassment if they had the ability to. >SerialNumber54129...speculates 11:03, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I wonder whether it's plausible to assume that everyone can have a secure email address. I also think that since the community has no effective means to monitor email usage (all what we can do is to ask a checkuser if user X sent an email at date Y, or take Z's word at face value without firm proof), there is more potential for abuse there than with an user talk page. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:24, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Best practice, yes - requirement, no. If admins don't want to be bothered by users outside the time they have allotted to working here, they should be able to choose so. There is no requirement at RFA that says admins have to be available outside Wikipedia. What's next, requiring admins to be active on IRC? As Ymblanter points out, there are already processes to handle certain matters, like OTRS and OS and we should encourage people to send privacy-relevant requests there instead of some random admin who might not even be active at that time. Regards SoWhy 10:35, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
    Just to clarify, that's nothing in the proposal that says anything about doing unpaid overtime, or out of hours work. If an admin is daft enough, though, to use a main email a/c, rather than a single use, generic <username-enwp@client.tld> than that is, absolutely and irreparably, their lookout. >SerialNumber54129...speculates 11:03, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
    It's all unpaid overtime... ~ Amory (utc) 12:54, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
    No, if an admin doesn't want to deal with wikimatters off wikipedia they should be able to have this separation. There are plenty of admins who are fine with this and very few matters can't be dealt with on talk pages. For cases where users are prevented from sending emails or blocked from their talk, there is usually a reason and UTRS exists. (my email is on but I ignore most emails or reply on wiki) Spartaz Humbug! 12:40, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Recommended best practice perhaps, but not a requirement. If an admin only wants to be contacted on-wiki, that should be their right. Users shouldn't be contacting admins about urgent or private matters anyway, we have official emails for those things. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:46, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, administrators should not be required to have email enabled. To some extent, it would go against Wikimedia's privacy policy ("If you do create an account, you do not need to give us your name or email address"). It's a voluntary service; and to add to this, for those administrators who, of their own choice, have emails enabled, there is no (and there should be no) further requirement that they need to answer via emails to received emails. Lourdes 12:48, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • What SoWhy said. Best practice, and to be encouraged, but not required. We should encourage as much to be on-Wiki as possible, and email certainly encourages the spreading of personal information. There's no guarantee that email would be more responsive anyway — plenty of folks have non-personal emails for privacy reasons, and as someone recently more active, it's easy to miss emails for months/years. ~ Amory (utc) 12:54, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Of course not, best practice maybe, but certainly not required. I have mine enabled but as someone above mentioned, that is mostly for password reasons. There is pretty much nothing as an individual admin that I would deal with through email that cannot be done on a talk page. Anything that needs privacy can go to OTRS etc. -DJSasso (talk) 13:11, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • As Tony says above, best practice, yes, requirement, no. There are privacy-respecting venues that can be used for material that can't go on talk. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:56, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. All the good arguments have been taken already, so I'll just throw my weight behind Lourdes, SoWhy, Tony and others. Best practice, but not a requirement. We are volunteers, after all... *goes off to check Wikipedia email inbox for the eighth time today... 14:01, 25 January 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yunshui (talkcontribs)
    • Just because all the good arguments are already gone that's no reason to hide your name from us as well Face-wink.svg Regards SoWhy 14:44, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Echoing most of the others, it's a good idea, especially for password recovery - but requiring it "to be enabled", no. I would not expect them to be 'required' to actually read it even if it were enabled. Should this conversation result in a "yes", I think it should be "required" that anyone wanting to email an admin under a communications expectation also be required to contact them publicly (by leaving a talk page message such as {{ygm}}) as email delivery (and echo notifications) can be unreliable. — xaosflux Talk 14:24, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Interestingly enough, I note that, unless I am missing something WP:ADMIN mentions communication, only in "failure to communicate" (are we uncommunicative about communication?). So perhaps all these ways of communicating about admin-type things should be added in a section, 'Communication with Admins'. Perhaps I am reading more into this but given Doug started this, is this prompted by an admin-to-admin communication issue? If so the communication section I suggest should address that, too. (I also, think, that if an admin is the type that regularly ignores e-mails, as many people are, it's really better if it's shut off, or they make that rather clear, somehow). Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:52, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Agree with it as a best practice but not a hard requirement. If private information that can’t be shared on-wiki is involved, users should be contacting the Functionaries, not individual admins. We should make that clear instead. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:44, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • It should not be a requirement. No admin needs to be "on call" when off-wiki. There's nothing I can do that one of the admins on WP:ANI or WP:AN couldn't handle. I personally have it enabled, but if anyone has been sending me e-mails I have definitely missed them.--Aervanath (talk) 14:12, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I just noticed the standard AE block template in Twinkle (which I'm thinking most admins use) has this text: "You may also appeal directly to me (by email), before or instead of appealing on your talk page." The template itself has an option to turn that wording off but that's not the default nor can it be adjusted through Twinkle. There's no time limit on when an appeal can be initiated so admins using this specific block template should be aware that there is an expectation they'll be reachable by email. --NeilN talk to me 05:26, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Some things are best handled by email, most things are best handled on wiki. My email is enabled, I get a trickle of email, almost all perfectly OK. But I'm a bloke. I can understand some of our female admins not enabling email. More generally are we addressing a problem here or being bureaucratic for the sake of it? Do we have regular backlogs anywhere that involves emailing admins? ϢereSpielChequers 18:12, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I have email enabled, and I've gotten exactly zero of them since I became an admin last September. Don't know if there's a pressing need for email to be enabled. ansh666 18:58, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Not sure I would force admin to enable email, but would strongly request it. There are plenty of times when an editor or another admin need to contact an admin privately (WP:BEANS, WP:HARASS, etc) and best practice is for it to be enabled. Dennis Brown - 14:19, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Should we clarify "involved" with this?[edit]

Here's text I added [1]. There was a kerfuffle at one of the noticeboards about whether an admin that has taken action such as blocking, AfD or topic banning should be considered "uninvolved" during an appeal of that action. The concern is whether their view is considered "uninvolved" during the discussion of those actions and determining consensus. Right now, the caveat implies they are not, and admins have argued they are not involved. Based on the feedback, it appears there is broad community support for viewing a sanctioning admin as "involved" during the review of their actions. AfD, for example would not generally support the idea that the admin that closed and deleted an article should close the deletion appeal as well. They are free and encouraged to participate in the discussion and provide rationale for their action but they shouldn't act as an uninvolved administrator. I think it's rather obvious as to why. Here is the wording from the diff above that I proposed to the caveat that excludes "admin only" involvement: This caveat does not apply for the duration that an administrators actions are being reviewed by uninvolved editors at appropriate noticeboards and proceedings as part of an appeal or arbitration case. --DHeyward (talk) 19:41, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

I mostly object to that addition on the grounds that it's poor text style; adding it makes it read "Admins should not A except when B but except C". Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:45, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I've only seen one admin resist the idea of not being able to post to the "uninvolved admins" section when their AE action is being appealed. Do we really need to add clarification just for this? --NeilN talk to me 19:50, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I would have hoped it wasn't necessary. Other areas use more common sense in dealing with it (i.e. I recall occasional shenanigans at AfD but they are handled swiftly and severely - though maybe avoidable.) The place of the incident you are referring is the most wikilawyered and structured but unclerked discussion place in Wikipedia and probably shouldn't ever be used for setting policy. The NLT policy was recently updated to clarify a single incident. There are many editors that are incredibly literal in their interpretations and while it's usually pretty clear they will not prevail in a dispute, they are still intransigent in their interpretation. The stakes are very low in these battles which of course makes the arguments the most vicious. In the case you mentioned, either side ignoring it would have been fine. That of course, didn't happen. --DHeyward (talk) 20:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the wording added really helps with the issue described. It would mean that if I applied a topic ban to somebody and that topic ban was appealed to some noticeboard, I would be considered involved with respect to that editor and would be unable to take any further admin actions against them until the discussion closed. I don't think that was intended. An admin claiming that they can make comments on one of their own admin actions as an uninvolved editor is basically claiming they're uninvolved with respect to themselves, which is rather silly. I don't think we particularly need clarification to stop that. Hut 8.5 20:03, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Actually, while your topic ban was being appealed, I would hope you wouldn't take further action against that editor while it's being appealed simply for the sake of how it would appear (i.e. I'm quite certain the editor would consider it retaliation). You are of course free to ping any other admins and of course free to act as an admin after the appeal runs its course. --DHeyward (talk) 20:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
If it might be perceived as retaliation then it might also be perceived as retaliation after the discussion has closed. This is exactly what the current policy is designed to prevent: you don't make an admin involved just by questioning their decisions. Hut 8.5 20:48, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
They might but I think admins are on much more solid ground after appeals run their course. Broadly, the community would view actions while cases are ongoing as poor decisions in general. Appeals don't last long. Depending on the discussion, if the appeal was successful, the community may also consider an admin "involved." These are case by case. It's not the "questioning" that makes an admin involved, it's the process. While actions are being reviewed, the admin is involved with the process and it would be generally frowned upon to take action against an editor that initiated the process that triggered the review. If an editor files a case against an admin at ArbCom, I would hope they would refrain from admin action on the filer until after it's over. Even if the case is declined, the period during which the process is ongoing is not a good time to be asserting the caveat for being uninvolved. There are lots of other admins. --DHeyward (talk) 21:10, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I think you're confusing two different things. It would be inappropriate for an admin to close an appeal of one of their own admin actions because any admin is automatically involved with respect to themselves. That doesn't have anything to do with the question of whether the admin is involved with respect to the subject of the original admin action. The policy makes it clear that in general the admin isn't involved, and for good reason. I don't see any good reason why we should insist that the admin is automatically involved with respect to the subject of some admin action for the period when an action is being reviewed. Closing a discussion to review some admin action doesn't have any impact on the judgement of the admin. Hut 8.5 22:25, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • We don’t normally review unblock requests if we’re the blocking admin unless we accept the request and unblock the user, and I think that principle applies elsewhere, but as written this isn’t a good addition to the policy. Bold editing is a great idea in articles, but changes to policy should usually be discussed before being made. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:21, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
    As stated by the others, I don't think it was a change to policy, rather a clarification to what most already accept as policy. To the extent it is clumsy or unnecessary, I certainly agree with discussion and a diff is the easiest starting point. Bold editing is a great idea everywhere except perhaps the main page and is why policy pages are unprotected. --DHeyward (talk) 20:39, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure how the proposed addition adds anything which isn't already included in the first sentence of the section: "In general, editors should not act as administrators in disputed cases in which they have been involved." (italics added). If someone is disputing your actions, then you are considered WP:INVOLVED when talking about those actions, but this does not carry over to anything else, as is made clear by the "caveat".--Aervanath (talk) 21:57, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

This was clearly sparked by some incident, but I'm ignorant as to what is being referred to. If someone (pinging DHeyward) could link to the situation in question, and more clearly articulate why this addition would have prevented that incident if it were there.--Aervanath (talk) 21:57, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
@Aervanath: Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Appeals_and_admins_who_placed_original_sanctions --NeilN talk to me 14:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Much appreciated. Having looked over that discussion, it seems like a classic tempest in a teapot, and I don't expect it to be a recurring issue. Let's not be CREEPy about this.--Aervanath (talk) 19:22, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • As written, the proposal suggested to me that admins can't amend the blocks, or bans, they imposed, which would be a very poor outcome -- they should be able at any time to change 72 hours to 48 hours, or time served, or reverse themselves entirely -- they should also be able to amend 'Ban from V' to 'Ban from V, modified', etc. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:59, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
    Withou it, it reads as if admins could increase sanctions while an appeal is ongoing. --DHeyward (talk) 11:52, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
    That sounds like an issue for the admins/editors processing the appeal to handle. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 11:55, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I should have commented on this earlier, I reverted DHeyward's revision to the policy and then IRL stuff happened and I forgot to follow up. I also objected for the most part because adding an exception to a section which itself is an exception is poor form, and carving out exceptions[-within-exceptions] instigated by single isolated incidents makes for weak policy, particularly so when there has been no discussion of the change. That, and the edit itself is grammatically awkward. Yes, admins shouldn't comment in the "uninvolved admins" section on appeals of AE sanctions they themselves implemented, that was the eventual consensus of the discussion NeilN linked above, and really it's common sense. However, defining this as "involvement" within the policy is likely to have unintended consequences.
I don't think any of this really needs to be spelled out in policy, actually. This incident was one admin losing their shit when they were already having a bad day, and basically everyone else who commented told them they were some degree of wrong. But if it needs to be added, then perhaps wording should be added to some other section such as under "accountability" or "grievances", explaining that administrators should allow neutral editors(/admins) to adjudicate appeals of their actions, but not define this as being "involved". And perhaps change the wording of the AE template that reserves a section for "uninvolved administrators", maybe "neutral" is a better term. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 19:45, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

RFC: Slight tweak to lengthy inactivity policy[edit]

In the case of admins who have not actively used their tools for a prolonged period, should they still be granted two years to simply ask for them back if they are removed for inactivity? Beeblebrox (talk) 22:59, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

  • No This occured to me when looking over Wikipedia:Inactive administrators/2017. There are numerous admins there who went totally inactive in 2016 after not taking any administrative action for a prolonged period prior to that: In nine cases, there was no tool use for between five and ten years, five cases where the user had not used their tools in over ten years, and one very extreme case of an admin who got the tools in 2004, never used them even one time, and hadn’t actually spoken to another user on any sort of talk page in 12 years.
And yet, in all of these cases current policy grants them two additional years in which all they need do is ask, and they will get their tools back. Re-granting the tools is the purview of the bureaucrats, who aren’t given much leeway to bend the rules, so if one or more of these admins were to ask for their tools back anytime in the next two years, they would be compelled to do so. This just can’t be the right way of doing this.
I would therefore propose that any admin who has not used their tools in five years and is subsequently desysopped for total inactivity would no longer be able to simply ask for them back, and would need to pass a new RFA to regain the tools and that wording to this effect be added to the administrative policy at Wikipedia:Administrators#Lengthy inactivity.
The point of granting advanced permissions is not to reward users, but to give them what they need to help maintain the encyclopedia. If they aren’t doing that, they aren’t actually admins, and adminship in not a trophy. This would probably only involve a few admins each year, probably less each year, it will have no effect on any users who make at least one edit per year, so it’s still extremely lenient. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:12, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The problem with this is that not all admin tool use and other actions are logged, for example viewing deleted revisions or closing move discussions. We simply can't know from the logs whether or not someone is actively using the tools or not. It's similar to the issue that used to pop up with Useight's crat bit; they didn't make a single edit from their main account for five years (and thus didn't make any logged admin/crat actions), but contributed to crat chats. Crats do have an activity requirement, but their activity is much better defined and more easily determined. ansh666 23:57, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
    Agreed, not all admin actions are logged. But if you have not used the tools in five years or more and haven’t made an edit of any kind in over a year, you clearly aren’t doing admin work at all. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:09, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No - I would generally agree that admins should be admins and non-admins should be non-admins - none of the "admin without the tools" stuff that happens when it's a lifetime trophy for passing RfA rather than a set of technical buttons you have access to. If adminship is no big deal, then it should be easy to both assign and remove adminship from an account. To that end, I agree with the proposer; if an admin is removed for inactivity then they should no longer be an admin, and not be eligible to get the tools back after asking nicely on BN. As for the non-logged actions argument, our standard for activity is logged actions. It's a reasonable standard, and because we can't measure non-logged actions, I don't see why we should consider them. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 05:24, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • (Perhaps a symbolic) No I suspect that a lot of barely-active admins that would likely be affected by this proposal will come out of the woodwork and mysteriously oppose this proposal for exactly the reasons Ajraddatz describes above, so I don't think this will pass. But I do support this change. --Rschen7754 05:39, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The proposal should also specify whether admins who voluntarily resigned not under a cloud can ask the tools back without an RFA and during which period this could happen. Otherwise, if it passes, it might lead to inconsistencies.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:57, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Neither. I understand where the OP comes from but I also agree with Ansh666's valid argument that logged actions is a bad measurement in these cases because some admin work can be done without using the buttons, yet it's still admin work. As such, I would propose that instead of a hard and fast rule, we give crats some discretion whether to grant such resysop requests in edge cases where no admin-related activity took place. A possible wording could be: for any admin who has not used their tools in five years and is subsequently desysopped for total inactivity, bureaucrats should usually not regrant the tools upon request. That leaves some discretion for crats to regrant the tools if the requesting user can demonstrate that they worked in any admin-related way, even without use of the tools per se. Regards SoWhy 07:10, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No somebody who hasn't used their tools for that length of time is likely to be out of step with the community on how best to use them. Regarding the point that admins can do admin work without making logged actions, this is technically true but I don't think it would happen much in practice. Such an admin would have to spend their admin time viewing deleted pages, editing protected pages and closing discussions with results requiring no admin action (e.g. closing AfDs but never as Delete because that would be a logged action). I think it's a bit of a stretch to imagine an admin doing this type of thing for five years but never doing anything that generates a logged action. Hut 8.5 07:49, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    Agreed. And completely ignoring non-logged actions, I think it's reasonable to expect admins to perform one logged action every five years. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 08:00, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    Exactly. This is not targeted at semi-active admins who only use their tools rarely, or anyone who makes at least one edit of any kind at least once a year. This would still be an extremely lenient policy, we’d just be closing a tiny loophole. No admin who is the least bit active in any way will be affected by it. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:38, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    @Beeblebrox: Who has slipped through this "loophole"? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:40, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    It's not hard to find people who would be affected by this. This admin recently desysopped for inactivity has one admin action ever (unilaterally overturning the result of an AfD in 2007). This one has also used the admin tools exactly once (a U1 userspace deletion in 2013). Both of those people would qualify to have admin tools restored on request at the moment. Hut 8.5 22:15, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    Plus the other fifteen cases I mentioned in the opening statement. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:23, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    Interesting that Grandiose should be picked out, his RfA was one of the few that I went straight in with a support for, so I was surprised a few days ago when this was sent out. When he went for RfA, I believe that he was a final-year student at Oxford University, so I expect that real life got in the way. Jarry1250 (talk · contribs) may be able to enlighten us here. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:06, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
    I'm not going to go digging to see if it's actually happened before, but I think it could be plausible - for example someone who only uses their admin tools to scour deleted pages for valid citations to (god forbid) build other articles. So I do support this proposal in general, but I think that it shouldn't be a completely absolute rule. FWIW WP:IAR should cover it, but crats do tend to have a reputation of doing things by the letter. ansh666 21:09, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    It’s not just their reputation, it is explicitly what the community expects of them, you basically can’t invoke IAR for ‘crat actions, which is exactly why I made this proposal, so they have a rule they can point to that specifically says what they should do in these circumstances. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
    (edit conflict)That would be absolutely fine as long as they make at least one edit every two years. Hut 8.5 22:15, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think some care needs to be made for non-logged actions, such as editing through protection, a necessary admin function for people who work maintaining (for example) protected templates or the main page; they may appear to have not used their tools when in actuality they use them every day; even if they go many years without logging a block or a protection or a deletion. --Jayron32 03:50, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Note, we have a very big list at INACTIVE (Special:PermaLink/824245032) right now, some examples of rather inactive for a long time. — xaosflux Talk 05:00, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose any activity requirements. The more active admins the better, and current inactive admins are potential future active admins. Κσυπ Cyp   10:54, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
You do know we already have activity requirements and have for some years now? This is just a minor tweak to the existing requirements, if you are opposed to the very idea that we have any standards that is a seperate discussion. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Oppose both the proposed requirement tweak and the existing requirements, although only the former is relevant to this particular discussion. Κσυπ Cyp   06:56, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, change goes into a wrong and unhelpful direction. The proposal makes it harder for people who have been admins to become admins again. What we need is to make it easier for people who have never been admins to become admins. How does your proposal help? —Kusma (t·c) 21:01, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with the proposal. If you haven't logged an action in five years, and haven't touched the project in two one, then I don't see a compelling reason to assume that you have a current and nuanced understanding of policy. No comment on admins with barely a ghost of activity opposing what is an exceptionally lenient increase in our inactivity policy. GMGtalk 07:39, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
    Clarifying question related to this: someone brought up five years, but I don't see it on the policy page anymore. Could someone give a clear policy proposal here? From what it looks like, this will change the activity requirement to an edit or log action in the last year or else permanent removal. But I don't have any experience with how this policy was made or how it is applied, so I would appreciate some clarification. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 07:50, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
    Full disclosure, I'm running on caffeine, calories and nothing resembling sleep. It does look like there are two ways I see to read the proposal actually, depending on how you interpret the word "subsequently". Either five years of no logged actions the last of which had no edits at all, or five years of no logged actions followed by a sixth year of no edits at all. GMGtalk 08:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. If an admin is not active for 5 years, they clearly aren't being an admin and should not be able to simply request the tools after being desysopped for inactivity. A lot changes in 5 years of inactivity, enough that they should have to go through RfA again. However, I do think the comments about admins who use the tools in a way that doesn't get logged as activity make a valid point about how admin tool inactivity should be considered. timawesomenesstalk⟩ 06:10, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No, assuming however, that we find a way to account for non-logged actions. If someone hasn't been an admin for one year, I think they're likely out of step with the community; the current policy allows for a good bit longer than that. Maybe we should be spending our time on fixing RFA instead, but I don't see how this can hurt, and I do see ways it can help. Vanamonde (talk) 12:14, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Not as worded A couple of years ago, Arb made it clear that closing an WP:AE discussion is indeed an admin action (subject to wheel warring policy if reverted) yet it is not logged. I don't think closing an AFD as "keep" creates a log entry, although policy clearly prefers admin close AFDs (although doesn't require the bit). Many admin actions do not generate log entries, so this is fairly unworkable. Dennis Brown - 13:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment All of the discussion about logged vs non-logged admin actions does not really seem on point to me. We are not talking about an automated process that simply looks at logs and spits out a binary decision we are discussing guidance to give to human beings whose judgement on the suitability of an editor for the admin bit we already trust. Not having performed a logged admin action simply is a trigger ie a necessary but not sufficient condition. If there are no logged actions then it is necessary to look and see if the admin is doing other adminy stuff before making a final decision.

    Why not just say "In the case of admins who have not actively used their tools for a prolonged period, and have not otherwise performed administrative actions" and proceed from there? The purpose, as I understand it, is to give the Bureaucrats a bit of leeway that they do not otherwise have to deal with inactive admins. As to identifying other 'adminy' actions, just ask the editor in question, if they can not point to something they do not need the tools back. Jbh Talk 18:45, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

    As I said above, we simply can't know if someone has used their tools recently or not. Viewing deleted revisions leaves no trace at all; editing through protection would be painfully difficult to spot (afaik there aren't automated tools for this yet). And since we're talking about inactive editors - being desysopped for inactivity requires one year of total inactivity, at least as far as we can tell, given what I noted before - we can't simply ask them. ansh666 19:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) Ummm... The question asked by this RfC is "...should they still be granted two years to simply ask for them back if they are removed for inactivity?" They have already been desysoped and they are asking for them back so it is possible to ask them questions as well.

    If the question is whether to desysop and how to determine activity many of the situations brought up can be handled by a bit of searching - ie closes etc. There are not so many of these that spending an hour or so looking into each is much of a burden. In the hypothetical case of an admin who has been so inactive as to be examined for whether they should be desysopped and it is impossible to get in touch with them then they should have the tools removed. When they come back they can be asked what it is they are doing that left no trace. If they have been doing admin stuff within whatever window it is that we require then give them the tools back, if not do not.

    If they are not editing and can not be asked the question then they do not need the tools because... they are not editing. It seems to me that this, like most changes on Wikipedia, is being made much harder than it need be by placing too much emphasis on edge cases. The final decisions in this are being made by highly trusted users who can figure the edge cases out. What they need from the community is a set of instructions to guide them in making those decisions in line with community wishes/expectations. Jbh Talk 20:53, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

    Wow, I feel really dumb now. Of course we'd be able to ask them, this would only come up when they're asking for the bit back. Sorry about that. In any case, the focus on edge cases here, specifically, is because bureaucrats have historically not been welcomed by the community to use IAR and such as freely as everyone else, so considering edge cases is important. ansh666 22:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No. I agree with Hut8.5: it's technically true that admins might have been working on non-logged admin actions (such as closing AfDs but never as Delete because that would be a logged action) for years, but practically speaking, I hardly think it happens. For the sake of any such cases, though, and other possible oddities, I like SoWhy's tweak of Beeblebrox's proposal: for any admin who has not used their tools in five years and is subsequently desysopped for total inactivity, bureaucrats should usually not regrant the tools upon request.. Perfect. Let's leave a little room for 'crat discretion. Bishonen | talk 20:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC).
  • No. The admin bit is a tool to assist with maintenance, not elevation to the Wikipedia Peerage. If someone hasn't used the admin tools for a protracted period, then we can't trust that they still understand current policy and (importantly) custom and practice, and they should have to go through RFA again. If anything, I'd support making the inactivity rules even stricter. ‑ Iridescent 20:55, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I would too, even with this little tweak the rules are still incredibly lenient. When I was drafting this I had some ideas that were significantly stricter than this, but thought it would be best to start with something small and achievable. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No One small step towards making sure people with the admin bit are familiar with current community practices and norms. --NeilN talk to me 22:15, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No, by which I mean yes, let's make the change Beeblebrox is suggesting. While non-logged admin actions (reviewing deleted content, responding to emailing queries, etc.) can be helpful, requiring a single logged action every few years is nowhere close to an unreasonably burdensome requirement. 28bytes (talk) 01:18, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment We talk about giving Crats some wiggle room for "discretion" but that is kind of against the grain for a Crat. Crats are supposed to act in a way that is clearly and obviously documented, making high level actions that are non-controversial. Most Crats like clear lines drawn in the sand. The last thing a Crat wants is to be dragged to WP:AN to explain why they put the admin bit to someone when the rules were fuzzy. Whatever we do, if anything, it should a hard and fast rule that leaves little to debate. Dennis Brown - 01:33, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No however this hardly goes far enough IMO. For example look at this batch of "admins" - they have ZERO logged actions in 5 years or more (including ANY action, not just sysop actions - even a Thanks would avoid this list).
big list
user_nameuser_editcountuser_registrationLast editLast log
Knowledge Seeker10201200411220737052017030102372020100505205338
Scott Burley3312200405030625162017051723162320120826044153
Daniel Quinlan4700200212070425592017082923421120100711203841
Fang Aili24548200508091337562017091318453420120317174753
  • I generally expect admins to actually use their mops to help maintain the project, and these editors seemed to have lost the key to the mop closet. — xaosflux Talk 02:17, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I don’t uderstand why someone who never uses the tools at all would care whether they had them or not, there’s really no reason I can see other than wanting the status, which is funny since actual working admins don’t exactly live in a world of unending respect and universal love where everything is puppies and rainbows. Beeblebrox (talk) 06:02, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No If you don't use it, then you don't need it. Nihlus 06:33, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No Though too lenient to make any tangible difference, it is still an improvement to the current method. –Ammarpad (talk) 21:18, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No (I think; read for details) - I've lost track somewhat of what we're !voting on. I agree with the spirit of the original proposal that admins desysopped for inactivity who also have not logged admin actions in an extended period of time should not automatically get the tools back upon request. Admins should be active; admins returning after prolonged absences and adminning in a way that may have previously been acceptable but which is presently against the grain have caused ANI-level issues a non-zero number of times in the past few months. I also agree that things we send off to the 'crats should be bright-line rules, not subject to discretion. Although I know the 'crats are all keenly capable of exercising discretion, that's generally not what's asked of them; that role is one of button-pushing, as mindlessly as we can make it (this is a good thing - in my line of work, when the people pushing the buttons are also the people making the decisions, things like Enron happen). So this proposal needs hard-and-fast limits: if an admin is desysopped for inactivity, and prior to that has no logged admin actions in [5 years did we say? I'd go for even shorter] then they are not eligible to ask for the tools back; they must resubmit to RFA. Should also say that G6 deletions do not count as logged admin actions since non-admins can log those entries now, unless that changed again. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:38, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
    Re: G6, only on pagemoves AFAIK (I believe I have one myself). Other G6s, such as {{db-xfd}} or {{db-blankdraft}}, are clearly admin-only still. ansh666 23:43, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Not as worded - Suggestion isn't very clear as has been expressed above. Additionally, there are non-logged admin actions. Declining at CAT:RFU, viewing deleted revisions, etc. SQLQuery me! 23:56, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Note: I've added this to WP:CENT, since I think it's a policy change that needs broad participation. Mz7 (talk) 10:21, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I have an opinion here, but I'm a little confused about whether we're giving a yes/no to the question in the RFC header or a yes/no to the bolded proposal(s). Could I suggest that this be closed and a concrete proposal made in a new RFC? (commenting as an admin, not an Arb) Katietalk 15:40, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
    I'm not sure why the admin/arb distinction would be important here. But I agree that reformulating this discussion with a clear proposal would be a good thing. As it is, different people seem to be arguing for and against different things. The proposal is that admins should be desysopped after failing to perform an edit or log action within a year, and are only able to regain the bit through a new RfA. Because of the vague nature of the discussion, people have been talking about 5 years of inactivity and unlogged admin actions when the proposal isn't addressing either point at all. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 04:46, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment There was a similar discussion on inactivity last year; see Wikipedia talk:Administrators/Archive 15#Workshopping an RfC on the inactivity policy. I made a proposal for inactivity based on less than 50 edits+logged actions per calendar year, and that proposal failed miserably. Maxim(talk) 16:17, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I deliberately aimed low with this proposal, it’s still exceedingly lenient and won’t affect anyone who still makes one edit per year, logged actions or no. Somewhere between this and the proposal you mention lies a good balance that the community will support this is a baby step in that direction. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:45, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No. If someone hasn't made a logged action in that long, it would make sense to ask them to go through a new RFA. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 04:51, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose any activity requirements per User:Cyp. Yes, I know there's existing requirements, but I disagree with those too (and wish I had said as much when they were adopted). FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY [u+1F602] 17:59, 19 February 2018 (UTC)