Wikivoyage talk:Administrators

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So, I just took User:(WT-en) Karen Johnson off the list. It's been more than three months since Karen has been contributing to Wikivoyage, and as mentioned on this page, that's about time to change the privileges on her user account. --(WT-en) Evan 12:14, 19 Jan 2004 (EST)

”Administrator” name change[edit]

I've been thinking a bit lately about the Wikivoyage concept of Administrators and I'd like to change the name of this role to something that reflects the job a bit better, Two thoughts I had were "Janitor" and "Steward" (like "air steward" with the travel connection see...). Here's my reasoning for the change:

It's a burden, not a privilege: "Admins" exist to keep things running smoothly for all users. It's not a reward or even an indication of how good a contributor someone is (I'd say “Not all great contributors are admins, but all admins should be great contributors”). The new name should better reflect this.

All contributors are equal: Sure, "admins" have access to things that other users don't, but it's because they have more responsibilities not more power. (There are a lot of great users who have turned down the offer of Admin status). Things like votes for deletion or any other discussion should not be weighted towards the few folks who will do the actual deleting... oh, and It's pretty easy to start throwing "But I'm an Administrator" into arguments about policy, not so easy to get on a high-horse about being a "Janitor"

"Administrator" is used by lots of other sites to mean other things (often an authoritarian role or "superuser"), the different name would make people realize that there's something different going on here-- ire. we try to have a pretty egalitarian system/anarchy and everyone should be on equal footing whether it's their second post or second year...

Thoughts? (WT-en) Majnoona 19:01, 10 Oct 2004 (EDT)

I like "Steward". And, yes, I think the word "Administrator" is too loaded. (p.s. you forgot to sign.) --(WT-en) Evan 17:53, 9 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I like "Janitor". =) (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:39, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
Janitor. -- (WT-en) Colin 13:53, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
Hey, do folks think we are ready to move forward with the administrator name change? -- (WT-en) Mark 08:15, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)
I know this fell by the way-side ages ago (ok, not surprisingly right in the middle of my first trimester of pregnancy!) but I was just remined of the idea and I'm still interested in making the change to "janitor" -- the same reasoning still stands.
How difficult would this be to execute? I don't think the word appears in too many places... (WT-en) Majnoona 22:56, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
So where is this? It seems to want to die... but I'd support it. -- (WT-en) Ilkirk 12:46, 15 Nov 2005 (EST)

Bump[edit]

Lets do this. There has never been an objection (for some five years), and the benefits as enumerated above are pretty clear. We've also discussed this here, where there was only support for the change. Speak now or forever hold thy peace. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:37, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

I don't like it. "Admin" is a well-established term on wikis, and "janitor" doesn't capture the extra responsibility involved in adminship. We do a lot more than just cleaning stuff up. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:49, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
I don't understand this objection. It is noted above that administrator is a well-established term on other wikis, and the purpose behind the name change is precisely to emphasize that sysop status means something different here, that we have an egalitarian ethic, and that administrators have no more authority in decisionmaking than other users. What is the extra responsibility of which you speak? Sysops are supposed to use the extra tools according to policy, but this is true of all tools available to any user. The only accepted difference is functional, and the extra functions all exist purely to help keep things clean. I would ask you to please address the existing arguments above. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:02, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
I'm puzzled by your tone. I expressed my opinion on the topic; I'm sorry if you felt I didn't adequately address every argument previously presented. You seem to be implying that if I can't specifically refute every argument, then I shouldn't bother writing anything. Maybe I'm just tired, but that's how your response reads to me. I'll wait and check back tomorrow and see if I understand things differently then. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:09, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, didn't mean to come across as harsh, I just wanted to understand your objection better in light of former arguments. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:46, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Agreed with LtPowers. I note that this proposal has appealed to a number of people who continue to be strong contributors here over the course of a long time. But personally, although I recognize the good intent, "janitors" strikes me as cutesy and a dash pretentious in a faux-humble sense. And the rationale as described above is overstating the potential power of a word change. An egalitarian atmosphere is established by conduct, not cosmetic steps. (And her logic was proven flawed by time — nobody has been throwing "but I'm an administrator" into policy arguments over the last four-plus years.)
I also agree that "janitor" doesn't fully capture the responsibilities of adminship, at least as I see them. Admins should have a strong knowledge of the site's policies and precedents, and should be prepared to patiently explain those to other users. God bless Mr. Schulte, my grade school janitor, but he didn't know bunk about anything other than the physical plant of the school. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 22:31, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
Agree with Gorilla Jones. If we're going to go with goofy/cutesy, I'd rather go with something more neutral that sticks to the theme of our wiki, like "adventurer" or "journeyman" or "frequent traveller" or something. That said, I'm perfectly happy with things the way they are, and the suggestions above are straight off the top of my head. But I definitely think "janitor" just sounds too lowly to be a position for which you have to be nominated and voted upon. After all, if admins are janitors, what does that make burocrats? Sewer line workers? (WT-en) Texugo 00:22, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Plenty of latent objections, it would seem. But to be clear, bureaucrats are in my view simply users we have decided to trust with the ability to flip sysop switches—nothing more, nothing less. I sometimes do worry that members of the community, from new users to experienced ones, lose sight of the fact that these little titles carry with them no authority. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:46, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
It's true that authority is vested in the community as a whole, but administrators are the executors of that authority, at least for functions that require that extra level of trust. Which, to my mind, fits the definition of "administrator" pretty well. To an extent, all Wikivoyageers are, or should be, janitors, in the sense of cleaning up articles and keeping things tidy—admins are just entrusted with the really dangerous tools. =) (WT-en) LtPowers 13:03, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

Neutral, ever so lightly swaying against a change - but I really don't care either way --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 14:21, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

Deletion[edit]

So I've been an admin for over a month now... and haven't actually used any of my abilities yet. Has the page deletion mechanism been re-enabled yet? (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:39, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)

I think it's part of the whole personalization of pages (including skins, etc.) that has been disabled. Evan says he's going to work on it when he gets back. But I figured out how to do it anyway. When you click on the history link, you get a URL like
   http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/index.php?title=Wikivoyage_talk:Administrators&action=history
If you change the word history to delete you can delete an article. But do not use this for deleting an image (image delete has a more complicated url) -- (WT-en) Colin 13:57, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)

Restoring images[edit]

I just checked, and yes, an image can be restored from history. Just go to Special:Log/delete, click on the name of the image, and then click the "restore X deleted edits" link, and you'll get a form asking if you want to undelete. --(WT-en) Evan 20:22, 9 July 2006 (EDT)

Use of the admin "rollback" functionality[edit]

The "rollback" button for admins is a hugely useful tool, but it unfortunately does not provide any way to indicate why an edit is being rolled back. That's not a problem for things like obvious vandalism, but in other cases it really would be nice to know why an edit was rolled back - even a simple note like "revert - see Project:External links" provides more explanation to a user than just "Reverted edits by 131.202.9.234 (Talk); changed back to last version by 84.145.230.254". I'm guilty of over-using that button as well, but it would be really, really helpful to others if admins made an effort to do at least one of the following in cases where the reason for a rollback isn't blatantly obvious:

  • Use the more manual Project:How to revert a page process and provide an edit comment explaining why the change was reverted.
  • Leave a note on the article's talk page explaining why the change was reverted.
  • If multiple changes by the same user are being reverted (and the changes are not vandalism) either provide an edit comment by using the manual revert process for at least the first revert, or else leave a note on the user's talk page explaining the reason for the revert.

This is just a suggestion; feel free to ignore as always, but I do think it would be very helpful to others. -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:21, 3 August 2006 (EDT)

I've made this request before, but would it be possible to modify the "rollback" functionality to give admins the option of including a comment? I can see the use of an explanation, but I'm going to be cleaning up a lot less junk if I have to go through the non-admin process for most fixes. I do try to leave a note if the edits are made by a registered user, but it seems less likely that explanations will reach the ears of "drive-by" editors. -- (WT-en) Jonboy 15:28, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I agree about this... I wonder if we should start collecting these ideas on an Project:Administrator handbook? --(WT-en) Evan 15:32, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I like that idea, as long as we keep an eye out for the slippery slope of making Admin-stuff too "in-crowd" ish... (WT-en) Maj 15:44, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Having the option to specify a reason for a revert would be helpful. And to be clear, I'm not proposing that admins do any more work than a normal user, I'm just asking that unless the edit being rolled back is something like "asdfasdf Bob is gay and I rule!" that at least one indicator of why the edit was rolled back is given. Most registered users start out anonymous, and if an anonymous user adds a link to their favorite nightlife guide and that contribution is then rolled back without comment that user is unlikely to contribute here again. However, if either the rollback comment OR a note on the article or user talk page refers the user to Project:External links then the user may realize that they are still welcome to contribute, but that in this case we just don't link to external guides.
And yeah, a Project:Administrator handbook would be useful for explaining how to use things like rollback, block, delete, etc. I don't think it would be any more "in-crowd" than any other page that explains Wikivoyage functionality, provided everyone has access to read and edit the page. -- (WT-en) Ryan 16:10, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Ryan on all counts. For that matter, I think an Administrator Handbook would be useful as a tool to help non-admins understand just what the admins are doing/can do. However, it's not necessarily the most "urgent" thing to work on; no opinion on that. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 20:09, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Wikivoyage in swedish has an Administrator Handbook called Manual för administratörer which has been in use since Jan 14, 2006. It is a great help for our admins when dealing with everyday admin issues. When a new admin is elected, he/she gets an administrator template on his/her talk page, containing a link to the manual. (WT-en) Riggwelter 12:54, 4 October 2006 (EDT)
Is there any way it could be translated to English? I believe something like that could be very useful to all administrators. Does anyone else think we should start this? I agree with (WT-en) Ryan and (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill comments above. We could provide guidelines and also it would help explain to all Wikivoyageers how Administartors operate or should operate. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 15:07, 4 October 2006 (EDT)
I have started on the translation and I expect to put it up on Shared for review sometime during christmas 2006. (WT-en) Riggwelter 16:21, 13 December 2006 (EST)

request for IP ban[edit]

We need help on preventing IP 85.66.44.101 from adding Camping Haller to Budapest again and again--although it belongs to Budapest/Pest and already placed there. Repetitive warnings on the user talk page don't help, changes reappear again and again. Let me know if there's a better place for requests like this. Thanks. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:21, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Project:User ban nominations -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 16:24, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Guidelines[edit]

The page doesn't actually spell out what's required to be accepted as an admin, so I plunged forward and laid out the criteria I've seen applied in nomination discussions. Edit away. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:14, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

Nicely done! Looks just about right to me. I think the only thing I'd change is that the magic number of three months has been bandied about before, but I don't know if that's worth enshrining here. --(WT-en) Evan 23:25, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

Terminating administrator privileges[edit]

Can one of the bureaucrats please revoke my admin rights. I will be taking an indefinite leave from Wikivoyage. Updating and maintaining wiki's are supposed to be fun and enjoyable, but lately Wikivoyage just has not been that. I have 5 firefox tabs open at the moment, 3 of them require speedy deletion, but the adverts seems to be more important than my nice shiny deletion button, they loaded, my delete button did not. So, I will yet again have to log out, log in and reopen all those tabs and frankly I can't be bothered. This is feeling more and more like my corporate job, filled with frustrations and management that does not care or listen. I may or may not be back sometime in the future, but for now I think I'll find myself some place else to play. --(WT-en) Nick 09:30, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

I'd hate to see you leave, although I certainly sympathize with your frustration. (We've been losing a bunch of great contributors lately...) In any rate, in the past we've leaned towards not removing administrative status, even when the user requests it and will not be editing for a long time. If you do decide to edit in the future, even for a day or two, I'd rather that you have the sysop functions, rather than have to re-nominate you for admin. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:39, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Nick, I'm in agreement with Peter. There's plenty to do on Wikivoyage that doesn't even require the buttons. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:06, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Me three, and I certainly share your frustration. This has really become painful, and the spam-idiots aren't affected by the pain. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 16:28, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Supposedly all is back to normal now, if you're still missing your tabs, head over to shared and speak up so that IB knows – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 18:35, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

Inactive admins[edit]

We need to either revise the three month policy or de-activate several admins. We have 2 at more than a year inactive (User:(WT-en) Huttite, User:(WT-en) Ilkirk), 3 close to one year (User:(WT-en) Pjamescowie, User:(WT-en) TVerBeek, User:(WT-en) Tsandell), and a few others at more than five months (including the site's (WT-en) founder). Good folks, of course, but the policy should either be revised or enforced. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 23:34, 25 December 2008 (EST)

(background 1, 2, & 3) The argument against de-activating inactive admins is straightforward: inactivity isn't a reason to stop trusting users who have been given sysop status, and if such users return, we'd be happy to have them retain their privileges. The argument in favor is that unused sysop accounts present a "security risk." I'm not sure why though—even if some vandal hijacked a sysop account, they couldn't really do anything that would be hard to fix. And the probability of that happening seems very small to me in any rate. Unless I'm missing something, the only reason I can see why we should revoke sysop privileges is in case of abuse. So I'd say revise. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:16, 26 December 2008 (EST)
I agree with Peter. If a user goes permanently AWOL (>2 years), I think it's fine to de-sysop them, but 3 months is just silly. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:09, 26 December 2008 (EST)
I agree as well. I've even come damn near three months myself in the past. Even at two years, I don't see any special need to de-sysop them. (WT-en) Texugo 06:15, 26 December 2008 (EST)
Let's revise to 2 years for now? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 18:23, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Support -- (WT-en) Texugo 18:57, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Support --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 20:43, 3 May 2009 (EDT)

Bureaucrat rights[edit]

I would post this at Wikivoyage:Bureaucrats, but I'm still waiting for special:import to be created, so I can import the old page from wts...

I think it would be worthwhile to re-enable the functionality we always had for bureaucrats to be able to remove admin flags (I'm not sure we really need to be able to remove bureaucrat flags, but I guess it doesn't matter). This came up here. Basically, it just seems like a pain to have to go to Meta to do something so simple as remove an admin flag from a bot once it's done, or to remove an admin flag that was accidentally added. Any objections? --Peter Talk 17:28, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Explanation of project page change[edit]

I added the following text to the policy:

If valid concerns with a nomination are raised by a member of the community that cause them to oppose a nomination, it is courteous to allow the nominee or nominator some time to respond to the concern or to withdraw their nomination. The decision is not a vote, and piling on oppose votes adds no weight to the issues raised, and can be embarrassing to the nominee.

I think this reflects a consensus I've seen develop over at Wikivoyage_talk:Administrator_nominations and elsewhere. If you disagree, by all means lets discuss. --Inas (talk) 22:24, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Admin noticeboards?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Where are the admin noticeboards? There has to be some place to raise hell and tell the admins how corrupt they are, right? Berean Hunter (talk) 21:44, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

There is Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress if you need AIV, but a separate board would be helpful... --Rschen7754 21:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
If you have any issues, let them be stated here. If this page gets overcrowded, we can split it if we need to. --Inas (talk) 21:49, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Or just contact an admin directly. Our names tend to be spattered all over recentchanges, so it's pretty easy to tell who is paying attention at any given moment. And we check each others' user talk pages. --Peter Talk 21:58, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the replies. I was just surprised that any wiki has been able to operate without one.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 22:34, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Believe it or not, Wikipedia operated without one for quite a few years. They're a burden of success, unfortunately. Manning Bartlett (talk) 03:03, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Local Checkusers[edit]

Swept in from the pub

During the transition phase, I was nominated as a potential checkuser. The purpose was to ensure we had coverage of this function in case of any disruption during that phase. After some discussion with the stewards, it was decided that at that busy time, they were experienced, better qualified and quite willing to maintain that function. They also pointed out that under normal circumstances they didn't get involved in performing checkuser functions on wikis that have their own local checkusers.

I'd like to start a discussion on whether we would like to have our own checkuser function.

The advantages are:

  • Local wiki, local ownership of administrative functions.
  • Declaration of our project maturity
  • Freeing up stewards to dedicate their time and talents to cross-wiki functions rather than local ones.
  • CU would only be used as determined by our own local policies

The disadvantages are:

  • The stewards will no longer generally get involved in CU on the local wiki
  • There are many more stewards, and at least one can usually be obtained quickly via IRC.

If you see other disadvantages or advantages, please feel free to edit my list. Otherwise if you have an opinion, please state it. Obviously if we have a consensus against local checkusers at this time, I'll decline my nomination. If we have a consensus that we should have them, then we need a minimum of two, and probably three, so there will be some recruiting to do. Personally, I do feel we should have the function local, but I don't think it is a big deal. I personally can't see us using the function very often at all. --Inas (talk) 02:12, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

CUs get a subscription to mail:checkuser-l and checkuser wiki access, which is helpful for being aware of issues crosswiki... but of course whoever serves as CU will have a lot of extra emails to read :) and they will have to learn how to use the tool. Also, CUs will lose their tools if they haven't used them in a year per the m:CheckUser policy. --Rschen7754 03:55, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

OK, some things to clear up first:

  1. Do we need our own checkusers? On how many occasions has the function been used since we joined WMF? Since official launch?
  2. Will we have our own policy that varies significantly from WMF policy? In what ways will it differ? I think this is something that should be worked out before we try to decide if and who the CU's should be.

• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:06, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

During the launch we had to rely pretty heavily on the function to halt block evasion. Our need for CUs has declined lately, simply because things slowed down after the banners went down. That would actually make this an easier time to develop our own CUs, since the volume of work would be less, while figuring out the methods.
Our own policy simply would not be allowed to differ from the general privacy policy on Meta, so I'm not sure that we would see any substantive difference in how local CUs would operate compared to how our stewards already operate here. --Peter Talk 15:38, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
There's small differences on each project I believe, but every local CU policy has to remain within the bounds of what the policy is on Meta. The CU log is only viewable by local CheckUsers and m:Ombudsmen, but you can get a sense of how often CU is used on enwikivoyage by looking on the Meta rights log. --Rschen7754 18:31, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
On Danish Wikipedia where I'm from we use the checkuser tool very little. In my opinion you do not need to use the check user tool unless someone is trying to manipulate votes or if it is really important to know "the identity" of a user.
In most cases the simple solution is to block vandals and users with too many bad edits and/or to revert the edits.
So one question to ask before you decide is do we need local checkusers or can the admins handle the things with the current tools? --MGA73 (talk) 18:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It is an interesting question, but it really is quite a different question to the one at issue now. The CU function is exercised at the WMF sites. It has been and continues to be available here for use within the appropriate guidelines. The only question at issue is whether we want this function local or exercised by the cross-wiki stewards. Having this function local would not result in any increase in its use. --Inas (talk) 22:02, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Funny, we just ran a CU in the past 20 minutes ;) Search the block log for "block evasion" to get an idea of how our project has been using the tool. For us, we tend to be pretty reluctant to hand out blocks, so enforcing existing bans becomes more important. We have a pretty persistent problem with a party that has been blocked per Wikivoyage:No real world threats. --Peter Talk 22:08, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Spambots tend to be CUed a lot. I'm not sure how that interacts with the privacy policy as then the IP is immediately globally blocked by the same steward, though. --Rschen7754 23:15, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I guess it depends on the type of "bad edits" there is on the different wikis. If adding text like "Sex is fun" or "Xx is a big fat whore" or adding a lot of spam is the main problem then there is no need for CU. If block evasion is a problem then CU would be a good idea.
I checked the edit made by the user referred to above and I do not know the history for the block (there no link/reference to who the original and blocked user is) but I guess the "old users" here could tell who it is just by reading the text. You could decide to say "Blocked users should not edit at all!" and remove the edit or you could decide to let it stay and say "Well if it makes him/her happy then who cares. Lets get on with our life." All I'm saying is that only Wv community can decide is you need CU or not. So you should choose CU if you need it and not just because Wikipedia has it. --MGA73 (talk) 07:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
It's not just block evasion - as a SPI clerk trainee I've seen sock farms with dozens of socks created just so that a vandal can start a massive revert war over and over. Sometimes they do this to game the autoconfirmed restriction so that semiprotected pages can be vandalized. Being able to find these "sleeper accounts" with CU is a good use of CU. --Rschen7754 08:31, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Happily, our Wikivoyage:Consensus policy (unlike WP's 3RR) puts a stop to edit wars regardless of sock activity—the page goes back to the status quo until a consensus is forged on the talk page, and users who refuse to go along with that process by warring get temp blocked, the page gets protected, etc. Cleaning out socks by a known vandal who has already been blocked to avoid a little vandalism war on semiprotected pages, however, is a potential use. --Peter Talk 20:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Can I please drag everyone back to consider the issue at hand here. At the moment I'm not getting a feel for what we want to happen, because everyone is discussing other important, but independent, questions. If you don't want the CU function used at all, then it is an issue to take up at Meta. If you'd like change our policy on banning users so that we still allow them to make edits under other accounts, then by all means state your case over at the appropriate policy page.

The CU function is part of our policy right now by virtue of us being under the WMF banner. The tools are being used here. Could you please consider whether you would like local wiki or cross-wiki stewards to perform the CU functions, as currently performed and allowed by the guidelines on meta, in line with the policies that we have here at WV. --Inas (talk) 00:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I vote for sticking with the stewards performing this function for now, I don't see any real benefit to handling locally at this stage, let's revisit it in a year or something? – cacahuate talk 03:56, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


I too vote for the centralized steward function. This seems like a function that is used rarely, but needs quick response when it needed, which is good reason to rely on a central pool of stewards. The reasons for localizing seem largely symbolic to me, and I don't see a need for a local policy distinct from WMF policy. The only bummer with centralizing is that none of our guys will have access to the CU mailing lists. I only wish there were a way to elect two CUs for this purpose, but retain the option of using the WMF stewards as needed. — Ravikiran (talk) 06:50, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Cacahuate and Ravikiran. I don't see a need to press forward, especially with only two checkusers. I think we'll have better response time and more expert analysis with the stewards, freeing Inas and Peter to keep writing great travel content. LtPowers (talk) 03:29, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with all the above; if you're interested in more "independence" so to speak, oversight / OTRS might be an easier step. --Rschen7754 02:39, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Admin criteria[edit]

The criteria for nominations has always been at Wikivoyage:Administrators#Nomination, and those have indeed been the criteria used to judge nominations for nearly a decade. A checklist was added to Wikivoyage:Administrator nominations, to help make the process more clear to potential nominators who may not have looked over this page carefully. But, as the nomination for Rschen7754's admin status to be made permanent, instead of temporary, shows, the list added to the nominations page doesn't match the agreed upon list here in the addition of "Have a history of article contribution." That has now been construed as contributing content. As contributing content has very little to do with administrative functions (editing protected pages, combating vandalism, etc.), and as that has never been a requirement before, I think that bit should be struck to bring the nominations page back in line with our long-standing policy. --Peter Talk 15:51, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

For reference, the nomination page looked like this [1] before the recent change, directing nominators to verify that nominees would meet the criteria at Wikivoyage:Administrators#Becoming an administrator. I don't think the addition of a checklist was ever meant to supersede the policy here. --Peter Talk 15:56, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely with your comments. LtPowers (talk) 17:36, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Nominations by consensus[edit]

Also in Rschen7754's nomination it was pointed out that our policy is to resolve admin nominations by checking to see whether "there are no outstanding objections." Is there a good reason we shouldn't resolve nominations by consensus, which is the policy by which we decide everything else I can think of? Unanimity is a pretty high bar, which can encourage the sort of participation that our consensus policy aims to prevent. --Peter Talk 16:23, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I would be in favor of wording it something like "strong consensus". Here are Wikipedia's guideline on the subject, which I think are worth considering to see what we can use to clarify on our procedures:
"Consensus at RFA is not determined by surpassing a numerical threshold, but by the strength of rationales presented. As a rule of thumb, most of those above 80% approval pass; most of those below 70% fail; the judgment of passing is subject to bureaucratic discretion (and in some cases further discussion)."
Obviously everyone who opposes an admin nomination will feel that their objection is valid, and while we should discuss those objections and try to resolve them, on subjective decisions like this one having some objective guidance as to how to view oppose votes when there is 80+ percent support would be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd worry a bit only about the numerical values. Wikipedia is huge, and therefore is less prone to outlier cases where we have very few people commenting, and also less susceptible to gaming the system. But otherwise that wording seems right. --Peter Talk 17:46, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It would seem strange to me if the "no outstanding objections" clause was intended to require unanimity. Note that as recently as 2009, the page only stated "After the deadline for discussion, if there is consensus in favor, a bureaucrat will grant them admin status." The specific rules were moved from the nominations page in February 2010 by Inas. That said, the language has survived almost entirely unaltered since Evan's creation of the nominations page in 2003. If we look at this early discussion, however, it appears possible that the "outstanding objections" may have only intended to be applied to admins' objections. It's hard to say. LtPowers (talk) 17:52, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm obviously biased in the matter, but even before my nomination I was wondering about the standard of unanimity - I'm not sure that will always be sustainable, especially as the site grows. --Rschen7754 19:33, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I am even more biased by the issue - it would be good if someone could actually clarify this issue with some sense of whether interpretation of either whether 'objections' - (however few) are in fact the casting vote, and as to whether the notion of 'unanimity' has been in fact mis-used? Rschen's comment about the sustainability of such a notion is quite significant, from my perspective, at least sats (talk) 09:14, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm an admin on the largest wiki (enwiki), and it's rare nowadays to have an unopposed RFA. dewiki apparently is pretty difficult as well. I think the fundamental question is whether enough admins are being promoted to serve our needs. --Rschen7754 09:53, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we could focus on unresolved objections rather than the number or proportion of objectors? I am still amazed that we we wish to keep the process of revoking admin privileges secret and hidden. -- Alice 09:55, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
To be honest I think that is missing the point at which Rschen and I have made comment - in the larger wikis objections are part of the course, to focus on them as important here is possibly the wrong path in the long run sats (talk) 10:14, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
My comment was not intended to address either your own or Rschen's comments but rather the starting comment by [[User:Peterfitzgerald.
I would prefer to see us address objections rather than objectors. That would mean we could ignore an insignificant or irrelevant objection made by a numerically large number of objectors but still recognise a significant bar to becoming an admin raised by only one person. Either we're serious that we don't vote or we're not. -- Alice 10:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Sats/Rschen + Peter: I agree that with a growing project we will need to become a bit more wikistyle. In the past we always achieved consensus withour objections. Seeing the last objections, worry me a bit because unrelated critics resulted in lenghty discussions. At the moment we are small, so i think the treshold most be high. I would prefer to say 80% is the bottom line and there must be a minimum amount of edits. In the WV de community eligible users need at least 50 edits in the main space, if we raise that to 100 edits, that would be fine. jan (talk) 13:17, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

I think we may be overthinking this. First off, implied in the "no outstanding objections" clause (as illustrated by the historical data that indicates it may have only been intended to apply to admins' objections anyway) is "no outstanding valid objections". For example, Alice's protest vote of "Wait" on Rschen's nomination was correctly ignored; it did not constitute a valid outstanding objection. Second of all, the criterion has always said consensus, not unanimity. (The fact that we've always had the latter has obscured this fact.) Consensus does not mean "everyone agrees"; it means "everyone agrees that their views have been recognized and addressed to the best extent possible, even if they don't necessarily agree that the final result is optimal". To that end, I think it's right and proper that an objection not be considered "outstanding" if the objector feels it has been addressed, even if it's not been addressed the way he or she would have liked to have been. With these two clarifications in the understanding of our extant rules, I think this problem goes away. LtPowers (talk) 14:54, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

We never reached any resolution on this issue. LtPowers - can you propose some updated text based on your proposal above? It would be good to get this clarified before the next admin nomination. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:42, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I think my point was that the text doesn't need to be updated; the text has existed and worked fine for years. It's just that now that we're hitting edge cases that we didn't before, we have to remember what the actual intent behind that text always was. In fact, I kind of took the silence after my last comment to be general assent to that interpretation. LtPowers (talk) 13:43, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the existing process worked for years because we almost never had an admin nomination that received just one or two objections. As to your interpretation, my own nomination was derailed by Evan's single objection years ago, so I do think the intent was unanimous support. Given the comments from Peter and others above there are others who interpret currently policy as requiring unanimity, so updating the wording to either reflect your interpretation of having objectors agree that their concerns were addressed, or moving to a "strong consensus" interpretation, would avoid future confusion. I've proposed wording for a "strong consensus" change, but if we don't use that then a proposal for wording that reflects your ideas would also be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:36, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, I do think the "outstanding objections" clause needs to remain. We just need to interpret that in a spirit that doesn't permit filibustering. I suppose we could word it as "Any objections have been addressed, withdrawn, or deemed irrelevant," but that seems a little too direct to me. Or we could limit the objections clause to active administrators. LtPowers (talk) 19:21, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
What about the following, which includes your concerns but makes it clear that unanimity is not required:
  1. there is a strong consensus supporting the nomination from the community, including at least two administrators,
  2. the user has indicated a willingness to take on the job of administration, and
  3. attempts have been made to address any relevant objections to the nomination, and those who object have been given sufficient time to argue their case or withdraw their objection
-- Ryan • (talk) • 22:38, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
"Strong consensus" seems stricter to me than "support of the community". Was that your intent? LtPowers (talk) 01:05, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Given that the current criteria is unanimity, "strong consensus" seemed like a way to indicate that we don't require unanimity but there needs to be more than just majority support. Would some other wording be better? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:24, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, assuming you're correct about requiring unanimity, that criterion doesn't come from item #1, which only says "support of the community"; it comes from item #3, which says "no outstanding objections". So changing #3 as you've proposed eliminates any possible unanimity criterion; changing #1 isn't necessary to do so. So I was curious why you changed it. LtPowers (talk) 14:37, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the word "consensus" would work as well as "strong consensus," but I like Ryan's three point explanation. "Consensus" is a lot clearer than "support of the community," and #3 is a helpful explanation of how objections should be addressed. --Peter Talk 21:59, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Let's change "strong consensus" to just "consensus" in the proposal above. Any objection to updating the policy page? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:02, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Outstanding objections? ;) I think the revisions better represent our actual practice, so I'm okay with changing them if it will help understanding. LtPowers (talk) 01:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Since the proposal received consensus from the community (including two administrators), I had previously indicated a willingness to update the policy page, and all outstanding objections have been addressed, I've now gone ahead and made this update. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:06, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Looking at the admin nominations page and recent nominations, is this really a problem? The key is in the presence of the word outstanding. Objections are valuable input into the process of selecting admins and as long as they are taken in good faith and discussed neutrally, the project benefits from the discussion. For example, in Rschen's nomination (which appears to have prompted this discussion) I objected on the grounds that he hadn't really contributed any travel material to what is, after all, a travel wiki. There was a discussion and, taking the comments - the good faith ones, that is :) - into account, the objection was withdrawn. Seems to me that the process worked well. The problem with requiring consensus is that there simply aren't enough editors !voting to judge consensus adequately and there are too few bureaucrats to make the judgement as is done on Wikipedia. A 'crat chat', for example, is a non-starter. Given the size of this project, it might be better to stick with points 2 and 3 above and drop 1. --RegentsPark (talk) 14:59, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree the process has worked well, but you've completely lost me with the end of your comment. We get a large proportion of our most active editors commenting on most admin nominations; that seems more than sufficient to judge consensus. And how many bureaucrats are necessary for a "crat chat", whatever that is? It only takes one to look at the raft of "Supports" and flip the bit. LtPowers (talk) 16:56, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm biased by the nature of an RfA on Wikipedia where the discussions tend to be substantive. Here, on the other hand, there really isn't much discussion (cf. this - where, I notice, there was one oppose that went away following a discussion), not really enough to arrive at a consensus - at least not in the Wikipedia sense of weighing different arguments. That's what I meant by the difficulty in judging consensus. I suppose you do only need a couple of crats for a crat chat but a wider set would be preferable.--RegentsPark (talk) 17:20, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
See to me, consensus was obvious and clear -- anyone who had objections had ample opportunity to speak up, and most of the site's major contributors participated. And after Saqib withdrew his objection, opinion was unanimous. How is that not consensus? LtPowers (talk) 19:10, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

m:Requests for comment/Activity levels of advanced administrative rights holders[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Thought I'd mention this here (I think EdwardsBot will send this out in a few days). It should not affect the English Wikivoyage that much as there's already an inactivity policy here, but I know there's a lot of you who hold rights on other Wikivoyages and who may be affected by this. --Rschen7754 10:30, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

What is the inactivity policy here? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:55, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
According to Wikivoyage:Administrators, you get desysopped if you are gone for 2 years. --Rschen7754 11:05, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if this policy has ever really been enforced. It seems like there are a number of former WT admins whose rights have been transferred when they began editing here (even if it has just been a handful of edits). For example, WT founder Evan (also a bureaucrat). I don't think it's a bad policy to have. AHeneen (talk) 03:26, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
AHeneen, so far no elected admin/bureaucrat has violated our policies, so there was no need to enforce such policies. I agree that might be useful to implement the two year policy. jan (talk) 20:21, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Emphasis on elected, eh? -- Alice 07:19, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

On WP, administrator accounts that have no edits for at least one year may have their admin privileges removed. Can't we make it same here? --Saqib (talk) 11:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Since our list of inactive admins is a bit high at this point, having some sort of rule like this might make sense. Presumably a renomination would pass easily if an admin wanted to come back. I'd suggest 2 years, though. --Peter Talk 19:48, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
The other reason this is usually done is to make sure that inactive admin accounts don't get hacked into, which could cause problems. --Rschen7754 03:02, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment on inactive administrators[edit]

Swept in from the pub

(Please consider translating this message for the benefit of your fellow Wikimedians. Please also consider translating the proposal.)

Read this message in English / Lleer esti mensaxe n'asturianu / বাংলায় এই বার্তাটি পড়ুন / Llegiu aquest missatge en català / Læs denne besked på dansk / Lies diese Nachricht auf Deutsch / Leś cal mesag' chè in Emiliàn / Leer este mensaje en español / Lue tämä viesti suomeksi / Lire ce message en français / Ler esta mensaxe en galego / हिन्दी / Pročitajte ovu poruku na hrvatskom / Baca pesan ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia / Leggi questo messaggio in italiano / ಈ ಸಂದೇಶವನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಿ / Aqra dan il-messaġġ bil-Malti / norsk (bokmål) / Lees dit bericht in het Nederlands / Przeczytaj tę wiadomość po polsku / Citiți acest mesaj în română / Прочитать это сообщение на русском / Farriintaan ku aqri Af-Soomaali / Pročitaj ovu poruku na srpskom (Прочитај ову поруку на српском) / อ่านข้อความนี้ในภาษาไทย / Прочитати це повідомлення українською мовою / Đọc thông báo bằng tiếng Việt / 使用中文阅读本信息。

Hello!

There is a new request for comment on Meta-Wiki concerning the removal of administrative rights from long-term inactive Wikimedians. Generally, this proposal from stewards would apply to wikis without an administrators' review process.

We are also compiling a list of projects with procedures for removing inactive administrators on the talk page of the request for comment. Feel free to add your project(s) to the list if you have a policy on administrator inactivity.

All input is appreciated. The discussion may close as soon as 21 May 2013 (2013-05-21), but this will be extended if needed.

Thanks, Billinghurst (thanks to all the translators!) 04:33, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Distributed via Global message delivery (Wrong page? You can fix it.)

Fully protecting departed admins pages[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Is this policy? Usually one leaves them unlocked so others can leave notes of appreciation for their years of service. It is unfortunate to see both User:Peterfitzgerald and User:Jc8136 leave. While they and I may have differed on some minor points I respect both of them a great deal for the work they have put into making WV what it is today. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:19, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm concerned about fullprotecting their talk pages, as it leaves people no way to bring up concerns to them. --Rschen7754 06:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I've only protected the user page of Jc8136, and his talk page is not protected. Peter protected his user page and talk page himself. --Saqib (talk) 06:36, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Obviously they would be unprotected should they request them to be. It should be their choice. --Inas (talk) 06:54, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Clarification[edit]

When the equivalent page was started at Wikitravel and then forked here, the idea behind Wikivoyage:Wikivoyagers by location was

  • a) to provide a harmless bit of self-identification for editors
  • b) to provide a utilitarian list of editors that might have particular local knowledge

The latter function has been largely superseded by the "Docent" facility for our general readers, but I still find it useful to know what region of the planet other editors self identify with.

I was, therefore, a bit surprised to find that, after 10 days, my own entry was entirely removed just now.

I don't want to be accused of edit warring by simply replacing it, so may I have some guidance, please? --118.93nzp (talk) 01:26, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Sure, while you're most welcome to have your username mentioned in the list but that is not your user page so keep things simple and understandable as everyone do. --Saqib (talk) 01:31, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes the world is not entirely cut and dried and simple. I do agree that one of our tasks is to make our planet more understandable to travellers through the medium of the English languages,
I do also agree that that page is not my user page, but I wonder if you could address the purpose of that page and why you thought fit to delete my entry entirely and unilaterally and without discussion (and perhaps the timing is interesting too).
I do think that this is one page where, without allowing politics and religious and jingoistic tensions to raise their ugly heads, we could be a little more flexible in how people self describe their location?
After all it may be a bit of a painful reminder for a Palestinian living in Hebron to be required to "voluntarily" place himself in the Israel section or a Kashmiri Muslim to be removed by you from the "Asia" section and plonked in "India".
What serious harm does it do to leave User:Peaceray's self=placement in Oceania rather than in the USA section? My ancestors on one side of my family came to this area of New Zealand some 500 years before the Duke of Marlborough achieved renown at the battle of Waterloo or Nelson at Trafalgar, so who are you exactly to say that where I live and work should not be called by me in my entry by its official local name as decided by the NZ government via its agency, the NZGB? --118.93nzp (talk) 02:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with you on this one, nzp. Sorry, Saqib. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:21, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't much mind what people write on that page, as long as it's comprehensible. What 118 wrote there wasn't, to me. LtPowers (talk) 20:23, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Are you saying that's an adequate reason to edit or revert what someone posted there? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:42, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
@LtPowers: I'd be happy to work with you to make it more intelligible that I live and work in the region of the South Island of New Zealand that is officially named by the New Zealand government agency exactly as I have named it there. (I also internally linked to the two of our regions that cover the same geographical area as the official name). --118.93nzp (talk) 21:55, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
This is English Wikivoyage, It would be reasonable to provide a translation or description of place names that are not likely to be familiar with many of our users and contributors. It would also be reasonable to include the local region name preferred by the user, in case it is understood by the reader. It would be polite/civil to ask the editor to provide a translation/explanation before reverting. Assume good faith. It helps keeps the feet away from the mouth. This is also my interpretation of LtPowers' comment above. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:00, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I broadly agree.
This is the entry (the only one for New Zealand) at the time it was deleted:

New Zealand[edit]

North Island[edit]

South Island[edit]

118.93nzp - Te Tau Ihu (o Te Waka-a-Māui) or the "Top of the South" (not a translation)

I don't wish to go into the nature of my job or pinpoint my own and my family members regional connections but the local English name for the area is the "Top of the South" - even though that is not a translation of the official name. I've doubly internally linked the official name of my region to our two relevant Wikivoyage regions so as to provide a "description", Peter. I'd certainly welcome any concrete advice on how to make this clearer without adopting the ugly and inaccurate names of English martial heroes from a couple of hundred years ago. Coming as you do, from the "Rainbow nation", I'm sure you understand my request for a little cultural sensitivity here... --118.93nzp (talk) 06:37, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Personally I don't much care what you put on that page. I'm mildly curious about the officialness of this name, so I'd be interested in a link or citation for that, but it's not important. What I don't understand at all is why you hyperlinked "Te" to Marlborough and the rest of the name to Nelson. That seems completely weird to me, so I'd be interested in your explanation. Then perhaps we can help to make your political statement in a more comprehensible way. Nurg (talk) 10:09, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Sub-optimal venue for important policy discussion[edit]

I am concerned that User talk:Saqib is an unsatisfactory location for important policy discussions.

This is because that venue is not open to all editors, since Saqib often summarily removes (rather than archives) comments that he does not like.

For example, in this edit, Saqib removed material directly germane to his own Rfc. This is the material that was removed (one comment is retained for the context of the excision):

By the way, I am wondering which of the Wikivoyage policies "prohibits publishing of personal information and indirectly also commenting on them". It is embarrassing that a user who intentionally used personal information in a really bad context is protected by such policy.
I have not seen the contentious edit, though. I don't know what exactly Saqib published, but I have to say that the threat looked really bad. Let's sit and giggle! --Alexander (talk) 13:57, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Although a sensible and well thought out policy, I am not aware that w:WP:DOX has ever been adopted (or, indeed, referenced in prior discussions on the English languages Wikivoyage). I'm also not aware that w:WP:DOX is mandated by the WMF.

Nobody has ever provided any evidence that myself (or Alice or Frank or Tony) have ever intentionally damaged any article in mainspace (or template or policy). The disruption to improving our travel guides has been caused by name calling and "playing the proposer rather than the proposal" in policy discussions - this going as far as blocking and proposing to ban all four on specious and trumped up charges.

Of course, many editors on the periphery of resistance to style and syntax changes find personality politics interesting and absorbing and may become obsessed with conspiracy theories and sockpuppet allegations, leading to reduced time for them to make more productive edits. This, however, is their voluntary pastime and diversion and should not be interfered with unnecessarily. It is also far better to have these obsessions carried out "on-wiki" lest they develop in an even more malignant manner "off-wiki".

However, when their obsessions leads to edit warring and attempting to drive away and harass bona fide editors, that should be stopped - if not voluntarily, then by administrator action.

Screenshot of EN Wikivoyage admin Saqib's actions regarding his own user talk page

Atsirlin: Saqib was correctly warned, in my view, not to harass editors by publishing or threatening to publish personal information about editors on WMF projects. The fact that he himself has abused the additional tools given to him as an admin and hidden this warning from view (rather than deleting it or archiving it as an embarrassment) may be seen as reprehensible. (Equally, and giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming good faith, it may have been just a technical error on his part.) It would have been better if he had called for the warning admin - or a neutral third party - to hide the formal warning from view. (At this stage, I think it better that he unhide the formal warning he has hidden and ask for more neutral assistance).

That said, I have no wish to restrict Saqib's editing (this project should be in the business of encouraging and educating bona fide editors, not driving them away or blocking them unnecessarily) - other than that he conform with explicit WV policies in future and not continue to abuse admin tools.

--118.93nzp (talk) 14:13, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I realised it was a mistake on my part so I've nothing to say in my defence and I'm ready to voluntarily give up my admin tools incase a proposal emerge. --Saqib (talk) 14:55, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you're the worst admin here by a long stretch, Saqib, and I'm sure you'll grow wiser and less ignorant as you continue to edit. As long as you stop trying to edit and hide other's words (without a good reason justified by policy) I don't see any reason to remove your extra janitorial equipment. Please just confine their use to combat vandalism rather than enhancing your position in content or policy disputes.
My suggestion is that we metaphorically shake hands and each go away a little wiser from this experience. If it will help you understand what may be a puzzling situation with Alice, Frank, Tony and myself and move on to more productive concerns, I'm still happy to phone you right now if you will e-mail me (in strict confidence) your land line phone number. --118.93nzp (talk) 15:04, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
I haven't received an email from you and I do request that you stop using the " 118 & co. " construction as an explicit and continuing allegation of sockpuppetry. Nobody else has my password and I make my own editorial decisions. Please also re-read my comments above. I have not requested that you be de-sysopped. --118.93nzp (talk) 15:14, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
It does seem strange that you should request comments here in an Rfc and then selectively remove comments that you don't like. --118.93nzp (talk) 15:29, 24 November 2013 (UTC)


I should also like the double lie that I (or Alice or Frank or Tony) have ever called for him to be blocked, banned or summarily de-sysopped, redacted.

Although wounds are still raw, I feel it likely that Saqib will be more circumspect about "outing" editors in future and I would like to see blocks and bans used the way we used to instead - as a very last resort and only when warnings and education have patently failed.

I do believe that Saqib needs to stop his regrettable tendencies towards censoring others civilly and lawfully expressed opinions, but that is no reason to ban him from improving our articles.

In short, it would be turning a comedy into a tragedy if Saqib or anyone else thought they needed to resign over what, ultimately, is a matter of editor education and policy clarification.

--118.93nzp (talk) 22:53, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

How do we know if a nominee is sufficiently familiar with the project policies?[edit]

For that matter, how does anyone know whether they understand the policies well enough to be an effective admin and avoid too many blunders? At present, if I am not mistaken, it is up to the supporters to assess the nominee by previous behaviour, which is inherently only partly relevant, as they have not yet had the opportunity to show their colours in the more tricky aspects of admin work, and up to the nominee to assess their own familiarity with the policies. With the added complications of WMF policies which apply though they are not mentioned on WV, and the continuing changes and developments in policy both on WV and in WMF, this can be a bit of a minefield. Assume good faith, and When in doubt, ask, are useful blunder-avoidance strategies, but not always effective. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:15, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

On Wikipedia, questions are asked to assess understanding of policies. However, I would hate to see us get to the point of 30 questions like some RFAs there. --Rschen7754 06:36, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
With that being said, this was a tempest in a teapot, in my opinion, since several admins thought that such behavior was inappropriate (and Nurg came to the same conclusion independently). --Rschen7754 06:38, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I would propose that new administrators begin with a probation period, which I would measure in number of edits rather than chronologically. At the end of that period, one of three things would happen:
  1. the new administrator, having demonstrated adequate knowledge of policy and responsible use of the tools, continues in his role,
  2. the new administrator, having behaved in an utterly irresponsible way, is desysopped, or
  3. the new administrator, having made one or more significant mistakes but having generally acted in good faith, is counselled by other admins as to the policies or procedures he'd neglected or misinterpreted and the probation period is extended.
With all due respect to Saqib, the suboptimal degree of familiarity with policy, and minor but frankly annoying errors in judgment, that characterized his tenure as administrator even before this incident demonstrate to me that he'd have benefitted from a procedure such as described in option #3.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 09:55, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Who would determine if "the new administrator, having behaved in an utterly irresponsible way, is desysopped"? --Rschen7754 09:56, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
A consensus of current active non-probationary administrators would make that determination, I imagine. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 09:58, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Frankly, I think that desysopping would happen far less often than the other two possibilities; most users who would behave irresponsibly would likely be weeded out during the nomination process without the switches ever having been flipped. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 10:02, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I would agree that we should tighten up the adminship process a bit, for the reasons stated. I do think that even if this incident hadn't happened, there is a significant chance that he might have lost adminship through some other incident. Perhaps a temporary/permanent sort of deal like I went through may be worth considering. --Rschen7754 10:03, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Precisely, but rather than having to be re-nomimated for permanent adminship whenever someone gets around to it, the process would happen automatically after a certain number of edits. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 10:08, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the default should be retaining permanent adminship unless there are significant objections. --Rschen7754 10:11, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I like where this is going, but I think it would be good to hear other editors' thoughts on the matter. I've added a pointer to this thread on Wikivoyage:Requests for comment. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 10:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
It sounds reasonable, concurrent with making some policies clearer and perhaps changing some. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:31, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, regarding scenario #3, I would argue that a limit be placed on the number of probation extensions that a prospective permanent admin is allowed. Good faith or not, some people just aren't cut out for the job. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 11:07, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest no more than two, after which they couldn't be nominated again for at least a year. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Though one could argue that this would naturally happen by itself as people wouldn't be willing to keep extending indefinitely. --Rschen7754 11:14, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I'm not a huge fan of the whole probationary thing - if someone requires a probationary period to see if they'll be a good admin then they were probably nominated prematurely, and I suspect people will be really hesitant to de-sysop someone who went through a successful nomination. Why not just require that nominations include links to several revisions made by the user in policy discussions that demonstrate that the nominee understands consensus building and exercises good judgement? -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:59, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

First of all, Ryan, regarding "people [being] really hesitant to de-sysop someone who went through a successful nomination": as I said above, of the three possible scenarios, de-sysopping would probably happen least often. In fact, I would wager that it wouldn't happen any more often than it's happened in our community thus far—and, with the exception of various incidents involving IB, no one in the history of this project has ever been stripped of their admin tools involuntarily. Also, what your objection neglects is that under my proposal, the very definition of "a successful nomination" will have changed: it will no longer end with "congratulations, welcome aboard"; it will end with "okay, we'll give you a try for x amount of time and then we'll see what happens". I bet that if voters go into the nomination process with that in mind, they'll be more likely to make an objective decision when it comes time to audit the probationary admin.
Secondly, my issue with your counterproposal is that "several revisions made by the user in policy discussions" isn't a large enough sample set to really determine how competent an administrator would be. For example, if I had a crystal ball when Saqib was nominated and I could foresee all the decisions he'd eventually make as an admin, I'd very likely have opposed his nomination as premature. However, enough of his decisions were good that, if his nominator had linked to a half-dozen random diffs, it could easily have been made to look like he'd be an exemplary administrator. This is especially true because any editor who nominates a fellow editor as an admin, ipso facto, is going to be biased in favor of supporting his nomination (or else why go to the trouble?)
I really think the probationary period is the right way to go. At worst, it's an extraneous but harmless extra step; at best, it will prevent situations like this one from occurring.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:03, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that's correct, AndreCarrotflower - especially if it leads to clearly signposted and documented revocation procedures. --118.93nzp (talk) 20:06, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Also worth mentioning is that even if they have doubts about a nominee's qualifications, in order to avoid hurt feelings editors under the current setup are often reluctant to oppose their nomination. I know for a fact that I held my nose and voted support on that basis several times. Therefore, the results are often skewed in favor of supporting the nomination when the rest of the community may, in reality, actually have doubts about whether the nominee is truly qualified.
Under my proposal, those who may be skeptical will know that any problems with a newbie admin will be addressed and will have to be rectified before s/he is taken on to our admin team on a permanent basis. In return, nominees would be given a chance to prove themselves and assuage any doubts others may have, and would also be assured that in all but the most egregious of cases, any mistakes they may make will be dealt with in a way that seeks to educate, rather than penalize, them.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:31, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I like the proposals, particularly if they let a new admin hand back the tools without loss of face. These are usually people who have already spent a lot of time on WV, and it would be good if people could return quietly to being editors. AlasdairW (talk) 22:51, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest we make two changes to policy.
Firstly, (like Ryan hints at) we say nominations should be accompanied by evidence of janitorial tasks and meaningful contribution to policy discussions over a period of time. This may help with the premature nom issue.
Secondly, we make the resignation process more pleasant - amending our policy to say "Not everyone is cut-out to be a administrator. If you find that your fingers are calloused from the hours with the mop in hand, we'd love you to stay around as just a contributor. Just let a bureaucrat know, and you can go back to normal editing and pretend it was all a bad dream". --Inas (talk) 03:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Both suggestions seem eminently sensible to me. --118.93nzp (talk) 04:04, 30 November 2013 (UTC)


Ending administrator privileges[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Wikivoyage:Administrators#Ending_administrator_privileges currently states Unused high-privilege user accounts are a security risk. For this reason, administrators who don't use their user accounts for two years will be notified by email and their privileges will be revoked. Administrators who know they don't have the time or interest to continue as admins should request to have their privileges revoked voluntarily.

Isn't two years rather long?

The same section continues: Administrators who abuse their privileges can have those privileges revoked via nomination.

Where should that nomination be made, please? --61.29.8.41 10:52, 24 January 2014 (UTC) —The preceding comment was added by Alice (talkcontribs) 0:52, 24 January 2014 UTC

At the admin nominations page, not that it's ever been needed. Powers (talk) 13:29, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Powers. --61.29.8.41 22:40, 24 January 2014 (UTC) —The preceding comment was added by Alice (talkcontribs) 22:40, 24 January 2014 UTC
This isn't suspicious at all... --Rschen7754 20:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Sixty one, do you have some special admin in mind, perchance? ϒpsilon (talk) 21:00, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Two in particular who no longer participate actively here on the English version of Wikivoyage.
Personally I think the inactivity period of 2 years is excessive if we are really concerned about security risks. I also feel that where the same admin uses more than one named account to perform functions that can only be performed by admins, unless there are very special reasons, then each account should be clearly linked to the others on the user page.
Before taking this any further, I would like a clear consensus to develop as to whether two years of inactivity is an appropriate period or whether it should be shortened. After all, if the "defrocked" admin feels like becoming active again, it should be a relatively trivial matter for them to become nominated again. --61.29.8.41 22:34, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Before taking this any further - Ypsilon, why bother. Let us move on and not feed the attention-craving drama queen here. PrinceGloria (talk) 22:36, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
For the record, our previous 3-month inactivity level (which I don't think ever resulted in a de-sysop) was lengthened by consensus to 2 years in here. Powers (talk) 01:53, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again, Powers, that's helpful. —The preceding comment was added by 61.29.8.41 (talkcontribs) —The preceding comment was added by Alice (talkcontribs)
It seems that the probability of a security breach is low and the consequences of a security breach are reversible, therefore the security risk is quite minor. Unless someone counters that opinion, two years seems fine to me. Perhaps the wording about the security risk could be altered to make it clear that the risk is minor. Nurg (talk) 03:28, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The global standard is 2 years, though it is set to try and be longer than most wikis' rules, if they exist. It's fairly easy to get a steward to desysop in an emergency. With that being said, when/if this wiki gets local CU/OS, a security breach of one of those accounts could be a serious issue, and a stricter standard would be necessary. But that's for another day. --Rschen7754 03:35, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be something that isn't actually an issue in practice. I guess if an admin account ever did get compromised then the policy may need to be reexamined, although the 'worst case scenario' doesn't seem particularly damaging. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:29, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Leaving aside the security issue, do we really think that our policies change so little over a 2 year period that inactive admins will still be entirely familiar with them? --61.29.8.41 10:16, 25 January 2014 (UTC) —The preceding comment was added by Alice (talkcontribs) 10:16, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

The policy wording makes it purely a security issue. Is there any reason conflate it with policy familiarity which also appears not to be an problem? Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:09, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Looks like a solution looking for a problem, and the problem doesn't exist. Yes, our policies actually do "change so little over a two-year period". There's a very strong status quo bias, even the most trivial change (like deleting empty skeleton pages imported from another wiki) immediately gets calls to re-create empty skeletons and proposals like {{listing|wikipedia=...}} exactly deadlock after long discussion and die. No reason a returning admin shouldn't be able to be up to speed in a minute or two. K7L (talk) 18:05, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I think there is a lot of truth in what you write, K7L. In one way the status quo bias is comforting and useful, but you are certainly right in implying that this bias does create a duplicate penalty where search engines are concerned. The inability to make needed changes has recently been addressed by Ryan in a discussion he stated on consensus. However, that discussion does seem confused about the difference between overturning and reversing an existing consensus (such as thankfully happened with front-linking URLs and that is still awaiting a rational compromise with linking to tertiary sources such as our sister project Wikipedia where the topic is out of scope for a travel guide) and not allowing the normal wiki freedom of creation/modification where no consensus to prohibit or clear policy already exists.
Going back to my original 2 questions, Powers has answered one definitively and it seems that, at the moment I am the only one in favour of reducing the period from the maximum of 2 years allowed by the WMF. --61.29.8.41 22:46, 25 January 2014 (UTC) —The preceding comment was added by Alice (talkcontribs) 22:46, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Consultation on the creation of a separate user group for editing sitewide CSS/JS[edit]

Swept in from the pub
I looked at this yesterday. The current situation is that the community elects whomever it wants as admins, and the admins all get the block button, the delete button, the edit-Javascript button, etc. In the future, the community will still elect whomever it wants to do these things, but the edit-Javascript button will be assigned separately from the block, delete, etc. buttons. From the POV of the bureaucrats, you'll tick two boxes instead of one if you want someone to have all of the former rights.
A sensible approach (and one that many non-technical admins at other wikis seem to be hoping to take advantage of) is to assign the screw-up-sitewide-Javascript button only to the people that we want to have it, rather than everyone. There's no rule against all the admins at a wiki having it (or against non-admins having it, for that matter, if you find someone who will do technical work but doesn't want to be bothered with requests to block vandals or delete pages), but it makes more sense to only assign it where it will be useful.
On a practical level, we should probably make a list of the current admins (all of whom currently have this ability) who want to continue working in this area, so that the bureaucrats can add them as soon as the software is in place (end of this month?). For the future, maybe we should add a few lines at Wikivoyage:Administrators to describe this; we can probably take text from m:Technical administrators. I don't think we need to create a complicated process for it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:41, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
As an admin on this project, I have never yet had the need to edit sitewide javascript, and don't have the skills to do anything useful with it anyway, so not having the button would make no difference to me. As is the case on most WMF projects, we elect our admins by consensus, and give the bit to those we trust. So far it has worked pretty well. Anyone we trust to be an admin, we trust to edit the js if they find it necessary. I suggest that anyone who is an admin on Wikivoyage and actually wants the bit can be given it. Presumably this will be logged for all to see in the usual way. Conversely, if anyone wants the js bit, without the mop and bucket, they could apply in the same way as for admin. I don't see any advantage in separating the process. Just my opinion. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
For me this would be great! I'm not active enough to be a "real" admin (and I don't think I should be), but I do have a high degree of proficiency with html/css/js. I'd love to be able to fix some issues I've noticed on the homepage, as well as improving its mobile experience. --ButteBag (talk) 13:42, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

New user group for editing sitewide CSS/JS[edit]

Swept in from the pub
This user right can be assigned now. Special:ListUsers/interface-admin will have the list once anyone has been assigned to it. I think (from the above discussion) that the sensible thing to do is for any interested admin to go to Wikivoyage:Administrator nominations and post a simple request for it, ideally during the next week or two. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
User:Atsirlin, User:Globe-trotter, User:Ikan Kekek, User:LtPowers, User:Nurg, User:Pbsouthwood, User:RolandUnger, User:Saqib, User:Shaundd, User:WOSlinker, User:Wrh2:  This means you (and maybe a couple of other admins, too).  WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Since this new group was created to improve security, just wondering if we should keep with the 2 years of inactivity for removal as per the admin group, or if it should be a bit tighter, removal after 1 years inactivty? -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:39, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I do not have the skills to make use of this user right, and will not be applying for it, but I agree with WOSlinker on the 1 year inctivity removal. Getting it back should also not be a problem after removal for inactivity if the user comes back and is active again. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 04:49, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree completely with Peter. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Inactivity check (mid-2018)[edit]

These accounts seem to have been inactive for more than two years:

and these are borderline inactive, and might benefit from a friendly note:

BTW, since m:Inactive admins happens to match our two-year limit, we might want to remove our wiki from the list at m:Admin activity review/Local inactivity policies#Wikivoyages and let the stewards deal with it after we've processed this list manually. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:20, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ikan Kekek: Just wondering if you've seen this? There a few inactive admins to sort out. -- WOSlinker (talk) 06:40, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
I have seen it but honestly haven't made it a priority. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:14, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Help[edit]

I would like to set up a user page for my account. Could I maybe get an admin to help me out? I would greatly appreciate it... And is the four squiggly-lines like this WVOnline (talk) 14:51, 10 September 2018 (UTC) how you let people know you posted? It seems to be common practice here...

Never mind that last part, I've got it. 14:52, 10 September 2018 (UTC)