User talk:Valereee/Archive 37

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getting up to speed

Regarding this edit: this is just a guess, so it could be wrong, but I think the editor to which you were replying may have interpreted "you" to refer to them. (You first used "they" to refer to the returning editor, which may have led to this confusion.) Either way, though, I do agree the comment feels patronizing to whomever it is addressed. isaacl (talk) 21:40, 11 July 2021 (UTC)

On second thought, re-reading the thread, I'm more doubtful of my guess. The editor may just not be pleased with the tone of your comment. isaacl (talk) 21:43, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
@Isaacl, whichever, I'm still interested in what made you feel the comment was patronizing? —valereee (talk) 01:32, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Mentioning children at swim meets using colloquial language makes it sound like you're considering the activity to be of lesser importance to the activity of familiarizing oneself with the English Wikipedia editing environment. I appreciate you may have been trying to make a light-hearted joke. Note there is no need to ping me in replies. isaacl (talk) 01:56, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
@Isaacl, not at all! I don't know where you are in your progression through life, but the 20+ years most people spend raising children results in their time for other things during that period being severely limited. People give up their own activities to deal with much of it because it's important. I know parents who spent as much time or more on their kids' sports as the kids do. I picked competitive swimming because it's pretty time-consuming for parents and can last from the time a kid is six until they go off to college. That's how it should be -- no one should be editing instead of taking care of their real life responsibilities. But that doesn't mean that as an admin you're able to just pick up where you left off 8 years ago now that life has gotten less busy. I doubt the other editor thought I was referring to him. He just enjoys being prickly with people who aren't agreeing with him correctly. :) —valereee (talk) 11:05, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Val, for whatever it's worth, I didn't find it patronizing in any way whatsoever, and I really strained to find even a kernel of that. PS: 9-year break, one edit per year, 2013-2017. Oh no, I think I just said the quiet part loud! El_C 14:00, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
lol...yeah. I don't know how we fix this. I do recognize the 'crats feel like they're between a rock and a hard place, and none of them want to invoke the whole "reasonable belief" clause. I'm sure they have their reasons for that, but I don't really understand. Someone needs to run for 'crat on a "reasonable belief" platform. :D —valereee (talk) 14:16, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Oh, and thanks, re: patronizing. I was completely puzzled. I'm like "how is it patronizing to assume people have more important things to do (like raising children) that might keep them from editing for years at a time?" I was glad to have Isaacl turn it around for me: that what I said could be interpreted as "if you want to spend your time doing silly things like attending the kids' sporting events rather than focussing on the serious bizniz of editing, that's on you!" From the time I became a fluent reader I probably spent 20+ hours a week reading. A book a day or more was not unusual. But once the second kid came along, I rarely had big-enough chunks of time to do more than read the newspaper. —valereee (talk) 14:36, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
It's a consequence of the problems with consensus-like decision making, which I've written about before. As a group grows larger, it's becomes impossible for it to remain highly aligned in its goals, which is needed for consensus to work. In particular, the self-selected segment of the English Wikipedia community that likes to discuss these types of matters is very diverse, including a libertarian influence dating back to the founding of the site. Thus those who try to make decisions on behalf of the community are typically very conservative in their approach. English Wikipedia's consensus-based decision-making traditions stalemate just about every major change to Wikipedia's processes. isaacl (talk) 14:48, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Yes, it's unusual that we actually get things done in the larger wikipedia, although it does happen. What I see most often is that while we might have consensus there's a problem that needs solved, but we seldom get to consensus on how to solve it.
Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2019 Resysop Criteria (2), where I see you participated, was actually an interesting case. Because we'd already agreed there was a problem that needed solved, we were able to get some solutions agreed on. Although we did have to reaffirm in Q14 that the first RfC (does resysop criteria need to be tightened/loosened/remain at status quo) provided some teeth for the second one. In that case I think the fact the overwhelming majority of non-admins thought it needed to be tightened was persuasive to some admins whose initial reaction was that this was a solution looking for a problem. —valereee (talk) 15:31, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't agree that your Q14 was needed. If one or more of the proposals gained sufficient support, then it would have been enacted, regardless. Proposal 1 was sufficiently nebulous to garner support. Proposal 3 only imposed a mild constraint on individual bureaucrats, and there's a significant amount of people who like the theory of "have a committee make a decision", if not necessarily the implementation. Personally, I don't think there is reflexive opposition by administrators. I think many in the community feel that privileges are granted based on trust, which includes trusting the individual to smoothly re-adapt to engaging once again with the community.
In many cases, it's hard to say if there is a consensus that a problem exists, when in reality, that group encompasses subsets which each think a different underlying root cause exists, often due to differing underlying goals. That misalignment in goals or viewpoints is why consensus fails to form on how to address concerns. isaacl (talk) 15:56, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
It may not have been. I think it helped, but YMMV.
I think there's pretty strong evidence that being an administrator vs not was key in whether you believed resysop should be tightened. The fact it was the sysops who tended to think it didn't need tightening and the non-sysops who thought it did is pretty telling, IMO. There's something there. Why would sysops be more likely to trust the individual to smoothly re-adapt than non-sysops? —valereee (talk) 16:07, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I haven't done an analysis, so I don't know if that is true or not. The problem, though, is that since the incoming rates for administrators has dropped off dramatically, there is a correlation between being an administrator and level of experience on Wikipedia, as well as the entry date into Wikipedia. Thus it's hard to decouple these influences. Long-time contributors remember a smaller community during their formative editing years, and have a different view on editor behaviour and motivation compared with newer contributors. isaacl (talk) 16:29, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Eh, I've been editing over fifteen years, edited mostly logged out for a decade, and didn't run RfA until 2019. —valereee (talk) 19:08, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Sure, obviously each generation doesn't all think the same way (we have differing viewpoints, after all). To take one example, though, those who remember the Eastern European mailing list problems and WP:Esperanza first-hand likely see off-wiki discussion through a different lens than those who grew up gaming on Discord. isaacl (talk) 20:39, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Can you elaborate? I know it's a tangent, but I've recently become interested in what's happening on Discord. I saw someone say something along the lines of "it's not that we don't get any actual work done there, we do" and my knee-jerk reaction is that work should be done in public, and Discord isn't public enough. What kind of work is done there that wouldn't be better done in Talk or Wikipedia space? I mean, I know it's a place people go to quickly get admin attention to an urgent vandalism issue, which seems fine. —valereee (talk) 11:47, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Do you mean elaborate on why people like to use real-time communications methods like IRC or Discord? (Just a note that I don't use either of those, though I use other messaging apps.) In User:Isaacl/Consensus requires patience I wrote about challenges with online decision making in a global community. You can return to a conversation in Wikipedia after being away and see that it took a whole different direction, without your input. This clustering of responses based on time zones can make the discussion less effective. Real-time discussion doesn't solve this, because it still forces everyone to be available at the same time, but it helps on a microscale. With wiki-based discussion, you can have a lot of simultaneous comments being made in multiple branches (such as this particular conversation) and it's easy to start getting lost with who is saying what where and where to respond. Real-time conversation is linear (*), and as I wrote in my essay, people can make timely interruptions to avoid having one person dominate conversation, which helps enable broader participation. Also presence indicators alters conversational flow as well (it took me by surprise the first time I starting using messaging apps how much difference it makes): you can adjust your level of engagement and expectations for responses with each person based on their presence.
(*) The typical online forum discussion thread format is also linear and remains popular (at least in part) for that reason: it's much simpler to catch up when returning. Just find the last post you previously read and continue.
Not sure if you saw my comment regarding minimum requirements for participation on English Wikipedia, and Barkeep49's reply. I prefer maintaining the minimum requirement of being engaged on this site alone, and due to the global nature of the English Wikipedia editing community and diversity of devices used to access Wikipedia, I think consensus would probably agree with me. But I recognize that this is in part a personal bias of mine. For example, if the WMF deployed its own lightweight real-time messaging service, supported on a wide number of devices, that followed WMF polices and was fully logged, perhaps consensus on English Wikipedia would shift. isaacl (talk) 20:24, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
I appreciate that was not your intent so no explanation is required. I'm just providing insight on how your tone may have come across (unintentionally on your part) to some others. Again, there's no need to ping me in replies. isaacl (talk) 14:34, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
(ec) @Isaacl I was grateful to you for explaining! :) —valereee (talk) 14:37, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Whoops, sorry on the ping! hahahaha ADD---->—valereee (talk) 14:38, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

Regarding approaches moving forward, though I appreciate why some editors are concerned about various situations where administrative privileges are restored, I suspect the vast majority of editors don't care that much about the details of the processes related to granting administrator rights. In terms of effect-to-effort ratio, personally I think trying to get more editors to assume administrative duties for the first time is key. isaacl (talk) 15:00, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

I think you might be surprised at how many highly-active non-admin editors think it's unfair that someone who was sysopped in August of 2009, almost immediately started editing less frequently, soon stopped editing regularly at all, has made fewer than 1000 edits in the past 11 years and fewer than 100 in the last 7, now wants to come back in and deal with their behavioral issues. I have no proof, but personally I suspect many non-admins who don't have a problem with this are the ones who are hoping to pass an RfA themselves one day. :D
The reason I care about this is because something between some and many non-admin editors feel it's unfair, and some not-zero-number have a level of resentment over it. I think we can deal with the odd out-of-touch admin who comes in and makes too many mistakes, even bad ones, but it's hard to overvalue editor morale. Non-admin editors are the backbone of this site. I strongly believe we need to respect their feelings on this. —valereee (talk) 15:54, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
In terms of numbers, I think the vast majority of editors pay no attention to the administration of the web site, and are happy just making good edits. As long as they can do so undisturbed, and don't see articles being overrun with vandalism or promotional content, they just assume it works. That's why I think the best way to keep most editors happy (with respect to administrator processes) is to refresh the administrator pool to alleviate fatigue. isaacl (talk) 16:07, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
So long as we allow admins to vote in sysop RFCs, there will never be reform. None of the other stuff is anywhere near as much of an obstacle as the reliable voting block of admins who oppose reform RFCs. (Many of whom are not very active, but in numbers they far outweigh the admins who are pro-reform, such as val.) But good luck trying to get admins to agree to sit out sysop/desysop/resysop RFCs... and if only the pro-reform admins sat out, it'd make the problem worse. Levivich 16:03, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Non-admins vastly outnumber admins, so I don't agree that this an implacable obstacle. Plus there are prominent admins such as TonyBallioni who favour reform. isaacl (talk) 16:11, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I suspect that the level of pro-reform feeling among admins is directly correlated to date-of-sysopping. There are likely complex reasons for that. —valereee (talk) 16:16, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps; that would point to their entry date into English Wikipedia as being a more significant factor, versus whether or not they'd gained administrative privileges. isaacl (talk) 16:23, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I can think of a simple reason: self-interest. Levivich 16:51, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Levivich. It's their bull being gored.
Why in the world would the average editor -- most of whom probably think admins are paid staff -- care about admin fatigue? —valereee (talk) 16:13, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
As I said, they don't: they just want everything to work behind the scenes. I feel the best way to support this in terms of the administrator processes is to ensure there is a healthy incoming flow of administrators. (There are of course a lot of other ways to improve the lives of average editors that are unrelated to administrator processes.) isaacl (talk) 16:18, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
You said it yourself: non-admins vastly outnumber admins, but they also vastly don't care about internal workings, so non-admin RFC participants don't vastly outnumber admin RFC participants. As a group, admins are vastly overrepresented in these RFCs, and non-admins are vastly underrepresented. This is how decisionmaking on Wikipedia works: it's up to whomever shows up to decide, and admins show up at a far higher rate than non-admins to these RFCs, which is why things are the way they are. It's why adminship is a lifetime gig. If admins were prohibited from !voting, we'd have had term limits and community desysop years ago.
What really grinds my gears is the admins who barely do anything, editing or admin-tool use, but still make time, sometimes even to come out of retirement, to oppose sysop reform like term limits, and they do it on the grounds such as "we'll have too many RFAs"... cough, bullshit, cough. :-D Levivich 16:51, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, all those RfAs! One every couple weeks last year. Sheesh, what a time sink. —valereee (talk) 18:50, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
The most recent proposal for term lengths suggested holding 15 RfAs a week for a year and half to clear the backlog of current admins who would be due for a reconfirmation. If we're doing this for real and not just for show, that's a lot of effort with a corresponding opportunity cost. isaacl (talk) 23:29, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Only if we assume everyone will run. I think in reality it would be less than 100 total. If we implemented staggered terms we could do one or two a week for a year or two, which is not too many. Levivich 03:28, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
You think less than an eighth of the administrators with over two years of tenure would run (based on the number of 876 eligible admins in the RfC)? Currently, there are 488 admins with 30 or more edits in the last two months (according to Wikipedia:List of administrators). Based on this I'd think there would be closer to 500 admins who would be willing to continue to serve. Yes, we could spread it out over a longer period than a year and a half. Over two years it's about 5 RfAs a week, and then we start over again (with maybe about ~13% attrition, based on Worm That Turned's figure of 50% attrition over ten years). Let's say a solid investigation into each takes 30 minutes, and at least three people review each administrator. That's 7.5 hours a week not doing something else to contribute. Now three people sounds a bit low to do a good review, but in practice, I think people are going to tire of doing these week after week forever, and we'd be lucky to get three. As I suggested, if we were to have term limits, I'd prefer to introduce term limits for new admins, and let attrition handle the existing ones. We could hurry that along a bit by introducing a one-time term limit date of, say, ten years from now for current admins. But I'd rather focus on the underlying issue: is it possible to get more people to sign up for thankless administrative tasks, so the long tail of earlier admin cohorts loses significance? Or, as others have suggested, should we be figuring out how to operate with fewer admins? The key issue there is that's inevitably going to mean some other hierarchy being put into place to manage content, and the community is highly resistant to this. But that might be the only path forward for long-term sustainability. isaacl (talk) 04:32, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
(Non-administrator comment) I've been following this conversation for a while now, as well as the original thread on BN, and I'm struggling to find an actual problem this solves? Is there a high number of old-timer bad admins? Term limits are generally something that do not help - they screwed up the government of my state by running people out of the job who actually have experience. If we're forcing admins to run for reconfirmation RfAs, I also think that is counterproductive - I want admins to be willing to make hard decisions, and if you're worried about playing politics, you're less likely to do that. The bar to desysop is intentionally high - you have to actively do things wrong - and I don't see the problem with that. Elli (talk | contribs) 13:14, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Elli, for me it's not the risk of bad old-timer admins, although I do know that can be a problem. But we can deal with that, IMO. For me it's about the perceived unfairness and the effect of that on perception on editor morale. We have to deal with that perception, and I don't think we can deal with it simply by telling people they're wrong to feel that way.
When we ran the first RfC on whether automatic resysopping should be tightened up, the divide between admins and non-admins was quite significant. 80% of non-admins !voted to tighten restrictions. (I can't recall the rest of the numbers, but I believe it was maybe 2/3 overall to tighten so obviously a much lower #of admins said tighten.) My feeling is that when the "have-nots" think the "haves" maybe have a little too much, the haves should listen lol. Instead we had many many admins saying, "solution looking for a problem" and "not broke, don't fix it." —valereee (talk) 13:56, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I guess as a non-admin I'm in one of the 20% :D I don't want to speculate on the motives of the 80%, and while I'm sure they are acting in good faith... I'm not sure their policy would actually make things better. At least, I haven't seen convincing evidence that it would.
I suppose an interesting related question is if non-admins support RfA being easier or harder compared to admins. Wasn't there that discretionary zone RfC a while back? Would be interesting to analyze, I think. Personally, my perspective comes from wanting more admins as, as well as wanting the path to adminship to be easier and the level of elevation above the rest of the community to be minimal (after all, it shouldn't exist at all - we're all equals - but we all know that it does to some extent). I think making it more of a big deal to get the tools would only make that worse. Elli (talk | contribs) 14:00, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Combining The bar to desysop is intentionally high - you have to actively do things wrong - and I don't see the problem with that. with wanting the path to adminship to be easier, and I hear you saying you think adminship should be easy (or easier) to obtain and difficult to lose. Doesn't that strike you as a bad idea? Admins are the only people (WMF aside) who can stop people from editing (either by blocking accounts or protecting pages), and who can stop people from reading (by deleting and revdeleting) "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" (and read). That's huge IMO. The most powerful editors are admins, IMO. Making that easy to get and difficult to lose seems like a horrible way to set things up :-) I agree with making it easier to get, and I think that making it easier to lose will make it easier to get: people will be more likely to support RFAs if adminship wasn't a lifetime appointment. That's the #1 problem IMO that things like terms, term limits, activity requirements, community desysop etc., solves: it makes adminship easier to obtain, and thus keeps our admin core refreshing constantly (more new admins, more frequently) while also checking the potential for power abuse (by removing admins more frequently, and by having a higher % of editors be admins at some point, thus diffusing the power amongst the editor base, instead of concentrating it in ~100 "experts" who have been here for 10+ years [you know, those powerhungry fascists like val ;-)], which is what we have now). Levivich 16:27, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Levivich: sure but... are there admins abusing their tools? Generally when that has happened I've seen them end up at ArbCom and desysopped relatively quickly.
People can abuse rollback, but that doesn't mean we need to cycle and reconfirm rollbackers. Or page movers. Or template editors. Or anything else. We simply remove the permissions if there is actually an abuse - but not simply controversy. I worry that requiring reconfirmation RfAs or term limits would lead to removing people for the latter. Elli (talk | contribs) 16:45, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
RB, PM, TE, and the other PERMs can't stop anyone from reading or editing, so they are different from the admin toolkit (block/protect/delete). Case in point: who is it that decides whether a PERM is being abused and removes the PERM? Admins :-) Admins are in a category of their own because of the unique and powerful nature of their tools; it's part of the reason why WMF requires a community vetting process for the admin toolkit but not the other perms, and thus why we have RFAs in the first place.
As to admins abusing their tools? Yes, of course, that happens; it's not very common but it happens more than once a year. I can think of three ANI threads from the past year off the top of my head, plus at least one desysop this year, three last year, three the year before IIRC. Is that a lot? I don't know. Not a surprising volume, not a concerning volume. I think we do OK with handling tool abuse; generally Arbcom does OK with that. If anything, I think more ANI threads should have turned into Arbcom desysops but meh, not a big deal.
But I believe we should desysop not just for tool abuse but also for loss of community trust, or failure to maintain community trust. So-called "long-term, low-level" problems. I'm not going to name names but there are admins who I believe routinely make very poor decisions, or behave in very poor ways. It never rises to the level of tool abuse or clear incivility, but it's more things like: prematurely closing threads (so-called "wagon circling"), making poor uses of discretion in discretionary sanctions areas, making poor choices (albeit within policy) when it comes to blocking and unblocking users, protecting and unprotecting pages, and so on.
Now, some might respond to that with, "Levivich, you're saying you want to desysop admins who make decisions that are within policy but that you personally disagree with." Not exactly: I want to desysop admins who make decisions that are within policy but that the community disagrees with. The community shouldn't have to change policy, or make policies more and more specific, just to force an admin to exercise better or different judgment. The admin should be implementing the will of the community. And the community should have a way of saying, "this admin just isn't doing things the way we want an admin to do things, even if it's not against some written policy." Right now, we have no way of desysoping someone for making a lot of decisions we all disagree with, so long as they're not breaking a written rule. That's one problem community desysop would address.
Terms and term limits would also address this, by keeping things "fresh," which means having admins who are more in line with community consensus because the community !voted on them more recently. Right now, we have dozens of admins making decisions whose decisionmaking basically was never reviewed by anyone who currently edits. People who became admins on 10- or 25- or 50-vote RFAs 15 years ago, and who never, ever, had their "community trust" tested since. Some of those admins are making decisions that I think are outside community norms but inside policies. We have no way of removing them. Terms will at least ensure that everyone has their "community trust" evaluated every so often (like every 5 years or 10 years or whatever). Levivich 17:09, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
A minor note regarding removal of privileges: having an admin decide to remove privileges is the fastest way, but the community can reach a consensus agreement to do it as well.
Regarding group dynamics: no matter what the system, there's always trickiness in dealing with marginal cases, particularly since everyone is prone to them to some degree. So even if term limits helps in some cases, I think there will be new areas where it does not (cliques could push out admins they dislike, for example). But at a minimum, if there is a greater turnover rate in admins, then the effect of any one problem admin can be limited (with the potential cost of limiting the effect of other admins). isaacl (talk) 17:25, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
...for this reason, I favor terms more than term limits. Like: be an admin forever as long as you can pass an RFA every 5-10 years. Levivich 17:34, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant fixed-period terms for holding administrative privileges. The broader point, though, is they'll always be interpersonal problems that will manifest in some way. Systems that provide checkpoints to limit the effect of individuals will do so in both directions, which of course may be an acceptable compromise. isaacl (talk) 17:45, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Regarding encouraging commenters to approve more new admins, term limits on new admins going forward is sufficient for this purpose. I also think that it may be helpful in terms of recruitment: editors may be more willing to sign up to help out for a fixed period of time and thus more apt to stay active throughout that time. isaacl (talk) 16:48, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I think that making it easier to lose will make it easier to get: people will be more likely to support RFAs if adminship wasn't a lifetime appointment. Is there any evidence for this? It is difficult to tell, since RFAs aren't votes, but rather strange dynamical systems where the question is less whether people will support or oppose and more what kinds of accusations they make and what evidence they post and then how others react to that. In any case, I don't recall seeing many people saying "I'd support you for 5 years, but not for lifetime". —Kusma (talk) 16:54, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I think the evidence for this is in the comments in past sysop-reform RFCs, wherein some folks supporting (such as myself) explicitly cite this as a reason for their support. (Although those RFCs are supported by majorities or supermajorities of non-admins, I'm not sure how many of those non-admin supporters factor this particular reason into their support, or how strongly.) Levivich 17:09, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
As I said, no evidence in RfAs. How many people have been opposed because people thought their adminship should be term limited? —Kusma (talk) 18:23, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I do recall commenters saying their standards are high because granting of administrative privileges is permanent. I don't think introducing term limits in isolation is a magic bullet, but it might contribute to an overall effort to recruit more admin candidates to run, thus encouraging commenters to adapt to a more flexible approach to approving requests. isaacl (talk) 17:15, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
We can either have short terms (lets say one year) that are pretty unrealistic - I mean, that would be dozens of simultaneous RfAs - or longer terms (lets say five to ten) at which point if you support someone at RfA they could still do admin stuff for a long time. If anything, desysops for abuse would be less likely since, well, they're not an admin forever. People might say that they'd support adminship if it wasn't forever - and it sounds like a nice sentiment - but it makes absolutely zero sense. Elli (talk | contribs) 18:20, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
And I haven't seen a convincing case for "convincing more admins to run" - making the position you run for worse doesn't make it more appealing. It makes it less appealing. Elli (talk | contribs) 18:20, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
It's a shift in psychology. Consider some despised chore at work, such as replacing the coffee filter. You could ask for volunteers to do it for the next week, after which they will be replaced, or ask for volunteers to do it for an unspecified amount of time, and you'll look for more volunteers based on their feedback. I think more people are willing to participate (and stick it out while counting the days until it ends) in a "share the load" approach, where they sign up for a fixed period, and rotate with others. Regarding administrative chores, this does have to be accompanied with greater flexibility in granting privileges in order to get people to sign up for their turn. And as I said below, we ought to take a holistic view and look for what could make adminship more attractive, and what could be done to reduce the need for administrators. For better or worse, though, the entirely self-directed nature of Wikipedia volunteers makes long-term planning quite difficult. (Its libertarian roots makes it highly resistant to the usual approach of volunteer organizations of having paid staff work on long-term planning.)
Regarding removal of privileges due to misuse, consider the various editors of which you are aware on that would be likely to make a big deal of this today. The ones I can think of would still push forward even with a fixed-length term. isaacl (talk) 19:05, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't really see adminship as a despised chore. It makes every task on Wikipedia you might want to carry out more convenient, not less. It's a tool, and should be available to all trusted to use it. Certain administrative tasks are chores, sure, but one person's chore is another person's relaxation. Overall though, your view on adminship seems to be radically different from how I see it. There's no expectation of doing anything with the bit, so I don't see why people wouldn't step up for that reason. Elli (talk | contribs) 19:34, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
If blocking editors or deleting pages is someone's idea of relaxation, they shouldn't be an admin. :-) Levivich 19:43, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Consider the perspective of all those editors who are choosing not to request administrative privileges. The key abilities for which administrators are needed are to delete undesired content, and to block poorly-behaved editors. This is an endless treadmill of trying to keep Wikipedia in place. More admins to edit the main page or templates and (under certain conditions) move pages are nice to have, but getting people to share the workload for the chores, or developing new processes to reduce the number of admin chores is needed for long-term sustainability. isaacl (talk) 19:46, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Admins don't need to delete pages or block editors though. They certainly don't need to do any more than they enjoy. I look at it like this - non-admins, when they need a page deleted for whatever reason (say, spam, copyvio, holding up a page move) need to ask an admin. Admins can just do it themselves. That makes adminship more convenient, not less. If someone never needs to delete pages as a non-admin, they don't need to as an admin either.
Yes, the tools generally have an administrative focus - it's in the name - but it's not a job. Compare to something like ArbCom which is - solving complex disputes is rarely an idea of fun, nor is getting yelled at by a lot of people, and I think the term system works perfectly well there. It's not like Arbs can just choose to not hear cases - Arbs are expected to actually arbitrate. Elli (talk | contribs) 19:56, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
It's fine to recruit more admins that don't want to delete content or block editors. But we need to replenish and keep the pipeline flowing for admins who do want to perform these tasks. isaacl (talk) 20:05, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Sure, but that undermines your original premise, that people would step up if it was limited time. If you block vandals for a year, then do nothing for a year, then block vandals for a year again, on and off - no one's going to yell at you (other than some vandals, maybe :P). There is no need to restrict the ability of competent administrators, who actually enjoy the work, from doing it. Elli (talk | contribs) 20:21, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Competent administrators can sign up for another term and keep doing the work, without any problems. I appreciate you don't feel that fixed-length rotations might attract candidates that aren't interested right now. isaacl (talk) 05:08, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
I sort of think this "admin is forever, so standards are high" is just an excuse, and many of the standards have nothing to do with any long-term things about a candidate (i.e. clue/judgment/ability to keep their cool) but are just things like "recent AfD record" or "only one GA" that could easily change over ten years. I don't think something like a five-year term will appear noticeably shorter than "forever" to most voters. —Kusma (talk) 18:21, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Here's my admittedly-fuzzy math: 488 (the # of admins who made an edit in the last 30 days) isn't an approximation of the number of people who would run for re-RFA, it's the entirety of the realistic pool of potential candidates. How many of those ~500 active admins used the tools in the last month? I bet it's half. And how many of those want to use the tools again enough to run for RFA? I bet it's half again. And that's how I get to (in this fuzzy math hypothetical case) ~125 re-RFAs, or one or two a week for a year or two. (I recognize I'm making huge assumptions here... but so is anyone else making such a prediction.) Levivich 16:27, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
If they're active and have chosen to retain their admin rights so far, why wouldn't they stand for a reconfirmation RfA? Reconfirmation RfAs are likely going to be focused on track record; extrapolating future trustworthiness based on clues isn't needed. Thus minimal effort is required on the admin's part. In any case, I think there is a higher benefit-to-effort ratio for RfA commenters to spend those aggregate hours reviewing new candidates. isaacl (talk) 16:39, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
(Without repeating the point, I think we'd have more new candidates to review if we had terms...) But as for the numbers, this hypothetical approach is unrealistic anyway. Admin-by-age isn't evenly distributed by year; we had the RFA spike of I forget what year (~2007? 2011?), and we are very likely to have a lot of admins bubbled into a smaller group of years. Probably some data analysis would be required to gain an accurate estimate of how many admins would run for reconfirmation. But if it were up to me, I'd start with 15 year terms, and reconfirm everyone who's been an admin more than 15 years. Then, I'd drop it down and do a round of 10-year terms. Then when those were done, 5-year terms, and 5 years going forward. I'm not sure exactly where I'd draw the lines (15/10/5 years), but that's what I'd want to look at the data for, to figure out where the "bubble" is, when we'd expect a high number of reconfirmations. I think we could draw the lines in such a way to smooth out the number of concurrent re-RFAs and avoid an overwhelming spike. Levivich 17:41, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
(Regarding your parenthetical, yeah, that's the same as what I said about fixed-period terms, right?) I agree it would be more feasible to specify a desired rate of reconfirmation (one every X number of days), start with the earliest admin, and move on down the list. Personally I still don't feel the benefit-to-effort ratio is terribly high, but at least the effort can be capped and sped up or slowed down as desired. (I think this may have been discussed before, and didn't garner much support, but I'm not sure.) isaacl (talk) 18:05, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I also wonder about public voting in these RfCs. Is it likely non-sysops could decide not to comment/!vote because of fear of retaliation? (NOTE: I am not implying actual such retaliation is likely.) I wonder if a semi-public vote like for arbcom elections should be proposed for resysop/desysop RfCs? —valereee (talk) 19:28, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I didn't remember who participated in the 2019 RfC, much less that you proposed Q14... (I couldn't even remember which proposals I commented on.) For those making respectful remarks, I don't think they would feel constrained by the fear of possible future consequences. isaacl (talk) 20:09, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
That gets back to what I've written about before (which I know you've read): English Wikipedia's consensus-like decision making traditions have many structural problems, one of them being that it only considers the views of a self-selected set of participants.(*) Without counting up numbers, I don't know if I agree that non-admins interested in administrator processes are outnumbered by admins (which is why I don't think this an impossible obstacle to overcome), but I think it is feasible that admins are more likely to stay engaged throughout the discussion. To me the answer is not to prevent admins from having a say, but to empower a smaller subgroup to make decisions, just like with real-world organizations, possibly with a community ratification step. But the libertarian roots of Wikipedia makes this hard to achieve.
(*) I know it's hard to consider the needs of a silent majority. But perhaps with some form of polling combined with cogent reasoning, we could really target initiatives that benefit them. That's part of why I think the amount of discussion over whether or not a small handful of people a year get their administrative privileges restored is disproportionate to the impact. Figuring out how to get more people willing to take on thankless tasks of all sorts, trying to figure out what tools would assist with these tasks or making them unnecessary, and improving content dispute resolution so semi-binding decisions can be made and editors can move forward instead of relitigating issues forever, to take some examples, would have a greater effect on the long-term viability of the community. isaacl (talk) 20:26, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I wouldn't be adverse to an elected body —not ARBCOM, ACE format— that does a one-off admin policy reform with stated parameters. Review cycles could also be set up. But I know a lot of people would be against paraliament'ing the project in such a way... El_C 21:04, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

DYK for Black veganism

On 15 July 2021, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Black veganism, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that in the United States, Blacks are twice as likely as the general population to identify as vegan? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Black veganism. You are welcome to check how many pageviews the nominated article or articles got while on the front page (here's how, Black veganism), and if they received a combined total of at least 416.7 views per hour (i.e., 5,000 views in 12 hours or 10,000 in 24), the hook may be added to the statistics page. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

 — Amakuru (talk) 12:04, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Future Nostalgia Talk Page Access

Wondering if it's time to get access back to the Future Nostalgia talk page. I keep thinking about * Jeff Bhasker , Jason Evigan , SG Lewis , * Lindgren maybe not getting the credit they deserve were it not for this edit . I believe a lot of fixation was placed on an irrelevant producer's listing in one particular section of the remix album, whose big hit was Levitating Feat DaBaby. The wording on the original rfc was "For this rfc, we are hoping to reach a consensus on whether Tainy should be listed as a producer for Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition" and then "To add to what LOVI33 said, we are looking for a consensus as to if Tainy and J Balvin both deserve equal producer credits for the song "Un Dia (One Day)" (track 19 of The Moonlight Edition) or not. Please see the above section for more info. Thanks!" was the thing read by the herd. And yet I was the only vote that read the rfc. It asked if he should be listed.. He's already credited several times in the article. Doesn't make sense that I can't keep talking on an article talk page. Thank you! Sucker for All (talk) 03:30, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Sucker for All, a normal unblock request on your talk allows other admins to see it and possibly comment or action it. I see you've posted the identical question at HighInBC's talk. Please don't do that, as it tends to waste other editors' time. If you want to make sure someone has seen something on your talk, you can WP:PING them there.
For me, nothing you've said so far in your previous unblock request, the subsequent discussion, or this post makes me think you understand what the problem was. You're still talking about 'wiki swarms' and circlejerks -- both of which could be interpreted as personal attacks, btw -- and you're still trying to argue content to admins. I have no objection to any other admin lifting the block if they think we've gotten through to you, but from what I can tell you still don't seem to understand why you were blocked. —valereee (talk) 12:15, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Feedback request: Wikipedia proposals request for comment

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This week's article for improvement (week 29, 2021)

The Hittite version of the Treaty of Kadesh, among the earliest extant examples of an international agreement
Hello, Valereee. The article for improvement of the week is:

International law

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Previous selections: International Army Games • Organized religion

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DYK for Women's National Basketball Players Association

On 20 July 2021, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Women's National Basketball Players Association, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that the Women's National Basketball Players Association was the first trade union for professional women athletes? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Women's National Basketball Players Association. You are welcome to check how many pageviews the nominated article or articles got while on the front page (here's how, Women's National Basketball Players Association), and if they received a combined total of at least 416.7 views per hour (i.e., 5,000 views in 12 hours or 10,000 in 24), the hook may be added to the statistics page. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

 — Amakuru (talk) 00:02, 20 July 2021 (UTC)

Nomination of Kishwar Chowdhury for deletion

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Proposed Women in Green Editathon

Hello Valereee -- With the goal of helping to progress the WikiProject Women in Green (WiG) women’s rights-themed GA nomination goal for 2021, I’m proposing that WiG hold a special editathon event in the fall (maybe October/November?). I can assist with logistics, but I need to know how much interest/support there might be from WiG participants first. Please let me know what you think in the talk page conversation! All the best, Alanna the Brave (talk) 02:33, 20 July 2021 (UTC)

Your revisions to Richard Cheese

Wow. I mean....

omg, wow.

Yappy2bhere (talk) 22:49, 20 July 2021 (UTC)

@Yappy2bhere, can't decide if you're yappy or unyappy. :D —valereee (talk) 23:33, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
Mostly I'm astonished, speechless. It's like seeing a tornado suck up debris and set down a cottage.
I'm happy with the result; changes always make someone unhappy, but I can't imagine anyone will be terribly unhappy with what you made. I'm happy I can leave the article behind in good conscience; I fell into it by accident and then couldn't get out again. I'm very happy that it's properly sourced and tagged. It would have taken me ages to approach what you achieved in hours, and I wouldn't have left behind a history with such clarity. Thank you; you're a hero. Yappy2bhere (talk) 23:55, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
Wow, that is such a nice thing for you to say, thank you, and I love the picture of a tornado sucking up debris and setting down a cottage rather than the opposite. I fell into it by accident, too, and just decided to edit boldly. I'm sure there will be people who aren't happy. :) —valereee (talk) 23:59, 20 July 2021 (UTC)

I would like to add my thanks for cleaning up that article. I am monitoring the article in an administrative capacity since I saw it at ANI. HighInBC Need help? Just ask. 01:46, 21 July 2021 (UTC)

Richard Cheese page

Thank you for making those updates to the Richard Cheese page, you did a great job. I can't make any edits, so I'm glad that there is someone conscientious doing the work!

I spotted one typo in this sentence:

In 2019, the band released Richard Cheese's Big Swingin' Organ, an album of instrumental organ versions of 9 of songs.

But, since there is a discography section later in the article, I wonder if that entire "Releases" section is even necessary?

Perhaps that entire "Releases" section could be shortened to just this:

Richard Cheese's debut album Lounge Against The Machine was released in 2000. Since 2000, the Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine band has released 28 albums.

And maybe move the discography section earlier?

Thanks again :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:8001:9442:6d00:7437:241a:924f:df7 (talk) 14:06, 21 July 2021 (UTC)

IP, it looks to me like you're blocked from the article, but not from Talk:Richard Cheese? You can make suggested edits there using the Wikipedia:Edit Request Wizard. You should use the 'conflict of interest' button, probably -- you've said you aren't being paid to edit, but are just a fan, but because Richard Cheese canvassed on twitter, we pretty much treat any new editor who comes in immediately afterwards as a COI editor. I have nearly zero experience with music articles, so an edit request at the article talk is your best choice. —valereee (talk) 14:22, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
Before it was changed to "9 of songs" in this edit, it said "9 of his songs". I've changed it to "nine of their songs". MANdARAX  XAЯAbИAM 15:55, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
Oh, that's what I probably thought I was doing lol...Thanks! —valereee (talk) 15:57, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:8001:9442:6D00:7437:241A:924F:DF7 (talkcontribs)

August Editathons with Women in Red

Women in Red | August 2021, Volume 7, Issue 8, Numbers 184, 188, 204, 205, 206, 207

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--Megalibrarygirl (talk) 22:27, 23 July 2021 (UTC) via MassMessaging

I'm a cobbler now!

DYK: the Hebrew translation of Glen Cook's The Black Company calls Croaker (the Company's doctor and historian, and the book's protagonist) Cobbler for some reason? (Rhetorical. There's no way you'd know.) Unusually, the book credits a linguistic editor in a addition to the translator. So, reasons, I guess... El_C 03:25, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

Huh, that's an interesting one. Character names in English sf/f are often so carefully chosen for their symbolism it can seem a bit precious, and the character names in our plot summary certainly seem to indicate this book was if anything more than usually over the top on that. :D In English those two words have such vastly different additional connotations. Is there anything about 'to croak' in Hebrew that connotes something other than to talk (maybe by telling a secret, usually to authorities) or to die? And what the heck is a linguistic editor? —valereee (talk) 11:59, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Same in Hebrew, so it is for sure an odd choice — not sure why she didn't just call him Croaker in Hebrew, because I think that would have worked just fine. The greater point, though, is that I'm a huge fan of The Black Company. Definite recommend. El_C 14:40, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Just downloaded it! —valereee (talk) 15:45, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Yay! It is dark, I'd stress, but such a great read. El_C 15:53, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't mind dark, but I hope the abuse of the little girl doesn't mean child rape. Some of these 1960s-1980s sf novels can be problematically salacious. I don't want to read things that pedophiles, locking their bedroom doors before reading. —valereee (talk) 16:08, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Darling's abuse is described in no more than a sentence or two within the context of her rescue. It's difficult to tell from that description to what extent (if any) this was also sexual abuse. But, regardless, it isn't that kind of fantasy novel. I've never read one that was like that. I didn't even know it was a thing. And now that I do, I wish I didn't. But on a more positive note, it looks like that a TV series may be in the works, with Eliza Dushku (who is great!) cast as The Lady. Please let it happen, gods of TV, and please let it not suck... El_C 17:07, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Been a fan of Dushku since Buffy/Angel, then Dollhouse. :) —valereee (talk) 17:17, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Never seen Buffy, but definitely am a fan of Dollhouse (and Banshee, for that matter). Anyway, I'm wary of revealing any more due to spoilers, but I'll sharpen a bit by noting that Darling largely serves as a redemption arc in this grim military fantasy (grim, though by no means devoid of humor). El_C 17:25, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

There's a thing that Tolkien termed "the potency of spirit," which I find can be quite difficult to balance in fantasy fiction. That problematic is largely about how to still have stakes when characters of vastly differing abilities interact (think from the demigod to the normal). I think this is a challenge in which Glen Cook really excels at... El_C 17:31, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

The Signpost: 25 July 2021

This week's article for improvement (week 30, 2021)

Hello, Valereee. The article for improvement of the week is:


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Previous selections: International law • International Army Games

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Discontent Content Issue 6

Books & Bytes – Issue 45

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