UDWiki talk:Administration/Policy Discussion/Reduce Minimum Edits For Bureaucrat Promotion

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A Word From A Current Crat

My reasoning for coming forward with this policy is simple: I am not running again for 'crat in June. I always take any office I take serious and try to live up to the call of duty, so rather than to leave you to clean up the mess I leave, I put my own mess into the waste basket before I take my hat and coat.

Looking at the last crat election the entire pool of eligible candidates consisted of 3 sys-ops, of whom one withdrew at the first opportunity, another had no edits for months and the third one was Boxy, who was the only one to make any kind of election possible. When I withdraw from the election as well, the pool will be even smaller.

As I don't see the sys-op team growing or their edit count going up anytime soon, we have to tackle this issue from a different angle: We have to reduce the requirements for the bureaucrat office to requirements fit for the reduced and ever-shrinking traffic on this wiki.

-- Spiderzed 11:59, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

It's been something like three years since I've properly been active here, so taken anything I say with the appropriate helping of salt.
That said, I'm cautiously in agreement. The wiki (or the game) isn't going to get anymore active in the near future. If a crat can get voted in spite of such low activity, I don't really see a problem. I wouldn't mind making a requirement that crats must post on the 'crat promotion page that they are willing to take up the position if they get voted in, so somebody completely inactive isn't voted in. Linkthewindow  Talk  12:21, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Also, there's only been one deletion request so far in 2014. This place has changed from 2008. Realistically though, there's probably going to have to be some consideration in this policy (as well as others,) as to how the wiki will be run when it's virtually abandoned (if there's anyone around to run it.) I like to think that some people still play UD, so it's important to keep this wiki as a resource, even if there's very little actual editing going on. Most of the current policies regarding voting/promotions assume that there's going to be people around to vote on stuff. Hell, people were thinking about this three years ago Linkthewindow  Talk  13:12, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
As Link. I'm in agreement, but I too am a bit wary of it. We're reaching the point where we spend more time managing ourselves than we do the wiki itself, which is an odd place to be. I think most of us at this point are still around, but we just don't have a reason to be editing things constantly, nor are there issues we need to be dealing with on a regular basis, but as soon as something comes up, we're here. We might need to change the rules to accommodate for that sort of activity, since it's only going to get more common. Aichon 15:14, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
My point being is that I will step out of here in some 6 weeks, and will likely let my sys-op status petter out afterwards (if I don't go for straight active demotion). I am pretty much done with UD and the associated wiki after having been actually around for much longer than many other ops, even some of the cherished ops of yesteryear.
What I don't want to do is to just leave you guys high and dry with a system that might well make it impossible to elect a crat - to do that, I have a too strong personal sense of duty. Hence a warning in advance to those likely to be the only eligible candidates by the end of June (Aichon, Ross, I am looking at you), and a quick-fix proposal that is easy to implement within the time frame for that I am yet around. If you want to go above and beyond that, you are free to do so (especially as I will no longer have a stake in any of that), but that time-frame might be a bit sharp to come up with a complete overhaul of the crat and the general A/RE system that everyone can agree to. -- Spiderzed 21:09, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Probably worth putting this up for voting then (nobody seems that opposed to the core idea,) and we will start a discussion about the rule changes needed to ensure that the wiki is manageable in the future. Linkthewindow  Talk  08:13, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

If we want two 'crats and have elections, then this seems the way to go. Edit count isn't as good as an indicator of being around since there's much less editing to be done. --  AHLGTG 15:50, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, it's unlikely we'll have many (or any?) more sysops in the future (aside from returning ones maybe), so we need to be switching from "managing the wiki community" mode to "long-term maintenance" mode. Just thinking out loud, I'm guessing none of us will lose our positions in A/RE at this point, given how long we've all been around without issue. Maybe it makes sense to change A/RE into something that only happens in response to problems, rather than a regularly-occurring thing (e.g. a 'crat can trigger one for a particular sysop)? Because at this point, we'll likely only lose our spots due to inactivity or misconduct, either of which is processed separately from A/RE anyway. And maybe we should add some sort of optional activity check so that sysops can make it clear to each other that, yes, they are still around and ready to deal with anything that comes up, that way we don't have any surprises by folks being missing when we need them. Aichon 16:33, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

I'd rather keep A/RE as it is, but at the moment it's just a rubber stamp, yeah. Linkthewindow  Talk  00:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
That's an interesting observation, actually. The only reason A/RE existed is because after the Grim era some people wanted the shittier sysops gone so badly they literally had to invent a process by which they could be removed. It's served its purpose over the years pretty well, I think, but you're certainly right about its current model. But I'd think it's better to have a now-useless process that's a formality that might become useful later than be done with it altogether. But in the meantime, here's Conndraka hilariously claiming that the entire reason A/RE was invented was to get rid of him. And he wasn't even wrong. A ZOMBIE ANT 07:21, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
It was passed after a particularly bad few months of 'all sysops and crats are terrible,' from memory (at least from a vocal portion of the wiki community.) Part of the (unstated) rationale was to get rid of old sysops who merely used their status to fuel drama (Conn being the most erogenous example,) or long-term inactive sysops who never managed to fall below the activity threshold (General.) There were a couple of pretty bad policies proposed - the A/RE system was pretty much the least bad policy proposed. These days, it doesn't seem as necessary - a quick look through the archives finds that most sysops that fail their RE are close to an inactivity demotion anyway, and those that are active pass with flying colours. There's no harm in having a now-useless system around in case a particularly poor sysop needs to be demoted in the future, and it's also a mechanism to remove inactive sysops that never manage to fall below their inactivity threshold. If you wanted to make it a system in response to problems, there's a couple of dead policies floating around - this comes to mind, there's probably others. And DDR's right - you could almost call the reevaluations policy the 'Get Conndraka laws'. Linkthewindow  Talk  08:55, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Again, just thinking out loud (i.e. I'm not recommending it (yet?)), what about if we only did re-evals when people asked for it? For instance, we list the sysops on A/RE and allow anyone to request there that we have a re-eval for a particular sysop when their term ends. Then, the next time their term is up, they get re-evaluated by the community, but if no one requests it, we don't bother wasting time on the re-eval. It'd just be a way to streamline the process a bit as the community slows down, but it'd still leave the power in the community's hands (and I agree with you guys, I'm much more comfortable with it being in the community's hands).
Most likely, someone would put in requests for A/RE for every sysop as a matter of principle, and that's fine, but it's looking like people will stop caring about that stuff soon, so having a mechanism that allows us to keep things moving with less of the needless self-congratulation would be nice. Aichon 15:50, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Not a bad call, only one legitimate a/re can be called every 8 months or something. Similar to how we handle individual A/DE permaban requests. A ZOMBIE ANT 01:08, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
The only problem is that re-evaluations could become the inevitable aftermath of major sysop drama, which is probably the worst time to evaluate a sysop. That said, I trust the crats to take this into consideration (sysops should never be defined by their most recent drama,) and, really, there's not too much drama around this place any more. Linkthewindow  Talk  10:06, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I was thinking (but totally forgot to say) that even though anyone could request an A/RE, it'd still only come around once every 8 months at the prescribed time. Basically, if no one put in a request, we'd register it as a passed re-eval and update the date when their next re-eval would be. So, none of the timing for re-evals would change. All that would change is that we'd skip them if no one wanted to bother with them. That would hopefully handle the problem with upset people demanding a head on a platter. Aichon 14:49, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Ah, alright, that makes sense. Give it a two week leeway, and if a re-eval hasn't happened after 8.5 months, it's passed. Sounds fine. Linkthewindow  Talk  08:13, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Sad that is all I'm remembered for... :( That being the case I humbly apologize. --ConndrakaTAZM CFT 02:28, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Oh shit he can hear us! Abandon ship! But seriously, I don't think it's all you are remembered for. I just remembered that one thing you said when this was brought up. Besides, if you had to be remembered for one thing, I'm sure this'd be better for that... OTHER thing... A ZOMBIE ANT 06:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure I'm the only sop to ever request a re-evaluation. I am the anti-Thad. How about replacing it with a vote of no confidence type thing? --Rosslessness 17:58, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Good Idea. A no confidence vote could be initiated by a request of the user base, with what a 30 day 'window' so that a N/C vote couldn't be called every day? This would be enough I think in case a sys or crat lost their damn minds (like myself or even better example Grim).--ConndrakaTAZM CFT 18:53, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Radical

Lets turn the entire sop team into crats, rename them custodians. --Rosslessness 19:07, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Although I think this is a joke (?), I actually agree. But if we can't take the simple option, I guess Spidey's alternative is acceptable. God-forbid there isn't someone to watch over the 30 people who use the wiki. --K 20:42, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
I laughed, but I kinda agree too, actually. It's a system that's ripe for abuse, but, frankly, those of us still left have hopefully proven we have no intention of doing so by this point. I guess we'd still have the regular sysop role for any newcomers or returnees, and we could escalate them to custodian as they proved themselves? Again, just thinking out loud. Aichon 21:27, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
It started as a joke, but as I typed it, I thought "Why not?" Nicest coup ever. --Rosslessness 21:28, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
I would have had the opportunity for some months now directly following Bob's absence. See what little I have made of it. -- Spiderzed 21:55, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not such a bad idea. The 'newest' sysop (judging by the creation of their user page) is Spiderzed, and he's been on the wiki for four and a half years, while when I was most active (2009ish) there were plenty of ops who were on the wiki for less then a year (I was promoted after only four months of being fully active.) Linkthewindow  Talk  00:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
For reference, here's a graph of the number of sysops since 2009, based on UDWiki:Administration/Sysop Check. We're at the lowest number of sysops since that page started (in late 2009.) In that time, the average number of ops was around 10. Linkthewindow  Talk  01:53, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

more crats, make term 1 year. A ZOMBIE ANT 07:34, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Down with the crats Linkthewindow  Talk  08:13, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Don't you mean cats? --Rosslessness 08:26, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not crates? --  AHLGTG 19:08, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Alternative Ulster proposal

I'll travel into the wild blue yonder and tame a whole new bear cat in its natural environment. We shall shackle him to a desk, PETA be damned. I'll need a bullwhip, a team of diverse undergrad volunteers, several types of animal viagra and a really fucking big butterfly net. When I fall, I'll weep for happiness 03:49, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I am not an undergrad but I am a volunteer.--SA 19:01, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

I am probably not in any position to weigh in,

but as someone who is mostly just a lurker of the wiki, opposed to an active contributor, I do agree that there is a need for the 'crat promotion process to be malleable, to allow for these kinds of adjustments -- most of the current sysop/bureaucrat team as it appears are either returning members, or the incumbents, who have "established" themselves in the Wiki. I am one of those optimists who think that people still do play UD, as much as the player base is regressing. I would like to support anything that keeps the wiki as a repository of information pertaining to the game, as well as an archive -- I have to admit that a lot of the userpages of old give me much entertainment/nostalgia.

Minimum edits as a qualification for 'crat applicants does not seem to be relevant where the goal is no longer the management of the wiki, but rather, the long-term maintenance mode of such, as mentioned by Aichon. There are still deletion requests and the occasional new, non-userspace page that is created (but thankfully, we don't seem to have the rampant bot issue that plagued the wiki for most of last year.) A/RE, as stated by others, seems to have been put in place as a response/"documentation" of a process to remove some sysops from their privileges. Still, it might be better to keep it for now, even just as formality/tradition, but perhaps allow more flexibility as to how it's implemented?

Re: Sysop/'Crat Evaluation, compared to the old system of having them on schedule, I'm in favour of having them when they are requested (but what if it'd never be requested? The people vocal about Misconbitration/etc tend to be people who were already involved with the bureaucracy/red tape of the wiki, rather than "casual users" such as myself. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 14:20, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

^ It's probably warranted for someone to put up another policy discussion for the revaluation changes. --  AHLGTG 19:10, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for placing it here! Wasn't quite sure if it was alright to do so, since I've seen Aichon and Linkthewindow mention re-evaluations up the discussion. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 00:10, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
HOW DARE YOU NOOB TO SPEAK UP IN THIS PLACE FOR SRS WIKI BZNZ CONDUCTED BY IMPORTANT WIKIZENS? WHEN THE CAKES TALK THE CRUMBS HAVE TO KEEP QUIET. More seriously, if A/PD isn't the place for everyone to speak up their mind, no place is. There is a reason for policy changes being dependent on a popular vote with a 2/3 majority. And your edit count is much higher these days then mine. -- Spiderzed 10:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Vote

There doesn't seem to be any objection to generally lowering the edit treshold, and the policy is in a shape to get put up and enforced quickly.

The idea on completely overhauling the re-evaluation and bureaucrat system has some merit, but will probably take more time then I am still around, and has yet to come to a conclusion as a concrete, solid policy.

I am not a fan of procrastination for the sake of reaching for the two birds in the bush when there is already a bird in the hand. This change might not be the end-all, but it will bring a quick and definitive improvement to the situation as it currently is, and it won't be in the way if someone comes with an even better solution some time after the fact.

tl;dr: I will put this up as a vote on the week-end, unless someone can give me very good reason not to. -- Spiderzed 11:05, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

You've got my For Linkthewindow  Talk  11:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I'll go for as well, sounds logical. -- Adward  20:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I am for this. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 00:59, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I will definitely vote. Aichon 02:25, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

So what happens if one or more of the 3 current sysops still has less that one edit in the 30 days prior to crat vote. Like what if that happens on the vote immediately after this passes. Wouldn't this policy change be for naught? I know you said you're aware it isn't a end-all solution, but what if it turns out not to be a solution at all? I think that's the question that ought to be asked now. ~Vsig.png 05:07, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Devil's Advocate

Every one of these policy dicussions need a Devil's Advocate, right?

So, instead of lowering the edit requirements, why don't you guys, um, like do stuff every now and then. It can't really be said that there's nothing for you all to do. There's about 300 unused files, 150 unused templates, tons of uncategorized images, red-linked categories, a smattering of double/broken redirects. That isn't including the unfinished projects out there. Those are always good for generating discussion. If you want a more active wiki, its probably a good idea to have an active sysop team.

Ok, so its a stretch. I'd probably not be doing much more in your seats. But that's why its called Devil's Advocate, right? ~Vsig.png 04:57, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Devil's Advocate has sold me. A ZOMBIE ANT 07:16, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
324 Images? Pfft. In the heyday it was 14,000. It's also not a sysop only job :) --Rosslessness 19:54, 30 May 2014 (UTC)


We burden sysops with some extra tasks that are sysop-specific, but we all share the rest of it, and we all do as much or as little as we like (e.g. sysop or not, I've never done any of those with any regularity, and sysops have no obligations regarding them, other than to process them if they're reported). If I started working on any of those to maintain my activity levels so that I could remain a sysop, then I'd be seeking my own benefit (i.e. I'd be treating it as a status badge), rather than the wiki's, and I'd deserve to be demoted. Sysops should not be expected to do any more than comes naturally to them (which was sufficient to get them promoted, remember), though sysops should also be selected from the pool of model users we have, so we expect the best that the community has to offer.
But the best that the community has to offer has clearly changed. It's undeniable that the community is winding down. As the community winds down, so too will the sysops—both in their roles as regular users and sysops—and with them, so too must the community's expectations, lest their expectations be out of touch with reality. You can't demand something that doesn't exist and expect the vacancies to be filled, after all.
Policies are expressions of the community's will and expectations. In the past, inactivity on the part of a sysop indicated that they were not keeping up with the community and that they were likely out of touch with where it was at. As such, we expected our sysops to be active, and a failure to do so was a good reason to oust them. But that doesn't seem to be the case today, since the new norm (as the sudden explosion of activity this week should prove) is that people are simply lurking, aware of what's going on and participating in things as they arise, but otherwise not saying a whole lot.
We're simply bringing the written expectations in line with the reality of the changes that have occurred within the community. Aichon 10:43, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
It may be a preference thing here, because I don't think either of us will convince one another otherwise, but I think there's nothing wrong with the idea that sysops should lead by example and have an expectation to complete the maintenance tasks as required. In a scenario where that would be the case, at least everything would be done because sysops feel the obligation to (because at the end of the day, someone should when it's quiet). The alternative is that sysops or bureaucrats have no obligation, there's no reward or consequence for not doing so and none of that stuff gets done. I see the positives either way, but I tend to prefer the former as a rule. A ZOMBIE ANT 15:00, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I too see the positives both ways, but without some changes to our core ideas of what a sysop is, I'm opposed to the idea of requiring extra "normal" work beyond what we expect of typical model users, since we shouldn't be asking any more than that of sysops. Inasmuch as they continue to meet that standard (which I believe they have), they should retain their rank. But if the things we're expecting of sysops are above and beyond what we see in the community as a whole, then we need to do one of the following:
  1. (My choice) Adjust our expectations (and policies) accordingly. If the wiki isn't falling apart, just how necessary is it for someone to be doing that work anyway? That work exists doesn't mean it needs to be done for the wiki to operate smoothly, especially so as community activity winds down.
  2. (The unrealistic idealist's choice) Have the community as a whole step its game up. After all, we all share equal responsibility for these sorts of tasks, and it seems as if the sysops have been faithful in stepping up in response to broader community action. Want a more active sysop team? Be a more active community.
  3. (My take on your choice) Redefine the role of sysop to be responsible for these things. Maybe the community really does need a group of people that take a more proactive stance and assume that responsibility? If so, that role needs to be defined, since it's not what sysops currently are. More importantly, people willing to take that role need to be located.
  4. (The unacceptable choice) Do nothing at all, which ends up implicitly being #3, but lamer, since the current policies will over time force sysops to take on a disproportionate responsibility, yet they won't explicitly have those responsibilities, so it'll create all sorts of headaches.
I view the first three as acceptable, though, as you said, I have a preference that differs from yours. #3 may indeed be what the wiki needs right now, but #1 is what I'm advocating, since I don't think it makes sense to disproportionately burden a subset of users with extra "normal" work, particularly since it's apparent that volunteers are in short supply. At least for me, I know that I've always said that you guys can expect more of the same from me if I'm promoted, so if more of the same isn't sufficient to retain the rank, then my view is that I shouldn't have the rank. And if that's the case, I'm totally cool with it (and I hope you are too and understand that I'm not trying to make any sort of ultimatum or ragequit or anything), so long as the wiki is in good hands.
Maybe it's different for Ross and boxy, but if not, then my honest advice would be that if we do want to pursue #3 as a community, that we should start seeking out candidates to replace us who are willing to fill the role you're talking about, and we should also be asking why they're not filling that role already. As I said above, we shouldn't define a role that no one will fill, since that'll cause more harm than good, but if we can't make #3 work, then we need to be pragmatic and adopt #1, since #4 is unacceptable and #2 is not gonna happen. Aichon 17:17, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps its better to just stop using edit count as an indication of activity. I'm sure there's some other way we can come up with to verify sysop activity. As long as a sop passes an activity check every so often, there should be no reason to take them out of the running for crat. The current number (and even the roposed new number) seems kind of arbitrary anyway. ~Vsig.png 06:04, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Truly Inactive Sysops Policy

Why not simply use the Truly Inactive Sysop Policy to dictate who is elegible for crat promotion. The edit count requirements could be removed from the Beaurocrat Promotion policy altogether. Essentially, all active sysops would be eligible in crat elections. Changes to the Truly Inactive asysop Policy could be made if the need arises. ~Vsig.png 19:34, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I'd agree to that. If the community thinks a sysop with 1 edit is better than the one with 100, shouldn't they be able to vote them in? Aichon 08:00, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
That would be even simpler than my original idea of reducing the 30 days edit count. I like it. -- Spiderzed 13:08, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I think the 1 edit in the prior month has more merit (bear in mind it can be an edit saying "Hi, I'll do the crat job for this term, I'm still here." I think it's a bit risky to have the situation where you're 3 and a half months in to a sysop's inactivity but the community votes for them anyway because they're one of the old guard and then we just have no crat for that term.--Yonnua Koponen Talk ! Contribs 19:39, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
How about this, "the sysop must accept candidacy one week preceding or one week following the start of the voting period to be considered active"? It shows the sysop is active at the time of voting and willing to do the job. It gives one week for votes to change based on final candidates. Basically, removing all requirements and making elections opt-in rather than the current opt-out system. --K 00:21, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Also a good idea. A ZOMBIE ANT 01:19, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Makes sense.--Yonnua Koponen Talk ! Contribs 03:10, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd be up for it (I'm up for any of the changes we've discussed, to be honest, though clearly I have some preferences), but I will say that I prefer opt-out to opt-in in this particular case (in most areas of life, I despise opt-out). For one, we're more likely to have no candidates with an opt-in system, given that the default is no candidates. Also, the way things are now, sysops can use the system to get a feel for the pulse of the community regarding their performance, since they can simply do nothing, remain a candidate, and listen to what people have to say about why they are or aren't picking them (i.e. it's an unofficial feedback session for the entire sysop team). With an opt-in system, nominating oneself implies that one believes oneself to be ready, and may be met with a less helpful response if the sysop is not in serious contention for the 'crat position, in much the same way that the community reacts to self-nominated people who aren't ready on A/PM. Aichon 03:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Also reasonable. I still think 1 edit as a minimum requirement is preferable to just anyone active in the past 4 months though. --Yonnua Koponen Talk ! Contribs 14:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Completely agree. Especially with 'crats, since losing them means no one has the keys. Aichon 15:31, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I guess a greater concern in my eyes is the possibility of one or two sysop's being removed from candidacy even with lowered edit count policies. With such a low pool of sysops to go from, you could end up with zero candidates simple because of a particulary slow month leading up to a crat election. I was hoping for a completely different metric to measure actual sysop activity, and this was the best I'd come up with at the time. Even TISP uses an edit count metric, though, and think its probably beyond time that changes as well. We just need to tackle the whole subject of sysop activity, and make changes to any policies which use the old and now irrelevant metric. ~Vsig.png 13:59, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I got confused for a while, until I thought opt-out seemed a bit more reasonable (just imo.) The 1 edit minimum seems more reasonable because removing it altogether increases the risk of the community voting for someone who isn't coming back anyway. On the other hand, removing it can probably ensure that there will still be candidates available (especially if the rule is changed to make all current sysops automatically eligible for 'crat promotion.) --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 06:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I thought about the issue of having no candidates, but really it's possible with the current system. Would it be better to force someone into being a crat because they were the only one who didn't withdraw quick enough? As for feedback, sysops can sit for a week see how they rank and then decide to run or not. However it works, I think making sure whoever wins wants the job might be a good idea. --K 15:53, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides, and that any of these approaches is an improvement over what we have now. I merely wanted to make sure we were aware of this approach's disadvantages. Aichon 16:49, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling

According to policy, crats which do not edit the wiki within one month span get demoted to sysop and a new vote is held. Just in case we end up removing edit restrictions for crat candidates, we should probably also change this part of the policy. ~Vsig.png 14:34, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Quite true. Honestly, with the way things are going, it probably makes sense to just do a comprehensive rewrite of the system, that way people don't need to read through a dozen policies and amendments just to get a picture of what is going on. For now, let's just get a band-aid policy passed, but let's continue thinking bigger picture. Aichon 16:04, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Putting up an amendment/new policy, even as a band-aid solution for now, is better than just leaving the old system be. I'm for the simplification/condensation of policies, since it took me a bit to understand some of the existing policies (and even then, there are still parts of the system I don't understand.
For this particular proposal, though, are you suggesting that bureaucrat candidates will automatically rotate among the current sysop pool when another 'crat is demoted for what ever reason? I'd be slightly in favour of that, though I'm not sure if the cycling pertains to candidacy, or actual installment as a 'crat. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 01:28, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling was a policy written and passed in 2007. It made it so that if a crat doesn't edit the wiki once every month of their term, they could be demoted to sysop and their seat voted on again. ~Vsig.png 03:41, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Wish I saw this response of yours earlier (Wiki was selectively loading pages previously, so I couldn't view the original policy for some reason.) If this proposal went through either Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling or Truly Inactive Sysops would have to be rescinded/revised/amended to adjust to the conflict between the two. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 22:40, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily, though we'd get some pretty crazy situations if we didn't revise them. ;) Aichon 22:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Discussion on DDR's vote

  1. Absolutely not - Bob failed his recent A/RE for being totally inactive for 3 months, he literally could have been dead but under this policy he would be eligible for bureaucrat voting, and then even be inactive for a further month as a crat before facing immediate demotion. We surely need a minimum of 1 edit per month to clarify that sysops still have access to their accounts before putting them up for voting for crat. Inactive sysops aren't harmful, inactive crats are, and bureaucrat voting is the only process where abuse of the system is easily administered. And ironically, the quieter the wiki the worse it is, as it's easier for abuse to occur. Don't allow sysops who literally can't even reply to messages on their talk page (or breath, for that matter) access to a bureaucrat spot. A ZOMBIE ANT 02:25, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    I could be the one who is reading it wrong, but wouldn't this proposal just put relatively-inactive sysops up as candidates for an emptied 'crat seat, but not immediately install them as such? I see what you mean about potential abuse, but I believe if people don't want to put an already sort-of-inactive sysop up as a 'crat, they won't vote for said candidate. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 02:40, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Of course you're right, they won't get immediately put in. But because of the crat election's theoretical (and historical, 1 2 3 4) connotations with voting abuse, why provide totally inactive accounts the opportunity? In the past year, not one current sysop other than Boxy (and spiderzed, for 3 days) has not made one edit in a month. In practice, that restriction seems to solve the fears of the above voters, and my own at the same time. A ZOMBIE ANT 02:57, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Oh dear. I can see the cause for concern given those. I'm not quite sure the wiki still has that many active users to pull similar stunts/abuse. The proposal (as I read it) does not seem to explicitly or implicitly allow for prospective candidates that would certainly never return to the wiki (it's still subject to the 4 month clause, iirc.) At least, someone is sure to still have the keys to the ship, but I fear that someone who has the keys may not be present (or alive) to pass it on further. You have a valid concern about the 1 edit minimum (especially for Bob Moncrief's case - what happened to him anyway?) Still, I think people would have the discretion not to vote for someone who they feel isn't going to be able to perform their duties as a 'crat.
    What I had in mind is, "What if a candidate who was presumed to be inactive ends up returning?" Do administrative actions (vandal banning, deletions, et c.) count as an 'edit' (as in the case of sysops/crats,) or is it limited to actual page edits? --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 04:02, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    I believe they do count as edits, as the aim is to measure inactivity. And regarding your issue with having enough active users to pull off this abuse, the point is that they aren't active. The above examples are a demonstration of meatpuppetry in action, by users who are not contributing members of the wiki. While I have no issue with meatpuppetry in these circumstances, it's a definite possibility that an inactive account could be promoted this way. And sure, you're right there's "only" a max of 4 months that a sysop could be inactive as an op/crat at any one time, but it begs the question, why make it 4 months and fix nothing but risk more? A ZOMBIE ANT 04:18, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Thank you. Now that I look at it again, why name the policy as "Reduce Minimum Edits For Bureaucrat Promotion" if it aims to remove the minimum edit qualifier? Your suggestion of actually reducing the edit requirement per month seems to fit the title more (but that's of a pedantic matter.) I wouldn't mind seeing the edit requirement decreased, but this current suggestion will prevent the election of a 'crat from being an impossibility (does that make sense in English?)
    Linkthewindow's suggestion on the discussion page comes to mind, for a "safety net" to ensure that the person installed won't be someone completely inactive, should this proposal materialize: "I wouldn't mind making a requirement that crats must post on the 'crat promotion page that they are willing to take up the position if they get voted in, so somebody completely inactive isn't voted in." --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UU) 07:28, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    So, just to clarify, less than 1 edit wouldn't result in a demotion from 'crat, but it would mean not being a valid 'crat candidate? Aichon 03:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Sorry if I was vague, I actually do mean both of those. While I disagree mildly with both of them as separate policies, I must insist that both of them together are a terrible idea and remove any safeguard for absolutely inactive sysops to become crats for, theoretically, up to 3 months at a time, with nothing that can be done about it by anyone in the community. A ZOMBIE ANT 04:18, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    I think I'm following, but I'm unclear what you think the policy should be instead, since we clearly need to change the current policies in order to make some of these changes work. Aichon 04:34, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Well to be honest, I don't think that is at all relevant, since one person's opinion on what makes a better policy shouldn't be the defining reason to vote against a terrible one- however, I do believe there's no reason the amendments to the Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling policy should be made. In fact, I'm kind of lost as to how that became part of this policy in the first place. I also prefer changing 12 edits/month to 1 edit/month rather than removing it completely, but that's not imperative. Do I think they are both stupid? Yes. But only removing those terms from the Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling policy is potentially wiki-breaking stupid. A ZOMBIE ANT 04:58, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    I don't think that removing the minimum edits will make meatpuppeting inappropriate users easier by any relevant margin - if someone wants to have the crat position this way, they could already easily enough weasel their way to being eligible by making 12 minor mickey-mouse edits to their own user page. Abuse of the popular vote is an entirely different beast, and as I think one that has become much less relevant these days. The crat seat now mostly goes to people who don't actually want it, but are too slow to run away :P -- Spiderzed 12:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Nor I. There aren't quite enough active users (even non-contributing ones) for meatpuppeting to even be any effective anymore. Likewise can be said for the abuse of the popular vote. I think the requirement for the 'crat to post that they are willing to take the post (c/f: Linkthewindow, 12:21, 23 May 2014 (UTC)) might quell some of the concerns about this, while not making it impossible to elect a 'crat
    I.e. if the 'crat candidate declines, it might be passed onto another candidate? If they don't, there will be no lapse; it can be an indefinite thing so that the "running away" part will be irrelevant. Failing that, perhaps after a specific time lapse, it will be put up for voting again?) I don't know. If these last parts I just mentioned could be potentially wiki-breaking, just ignore it. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UT) 15:26, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    As Spiderzed. I think the issue of abuse belongs to a class of problems belonging to a wiki gone by. A more looming problem is rapid decline in activity in my opinion. I'd also like to point out that my original suggestion was that the Truly Inactive Sysop policy would be updated to keep up with the times. So while the current proposed policy does in fact allow for an inactive sop to be eligible for crat, further policy changes could make that point moot. So this current policy not only addresses current concerns, it also leaves open the possibility to address future concerns. ~Vsig.png 16:47, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    Suppose this then, Bob has been inactive for 4 months and was demoted 3 months into their term, yes? What if hypothetically, a crat election were to have finished, with Bob winning, a week after he began that bout of inactivity? We would only have just gotten rid of him and we would have had one inactive crat for four months. Doesn't seem like the wiki-fixing answer you're all looking for at all. A ZOMBIE ANT 01:01, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    If I'm understanding you correctly and if my wiki-lawyering is up to snuff, then I believe what would happen in your hypothetical scenario is that Bob would be demoted from sysop approximately 3 weeks after winning the crat election, thus prompting another vote. We'd have to assume Bob went inactive very shortly after one crat election, and before he was elected in the next election (perhaps his last edit was voting in crat elections). Since crat elections take 2 weeks, that leaves 2 weeks until Bob reaches 4 months of inactivity, then 1 week while we wait for him to respond on his talk page.
    I'm not saying that this policy amendment does not leave open a hole which could potentially be a problem under certain circumstances. I am saying that the hole is not as wiki-breaking as you seem to think it is. And again, that hole could be easily plugged with further policy adjustments. ~Vsig.png 02:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    Sorry, I obviously haven't articulated myself well. It's a fact Bob has been inactive since February yes? Well, what if we had an election that Feb. We wouldn't have had the foresight of knowing he would no longer be on the wiki, and would vote on his current activity and form. If he DID get in under those circumstances (totally plausible since we have so little candidates), then there would be 3 months when we had an inactive crat, and we would have had no power to be able to fix it. NO power. And are you serious? This hole could easily be plugged with further policy adjustment? Surely the policy adjustment you hint at would literally be just adding this exact text back into Automatic Bureaucrat Cycling? Since, as I've said, there is no reason we should be getting rid of the "a crat is demoted when inactive for a month" clause since in practice, it might as well do nothing EXCEPT remove our power to remove someone like Bob who becomes unexpectedly inactive. A ZOMBIE ANT 03:20, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    Ok, I reread your previous comment. My fault. I see what you'regetting at. We would in fact have an inactive crat for a few months if timing were just really bad. Let me counter with another hypothetical situation. Let's say we have two crats; boxy and Ross. A full month passes and neither makes an edit to the wiki. They are both demoted back to sysop, but we find that all but Gnome are uneligible for promotion, because he is the only sysop to have made any edits that particular month. It may seem farfetched, but a similar situation almost happened last election (mostly because our most active elegible sysop Aichon opted out of the election).
    I haven't hinted at any policy changes. I've said it explicitly. The Truly Inactive Sysop policy could be adjusted to address some or even all of these issues, since that's what would be the de facto deciding policy to determine activity elegibility. ~Vsig.png 04:12, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    That's a very good hypothetical. I do see your point, however I've suggested 1 edit per month is a good benchmark because, as I've said, no current sysop has not made that quota in the past year besides boxy and spiderzed (who only did it once, and by 3 days). A ZOMBIE ANT 05:52, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    It may currently be a good benchmark, but what happens when it is not? 12 per month was obviously considered a good benchmark previously, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more. I have some ideas on those other policy changes, and maybe they'd maybe help you be more supportive of this one. But this really isn't the page to discuss that on. In any case, we have the luxury of not needing to decide on those other changes immediately. ~Vsig.png 06:08, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    I can see one advantage to simply reducing the minimum edit requirement (over removing it altogether) -- there is some assurance that the person is at least "present" to take the 'crat seat. It also has the advantage of being a benchmark most of the recent sysops seem to have met. Removing it altogether almost has people crossing their fingers that the person is still around. Both of you presented good hypothetical situations, but I still think neither of the options (reducing vs. removing) can be drastically wiki-breaking. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UT) 07:29, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Policy Name

Churigan brought up a good point. The policy name should now be something like Remove Minimum Edits For Bureaucrat Promotions. What are the rules concerning policy name changes? ~Vsig.png 05:41, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

No one will notice/care if you move it. I think this happened a year or so ago with another policy and it just got moved (don't quote me on that, I just seem to remember it happening) A ZOMBIE ANT 06:07, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
coughRCStalkerscough. --Si vis pacem, para bellum. (stalk · KT · FoD · UT) 07:32, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
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