Forum:A long overdue cleanup

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Forums: Yew Grove > A long overdue cleanup
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This thread was archived on 8 September 2011 by Degenret01.

Previous discussions: Forum:Administrator reviews, Forum:Admins, admins everywhere, Forum:Inactive admins., Forum:Removing Inactive Administrators Powers, Forum:Requirements for staying a sysop/b'crat.

Alright, as many of you know, we have a vast list of inactive administrators and bureaucrats. In order to be perfectly clear, let us define exactly what I mean by an "inactive administrator" before proceeding further. Yes, there are some administrators who log in and make an edit once every few months or so, but that begs the question, "Does that still render them an inactive administrator?" I've sifted through the current list of administrators and contemplated for a while how exactly to address this question and define the term. Obviously, an administrator must administer the policies of the wiki actively in order for them to be considered "active". Therefore, it's only logical that we look at the log actions performed by administrators in the time frame of a certain window. For my proposal, I looked at the log actions that may only be performed by administrators (mainly block, delete, protect, abusefilter, and editinterface) in order to roughly gauge activity. (Yes, the last "log action" isn't actually a log action.) Using this, I was able to gather a list of administrators who would be considered inactive in their use of administrative tools (see User:Suppa chuppa/Sandbox 3).

Proposal[edit source]

So, what am I proposing we do to these users? I'm saying that we should remove administrative tools from these accounts that have not shown any signs of activity in the administrative area. Now, I'm sure there will be at least some opposition to this. "Why go through the trouble of doing that? They're not causing anyone harm," you might think. Right, so let's see. What harm would it take to remove the user right from these accounts? While that isn't exactly a great argument in itself, previous threads have brought up some interesting points about account security and vandalism. While I don't really support this argument 100%, it may have its merits. It was brought to my attention that Azliq's RuneScape account was compromised and some fellow was botting various activities on it. So, for a few weeks, there was an admin in the CC who wasn't actually a trusted member of the chat. Fortunately, this situation didn't end too badly as Azliq recovered her account when it was brought to her attention, at least as far as I know. Let's project this situation over to the wiki. Some noob gains access to an administrator's account. Let's say this user knows what they're doing (presumably they do since they were able to gain access to an administrator's account. I mean, who else would want to hack an admin of the RS wiki?). I don't think the majority of you know what this user is capable of doing. Sure, they block users and delete content left and right, but hey, that's relatively easy to fix. It's not this which would worry me should a situation like this arise. No, it's the fact that this administrator has the ability to infinitely block, get the IP address, and remove all user groups (hell, they can even remove the "autoconfirmed" usergroup) from any user who edits, uploads a new image, moves a page, or creates an account. So basically, if some guy manages to do this, we're kinda screwed. Don't believe me? Just take my word for it, I'd rather not reveal exactly how this is done if you don't already know. Of course, the opposition may ask, "Why would someone ever want to do this?" Honestly, I don't know. There are a lot of weird people out there, and if you didn't already know, we get a lot of vandals who seem to either be in denial or hate us. For those out of the loop, you could check the block log if you really want.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's move onto the benefits of passing such a proposal. At this moment, we have a TON of administrators, both active and inactive. People know that we have a ton of administrators, too. One thing I've always absolutely detested is the "Oppose - We have enough administrators/bureaucrats already." kind of statements on RfAs and RfBs. The point of such a request should be to assess the qualifications of the given candidate, not to make an observation about our current number of administrators. Granted, the number of administrators MAY indirectly play a role in an RfA/RfB. Should we have a sufficient number of active (I mean strictly active, not this half-assed active crap) administrators, then the candidate may not be able to meaningfully show that they have a need for access to the tools. What my ultimate goal here is to eradicate the perception of 5 quadrillion administrators pouncing on one unsuspecting vandal. That simply isn't the case. In the vast amount of history of the RuneScape wiki that I have gone through and read, it is my personal opinion that 2010 was the most successful year for the wiki by far. Why do I say this? The community had it's act together and got stuff done. The key players did what needed to be done when it was needed, and many even went further to do even more than they were expected to. The wiki's popularity and reputation soared. All in all, good stuff happened. Let's take a look at what's happened since; most of the active contributors, especially administrators, no longer edit actively, let alone administer actively. In the past, that wasn't exactly a huge problem. Editors moved on, people were sad to see them go, but they would be replaced by other editors who were willing to take up their work. During large stages of growth, this isn't usually a problem. Whatever the reason is, it seems that our growth rate is declining, at least in terms of truly active editors (who would have thought after all of Cook's "the world's ending" threads?). These days, there are really only a few people holding the tottering supports of this wiki in place. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Being inactive and therefore ignorant of this fact does not give you a right to denounce it. Just a few days back, I left my computer (lol) to prepare dinner, and what do I come back to? Two page blanks just sitting there, like it's nobody's business, just sitting there for 20 minutes. What is this? Such outstanding vandalism during one of our most active time zones, evening in the US? I'm not at all saying that this proposal will come close to addressing this point, not even remotely. Think of this perhaps as a slightly related side statement/observation. It is definitely an issue that must be addressed in the near future, but it is not highly relevant to this current thread. Back on topic, if this perception that we have too many or sufficient administrators can be abolished, then we may potentially be successful in bringing in new administrators to help keep us afloat.

Let's pretend for a moment that you've read everything else that I've written so far and you're thinking to yourself, "Administrators have passed an RfA and have thus shown that they are mature, trustworthy, and deserve the tools to which they have access" (read: "leave them alone") or something to that effect. If this is the case, then please follow the subsequent procedure, if you will. Look deep down into your heart. Do you really believe this? Do you REALLY think that anyone DESERVES the tools? Whether or not someone "deserves" the tools is completely irrelevant to everything ever. I mean, how can they deserve access to the tools when they don't even use them? That doesn't really make much sense. Clarification may then be necessary if this is the case. Administrators are NOT special. We aren't inherently smarter than others, we aren't cooler or more gifted as a group in comparison with "regular" users. A smart guy doesn't necessarily make a good administrator, and the same can be said for the converse. It's almost solely about trust, judgement, and need for the tools. If you're thinking, "Hey, this sounds familiar..." you aren't wrong. In fact, it should. These are three of the widely accepted traits/qualifications/whatever-you-want-to-call-it which the community expects from a candidate who undergoes an RfA. Now, let's come back to the fact that these guys aren't special. Why should we then treat them as such? Are they held to different standards because they've passed an RfA and are just chilling in a corner doing nothing with/in/for this community? Almost all candidates who do not display a need for access to the tools granted with the sysop user right are turned away. To me, it seems a bit odd that once they pass this hurdle, they're no longer subject to the same sort of expectations? Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash "incompetent" administrators; not at all. I'm merely pointing out that these guys may never again contribute at all to this community, and they will likely have little use for the sysop tools to which they currently have access.

For all that you may try to make this out to be, I'm not trying to punish these guys. It's not like I'm proposing that they're to be stripped of all user rights and blocked. They can request their tools back at any time, within reason. As Karlis would put it, think of this as a "trimming". Maybe you're thinking, "This will discourage them from coming back again." There should be a certain, defined process by which this is done. Sysops who have had their user rights removed must be able to show that they are indeed interested in helping the community once again, not merely to snatch their precious crown back, polish it to perfection, and then perch it back upon their shelf for half the world to see. That COMPLETELY defeats the purpose of this proposal. Therefore, we must sadly account for this and require that these ex-sysops show sufficient activity or a need for the tools before being granted these rights. Exactly how much activity? Exactly how long? That's for the community to decide based on the individual case. Why not set these requirements firmly in stone? Because there's a huge amount that has changed in the last few years, and the amount of knowledge each user will have had of these changes will undoubtedly vary greatly. After talking it over with a couple of users, it became evident that one additional addendum really needed to be included here. If the sysop's original RfA is not in RuneScape:Requests for adminship/Archive 6 (or any archive after that if/when that happens), and the user has not been active for at least two years, then they must undergo the RfA process once more. Nothing against them, but we must ensure that they truly do understand the enormous amount of new policies that have been added since they retired. Now, all of that being said, I HIGHLY doubt that many, if any, of these old sysops will decide to rejoin our community on a whim. The odds are rather small, I'd say. Besides, I can't say that I'm impressed with the level of maturity presented by these old administrators both on the wiki and on the wiki forums. Some...interesting flame wars seem to have taken place.

So far, I have only covered administrators; I have not yet talked extensively about bureaucrats. Why is this? Well, for whatever reason, the community seems to regard bureaucrats as a completely different species. There have always been so few who have been active at any given time that it seems that the standard has been dropped for them. The lack of participation in the actual community and lack of edits in general create a perception of "rarity", or maybe even that they're inherently "better" in the eyes of some. But then there's the fact that people don't want too many bureaucrats. With all of this in mind, let's go back in time to May 2011. During the month of May, Gaz was undergoing a request for bureaucratship (our made-up word for the position bureaucrats hold). One of the arguments against giving Gaz access to this user right was based on a quote from Uberfuzzy (a now ex-Wikia employee) in an email to Azaz. In case you don't just happen to know the quote off the top of your head, I've added it here for your convenience. "One thing We've [sic] always admired about your wiki is even though you have a way above average number of sysops, you have managed to keep the bureaucrat list small, showing that you understand what that roll [sic] is meant for, and not just another checkbox." - Uberfuzzy. [1] The first sentiment I wish to express in response to this is slight amusement and surprise. Who cares what a wikia staff member thinks the role is supposed be for? The truth is, the role is really only what the community makes it out to be.

Having established this, we should now consider what must be done. Naturally, the active bureaucrat list will always be small since it is generally only the most trusted members of the community who are granted these tools. But that doesn't mean that actual number of users who have access to these tools won't continue to grow. The current bureaucrats won't continue to be active (in some form or fashion) indefinitely, and I honestly don't expect them to. Therefore, it only makes sense that we also trim down the bureaucrat list as well. In other words, this means every bureaucrat except for Karlis, Calebchiam, Laser Dragon, and Dtm. What should happen if these inactive bureaucrats choose to return to the wiki? First of all, I highly doubt most of them would even notice that their rights were removed. I believe that Whiplash still plays every now and then and still browses the wiki. However, he does not use the tools to which he has access. If he wants to get back involved in the community and be an active member, he's welcome to do so. In fact, any such bureaucrat is welcome to do so. This would work in the exact same way as the process I outlined above for inactive administrators except that they would be able to request both administrator and bureaucrat rights at the same time. This would make things nice and simple.

A message to the opposition[edit source]

You. Yes, you. Perhaps you're considering opposing this thread. If that happens to be the case, stop here and pay attention carefully. You probably didn't read everything that I've written here. Frankly, I don't expect many people to read all of this. Seems like the kids in the younger generation these days have the attention span of a dead goldfish. No matter, but this part is important if you do plan on opposing. Realize that I may have refuted your argument(s) up above. Should this be the case, and you find yourself simply reiterating a point that I have refuted, explained, and even given further insight into, you must know that your opposition will carry no weight whatsoever. But wait! Why is that? All users have the same "status and opinion weight" or whatever, right? Why can't you have an equal say? As it so happens, we happen to do things by consensus 'round these parts. That means individual votes or the number of votes going a particular way is largely irrelevant. Instead, it is the strength of each argument that really does matter. With this in mind, feel free to carry on and post your opposition should you wish. Just remember that it may do you no good. Best of luck.

Discussion[edit source]

Note: Be civil and mature in this discussion. This is a serious thread and a serious proposal, and it would be such a shame for this to get out of hand. It really would.

Support - As the author of this ridiculously huge proposal. Suppa chuppa Talk 18:36, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Support - Having read this several times and giving Suppa feedback and suggestions, there is nothing more I can really say than this: I support this proposal fully and I agree with everything the proposer has outlined. We have been going over this month after month, and it's time to move forward and archive these inactive sysops. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 18:36, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Changed to Strong support. All the opposers have going for them is "they're not doing any harm", when the supporters have clearly outlined the harm in which keeping these inactive people on will inflict. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 17:44, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
Did you even read what anyone wrote? That's an awful generalization. ʞooɔ 17:46, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, the desysopping argument is one that pops up quite often in wikiland, and I generally think that we should allow administrators to retain their tools even if they go inactive. Adminship isn't a trophy, nobody should think that it is, and thus there should be no need to go through overly bureaucratic procedures of desysopping people. We are here to build an encyclopedia, and spending time doing stuff like this really isn't beneficial, at all.
  • Now, to get into my thoughts on this specific forum. I really don't like the argument of "we should desysop inactive admins because someone could hack into their account and pose a security risk". A study by Wikimedia determined that, of the few hacks that have happened in the history of Wikimedia, almost all of them were done to active admin accounts. To put it bluntly, desysopping inactive admins to prevent security breaches is a solution in search of a problem. It's never been a problem here before (especially since the example provided above is of a user who is active enough to retain their sysop tools), and statistically it shouldn't be a problem in the future.
  • Ultimately, my view on this proposal can be outlined in these points:
    1. This is a solution in search of a problem. One instance is not enough to warrant the creation of more undue bureaucracy. The wiki has enough of that already.
    2. We have better things to spend our time doing than counting how long admins have been inactive and removing their tools from them. Ultimately, inactive accounts retaining their tools causes no harm to the wiki, and removing them can cause undue stress and process, especially when previously inactive admins come back (examples: Chrislee33, Chicken7, Endasil, Dechaineux, Powers38, Stelercus, Soldier 1033, Sir Revan125, Rwojy, Rich Farmbrough, Quarenon - and those are just the ones that I can immediately remember coming back and using their tools at some point)
  • So, with all of this in mind, I'll need to oppose removing the sysop bit from inactive admins. I would also like to say that I read every word of the proposal, and also am trying to be more active here. Unfortunately, real life commitments are making that difficult. ajr 19:05, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Whoah, nice wall, bro. I read it all, and I'm not ready to support or oppose yet, but just for clarification, how inactive does one need to be to get swept? Would that include me? Andrew talk 19:43, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

I didn't include you in the list since you participate in the community by commenting on threads. I used at least a year of inactivity as a guide line. Suppa chuppa Talk 19:45, August 28, 2011 (UTC)
Ah OK, just saw the list. Thanks. Andrew talk 19:47, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I'll read the rest tomorrow. For now; support, give rights back if they come back and actively edit for a week or so. Note that this might change tomorrow to "oppose, and drop cabbages on them (and kill <insert name here>)". User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 19:56, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Opposeish - While I see value in the supporters' arguments, I agree with Cook. (and now I've had something to read) User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 08:22, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand, of course, this does not do any harm as any rerturning sysop/b'crat can simply regain all of their rights. And while solving the insecurity thing in more of a problem for a solution than vice versa, it does not harm anything/anyone. The chances are astronomical, but what IF, say, Evil Yanks gets hacked by some psycho (not our Psycho), all of us will regret not having established the proposal. Bottom line, I cannot decide... User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 13:04, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
What if an active admin's account was hacked? Then we'd all regret not desysopping all active admins. Oh wait... ajr 13:49, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
The harm here is the hassle that it takes for them to regain these tools. According to suppa, if the user's RfA is not in archive 6 and they've been gone for 2+ years, they will have to undergo a new RfA--in fact, they'll have to spend a while "re-proving" that they are trustworthy. If there was any history of account insecurity in the last four and a half years I might be inclined to agree that this was useful, but the only incidence of that was a very active admin losing control of his account for a few hours. Looking back in his archives, he's so untrustworthy that there may have not been any security problems at all. There is absolutely zero precedence for anything close to the problem that suppa is claiming; it's non-existent. ʞooɔ 14:16, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support - Fifteen minutes of reading later: The whole concept of "there's too many sysops" is foolish. I agree that people who don't use the admin tools don't need them: they can always ask for them again should they return to the wiki. I don't think we should restrict people who will genuinely use the tools just because there's lots of others who can too. Even with active admins too, we can expect that anyone could be busy at any time. The way I see it, if they're trust worthy and need the tools, they should have access to them, but if they aren't, they don't need them. Admins aren't ranks, so anyone not using the tools, such as inactive admins, can have them taken away. Hofmic Talk 22:21, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - I was going to write a big textwall, but I decided we've had enough of them here. I read this through a couple times, talked with suppa, and looked back at the previous threads...and I really could not find any good, serious benefits to removing inactive sysops.

You say that you want to eradicate the perception that all is well in wiki-land, that speedy deletions take place in 10 seconds, that sysops are fighting over who gets to block the vandal? I don't think many people believe that anymore, besides about three people (sysops) who are unlikely to be swayed by the desysopping of 35-40 admins, or any changes in the reality of the wiki's situation. You can make anecdotes about how you can't leave for a few minutes without the wiki going to hell (which is for the most part true), but how will this proposal help that one bit? How will any of these doomsday scenarios go away by desysopping half the wiki? If your goal here is to change the idea that we have enough sysops, brute force action like this is not the way to go about it. As for RfAs, "enough sysops" is no longer a valid argument, so why even bring it up?

Your other point that you gave me was that the older sysops who come back after a period of inactivity will be unable to adapt to any changes in our culture or policy system. To my knowledge, no user, sysop or otherwise, has ever come back from a prolonged absence and caused problems because things changed while they were gone. We should give these users the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this, until there is any evidence to the contrary.

Account security seems to be an argument without merit. For starters, I have not heard of any wiki accounts being hacked, ever (although it would not surprise me if it were the case). Secondly, why would inactive admins be targeted any more than active ones? By your definition Azliq is active, but she was hacked. I also don't see how any hacker would be capable of using this "secret tool" to get users' IP addresses and de-rank them. In all honesty it seems much more likely that an active sysop will lose his or her cool and do this, than a hacker gaining access to an inactive sysop's account and doing so. Scare tactics?

You also claim that very few of the inactive sysops will "decide to rejoin our community on a whim". This is demonstrably false, as is shown by ajr's little list. Old sysops coming back is common than you seem to think, and if this proposal passes it will create way too many bureaucratic hurdles and hassles for them to rejoin as sysops. I quite honestly see no issues whatsoever with having a long list of inactive sysops, especially when some of them rejoin quite often.

I very much hope you do not mistakenly classify me as another idiot who didn't read your thread and is more concerned about his own rights than about what's best for everyone else. When I leave this wiki for good, whether it's tomorrow or five years from now, I will request removal of my sysop rights and reassignment of others. But why should we remove the rights of others when all it will bring is animosity, red tape and struggle?

Note: It has come to my attention that despite my best efforts, I have written a textwall. Apologies all around.ʞooɔ 22:41, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Cook, but I should point out that according to RS:A#Former_administrators, Dreadnought kept an insecure account. However, I trust every sysop currently on the wiki to keep his (or her) account secure. --LiquidTalk 23:03, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Ajr and Cook. What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 23:06, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - As an individual suffering from ADD, I successfully read the entire textwall. Anyway, as per Cook, I fail to see how desysopping inactive admins will solve any of the problems the wiki is currently facing, or any problems whatsoever, for that matter. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 00:59, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

In that case, let's ban the "we have enough sysops" opposition in RfA's. If an inactive admin will stay admin, but not use their tools, then the argument becomes "we do not have enough active sysops". Hofmic Talk 01:13, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
We did that already. ʞooɔ 01:15, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Still "active". Require sysop tools. Use to run and maintain User:AzBot every month. Account still secure. Out.   az talk   08:54, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - The main arguments I saw were that account would become insecure, the arguments on RFA's and some older sysops not always knowing new policies. For the first point, as many people have said, active accounts are just as likely, if not more likely, to have their accounts hacked, well...due to them actually being used. Second point, again as people have said that reason is not allowed anymore, but even when it was used, it was only used because of the amount of active/semi active sysops, not the total amount of admins. Onto the last point, although policies change, most people who come back and use the tools are deleting spam pages or blocking vandals, things that are pretty constant. Overall the disadvantages, although there are not many of them, outweigh the advantages, of which there are close to, if not none. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 10:48, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support - If they aren't active, then whats the point of them having their rank? If they come back, its not a case of them having to re-prove themselves to get their rank back, its a case of them becoming active in the community again. And if they are indeed becoming active again, then they are pretty much assured to get their rank back. I mean sure letting them keep their rank despite the fact they have basically left the wiki causes no harm, but all it does is artificially inflate the number of admins we have. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 14:38, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

"Therefore, we must sadly account for this and require that these ex-sysops show sufficient activity or a need for the tools before being granted these rights." That sounds very much like they need to re-prove themselves, doesn't it? Sounds like RfA-lite to me. ʞooɔ 14:47, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
btw adminship isn't a rank kthx ajr 14:50, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
To me it sounds like they have to prove that they will support the wiki from now on, and not abandon it as soon as they get adminship back. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 16:56, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
Why must they? Administrators are volunteers, and there is no required time commitment once a user is an administrator (or before for that matter). Generally if someone is virtually inactive and goes to RfA they are turned down since they have no use for the tools, but if someone passed an RfA at some point and used the tools, why would they not have a right to move on in their life? ajr 17:01, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
They became an admin to use the tools. They no longer use the tools, so why should they be admins? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 17:08, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
I agree, actually, but what is the problem with them keeping the tools? As many have demonstrated, they might come back and have a use for them some day. ajr 17:10, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
Well, what's the problem with removing them? They're not doing any good as it is, and if they decide to come back and actually help take care of the community, they can request their rights again. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 17:12, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
[Edit conflict x2] [x3] I see it like a workplace. If you leave a high position in your job for years, there's no reason to expect to get it back right away. If you had a login for that workplace's computers, you'd lose it. After all, you don't need it. Likewise, is that person who's been gone for two years without so much as a visit going to need administrator tools? After all, it's not a rank, but a select bunch of tools specifically for performing several functions regular users cannot. One common source of failed RfA requests was simply that the person in particular does not need those tools. Since it's not a rank, it can't just be given for merit or because they made a lot of edits: it has to be given to those who will actually use them.
So those not using them? Most won't even notice the tools are gone. But should they ever return, I'll welcome them back in open arms with you. If they need those tools, still, then they can request them back. I don't think they have to prove anything upon return, other than that they will be using the tools. After all, that's what the tools are for, no? Hofmic Talk 17:14, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
This wiki has enough red tape as it is. Adding more is not what we should be focusing on. If them keeping sysop tools isn't hurting anything, why remove them?
Ok, so here are the benefits of removing them:
  1. Prevent security breaches once in 1,000 years.
Here are the disadvantages:
  1. Creates bureaucracy
  2. Forces semi-active admins to ensure that their log action count doesn't go below the required level. Again, all users are volunteers, we shouldn't be telling anyone here how much time they need to spend on the wiki.
  3. Makes it harder for admins to come back. If I went inactive and then wanted to return, I wouldn't want to go through another RfA, I'd want to have my old tools available for use again. ajr 17:22, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
More disadvantages to play with:
  1. Creates a ginormous ugly list of inactive admins, which, if I saw, I'd wonder why they were inactive and wonder about the sanity of this wiki.
  2. Could be used as nothing more than a trophy. I strongly dislike seeing admins come on once a month to update their stats then never help out around the wiki.
  3. They are never around, and you expect me to trust them with their tools? Not only could there be a security breach (which, btw, was a very very minor argument) but they could be a completely different person and the people who trusted them years ago are long gone.
  4. You don't want to be overly-bureaucratic yet you want to keep 80 inactive admins on for the reason of "they could come back". This creates a huge hierarchy/tier.
  5. Tons of other websites and chatrooms and games desysop the volunteers who do not use their tools, if they don't request them taken away themselves. This is no different. If they want to actually volunteer, they can come back and request them again. Keeping them on is just extra baggage, as explained above. They are no longer volunteers, now they are just green names that sit on a list and do nothing. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 17:31, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
How do any of those actually harm the wiki in any way? ajr 17:32, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
We could go back and forth all day on how it will or will not harm the wiki, from both viewpoints. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 17:37, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support I have actually talked with a few other people about this and from what I understand, we give the tools to people who have a use for them and will use them. I say that if said people are inactive, they no longer show a need for these tools. In a nutshell taken from the above proposal: how can they deserve access to the tools when they don't even use them? --Touhou FTW 18:17, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

"Whether or not someone "deserves" the tools is completely irrelevant to everything ever." ʞooɔ 18:22, August 29, 2011 (UTC)
Changed to Oppose - After talking a bit more about this, I have to agree that removing their tools is unecessary as they would need to have earned the right to have them in the first place. Touhou FTW 22:27, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - This is really just turning into why/why not/why/why not ad nauseam, and it's getting more divisive. I don't really care what happens here so long as it will stop this issue from coming back up every couple months. Perhaps we can come up with a compromise of sorts? Maybe we could sweep the inactive sysops into a corner, and remove the rights of those who have been gone for a certain period of time, while giving them the time (maybe a couple weeks?) to come forward to consent with or contest the desysop. This could only work if they could easily request their rights back just by asking a bureaucrat. Just spitballing. ʞooɔ 18:22, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Neutral - I for one only obtained the tools for the initial purpose of editing in the MediaWiki namespace, not for the blocking or protecting and all the other rights within the sysop group right. While I do block, delete and protect on occasion, this is not what I think all sysops should be judged on.

As per Azliq7 above, some of these tools also involve the administration of bots rather than noticeable edits from the non-bot account. Some of us have real life commitments that interfere with our volunteering on the wiki. Such as how I've been for most of this past Summer semester from college.

Now there are a few administrators that haven't even logged into the wiki since 2008 and 2009. However, the users that state that they can come back and request the sysop group right back is just absurd. If users follow the security argument, wouldn't anyone who has hijacked the account do the same? I see it more likely that an active administrator to have their account hijacked than an inactive one. I, for one, would think that a sysop that just began to mass edit after being inactive for years to be a little odd less than an sysop with little to no inactivity.

Of course, group rights aren't trophies, achievements, or ranks. When a user presents such a situation in a request for this group right, the general reaction from the community is opposition. If a sysop presents such a demeanor, they risk the right to removal by consensus. Some of us use these tools for non-anti-vandal work while others use it for maintenance of the wiki.

I do not support the removal of the rights based on security as this applies to any individual. No user deserves any rights on this project, only those users that show a case for legitimate need for the tools should obtain them. I am not sure about those sysops with abnormal leave times, but still unswayed to support this additional housekeeping when there is none to be done. This has been another "it's that thread again" feeling. Ryan PM 18:44, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

You have some good points. I would think we'd use a very large threshold (eg, one year) to determine whether or not someone is inactive and asking if they've used them recently, rather than just looking at a log and shoving them onto a list. It's those who don't even come to the wiki any more that are the main point, I would think. And you're right about "coming back and requesting" being just as insecure. Hofmic Talk 18:59, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Besides az, have any of the inactive admins been notified via e-mail about this discussion? Seems only reasonable to get their view on this. User:Exor Solieve 18:47, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support - The tools were given to be used, if you went to take an RfA and had no use for the tools you wouldn't pass. I myself am not as active as I once was in countervandalism, which is the main reason I became a sysop. If I were to retry the process of becoming an administrator now from scratch, I probably would fail. Twigy recently tried an RfA, and failed because he was not as active as he once was, with large periods of inactive. However, if he had become an administrator before he became less active he'd still be one to this day. A rather odd idea in my opinion. svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 01:25, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Cook and Ajr. I don't think this will solve anything, and it might just piss off some people. Can't support it in good faith. HaloTalk 01:30, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Well since I'm listed as an inactive admin my tools would have been removed, but I still stalk recent changes. If my tools were removed then this would have happened a lot longer. I logged back in the game and saw two admins. Helm doing something and Gaz was afking. (Not pointing the blame at anyone, they could have been busy).Santa hat.png Powers38 おはようヾ(´・ω・`) 02:13, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps I should have made this clearer, but I made a list here of which admins are really "inactive". Also, I should mention that I am happy that you were on to block that vandal bot. Suppa chuppa Talk 02:16, August 30, 2011 (UTC)
Whoops sorry. I was referring to the inactive list here. Santa hat.png Powers38 おはようヾ(´・ω・`) 02:19, August 30, 2011 (UTC)
That list is generally only edited when people go away for long times. And generally only the inactive sysops add themselves back. (So feel free to call yourself active). HaloTalk 12:47, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Support desysoping of inactives - I personally think that 90% of the admins of this wiki use the sysop tag as a trophy... I find it rather funny how they will work their backsides off for over 2-3 months, making as many good and constructive edits as they can, throw down an RfA, pass it, and then within a month of passing, they just fall off into oblivion and are never seen again...I won't exemplify a few users, but there's a bunch of admins, who are in the CC every single day of the week, and yet do nothing for the wiki anymore. So what if it's a hassle to desysop admins? It'll wipe the smug little smile off of their faces. I personally think that if you are not using your tools X times per Y months, you lose your admin status... RSN: Warthog Rhys Talk Completionist's cape... Coming soon. 16:09, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

You realize this won't affect most of the sysops you are referring to. The vast majority of the accounts Suppa mentioned were sysopped back like 2-4 years ago. Also, it's not much of a hassle, it's a few clicks from a bureaucrat. Most of them (on the list) got sysop when we actually had a vast need for them, meaning they didn't getting it for "status". And to address that, it's not a status, it's tools. Some people try and treat it like a status, but it's not one. It really seems like you didn't read jack on this proposal. HaloTalk 19:44, August 30, 2011 (UTC)
Regardless, if you're given tools, you should be expected to use them whenever possible. I notice that when people come into the clan chat, or talk on the IRC, stating that User U has done V to page W, some sysops, clearly there, chatting, etc, just do absolutely nothing and the issue carries on for a few minutes. I agree that sysops shouldn't slave themselves 24/7 watching recent changes, but when someone is pleading for a sysop and active, present admins are there, but nothing is done. Surely that's not right? F.Y.I, I read the whole proposal, but it's not worth mentioning the risks of hacking, etc, since that whole argument is just ping-ponging back and forth. RSN: Warthog Rhys Talk Completionist's cape... Coming soon. 21:54, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Slight Support - Though the above discussion has changed my thoughts, I still agree with suppa's arguments. I was going to write a larger reasoning, but there seems to be enough textwalling going on. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 22:35, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - I fail to see how the actions outlined are going to resolve the problems listed. Life will go on regardless, and a few cosmetic changes are not going to change anything. I must say I disagree with the points presented.

Furthermore, I did not like the presentation of the proposal, least of all the last section. It was quite condescending, and left little or no room for legitimate concerns.  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Liquidhelium (talk).

In hindsight, that could have easily been left out. Suppa chuppa Talk 23:29, August 30, 2011 (UTC)
It should have been left out, not could. There is absolutely no benefit to the proposal. Everyone who comments here knows how the consensus determination process works. That last section came off as very inappropriate. --LiquidTalk 23:31, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Support - To be honest, some of the supporting arguments provided here are quite irrelevant. Namely, the account security argument and the "Oppose - We have enough administrators/bureaucrats already" argument. However, the original point still stands, in my opinion. Removing the tools from obviously inactive administrators would be a step towards this "trimming" idea; it will remove the "old guard" who have been long gone, and would encourage some new editors who may have been discouraged by the ballooning list of non-existent admins. It even might be the thing the wiki needs to jank itself out of this stagnant puddle 2011 has become for us. It is a freshening up and a change that the wiki needs. 222 talk 04:48, September 4, 2011 (UTC)


Closing (first off, anyone thinking I am biased is encouraged to check the old threads on this topic, I have been in support of this proposal before, but not always) - After reading and rereading this for clarity several times, it is clear that there is no consensus for this to happen. Suppa, in his proposal intro, did stress that the weight of the arguments must be what the determination is based on. And while several points were listed as reasons to implement, I found them to be of too little substance. No one hesitates to nominate a sysop "because we have too many", and account security is indeed more likely to be an issue for an active sysop who a random hacker is much more likely to notice than a name that has not been in recent changes for months or years. One supporter mentioned that a long list of inactive sysops is untidy (paraphrased). I couldn't give that point any weight at all. We do not have some bold flashing lights pointing to this list that we display to all who come to the wiki. Past sysops are not showing off their former status as trophies (or we would see them doing so). We do not delete inactive user accounts, and sysops are really and truly simply regular users with a couple of extra tools. We are not in any way limited to the number of people we can sysop, or this discussion would not even have brought to light for the fourth or fifth time. Nothing presented here really showed how this action could benefit the wiki, although there was indeed some heat from both sides. Granted, there is little substance to the arguments for keeping keeping inactive people sysopped, which is why the status quo sets this closing. --Degenret01 06:44, September 8, 2011 (UTC)