Forum:Ban Name Highlights

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Forums: Yew Grove > Ban Name Highlights
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This thread was archived on 22 April 2010 by Endasil.

Highlighted names were added when we had relatively few admins to try to give people an idea of where to go for admin help. These days, we have a ton of admins, and highlighted names do more to make others feel left out than they do to help them. By RS:AEAE, I will delete highlighted names unless a justification or consensus can be made as to why they should stay. Endasil (Talk) @  17:35, April 9, 2010 (UTC)


Comment: One justification people bring up is that they act as an indicator as to where people should go for admin help. THIS ISN'T WHAT WE WANT THOUGH! We don't want people posting admin requests on an individual sysop's page, since they might be temporarily inactive. We would rather the request go to RuneScape:Administrator requests or RS:CVU or whatever page makes sense. That way it can be dealt with faster and we'll have a central history of the request being made. So that argument is not a good one. Endasil (Talk) @  17:35, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I am not yet decided, but one reason to keep is for patrolling logs/history easier, but we could change the hilites to only work on logs/history for that case. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 17:42, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

I thought so too, but isn't that really saying that all editors are not equal? If we look at the recent changes and ignore admin edits but are scrupulous towards other registered users, we are just admitting bias against RS:AEAE. As for logs, I thought that too for a while, but in reality they do nothing since usually it takes a sysop to even do the stuff that show up on the logs you want to watch. As for changing the hilites to be more selective, that's not easy based on how we do it now. Endasil (Talk) @  17:45, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - By the way, I'm not arguing that hilites may have some benefits. I'm arguing that they don't have enough benefits to blatantly break RS:AEAE. But I knew that simply removing them all summarily to enforce RS:AEAE would be controversial, so I decided to come here first. Endasil (Talk) @  17:47, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose removal of highlights - Honestly, I won't be affected by the decision made here, since I overwrite highlighting in my CSS to better match my colours anyways. However, I feel that you, and many other people recently (see Forum:Crowns and AEAE) are taking AEAE too far. This policy is intended to prevent users from claiming that they are more important because they have sysop tools. It is not to prevent a simple identification system that is far more efficient than having to go look a user up somewhere (which I still cannot find). I honestly cannot imagine anybody really caring whether or not their name is green, or blue. I just don't think there's any conceivable reason to remove them. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 18:08, April 9, 2010 (UTC) 

Since it does break AEAE (perhaps not the spirit, but we are definitely treating users differently), the onus is actually on people defending why they should STAY. What virtue does this "identification system" have? Who are we identifying and for what purpose? I've already said that if you need to find an admin, what you actually need to do is make an admin request, which is better done in a centralized location, not on some user's page. Your point about personal CSS is a good one: if individuals feel they want it, we could make it an optional thing that you would add to your personal CSS. Endasil (Talk) @  18:16, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and as for that thing you still cannot find, RS:ADMIN and Special:ListUsers both work. The latter requires no manual updates. Endasil (Talk) @  18:27, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

As for reasons for removal, I've given some, but here are a few off the top of my head:

  • It gives people an ulterior motive for seeking sysop, and that's never a good thing.
  • It makes people feel excluded
  • It requires perpetual maintenance
  • It breaks AEAE
  • It's not consistent anyway, since some choose to remove themselves from it
  • It can easily be done as an option, and not globally, for those who want it.

Endasil (Talk) @  18:20, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - ARRRRRRRRRGGHH not another AEAE argument!!!!! Users are highlited so that they can easily be identified on the recent changes and in page histories. This is the same reason we hilite bots. The hilites allow easy identification of when admins have last edited, so they can be messaged should they not be checking RS:AR or RS:CVU. In addition, new users who have a question that is irrelevant to RS:AR, (such as beginner editing tips, etc.) can use the hilites, because administrators tend to have more knowledge about the wiki.

It requires perpetual maintenance

This is illogical IMHO (no offense of course Wink). Using that argument, RfA's require too much maintenance work, as does assigning user rights.

If we look at the recent changes and ignore admin edits but are scrupulous towards other registered users, we are just admitting bias against RS:AEAE.

Again, we need to know when to apply AEAE and when not to. Administrators have gone through a rigorous process ensuring that they have good intentions on the wiki. It's clear that they will not be vandalizing anything. We don't know what the intentions of newer users are, so it's just logical to check their edits. This is where RS:UCS comes in.

It breaks AEAE

I would suggest everyone takes a look at Forum:Hilite Bots and Forum:Crowns and AEAE. Hilites are used to prevent confusion, not give one user a sense of power over another. If some users is unfamiliar with AEAE and believes hilites give users "more power", there is nothing we can do. I agree with what tLUL said above, AEAE is being taken too far. Hilites are a feature that simply helps to find and distinguish user groups, nothing else.
I'm sorry if i seem a little aggressive in my oppose Blush, it's just that the way AEAE has been applied as of late is starting to drive me a little bonkers. Its application to a variety of issues NEEDS to be addressed. --Aburnett(Talk) 18:52, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

OK I'm going to try to summarize each argument you put forth and rebut them individually. I don't mind the tone, I understand after looking at the crown post that this may have a history I haven't participated in.

  • The hilites allow easy id. of when admins have last edited, should they not be checking (the admin pages). I would argue that this is better done with a link to Special:ListUsers (I'm investigating how to automatically show admins sorted by last log-on) from those respective pages.
  • Hilites are used to prevent confusion. I think the fact that some people remove themselves (justifiably) makes an argument that they ADD confusion (since sometimes you seem to see a non-sysop doing sysop things).
  • The perpetual work isn't a big deal. You're right, it's not a big deal, but it is another reason not to have them. Just not a big one.
  • Hilites are a feature that simply helps to find and distinguish user groups. But WHY is that a good thing, if not to break AEAE? What's the virtue in it?
  • It's clear the sysops will not be vandalizing anything. Experience shows that this isn't true, and sometimes you get sysops who turn sour and in fact do a great deal of damage because people just assume everything they do is justified. Furthermore, this is NOT what sysops are there for or evaluated for. If we are to use that line of reasoning, we should hilite everybody who is considered by the community to be non-malicious, and have a separate process to decide that. Otherwise, I'm sorry, but it DOES break AEAE since you are considering sysops to be different in a way that has NOTHING to do with their admin tools.

By the way I'm not really seeking to take an overly zealous interpretation of AEAE. I simply think that since this particular feature really has little merit, AEAE makes a strong case not to have it. Endasil (Talk) @  19:18, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

A link to Special:ListUsers (at least I know where it is now) is a lot less helpful than hiliting, since there is no way to know at a glance. I don't particularly like the idea of searching through a list of users to find their rights level. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 19:32, April 9, 2010 (UTC) 

Idea How about instead of ditching identifying admins altogether, we instead look into a less flashy way of identifying them, such as choosing a colour closer to the standard blue, italicizing names, using an asterisk or something like Psycho Robots? kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 19:02, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, that seems a little too complicated. I mean, what's the difference between green and some other shade of blue? It doesn't make it different. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 19:08, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
That seems reasonably easy to duplicate to me. (I may be stupid Lol). HaloTalk 19:55, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - Admins will ALWAYS know more than some random new user that no one's seen before. This is not a violation of AEAE at all. It is only letting people know who they know can help, and, like Aburnett said above, to simply distinguish user groups. [[starwars:WP:CON#Productivity requirement|This]] is a much better example of violation of AEAE. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 19:08, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

True, but so will most users that have been around for a year but have no reason to get sysop. The fact is that we're using something that is largely unrelated to trust (a certain set of admin tools) and given them special identification. That *IS* against the spirit of AEAE. Endasil (Talk) @  19:20, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
"largely unrelated to trust" - How is passing an RFA largely unrelated to trust? 95% of the supports are because the user "trusts" the user with sysop tools. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 19:32, April 9, 2010 (UTC) 
Hah, I knew someone would jump on that, but I let it slide so as to not go back and edit it. My point isn't that sysop doesn't require trust. It does. It absolutely does. My point is that the other 15000 users that aren't vandals are also probably trustworthy, but they shouldn't be sysops. And since we're therefore discriminating based on a TECHNICAL flag, that violates AEAE. Endasil (Talk) @  19:35, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - The highlighted names are to notify people about whether the person's an admin or not, I've seen the highlights ever since I first came here, and no, it never offended me, I'd like to know how it makes things look unfair, would a soldier be forced to wear civillian clothes because his camos stood out? No. The whole point of highlights is to show that the person is an admin and not a regular user, the same reason why officers have stars on their shoulders and chevons on their sleeves. Explorer's ring 3.pngBtzkillerv has entered the building! Cape (blue).png 19:21, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Exactly, and my point is, WHY? WHY is it virtuous to have sysops have "stars on their shoulders"? What benefit does that give us? Nobody has really justified that yet. If there is no justification for it, it doesn't even matter whether people are offended or feel excluded. It just plain breaks the spirit of making sysop a TECHNICAL position, not an AUTHORITATIVE one. Endasil (Talk) @  19:29, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - As AEAE says, "[H]aving solid knowledge of the subject before making large changes to its article can be beneficial." Also, "Administrators and bureaucrats are trusted members of the wiki community who are recognised for reliable edits and fairness in dealing with discussions or arguments." The highlighted names make watching the recent changes simpler. Also, I haven't seen any instances of administrators asserting "authority over other players in overruling decisions;" I've seen no cases of "Admin name here said that we shouldn't do this, so we shouldn't." Leftiness 19:22, April 9, 2010 (UTC) Statement retracted. See below. Leftiness 22:40, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

I have, but it was a long time ago and that's not why I'm bringing this up. My point is, you don't need a strong argument to not treat people differently. You need a strong argument to treat people differently, and nobody has given that here. As for the fact that sysops are normally trusted; I'm not disputing that. What I dislike is that suddenly there's this perception that sysop is a label of trust, when that's not true. There are hundreds of editors that should have that label of trust, but have no use for sysop tools. Endasil (Talk) @  19:33, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose - It is easier to identify the users that one can go to for help. Imagine being a new user here: who do you go for help? A random user with a red-linked username? An administrator with a green hilited name? A bureaucrat with a cyan name? I'd say the last two are much better than the first. That is the whole point of hilited names. --LiquidTalk 19:35, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, new users would have to go to as much trouble to figure out what they mean. About half of the user edits are made by sysops it seems. Are we really saying that new users should be able to automatically tell that "green means trustworthy?" Furthermore, as I've said, new users going for help should be done CENTRALLY, not on any individual's talk page. If it's an admin request, it should go there. If it's general help, we should have a page for general inquiries. That way they can be served quickly and impartially. Endasil (Talk) @  19:38, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Proposal - Have a new group of editors: those we trust. It seems as though you are upset because editors who should be trusted are not. Extend the highlighted name to a group of users who has passed a "Request for Trusted Editorship" decision in the same way that Admins have passed a "Request for Adminship." Color every respected user the same color; no different color for admins than bureaucrats or trusted editors. Also, make it known that those looking for help should go to the respective pages. Leftiness 19:42, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, I think that's the only way to do this without blatantly violating AEAE or turning sysop into something it shouldn't be. That being the case, my choices were to suggest something like this or to remove the colouring altogether. Since this type of process seems to be pratically infeasible or a colossal waste of time, I chose to propose the latter. But given the arguments people have been making today, this would be the necessary step if people want to keep colourings. Endasil (Talk) @  19:46, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Another major reason is the stalking of Special:RecentChanges. As someone who quite frequently undertakes that task, I can testify that it's much easier when I can identify sysops at a glance. That way, I know not to waste my time looking after those edits, and can spend more time focusing on others. --LiquidTalk 19:47, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

An AEAE-friendly way of doing that could be using Special:Contributions/newbies in conjunction with IP-filtering on the recent changes. Endasil (Talk) @  19:54, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Well, if having name hilites breaks AEAE, then being a sysop/bureaucrat also breaks AEAE (since those groups have additional powers). The point of AEAE is not to ensure that every user is perfectly equal (we're not, and we never will be), but rather it's to ensure that it doesn't turn into a situation where one or more usergroups (generally sysops and crats) are running the wiki. I don't recall people like Dtm, Azaz, Whiplash, etc standing there and ordering us around, so I see little infraction of AEAE. --LiquidTalk 19:58, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - By the way, has anyone ever wondered WHY we have such an abnormally high proportion of sysops here? The reason is because we so vehemently turn sysop into something it shouldn't be. We turn it into a status symbol, a label, a symbol of trust, a status of authority, a basis for clan-chat ranks, and so on. We give people the desire to get sysop for so many wrong reasons. But really, sysop is none of those things. It is, and should forever be, a set of tools. Endasil (Talk) @  19:57, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I've never seen sysopping as anything but having the power to block vandals (and perform a bit more maintenance work, such as deleting pages). And, I really don't think that it's a status symbol, since sysops do not get preferential treatment. Any respect that they receive is earned through their actions, not because they are a sysop. --LiquidTalk 20:00, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Although I disagree with your views on this discussion Endasil, I have to slightly agree with your comment there. We treat the sysop tool as a status that can be handed out to those who deserve it. A code that can be given to any trusted user. A thank you gift... It should be something we should only give when there is a requirement for more administrators. It isn't a matter of the more the merrier really. Even a Wikia staff member has commented to one of our 'crats that for our size, we have an extremely large amount of sysops. Chicken7 >talk 02:07, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - Any case I planned on making has been made several times over by everyone else. Per all. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 19:55, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

That may be, but I'm waiting for counterarguments to all my rebuttals. A bunch of opposes isn't going to stop me from implementing this. I need justification that works within existing policies or a change of policies. You don't need permission to uphold policies. Therefore, let it be known: this is not a vote. If justification within existing policies (or changes to those policies) don't come, I'm still going to do this. Regardless of how many opposes show up. Endasil (Talk) @  20:07, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - By the way, I'm not sure how many people are aware just how broken the system IS. Right now, the hilites don't just affect signatures and logs, they affect ANY link to ANY user page for a user that we've designated to hilite. i.e. they don't even do the job they are supposed to do properly. Endasil (Talk) @  20:07, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - I personally find it comforting to know who is a sysop and who isn't As for the few that aren't marked...they are around enough, I know who they are. HaloTalk 20:05, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Erm... How does one go about initiating a vote on a counterproposal? Leftiness 20:06, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

We don't vote, we go off community consensus. HaloTalk 20:08, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

... I was just reading the consensus article, too... I knew that. I think it's obvious that the original proposal of removing highlighting is opposed. What is the opinion on my above proposal about trusted editors? Leftiness 20:10, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

If you want input on something that differs materially from the proposal being put up (obviously this does), create a new section to separate the discussion. (See the New Section link at the top) Endasil (Talk) @  20:13, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
You just have to wait for people to give you an answer. It hasn't been left up long enough for consensus to be determined on the proposal by Endasil. HaloTalk 20:14, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Note to Endasil - (edit conflict x3)You can't delete them in the name of RS:AEAE. Like I said above, if having highlighted names is in violation of AEAE, then having the sysop/crat positions in the first place is a violation of AEAE, since that gives some users more rights than others. Also, if you delete them in the name of AEAE, then couldn't some other administrator put them back in the name of RS:CONSENSUS? Don't forget that consensus and RS:IAR can override policy. --LiquidTalk 20:15, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Sure I can. What I'm trying to get at is popular opinion or even consensus aren't good enough in this case. I want you guys to be the Supreme Court in this case, not the House of Representatives. What I mean by that is, we need to abide by our policies or change them. Popular opinion in most countries dictate that gay marriage should be banned, but that doesn't stop the supreme courts of many countries from continuously knocking down legislation against them as unconstitutional. And your point isn't valid. We went out of our way to give these people hilites, that needs justification. Obviously whether or not everybody should be a sysop is a completely different argument. What you're saying is like "since you have the right to free speech, child pornography should be legal, as should libel, slander, and hate speech." Obviously there are exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. You can preserve the right to pornography without giving up a ban on child pornography. Endasil (Talk) @  20:21, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with liquidhelm, you are in no position to remove the hiliting and override RS:CONSENSUS. --Aburnett(Talk) 20:25, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
AEAE says that no editor has more or less authority than any other editor. It is intended to stop one or more groups from "ruling" the wiki as an oligarchy. Giving name hilites doesn't grant those users more authority, and I cannot ever recall any bureaucrat or administrator ruling the wiki. Also, we had to go out of our way to grant sysop rights. It is probably easier to edit the MediaWiki:Common.css/hilite page than it is to go to Special:UserRights. --LiquidTalk 20:28, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Occasionally decisions are made, that, once made, are incredibly hard to reverse since complacency and bias towards the status quo sets in. I argue that this was a change that was made that, if we had had a proper discussion before we added the hilites, would have never taken place. That's why I'm using all this "come up with a good argument FOR it or else I'm removing hilites" rhetoric. The reality is, if we were to remove them all per AEAE and THEN have a discussion, from scratch, about whether we should HAVE them...I think it would be a much more fair argument. But don't be scared by my rhetoric alone. I'm not going to go off on some edit tantrum. Endasil (Talk) @  20:33, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget, community consensus can override policy. As someone who acts on behalf of the community, you cannot use RS:BB and RS:IAR to override a community consensus. If you had deleted them outright, using RS:AEAE as justification, then that is probably fine. But, now that there is a discussion going on with the consensus (so far) being oppose, you cannot overrule the community. The responsibility of sysops is to act according to what the community wants, not to overrule the community. --LiquidTalk 20:40, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Wow, I am extremely shocked here that Liquidhelm would dare to say we need consensus before proceeding, when in Forum:Edit_report he implemented only the changes he cared about well before the discussion was concluded.--Degenret01 00:54, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Taken directly from RS:AEAE to address this overruling issue:

Administrators and bureaucrats are trusted members of the wiki community who are recognised for reliable edits and fairness in dealing with discussions or arguments. This does not give them authority over other players in overruling decisions; all major decisions of this kind (such as requesting adminship) must be made by the community, and not by an individual.

Also, AEAE does not state that having anything simply distinguishing administrators from nonsysops is against policy. All it states is that administrators' opinions are not taken into account more than the opinions of nonsysops.  Tien  21:02, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Explanation - Some people have called into question some of the language I've been using as if I'm going to overrule community consensus on this. I'm not. The issue that comes into play is that even if there is a consensus now on opposing a ban on name hilites, there is no consensus that we should have hilites. There never has been such consensus, and so I would not be violating consensus by removing them: they should have never been there.

To explain that, let me give you a bit of history. Name hilites were introduced by a single user. A day or two later, another user said "this is something that the community should decide on." After that, a few people (myself included) supported them so they stayed. This discussion happened on the discussion page for an article that can't even be edited by normal users. As a result, it's not surprising that all responses were from sysops. This happened at MediaWiki_talk:common.css#Community approval. Really the only discussion was about colour. I was the only one to support it (ironically) and gave the argument of Recent change filtering.

In other words, I would suggest that it never truly had community consensus. That's why I'm trying in the language I use to provoke an argument FOR them. Since the status quo (in absense of consensus) should have been not to do it (IMO), I want to see consensus that they should be there for me to not remove them.

So, I'm making a section below where we will argue as if the names aren't hilited and proceed to try to reach consensus one way or another. I just want to see consensus FOR it, we obviously have strong enough support to NOT remove them at the moment. So let reason have its day: if you oppose what I've said above, turn it into a support for the new section I've just added. Endasil (Talk) @  22:06, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

As you have said, there is a consensus now against removing the colors. You should not overrule a community consensus. --LiquidTalk 22:08, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
But the unique part of communities like ours is that we can simultaneously have "consensus" for two contradictory points of view. It's for that reason that I want to present the opposite of the argument so that we can actually say that as a community, we reached consensus that things like hilites SHOULD be there. And if we don't reach consensus there, then we're at a difficult impasse. If we do, great! Endasil (Talk) @  22:15, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Also, the fact that there was no consensus to put them in is fairly irrelevent. This is how evolution works. No one goes in and thinks "I'm going to invent cephalization!". It is a series of accidents that are determined to be beneficial (through the process of natural selection). Same goes here: we (the community) might not have intended to add the colors in, but now that they're there, and since we do not support their removal, they should stay. --LiquidTalk 22:16, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
I like that point. I do think however that there is an intrinsic tendency toward the status quo, that, at times, can be unhealthy. Endasil (Talk) @  22:21, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
That's how the consensus system works. If you don't like it, invent your own system. In the consensus system, the defenders of status quo do not need to obtain a consensus for the status quo; they just need to ensure that the opposition does not get a consensus for change, since no consensus means that no changes are made. The consensus system is geared towards the status quo, and there is nothing we can do about it. --LiquidTalk 22:23, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Except when the original decision or action was made outside of consensus. Since in that case, there was not enough consensus to move off of the status quo, and yet it happened anyway. It's currently a "legal" loophole to institute something authoritatively, wait for a few days/weeks/years, and then say "hey, anybody who wants to get RID of it should speak up now" once everyone is used to it. I'm trying to plug that hole. Endasil (Talk) @  22:40, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I think Endasil has a point. If everyone opposes it so strongly, then they should be able to come up with a reason to have it. I think it is attested by my below proposal that nobody wants editors to be considered "special," so the argument of "it makes the recent changes easier to skim" is irrelevant. Give his below proposal a shot. Leftiness 22:30, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

"Don't fix what isn't broken." --LiquidTalk 22:33, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Well I think I've been trying to argue it is broken. Endasil (Talk) @  22:40, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I just have to say I've never been as impressed with a discussion as I have been so far here. This hasn't degraded into people arguing one side based on them wanting to keep their status symbols. I was warned it would. In truth, I've never been as sure about the maturity of the Wiki as I am today. Clearly there have been some very stable voices rise up while I was away that, while they sometimes disagree, are really mature. I would have thought the level of immaturity would get worse over time, but if what I'm seeing today is an indication, it's only getting better. Especially given that apparently this is a topic which has gotten quite heated in the past. Endasil (Talk) @  22:40, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

^_^ Thanks for the compliment. But back to the discussion. The loophole you mentioned still cannot override unanimous opposition from the community. RS:CONSENSUS still applies, and you cannot overrule the wishes of the community. It doesn't matter if the original addition was invalid; the community has decided that it should stay. --LiquidTalk 22:48, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose—Per C Teng and others. Horsehead Talk 03:29, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Just going through a few points given with my counter argument.

The hilites allow easy id. of when admins have last edited, should they not be checking (the admin pages).

I would argue that this is better done with a link to Special:ListUsers (I'm investigating how to automatically show admins sorted by last log-on) from those respective pages.
Special:ListUsers is a rather tedious way to do something that is otherwise incredibly simple. When I was a non-admin not too long ago, I contacted the most recent admin who edited when I needed something done, should the admin requests page go unchecked. Using Special:ListUser is absolutely silly when such a simple process has been working.

Hilites are used to prevent confusion.

I think the fact that some people remove themselves (justifiably) makes an argument that they ADD confusion (since sometimes you seem to see a non-sysop doing sysop things).
If 90% of the sysops have name hilites, I would argue that makes things 90% less confusing. Regardless, I still don't see this as a fully valid argument.

Hilites are a feature that simply helps to find and distinguish user groups.

But WHY is that a good thing, if not to break AEAE? What's the virtue in it?
What I want to know is how it breaks AEAE. You have not listed any reasoning as to how it does so other than that it puts other users down. Not only do I think it does not do this (never did to me), but that is not the intended purpose of AEAE. It was created to ensure that different usergroups do not claim more power over the others in discussions. Using AEAE as reasoning for removing name hilites is turning the policy into something it's not.

It's clear the sysops will not be vandalizing anything.

Experience shows that this isn't true, and sometimes you get sysops who turn sour and in fact do a great deal of damage because people just assume everything they do is justified. Furthermore, this is NOT what sysops are there for or evaluated for. If we are to use that line of reasoning, we should hilite everybody who is considered by the community to be non-malicious, and have a separate process to decide that. Otherwise, I'm sorry, but it DOES break AEAE since you are considering sysops to be different in a way that has NOTHING to do with their admin tools.
That was in the earlier days of the wiki when tools where given out more liberally, but that's not the point. While I agree that Admins will rarely, if not never make bad faith edits, that's not a valid reason not to take a look from time to time to see if they made a coding error, or something, so I will not say anything else on those two points.

On top of all that, the second point in this particular proposal (Newbies can see who to ask for help) is valid. I doubt new users will be able to find Special:ListUser, and even if they do, I imagine that they will feel left out that they are not on it should the name hilite make them feel left out (and I highly doubt this upsets more than one new user a week, it's silly to get hung up on that kind of thing).

Now, Endasil also said “If justification within existing policies (or changes to those policies) don't come, I'm still going to do this. Regardless of how many opposes show up.”, but this cannot be done, as liquid said, “You can't delete them in the name of RS:AEAE. Like I said above, if having highlighted names is in violation of AEAE, then having the sysop/crat positions in the first place is a violation of AEAE, since that gives some users more rights than others. Also, if you delete them in the name of AEAE, then couldn't some other administrator put them back in the name of RS:CONSENSUS? Don't forget that consensus and RS:IAR can override policy.”

The community, the same community that put all the policies referenced here in place, has made it more than clear that they want to keep the name hilites. Even if having the name hilites did break AEAE, community consensus does have the power to override it. The non-hilited members of this community have made it clear that it does not offend by the hilites, nor do the hilites make them feel inferior. I am yet to see a valid reason to remove the hilites. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 17:58, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Special:ListUsers is a bit tedious. RS:AR isn't tedious, and it is also a simple process. RS:AR is just as effective as checking for recent edits. It may be more effective since it notifies all admins of the request.

I also believe that highlights do nothing to prevent confusion, however they also do nothing to cause confusion.

I think that AEAE is out of the question in its current form. I assert that AEAE should be reformed, per Endasil's statement here ( that "all editors should be equal in every single way except those ways determined by the community through consensus."

I agree that admins' edits should also be checked for technical errors. The removal of highlighted names encourages this by making their edits the same as the rest, except for the editor's opinion. What I mean to say is that editors' opinions should be formed not by a green name, but by their own trust in that user's name.

"The Admin Request page would not go unchecked if there were no highlights." It would not be unchecked in the event that highlights are removed. Therefore, I assert that, by my above statement about RS:AR efficiency, this isn't a valid argument.

Therefore, I say that removing the highlights would be beneficial in efficiency through the centralised user of RS:AR, RS:CVU, etc; editors would also check even admins' edits. The currently highlighted names are detrimental in that editor's skim past admins' edits, as attested above; having requests scattered about talk pages is also less efficient. Again, I state that I don't think AEAE is an issue in its current form, but that I would like it reformed. Leftiness 19:55, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

An oppose so massive that if I put it, it would fill this thread right up - WHY!??! Why must we have another discussion like this? I thought the crown situation was enough but now this... anyway, the hilite is here for a reason, a very good one. To help newbies find who they can get help from! If a user gets asked something they don't know and tell that newbie to see an administrator and we didn't have this hilite, they would be TOTALLY lost and they would probably never come back because of it? Liam 14:31, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Proposal - Have a new group of editors: those we trust.

I think it's obvious that the above proposal is being opposed. It seems as though Endasil is upset because editors who should be trusted are not. I propose to extend the highlighted name to a group of users who has passed a "Request for Trusted Editorship" in the same way that Admins have passed a "Request for Adminship." Every user having passed a "Request for..." would be coloured the same colour; there would be no different colour for admins than for bureaucrats or trusted editors. This encourages users to make requests on the correct pages (CVU). Also, it will still be easy to identify trusted editors in the recent changes log while not making some editors seem more "equal" than others. I also suggest that it be made known that a coloured name signifies trust in that user's editing, not that he is better or that people should listen to everything he says. This way, AEAE isn't violated. Leftiness 20:23, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, if you want to know my emotions and my motivation, it is that sysop be what it should be. There has been an increasing amount of "wiki overreach" present in the Wiki for some time, and this is just one symptom of it. Believe me, you'll see more from me in terms of how we as a community should deal with things like clan chat, etc. I just happen to be fighting this battle using AEAE since it is a valid argument. Endasil (Talk) @  20:33, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - THIS is a maintenance nightmare, not to mention unnecessary. --Aburnett(Talk) 20:25, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose - This is even more nightmarish than Endasil's proposal. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue on a RSTU page? Or how heated RfTU's can get? Some RfA's see plenty of controversy already, we don't need to amplify that any more. --LiquidTalk 20:29, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Aburnett and Liquidhelium. HaloTalk 20:35, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose - Per above. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 20:41, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - talk about elitist and a waste of time.. It's bad enough that this discussion was started over something so trivial that no one else has ever minded, but trusted editorship? Come on people! Andrew talk 20:59, April 9, 2010 (UTC) 20:46, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I don't think a "Request for Trusted Editor" would be very controversial. They would not receive any special powers. It would simply be known that they are a trusted editor, so that the recent changes would be easy to watch. I'm worried about what Endasil mentioned above, "It's clear the sysops will not be vandalizing anything. Experience shows that this isn't true, and sometimes you get sysops who turn sour and in fact do a great deal of damage because people just assume everything they do is justified."

Also, per Endasil, "Furthermore, this is NOT what sysops are there for or evaluated for. If we are to use that line of reasoning, we should hilite everybody who is considered by the community to be non-malicious, and have a separate process to decide that. Otherwise, I'm sorry, but it DOES break AEAE since you are considering sysops to be different in a way that has NOTHING to do with their admin tools." I believe this would work. What goes into changing the link colour? Liquidhelium mentioned editing MediaWiki:Common.css/hilite? Leftiness 20:52, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Well, AEAE states that everyone, from the unregistered IP to the bureaucrat is equal. By your/Endasil's logic, wouldn't this also be in violation of AEAE? --LiquidTalk 20:54, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
That is all there is to it, just add a relatively short bit of code to MediaWiki:Common.css/hilite. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 21:01, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
All editors would NOT be equal with this new ridiculous proposal. It separates the community by saying, "We're all equal, but we don't trust some of you as much as others." Furthermore, I will reiterate that NO ONE has had ANY problem with highlighted names For admins because not everyone knows how to find the admin list and it ISN'T A BIG DEAL. Andrew talk 21:09, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose all Proposals - Per all. (davelopo) 21:05, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - How on earth can anyone say that it is difficult and hard to maintain changing someone's link colour when all you do is edit the CSS? There is a discussion on the meaning of AEAE here: ( Leftiness 21:11, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

You ignored everything I said. We aren't discussing how difficult it is to highlight someone's name. Andrew talk 21:26, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Retracting Proposal - I apologize for upsetting anyone. I feel as though the discussion is shifted from highlighting names to the meaning of AEAE. Leftiness 21:34, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Proposal: Hilited Names

(Pretend we don't have this already). Names in recent changes, article diffs, logs, etc should be hilited to show what user rights that user has. Arguments for include:

  1. It's quicker to filter through recent changes (we can ignore those who have special colours)
  2. Newbies can see who to ask for help.

Oppose - Regarding #1, I think we're corrupting what the role of sysop should be, and not treating users equally by considering the edits of a sysop differently than any other trusted user. Regarding #2, it would be much better for newbies if they had an obvious link to Special:ListUsers/sysop and then simply sort it by last log-in. Endasil (Talk) @  22:07, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Maintain the status quo, per above. --Aburnett(Talk) 22:13, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Please read my point is that I want this discussion to be as if it WASN'T the status quo. It's not a good enough reason to keep something since hilites were never added by consensus. In other words, treat this argument as if they aren't there. That's the only fair way to argue for something like this. Endasil (Talk) @  22:17, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Alright, I support because hiliting allows users to be easily identified on the recent changes and in page histories. In addition, the hilites allow easy identification of when admins have last edited, so they can be messaged should they not be checking RS:AR or RS:CVU. In addition, new users who have a question that is irrelevant to RS:AR, (such as beginner editing tips, etc.) can use the hilites, because administrators tend to have more knowledge about the wiki. This avoids confusion and simplifies communication. --Aburnett(Talk) 04:11, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Highlighting names will help us find the edits that we don't need to bother to check for vandalism, and it will help users identify those to go to for help. However, I should stipulate that highlighted names are not to be forced onto the sysops. Individual administrators should be allowed to remove his or her highlight if he or she chooses to. And also, let evolution play its course. We have a new development. We decide we like it. It stays. --LiquidTalk 22:21, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

If it's mainly a tool for users with some experience in watching recent changes, wouldn't it be just as effective to be an option, not a global setting? It would be really easy to maintain the list of colours and then personalize your CSS with one line importing that list for you and you alone. Endasil (Talk) @  22:44, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Furthermore, this would be much more effective if it were done on a user-by-user basis. Say Liquidhelium has a list of hilites that he maintains at User:Liquidhelium/Monaco.css/hilite. He could add anybody he wanted to, including himself, that he trusts to ignore in the recent changes. There he wouldn't need community approval for who he decides to trust, so he could add a bunch more common editors like Ajraddatz and Aburnett as well. Then others could decide that they like who Liquidhelium trusts, and import his list as well. Endasil (Talk) @  22:49, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Endasil. It is (just as) effective (or more) to place help requests in a centralized place (RS:CVU, RS:AR). Also, per RS:ADMIN, there have been cases of sysop abuse. Seeing them as trusted editors is done enough based on the frequency of their edits; it shouldn't be official. Leftiness 22:38, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Of course there has been abuse. It happens with everything. Do you believe the government has never abused their power? There will always be abuse, but in general sysops are trustworthy. HaloTalk 22:41, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per all opposers of the original proposal. The fact of the matter is they're already here, why pretend they're not? (davelopo) 22:52, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - A trustworthy editor can be recognized by frequent positive edits. Eventually, you'll recognize the name and decide for yourself whether or not you trust that person. What harm will removing the highlighting do in consideration of this? The purpose of pretending is to theoretically remove the status quo defence to see if there is another defence. Leftiness 23:00, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

What if you don't edit often? Not everyone has time to frequently edit the wiki, so it's fairly difficult for them to distinguish trustworthy editors if they only have time to edit for 20 minutes.  Tien  23:18, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - If you don't edit often, it won't hurt for someone to look at your edit every so often. Leftiness 23:23, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Support maintaining the status quo - Per above. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 23:44, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - To address #2 above and Endasil's idea of a list...we generally welcome all new users anyways with a welcome template of some sort. Just have users add an extra bullet in their welcome notice to provide a link for new users to contact admin, or to learn more about them. This will effectively provide an easy link for every new user.

Bonziiznob Talk

23:52, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

That's a good idea regardless. Endasil (Talk) @  18:40, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - While I think that Endasil has a point, I see this argument as RS:SNOW. Leftiness 23:59, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose No one is special, no one deserves a colored name. Sysops and Crats should have their edits checked just as often as the new IP so there is no reason to have them stand out.--Degenret01 01:20, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Someone has to ban people who vandalize, some people have to be able to close things. People have to have abilities that can't be entrusted to anyone. These people should be marked (unless they don't want to be) to distinguish their abilities from the average user. It's the same thing as having not all IP addresses displayed. You make an account so you have more abilities. One of those is that your IP address is hidden. HaloTalk 01:24, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Waste of antivandalism time. No bureaucrat would vandalize, and it's rare that a sysop would, so checking their edits is a waste of time. And I absolutely am suspicious about IP addresses! Yes I am! And unknown new users, too! Why? Because those are the most likely to vandalize. This is a fact, is it not? And I'm not going to tape a list of administrators' names to my monitor so I can tell who I should and shouldn't check. Why should I waste my time checking a sysop's edits over an IP's? The likeliness of sysops vandalizing is very very low. (davelopo) 14:27, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you. And herein lies the problem: We have to balance the practicality of wiki editing and countervandalism with the principles of RS:AEAE and RS:AGF. It's a difficult balancing game. --LiquidTalk 14:29, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Bureaucrats and sysops won't typically vandalize, no. But are they better editors in general? Not really, since that's not a qualification of being a sysop. Some sysops abuse the English language like any other. So their edits deserve to be peer reviewed exactly the same amount. Recent changes shouldn't just be about catching vandalism. Endasil (Talk) @  18:40, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Hilited names help a lot when identifying an administrator. Not only in Recent Changes, but in Page histories. You can check who closed a discussion, you can zoom down the list and find who protected a page, etc. It may be better to request sysop help in a centralised place, but if I were a new user now, I'd still ask on talk pages. It can help develop friendships with users in a new community, and then there's always someone willing to help out. When I joined in '07, I asked admins for help personally, and I'm still friendly with most of them even today (if they're not inactive, at least). Plus, it is not only normal users who this can help. I personally scroll the RC to check for active sysops to ask their opinion on a proposal I might make, whether a discussion has consensus or not, to ask them to do something for me, etc. I think not adding this handy code with the argument of a violation of AEAE is a bad one, as AEAE does not and should not cover this. Chicken7 >talk 02:02, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - To all above saying "keep the status quo", the point of this section was to act as a completely new proposal like it had never happened, as the first proposal did not really implement RS:CONSENSUS. Chicken7 >talk 02:02, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support -Come on people, your taking AEAE WAY too far. As TLUL said, username highlighting is simply a means of identification, and greatly helps finding sysops by looking in the RC, etc. Can everyone just calm down about the whole AEAE thing? Runecrafting-icon.png Stormsaw1 Talk Sign HighscoresRunecrafting-icon.png 03:08, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

So you mean support Wink --Aburnett(Talk) 03:10, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, wasn't paying any friggin attention Lol Runecrafting-icon.png Stormsaw1 Talk Sign HighscoresRunecrafting-icon.png 03:13, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support Status Quo and Comment - Though I do like hilites for seeing what needs vandal check or not (oh, thats an admin edit, no need to check for insults there!) I do think it would be nice to have a "trusted editor" hilite.. the default blue makes me sad--Cheers, Off-hand ascension crossbow.pngYodaAscension crossbow.png 03:20, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. Andrew talk 05:00, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

WHAT? - "pretend we don't have this"? I am totally confused. Explorer's ring 3.pngBtzkillerv has entered the building! Cape (blue).png 12:51, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

It's rather odd. Pretend that we don't have any name hilites. Support if you want to have hilites, oppose if you don't want to have hilites. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 14:30, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
It is rather odd. It's more of a psychology experiment at this point since we know that the opposition above will prevent any action. But my point is that people are always more bias towards the status quo. That presents a problem when the addition happened without consensus in the first place. And I think this section was successful in proving my point. Of 11 responses, there were 2 justified supports, 3 opposes, and 5-6 supports that basically said "maintain the status quo." Those 5-6 supports might arguably be opposes if they understood the point about pretending the hilites weren't already there. So if there is consensus that name hilites should be there in the first place, nobody here has shown it, that's for sure. Endasil (Talk) @  15:46, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
It could also be argued that you are twisting things around. You cannot ignore supports based on the reason. If the community *wants* to "maintain the status quo", who are you to stop the community? Andrew talk 18:29, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
I just finish saying it's more of a psychology experiment to prove the point that people are just supporting to maintain the status quo. And in the response you're replying to, I already said "the opposition above will prevent any action." So really it is YOU who is twisting things around by misrepresenting what I'm saying. I'm not ignoring anything, stop pretending I'm some rogue. Endasil (Talk) @  18:34, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
You cannot deny IT IS the status quo right now, and if users want to keep it because of that reason, it is THEIR choice. Doesn't matter if it came about the right way, THIS is how it is. I don't think playing psychological games on our community is a good idea, and won't do much for your proposal. Chicken7 >talk 23:55, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment One argument I have seen is that it is a way for people to know who to go to for help. This is entirely a reason we should not have hilited names imo. Many times I have been asked technical questions that I haven't the foggiest on how to answer, and while I am one of the least technically knowledgeable sysops, I am not the only one lacking a lot of the know how. These users would be better served by going directly to the Admin request page (maybe we can expand that page to help with all technical stuff, many of our users can do things some of our sysops can not).--Degenret01 17:33, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Come on, this has got nothing to do with RS:AEAE. Hilited name help us identify sysops, without them it's hard to see who's a sysop and who's not. bad_fetustalk 18:30, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

I haven't seen a good reason someone needs to know who is a sysop and who is not.--Degenret01 18:36, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
It's simply useful for new users. Sysops usually are more trustable and usually know more about editing than the average user. I mean, you could just run into Parsons as a new user and although he has good faith, he isn't really someone that I would ask for advice. Hope you can see my point. bad_fetustalk 18:41, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
If you haven't seen 1 good reason out of this whole discussion, you mustn't of read a lot of it. Chicken7 >talk 23:52, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Because we already have this. I know we should look at this like it's not here yet, but it's a waste of time to remove this. Crowns indicate authority - a green or cyan link does not. I see absolutely no reason not to keep this. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:42, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Frankly if anyone wants the highlighted names, just make your own custom CSS for it. I have never seen a decent reason to use highlighted names. Some say it's to show trustworthiness in a given individual, but then that is bias like I can never believe. All editors are equal, all need to assume good faith, and just use the two nice pages, Special:Listusers/sysops and Administrative requests (don't know the link). No one is above being looked at or dismissed, that is how I feel toward this proposal. Ryan PM 18:44, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

I think the page you mean is RS:AR? Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 21:28, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment So if you want the hilited colors to show, why don't you select the personal cs thing and make it so? Why do you insist that everyone should see it?--Degenret01 00:17, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

What if users who aren't avid Wikians or haven't participated in this discussion want to see it. as it will help them? That's a poor argument. It's like saying '"If you want an article about the new skill, put it in your userspace; even when there is rough consensus for having it in the mainspace." Chicken7 >talk 00:28, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
How will knowing who is an admin help someone? They need a question answered? Most of our users know as much as many or more of our admins.--Degenret01 01:28, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Do you think I find looking through a list of users to find out if Oli4burggraa (for example) is a sysop or not? I'm telling you right now, I don't. I have neither the time nor the patience to search through a list for this, when I could just as easily see it from a hilited nickname. There is no way that adding these name hilites can hurt the wiki, and it is not a violation of AEAE. Why do you insist that every user must manually add this? Would you ask that a new user who knows nothing about Wikia or MediaWiki add a bunch of code to a page just to see who he or she might ask for help with something?

Separate from this thought experiment, I would like to add a comment about AEAE. Over in the shout box, I saw a very good example of what a violation of AEAE might be and what it isn't.

[10 Apr] <C Teng> Notice - Degen has told me that he will delete Talk:Bukkit in two days... if it's not moved.
[10 Apr] <C Teng> --Liquidhelium. Now that's a violation of AEAE..
[10 Apr] <C Teng> admins overriding the decisions of the community

Although that's a separate debate, it illustrates what AEAE really is about: All editors' opinions are of equal value. Example (and these are only names picked at random): Is Bluesonic34 equal to Quarenon? No, they are two separate editors, with separate opinions and attitudes. However, is Bluesonic's opinion any more or less important than Quarenon's? Absolutely not. Regardless of any difference that there may be in their contributions and attitude, their opinions hold equal weight. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 00:26, April 11, 2010 (UTC) 

What does that illustrate? It illustrates that I would be deleting a spam page that had no proper conversation and is deletable under allowances of RS:DDD, no where is that even a little bit of me overriding a community consensus. There in fact was no consensus to keep it so saying I would delete it was following the prevailing community standard. And that is AEAE, those who wanted it deleted as spam, and following our standards. Me giving two extra days was in my opinion just me not being a jerk, so anyone who wanted the conversation would have a chance to get it.--Degenret01 01:28, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Regarding looking through a list to find out if someone is a sysop, using name hilites isn't a good way to do it anyway since anybody is free to remove their own name from the hilites. It's not an accurate way to determine whether they're sysop or not. Instead, use Special:ListUsers and use the textbox to jump to the name you want to check. As for the other stuff, we have an open discussion about AEAE at Forum:AEAE. Endasil (Talk) @  01:39, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Degen, if the result was no consensus, that means returning to the status quo before the discussion, which was in fact, keeping the talk page. Chicken7 >talk 01:47, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
This isn't really the place to talk about this, but since it's happening anyway: Degen was completely justified in saying that and performing the delete. Where do people get off thinking that you need consensus to ENFORCE policies? Speedy deletion criteria include nonsense pages and DDD reenforced it. Do we really want to be the kind of community where every enforcement of existing policies requires consensus? That's like having a referendum or house vote every time the police want to arrest a criminal. Endasil (Talk) @  06:33, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Consensus comes before policies. Liquidhelium opened that VfD discussion to find the consensus on the discussion, not for 10 users to say RS:DDD and RS:SPEEDY. Chicken7 >talk 06:41, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
First of all, you've already admitted that there was no consensus to keep the page, and you would minimally have to have consensus to override what the policies tell you to do. Second of all, "consensus comes before policies" a very, very troubling statement to make. Policies are universal and have been scrutinized by thousands of users over time. A ridiculous RFD like that gets the attention of maybe 10 people. What you are saying is that if those selectively chosen 10 people agree that it should stay, that trumps the 1000s of people who agreed on the policy that it should go. Do you see the flaw in that line of reasoning? Endasil (Talk) @  08:32, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
I should probably explain what happened there. I started a RfD on the Bukkit article (which was a redirect to Bucket), with the intention of removing the Talk:Bukkit. Since I was unfamiliar with the RfD procedure at the time, I did not realize that the talk page would stay even if the main article was deleted. Later, I found RS:TP, which Talk:Bukkit violated. It was because of that policy that Degen said he would delete Talk:Bukkit. Since the discussion above did not apply to Talk:Bukkit, the consensus developed there was irrelevent. Furthermore, several users had voted to keep Bukkit, but delete/move Talk:Bukkit. In the end, the content of Talk:Bukkit was moved to User:Iiii I I I/Bukkit, and Talk:Bukkit was deleted. --LiquidTalk 16:33, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
To clarify what I meant by my previous comment - I was not trying to accuse Degenret of anything, having never looked into the debate. I was merely giving an example of what would, if it were true (and it seems to me that it may have been taken out of context), be a violation of the policy - an admin thinking he or she had more power in a decision than the community did. I was not attempting to imply that Degen did such a thing. This example was independent of other policies such as RS:UCS, RS:TP, or others that may have supported whatever action was taken. I would like to formally apologize to Degen for using him as an example, without having read the history of that incident. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 22:02, April 11, 2010 (UTC) 

Support With all due respect, can we just please get back to the topic at focus here? This page is clogged as is, we don't need to argue two separate topics at a time. With that being said, I firmly support the staying of hilited names, and I oppose the removal of them. Endasil, what you are making here is a straw man's argument, a fallacious one at its best. What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right. IMO, what you are planning on carrying out is not right, and is not popular. If you were to override the general concensus, from which I can contrive is "oppose removal of hilited names" that would make you a very unpopular person. But I presume you are not doing it for the popularity, but for the sake of a policy. Policies can be override, just as concensus can be. Policies aren't the Ten Commandments, they aren't set in stone. Any rule on the RSW, including policies, can be ignored if it is done for the betterment of the RSW. This is just the way I see it. Fruit.Smoothie 18:57, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

A strawman argument is one where I intentionally misrepresent the view of my opponent to make it easier to strike down. If that's what you're accusing me of, I respectfully ask you to provide evidence. As I've said numerous times, my intention with this section isn't to controvert consensus. It's obvious at this point that consensus would prevent action. By intention with this section was to show how consensus is completely different the way you frame the argument. I recently read a study that found that people will decide completely differently the way you frame an argument. The example was this: "You have a limited number of healthy livers available for transplant and many more people in need of a transplant." Then they asked half of the people "is it virtuous to put alcoholics lower on the list for a liver transplant?" and the other half "is it virtuous to put people with healthy behaviour higher on the list for a liver transplant." The former half were in basic consensus that it is unfair to punish people for their bad health behaviour. The latter half were in basic consensus that it is fair to reward people for their good health behaviour. These points are contradictory; you can't have one without the other. Consensus was completely dependent on how you framed the question. THAT is the point of this section. There is not yet consensus when I frame the question as breaking the status quo to add hilites, whereas there is consensus when I frame the question to remove hilites. Endasil (Talk) @  21:19, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Well, this may or may not seem like evidence, but it seems to me that you slightly modified your position regarding hilite removal, saying that you were intending on deleting the hilites anyways, effectively disregarding consensus which has yet to been reached, but it seems clear to me that the overwhelming majority of us intend on opposing anyways. In respect to your statement that "highlighted names do more to make others feel left out than they do to help them," the burden of proof lies on you to prove that statement. Has there been any site-wide surveys, polls, or anything conducted to illustrate that arrival of conclusions? I wouldn't call this Wiki a democracy any day, because it seems to me that we're approaching oligarchy, where admins or bureaucrats can override the community's consensus based on policies written who knows how long ago. Policies were created by the community, but most of them, including AEAE, have contradictory flaws. Consensus is NOW, it is the modern word of the community, I hold consensus in higher regards than policy because as the community changes, so will the consensus. And the consensus is to NOT remove hilited names. I do not like arguing for or against AEAE, as it holds an ambiguous definition to me. Putting this in retrospect, everyone can edit, that is the spirit of the Wiki. But the very presence of having administrators or bureaucrats diminishes that aspect by giving more tools, thereby eliminating the balance that AEAE strives for. But one can say the allowance of more tools is not unjustified, and that the community itself voted on behalf. That is true, but think of hilites as tools too, tools for an administrator. If you were to remove hilites, you might as well remove the crown images from which an entire YG thread was construed about several weeks ago, the premise and conclusion of which bears striking similarities to this thread, one in which an administrator deleted images without the community's prior upheaval or notification. I feel like that is what you are trying to get at here, and the point I want to make is that there is no justified contention to removing the hilites unless you have solid proof of "highlighted names do more to make others feel left out than they do to help them." I rarely see newer users commentate on YG threads anyways, and this is an unfortunate fact as I strongly believe we need to give newer users the best atmosphere possible, and hilited names do that in a sense. Authority is basically power, and power is not always bad, if used for the better good of the community. My final question to you, Endasil, is: will you still be removing the hilites IF the status quo remains impartial, or if there is no concession towards favoring the removal, meaning if the consensus remains either bipartisan, or disfavoring the removal?Fruit.Smoothie 01:40, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure how good of an answer I can give you since I'm having difficulty understanding some of your writing. I don't think you understand the definition of "status quo" or "bipartisan." But if you are wondering at this point on whether I'm going to be removing them, then the answer is no as I have said many times already. There is clearly substantial opposition (though not consensus) towards such an action and consensus comes first. My previous words were designed to light a fire under the discussion in a way. I wanted to provoke people into giving a positive argument towards having them, rather than simply appealing to triviality or the status quo. Endasil (Talk) @  02:12, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Forgive me then, for using words I do not know, as it is a common trait of mine in an appeal to ignorance. I like to sound as intellelligent as I can sometimes. Fruit.Smoothie 02:18, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

I'd encourage you to take a philosophy or critical thinking course if and when you have the chance. Best course I've ever taken. You seem to like argumentation, and you just need some help "learning the lingo," so to speak. Endasil (Talk) @  02:22, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Haha, indeed. This may seem pathetic, but I am currently a member on the forums, and there are some rather interesting debates there, most common being the ever-so-popular "is there free will?" and the "if god exists" debates, to name a few. Fruit.Smoothie 02:28, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - By making admins easily identifiable through hilites, you make them easy to reach and contact for help. By making them easily identifiable (think of the hilite as their uniform), you're differentiating them from a plain-clothes officer who, while equally capable, is much less likely to be informed if something bad happens. And while RS:AR an RS:CVU are both useful, they are not always closely monitored, whereas directly contacting an active admin will get their immediate attention. If I see somebody tagging a wall, what should I do: run and tell the police officer standing on the corner (an online, active admin), or drive five miles to what I think is the location of a police station (CVU, AR)? All of that aside, I agree that making admins easier to identify in recent changes makes everybody's lives a lot easier. People have also brought up the point that there is a way to change the colors of certain users' names in your preferences? I've been editing the Wiki for upwards of two years, and while I admit I'm far from technologically adept, I've never heard of it and have no idea how to implement it. I cannot imagine many new users in potential need of advice are going to stumble across that feature. Quest.png Morian Smith Saradomin crozier.png 19:53, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

When I get into trouble I call 911 and have them send the closest and best person for the job. I don't frantically start scouring the streets hoping to find an officer. Especially if I happen to find a police officer but in reality needed a parametic. And that's exactly what I'm trying to say here. It's better to "call 911"--post in a central admin request page--than to start looking around frantically for an admin that may not be the best man for the job. Endasil (Talk) @  21:19, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Comment In response to the idea contacting the most recent admin on is the way to go. You never know if its their last edit before they log off for an hour or 10. There have been several times people have left me a message on my talk page because they saw me on recent changes, but in fact it was my final edit for a few hours. That is why the CVU and the AR are always the smartest course of action. It would help if all admins made sure to add the AR to their watchlist too.--Degenret01 20:49, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Just tell people to post in admin requests if they need admin help? And refuse to help otherwise? I don't think that would be unreasonable. HaloTalk 20:52, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Refuse to help? Wow, that just kinda sounds horrible as a sysop. Yea, I know, we are not obligated, but still. --Degenret01 20:59, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Question - What, exactly, is the purpose of this section? I thought the top half of the page already established that hilites are staying (though individiual administrators may remove themselves from the list) --LiquidTalk 21:23, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

The biggest practical advantage of this section is to try to show a consensus towards hilites so that it's not an issue in the future. We can show that they were "added by consensus" and not have this discussion again. A consensus towards not removing prevents action, but does not prevent future discussions of the same nature. With this section, we can point to it and say "here: here is where we as a community decided to implement hilites." It shows that we as a community decided that hilites are one specific exception we add to AEAE. Endasil (Talk) @  21:29, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Remove Highlights: Sorry I've been thinking about this one for awhile. Many of the arguments seem to suggest that we should keep the hilighted (however you spell it) names because it's a way for new users to identify who they can ask for help. While this may be true, what really makes us think that any user who isn't a sysop will not be able to answer a newbies questions either. AEAE comes into play here, instead of keeping the colored names why not simply create a new project where users can sign their names, signalling that they would be happy to assist new users with any questions they might have (This could possibly be related to the University of Lumbridge) and putting a link on the side community bar called: "Request user help." That way any established editor, not just sysops or bureaucrats could take part in helping new members become experienced editors. --Whiplash 22:35, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Further Comment: Also RS:CVU is just as efficient at dealing with vandals as of just goig to a specific admins talk page. --Whiplash 22:39, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Adding a "Request user help" sounds good. I disagree that AEAE comes into play however. I don't think having your name a different colour is that big of a deal. HaloTalk 22:42, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
Although I can see benefits in your proposal, Whiplash, I see many flaws. What if there's a really unexperienced user, but they do not realise it, and sign up to this User help thing as a helper? It'll have to be up to an admin's personal judgement, which is a violation of RS:CONSENSUS. Or else we'll have to have a large discussion every time which, in my opinion, is too much of a fuss for something like that. So we'll have noobs helping newbs. That'll really show well on our community to new users. Chicken7 >talk 00:17, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any reason that we should have to remove such a user. Provided they aren't damaging the wiki, it just adds more of a directory that new users feels they can approach and ask questions. It's not a league of extrodinary editors to contact per se. --Whiplash 18:44, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - AEAE is being taken way too far recently. First the crowns, now this. *Ugh* Telos 21:38, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - I have done some thinking about this and while this does seem to imply that admins are more then a user with super powers, it is very useful to signify some reliable users to talk to if you need help with something. The advantages for removing the highlight is psychological and wouldn't be noticed by most users, where as the disadvantages are physical. Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 05:49, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

Support - YAY I get to quote myself

Guys, really? Do we really need this big long discussion because someone thought crowns, something we've used for years, violated AEAE so they deleted them? Come on, they're just images that are used to make a template marking one's status not look as boring. I think we have meaning and intention confused.

Enigma 06:03, April 19, 2010 (UTC)


I'm going to archive this discussion. The notification to remove hilites encountered significant opposition, so no action will be taken to remove them. However, there was no clear consensus that they should be there in the first place, so the legitimacy of name hilites is still in question as they were added without consensus and failed to be supported by consensus. Endasil (Talk) @  00:38, April 22, 2010 (UTC)