I will make this short as my computer here at work begins to smoke when I think about entering the Yew Grove. As many know, we currently have quite a few inactive 'crats and sysops. I think that, as they are inactive, and our expectations and policies have changed since they've been nominated, that they should have their status revoked to a normal user. This is for many reasons. Should somebody get ahold of one of their accounts, we have several inactive crats who have the power to desysop, protectsite, etc. While something like this has never happened, we are continually seing more vandalism, and I feel it is a good preventative measure to take. We also do not need to have users who are no longer regularly contributing to have these responsibilites, as they would be better suited for those who are on and would present a purpose to have them. I don't feel like crashing my computer, but out of memory, I want to say we have somewhere around 6-8 inactive crats and up to 15 or so inactive sysops. As they have left the community on a positive note, I see no reason why they should not be returned should they choose to return. You are more than welcome to read my inital discussion here and here. Sorry it's lacking a lot of detail, but like I said, I lag bad here. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 19:28, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
- I can't say I disagree with you here. While the chance of a sysop's account being h4xed are decidedly slim, if we know that they're gone from the wiki, there's not much point to keeping them as sysop. Freeing up names from the rosters may also make people think "Hrm, we need more sysops/crats" and then we can look to those who are actively contributing to replace the retired sysops and crats, thereby increasing admin presence and everyone wins. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 19:47, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Damn, you beat me to it. This proposal juts makes sense in every way. I would like to add that in an inactive came back, there should be no problem in them getting their status back. After a couple weeks of activity to ensure they aren't a hacked account.--Degenret01 21:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Strong support- I really like this idea. How about sysops and crats who have not made any edits in eight months automatically get de-sysopped but may automatically regain their status after being active for two weeks?--Diberville 21:21, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
- Sounds reasonable, and perhaps the ones that are barely active should be questioned on their talk page as to whether they are going to return, or if they mind their rights being revoked? There are a few who have made edits this year, but it's usually just a talk page or user page edit. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 21:24, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Support - Although this would clear up a number of sysops, I also do not see the need to flood the nomination system with RfA's. They have been in-active, therefore little change at the present time will be noticed so immediately requesting a RfA after the desysoping is clearly pointless based on this alone. But I do, strongly support. It would clear up room for future more active sysop, just don't use this clearing as an accuse to get easy sysopping.
03:30, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- So what if we created a "Quick Requests for Adminship" (QRfA) section that could only be used by previous sysops who had left the wiki (in good standing), returned, and wanted their status back? Basically all it would be is a quick review of that user's contributions as an admin, as well as a chance to catch them up on new policies and such. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 04:49, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- That could work for them, but specifically, I was talking about our active users now. Just because we might be clearing up the sysop list, means we need to see all our users in a RfA.
Comment - How do we define inactivity? We do have WikiOgres and WikiOgresses in our wiki.
Support (see below) - For sysops/crats who have mentioned clearly that they have left. For others, it would be polite to at least email them first. Leaving a message in their talk page may not work, if they don't check it. 10:56, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- Changing to Oppose after reading some of the comments here. Azliq put it very well. Hurston (T # C) 09:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- Comment - I fully expect that they each are given fair warning, and the right to have them back should they return. Also, a comment to your comment from above..
- We currently have 11 bureaucrats, 8 of which are inactive. (I am including Whiplash in this, as his activity is minimal.)
- We currently have 39 sysops, 17 of which are inactive. (Gangsterls and Ilyas are minimally active, so I will exclude them from this.)
- This gives us a total of 50 administrators, 28 of which are inactive.
- This means we have 22 administrators.
- Between azaz, dragon and Dtm, I make that 3 active 'crats, or am I missing something? Hurston (T # C) 12:46, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Oppose - I have been in active opposition to this idea on other wikis when this concept comes up, and I fail to see the real damage that could come from this. I will admit that English Wikipedia (note the number of contributors, active admins, and level of activity for that wiki) has had a couple of admin accounts go rogue and do some real damage, although I should note that their level of activity had little to do with the potential for this to happen. The point of making somebody an administrator is to acknowledge that a particular user has a bit of maturity and isn't likely to be a vandal messing things up. That hasn't changed if an administrator has become inactive.
Knowing that proposals like this seem to have momentum of their own and inactive admins (by definition) won't be involved in these sort of discussions, in almost every situation where a proposal like this is made it become policy. Perhaps I'm the lone voice of opposition here, but I really don't see the need for this policy, and it can be counter productive to encouraging potential contributors who can only work in occasional spurts of activity and take longer "wiki-breaks" between contributions. Not all users are the same in their editing habits, and policies should not be designed to work with only one type of contributor. If formerly active accounts were to be a source of vandalism and problems, I might be more convinced to support a policy of this nature.
Assuming that this does become policy, I would encourage a very light touch even on the enforcement of the provisions of this policy. I see no clear definition of an inactive user in this proposal, and from personal experience I've had some hard experiences "getting back into the loop" when I've been inactive from collaborative projects in the past with similar kinds of restrictions.... to get through the bureaucratic hassles of getting my account reactivated after periods of inactivity. I certainly hope that the period of inactivity here is measured on the scale of years, not weeks, where the sysops that are under review to have their sysop status revoked were the early founders of this wiki and haven't been involved since. --Robert Horning 14:28, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- If you take the time to look at our list of administrators, you will see several with their last edits in 2006, 2007, and the first half of 2008. It is currently 2009. I don't think you can pass that off as
their editing habits.We have proposed a time in which we could call someone "inactive" as well. (8 months was suggested, to save you the time of re-reading.) There is no point in having these old accounts sitting around, unused with these powers. We have also discussed contacting the users and discussing their return and potential removal of powers. Many of our policies have changed, dozens of new policies have come in effect, and some policies have been rewritten or removed since many of these admins have either last edited, or last done an administrative task. I am not saying that these former admins will come back and decide to pull a Shadow Dancer, but I would prefer if something like that didn't happen. Had these users had any intention of returning, they could have put the Wikibreak template on their page. Also, a few inactive crats clearly stated they have retired. I see in no way how this will be counter-productive, as if you are gone for more than half a year, you obviously have other things going on in life, and losing a few rights (temporarily) on the internet isn't going to be a big deal for you. I don't see why someone would RFA knowing they can only contribute once every few weeks, or why the community would vote such a person administrator knowing their editing habits. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 14:45, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- "Had these users had any intention of returning, they could have put the Wikibreak template on their page". Okay, let's back up a bit there. Who said they had any intention of leaving in the first place? They can't think "I better put a template on my userpage saying that I will return" if their computer exploded, their house burnt down, or whatever could have happened. On Halo Fanon, I got something like 1,000 edits there. I eventually ended up getting bored of the idea, and went inactive. Months later, I came back and made, like, twenty more edits, and then went inactive again. I had no plan about going inactive in the first place. It just happened. And because of such, I could not have put a notice that I might have returned. Chiafriend12Loon is best buttlord 06:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I would like to mention here that I am not concerned with the account creator going rogue, but with it getting hacked. Active people here are more aware of how determined some of these vandals are. With Crats now able to desysop, a hacked crat account could do incredible damage very quickly. And desysop those who could revert thier vandalism. As far as time goes, this community is ever evolving and changing and those with more tools should be aware of whats going on. I was thinking more along the lines of
- 60 days no (zip, zero, zilch) activity, account is given message on talk page and emailed if possible.
- On day 91, if still no activity from user, account reverts to user account.
- If/when user comes back, they need to edit for 2 weeks (contibuting at least a bit here and there to show they are following whats going on). At that point, those who actually passed an RFA can be resyopped. Those who (in the early days) were pretty much just given adminship, will have to pass an abbreviated (1 week) RFA.--Degenret01 15:05, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- If some hacker came across a bureaucrat's account and gained control, they would have to:
- Find out what site/wiki the account is registered for in the first place.
- Find out what the Heck a bureaucrat is, if they even notice the account a bureaucrat.
- Find out how to use the powers.
- Then watch the sparks fly.
- This is all very unlikely. Besides reading this hypothetical scenario and learning from me (How dare I! XD), they would have to know about either Special:Specialpages, Special:BlockIP or Special:UserRights. Unless they were an [ex-]Wikian, they would have no idea that any of that exists or how to get there.
- Now, if an inactive bureaucrat came back from the metaphorical dead and did the unlikely and went on a destruction spree, that would be a whole nother unlikely story. Chiafriend12Loon is best buttlord 06:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Oppose (see everything below) - I think that it is just assinine to desysop someone because they're inactive to "clean the roster". Having inactive names on "the roster" does no harm. Only a few times (Shadowdancer being one of the few) has a Wikia sysop gone on a destruction spree. Only a few times has anyone been hacked for a Wikia account. With a RuneScape account, you could sell it for real-world money. But, a Wikia account? They're just not worth hacking. Dread was the only time I've heard of anyone's account security being an issue. Lastly, they were made sysops because they were mature, trusted by the community, and their account was secure. So, if we are desysoping them because we don't trust them not to come back and hurt the site, are we not being hypocritical?
These are my stances with all the situations I can think of:
- Someone who has declared that they are retired: Understandable that they get their powers removed. Though, in the rare case that they were to come back, they better get their powers back, whether it be immediately or by being active for a set ammount of time.
- Someone who was given administrator powers before the RfAs were set in place (this only applies to a few sysops, such as X1011 and Merovingian): Again, understandable if they get their powers removed. They never had a community approval system to go through, and they were just sysopped if they looked like they could use it. No one knows hardly any of the people this would apply to (Oddly being the only exception I can think of), so no one can vouch for how worthy and trustworthy they are.
- Someone who has simply gone inactive - If someone has shown that they either can't be trusted or aren't ready/worthy for adminship, that's one thing. But going inactive is another. In the words of Otter-Man, "They can come back at ANY TIME" (Well, the quote was something like that!). There are multiple inactive sysops who currently play RuneScape, and can still be contacted, and as such, could return at any time.
- Someone who has not so simply gone inactive, and has been inactive for a long time - This is different from just plain being inactive. If they can't be contacted in-game, haven't edited in over one year, can't be contacted on Wikia or possibly via their respective Wikipedia account, can't be contacted by email and are essentially the internet form of being MIA, then I would then see no problem with sysop removal, as long as they are reinstated with their powers as soon as they comeback, or prove that they are still trustworthy by being active for a relatively short period of time.
With all that said, think about some of this:
- Would the sysop in question even be messaged in the first place? It's possible that they are active on another Wikia wiki, and would then receive the message.
- Would the sysop in question be desysoped because we fear that the powers may be used by the forces of evil (<-- lol, such a cliche right there)? Were not we the ones who trusted them with the powers in the first place?
- Why are they being desysoped? Because we want to "clean the roster"? Because we don't trust them anymore? Because we believe their account is insecure? Or because by the way things look they have no possibility of returning, and thus have no possibility of using the powers ever again?
- Is this not taking one step forward to becoming a hierarchy?
- What would happen if they return, and they find out their powers have been removed? Would that not seem like a case of backstabbing? Who's to say that that would not set them off and become an enemy of the site [(I don't mean like we suddenly hate them, but there's a big misunderstanding, a big fight, and then they get blocked for violation of RS:UTP or whatever may happen.)]?
What is the point of this in the first place? I mean, what are the odds that someone will hack the account [(or whatever may hapen)] and use it to go vandalling? Immensely low. 'If someone is desysopped but becomes active again, we'll resysop them'? Wouldn't it just be easier and much less of a hassle to not do it in the first place? And how many times has an inactive sysop come back without them having turned into a vandal? Every single time except once. And with that once, it wasn't that major.
One of the many redeeming qualities of this site over other fansites is that you won't be stripped of your rank for being inactive. We don't have a limit on our sysops, and we shouldn't limit them if they were chosen by the community to be the sysop in the first place. Chiafriend12Loon is best buttlord 06:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
- Imagine if you took an eight month hiatus from your job without telling your boss or anyone in the office, would you come back expecting to still have a job? Would your co-workers expect you to have a job? We elect administrators and crats because they serve a purpose. The way I see it, getting bored one day and disappearing without saying anything is outright disrespectful after putting the everyone through your vote and oath. It has nothing to do with security risks or creating a bigger list. If you are imbued with power and responsibility by the community, you are not allowed to just leave. If they do come back and decide they liked their power, an RFA is simple enough to make. Believe it or not, keeping your administrative staff tightly regulated and pruned is the reason many web forums and businesses succeed.TEbuddy 19:04, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The analogy given above is not appropriate for wiki-editing. The reason is simple: Admins don't get paid. This is purely voluntary. Wiki-editing is similar to a person working for a charity organisation during their free time. Once you get busy with life/whatever, you stop doing charity work. You would't know when you'll be free to do your next charity work.
Having a Job is entirely different. There are working hours, and people get paid for working. Obviously, if one goes missing for 8 months, he/she'll be sacked. But, in our case (voluntary work), we're doing this because we love to do it, not because we are given the power. Remember that becoming an admin is nothing about gaining power. It's just extra tools given to users who have the knowledge and wisdom to use it appropriately. To quote the co-founder of Wikia, and founder of Wikipedia:
|“||I just wanted to say that becoming a sysop is *not a big deal*.
I think perhaps I'll go through semi-willy-nilly and make a bunch of people who have been around for awhile sysops. I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position. It's merely a technical matter that the powers given to sysops are not given out to everyone.
I don't like that there's the apparent feeling here that being granted sysop status is a really special thing.
|— Jimbo Wales|
I would have to disagree that admins need to really active (i.e. 7 days a week) to keep their adminship. That's totally unfair. On Wikipedia, "adminship may be removed only in cases of clear abuse." See Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship. After doing some research and giving some thought about this, I don't see the true purpose of de-sysopping, and I change my vote to Oppose. 08:53, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- It is totally appropriate. You are put into a position where you have certain responsibilities and are asked to do certain tasks. Should you quit this position by not doing these tasks, you obviously have given up your responsibility. Not all payment is material. We get paid with the knowledge that we are providing a safe, factual encyclopedia to the public, just like you get paid with dollars at work. It's no different. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 15:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- Ugh, gotta love how laggy it gets here, so I have to edit in spurts. You said:
I would have to disagree that admins need to really active (i.e. 7 days a week) to keep their adminship.I would agree with you there, as I've stated above. 7 days a week is impossible for some people, but at least once every 6 months is reasonable. If your edits are that spaced out, I'd say you're pretty inactive. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 16:08, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- Ugh, gotta love how laggy it gets here, so I have to edit in spurts. You said:
- No, even six months is not reasonable. Some people have things that happen in their life that fall on seasonal cycle and simply can't edit for awhile. We are talking about volunteers, and there is no technical reason that you can legitimately quote here that suggests what damage a long-time user who has been participating on this wiki would do in terms of damage. This is a horrible way to treat volunteers.
- To give a personal example, I used to be an active participant on the Open Directories Project (dmoz.org). I engaged in the forum discussions, did some massive restructuring of several parts of the project, and was "promoted" to have some fairly wide ranging authority for changing a fair bit of the content there. Circumstances in my life caused me to have to quit my active participation (job, kids, wife, and more) for awhile. That project has a 3-month clause for participation, where you have to "re-apply" if you don't engage in an edit for more than 3 months.
- I reapplied once, and got active again and made some worthy contribution. Again I had to take a break from the activity.... and my account relapsed. Rather than going through the bureaucratic hassle, I have simply chosen to not participate any more, as trying to go through the bureaucratic mess of re-applying is simply not worth the time for me to become involved again... so simply put, I'm not doing anything with that volunteer project at all.
- The same applies here with this proposal. By de-sysopping these users, you are aggressively telling these individuals that they are no longer a part of our community, that you don't value their contributions, and that you consider them to be a danger to those who are currently editing and making changes. Yes, I know this isn't a full user block (as is the case with the Open Directory Project for me), but it can be discouraging.
- If you have to put a time limit, make it something quite long.... I'd say two years, but I'd push for an even longer time frame. Most wiki projects where this has been instituted have used a one-year time no-editing standard. 60 days of no editing and putting up a warning message? I'd simply stop editing here altogether and consider my time spent working on this wiki as an unfortunate waste of my time. This is a way to really piss off people when it isn't necessary. --Robert Horning 16:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
By de-sysopping these users, you are aggressively telling these individuals that they are no longer a part of our community, that you don't value their contributions... Whoa!!!!! Calm down!!!! By de-sysopping them, we are simply stating that they have been away for a period long enough for our policies and expectations to dramatically change, to the point that they would more than likely be lost when coming back. If anything, I would say that by leaving without any notice, users are saying "screw the community. I only made them dig up my history on the wiki, debate whether or not my contributions warrant me getting extra powers, and finally find that I am responsible enough to use them." Volunteer or not, it's disrespectful, in every sense of the word.
And again with
60 days of no editing and putting up a warning message? I already agreed that was far too short... 6 months is my proposal. Hell I'll even say a year without a contribution. I have been a part of dozens of online communities, whether it be forums, games, IRC, etc. In every one where I obtained admin, officer, op, etc. take your pick, after a period of inactivity, the status was revoked. All but 1 I told the community I was leaving, and may or may not come back. When I rejoined, my (fill in responsibility role here) was revoked, and offered back. I simply declined as I no longer wanted to be a part of the community. It's not disrespectful in any way Robert Horning, it's simply pruning and removing those who appear inactive. I don't see how it is going to piss anybody off at all... Karlis (talk) (contribs) 17:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Support - If people have truly left the community then there is no need to have them as an admin on here. I agree with Karlis that they should be inactive at least 6 months before their powers are removed. And if they decide to come back they could always put up another RFA which should have a good chance of succeeding with their past on the wiki.20:36, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- Robert, maybe you need to spend some time working within real volunteer groups before you go on about how de-sysopping a user is a bad way to treat volunteers. Volunteer status is not a free pass to ignore any regulation or organization because you are donating your free time. If anything, it would require a little more cooperation in order to best use a limited number of resources. If you have gone inactive and been de-sysopped, you can make a live rfa within three minutes, and you can still actively contribute without sysop status should you decide to resume activity. The only way someone is coming back after three months is if they had some disaster that required their time, or they jump on a computer and remember their time at the good ol' Runescape wiki. Anything past that is not even worth saving a spot for. How difficult is it to get on a computer and leave a message on your userpage or send another admin a message? Not difficult at all, maybe a maximum of 2 minutes. So, I say three months and then a warning on their userpage/e-mail, and maybe another admin or two tries to re-establish contact. If nothing happens, hold a vote, and then finally de-sysop. Keeps our list of admins simple, clean, and confusion free. TEbuddy 21:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
- "Real volunteer organizations?" --- I wonder what possible criteria you might use for this. Does my involvement with the Boy Scouts of America count? I'm also chair of the Policy Council for a local Head Start agency. I've also been involved with the American Red Cross. Are these the sort of "real" volunteer groups you are talking about? These are just an example of a great many volunteer organizations I've been involved with, and I've been involved with more. Yes, there are standards to abide by here, but there is no legitimate reason to force people away when they have real things that come up and they have to take a break in service, but can come back and serve at a later time. There is no technical reason why a person needs to be de-sysopped here, and I fail to see what real damage can happen. I don't mind "officially" listing somebody on an inactive admin list or perhaps keeping a separate list of admins who have been active over the past couple of months or so that might be able to give you more attention if a problem comes up, but formal de-sysopping and changing their account status is not necessary for that sort of action. How difficult is it to leave a message on your userpage? Depends on circumstances, but I could see it taking more than two minutes in a great many situations as well. Adminship on a wiki isn't that big of a deal, and it isn't nearly the high and mighty leadership position that it is being made out to be. It is merely giving some tools that should be entrusted to users who have shown that they will not be vandals and do want to help fight problem users. Volunteer organizations simply collapse when you put too many restrictions on those volunteers and can't find a place for them to participate. This is an unnecessary restriction.--Robert Horning 17:47, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Oppose Well, I don't have a long response like Chia or Robert, but I don't see the point. Removing them because they're inactive? They can come back. Seriously, does removing adminship help the wiki at all? It would just waste time for people to redo an RFA. Adminship should only be removed if they break the rules and go on a blocking spree or delete every page on the wiki or something. Keeping them under the "inactive list" is fine so people don't bother to ask them questions they can't answer (because they aren't on the wiki). On every site I've ever been to if a user achieved a higher status (unless it was a forum moderator) that helped the site they, they were not removed even if inactive in case a time came when that user came back and contributed more than they ever had before. As for a user being "lost" when they come back due to a change in policies, they can resign if they dislike the new policies and if they want to catch up all it takes is a skill called "reading". These users aren't saying "screw the community" unless they say it. Don't put words in their mouth. An example: say an admin was involved in a bad car accident and suffered from a large amount of broken bones. It takes them a year to recover before they can come back and edit again. They didn't have time to put up a notice. Seriously, making them put up another RFA just wastes a week of their time, and even more if they lose. As I've already said, in my opinion adminship should only be revoked if a severe breach of policy happens or the user requests for their rights to be relinquished. Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 05:14, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
- Major disasters are not the cause people go inactive. Maybe one or two percent of the disappearances have to do with disaster in which case stating so on an RFA would guarantee immediate re-sysop. With this in mind kudos, how could you possible recommend we make a site wide policy in order to cater to a minority that small? Robert, in very few circumstances or unless you are an easily sidetracked person logging into your userpage on leaving a message that says "on a wikibreak" or "been busy with work/wife/kids/whatever, haven't had time to browse the wiki" can take no longer than 5 minutes. On a dialup connection using an old version of internet explorer you can reach your userpage in under 3 minutes. As for your suggestion of labelling inactive admins or creating a new list, whats the point? Why add more text when you can take it away and make it cleaner? You are literally fighting for a side that does not exist. These users are long gone and are likely never coming back. Take a look at Karlis's earlier post, we have a list of 50 users with administrator rights and only 23 of them are active. Most of those 27 inactive have been gone longer than eight months. TEbuddy 03:02, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
- Circumstantial Support: The way I see it, their power should be removed if they're inactive for too long (say, three months). However, someone would leave them a message on their talkpage, informing them of the change. That way, they could request an active admin/'crat to give them back their power. Maybe there'd be some type of password system where an email containing a keyword would be sent to the user?