Meta:Requests for comment/Bureaucrat removal of permissions

The following request for comments is closed. After a month of discussion, even discounting my votes, there's no consensus to keep bureaucrats with the ability to remove users from the sysop and bureaucrat user groups. As such, closed and filled as phab:T106291. Since the result of this discussion is a pure math counting, after requesting that other user closed this and getting no reply at RFH (what a surprise... <sigh>), given that discussions can not be kept open forever, I have decided to close it myself.

Statement of the issueEdit

Note: This RfC will just affect Meta-Wiki policy and configuration.

This RfC looks to undo Meta-Wiki bureaucrats be able to add and remove both, sysop and bureaucrat flags (config change approved in phab:15509 on 2008). I had this discussion in mind for quite some time. I think that we loose nothing in discussing things.

In the past, all advanced-holder-permissions users were subject to a different confirmation system that was carried at Meta:Administrators/confirm. All administrators and other advanced right holders were yearly reconfirmed in batches each three months by votings. See here for the archives, Meta:Administrators/confirm/Archives/2009-01 for the last round and Meta:Administrators/confirm/bureaucrat chat for the discussions for some cases, as an example.

That system generated frequent requests to the stewards to remove rights, so it was discussed at Meta_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Archives/2008#Radical_idea that bureaucrats should be able to remove righs. Although few users were in favor, the level of such requests were indeed not flooding stewards, and some concerns were raised afterwards the configuration was finally changed to allow bureaucrats to add and remove administrator and bureaucrat permissions. Years later, some wikis, somewhat following our (bad) example, started requesting and were granted identical abilities, listing them at Bureaucrat#Removing_access.

The former confirmation system was abolished per this discussion in 2009, and replaced by an objective activity measure at Meta:Administrators/Removal, which happens twice a year. System that is actually in use, and which generates a rather low number of removals since the requirements for keeping rights at Meta are quite easy to achieve.

I think bureaucrats here should be removed the ability to remove rights:

  • I feel that bureaucrats do have unnecesary excessive power at Meta-Wiki being able to remove this two sensitive permissions without even a desysop policy for other things but inactivity.
  • We should not be special. Nothing appart of having more "power" justifies bureaucrats at Meta to have such big access.
  • The configuration change performed in the past will not be granted nowadays. I can not hardly call such discussion by few users a consensus for such an important change.
  • The level of rights removals due to inactivity are low, and so will be the number of requests to stewards.
  • Similarly, althought Meta does allow users to be flagged as temporary admins, the number of them are low, and so will be the number of requests to stewards.
  • The bureaucrat position is slowly but constantly loosing its raison d'être, being recently removed their most user tool, the rename tool, in favor of a global process. As MZMcBride once said IIRC, this permission might even dissapear in some years.
  • Stewards are avalaible on a daily basis, at all timezones vs. 9 bureaucrats here. They perform this tasks on nearly all projects and there's no reason why they should not be trusted again to perform this tasks here.
  • Nearly all bureaucrats at Meta are stewards nonetheless.

Since the discussion that led to this change is rather old, I think that the Meta-Wiki community should be able to review it and voice their opinion.

Notice of this discussion will be given at Meta:Babel and RFH.

MarcoAurelio 16:25, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

=== Comment by {username} ===
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Comment by MF-WarburgEdit

I agree with the proposal. I am of the opinion that bureaucrats on no wiki should be able to remove sysop rights (let alone bureaucrat), except maybe enwiki and similarly sized ones; it's better that stewards do it to give it additional scrutiny. Here on Meta, it is additionally very easy to find the proper request page of stewards, as it is on the same wiki. Of course, when this is implemented, removals of Meta rights should be done by a steward who is not a Meta bureaucrat (and preferably also not a sysop). Your steward & Meta bureaucrat (double COI :OOO ) --MF-W 16:58, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Comment by Nemo_bisEdit

I think Meta-Wiki is the only (public) Wikimedia wiki where it might make sense for bureaucrats to replace stewards in removing advanced permissions, precisely because there is a big overlap between the two groups and the respective daily-work communities and a number of consequences might be drawn from this. However, the benefits are at best theoretical. --Nemo 17:26, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Comment by StemocEdit

For someone who was heavily involved in getting bureaucrats more rights back in 2008 as per the link above (I had no life back then, things haven't changed much :P ), I honestly think there is no longer a need for Meta to have Bureaucrats, they have literally been superseded by Stewards. Back then there was a need for Local bureaucrats, a real need and due to Stewardship being in its infancy and the non-existence of SUL, the crats then did a lot more work than an average crat on any other wiki; but 7 years on, its clear that there is no longer a need. I'm personally in favour of getting rid of Bureaucratship on this wiki altogether, afterall its no longer important in any other wiki bar the major ones.--Stemoc 05:31, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Comment by BarrasEdit

While I voted early, I always wanted to explain myself. Actually, I see no problem with crats de-whatever here on meta. I don't think it's ever been a problem. For crats it makes simply their life easier here, especially when it comes to the activity review all six months. Once done, the crat can simply implement the consensus. When crats lose that right, they'd have to request the removal on SRP and the crats (if they are also stewards) who process the stuff can't then even simply act on it as it'd probably be against the "don't use your tools on your home wikis" rule. Changing the current system imo makes everything just needlessly more bureaucratic. The only thing crats here can do is to remove all other crats, which would be quickly noticed and fixed. This wiki is very well monitored all around. I think that granting rights is often more "problematic" than the removal of rights. Just thing of what we can do with CNs, the www.wiki*.org templates and many more things. There are by far more dangerous things out there than right removals. However, as you know, I'm currently one of the longest serving and still active crats, so I certainly have a COI here. -Barras talk 16:56, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Comment by be..anyoneEdit

There are only three bureaucrats who are not also stewards. It's odd that bureaucrats can remove this right from their colleagues (or sysops) on only 7 (or 18) projects including Meta. But if it's globally a bad idea, maybe it should be also solved globally. Not completely serious, an import of WP:BROKE might be simpler than a local fix of this historical oddity. –Be..anyone (talk) 01:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC) Fixed nit removed. –Be..anyone (talk) 04:09, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

PollEdit

Meta-Wiki bureaucrats removal of sysopEdit

Should Meta-Wiki bureaucrats be able to continue removing users from the administrator user group?

Yes
  1. -Barras talk 22:26, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  2. Tiptoety talk 10:06, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  3. No need to create extra-barriers (COI etc.). Vogone (talk) 22:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  4. - Green Giant (talk) 00:56, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  5. Matiia (talk) 02:06, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  6. --AldNonymousBicara? 19:24, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  7. --Krd 09:27, 14 July 2015 (UTC) as it should be at all wikis that have local bureaucrats.
  8. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 06:59, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
No
  1. --MF-W 16:51, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  2. --Nemo 17:02, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  3. MarcoAurelio 17:03, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  4. Ajraddatz (talk) 22:47, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  5. --Uğurkenttalk 22:53, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  6. --Syum90 (talk) 16:54, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  7. --Grind24 (talk) 17:14, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  8. Natuur12 (talk) 17:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  9. Not because of rogue crats, but for some of the other reasons. --Rschen7754 01:53, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
  10. -Mh7kJ (talk) 22:19, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  11. Érico Wouters (msg) 19:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Abstain

Meta-Wiki bureaucrats removal of bureaucratEdit

Should Meta-Wiki bureaucrats be able to continue removing users from the bureaucrat user group?

Yes
  1. -Barras talk 22:26, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  2. Vogone (talk) 22:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
No
  1. --MF-W 16:52, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  2. --Nemo 17:02, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  3. MarcoAurelio 17:03, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  4. Ajraddatz (talk) 22:47, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  5. --Uğurkenttalk 22:53, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  6. Tiptoety talk 10:06, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  7. --Syum90 (talk) 16:54, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  8. --Grind24 (talk) 17:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  9. Natuur12 (talk) 17:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  10. Not because of rogue crats, but for some of the other reasons. --Rschen7754 01:53, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
  11. -Mh7kJ (talk) 22:19, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  12. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 16:44, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
  13. Green Giant (talk) 00:56, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  14. Érico Wouters (msg) 19:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  15. --Krd 09:28, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Abstain
  1. --AldNonymousBicara? 05:02, 20 June 2015 (UTC)