Meta:Requests for comment/Change to WMF staff user rights policy

An editor has requested comments on the issue described below. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Statement of the issue edit

Following on from Special:PermaLink/26236774#WMF staff and TA user right, I'd like to propose that the translation admin user right be granted in accordance with local procedures instead of being a WMF self-grant user right. Reason being that many staffers do not know how the translate extension works and creates a whole mess if the edits made are not fixed before they are pushed for translation. Since most of these rights are granted by T&S staff, I'd like to take the opportunity to include them in this rfc, @AJones (WMF), JEissfeldt (WMF), JSutherland (WMF), Kbrown (WMF), Mdennis (WMF), NahidSultan (WMF), and PEarley (WMF):. --Min☠︎rax«¦talk¦» 11:52, 15 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Votes edit

Support edit

Oppose edit

Per below discussion. I believe that T&S can properly manage and oversight TA user right. Thanks. SCP-2000 06:15, 5 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Neutral edit

Comments edit

From my note on the other page, it appears the root issue here would be in WMF management. Management should ensure that their employees and contractors are properly trained on how to do their job before assigning production work. That general principal really applies to any production work - especially such that requires advanced permissions (for example also CNAdmins) which could be disruptive. — xaosflux Talk 14:10, 15 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

That can be an alternative but there is no assurance that the managers themselves are competent with the rights they are about to give. And since Meta is considered to be a highly visible wiki, the best fallback will be having a community-granted user right rather than a WMF-granted user right. No difference on who grants the user right but at least, in my point of view, a community-granted user right will be able to sift out any mistakes the staffers are making. --Min☠︎rax«¦talk¦» 14:19, 15 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Does T&S have any intention of following the outcome of this discussion? How binding is this RfC? Syunsyunminmin 🗨️talk 12:27, 16 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've mailed ca wikimedia org, have yet to receive a reply from them. If this RfC passes, I'll send an official mail again, stating that any staff requesting for TA will require community input at Meta:Requests for adminship, any user right given without community input after the team acknowledges the passed proposal will be removed without prior notice. --Min☠︎rax«¦talk¦» 12:36, 16 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I see. I am expecting a statement from T&S. Syunsyunminmin 🗨️talk 12:47, 16 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hello all, just here to confirm that the T&S team is aware of this RFC. Let us get back here with a more detailed response. – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 15:44, 16 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Pols12, M7, Pppery, Xaosflux, and Syunsyunminmin: Proposed wording at User:Minorax/RfC wording. Will be sent to ca wikimedia org if this RfC passes. --Min☠︎rax«¦talk¦» 03:49, 18 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Staff, as volunteers, need to be trained. Noted in Research:Translatable Pages Research (pages 42 to 46 of interview result report). I think WMF should provide for a 3-hours training. --Pols12 (talk) 17:22, 18 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

T&S comment:Thank you for raising this. Having used this extension myself, I know it is frustrating to fix stuff if an error occurs while using the TA tool. Compared to many other userrights where fixing is relatively straightforward, it is more tedious. As Trust and Safety is the custodian of staff advance on-wiki user rights, we acknowledge that even a few oversights during the use of the tool cause inconvenience and, we are sorry for that.

As many of you are already aware, Trust and Safety follows a strict protocol when it comes to userrights assignment to staff members. The staffer requesting the rights has to provide a use case and the duration they would require the rights. Any assignment also has to be approved by the manager of the requesting staff members and for more advanced rights such as ‘staff’ userrights, there are additional layers. We also periodically review staff user rights as part of the T&S user rights audit. We ask the rights requester whether they are familiar with the tool, though it doesn't always happen for example when staff members held the rights in the past without incident.

Given that some staff members made erroneous edits using the TA tool, how about mitigating the issue this way: Trust and Safety require that staff members requesting Translation Administrator rights have not only their manager’s approval but also have the manager confirm that the staffer has been appropriately trained to use the tool. What we are thinking is that we can give the same rights to the Foundation’s private collab-wiki where staff members can have practical training before we assign the rights on Meta-wiki. Also, if any of you notice future such edits, we would appreciate it if you could first flag the oversight to the staff member involved so that they can learn from it. – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 20 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@NahidSultan (WMF) this sounds promising, if managers are not rubber stamping applications. Is there actually a training curriculum for staffers to complete? (That is, what is a manager using as a basis for certification?) — xaosflux Talk 19:12, 20 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hey Xaosflux, I am aware that some staff members sometimes hosts these type of training for their peers, and there are instructions on team-level documents as well. Unfortunately we do not have an uniform userrights training curriculum for the staff members. Requesting staffer who hasn't used the rights before is usually asked to read the related help page and others on the team generally support them on how to use the tool. This is a general expectation from the manager who approves the assignment on behalf of their direct reports. This is a gap. What we are proposing is that we will explicitly ask this question (whether appropriately trained or not) going forward, and we will review ourselves that they have practical training before handing over the rights. – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 20 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hello Nahid. Just to clarify, what if the staffer still commits the same mistakes after repeated notification that what they've done is incorrect? --Min☠︎rax«¦talk¦» 04:16, 23 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hey Minorax - well, in that case we would request it to be flagged to T&S, and if the use of any tool by a staffer becomes disruptive and needs urgent attention the rights can be removed as immediate remedy as is applied to anyone. But, I don't imagine a scenario where someone who is aware and in good faith will actually apply the permission to do the same wrong thing after repeated notifications asking not to do so. I hope this clarifies the question. – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 12:39, 27 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]