Stewards' noticeboard/Archives/2021-05

Chinese Wikipedia Community Resolution

Our Chinese Wikipedia has formed a consensus: sotiale should no longer perform check. he oppressed and expelled Chinese Wikipedia users. many users are afraid and want him not to check us anymore, but they can't say anything. Because he can lock our account. I call several users here to prove: @Hamish, SCP-2000, Easterlies, Itcfangye, MCC214, BureibuNeko, and Super Wang: Please help us. he bothered and put many people in pain. he must disappear. stewart have to decide. Help for our wiki (talk) 12:22, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Without any evidence on the people that were so-called oppressed or expelled this message, in my opinion, amounts to nothing less than a witch hunt against a steward. Locks and checkusers, for that matter, don't happen without a very good reason. Stewards follow Global locks quite closely to see if an user should be locked or not. For checkuser requests we have the CheckUser policy which stewards need to follow. It is also unclear what exactly the bothering or "putting people in pain" part means in this request. Aside from the points I now already adressed, there's also the thing about the account messaging here being a single-purpose account with its only edit here. That raises then querstions about the legitamacy of this request. All but all I personally don't see anything that would require steward action. Wiki13 (talk) 12:58, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]
What consensus? --海の向こうは敵だ! 13:19, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]
@Help for our wiki: Hi, I read and looked at the message page of our villagepump. I don't know what the consensus is. What are you talking about? Moreover, the improper locking of users by Sotiale????? when? Who's locked in? What???? --海の向こうは敵だ! 13:28, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]
Such "concensus" doesn't exist. One more account written into w:zh:LTA:QCHM, I suppose. --Super Wang hates PC You hate, too? 13:32, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]

@Wiki13: Hi,Wiki13! I noticed that this user said "improper locking of users by Sotiale", while the zhwiki users (as I know) recently locked by Sotiale seem to have only one LTA. And there is no consensus at all on zhiwiki. In other words, ABF, I suspect this user is LTA. --海の向こうは敵だ! 13:33, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Help for our wiki was locked as LTA. This discussion can be archived or removed. Thanks. SCP-2000 13:34, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]
I think we can check sleepers (global) . Because of the user's behavior has shown that he / she has started to abuse the account on a global scale.--海の向こうは敵だ! 13:42, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]

I did not remember such discussion happending in village pump AT ALL. Milky·Defer 14:14, 2 May 2021 (UTC)[]

  Comment A wiki doesn't get to make that determination. Stewards are elected by the whole of the wikimedia community to do a role where that role doesn't exist in the community. If any community has concerns about a stewards independence then they should be first addressed to that steward, otherwise through the stewards' contact address, which goes to stewards' group OTRS. The escalation point is Ombuds Commission.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:14, 3 May 2021 (UTC)[]

This section was archived on a request by: report by LTA; conversation without consensus at zhWP.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:14, 3 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Remove en.wikiquote from GS opt-out list

See here; no opposition to the proposal. Thanks in advance. Leaderboard (talk) 13:25, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Please wait - there is also no explicit support for the proposal and discussion is still is progress --DannyS712 (talk) 08:36, 8 May 2021 (UTC)[]
I didn't see Danny's response - while Martin Urbanec previously communicated that it would be OK to pass with BD2412's support, I'm happy to wait if needed. Leaderboard (talk) 12:43, 8 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Wikimedia_Forum#Proposed_further_changes_of_Bot_policy

For notice: I have made a proposal to remove Automatic approval entirely.--GZWDer (talk) 16:56, 15 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Stewards as ambassadors (or thoughts on IA granting change)

I'm of the mind that project security is a legitimate foundation function and so it's with-in the foundation's purview to make a change in how/who can grant IA. I think consulting with the stewards is also a reasonable enough step though also consulting with the communities whose crats are impacted seems like a no brainer. I'm curious why they didn't. That said, if Stewards are going to be consulted in cases like this I wish they would have supplied the "Maybe you should talk to the communities" feedback of the type now being suggested in the phab ticket. I'm guessing that Stewards gave feedback more in the realm of "we have capacity to do this work" rather than taking on the role of ambassador. Perhaps Stewards didn't sign up to be ambassadors but if the foundation is going to treat them as such they either need to no do it (i.e. not provide feedback in situations like this) or to make an attempt to represent the projects on whose behalf they're speaking. Or perhaps my guess about what kind of feedback offered is wrong. However, as someone who serves as an ambassador to the foundation for a particular project (as a sitting Arb on enwiki) I do think this is a valuable role for stewards to play and I hope that they see it as a fit. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:38, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Indeed. Stewards aren't a GovCom. In hindsight it wasn't okay with the whole global renamers debacle and it's not okay now. (Happy to elaborate what I mean more offwiki, I don't remember how much of this aired onwiki versus offwiki). --Rschen7754 18:06, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[]
Stewards will always fill the strange role at the top of the global hierarchy communicating between the Foundation and the community. Because they are volunteers, not necessarily selected for that type of role, and not necessarily interested in that role there will always be some cases that go well (such as global renaming, which I think was one of the best examples of top-down leadership that led to a good change) and some that don't.
More fundamentally, though, the Wikimedia community has repeatedly demonstrated that it hates the status quo and hates any attempt to change it. There's no point in opining about whether the role of stewards is good or bad; roles on Wikimedia evolve through necessity and common practice and will continue to do so, and no attempt at top down or bottom up policy formation is going to change that. – Ajraddatz (talk) 18:39, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm afraid that you're forgetting the initial global renamer elections, SE2015, and all the events that led up to it (and that I'm sure continued after I resigned). Communication is okay, but in this case stewards should have made more clear, presumably, that they were not sufficient for ticking off the "we consulted the community" checkbox. --Rschen7754 18:46, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[]
Can you point to anything in particular? Candidates in SE2015 for whom there were significant issues related to global renaming? Evidence of widespread community discontent with the initial elections/process? I remember some roadbumps, for sure, including many that were internal to the stewards group. But I also remember the establishment of a system that still seems to be working now, and giving general hints towards insufficient consultations doesn't help me remember any better. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:40, 12 May 2021 (UTC)[]
As anything discussed on stewards-l is confidential, no, I can't. Which is the problem: consequential policy decisions like this need to be made onwiki, because of consensus and transparency - not on a private mailing list or in private discussions with the WMF. And while there are reasons to communicate and discuss things with WMF, stewards are not elected to make policy decisions like this. If we think they should, maybe we need to change the Stewards policy. --Rschen7754 00:37, 13 May 2021 (UTC)[]
  Comment Stewards implement consensus, just like anywhere else. Either based on consensus policy; or based on process that allows the development of consensus. They don't make policy, though they may propose policy. They do make operating processes based on community consensus, be it from discussion or agreed policy. It has been my experience that they have been a source of consultation for their area of knowledge and operations (like any other group); they have been confidentially informed of situations and implementations where it impacts their duties. They are stakeholders, and participate in stakeholder management.  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:11, 13 May 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm afraid that you are saying that community consensus does not have to come from the community. I hope this is a misunderstanding. --Rschen7754 00:16, 14 May 2021 (UTC)[]
No Rschen7754, if I was vague my apologies. There is active consensus—current discussions; there is historical consensus—our policies and agreed practice. Stewards/Crats/Admins get to operate within those boundaries. If they hit a novel situation they should consult and get a consensus. That consensus can be affirming an action, or requesting permission to act.  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:48, 14 May 2021 (UTC)[]
  • @Barkeep49: Background? Seems you are starting a conversation halfway through. Or has this change just been bugging you to now have an opinion on IA and stewards?  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:55, 13 May 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Billinghurst: fair point. The background is this phab ticket. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:30, 13 May 2021 (UTC)[]
    @Barkeep49: Thanks indeed, quite concerning. Stewards do indeed need to push back and tell them to talk to the community, so I hope that it occurred on this occasion. It is important to stewards to remember that they have a role delegated, but it is always about implementing consensus. They truly need to be aware of mission and power creep. I hope that they are able to be that reflective and responsive.

    The WMF staff's approach to "management by phabricator" is a concern. They have many more staff now, and many are seen less and less. Seems that the more there are, the more that they make decisions behind closed doors. The days of decisions by the community ... ???  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:33, 14 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Are any current stewards planning on responding? --Rschen7754 17:43, 15 May 2021 (UTC)[]

It's difficult to talk when you have a gag in your mouth. I'll go with the obvious and say that 2FA is and was always a WMF decision and theirs alone and that I agree with phab:T282624#7080456. See also here. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:33, 16 May 2021 (UTC)[]
@MarcoAurelio: Gag in your mouth? I can understand a requirement for confidentiality, no issue where it is reasonable over matters that need to be kept quiet. I don't agree with "in camera" conversations about proposed changes that can never be discussed where WMF is purporting that you are a point of consultation for the community and stewards are supposedly representing that community. I, for one, would like to hear what the general feedback was provided. It can come in the form a response from stewards to WMF initiated discussions "Stewards were consulted, and robust feedback was provided" or even to say "we gave our candid opinions about the proposed changes, and asked them to consult with the community prior to initiating any actions." Now that conversation is public, stewards should be able to give a reasonable indication of the tenet of their response. Otherwise you face being tarred with the same brush, and it is not reasonable for stewards to lose the confidence of the community for failures in process. It is not reasonable for stewards be gagged afterwards. Maybe Barkeep49 is right and we need to put this to a more general RFC to provide guidance to stewards on their role for the community where it is not currently covered in Stewards.  — billinghurst sDrewth 06:19, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[]
Where did the confidentiality requirement come from? Is it under the general "stewards-l is confidential" or is it an additional requirement from WMF? --Rschen7754 06:25, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[]
My message above was not clear, apologies. There's no additional gags appart from the general expectations you both mentioned. As the Phab. ticket says, we were asked for our opinions and some input was provided; but the standard reminder of "maybe you should consider talking to the communities" was also provided; as our role is not to speak on behalf of nobody but to enact valid community consensus. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:01, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[]
My message was less about what happened in this particular instance (it happened and is on a better path) and more about what happens next time. I would hope that the Stewards are discussing that amongst themselves. If Stewards are like enwiki ArbCom I know how on/off and slow such discussions can be but I hope they are happening. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:36, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[]
In this particular case it was discussed with the subset of Stewards who attended a regular monthly call with the Foundation and, by extension, those who read the minutes of these meetings. I don't go to those calls as they are scheduled at a poor time for me, but on the very rare occasions that I have, and from other email conversations, I am pretty comfortable that most Stewards most of the time suggest strongly that the Foundation discusses proposals with the impacted communities. We do not want to get caught between the Foundation and a community. However, looking at it from the Foundation's point of view, proposals for global change need to be discussed with someone and not just with the largest project - enwiki. But who represents the hundreds of smaller projects? Maybe global RFCs on Meta are the only way forward. QuiteUnusual (talk) 15:29, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Local inactivity policies

Just note that I've re-added English Wikinews as per n:en:Wikinews:Privilege expiry policy, no idea why it was removed some months ago. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:11, 30 May 2021 (UTC)[]

Remove French Wikinews and French Wikibooks from GS opt-out

Status:    Not done

See wikinews:fr:Wikinews:Salle_café/2021/mai#Enabling_global_sysops_on_this_wiki (for Wikinews) and wikibooks:fr:Wikilivres:Le_Bistro/2021#Enabling_global_sysops_on_this_wiki for Wikibooks. No opposition (or discussion for that matter) to the proposal, and the wiki appears to be quite small as well (Wikinews), while there is support from a 'crat at fr.wikibooks. Thanks in advance. Leaderboard (talk) 07:57, 18 May 2021 (UTC)[]

These discussions should stay open for more time. Ruslik (talk) 10:15, 20 May 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: How much longer? I ask so that I can wait till then. Leaderboard (talk) 10:36, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[]
I think that one month is sufficient. Ruslik (talk) 19:48, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: Think you can do it now? Leaderboard (talk) 16:23, 10 June 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm not sure if that is an appropriate reaction to silence, especially given that the post was not written in the language of the project. ~~~~
User:1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk)
09:13, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[]
With 15 and 7 admins respectively (5 and 2 active in June), and I know that some are (reasonably) fluent in English, I think that I would agree with 1234qwer1234qwer4's point that silence should not be taken as assent.  — billinghurst sDrewth 12:33, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@1234qwer1234qwer4 and Billinghurst: Assuming that was directed at me, what would you suggest instead? Leaderboard (talk) 17:41, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[]
Ah, I didn't know about the fluency. My second point was invalid then. ~~~~
User:1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk)
17:53, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
[]
@Leaderboard: I am not asking you to do anything, why would you think that? I am not a steward—resigned years ago;, I have no skin in the game beyond opinion. I commented on 1234qwer1234qwer4's observation, and added a little data.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:34, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Billinghurst: It seemed from your comment that you disagreed with my view that it is OK to move on with the request, and hence I was asking what I should be doing instead. Leaderboard (talk) 07:22, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[]
I was agreeing with 1234qwer1234qwer4's PoV. I have a 20c opinion, and can issue zero demands nor instructions in this space. My 20c opinion may or may not be of any value to stewards, I don't know; and they are always welcome to tell me to shut up and piss off. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  — billinghurst sDrewth 07:30, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: ping Leaderboard (talk) 08:07, 2 July 2021 (UTC)[]
I think that you should advertise it better. Ruslik (talk) 08:58, 3 July 2021 (UTC)[]
Or just close it as "no evident consensus for change"  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:45, 3 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: Well I posted in the village pump (or equivalent) of both wikis. What else do you expect me to do? Both are small wikis after all... Leaderboard (talk) 08:02, 4 July 2021 (UTC)[]
Let's wait for some time. Ruslik (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: It would be nice if you could tell what you meant by "some time" (2 weeks?) - because I can't wait forever to get a change implemented... Leaderboard (talk) 16:32, 4 July 2021 (UTC)[]
This seems to be reasonable. Ruslik (talk) 06:33, 7 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: OK now? Leaderboard (talk) 07:23, 18 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Leaderboard: Well, fr.books and fr.news, has one hundred percent consensus, but that's only because I was the one who said yes or no. SHB2000 (talk | contibs | en.wikivoyage | en.wikipedia) 23:38, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
I don't want to create a further mess and hence will not argue further, but I won't be agreeing with the bizarre decisions taken here. @SHB2000:, my talk page would be better if you want to discuss further. Leaderboard (talk) 05:21, 22 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  Not done No clear consensus. Ruslik (talk) 20:47, 19 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ruslik0: 100% consensus is not "clear consensus"? I really don't get it. A wiki whose members don't respond should be opted in to GS - I've seen this before. Leaderboard (talk) 10:17, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[]
That is the call that I would have made when I was a steward. No issue with me maintaining the status quo.  — billinghurst sDrewth 10:55, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Billinghurst: In that case, what would it take for a small/inactive wiki to be opted-in into GS? Because from yours and Ruslik's comments, it sounds like this would never happen, which makes no sense to me at least. Leaderboard (talk) 16:40, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[]
It seems that you are searching for a problem. It seems that you are fixated on global sysops. Nothing wrong with asking the question of the community, however, after that, let it go. You have your nose buried deep in the issue, and you have your eyes closed. Pull your face out, and think strategically and holistically.

There is a process for inactive sysops, and anything would presumably flow from there. As we did with loss of admin rights for inactivity, setting up a framework that gives clear guidance on expectations on what is required to be in and out of global sysops framework, and the timeframes, is the only true means for managing. The rules that were created in times of exuberance and growth, do need to be modified for times of maturity.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:02, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[]