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Stewards/Elections 2015/Questions

The following discussion is closed: This election is closed and these pages are an archive of that event.
2015 Elections 2015 Steward Elections (Questions)
English: Eligible voters (see application guidelines) can ask questions to all candidates on this page. Please keep questions as concise and relevant as possible. Candidates, please answer as briefly and simply as possible.
Bahasa Melayu: Pengundi yang layak (lihat garis panduan permohonan) boleh bertanya soalan kepada semua calon di halaman ini. Sila simpan soalan yang ringkas dan relevan yang mungkin. Calon-calon, sila jawab secara ringkas yang mungkin.

For all candidatesEdit

Question from Green GiantEdit

  • I apologise for the short story approach but it is essential to framing the question. One significant area of steward activty is globally banning users when there is a clear community consuensus. There is also a "supplementary type" of global ban, which is carried out by the WikiMedia Foundation. Bans are deliberately designed to be rare and used as an absolutely last resort, when all else has failed to stop disruptive behaviour. However, there has been a recent upsurge in WMF bans, with six being carried out since December 2014, at least some of which have caused concern and some heated debate in some corners of the Wikiverse. In comparison, the WMF banned one person before December 2014 (in March 2012) and the community process has also banned one person ever, as well as three unsuccesful proposals. The community-banned person has also been banned again by the WMF. Bearing in mind that there have also been other "tensions" between the WMF and the wikis over the previous year, including the "super-protect" issue, my question to the candidates is as follows:
  • If elected, would you support greater transparency in the global banning process, and in particular would you support greater involvement of stewards, as trusted community representatives, in future global bans by the WMF? Green Giant (talk) 18:43, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
    I am certainly in favor of greater transparency. However, I am not sure what level of transparency can the involvement of selected community members can achieve. I recalls that Chinese Wikipedia had similar discussions on the transparency of CheckUser and I believe these questions also apply here:
    • if the the decision of a WMF global ban is based on private information, to what extant are stewards allowed to disclose to the community?
      • If what stewards say is so limited that is virtually identical to the WMF comments on the ban, will this increase the transparency?
    Understand that limited involvement does not help, I support the greater involvement of stewards and hope that appropriate policies and rules need to be established that allows stewards to be eyes of the community in such actions. -Mys_721tx (talk) 20:25, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, thanks for your question. As it is said in the policy, global ban can be performed only in case of extremally disruptive user's behaviour. It is also said there, that such actions only supplements community Global bans proccess. Due to the nature of the possible reasons of WMF global ban, their substantiations should not be published. And now, I assume that WMF knows well what is doing and the WMF actions are performed really to protect the community. From that point of view, more transparency is not needed, however, for mutual trust, WMF should give some grounds of global ban to the community. Obviously, that informations must not violate the privacy of all involved. There is an idea in your question that can be taken for consideration: WMF would give some summary of the reasons for global ban to the stewards. Of course, there are pros and cons of such solution. The biggest disadvantage is still the same: the community will not know the reasons, but it needs to trust someone: in that case - stewards. I think that both sides, WMF and the global community, would agree such level of transparency. On the other hand, as WMF global ban only supplemends community global ban process, I think stewards should rather be involved in the community's discussion (and informed about reasons of WMF global bans reasons). That solution I will support. Einsbor (talk) 00:49, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hi Green Giant, thank you for your question. As it is said in the policy, to protect the privacy of all involved, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) generally will not publicly comment on the reason for any specific banning action. I fully support protecting the privacy of the involved. I can understand that there is a want for more information and transparency from parts of the community. In my opinion most can be gained not at the individual cases but by making the system behind such bans more clear. I trust our staff. Yet, while it is clear what a moderator or steward does, members of the staff can be involved in any aspect of the WMF, from onwiki editor, to developer, to media representative. Moreover since most happens offwiki, it is not always clear to individual members of the community who has sanctioned an action and specially, based on what discussion. Whether it is an individual decision or established after a large group discussion. Such unclarity can cause tension in specific cases. More clarity on who is allowed to make certain statements, could help. The stewards in my opinion should not as a group have a job establishing such a transparency. Stewards implement, not define, consensus. It is not the job of a steward to push a discussion one way or the other. Stewards can of course vote and comment, as any editor can. I think it is up to the WMF and the community to discuss this further. If it were decided to involve trusted users, I would support steward involvement. I am thinking about advice on our customs, on implications and on communication with the community. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 03:02, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello and thanks for your question. As the policy says, WMF global bans only happens in extraordinary cases. Generally, for privacy issue, ban reasons aren't publicly communicated. Even if I'm in favor of transparency (in any action, not only global bans) I'm also sensitive to the privacy question so, I understand why WMF can't always be "transparent" without revealing private informations and I assume they are doing it right. I agree what Einsbor said above, the proposal of stewards being an "intermediate" between WMF and the community. Stewards could know a more or less detailed reason of the ban. For the community, it wouldn't change anything, we would always have to trust someone; but stewards are elected by the community that already trust them. I think this solution can be taken in consideration. Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 11:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello and thanks for your inquiry. I think that transparency is good and I support open processes in general. Talking about global bans, I think that the current global bans policy do give us a transparent and participative process when it comes to be community requested global bans. As of WMF bans, I can understand the feelings of the community regarding more transparency on the process, while I also can understand the need or whishes of the Foundation office to keep the reasons behind a global ban only known to them or few people for a variety of reasons. That said, the stewards' role regarding global bans is to implement the community consensus regarding a community global ban, and that they cannot on their own globally ban any user. Whithout saying that I am in favor or against them, I appreciate that WMF Global Ban Policy has been created by the Foundation, because now we at least know sort of some criteria they take into count when they decide when to use their banhammer. In my past term as steward I think I can remember a couple of cases where the Foundation took actions on their own regarding users or content and told us nothing, or just sent us a little note saying what they did with no further detail nor any reason, so we didn't know much more than any other community members. It is not the role of the stewards to oversight the work of the office, that's the remit of the Board of Trustees. That being said, I think that the office do not do global bans just because they feel like doing one, and must be in possesion of evidence strong enough to justify the action, and in some cases publicy posting such information could generate liability for the Foundation or expose private information, both of them are undesirable outcomes. Notwithstanding, I trust in the event the Foundation do globally ban a user and think that at least a brief summary of the reasons can be published, they'd do it. I don't see any advantages for the stewards to know the reasons of a global ban if they can't tell later the community, and if the community can know those reasons, I think it'd be easier for the Office to post them directly themselves. Regards, -- M\A 16:38, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your question. A global ban is always the last thing to do, and I'm sure that WMF doesn't ban users without a careful consideration. Also, global bans will not be performed without good reasons, whatever they then are, they should remain as a private information. As stated at the policy: "the Wikimedia Foundation generally will not publicly comment on the reason for any specific banning action" to protect the privacy of involved users. All privacy related issues need to be taken very seriously. I don't think that WMF should talk about the reasons even with the stewards. These cases should be so clearly considered by WMF that they won't need any opinions or additional discussions from other users. --Stryn (talk) 21:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hi Green Giant, thank you for your question. I believe that the community enforced global ban process is fairly transparent; as a steward, the responsibility only relates to enforcing the ban (since locking is currently the way of 'banning' a user from editing and locking is restricted to stewards and WMF staff) and not deciding whether someone should be banned (of course, participation as a community member is allowed). Speaking of theWMF Global Ban Policy, yes, I support transparency but I disagree that only explaining the reason for these bans to stewards will aid in increasing transparency. Stewards are elected by the community and the community is likely to trust them, but knowledge about the reasoning behind global bans doesn't help them or the community, if the stewards can't tell the community. Effectively, this will be shifting the opacity from WMF to stewards. I would support the Foundation providing a little more detail on bans, as far as practicable. I believe that bans enforced by WMF are only done in exceptional circumstances and after careful considerations and it is possible that divulging details about the reasoning behind them can cause various issues, which is why they do not reveal these details. Divulging details to stewards can cause the same privacy issues as communicating such details to the community would and, in my opinion, does not help with transparency either. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 16:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I support greater transparency in the global banning process.--Jusjih (talk) 03:30, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your question. I had to think about this question for quite some time since there is a lot to think about. At first I believe that this banning policy itself is a step towards transparency since everything is written down in plain English instead of the semi-legal English they use in the terms of use. The global ban process was already anchored in the terms of use. This should be understandable for everyone who has basic English skills.
  • When people are talking about more transparency when it comes to delicate issue's like a global ban the following questions pop up in my mind: what is more important? Transparency or protecting those involved? What if you keep digging, digging and digging until you find you the reason and it turns out that outing the ban reason can have serious consequences for someone? Is taking that risk worth some extra transparency? That is a no for me. Safety first, curious people who believe they have the right to know come second.
  • I do not believe that creating more transparency via stwards being the eyes and ears of the community when it comes to WMF-actions is within the scope of stewards duties. This seems more like a task for the board, ombudsmen or even a global Arbcom. Giving this level of responsibility to stewards feels like giving "Arbcompowers" to sysops. Plus it can be tough when you are caught within the crossfire. This is a likely scenario when we make the stewards they eyes and they ears of the community when it comes to WMF-related matters. I believe that this will make the steward job more intense.
  • This is not a simple case and right now the anger wins it from the ration and that is always a bad thing. Natuur12 (talk) 22:55, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question, Green Giant. I severe support greater transparency in the global banning process. In my view: transparency = confidence. --►Cekli829 17:42, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Green Giant. Thanks for your question. Personally, I think I don't need to be a Steward in order to support more transparency regarding global bans or not, since Stewards should not override community decisions (i.e., it doesn' t come with the Steward toolkit). Anyway, I am used to support the adoption of transparency in any mecanism or course of action taken in WMF projects, as long as it is possible. However, we should remember that some actions may incur privacy concerns, involving the leaking of personal information, for example. I think that some WMF bans are taken under this circunstances, with the intention to preserve the privacy of some involved users. If addressing questions about a WMF global block could lead to the disclosure of restrict or private infomation, then this should not be done. Otherwise, if the ban is merely carried out by WMF due to hostile behaviour of users which have no intentions of amendment, for example, I think that it would be okay if WMF decided to briefly inform that in the lock summary. Moreover, I tend to agree with Nattur12: giving the stewards the extra power to directy interfere with WMF is not within the scope of stewards duties. Per policy, stewards shoud be neutral and avoid conflicts of interest. The ombdusman commission would certainly be more suitable for asking for explanations from WMF in this regards than stewards. Ruy Pugliesi 14:22, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course this question concerns all users not only administrators and stewards. Nevertheless it is a very important issue. Transparency is a very important in a project where a great number of people are working together. But privacy is also an important value. And these two values are sometimes in conflict. Wikimedia cannot publish the reasons for the global blocking and the blocking history for a specific user by its own because this could in fact injure the privacy and personality of the concerned user. On the other hand the fact of a global banning is a kind of very negative statement about the concerned user (it could be considered as I kind of “death penalty” in Wikipedia). So for simple justice the concerned person should (if he/she wishes that) have the right to publish this reasons by his/her own discretion. With other words: Wikimedia should publish the reasoning of such a decision in the case that the concerned user himself/herself ask for the publishing of this reasons and holds Wikimedia harmless against any claim for injuring his/her privacy. This is in the sense that every accused person should have the right to defend his/her position and this principle should always be attended. DidiWeidmann (talk) 08:34, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from BillinghurstEdit

I would like to ask the candidates what they (individually) believe has been the biggest challenge or biggest project that faced stewards in 2014 (last year), and how you could have contributed to the challenge/project in conversation, in skill or maybe in the resolution? I understand that it is a little difficult question to address, so your outsiders' reflections and opinions would help me assess your perspectives. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

  • In my opinion the biggest challenge of previous year was global rename issue, that is all: creating global rename policy, global renamer group, votes, granting and all requests that have been made at SRUC. There was a lot of things to do before September, a lot of discussions too. And there is still a lot of work in that case, in 2015 the SUL finalisation will take place. How I could heve contributed in that? SUL-related issues are outside the scope of my Wikimedia interests, however I could have helped with renaming of global accounts and granting global renamer rights. On the other hand, a lot of work was also with ongoing issues (CU/OS requests, LTA and spam fighting, at SRP, global vandals). As I mentioned in my statement - that will be, if elected, main area of my steward activity. Thank you for that question, Einsbor (talk) 14:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Once more I share the opinion of my above neighbour, the SUL finalization was (and is still too) a long task to do; including the writing of the policy, the granting of global renamer flag and performing tons of renaming. Crosswiki vandalisms and spambots were an issue too but I can't tell it was "a major challenge" in 2014, it's an "everyday challenge", day after day and year after year they are and they will always be global vandals and spammers. How could I have contributed to this ? (the SUL finalization, not the rest), As I know I'm not a great "rule writer" I couldn't have participated in policy writing, even if I could have given my opinion if asked (and I could have helped in translating it, once done). However, I could have helped in performing myself global renamings and granting rights to perform it. Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 15:09, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your question. One of the main problems are the LTA's but they appear regularly every year, so I think that I wont call it as the biggest challenge or as a project anymore. So what comes to my mind is the global renaming, which needed many discussions and preparations before its start. And I think there are still lot to do before and after the SUL finalization. I don't have any experience of renaming users, but if I will be elected I would be interested of helping in that area as well. --Stryn (talk) 15:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello Billinghurst, and thanks for your question. I think that the deployement of the global abusefilter and the global renaming tools was a challenge, both in planification, policying and using them. The global rename, for example, was always a major issue, with much text written since SUL started till nowadays (policy proposals and discussions). I am glad that now such a tool exists and is avalaible. I think that another challenge which is much ordinary in the sense to be day-to-day is to combine the efforts on stopping abuses such as spambots and vandalism, avoiding that legit users are affected, with the tools our software currently provide to you and to us administrators. We try to be efficient with the tools we have, but sometimes they've been found to be inneffective for the today's activities in some cases. My help would have be, on the policy-making side, participating in the discussion sharing my thoughts and trying to get consensus for the policy to be approved if good for the users and the projects; and on the "technical" side, cooperate with my fellows in stopping spammers and vandals, identifying the resources of the problem and also and not less important, identifying the bugs and flaws our tools have, asking our developers to enhace it. Hope that this answers your question. Best regards. -- M\A 16:09, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello Billinghurst, thank you for your question. The introduction of a global abusefilter is a brilliant step, and the move of renaming from local projects to global renaming has been a large step as well. Over 1000 bureaucrats were involved in this last project. I have alot of appreciation for the people who have been working hard on the several aspects of such projects, like development, community interaction, guidelines, and the actual introduction. The results of their labor are visible to us all. I have been helping with global renaming, and I would like to keep helping in the coming year with the SUL finalisation. I am not technical, but I would like to help with interactions with the community. Informing communities of upcoming changes, renaming, answering questions, and giving constructive feedback on the process and on the guidelines. I hope this answers your question. All the best, Taketa (talk) 13:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • It takes times to get familiar with new toys and merging account is not trivial. I would say that SUL-finalization is one challenge in last year. LTAs are the source of challenge, too. Routinely dealing with them is not something easy. -Mys_721tx (talk)
  • Hi Billinghurst and thanks for the question. Every year, stewards have to tackle LTAs and spambots, which, in my opinion, always occupies one of the highest positions in the list of challenges faced by them. However, every year brings some specific challenges, and I believe that the move from local to SUL / global renaming was the biggest challenge faced by stewards last year. Policies related to renaming were quite different in different wikis and formulating the Global rename policy was a significant challenge, as was handling the rename requests received in not only SRUC but local renaming pages as well. As a global renamer, I have been part of the team handling these rename requests, and if elected as a steward, I can also help in local renames (i.e. usurpations primarily) if required. There's a lot of work left related to SUL finalization, including global account merges, formulating a global usurpation policy etc. Another important event last year was the introduction of the Global AbuseFilter, writing the regex conditions and preventing collateral damage because of these filters. This is related to handling crosswiki vandals and spammers, and I believe that, if elected, I will help in stopping them; for instance, if I see a crosswiki spammer in Special:AbuseLog, I can block them myself. I am not a policy writer per se, but I will provide my input in discussions related to global policies if necessary. I hope this answers your question. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 13:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Global renaming and inactive local bureaucrats would be the biggest challenges, so I am resigning as a bureaucrats on more wikis as a model for others to consider. Chinese Wikisource and Chinese Wikiquote no longer have bureaucrats once I resigned as the last bureaucrat there.--Jusjih (talk) 03:30, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question, Billinghurst. I think that global renaming and inactive local bureaucrats would be the biggest challenges, so I am resigning as a bureaucrats on more wikis as a model for others to consider. I understand that routinely dealing with them is not something easy, with problems like this. For all the best, --►Cekli829 17:28, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your question. I believe that the biggest challenge was the implementation of the global renamers. It is hard to implement a new policy, organise such a big change and finding consensus about the rename criteria. It is a lot of work and even for me as an outsider it was visible that there where some struggles amongst the stewards. Not everyone agreed with something (I don not know what) and that led to opposes as a matter on principle instead of opposing/supporting based on the candidate. Bringing the mission to a proper ending is extremely difficult in situations like that. The second part of billinghurst is about how I could help. I know how to reach consensus, I know how to overlook the long term consequences and I know how to mellow the debate if necessary. I could have critically analysed the situation. Those are the same skills you need when you are an Arbcom-member. Yes, this certainly seems like the biggest challenge the stewards faced last year and I think the stewards handled it well. Natuur12 (talk) 17:45, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Billinghurst. Thanks for your question. I think that the biggest challenge so far in 2014 was the global rename issue. I was recently given the global renamer right, and I would certainly intend to help up more with the renaming process in the future, by explaining upcoming changes to communities, handling complex rename/usurpation requests, giving explanations on the guidelines/policies, et cetera. There are still so many things to be discussed and implemented in this regard, such as a global usurpation policy and the global merge tool, which is expected to be deployed in the coming months. I intend to take part in discussions and help with feedbacks. Being a bureaucrat for over 4 years and a former ArbCom member makes me pretty capable for judging consensus, and I am also experienced writing policies for my homewiki, which can be useful to the matter IMHO. Beyond that, we can not forget the ongoing issues like LTAs, spambots and ordinary crosswiki vandals, which represent constant challenges faced by stewards on a daily basis. As I mentioned in my statement page, my current duties involve mostly dealing with this global stuff. So, if I am elected, I could also stop them by handling global (b)locks or assisting with emergency actions, since the GS toolkit I have is not enough to deal properly with this. Ruy Pugliesi 17:15, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
  • What was the biggest challenge in 2014 can better respond the persons who were involved namely the old stewards. Probably it was the renaming process. But also the normal routine tasks as fighting vandalism are always challenging tasks. But past is past, so let us look to future: A big challenge always will be fighting of spam and cross Wikipedia vandalism. Also questions of copyright are a very important issue and this is a special topic in which I with my educational background can especially contribute. The copyright issue is so important because there is a conflict here between the protection of Wikimedia an Wikipedia form any claims on the one side but the possibility to grant free access to knowledge for all people which is the main goal of Wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DidiWeidmann (talk)

Question from Rschen7754Edit

  • Per the m:Stewards policy, stewards are required to avoid "changing rights on home wikis (wikis where they are active community members), except for clearcut cases (such as self-requested removal or emergencies)." If elected, how would you practice this? What would you consider to be your homewikis? --Rschen7754 17:25, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question, Rschen7754. Stewards policy as well: Stewards should not override consensus, such as whether or not a user should be given a particular user right. Their task is to implement valid community consensus within the bounds of the Foundation's goals... and etc. --►Cekli829 17:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question. I'm well aware of that policy, and I consider the projects where I'm an admin as my home wikis (including fiwikipedia, metawiki, wikidatawiki). And in those wikis I would not use the steward tools. Finnish Wikipedia already has local oversighters and checkusers, so they can handle those requests, or if not available, in emergencies I'll find an another steward. For metawiki; the same applies here; there are local cu's and os's; so I would only act in emergencies if they are not available. For Wikidata; I would ask another steward to do a CU since we don't have any local, and for oversighting; there are two local; so they can handle them. --Stryn (talk) 18:06, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, for me, homewiki is wiki were I make something more than simple vandalism reverting. On the other hand, as you can see here I made some edits at frwiki (29), which were not only reverts. But I do not consider frwiki as home, since my contribs there are very minimal, I had no contacts with the community there. Also my contribs at wikidata are minimal and made while writing plwiki articles. In general, my homewiki is wiki where I know some editors, have some "contacts". In my case, home wikis are plwiki, plwikinews, plwikisource, simplewiki and plwikimedia. In case of stewards request at the said wikis, I would not use my tools, but can help other stewards with language (in plwikis, since Polish is not very popular). Thank you for that question, Einsbor (talk) 18:15, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I consider zhwp and Commons my home wikis since I have been involved much more than simply track down a global spammer or reverts. Meta is a special case since global right changes have to be done here. (If them are considered as right changes in the context) In general, If I possess a admin flag that is not a result of being a steward on a wiki, I should not use my steward powers on that wiki. If a wiki has certain establishments (CU, OS, etc) which are able to deal vandalism in a timely fashion, I should not intervene anyway. -Mys_721tx (talk) 22:54, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I consider my homewikis as of today the Spanish Wikipedia and Wikibooks and this Meta-Wiki. As a former steward I am aware of the policy and I'll respect it. For self-requests, even if the policy allowed me to perform them, I'd preferr if the user followed the procedure and posted himself at SRP and other steward handled the removal. If the user tells me that he doesn't know how to do it, I'll probably post on his behalf and have another steward do it. As for emergencies, unless it is a major pressing emergency and no other steward is around, I'd also preferr that other steward take care of the situation. As you can see I preferr to practice a conservative and restrictive approach, so exceptions can still be exceptions. -- M\A 23:30, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Dear Rschen7754, thank you for your question. I consider the Dutch and English Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons as my home projects. I am aware of the policy and will follow it in a conservative manner. Even in clearcut cases such as self-requested removal I will pass the request to another steward. In emergencies I will in first instance check if I cannot reach another steward. I hope this answers your question. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 06:50, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
  • At the moment, I consider Meta-Wiki, Simple Wikipedia, Simple Wiktionary, Bengali Wiktionary and English Wikiquote as my home projects. In general, I consider any wiki where I have contributed to, participated in community processes or have held advanced rights in the past 6-12 months as home wikis (as a GS, I don't delete / block users unless necessary in these projects if I am not a local admin) and as a result, home wikis can change with time. As a steward, I will defer requests to fellow stewards in these home wikis, even for non-controversial requests such as rights removals on SRP. For emergencies, I will contact other stewards first and only act if I can absolutely find no other steward. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 14:42, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Rschen7754. Thanks for your question. Per policy, stewards should be neutral and avoid conflicts of interest (ie, they should avoid acting like stewards in situations where they are not impartial to the decision). So, they shoud not only avoid changing rights on home wikis (wikis where they are active community members); they should also avoid using admin tools on these wikis (unless they are local sysops there). The same goes for checkusering and oversighting. I consider my homewikis as of today the Portuguese Wikipedia and this Meta-Wiki, and probably those ones where I hold local admin permission. Anyway, regarding the use of admin tools, I think stewards should follow the GS scope on a daily basis and only assist with truly emergency actions in other wikis. An emergency action is expected to be performed in an emergency situation requiring immediate response when there are no active local users to do it. I will certainly follow all these guidelines and the Steward policy if I am elected, in they same way I currently follow the global sysop policy. Ruy Pugliesi 16:02, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
  • For me it is y holly principle that I never shall rule as a judge in a case in which I am involved as a party! I a am not involved directly or indirectly in the case, there is no problem by acting also in the home Wikipedia (for example for clear cases or execution of decisions taken after a community discussion with voting). However if there could rise any doubt of my own neutrality, it is better to ask another steward to act in this case. DidiWeidmann (talk) 09:08, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your question. My home wiki's would be the Dutch Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. I hold the adminstools on both Wiki's and I'm an active community member there. I will refrain from doing any steward actions on those wiki's. Including the removal of userrights when it is a self request. There are enough other stewards so it is best to avoid even the slightest change of a conflict of interest. While I have some edits at Wikidata I don't consider that my home wiki since I'm not an active community member there. Plus most of my edits are done there automatically but I would be reluctant to act there anyways since my participation with that project is bigger than just reverting some vandals like providing some content. But still, I'm not an active community member there. Natuur12 (talk) 12:47, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Royalmate1Edit

  • Thank you for your question. General requirement for admin-ship are trust, honesty, objectivity in decisions. It is important that persons with administrative rights also are competent people with a very large general education and that such person have a good knowledge what Wikipedia is and what not. Also a minimum of technical skills is helpful for such a task. DidiWeidmann (talk) 09:08, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • For me, from the most important to the less important, requirements for adminship are: trust, technical skills and knowledge of the Local Wikipedia guidelines (i.e. about speed deletion criteria, maintenance procedures, ...), communication and finally, time and motivation. Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 09:27, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Basic requirement for admin-ship, as well as for other advanced rights, is trust. It means for me, that local community needs to know, that the candidate is responsible enough to hold all buttons: block, delete, etc. and will not misuse them (so she/he knows all local policies and will respect them). Secondly, the candidate must be able to stay cool when the editing gets hot. On the other hand, technical skills at minimum level are helpful, but they are not so important, admins' tools are not very complicated in everyday usage. Thank you for question, Einsbor (talk) 09:58, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your question. Trust is the primary requirement for adminship, in my opinion. Trust comes from demonstrated knowledge of policy and positive interaction during discussions. Time is also important as an inactive admin does not contribute much to a project. Admins should have proper discretion since policies will not provide one precise directions at all times (for instance, how long to block a user or whether to give a user rollback etc). I hope that answered your question. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 10:22, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Dear Royalmate1, thank you for your question. I consider trust and good judgement the general requirements for adminship. Trust by the community to be a trusted person. And the good judgement to act correctly as an admin. I hope this answers your question. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 10:44, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I must say that a priori the exact adminship requirements for a wiki should be what the local communities wants them to be. If you ask me, in general, which requirements I'm looking for admin candidates I must say that I look for trust and need for the tools. If the user has need for the tools and can be trusted using them well (because they know the policies and know how the tools work), I'll have no problems in supporting. Also, it'd be desirable that the user doesn't have a history of incivility or other undeserving behaviour. Technical skills would be a plus, but we all have learnt on the way. Each voter, however, may be looking for other requirements or additional ones. Hope that this answers your question. Kind regards. -- M\A 11:22, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Royalmate1. Although the criteria for adminiship may slightly vary from one project to another, the general expectations will definitely rest on being experienced with administrative/maintenance tasks and trustworthy. If you are interested in it, in 2012 I wrote a bureaucrats policy which establishes some validation rules for the candidates on ptwiki, as, for example, being capable of judging consensus, being an active community member, knowing the local policies/guidelines and how to manage user rights properly, being able to explain the reasoning for their actions on request and in a civil manner et cetera. It's also strongly recomended that the user doesn't have a history of incivility, flaming, trolling, disruptive editing or any ungracious behaviour. Thanks for your question. Ruy Pugliesi 00:08, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Sorry for the late answer (didn't see this one). Admins should know well the local guidelines and they should be trustful. Also being helpful and kindness are a plus, but not requirements, as long as they knows how to behave. --Stryn (talk) 09:21, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your question. It really depends on the wiki in question. For the Dutch Wikipedia admins should be helpful, be experienced and they should have provided some content. I'm not keen of admins who never wrote an article for example unless they have great technical skills of course. Admins should have good judgement and they should know how to weight arguments. But in general I would say that good judgement and being honest are the key factors. Natuur12 (talk) 17:58, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

  Comment I do not see how this question is relevant to "steward jobs". It's a question for voters and commenters on local RFAs. --MF-W 12:42, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Yogesh KhandkeEdit

How would you address lack of transparency and abusive use of Checkuser privileges? Yogesh Khandke (talk) 05:39, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Hi! Checkuser extention gives some users (with CU permission) access to non public data, such as IPs, operating system, browser version etc. Due to that, per privacy policy, some details of CU actions must not be published (e.g. CU-log). There are different solutions in CU transparency matter in Wikimedia projects. In de wiki all CU actions are listed here, with the reason of action and info if the check has been performed. On the other hand, at my home plwiki, such page does not exist, we request check by mail, on IRC or via request for admins page. In general, Checkuser transparency will always be limited by privacy policy and we need to accept it: full transparency is impossible according to our privacy policy. German solution can be consider as pattern of full possible transparency: checked user knows the reasons of her/his check, so she/he can compare it with CU policy and realize if the check was performed in accordance with said policy. Regarding abusive usage of CU access - it is already limited by number of Checkusers at single project. Since there are, at least, two users with CU privileges, they can (and should) control each other. We also have global body - Ombudsman commission, which every member has access to local CU log, so they can control usage of the tool. That solutions are good enough, imo. The other matter is combining of steward/checkuser access with membership of OC. I think that OC members are mature enough to avoid conflict of interests while investigations, but also, just for transparency and comfort of plaintiffs, they should suspend steward/checkuser access for time of OC membership. Einsbor (talk) 09:39, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello and thanks for your question. Regarding your question of lack of transparency in CheckUser process can vary depending on the Wiki. As Einsbor pointed above, some wikis such as the German Wikipedia or the Hungarian Wikipedia do mantain a somewhat public log of checks performed indicating some information as to if the check was performed, which reason and the result if appropriate. Most of them do not operate which this system and others such as the Serbian Wikipedia forbid to make accusations of sockpuppetry publicy and mandates that all requests for CheckUser information be made by email, and are only reported if there's a positive result. The CheckUser policy neither mandates nor forbids private requests or public logging of requests, it just mandates that unless it is really necessary under a set of circunstances, no private data may be disclosed to the wider community, and of course, that the tool must only be used to prevent or fight vandalism. The policy also specifies that notification to the account that is checked is permitted but is not mandatory. Similarly, notification of the check to the community is not mandatory, but may be done subject to the provisions of the privacy policy. On local wikis the policy mandates that if a wiki decides to have local CheckUsers, they must at least have two or none at all. The spirit of the policy is that this way they'll mutually control each other, since they both are elected by a great ammount of community confidence, they can be trusted on that. But if that were not enough, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution creating the Ombudsman Commission which have access to the CheckUser tool and their respective logs on all Wikis, so they can verify if a violation of the Privacy Policy has occured. Recently the Commission itself asked and the community agreed in this request for comments that the scope be enlarged, so they could also hear complaints about violations of the CheckUser policy itself, control which is, still as of today, a remit for the local communities until the Board of Trustees decides over the issue. This -the local procedure- may be impractical for various reasons, specially on wikis without ArbComs with powers to investigate such actions, since the checkuser-log is private and can't be disclosed, as it contains private information such as IP addresses. On wikis with an ArbCom with powers to investigate the misuse of privacy-related tools, such as the English Wikipedia and it's Audit Subcommittee, this may be easier. It is really difficult to address this issues for stewards since they do not have access to the checkuser-logs of the wikis and it is not really a task of the stewards to control the use of this advanced permissions. At stewards' level, I think that the transparency issue is well handled since everytime a steward wants to perform a check, it has to change their rights on that wiki, which is publicy logged. Also most requests are reported to Steward requests/Checkuser so the reasoning and the result is publicy known. Hope that this answers your question. Best regards. -- M\A 18:37, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from GryllidaEdit

I am sure your existing activities involve usage of external tools (not just the wiki in a web browser) or gadgets. Which ones? And what features does the wiki software itself lack in your experience? How would you suggest to improve it? Gryllida 21:34, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't see why you ask this from steward candidates - they cannot (as stewards) do anything against missing features. --MF-W 00:15, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from KaiyrEdit

Per candidateEdit

AvjoskaEdit

Question from Trijnstel:

  • Dear Avjoska. I see that you were a steward candidate in 2009 as well. The majority of those who voted against you believed you were inexperienced and opposed your statement regarding (in)activity. Can you tell me what has changed since then? And what is your point of view regarding activity now? Trijnsteltalk 15:30, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Jianhui67:

  • Hello. You did not mention in your statement what steward duties you would like to do if you were elected. Therefore, can you please describe here what steward duties do you intend to do if you were elected? Your answer is important as it would determine my vote. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 12:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Just as a comment, I think everyone asks his questions also with the intention to be able to better make up his mind on how he should vote, and the candidates know this as well, so it shouldn't need to be emphasized. --MF-W 14:06, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Eurodyne: I don't think I've ever seen you using IRC. Will that change if you are elected as a steward? Eurodyne (talk) 00:43, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I am trying to understand why you wish to be a steward, and I would like to understand your thoughts. I see no expressed motivation, and while I see you have cross-wiki activity, it is not evident on what you have been working or your experiences in those areas so that voters can assess your contributions for the duties of a steward. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Cekli829:

  • Hello Dear Avjoska. You selected Steward; it may have an impact on the et.wiki activities? Thank you in advance for your reply! Success in the elections! --►Cekli829 12:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Questions from Savh.
  • Even though you're a steward candidate, you seem to take rather long to answer the questions here (a question has been unanswered for 10 days). How will you be reachable if you're elected steward, and what do you intend to do as a Steward? Savhñ 21:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I second this question. It is now > 20 days!--Visdaviva (talk) 10:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Cekli829Edit

Question from Jasper Deng:

  • What do you believe has changed since the previous election that would make you stand a better chance of being elected this time? Also, why do you continue to believe that merely participating in the previous five elections count as "experience"?--Jasper Deng (talk) 22:40, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Answer: The most important experience for me: a lot of work = less talk. --►Cekli829 17:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Eurodyne:

  • Hi Cekli. I have a few questions. Are you ever on IRC? If elected as a steward, will you be able to assist in the #wikimedia-stewardsconnect channel? Do you think your communication skills have gotten better? When you say "I'm opposed to english domination on WP.", it gives me the feeling that you don't think English is an important skill to have if elected as a steward. Technically as a steward, you are able to unblock yourself on any wiki. If elected, will you unblock yourself on hywiki? Do you think this will this cause controversial issues? Eurodyne (talk) 23:18, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Answer: Yes, I'm opposed to english domination on WP. I can work with Turkic languages projects and etc. Now much I do not use IRC. (Hitherto facebook.) However, I also will stand by on IRC (as I already do) and will be watching the relevant steward requests pages, so that I can help out whenever action is needed. Unblock on hywiki: Karabakh problem you solved - after the occupation ends... --►Cekli829 17:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Steinsplitter:

  • You are blocked indefinitely on hy.wikipedia. Please elaborate why you are blocked there. --Steinsplitter (talk) 16:30, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  Comment This question was also asked last year, in 2013, 2012, in SE2011, and in SE2011-2. According to Cekli, it seems that this is a political problem. Cekli, feel free to elaborate more on Steinsplitter's question. Eurodyne (talk) 20:43, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I second this question. --Goldenburg111 14:54, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Answer: Per above Eurodyne. It is problematic block - a political problem. I think it will continue for a long time. --►Cekli829 17:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Cekli829, As I asked above, "If elected as a steward, will you unblock yourself on hywiki? Will this cause issues?" Eurodyne (talk) 00:14, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
No, Eurodyne. I do not do anything. It does not suit me. Counterparty would be right to do so. --►Cekli829 07:39, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
I think there're probably also bugs in MediaWiki that blocked users (who can edit their talk page) can not create their user talk page, As ce reported at d:User talk:Cekli829#Appeal (Someone may reproduce it and report it to Phabricator). But I am going to @Beko: to ask if the block is still needed. In my opinion, an unblock does not harm hywiki as he never do any anti-Armenia action nowadays.--GZWDer (talk) 05:09, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, GZWDer. --►Cekli829 07:39, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
See also Commons:Requests for rights/Approved/Rollback. Geagea (talk) 09:53, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Savh:

  • What has changed since last year? Savhñ 21:42, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    It seems to me like that question was already asked above by Jasper Deng. Vogone (talk) 22:17, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    As long as he answers it, I'm happy. Savhñ 10:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Answer: Per above Vogone. I'm happy too... ;) --►Cekli829 17:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

DidiWeidmannEdit

Question from Vogone:

Dear DidiWeidmann, please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following purely hypothetical situation:

A Luri user, postulating stewards are responsible for new wiki creation, leaves you the following message:
Hello
please see this page[1] luri lrc have been active
with three or four useres in last year and this year but
this wiki wasn't made yet but persian wikivoyage
is making please help us to make this page
best wishes

Please describe in detail how you would respond and what actions you would perform. Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Dear Vogone, thank you to considerate my candidature and question me. I personally like very much a great diversity of also very small languages on Wikipedia. The opening and creation of a new Wikipedia language version is, as far as I understand not the task of stewards. The Luri user group did already the first right steep to create on a user subpage a proposal. The question is now, if their group is strong enough to create and during a long time sustain a new Wikipedia. Is there a community strong enough. I would respond the Luri people that they should check the language proposal policy and then, if they think that their language proposal and their team responds to all conditions set out there, to submit their application to the responsible board. Once their application will be approved they should continue working on their subpage project until the board has created the new Wiki. (The steps to be followed by the Luri team are explained here.) DidiWeidmann (talk) 20:55, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your detailed response. Vogone (talk) 21:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Rschen7754:

Serving as a steward often leads to dealing with unpleasant issues, including but not limited to helping those dealing with doxing and real-world harassment and communicating with WMF about legal issues. Is this something that you are prepared to handle if elected? --Rschen7754 21:39, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

You speak here about a subject which is very important and on which I always was very interested. I am very well prepared to deal with such legal issues. Part of my education was 3 years of legal studies at the University of Zurich and the handling of such issues is also part of my professional work als legal translator. - For me in this context is also very important to defend the rights of persons who become the victims of prosecution just by any error of other persons or because they have been mixed with another person. Especially I can and would contribute to defend the interests of Wikimedia in Europe and especially in Switzerland for example if local authorities, persons or institutions would try to take actions against Wikimedia or if Wikimedia would need help for such issues in Europe. DidiWeidmann (talk) 15:32, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:

Hello. Can you please explain why you were blocked on dewiki for block evasion with another account in the past? --MF-W 00:42, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

You speak about an event in 2007 or even 2006 (I do not remember the date). The so called block evasion did never happen. That was, what really happened: This other account was not my account, but the account of a member of our society which worked in the same office as I did and protested against the arbitral blocking of my account - in the context of my protest against vandalism about an article on Esperanto or German Wikipedia. It is a very long time ago, so I do even not remember the details, only that the blocking was unblocked after a view ours. The pretext for the blocking (which just was done by I person who personally disliked Esperanto) was my contribution in the discussion page of this user who vandalized several pages about Esperanto topics, which I (this is true in fact) was not very polite. But I did delete this contribution immediately after publishing and apologized, the publishing was even just by error, because I entered the first draft instead of the revised text. So the text for which this sysop did block me on that time was visible only in that discussion history. This was also set out in the discussion about this event at that time. To this experience and another experience adds on the English Wikipedia there I was by error blocked because on the same IP-address as on my account somebody did several vandalistic acts - it happened that I worked on Wikipedia often on different public WLANs in restaurants and air ports. After I could prove that I have no connection with this acts the blocking was removed again. Effectively I am very happy you speak about this issue: As you see that I did more than 300'000 edits on Wikipedia and only a very few number of my edits were ever reverted by other users, it should be now doubt about the integrity of my person. But as I had personally these 2 experiences which shows that you can become the victim of an error of a sysop, burocrate or steward (even without bad intention) causes that I have a great feeling of justice and that there is for me also an important task as steward to help in case of wrong arbitral decisions. I have learned that things sometimes are not as they seem to be and therefore for me is always very important to here both sides. I see that there is a real problem that a sysop in any Wikipedia has a practically absolute power as he is judge, policeman, prosecutor and executor in one! So for me an important task is to hear in cases there users feel to be blocked for unjust reasons both sides and to mediate. It is clear that 98% of the blockings are for good reasons and so it makes no sense to change the procedure, but the 2% there a blocking is a wrong arbitral decision, could cause harm though the reputation of our community and also discourage a very good collaborator for ever. So for my mediating in such cases is an important role a steward can accomplish and I think that my 2 personal negative experiences give me a better understanding of this problem. DidiWeidmann (talk) 16:18, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Alexmar983:

First of all, I want to say that I've appreciated how you have transformed your mistake with the e-mail address in a good procedural suggestion for the future (i.e. you have suggested to send a short email before the deadline, that's a good idea). Now, to give you a positive vote I need to know this: suppose you are elected, and you start your activity. Imagine that you face the first problem you don't know the answer and you need to talk with someone. Where do you go? Do you use IRC? Do you know someone who's already a steward? What about your "networking" here on meta?--Alexmar983 (talk) 19:02, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Dear Alexmar983, that is a very good question. Of course there are more potential questions to which I do not know the answer than questions to which I have the answer. In my professional life and also during my work on Wikipedia since 2006 I was regularly confronted with questions to which I had no answer. First steep is in such a case always research – often I can find the answer in the Web. If not I do not hesitate other stewards or users who in my opinion could be competent to answer the question. It is also not necessary that I answer all the questions myself. There are several subject for which I am very competent and I use to concentrate on those subjects and so I would rather than answer this question myself help the concerned user to find the right partner for the answer of his question. It can also be situations or cases in which a single steward should not take a decision by his own discretion. Such cases I would discuss (if there are not confidential) on an appropriate discussion page (the same way as I act as administrator of my home Wiki) and then I would seek there for a common decision through a democratic process. If the question is about a privacy issue I would discuss such a question with other trustworthy users and stewards by mail or create a public discussion without disclosing personal details of the involved person. DidiWeidmann (talk) 21:15, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Questions from KuboF:

1) You have declared yourself less technically experienced user (in relation to Universal Language Selector). As a steward you would have an access to more complicated and specific tools, like global IP range (b)lock and oversight. Please list some of steward specific rights (so higher than global sysop and global renamer), that you plan to perform and estimate your possibility to learn use this tools. --KuboF (talk) 14:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

2) During the last year you made on your home wiki 79 admin actions, although there was (and are) many possibilities for sysop rights. Is there some specific reason for you to use steward rights more often than your sysop rights? --KuboF (talk) 14:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

EinsborEdit

Question from Tufor:

Hi Einsbor! ;-) We know each other from Polish Wikipedia and both of us fight against a vandal you mentioned in your statement. Two questions for you about ways to stop him:

  1. In past, because of his actions, there were global blocks on ranges of some of Polish Internet providers. Of course only stewards can do it. So, what steps must be taken prior to blocking globally few hundred thousands or even million IPs?
  2. Said vandal often creates accounts to vandalise. We of course block these accounts. But then he creates another account, and then another, and another, and another... Yesterday we had great example: we blocked 27 different IPs and socks in hour and a half. Let's say that you are after successful steward election, there is situation like that and there is no CU on IRC, just me and you. I ask you to do something with that. What, as a steward can you do? Tufor (talk) 13:33, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    Hello Tufor, thank you for your questions. As you said, there were some global rangeblocks due to LTA, not only at plwiki, but mostly from Polish providers' IPs. Global rangeblock, esspecially like that, for all IPs of one provider is a extremal method of LTA fighting, that must be preceded by contact with the provider, raporting to the provider's abuse all LTA activity. If the provider cares, it will contact the user (of course if it's possible - in Poland not always). If that kind of activity does not change the situation - we must act to protect the content of Wikimedia projects and the community. If the vandalism is extremally abusive, including unishable threats directed at other contributors and glorifying war criminals, it's obvious, that if provider doesn't (or couldn't) make any influence the vandal the global block of all of provider's IPs must be done. However, we do know and must not forget, that a lot of valueable users are using the same IP range - there must be information for them: why the block was performed, for how long and how they can edit (e.g. like that from 2013). This are steps to do before global rangeblock due to LTA, imo. Einsbor (talk) 17:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    For the second one question: that situation is possible (no CU at the channel), so what can I do, if elected steward is to lock his accounts globally (he often vandalises other projects, pl wikimedia, plnews etc), if needed also hide the account. As steward I could perform CU at loginwiki if the account are created there (it's LTA user). If check is possible I could block some ranges or OP. I could not perform CU at plwiki becouse it has local CUs and it's my home wiki. Unfortunatelly, it's still what we can do in general. Einsbor (talk) 18:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Einsbor, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Please note that these scenarios are not taken from real-life situations but are purely fictional stories. Thanks in advance. --MF-W 21:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

You just received a new mail, with the following content:
Dear Einsbor, I’m an editor on the Kabyle Wikipedia for two years, and was blocked today without any valid reason. The administrator did 
this only because I told him at this user talk page that I did not agree with him on some editorial points. I sent him a mail, and he 
refuses to answer. The other admins have not reacted yet, because they are busy or didn't see this. Please do the necessary to resolve 
this unfair problem. Thanks.
Hello, thank you for that question. First of all I would check if the sender of the message was blocked at kab wiki (here) and if, for what reason (any diff in summary etc). Secondly (after quick look here) I'd contact with the admin who has performed block and ask him for the reasons and with the other admins if there are more than one. In case of no response, I'd try to contact with other members of the Kabyle Wikipedia community to ask if there is some dispute or conflict between these users. In so called meantime I try to do some small "investigation" using translator to look into last blocked user's and blocking admin's contributions to realize if there were any possible reasons of block (vandalism, blanking, edit warring, etc.) or any contact between them (that tool can be helpful). Now I'd have some information, if the block was probably correct or not, about users previous interactions, admin's behaviour etc. If the block was short time - few houres up to one day, I'd advice user to begin the discussion after block expired if there were some doubts. If it was longer or infinite, and there were no reply from admin I probably would ask some more experienced stewards for advice; what they think about that situation. One way (as it is small wiki) would be unblock the user the ability to edit his own talkpage to make discussion possible. The other solution is to begin the local discussion about that block by myself. But the decision, at this stage, would depend on feedback from local community and advices from stewards. Einsbor (talk) 08:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

JusjihEdit

Question from Steinsplitter:

  • Hi Jusjih! You are a admin on zh.wikisource, enwp, zhwp, commons, en.wikisource, zh.wiktionary, en.wiktionary, zh.wikiquote, en.wikiquote, wikisource.org, zh.wikibooks and meta. And crat on three wikis. Do you really have time for this job? On commons your are defacto inactive (only making a few actions every year) and as crat you are completely inactive there (never noticed you on BN, etc). Regards --Steinsplitter (talk) 16:41, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Fæ:

  • Hi Jusjih, my apologies in advance in making a negative observation, it is not personal and we have had no significant interaction in the past.
You appear to be have been unable to fulfil the community leadership expectations for Commons bureaucrats (COM:Bureaucrats). Checking the records for specific example of the Commons Bureaucrats noticeboard that Steinsplitter mentions, you have not taken part in decision making, or expressed a bureaucrat's viewpoint, since September 2013, that is 16 months of minimal or no leadership activity. I believe that being an administrator on Commons would be sufficient to meet your contribution needs there. Before taking up new trusted hats, could you please first make a choice of which of your current hats you have the time and inclination actively to support? -- (talk) 14:02, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
On Commons, Fæ expressed an inaccurate opinion that Jusjih had not been active. He has been quite active, just not with There seems to be an idea that a 'crat should be participating in the sprawling discussions that can arise on the Noticeboard. Jusjih is the only Chinese-speaking 'crat on Commons, and was responsive to the two 2014 requests for comment on c:User talk:Jusjih page. Not all 'crats need to be responsive on a Noticeboard; responsiveness on user talk is core. The description of "expectations" of 'crats does not seem to require what is expected by Fæ and Jusjih. I see no sign of such extensive work burden on Commons that would interfere with or be interfered by steward duties. It would be a loss for Commons if Jusjih were expected to resign before standing for steward. If a conflict arises, then Jusjih (or Commons) could decide. --Abd (talk) 15:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It certainly is a fair observation that bureaucrat activity may not be only indicated by activity on the bureaucrat's noticeboard being 16 months ago, however I doubt many active Commons contributors watch every Bureaucrat's personal talk page to see how they are leading the Commons community and there is no agreed single metric for this, we only have these as typical indicators. It should be noted that even this weak evidence of responsiveness you quote, dates to April 2014, which is 8 months ago. Not of itself a demonstration of being an actively engaged bureaucrat with free volunteer time to fulfil the role as expected by the guidelines. You may wish to research Jusjih's activity further to make the case that they are active enough to enjoy taking on additional hats rather than this becoming an unrealistic burden. -- (talk) 17:46, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
To answer all of the above, I have announced at bureaucrats-commons (closed to the public) to see how other Commons bureaucrats think of my quitting bureaucrat flag. I also plan to quit even more bureaucrat flags on some Chinese wikis with small communities.--Jusjih (talk) 04:29, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@Jusjih: Can you please reply to my question above? Do you really have time for this job? If yes: why are you so inactive on commons and other projects? Apart from that, why you ask on bureaucrats-commons, which is closed to the public? I suggest to ask the community directly :) Regards --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:09, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I already answered your first question above after "To answer all of the above" due to similar nature as Fæ's question. To answer your further question, I do check 12 wikis periodically, i.e. not so inactive as you have thought. [2] I would ask at bureaucrats-commons as I would like to ask fellow bureaucrats first. I plan to resign as a bureaucrat on more wikis as I see no more need to be a bureaucrat anywhere in the long term.--Jusjih (talk) 01:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the question of Jusjih's activity levels, I have to respectfully disagree because he closed my Commons admin request and changed my permissions on 5 October 2014, i.e. less than four months ago. Green Giant (talk) 18:03, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
One closure since 2012... To be honest, this isn't active for me. --Steinsplitter (talk) 16:18, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Liuxinyu970226:

  • Another question, unrelated to above, but IDK why on earth you'll be happy to see a set of duplicated templates? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
    Which duplicated templates?--Jusjih (talk) 04:38, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    @Jusjih: Follow this link, I need at least a very fairy reason. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 15:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    Huhu9001's unilaterally changing a frequently used template without community consensus would disrupt many articles, and he has been uncooperative. Please wait for community consensus first.--Jusjih (talk) 02:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    Please do not use this page to settle a local matter with the candidate. Elfix 10:14, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Cekli829:

  • Hello Dear Jusjih. What do you see the role of a steward as again? What are your plans in particular? Thank you in advance for your reply! Success in the elections! --►Cekli829 17:49, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    Being a steward would automatically allow global deleted image review as I remembered in the past, which would be valuable to any Wikimedia Commons administrator. As stewards may now globally rename users as bureaucrats may no longer rename users, I expect to be more active once returned, unlike the past time when having to ask bureaucrats. I was once a bureaucrat on Chinese Wikisource, until the only other bureaucrat was removed for long inactivity and then I also resigned to allow any stewards to do bureaucrats' work there.--Jusjih (talk) 02:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:

  • How do you think that your "return will encourage even more skilled and language-inclusive participation here"? --MF-W 21:21, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    Stewards/Elections_2015/Guidelines says: "Stewards are preferably multilingual". Always seeing very few East Asian stewards is a reason why I am applying, especially when I see no Korean steward at all.--Jusjih (talk) 04:47, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Savh:

  • Could you analyse the reasons why you did not pass the last round of confirmations & elaborate on what you intend to do differently now? Savhñ 21:48, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    Retaliation from Korean Wikisource to "revenge" on my proposed removal of the only and inactive bureaucrat [3] likely influenced others to fail me last time when I did not actively learn Korean yet. As local bureaucrats may no longer change user names, I plan to watch Steward requests/Username changes more often.--Jusjih (talk) 04:47, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

LinedwellEdit

Questions from Vogone:

Dear Linedwell, thanks for volunteering as a steward candidate. Could you please elaborate in which areas you would like to help to which extend, if successfully elected? Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 18:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the question. If elected, I would mainly help in Steward requests, especially renames requests (but not only). I would also help fighting crosswiki vandals and LTA (my knowledge of CheckUser tools could help me with this task). I have no specific prefences, if there is something to do and I am able to do, I would. Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 18:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Dear Linedwell, I have another question for you. Please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following purely hypothetical situation:

While performing routine CU checks on a wiki you find that a local sysop is using multiple accounts in a harmful manner.

Please describe in detail how you would handle this situation. Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 21:58, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

This is an interesting question, and a little bit scary (I hope this kind of situation is extremely rare).
According to Steward policy, an immediate action isn't required if there is no emergency (i.e. this person is using his sysop tools to mass block users / or mass delete pages). However this kind of behaviour (having a clear and respectable account and using sockpuppets to disorganize the encyclopedia) is a problem. If I'm sure there is no doubt about the CU results (i.e. static and non-public IP adress) I would inform the local Arbitration Committee of my discovery (without revealing data, just telling something like "During a routine check, I found that some harmful sockpuppets belongs to a local sysop, could you study this case ?") and let them investigate the situation (and requesting or not his dismissal). In the case there are no local ArbCom, I would consult the others stewards to discuss about the proper action to do (to be sure the final decision is the more "appropriated"). As usual, (not only as a steward, but also as a sysop or an abusefilter) if I have any doubt on any situation I would ask my peers opinion to be sure my decision is the right one (or atleast the opinion of most of them). I hope to haven't forget anything. Kindly, Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 13:20, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Consulting more experienced fellow stewards is much appreciated, and likely the right thing to do in such cases. But still it would interest me how you would handle this situation if you hadn't any help. Would you please describe this a little further? In case you don't want to, that's fine as well, though. Vogone (talk) 20:22, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
@Vogone: To be honest, if I was really "alone" to handle this situation I wouldn't know what I should do. I'm not sure that "publicly" anouncing a CheckUser result (on the local Village Pump per example) could be the right thing (I don't want to start a public lynching). I think, I would try to ask (by email) the sysop "version of the facts" before performing any action. If I think he is in good faith, I would only block the sockpuppets. But if I "know" he is lying to me (his declarations being in contradiction with the CheckUser results) I think I should desysop and block this person, but I'm not sure I would do it without hesitation (I would think "should I ask the local community before ?"). Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 08:33, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
P.S.: As example of "How" I could handle this kind of situation (without any constraint of "non asking opinion to anyone") I will tell you a similar case I had to handle last year on Vikidia (where I am Bureaucrat and CheckUser): After long months of daily sockpuppets vandalisms under proxy, the "responsible" was identified as one of our sysops. I asked him his version, and he confess he was behing all those attacks). Then I started a community vote about his "dissmissal" and a possible block (the duration being voted by the community too) with a single condition, in case of "harmful use of the tools" during the vote, I would instantly dissmiss and block him for an infinite duration. He didn't used his tools, and the vote concluded with his dissmisal. I think this situation was extraordinary, he didn't tried to evade the sanction nor tried to harm the Project. I don't know if this can be compared to the situation you asked as I was an "active member" of the local community and not just a Steward who discovered something "dirty". Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 08:52, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your honest answer. Vogone (talk) 15:36, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Rschen7754:

What is your familiarity with how CheckUser is used on Wikimedia? --Rschen7754 02:46, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

As I had to use it more than once since june 2014 on another wiki (essentially due to sockpuppet attacks and LTA), I'm familiar with the tool. Regarding the policy, I have often read the CheckUser Requests on my home wiki (frwiki) the last years to know when CheckUser can/must be performed or not; and I have also read CheckUser policy. If you want me to detail something, do not hesitate to ask. Regards, Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 09:22, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:

Can you elaborate which is the group of wikis where you are a checkuser? --MF-W 21:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Certainly, I'm CheckUser on Vikidia, an encyclopedia for (and by) the 8-13 years. Linedwell@frwiki (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

MarcoAurelioEdit

  • Regarding d:Wikidata:Requests for comment/Bureaucrats' role in removal of permissions: what are your thoughts on this (including points raised on the talk page about steward participation) and on matters like these, two years later? Yes, I know that it was two years ago, and I recognize that things change over time; in the intervening period of time, I served as a steward for a year, which affected my views on the matter... --Rschen7754 20:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

    Hi Rschen7754. Thanks for your question. My personal opinion is that I never was in favor of the idea of local bureaucrats being able to remove administrator or even bureaucrat permissions, as I think that those actions are better handled by uninvolved users, in this case stewards. I can understand, however, that large wikis with a long-stablished community and well developed procedures may like to also handle this locally. If a project where I'm active would put this up for discussion I think I'd be still opposed to the idea. It is true, however, that with just few exceptions those projects who allow its bureaucrats to remove permissions seems to work just fine and I'm glad for that. I think I'm a bit old-fashioned/conservative in this kind of things :-) If elected however I am expected to stick to the policies and leave my personal opinions outside, and respect the decisions taken, as I did in the past. After all my opinion is just one, and this configuration changes comes after large community consensus, which for sure isn't formed by one user opinion.

    Regarding the comments on the talk page you mention, I can understand the feelings of those who felt somewhat irritated or thought that stewards apparently were trying to "torpedo" a local discussion. While not having much edits myself, I was quite active in the initial setup of user rights at Wikidata (cf. SRP/2012-11, SRP/2013-02 or see logs for more details). I noticed it myself and I though I could share my opinion. As for the others I can't speak, but assume good faith that they were not there to disrupt the RfC but to share their opinion on that matter. I think that stewards' opinion on user rights management can be useful as much of the work is managing permissions.

    I hope to have answered your question, please do let me know if anything is unclear. Kind regards. -- M\A 22:25, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Pavan santhosh.s:

  • You are very active as steward in your previous terms and you are well experienced. But after your comeback in mid 2014, you are not so active as sysop and bureaucrat in several wikis where you are having those responsibilities. why so?--Pavan santhosh.s (talk) 08:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
    Hi. Thanks for your question. As written in my statement, I've switched to perform other important activities which may be not so visible, but I am certainly still active. For example I do patrol the abuse and spam blacklist logs to catch unblocked spambots and report them to SRG for locking (for example this month: 1, 2 or 3 at SRG), or via the checkuser-l list when there's need for IP blocks and do patrol the RecentChanges of small wikis (directly going through a list of wikis or via the #cvn-sw IRC channel) to tag pages for speedy deletion when they're blatant tests or vandalism (recent example) or revert vandal edits. Deleted edits won't appear on crosswiki edits tool and it may give the impression that I do nothing. When verifying those logs as well, I do order COIBot to generate cross-wiki spam reports to see if the links can be safely blacklisted when abused by spambots, etc. Actually I hold adminship at eswikibooks and meta, and on both wikis I think I'm reasonably active (although es.wikibooks' admin burden is low and we cannot expect super-high numbers of admin actions). Hope that this answer your question. Best regards. -- M\A 18:06, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Mys_721txEdit

Question from Trijnstel:

  • Dear Mys 721tx. I see that you were a steward candidate in 2011 as well. The majority of those who voted against you believed you had a lack of cross-wiki activity. Can you tell me what has changed since then? Did you become more active cross-wiki? Or did you do other stuff related to the concerns? Trijnsteltalk 15:30, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
    Hi Trijnstel! As you pointed out, the lack of cross-wiki activity was my biggest weakness in the 2011 election. I have since become more active on Commons and Meta. Beside those two, sometimes I follow up cross-wiki spams. I also have been a temporary administrator on Chinese Wikiquote in respond to a LTA last October. -Mys_721tx (talk) 17:15, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Savh:

  • Hi, thanks for nominating yourself to help in this role. You state: "I would like to aid our current stewards and contribute to global anti-spam and counter-vandalism. This includes revert, blocking/locking spambots, and identifying patterns of spambots via checkuser tools when necessary. I am familiar with many of those measures from pass experience." Could you please specify what this past experience in global anti-spam and counter-vandalism consists of? What do you think is the role of stewards in these tasks? Savhñ 11:30, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
    My past experience includes the uses of CU, blocking, and abuse filter on Chinese Wikipedia. As all the tools are the same across all wikis, I believe those experience will still apply. My thought of role of stewards in global counter-vandalism is that stewards should involve when there is an emergency and/or the local community require more man power to deal with the situation. However, global anti-spam may necessitate the use of (b)locking in a more active manner. -Mys_721tx (talk) 15:12, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Questions from MF-Warburg:

Dear Mys_721tx, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Please note that these scenarios are not taken from real-life situations but are purely fictional stories. Thanks in advance. --MF-W 21:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

You’re about to answer to a request for permissions on SRP. A user from a small Wiktionary is requesting the bureaucrat flag. There are no bureaucrats. While looking to the local request page, you see that there are 15 support votes and no oppose. Digging further, you notice that 10 of the voters are recently created accounts with less than ten contributions.
The said situation is certainly suspicious. The 10 new accounts could to be sock puppets, which would renders that consensus invalid. However, they could also be genuine users that do not understand the rules concerning meat puppets. Therefore I would put the request on hold until the user or the local community has given satisfactory explanation of those behaviors. I might make a Check User request but I would hesitate to CU by myself if there is no distributive behaviors. -Mys_721tx (talk) 05:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Can you explain what you mean by "distributive behavior"? Also, how would you decide about the right request after another steward checkusered and found that no sockpuppets are involved? --MF-W 11:49, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Things like clearly signs of puppets, or the user is known in other projects to be long term vandals. Part of the explanation I was looking for is the local requirement for who can vote. If the those voters are disqualified by local rules, then the case is closed. If this is permitted and no sock puppets are involved, I honestly do not know how to do. I think I probably should give him the bit but the situation does not make me very comfortable to do so. -Mys_721tx (talk) 08:11, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Why did you not mention your previous candidature in your statement? --MF-W 22:09, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I do not know this is a requirement. -Mys_721tx (talk) 05:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Indeed it is not; I was merely wondering about it (as in most such elections it can be expected that someone will ask about a previous candidature anyway, as it already happened here). --MF-W 11:49, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Natuur12Edit

Question from TBloemink:

  • As a former steward and sysop on nlwiki I wanted to ask this question: I am not sure how many cross wiki experience you have. As a steward it is important that you have basic knowledge of what is vandalism and what is not (in other languages). You stated that you will ask others if in need of help. Do you, per your own view, have sufficient knowledge of vandalism to distinguish vandalism on small projects?
  • I have actually not seen that much requests of you in the stewards IRC channel. Is this a mistake I am making or are all requests going via either PM or the Dutch sysop channel?
  • What is your opinion on the clique question on nlwiki? With this I mean the creation of groups of sysops who fight against each other, and after the last reconfirmations, one of them is now 'leading'. How is your opinion on this? Your answer on this question is especially important to make up my mind on voting yes or no.
  • Thanks in advance for your answers. — TBloemink talk 22:58, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your questions. I try to answer them as good as possible. I can understand your first question regarding my ability to recognize vandalism in other languages than my main language (Dutch). Personally I believe that I have enough knowledge of vandalism to be able to distinguish vandalism on small projects as well, outside of the Dutch and English ones. A few recent examples can be found here, here, here and here.
  • It is true that you have seen less requests from me recently to the stewards via the stewards irc channel. The reason for that is simple: I was busy lately with a minor project (off-wiki), which is now finished. That was also why I couldn't deal with the LTAs and spambots like before. Apart from that I indeed requested mainly via the stewards irc channel or approached the stewards directly. I have more spare time now, so I intend to be more active with fighting crosswiki vandalism.
  • I do not recognize myself in the situation you described regarding a "clique" on the Dutch Wikipedia. I have always been against such a thing and I regularly try to solve conflicts between users. I suspect you see it as a outcome of this RfC, but I do not get what you expect from me. Especially since I was not involved, while you clearly were. Natuur12 (talk) 16:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Odder:

  • Can you explain to the wider community the reasoning behind your indefinite blocking of @russavia on the Dutch Wikipedia with the summary Ingelogde vandaal: Turning this wiki into an battleground and using drama for his personal agenda after what was basically a one-day-long disagreement over a request for the removal of a picture submitted to OTRS? Furthermore, could you explain to us how your block aligns with the Dutch Wikipedia's blocking policy (seeing as it came without so much as a warning), the WMF's guidelines on biographies of living people, and common courtesy as very often shown on OTRS? Thanks, odder (talk) 11:20, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question. First of all, there is a difference between policies and guidelines. The Dutch Wikipedia uses the guideline "Richtlijnen voor moderatoren" (roughly translated: "Guidelines for administrators") when it comes to placing blocks.
  • Russavia was warned by another admin that his behaviour was unacceptable as can be seen here. He apparantly chose to ignore that warning. I decided to block Russavia in order to protect the project and its editors. He endangered the project with his discussion style – namely not willing to motivate his removal, edit warring, using personal attacks, trying to push an article which was deleted under community consensus, violating local guidelines etc. His whole discussion style and power play was a direct threat for the wellbeing of certain editors and the project. This alone is reason enough to block someone indef. Til today, btw, the image in question has not been deleted from Wikimedia Commons. The local BLP-policy is not relevant when it comes to the block. If the image violates the WMF-resolution, then Russavia should have removed the image from Commons instead of removing it from local articles and he should have been able to motivate his edit. He did neither of both.
  • However, this was and is a local case and it has not much to do with steward duties imho. Besides, Russavia could have appealed his block via the local Arbcom – which he did not do – before the WMF locked his account because of violation of the Terms of Use. Natuur12 (talk) 16:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    • @Natuur12: Your attitude towards blocking established and good-faith long-term editors is absolutely relevant to your role as a steward. From what I understand—and I might be mistaken given that I take all my information from @russavia's talk page on the Dutch Wikipedia—russavia kept removing that picture because of a request submitted through OTRS (ticket number #2011120610018785). Could you explain to me how his insistence to respect the subject's wishes submitted to us in that ticket endangered the Dutch Wikipedia and threatened the well-being of certain editors and of the project as a whole? I would also welcome an explanation how a policy disagreement that occurred over one day warrants an indefinite block of a user—is this basically a method of protecting the community from future vandalism or policy discussions? Thanks, and best of luck in the elections, odder (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @Odder, I believe that you misread my answer since those question has already been answered but if you insist. I am not known as an admin who blocks regular editors on a daily basis and the number of long term blocks of users who also made useful contributions at the Dutch Wikipedia can be counted on one hand.
  • When I block someone I keep the five pillars in mind and Russavia violated the first and the fourth pillar at the Dutch Wikipedia. The first pillar explains that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and it summarizes the Dutch version of the "what Wikipedia is not-page". The fourth pillar is about treating others with respect and civility. While many see Russavia as an "established and good-faith long-term" contributor at Wikimedia Commons he was certainly not at the Dutch Wikipedia. Most of his edits where violations of local guidelines, about undermining the local community and turning the wiki in a battlefield.
  • He was not blocked because he tried to replace an image because the subject filed a complaint via OTRS but he was blocked for disruptive behaviour. This includes not willing to motivate your edits, avoiding the discussion, openly disrespecting his discussion partner, using ad hominem and exporting a NL-wiki discussion to a mailing list and refusing to discuss the matter with the community is reason enough to revoke the privilege of editing the Dutch Wikipedia. The fact that he wanted to honour the subjects request was not the problem, the fact was that he did not wanted to search for community consensus was the problem.
  • Perhaps you believe that this kind of behaviour is not a reason to exclude someone from a project but it certainly is under the local guidelines. Local community's and local guidelines need to be respected. The Dutch Wikipedia's is just like Commons not keen of people telling them how things should go and OTRS does not override the community. And yes, someone who does not respect that the community has a say in whenever a image is used or not (clearly his behaviour indicated this) does not fit within the Dutch Wikipedia's community. Natuur12 (talk) 17:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Natuur12, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Please note that these scenarios are not taken from real-life situations but are purely fictional stories. Thanks in advance. --MF-W 15:26, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

A user from Malayalam Wikipedia approaches you seeking help because the wiki is under a serious vandalism attack. The project has active administrators and checkusers but no one seems to be available at that time.

Dear MF-Warburg,

Thanks for your question. In short, I would block the IP/useraccount but not before I checked everything myself and not before I tried to contact the local administrators and only when the vandalism is a direct threat to the project. I would also check if there is cross wiki vandalism since I could better place a global block/lock if that is the case without making a "local steward action". Also I would ask the persons who asks for help to provide me with a link to the local request. If there is no local request I would kindly ask this person to file a local request at the appropriate page. I would compare the list of recent changes with the list of administrators to see if they are really inactive. If an admin is active I would leave a message at his talk page and I would point out the request. Than I would check their IRC-channel (#wikipedia-ml) to check if there are any administrators available via IRC. If there are no admins available I would block the IP/useraccount locally for 3-6 hours and I would clearly state in the block reason that this was a steward action. (stewards blocking locally in case of emergency is not unheard of) After I placed the block I would inform the administrators via their local noticeboard and via the noticeboard where the request for admin-assistance was filed originally. Natuur12 (talk) 15:40, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from GZWDer:

I'm going to support, but please explain why you blocked JurgenNL indefinitely in nlwiki. Should this user be blocked indefinitely?--GZWDer (talk) 05:33, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

The block of JurgenNL was a last resort in order to protect the victim and all those he held responsible for losing his tools against harassment, privacy violations etc. I wish it ended after the RFC but it didn't. Childish acts to make people feel unsafe, giving private info to others, using meatpuppets to vote against MoiraMoira's adminsip at the Dutch Wikipedia as an act of vengeance and trying to drag as many people down into his fall. But the most important was, he didn't leave the victim alone but he used other channels to bother her instead. (Commons, IRC etc).
After the RFC a user at the Dutch Wikipedia asked for both JurgenNL and TBloemink to be blocked and one of the local admins, Josq, blocked them for one week. The conclusion of this discussion is simple. Some supported a long block, others wanted to give the both of them a last change. It become even more clear after the blockvote. JurgenNL blew this one last change and it resulted in a block which was challenged by TBloemink but the community confirmed the block. Long term blocks need the aproval of the community and this block clearly has.
I wouldn't have blocked him if I saw any other options since the block itself was risky. It wouldn't create a storm of consequences for me at the Dutch Wikipedia since the block was eventually approved by the community (plus I don't find my tools important anyways) but both JurgenNL and TBloemink could track me down as well. And the block resulted in JurgenNL, TBloemink and some of their friends (and meatpuppets) to take their revenge. Just like they tried to take revenge at MoiraMoira and Trijnstel.
But I truly believe that this block was the only option to make the Dutch Wikipedia feel as a safe working environment for the victims again. Plus the signal needed to be clear. There is no tolerance for repeated harassment at the Dutch Wikipedia. People already tried to make clear that the both of them should really drop the stick, should be more humble and that they should not contact the victim in any way. Natuur12 (talk) 12:40, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Fæ:

Hi, I believe that Stewards hold significant trust from the Wikimedia community to be able to analyse evidence, research where needed, and only act when they are confident they are in full possession of the facts. As you are trusted with OTRS access and regularly verify photographs on Commons, this is an excellent example of where you are trusted to use private records to make public decisions and where the ordinary Wikimedian or public reuser is completely reliant on your decision to make potentially legally binding decisions on themselves for further publication.

I have raised a couple of recent cases of your tickets where the legal requirement of attribution now appears to be inaccurate. In the light of the fact that OTRS tickets are very rarely ever questioned or reinvestigated, due to the presumption that they are highly reliable, to find any that are problematic is worrying.

How do you intend positively to address the feedback you have been given, and do you believe that any learning points must be taken on for how you intend to use steward rights?

Thanks -- (talk) 12:24, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Dear Fae,
Thank you for your question but I find it regretful that you didn't finish the discussion about those two ticket you are referring to before you asked your question. In the first case we got fooled by someone who plaid dirt tricks to justify his copyright violations. In the second case we have a different view about attribution which should be solved based on arguments.
I believe that most tickets I close are closed correctly. (I say most because everyone makes mistakes, including me.) When it comes to those where I made mistakes I try to correct them, learn from them and improve myself to handle cases better in the future. I always try to learn from feedback. That doesn't mean that this is always easy. Doing so has made me a better admin at Commons and the Dutch Wikipedia throughout the process. The first lesson I had to learn as an admin was a hard one, namely knowing your limits. It took some time but I learned it. Just like my skills about copyright improve when I make mistake and see how it should have been after it was corrected. I will do the same with this feed back. I'm always willing to motivate my actions and reflect hem if needed.
You are talking about learning points. Whatever happens, there are always learning points and in this particular case it would be double check everything after you have double checked it. And expect they unexpected, even when everything seems to be all right. In they end we should realise we all have the same goal, namely generating free content. (Except for the LTA's etc of course). Natuur12 (talk) 15:42, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I am seriously disappointed that you remain unprepared to audit your past OTRS tickets for similar issues, as has been specifically suggested, nor do you appear to recognize that the copyright requirement for attribution is a legal obligation, not a Wikimedia project guideline or an optional suggestion subject to change after consensus. I do not see how the community can rest assured that you have corrected mistakes and are learning from them so the same errors of judgement do not occur again, nor that you will be as unwilling to improve by responding positively to feedback should you become a steward.
As for "not finishing discussion", the facts are completely clear and one of the two questions raised has already been marked as closed by other parties. Thanks -- (talk) 15:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder, where did I tell that I am not willing to do certain things, that I don't recognize that cc requires attribution etc? I believe that you either misunderstood my words or that you started speculating. It is not as black and white as you might think. We where discussing if it is legal to attribute the artist of an artwork in the file description while the photographer was mentioned in the author's field while the artist has seen how the images where attributed before he send evidence of permission to OTRS. That is something else than me not recognizing that a work needs attribution. If what you say is true Fae I would have already lost my tools a long time ago at the Dutch Wikipedia since the Dutch community is not very forgiving when people are not willing to reflect their actions. Natuur12 (talk) 16:23, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

PmlineditorEdit

Question from Eurodyne:

  • Hi Pmlineditor. Why do you claim to be Native in English here on meta, simplewiki, etc. but, in your statement, you said we were en-4. Would you mind explaining a bit more? Eurodyne (talk) 03:21, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi Eurodyne, and thanks for your question. Whether I am en-N or en-4 depends on how one interprets the expression 'native' speaker. I live in a place where you learn English and your 'actual' native language, Bengali / Hindi etc. together. English is my primary language and I am considerably more comfortable conversing in English (at least on-wiki/IRC etc.) than in Bengali. It is difficult being simultaneously bilingual (like a lot of other people in India are) to decide whether to call English a native / first language or not. Either way, I have decided to alter my babel to en-4; it's best not to call yourself native if en-4 is a less controversial choice (although the English Wikipedia does say that the ordering between xx-N and xx-4 isn't particularly meaningful). I hope that answered your question. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 08:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Vogone:

Dear Pmlineditor, please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following purely hypothetical situation:

A user from a wiki with three oversighters, two of them being gone for many years already and one of them not having edited for 1 day, asks you to suppress some revisions containing intimidating material.

Please describe in detail how you would handle this situation. Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 22:00, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi Vogone and thank you for your question. Stewards are provisioned to oversight edits during emergencies even if the wiki has local oversighters per the Oversight policy. Assuming the request is an emergency (i.e. the revisions contain non-public personal information or something similar), I would first ensure that the local oversighters have been contacted via e-mail: this should generally be done before bringing an issue up to stewards. After this I would check #wikimedia-privacy, #wikimedia-stewards and other local channels to see if I can find the local oversighter. I would also look up/ask the user about local policy related to stewards oversighting (for instance, my home wiki, Simple English Wikipedia suggests stewards wait 15 minutes before performing the oversight). If an oversighter responds by now, then all good, otherwise, I would perform the oversight myself and email the oversighters about my action and ask them to modify to fit local / global policies. I would also follow the local practices related to OS, for instance, if logging the action is required (as in dewiki). Of course, this is all assuming the intimidating material warranted an (emergency) oversight. That is something which can be judged on a case by case basis, but a lot of intimidating content can be handled by admin-level redaction and left for local oversighters to decide whether there is any reason to hide it from admins too. I hope that answered the question. Regards, Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 07:26, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, the inactive oversighters should probably be removed per the policy. ;) Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 07:26, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your detailed answer. So summarised you would undertake the following actions: 1. contact the local oversighters 2. depending on the (non-)answer follow the globally and locally definded procedures and 3. remove the inactive oversighters, correct? Vogone (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct. The removal doesn't need to be immediate since that would essentially reduce the wiki to 0 OSes (a single OS is not allowed by the policy). A community can elect an OS immediately to have at least 2 OSes, so that option should be allowed of course. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 15:02, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Gryllida:

For Q2, what could motivate you to immediately remove the material? Would you contact the local wiki to fix their expired OS people access and elect new ones? Gryllida 21:28, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Ruy PugliesiEdit

Questions from Savh
  • Your global sysop was removed in July because of inactivity (ie, no GS log between January and July) and you requested it again just recently (beginning of this month). What do you expect your activity levels to be the coming year? Savhñ 21:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Hello, Savh. Thanks for you question. As I mentioned in my statement before, I had some health issues and academic commitments from January to September 2014. I returned in late October to the Wikimedia projects and in November to the SWMT. I will certainly keep quite active during all this year. Ruy Pugliesi 03:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
  • You've been a candidate before. What has changed since? Savhñ 21:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Savh, I think I have gained more experience. I was not even a global sysop at that time (mid-2011). Since then, I got more experienced in dealing with crosswiki vandalisms, LTAs, spambots etc, and how (and even when) to act properly as a global sysop. This is something that I would call "fine tuning", and it is only achieved with two ingredients: time and practice. I am still far from being perfect, and I think I can learn much more with the current stewards. If I don't know how to act in some situation, I will certainly ask other stewards to advice/help me. Ruy Pugliesi 03:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Vogone:

Dear Ruy Pugliesi, please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following purely hypothetical situation:

A Zulu user leaves you the following message:
Goodday!

I'm ZEX from Zulu Wikipedia and one of the admins there
hasn't edited the wiki for over 2 years already!
Please remove his admin rights ASAP! Thanks!

Please describe in detail how you would respond and what actions you would perform. Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 22:03, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello, Vogone. Thanks for your question. First of all, I would check if this wiki does not have local advanced rights review process (I am aware that this list may be missing something). If there is no such process over there, I would check if the local administrator does not have any edit and any administrative action on the aforementioned wiki where the rights have been maintained for over two years, which is the maximum time period of inactivity without community review, according to this policy. Then, I would proceed as described in the sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 of the policy. This means I would not remove "his admin rights ASAP". Otherwise, if the requester had mentioned some local inactivity policy for this wiki, I would ask him to place a request at SRP, with a link to the "inactivity policy" approved with local community consensus. Then, if he made the request, I would check if the given information is indeed ok (ie, the page containing the policy has been discussed and approved per local community). If so, I would remove the sysop permission and would mark the request as done. Otherwise, if there is neither a local policy regarding inactivity nor a valid page with that, I would mark the request as not done, thus giving the appropriated explanations. Ruy Pugliesi 03:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick reply! Though, just for clarification: Would you deliver AAR notifications immediately after you have been made aware of an admin being inactive for more than 2 years? Or what would your exact reply to this user be? Vogone (talk) 13:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hello, Vogone. I have explained the process in a general way. In this case, I would directy tell him (ZEX) that the only way to remove admins with over two years of inactivity (in wikis that does not have processes to review holders of advanced administrative rights) is AAR and, so, it would be necessary to wait for the forthcoming global process of admin review. I would not deliver AAR notifications immediately because this is not the procedure for contacting inactive rights holders, according to the policy. The regular audit of the activity levels must be undertaken by the current set of stewards, and it can be either an annual or semi-annual process (example). Ruy Pugliesi 15:14, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your precise answer. Best regards, Vogone (talk) 15:20, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from MF-Warburg:
Why did you not mention your previous candidature in your statement? --MF-W 22:05, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello, MF-Warburg. Thanks for your question. It was so long ago that I have sincerely forgotten to mention this. Sorry. It was my fault. I have simply read these instructions in order to fullfil the statement with the required informations, and I haven't remembered to mention my previous candidature. Though I wouldn't have any problems with mentioning this in my presentation page. Ruy Pugliesi 03:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Indeed it is not a requirement; I was merely wondering about it (as in most such elections it can be expected that someone will ask about a previous candidature anyway, as it already happened here). --MF-W 11:50, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Surely. You are right. Ruy Pugliesi 15:14, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Trijnstel:

  • From your previous candidature I remember a few voted against you because of this arbcom case. Thogo posted back then that the Ombudsman Commission didn't find any CU abuse, though I don't recall any statement from you. The arbcom case was closed early 2012 when the arbcom was disabled. I know it's long ago & personally I have no opinion since I don't know all the facts, but since stewards have all accesses it would be nice to hear your point of view. Thanks. Trijnsteltalk 14:00, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello, Trijnstel. At that time, ptwiki was plagued with internal conflicts, thus inevitably affecting both my previous candidature and this one. I don't know if you remember, but such conflicts had already overspread into SRGPs and RfAs with canvassing and disruptive partakings on meta-wiki.
    Talking about the local CU case, I was the most active checkuser at that time (mid-2010), which was leading me to handle a great amount of checkuser requests and investigations (ptwiki had only 3 checkusers: Teles, another one - which was basically inactive, and me). This was not good, because in a such hostile environment, even legitimate actions taken by local advanced rights holders were contested on a daily basis. It happened to administrators, bureaucrats, checkusers et cetera, putting them in a direct confront with a group of users. Due to what I would call a "internal crisis", ptwiki remained without bureaucrats and checkusers for over one year, still suffering from having a reduced number of sysops. I tried to help out by discussing and writing new policies, as for example, a new bureaucrats policy, which was approved with commmunity consensus in 2012, and an eliminators policy, which involved the creation of a new local user group called 'eliminator' (or 'deleter'), in 2010. We also approved local rollbackers for blocking unregistered users, because nobody was willing to apply for adminship anymore, as a result of the internal conflits. All these measures, combined with the efforts of various users and a new set of policies, have helped ptwiki to overcome most of its problems.
    Our Arbitration Committe had always been incredibly slow in taking decisions, specially during its second term (Feb. 2010 - Feb. 2011), probably due to the low activity of its members. In July 2011, the ombudsmen informed the ptwiki ArbCom that they didn't find any CU abuses or breach of the privacy policy so far, thus mentioning that the accounts had been checked with valid reasons which indicated a proper execution of the checkusers' duties. A copy of this e-mail was also sent to me. The ombudsmen also adviced the ArbCom members to check the rationales given on wiki, the background of the CU cases and the “possible” personal involvement of the checkusers in those cases. And finally, they told that if the local arbitrators didn’t find any strong evidence for such problems, then the case should be dismissed.
    Although the ArbCom was disabled in the beginning of 2012, I had already presented (to the Ombudsmen, to the arbitrators and onwiki) the rationales for all the checks I had done. I am very cautious with handling CU requests and I always refused to check based on fragile evidences or when it might be unecessary. And when it was necessary, I was used to look for further evidences before attending the requests (some examples of behavioral analysis I was used to do: 17 kb, 38 kb, 33 kb) Furthermore, on any wiki, there must be at least two users with CheckUser status, so that they can mutually control and confirm their actions. If I was doing something wrong, Teles (or the other checker) would certainly have denounced me.
    After all, what happened? We got a failed ArbCom, a statement from the OC informing that no violations took place, and all the detailed rationales I gave for those checks.
    Anyway, my current duties involve mostly dealing with LTAs, spambots and ordinary crosswiki vandalism. This is one of the reasons why I have applied for stewardship. And this will certainly be the use I'll give to CU if I am elected. I could have asked for CU permission on ptwiki again, since I am 'clean' from those accusations now. But I am also a bureaucrat there and I don't have time for being a local checkuser anymore (atm), or even to dedicate myself *exclusively* to a single project since I joined the SWMT in 2010. I think it can be more useful by carrying on the global stuff.
    If I have left something unclear, please ask me. Thanks for your question. Regards, Ruy Pugliesi 15:28, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
    This is even more than I could ask for. Thank you very much. It's completely clear to me. :) Trijnsteltalk 15:59, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

StrynEdit

Question from Rschen7754:

  • Why did you step down from both the Ombudsman Commission and from being a Wikidata oversighter? --Rschen7754 04:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your question, Rschen7754. It was June/July 2014 when I left both of those groups. The main reason was that I had not enough time because I decided [somewhat surprisingly] to move to another city during that time. And the OC is a thing that requires a lot of time or otherwise you can't keep track of what's going on, especially if there are many cases. And, I, personally, don't want to be a member of a group where I feel that I can't help. In addition to the time problems, I also felt that my English was not good enough so that I could help in solving difficult cases and tell my opinions. Wikidata oversighter rights I left also for the same reason, though I could have been keep them if I would have known how long my wikibreak (due to the move) is going to be. It wasn't as long as I thought, but I believed that it won't make harm if I leave the OS group, since we didn't get a lot of requests, and there were still 2 OS's left. --Stryn (talk) 13:30, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Jianhui67:

  • From 'though I try to help also in other steward duties as much as I can', what other steward duties do you envision yourself doing other than blocking cross-wiki vandals and spambots if you were elected? Jianhui67 talkcontribs 17:18, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your question. At first came my mind of granting/removing permissions, oversighting content, those are the duties where I also have some experience. --Stryn (talk) 17:28, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Vogone:

Dear Stryn, please imagine you were a steward and experiencing the following purely hypothetical situation:

At beta.wikiversity a dispute has started between two administrators who are now going even as far as to block each other plus other users involved in the conflict. One of the users informs you about the current situation.

Please describe in detail how you would react and which actions you would take. Thanks in advance, Vogone (talk) 22:06, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your question, dear Vogone. First, I would try to discuss with the admins who are involded in the conflict and that way calm the situation and try to find a way to stop such a situation. If they are not willing to discuss at all and already start blocking themselves and other, I would remove their adminship to protect the project from worse abuse. Normally stewards should not remove rights from users on beta.wikiversity without concensus or a request, but it is an emergency situation and thus immediate actions are allowed. After that, I wouuld tell the involved admins what and why did I do it, and also write the same to the Administrator's noticeboard so other admins and users can know the situation. I would also unblock the users that were blocked during the war. --Stryn (talk) 06:24, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick reply! Though, for clarification: What for instance would you do if a local user (let it be a bureaucrat) reinstated the admin rights after you "emergency" removed them? Vogone (talk) 13:47, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, if a local bureaucrat will give the admin rights back, it's a local matter, and bureaucrats should have enough understanding of not reinstating the rights back before than they are sure that the dispute is solved. And I do hope that those admins would not continue blocking each other and other users if/after getting their rights back. Otherwise we should remove their rights again and the bureaucrat would be next in line, if he is still getting involved in the matter and not caring about the warnings we give him. --Stryn (talk) 14:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again. Vogone (talk) 15:03, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from RonnieV:

Dear Stryn, In answering the question from Rschen7754 (see above), you said you considered your knowledge of the English language to be insufficient to be a full member of the OC. What level of knowledge of the English language do you consider to be required for people to be a member of the OC, and to be(come) a steward? Thanks in advance, RonnieV (talk) 17:05, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your question dear RonnieV. That's an interesting question, because there's not any official requirements for each level or any uniform way to compare English levels with each other. And so, everyone can put what they want to the babel box. I have lvl-2 English in my babel box; but it's just how I personally rate my English. My English has never been perfect, but it has improved IMO a lot in the past years (though I had en-2 already in my babel in 2009). Anyway, I'm still not convinced to change my English lvl from 2 to 3, although some users told that my English is better than just lvl-2. The Ombusdman Commission requires clearly better English skills than being a steward as you can't solve any cases in the OC if you can't understand and tell your views using English. Also stewards should know English enough that they can discuss understandably and understand what they are doing and what should be done and when. For what I know mostly the OC members have had lvl-3 English or higher, but I only had lvl-2. So based on this I would say minimum of lvl-3 in English, but IMO there should not be any this kind of requirements, as I said, there's not any way to define requirements for each language lvl. We can just deduce user's language skills when we read what they write. --Stryn (talk) 21:06, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

TaketaEdit

Question from TBloemink:

  • Hi Taketa. I have met you before and I personally think you are a good candidate for stewardship. However, I wanted to ask you a question concerning your statement. In your statement, you only seem to state that you want to apply for stewardship (and thus having access to both the checkuser and oversight tools, having 'buttons' everywhere, and can see private stuff) to help out in usurpations. While this is a healthy choice to make, I wanted to know if you are willing to do other tasks as well (i.e. spambot fighting, vandalism fighting, oversight/cu requests et cetera). Thanks in advance for your answer. — TBloemink talk 23:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    Hello TBloemink, thank you for your trust. In my statement I focussed on what I consider an area I can be most useful in. Maybe I did not put enough emphasis on other functions I want to help with, thank you for letting me clarify. Besides usurpation requests and (global) permissions, I will also help answer requests for checkuser information, for oversight, for global (b)locks and requests for administrative actions on small projects. I am familiar with the guidelines and procedures for the several request pages. When I am in doubt I always ask for advice. I will definitely ask feedback/advice from experienced stewards when I first use the checkuser and oversight functions, since I have no prior experience using these tools. I hope this answers your questions. All the best, Taketa (talk) 15:06, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


Question from MF-Warburg:

Dear Taketa, please consider the following hypothetical situation. Please describe and detail how you would handle this if you were elected as a steward, and try to answer it without asking anyone for more information. Please note that these scenarios are not taken from real-life situations but are purely fictional stories. Thanks in advance. --MF-W 22:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

A user from ss.wiktionary requests adminship there. He has been a temporary sysop twice before and now insists on permanent adminship. You notice that the wiki has 2 permanent sysops, who are however inactive. In the RFA, 4 users supported whose editcounts are 527, 314, 85 and 5. Do you grant adminship, and if yes, permanent or for which duration?
Dear MF-Warburg, thank you for your question. The community vote is not large enough to support a permanent adminship. If the vote already lasted two weeks, I could advice the community vote be extended and put it on hold. However the two permanent sysops are inactive (I would check if a local policy exists, and if not notify the inactive sysops and give them a month to respond) and it would leave a single active permanent sysop. Since the user has already had two prior temporary adminships I would grant temporary adminship for 12 months instead. I hope this answers your question. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 23:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi! I'm not sure what you would do when the month is over and they admins did not respond. Could you please elaborate this? Thanks! Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 00:07, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi DerHexer, thank you for your question. If the admins respond I ask them to inform the community about the inactivity notification and start a community discussion on what to do. If the admins do not respond or respond inadequately, I would bring it to the attention of the community myself, and leave it to the community to decide what to do. I would support the communities decision. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 00:20, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi DerHexer, thank you for your question. I would not take any action. The sysop's inactivity can be discussed with the local community at a later point during the (bi-)yearly admin activity review. In the message to the sysops I would explain the situation concerning the request and concerning their inactivity. If they reply, we can discuss the matter. I think it is important to see what their opinion is. Maybe they would become more active again after such a reply. A win-win situation. If they do not reply, I would leave the matter. The sysops would have an early note about their inactivity. The user can reapply for temporary/permanent adminship next year or when the situation changes. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 06:17, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

VodomarEdit

Question from Rschen7754:

There are many issues and controversies surrounding the above request for comment. There are several streams that need to be examined:
  • the standing and recognition of the Croatian Language with some of the editors which contribute to the Croatian Wikipedia and other wikipedias and what is their standing on this subject; is it a language or not and should it be merged into the Serbocroatian/Croatoserbian project
  • Allegations of right wing bias
  • Allegations pro-fascist bias
  • Allegations of cabalism
  • Allegations of unfair treatment of users
  • Allegations of homophobia
All of these allegations come on the curtails of a intergroup conflict inside the Croataian Wikipedia which has been simmering over the past 6-7 years, and re-igniting on a regular basis. Now with a hate group established by a vocal critic of the Croatian Wikipedia, the involvement of parts of the Croatian media and Croatian government interference. Casting a stone at the Croatian Wikipedia about having this outrageous bias is unwarranted. Yes the Croatian Wikipedia has issues, I have tried to introduce plans and projects to remove this problem for instance i have added a link to the main village pump page hr:Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost/Popis_spornih_članaka which spurred the creation of a wikiproject for neutral writing by some editors hr:Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost. If you visit this page you will see the list of articles that have reported bias. Vodomar (talk) 23:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Elfix:

  • Stewards implement community consensus. What are your thoughts on hr:Wikipedija:Administratori/Prijedlozi za ukidanje ovlasti/SpeedyGonsales, Kubura i Zeljko? How should stewards treat this voting? Elfix 10:27, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
    The Croatian Wikipedia like many other Wikipedias and community groups are not immune to conflicts due to it combining a broad number of individuals who have different views and life experiences. The Croatian Wikipedia so to speak is a "broad church", and being such from time to time issues erupt and this is not just an "ill" of the Croatian Wikipedia Project. There are many instances documented in the media where battles over articles of views have raged and are continuing (http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Israeli-Palestinian-conflict-rages-on-Wikipedia, http://www.itworld.com/article/2826938/cloud-computing/wikipedia-wars--10-biggest-edit-battles.html). For instance there are battles around articles like for instance Caesar salad and the list of semi-protected articles and protected articles on many wikipedias are a testemony, to past and current conflicts which might be rational or irrational. Many wikipedia projects have to deal with trolling, sock puppeting and article poisoning ( http://memebase.cheezburger.com/artoftrolling/tag/wikipedia , http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/25/us-congress-banned-editing-wikipedia-trolling , http://www.viralnova.com/wikipedia-trolls/ ) Wikipedia is not only place where this occurs, it is quite a common feature of online forums and online projects, were anonymity can bring the worst out of some people. The digital age has created a new playground for the violence and abuse, were cyber bullying and intimidation has caused real violence or driven people to commit suicide. The psychology of groups is quite important when making a decision about conflict in a particular wikipedia community, in some cases the conflict and polarisation can run very deep bordering on the irrational. The whipped up emotion can sometimes be overwhelming: the background canvassing, setting up outside pressure groups and using government and "legacy media" outlets to mount personal attacks can create an atmosphere which is not conducive to making the right decision. The stewards should viewed this voting as a result of a conflict between really two people on the Croatian Wikipedia, which has been going on for the past 5 years and it rears itself like the seasonal flu. The persons that are involved in the conflict know each other personally, like many of the main contributors of the Croatian Wikipedia. With myself I do not maintain much personal contact with editors of the Croatian Wikipedia or live in near proximity of Europe. This geographical isolation and distance has given me a different dimension and view of what has happened on the Croatian Wikipedia Project which is not immune from conflict like many other communities. Vodomar (talk) 23:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
    So, if I understand correctly you justify that Stewards should not take that voting into account by claiming there several (social, geographical, political) reasons that motivate this voting - and you may very well be right about these reasons. What I understand from that voting is that it was decried because it supposedly did not follow local procedures. In the event that, even during a rough time, there is sysop abuse, what would be the correct procedure for the community to question someone's use of their administrative tools? Elfix 10:06, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
    Correct, Stewards should not take such votes as being valid and representative of the community especially when those rules are broken - why have them in the first place. Each and every community should have rules that enable a review of sysop privileges. In my opion an open log would be a sufficient measure plus a procedure where a sysop needs to justify the use of tools they invoke. Sometimes allegations that are sometimes made are not in good faith, and Stewards should be careful not to "jump the gun" so to speak. Each complaint and allegation must be treated with care, first investigated, and then approached with consideration. If there is proof to the allegations, then after a full investigation is performed measured and appropriate action must be taken. Vodomar (talk) 21:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    The problem is that hr.wikipedia.org has no such procedure. And when there is no procedure (ie. a functional ArbCom, or some sophisticated system), the simple demonstration of a lack of trust from the community towards some admin should lead to their desysopping. This was our rationale when we removed the CU bit from one of the people involved in this vote (CU requires at least 80 % approbation, even though hrwiki has lower standards for adminship). Since you have not shown an utter support for taking any action about Requests for comment/2013 issues on Croatian Wikipedia/Evidence/Conduct, although I do see several valid accusations (not all of them) on that page, and since you say that you have "a different dimension and view" of hrwiki (ie. that you consider yourself neutral, IIUC), if elected steward:
    • Would you then be able to bring your input on each element of this RfC subpage (except in the section where you are involved) and explain why you believe they are valid or invalid?
    • Would you also be able to recommend that any action be taken against the people targeted by the RfC, if any the accusations towards them are valid?
    What I need to know is whether you do consider yourself neutral in this matter - neutral enough to recommend any action against some people with whom you might, in the past, have had some rapport? Elfix 08:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
    The reason why some wikies do not have developed procedures in terms of governance is that like in any other society, rules and guidelines are usually developed after an issue or conflict had errupted, but also many times they come from the non-application or pushing some of the guidelines aside. Yes I consider myself neutral, independent and above all impartial. Vodomar (talk) 22:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Savh:

  • Hi, thanks for nominating yourself to help in this role. What do you think will be the tasks you'll participate in as a Steward & what experience do you have in those areas?
Since I see both your deletion and blocking activities on your home wiki are rather limited recently, I also wonder: What do you think your activity levels will be as a Steward? Savhñ 11:28, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes indeed my recent activities on the Croatian Wikipedia have been limited, however this is not to say that I will not increase my activity levels this year. I have been monitoring the pulse of the community during this time for any issues and concerns the community might have, not much was raised with me. I see the role of a Steward is a two fold way: one of administrator with special privileges and one of diplomat. In all a Steward is called to intervene by a community/project, or perform duties for wikies that do not have administrators. So there would be regular tasks to perform certain admin duties, but there would be duties where decision making would need to be done once a community has reached a consensus. I have a lot of experience in my day job and community involvement outside of Wikipedia in dealing with different stakeholder groups and communities, especially reaching consensus and agreements. Vodomar (talk) 23:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Billinghurst:

Can you explain why you wish to be a steward. I don't see you operating crosswiki, primarily in the hrWX sisters. I don't see you active at meta, and I don't see you speak in the Checkusers environment. Usually we see people operating in these broader spaces before they nominate to be a steward. It seems contrary to your approach so far.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I think Stewards should be drawn from many types of users, not just a selected small group of users who work in a certain space in the different Wiki projects, this will bring different opinions, views and experiences and reduce group think. If Stewards are just another administrator that need to qualify based on a threshold of involvement on Meta, or at the checkuser or some other subenvironment inside Wikipedia then Wikipedia is really limiting itself to gain from user's different life and other experiences and having a narrow focus on selecting Stewards. Selection should be also made on diplomatic skills and wisdom in approaching a problem, not just how hard they are in a particular situation. Vodomar (talk) 22:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Question from Rschen7754:

Following from your reply to Elfix's question: Do you believe that similar accommodations should be made for other Wikimedia wikis, in their CheckUser or oversight appointment processes or in their rights removal processes? --Rschen7754 02:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

What I believe is that with every wikipedia there should be a package set of rules minimum baseline of rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures which will govern the following:
  • rules of governance and conduct of admins
    election of users to admin functions, like minimum thresholds, time of election
    voting process
    rules around use of particular tools
    conflict resolution process and escalations
    the role of Meta in a project, intervention
I would like to stress the following that having a baseline of standard rules would greatly help smaller projects. Having no rules at all and relying on small projects to produce governance documentation, test this etc constitutes a drain of energy on smaller projects. What is also creates a problem for Stewards on meta, who based on the rules that they apply and are used then apply their own view of the world (what constitutes right or wrong) on other projects. Vodomar (talk) 22:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


Question from GregorB:

Regarding the Croatian Wikipedia:

  1. Are you aware that the Wikiprojekt Neutralnost, which you mentioned above as an example of dealing with the neutrality issues, is now inactive due to most of its members being harassed away from CW? Could you comment on this?
  2. In the 2013 CW controversy, the official stance from the administrators was that CW and its admins are completely faultless. (Please do correct me with diffs if I'm wrong about this.) Would you agree with this position, and - if not - what was wrong and who was responsible for it?

I'd appreciate concrete answers; I find your answers regarding the CW affair rather generic and evasive, and some seem to be missing altogether (such as your position w.r.t. Conduct and Content subpages). GregorB (talk) 20:16, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes I am aware about Wikiprojekt Neutralnost, and I would disagree with you about the harassment. If the members who claim to be harassed, can they voice their opinion on the pages of the project or on my talk pages on the Croatian wikipedia. On the talk pages of hr:Razgovor_Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost i have not seen anything controversial or anything that looks like it is inflamatory that would "stick out like a sore thumb". I do see that you were a contributor to the talk pages.
Can you explain to me what constitutes an "official stance". Doesn't each administrator respond according to their own opinions and views. The assertion "completely faultless" is broad and over reaching, where is your evidence for this. Please back your assertion with quotes and substantiated evidence. GregorB your statement is quite broad, you will need to point out what is wrong and who is in your opinion responsible for whatever you have pointed out as wrong. Making broad statements without presenting a proper argument does not contribute greatly to a debate. Once you have substantiated your arguments above the points you have raised, I will gladly provide you answers point by point. When making any claims it is necessary to provide evidence of such, otherwise your claims are baseless and they constitute a logical fallacy. Vodomar (talk) 21:50, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Vodomar, I mean the official denial that was issued to the media, surely you're aware of it. GregorB (talk) 08:54, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying your statement. Wikipedia is a project that is in constant motion, and no admin is responsible for the content on each of the wikipedias, only to the parts in the articles they wrote. The "official statement" was prepared by a particular admin who was most affected by the "media circus", some statements he made was 'in globo but most were in relation to the admin who was affected by the media. As stated before as well as part of the official policy of wikimedia, admins are not responsible for the content. Myself as an admin on the hr.wikipedia.org, I am not responsible for the content found on the servers. As an admin I am there to assist the editors in performing duties they can not perform and mediate in any dispute as much as I can. 23:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
So, if I understand you correctly, there was nothing wrong really, and it's nobody's fault? Everything the media said is completely baseless? GregorB (talk) 08:35, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is work in progress, many problems have been fixed in regards to articles. If there are any other problems with articles please add them to hr:Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost/Popis_spornih_članaka. Wikipedia does not have a chief editor see en:Wikipedia:FAQ/Overview#Who_is_responsible_for_the_articles_on_Wikipedia.3F: "...You are! Editing is a collaborative effort. Millions of people have contributed information to different parts of this project, and anyone can do so, including you. All you need is to know how to edit a page, and have some encyclopedic knowledge that you would like to share. The encyclopedia provides users with a certain amount of freedom. You can learn who is responsible for the most recent versions of any given page by clicking on the "View history" link. Nevertheless, if you spot an error in the latest revision of an article, you are highly encouraged to be bold and correct it. This practice is one of the basic review mechanisms that maintains the reliability of the encyclopedia. As a result, Wikipedia has become one of the most extensive information libraries available on the Internet.". Media sometimes beats up things more then what there is, it sells advertising space. If there are issues with articles, please report them with analysis, add to the talk page and collectively as a group the pages will change in a consultative way. Going ahead having a proactive positive approach, is better then taking a negative reactive approach to solving issues that are in front of us which will allow the wikipedia in the croatian language to forge ahead. Vodomar (talk) 21:37, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Seiya:

  • In 2013, dozens upon dozens of evidence was presented about the disasterous abuse of power and conflict of interest of at least six admins from Croatian Wikipedia: Evidence of Conduct. People voted, and the highest number of incidents was attributed to SpeedyGonsales, Kubura and Zeljko (Kubura in pareticular showed strong sign of systematic nationalist bias and tendency to block new users indefinitely over minor flaws). As of today, these admins did not even appologize, even though a great deal of their controversial edits was corrected in the meantime. How do you think these three admins should be apropriately punished?--Seiya (talk) 13:40, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Seiya, what do you consider under disasterous abuse of power please provide an explanation of what they are and examples. You have mentioned conflict of interest of at least 6 admins, however in your argument you have only mentioned three admins. Can you please provide evidence of the claims you are making being:
  1. systematic nationalist bias
  2. tendency to block new users over minor flaws

If you have been hurt and still feel hurt for whatever has happened, I sincerely apologise for your hurt and I wish that you can find strength to forgive people and move on. I believe that if you asked for an apology from any editor on admin that you would receive one. Seiya if I have offended you in anyway, shape or form - please accept my apology and forgive me. If many of the edits have been corrected by now, can you please add the list of articles that have an issue or bias to the following page hr:Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost/Popis_spornih_članaka currently there are only 9 articles with a reported issue which are also listed on hr:Wikipedija:Wikiprojekt_neutralnost. If you have time and will, please add more entries and provide input into the corrections that are needed. With over 151,000 articles there could be some other candidates that deserve to be reviewed and corrected. Seiya you have also been involved in many disputes and edit wars on hr.wikipedia.org, and not taking sides in this argument would be to say that it would be better to reconsider some of the positions you have taken. Please take the view of what the the level of conflict on the hr.wikipedia.org project currently and what are the main problems that concern the project now and what can be made better. Living in the past is not the way to live. Vodomar (talk) 23:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

The abuse of power has already been documented in the conduct and content pages, and I have no intent of going through that all over again. I would recommend to browse through Kubura's contributions. I haven't been on Croatian Wikipedia for a very long time, so I do not know what happened there in the meantime, but a quick search reveals that Kubura still shows signs of nationalistic bias: just look at what he anwsered to Gregor who asked for why it is not allowed to open the article "Greater Croatia" on Croatian Wikipedia.
I only mentioned those three admins because they collected the highest number of complaints on the conduct page. Ex13 also blundered, but since he collected only two examples, maybe we can let him pass.
I did not want to blame you, though. You have no fault in all of this, since your contributions were fair and I could talk with you freely and normally on Croatian Wikipedia, a thing I am grateful to you. However, the conflict has not been resolved there, just "frozen", and half of all the users left the project. I merely wanted to ask what would you do if you became a steward? For instance, the admins abolished the Arbitration committee, and imposed impossible rules for an admin to lose his powers/position, something unheard of on Wikipedia. Would you thus be in favor of returning the Arbitration committee and push for Croatian Wikipedia to follow the rules of English Wikipedia more closely, and not to invent its own rules (which only favor a certain number of admins)?--Seiya (talk) 11:17, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Over the past years a number of new admins were added to the hr.wikipedia project hr:Wikipedija:Administratori#Popis_trenuta.C4.8Dnih_administratora where there is now a large mix of people with different backgrounds. The wikipedia of today is different to the wikipedia of 2013 and before. Mentioning one article does not constitue a bias, you need to show proof. I have read the debate on the "Greater Croatia". There is a redirect to the current page, why not have a section which talks about Greater Hrvatska under the title Hrvatsko drazavno pravo, that would be a start and see where it leads to. A title on another wikipedia does not automatically constitute a reason to have a title. For instance the english wikipedia has an article en:Roger Joseph Boscovich which is a redirect from Ruđer Bošković, should this be the same on the Croatian wikipedia? In regards to the arbitration committee, it has a number of flaws when it operated in such a small community it caused more problems then it solved. In small communities it is better that issues are resolved without an arbitration committee, if there is a need to go to a higher level that is the reason to have ability to go to Meta. Communities with less than 100 active users it is hard to set an arbitration committee. In all in the end a community that is gathered around a project should be able to guide the project. Where there are people there is conflict, and where there are people there are opposing views on certain aspects of life, especially in "soft fields". Engaging in some subjects is sometimes better than others, sticking to natural sciences or other field with opposing views. Sometimes conflicts are fueled by people not being able to meet in the middle, agree to disagree or to have two opposing views on the same page sitting next to each other. The way to resolve some conflicts is really to move on and not to harbor grudges for years and years. That is the truth, one day we are here and the next we are gone. All the work and words that any of us have put on these pages, will one day be modified by someone else and when you open up an article today that you have contributed 4, 5, 10 years ago or wrote in majority it will not be the same. In terms of rules, each community should be able to adopt rules that are not in contravention of the general spirit of wikipedia, however it is up for the community to go through that journey. Time is the cure for many ailments and issues, and hopefully with work, dedication this views and things will change on the croatian language wikiepedia and other language wikipedias. Vodomar (talk) 23:25, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Question from Mabelina:

No, there should have been no block. This issues could have been resolved differentlyVodomar (talk) 22:55, 15 February 2015 (UTC)