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Forums: Index > Wiki Discussion > Proposed policy: Administrative autonomy
Note: This topic has been unedited for 3639 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not continue it unless it really needs a response.
Proposed policy
Be it a matter of deletion, blocking, or interpretation of existing policy, no single member of the administration or bureaucracy may overturn another administrator's decision. Excepting an undeletion of an item with a clear canonical basis, reversal of an administrative decision will require a genuine good-faith effort to discuss the issue, in a timely manner, with the administrator whose decision is in question followed by a majority decision by available administrators. The format and timing of these discussions may not be engineered to skew a possible vote.

This rule will then be codified in Dragon Age Wiki:Administrative autonomy in precisely these words, no more, no less and enforced ex nunc.

Argument for
The reasoning for such a rule is mainly to use discussion as a medium for dispute, rather than having a potential wheel war amongst administrators. I don't see this as a problem currently, but I think it is a good policy to have just to maintain a civil environment. I also want to remind you that this does not prevent an administrators actions from being undone; it mainly protects against administrative warring.
Voting Process
A decision will be made after a week of discussion and voting, unless it is clear the community will accept the proposal. If a member believes something needs to be changed, they will propose it on this page, and a vote will be held on that specific proposal. After the week is over, the policy will either be adopted or ratified. Adoption is defined as an approved policy with no current votes for amendments. Ratification is defined as an approved policy with open amendment voting; the policy will still be enforced while ratified. After the amendments are adopted or rejected, the administrators will then decide if a final vote is necessary to get a clear community consensus. Administrators may also open a third vote if the community clearly wishes to have one held; however, it is up to the discretion of a majority of active administrators. The format and timing of this process may not be engineered to skew a possible vote.

Max21 (talk | contr) 00:35, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Votes

To vote, please place either {{Tick|yes}} under support or {{Tick|no}} under oppose. If you oppose, you must provide a reason. If you do not, your vote may be removed. Start each line with # and remember to sign your vote with ~~~~!

Support

  1. Yes as proposer. Max21 (talk | contr) 00:35, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  2. Yes It's a pragmatic thing to do. If even the administrators quarrel over everything, nothing will get done. I don't like that it makes administrator actions more difficult to undo however. A controversial or obviously bad action would require a lengthy discussion to undo when it would be best to just undo it ASAP. The "timely manner" part of the policy should be changed to specify a hard time limit, like a month or week, at the end of which consensus must be forced.208.102.120.121 (talk) 03:24, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  3. Yes It seems like a good enough idea, after some back and forth with Max21 I've decided to support it. --Aedan Cousland (talk) 08:20, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  4. YesPending the amendment that bad faith admin edits are exempt as a useful idea to stop admin disputes. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 07:57, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  5. YesCompletely fair. Agreed. --Selty (talk) 06:46, July 17, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose

  1. NopeUnless we have a written policy outlining a procedure whereby the community of contributors as a group can overturn an admin's decision, per my reasoning below. -Vim- (talk) 11:30, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  2. Nope Basically for the same reasons as those mentioned by Vim. One adminastrator cant change the decission made by another, perhaps its better to have a policy where at least two administrators has to agree on a decision before it can be made permanent or overturned following a policy or some guidelines as stated by Vim.Concerning the voting proces "A decision will be made after a week of discussion and voting, unless it is clear the community will accept the proposal" when is it possible to say that it is clear the community will accept? I would suggest that voting is always med as a decision maker in these matters. --PeterR (talk) 12:40, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
    The voting process is for this policy proposal only. It has nothing to do with the policy at hand. It is why I stated "in these words, no more no less". Max21 (talk | contr) 19:16, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Amendments

Bad-faith Administrative actions

Insert
When it is evident that an administrator is acting in bad-faith and repeatedly abusing their administrative privileges, this policy will no longer bar another administrator from interfering.
Strike out
None

Votes

This is strictly an amendment vote. It will close in three days. To vote, please place either {{Tick|yes}} under support or {{Tick|no}} under oppose. If you oppose, you must provide a reason. If you do not, your vote may be removed. Start each line with # and remember to sign your vote with ~~~~!

Support
  1. Yes Max21 (talk | contr) 08:12, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  2. Yes Per my reasoning below Friendship smallLoleil Talk 08:18, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  3. Yes -Vim- (talk) 09:51, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  4. Yes --Selty (talk) 06:48, July 17, 2010 (UTC)
Oppose

Community v. Administrators

Insert
The community can undo administrator actions if necessary, but administrators cannot go against well-established consensus of the community.
Strike out
None

Votes

This is strictly an amendment vote. It will close in three days. To vote, please place either {{Tick|yes}} under support or {{Tick|no}} under oppose. If you oppose, you must provide a reason. If you do not, your vote may be removed. Start each line with # and remember to sign your vote with ~~~~!

Support
  1. Yes Max21 (talk | contr) 08:12, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
  2. Yes Absolutely. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 02:51, July 16, 2010 (UTC)
  3. Yes Of course. -Vim- (talk) 22:10, July 16, 2010 (UTC)
Oppose

Discussion

I'm just going to go ahead and say this, and I mean this in the most respectful way possible. It seriously looks like you're just trying to increase your administrative powers due to people requesting Loleil's intervention in your decisions (like in the recent Leliana's Song Spoiler Tag issue). It is my interpretation from what I've seen that people desire Loleil to remain as your superior on the wiki. While I doubt it is intentional, you do come off a bit hostile sometimes. I think you're trying to be more or less decisive (an admirable trait in a leader), but that's very easy to misread as controlling. People in the wiki community seem to like a more open system of decision making with the admins acting as arbitrators (the way Loleil mostly seems to handle things). I understand what you're trying to do and your reasons for it, while the ability to make an 'executive decision' is very useful to people in an authoritative position, it can be off-putting to the people affected. Also allowing those decisions to be contested creates it's own series of problems. I myself am not really sure where I stand on your proposal. This ultimately comes down to if people want to increase your authority on the wiki. I think I may be for it, but the proposed method of adjudicating issues with administrative decision seems grueling. Also correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you currently the only admin besides Loleil? That would make administrator only voting kind of pointless, you need at least a tribunal. --Aedan Cousland (talk) 02:57, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I have been looking to implement this for a long time now, I have just been busy. I would also mention that I pulled this policy directly from Wookieepedia. Also, you must have missed the part where I explicitly state that this does not give any power to administrators; if anything, it removes some. This is the first of many policies I am going to be proposing; most will put me in a bad light, because I am the one proposing them. Also, the "process" was for voting, something both Loleil and myself thought would be good for the wiki. Max21 (talk | contr) 03:09, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I did misunderstand, it looked to me to provide more initial power in decision making while setting up rules that allow for issues to be contested in an orderly fashion should it be felt necessary. Still, " majority decision by available administrators" implies, and actually require more than two. Looking over the Wookiepedia definitions, it would indeed seem that this requires more admins, and various ranked ones at that. If their is an established hiearchy of admins on the site besides you and Loliel I am unaware of it. If not one would need to be created, undoubtedly with you and Loleil at the top, --Aedan Cousland (talk) 03:20, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Well, any of the conflicts between Loleil and myself have been resolved fairly quickly. The policy would just mean that if Loleil blocks someone, I can't just unblock them. It forces discussion to be had; and even though administrators are administrators, everyone has his moments. This proposal isn't being put forth because of some type of problem now; I am just digging the well before we start getting thirsty. Max21 (talk | contr) 03:28, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Special:ListUsers/sysop lists the admins. There really is no hierarchy within the administrative groups. I am not sure you have ever seen two admins go at it before. This page on Wikipedia is more detailed. Perhaps it could be expanded to include the community as an entity. The community could undo administrator actions if necessary, but administrators cannot go against consensus of the community. An uninvolved administrator would need to hold the community accountable in the situation, but all in all, it could work. Max21 (talk | contr) 03:39, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Having looked over the Wookiepedia administrative policies, I take it you and Loleil are of beuracrat rank in this system. I fully agree with this proposal in every way, so long as the whole system is adopted, there are a total of at least seven Admins (composed of you & Loliel at the top with 5+ sysops under you to make admin voting smoother and effective), as well as a comprehensive list of rules & protocols to be enforced on the wiki is created and ratified. I've actually been wanting there to be a true list of rules and protocols to be made for a while, how to deal with trolls, spammers, flamers, when votes are necessary (how long they should take), what sorts of pages are inappropriate, how to determine redundancy, etc. It seems it would end a lot of discussions before they start, and allow for things to runs smoother. If you would you consider that a reasonable request, I would like to put myself forward as a sysop. I am on the wiki a great deal (and know the game rather well), and while I am mostly in the forums I will branch out and take up the ordinary responsibilities expected, as well as do what I can to settle disputes in the forums (handle the trolls, arbitrate, organize and what not). Edit: Wookiepedia lists the beuracrats as those admins with the ability to award sysop rights, as I see it that puts them above other admins (even if they act as equals). --Aedan Cousland (talk) 03:52, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Well, no one member is more important than the other. Administrators and bureaucrats are just there to do a few more things. Technically, we have no more authority than anyone else; however, users and decisions tend to gravitate towards administrators. If you want to change something like that, you should create a new proposal. I'm just trying to prevent current and future admins from needless disputes, or at least have a procedure to fall back on in the case. Max21 (talk | contr) 03:59, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, the community decides the policies, the administrators and bureaucrats enforce those policies. Bureaucrats promote people to admins, and together they manage the wiki. Should an admin abuse his powers and a user complains, the other bureaucrats can strip that admin of his authority, granted by him on behalf of the community. Perhaps oddly this reminds me of Fereldan nobility works (or is supposed to work), elevated to their place by the common-folk to handle certain matters, but not above being questioned and punished for their abuses. The authority comes from the bottom up, but is a very real thing. I suppose I will make another proposal, it might take a little while as I'm not yet sure how to phrase it. Do you think I should hinge it on this one or make it separate? --Aedan Cousland (talk) 04:08, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
It would be best to keep them separate. Max21 (talk | contr) 04:12, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I even phrased that clearly, I meant should I state it so that my proposal only matters if yours passes. I assume the answer is the same though. Also there are 9 other admins, I really had no idea, I don't think I've ever chatted with any of them on the forums though they edit heavily. Interestingly the non-admin Hollowness has the most edits on the wiki. --Aedan Cousland (talk) 04:25, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Check the dates of the contributions of the other admins and you'll see why you haven't noticed them around Icon wink and Hollowness showed that you don't need the admin tools to be a real asset to the site. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 05:54, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

In general I don't think this is a bad idea, I just have a couple of points I'd like addressed. Firstly, I'd like to see a little bit of flexibility to deal with the worst case scenario of an admin gone rogue, or a hacked admin account. If there is ever an instance where an admin uses the tools maliciously another admin should be able to undo those actions without violating this policy. So if the exception phrase could be expanded to include this idea, I would approve. Also, would this policy include granting unblock requests? For example I recently unblocked an editor that Max blocked because the problem was resolved and Max was off-line. Would that action have been in violation of this policy? If not, it may need to be made clear in the policy.

I also quite like "The community could undo administrator actions if necessary, but administrators cannot go against consensus of the community. An uninvolved administrator would need to hold the community accountable in the situation" though with our meagre admin corps it may be difficult in the short term to find uninvolved admins. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 05:54, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

I think we could make that an exception. I think it would be fairly easy to differentiate between good faith and bad actions (especially is they go crazy on the site). I think it would be good to throw in there that administrators cannot unblock themselves (unless they block themselves, which does happen). Technically it is covered by the current wording, but we should try to avoid possible wikilawyering.
I know that over at Wikipedia, administrators usually state whether it is okay to reverse an action. They usually leave a note that says "If you see me make a logged action that you think I should not have done, I will not consider it wheel-warring if you undo it without asking for my permission." But mainly, the policy deals with deleting pages and blocking users. Under this potential policy, if we were to use the KulaDiamond case as an example, you could have suggested it and then wait for me to reply, or something along those lines. However, since I stated that I would have unblocked them, I was perfectly okay with it (and would be post-autonomy). I think it mainly comes down to a situation by situation decision. Max21 (talk | contr) 06:16, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I'd definitely be pleased if bad faith edits were exempt. I'd always assumed you'd be a-okay with that particular unblock, but I suppose I was also thinking of the ramifications of more contentious decisions in the future. Something like:
Admin 1 blocks User A for one year due to repeated and serious vandalism.
User A appeals unblock on the grounds they've learnt their lesson.
Admin 2 believes them and unblocks even though there's no indication Admin 1 would be okay with this
Hmm I guess this is veering off into a discussion about blocking policy so I'll leave this issue be and support pending bad faith exemption. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 07:57, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I think the unblocking makes this policy invalid as well; however, we really don't have a block policy to override this one. Until then, we can interpret the "spirit of the policy" as being invalid when other policies conflict. In other words, it's a low priority policy but still a policy. Max21 (talk | contr) 09:58, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking we could add something like "Due to the nature of this policy, it operates independently of Administrative autonomy", but I suppose it will depend on the shape of our blocking policy takes. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 10:26, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
It might be easier to state it in this policy. Something along the lines of, "In the case that this policy conflicts with another, this policy shall be invalidated in the conflicting manner." Not the best wording, but it gets the job done. Haha Max21 (talk | contr) 10:30, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Heh works for me! Friendship smallLoleil Talk 10:42, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

As someone who very recently asked another admin to adjudicate a dispute with the proposal's author who I felt was behaving in an overly authoritarian manner at the time, I must admit to not feeling entirely comfortable with this proposal as it is. I respect the desire to avoid wheel wars. Nevertheless my initial reaction to it is much like Aedan Cousland's above. The amendment is a good addition, but I don't think it's sufficient. If one admin makes a bad call and places himself in a position where he'll look bad if his decision is overturned, the other admins will be forced to respect that bad call. It's only after repeated obvious abuses of power that another admin could step in. I think there needs to be a written policy that lays out a procedure wherein the contributors to this wiki as a community can overturn an admin's decisions as well. Only then will I feel comfortable about this proposed policy. -Vim- (talk) 11:28, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

I think you're misinterpreting this in a similar way as I did at first. This is more about how Admins deal with each other than how wiki users deal with admins. It's to prevent a sort of "war" between admins, where they keep undoing each other decisions and ultimately interfere with the successful operation of the wiki. This isn't currently about what rules they are going to enforce, that is a separate issue, this is about how they interact. In this system, if one admin makes what is clearly a bad call then two admins can simply step up and reverse it (if more admins disagree than agree, then it will not continue). Other admins working together can overturn any bad decision, I assume repeated obvious abuses would likely result in the stripping of administrative power (what most wikis would do). The only problem I can still see is in the current number of active admins (two = majority vote impossible), though you can trust Loliel and Max21 to resolve that problem in due time. To quote Max21, "The community could undo administrator actions if necessary, but administrators cannot go against consensus of the community." This proposal is simply a method for Admins to resolve issues among their own ranks. --Aedan Cousland (talk) 13:45, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I like that particular quote of Max's too. Nevertheless I want that quote codified into a written policy. I also would like to see a 3rd active admin added. Once those issues are resolved I'll be more than happy to change my vote on this proposal. -Vim- (talk) 14:24, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Max, I like the wording of the amendment, but how would it work in practice? Let's say Al the admin makes a call that Carol the contributor disagrees with most strongly. Does Carol simply start a discussion? Or does she submit a policy proposal of her own? How long would the discussion/voting period be? And what would determine the outcome? Majority vote? -Vim- (talk) 22:10, July 16, 2010 (UTC)

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