[WikiEN-l] Admin burnout

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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images (was: Unsourced album cover)

Thomas Dalton
>   I agree with this, of course.  But en: treats unfree content as deserving of
> many of the same protections from deletion as free content, and deleting a
> "fair use" image that we're not actually using will provoke people into
> accusations of ignoring process, abuse of admin tools, and may even wind up at
> Deletion Review.

It it process. It's CSD I5. You tag it, wait 7 days, and then delete
it. Not a very speedy form of speedy deletion, but it's on the list.

I'm not sure why we give people so long - they can upload the image
again if they find a use for it. I would suggest reducing it to 24
hours (enough to account for images being removed from articles
without consensus, any longer is unnecessary), but I'm not really
involved in the image side of things, so I'll leave it to someone
else.

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Re: Admin burnout

William Pietri
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>> Remember that under my suggestion, we're talking a total of 6 months
>> that a sleeper vandal would have to "sleep" before they entered the
>> ranks of "normal" admins (3 months of keeping your nose clean, followed
>> by three months of continued good behavior as an admin). And remember,
>> someone setting out as a sleeper vandal would not be guaranteed of
>> becoming an admin after three months, it's still up to the random
>> selection. Is it impossible for someone to game this process? Sure. Is
>> it likely? Hardly.
>>    
>
> The flaw in that logic is in thinking that there is anything different
> between a "normal admin" and a "provisional admin" besides the name.
> There isn't. Adminship is a bit in a database, either you have that
> bit and are able to do enormous damage to Wikipedia, or you don't.
> There is no need to sleep for 6 months when you can do the damage
> immediately. It would take a few minutes at the very best to desysop a
> provisional admin that started vandalising - how much damage do you
> think an AdminVandalBot could do in that time? I imagine it would be
> hours normal-admin time to cleanup.
>  

Couldn't that logic be applied almost equally to allowing everybody to edit?


Curiously,

William

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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

William Pietri
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>   I agree with this, of course.  But en: treats unfree content as deserving of
>> many of the same protections from deletion as free content, and deleting a
>> "fair use" image that we're not actually using will provoke people into
>> accusations of ignoring process, abuse of admin tools, and may even wind up at
>> Deletion Review.
>>    
>
> It it process. It's CSD I5. You tag it, wait 7 days, and then delete
> it. Not a very speedy form of speedy deletion, but it's on the list.
>
> I'm not sure why we give people so long - they can upload the image
> again if they find a use for it. I would suggest reducing it to 24
> hours (enough to account for images being removed from articles
> without consensus, any longer is unnecessary), but I'm not really
> involved in the image side of things, so I'll leave it to someone
> else.
>  

Should we really expect everybody to check on everything they care about
every 24 hours?

The 7 days here or 5 for proposed article deletion seems like a
reasonable balance between friendliness and tidiness, but I'd be a
little frustrated to find that something I was working on was gone
because I'd taken the weekend off.

William


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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

jkelly-2
   William,

Quoting William Pietri <[hidden email]>:

> The 7 days here or 5 for proposed article deletion seems like a
> reasonable balance between friendliness and tidiness, but I'd be a
> little frustrated to find that something I was working on was gone
> because I'd taken the weekend off.

  You're clear that we're discussing uploads of unusable unfreely licensed media
here, right?  Nobody's suggesting that the free content work of Wikipedia
contributors be deleted more quickly.

                          Jkelly




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Re: Admin burnout

geni
In reply to this post by William Pietri
On 2/10/07, William Pietri <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Couldn't that logic be applied almost equally to allowing everybody to edit?
>
>
> Curiously,
>
> William
>

Nope. Firstly the damage you can do through editing is less.

Secondly the software, tools and our social structures are built
around being ready to undo editing vandalism. We have very little in
the way of methods of taking down problem admins fast.

--
geni

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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by geni
geni wrote:
> On 2/10/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Then leave it to those who don't. There will be enough. Especially if
>>you let more people be admins.
>
> We have spare admin resources? We have backog of over 1000 images
> needing deletion (see [[CAT:CSD]]) could you ask these people to help
> doing something about it?

No, I can't, because these people fail the current RfA system.


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Re: Admin burnout

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by William Pietri
> Couldn't that logic be applied almost equally to allowing everybody to edit?

It can, but it's a matter of degree. The amount of damage, and the
time for cleanup, is much less with regular editing, and (very
importantly) the gain is much greater. Inexperienced editors do a lot
of good for Wikipedia, inexperienced admins wouldn't do much good at
all.

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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by William Pietri
> Should we really expect everybody to check on everything they care about
> every 24 hours?
>
> The 7 days here or 5 for proposed article deletion seems like a
> reasonable balance between friendliness and tidiness, but I'd be a
> little frustrated to find that something I was working on was gone
> because I'd taken the weekend off.

We don't need everybody to check, just one person out of everyone that
wants the image kept needs to check. If there is only one person that
wants the image kept on an article, then there isn't consensus to keep
it, is there?

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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

William Pietri
In reply to this post by jkelly-2
[hidden email] wrote:

>    William,
>
> Quoting William Pietri <[hidden email]>:
>
>  
>> The 7 days here or 5 for proposed article deletion seems like a
>> reasonable balance between friendliness and tidiness, but I'd be a
>> little frustrated to find that something I was working on was gone
>> because I'd taken the weekend off.
>>    
>
>   You're clear that we're discussing uploads of unusable unfreely licensed media
> here, right?  Nobody's suggesting that the free content work of Wikipedia
> contributors be deleted more quickly.
>  

Yep. I'm imagining a case where I put in a fair-use image. Somebody
happens to delete that reference, making the image an orphan. 24 hours
later, it's gone. I come back in a couple of days and I'm sad that I
have to re-upload or talk somebody into undeleting it.

I know for serious contributors, 24 hours seems like a long time, but
when I get busy in real life, I feel like coming back every few days to
run through my watchlist is a fair effort. I'm imagining others feel the
same. Perhaps I'm wrong.

William

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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>
> It would take a few minutes at the very best to desysop a
> provisional admin that started vandalising - how much damage do you
> think an AdminVandalBot could do in that time? I imagine it would be
> hours normal-admin time to cleanup.

Of course, when making this assessment you are assuming the current
MediaWiki software. Unfortunately, the current software is inefficient
at undoing large amounts of activity. For example, the User
Contributions page should have an "undo all of this user's
contributions" button, especially if it isn't many. At the same time,
this undoing of all contributions should also be undoable with a single
command. There should also be a selective feature, e.g. undo only all
image uploads or undo only the article edits that involve adding an
external link. All of these are non-trivial to code, which is why no-one
has done it yet, but it would make cleaning up after vandalism much more
efficient, even if the vandal is himself an admin.

Timwi


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Re: Admin burnout

William Pietri
In reply to this post by geni
geni wrote:

> On 2/10/07, William Pietri <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> Couldn't that logic be applied almost equally to allowing everybody to edit?
>>
>>    
> Nope. Firstly the damage you can do through editing is less.
>
> Secondly the software, tools and our social structures are built
> around being ready to undo editing vandalism. We have very little in
> the way of methods of taking down problem admins fast.
>  

As to the first, that's why I said "almost", but I gather you mean that
a rogue with the sysop bit can cause vastly more cleanup work than a
regular editor. Is that right?

As to the second, isn't that a chicken and egg problem? All of those
things evolved around having to deal with editorial vandalism. If you
rule out any improvement that requires similar evolution, it seems like
a generic argument for stasis. If the argument had been applied at the
beginning, it would have ruled out open editability, period.

If the problem is that the current structure hasn't evolved to deal with
Y, where Y is a potential harm from an otherwise good X, then isn't the
solution is to allow a controlled amount of X to allow the structure to
evolve? Or at least to see if the cost of mediating Y ends up being
under the benefit of X?

William


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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Joshua Brady
Joshua Brady wrote:

> On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Joshua Brady wrote:
>>
>>> * Wikipedia doubles every 6 months, we need an admin pool to
>>>compensate it, and we need those who will focus on handling admin
>>>issues, not waive the mop around for 2 months and discontinue use. So
>>>lets not look at a new admin based on his edit count, but his
>>>contributions and WILLINGNESS.
>>
>>Here is this wrong sentiment again. Just because you need admins who
>>"will focus on handling admin issues", you are (incorrectly) concluding
>>that people who only "waive the mop around for 2 months and discontinue
>>use" are somehow worthless and therefore shouldn't be made admins. Even
>>if someone helps out with some admin tasks for only 2 months, surely
>>they're worth more than they would be if they couldn't do any of it
>>because they're denied access to the admin functions. You never know if
>>one of them stays on and becomes the focussed admin you need.
>
> Out of everything I posted, how did you draw the conclusion that I
> said anything to the effect that, those who "wave the mop around for 2
> months and discontinue use" were worthless?
>
> I simply stated that we need more admins who were willing to stick it
> out for the long haul.

So essentially you're saying nothing more than "more constructive
contributors is better than less"? In that case, you are merely stating
the obvious.

Timwi


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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by The Cunctator
The Cunctator wrote:
>
> Oh, I agree with that.

Glad to hear that :)

> I just was saying I don't think admins getting burned
> out and taking a wikibreak is necessarily a huge problem.

Okay, maybe we're in agreement, but let me clarify: I don't think it's a
huge problem _in itself_, but it is a problem now (maybe not a huge one,
but whatever) because it is made too difficult for new admins to fill up
the gaps. Otherwise people wouldn't make such a big deal out of someone
leaving.

Timwi


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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

William Pietri
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>> Should we really expect everybody to check on everything they care about
>> every 24 hours?
>>
>> The 7 days here or 5 for proposed article deletion seems like a
>> reasonable balance between friendliness and tidiness, but I'd be a
>> little frustrated to find that something I was working on was gone
>> because I'd taken the weekend off.
>>    
>
> We don't need everybody to check, just one person out of everyone that
> wants the image kept needs to check. If there is only one person that
> wants the image kept on an article, then there isn't consensus to keep
> it, is there?
>  

I guess the articles I tend to edit must be unusually low traffic if you
feel 24 hours is sufficient to conclusively determine consensus on some
editorial question. Sorry for butting in.

William

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Re: Deleting orphaned unfree images

Mark
In reply to this post by jkelly-2
[hidden email] wrote:

>Quoting Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>
>  
>
>>Shouldn't the image be deleted if it's orphaned? A fair use rationale
>>is only for a particular use, as this image isn't being used, the
>>rationale is nonsense.
>>    
>>
>
>  I agree with this, of course.  But en: treats unfree content as deserving of
>many of the same protections from deletion as free content, and deleting a
>"fair use" image that we're not actually using will provoke people into
>accusations of ignoring process, abuse of admin tools, and may even wind up at
>Deletion Review.
>  
>
The point of giving the original uploader a few days to respond is to
verify that it really is the case that it's a fair-use image no longer
being used.  If we zap things instantly, we can't distinguish, for
example, a case where it's a perfectly legitimate fair-use image but
momentarily not being used because somebody vandalized the page it was
used in.  I don't see what's wrong with proposing it for deletion,
waiting a week or so, and deleting it if the allegation turns out to be
correct.

-Mark


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Re: Admin burnout (deputy admins)

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
> It's not a new idea. My main problem with it is that it reduces the
> trust the community has in admins as a whole. Admins can only do their
> job if the rest of the community lets them, and the rest of the
> community will only do that if they trust them. Having a way for
> people to get admin tools without the strict processes of RfA would
> diminish that trust and make the whole project unworkable.
>
> To summarise: Adminship is not about being trustworthy, it's about
> being trusted.

I think you got this backwards. If the RfA process is so strict and
everyone then "trusts" the people who are made admins, surely that makes
it much easier for those admins to wreak havoc (whether intentional or
not). Surely *that* makes the whole project more unworkable.

Adminship should not have anything to do with trust at all. Adminship
should be synonymous with innocence. Not being allowed the admin tools
should be a penalty, and a penalty should only be applied when someone
does something wrong, no sooner.

Timwi


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Re: Admin burnout

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> Of course, when making this assessment you are assuming the current
> MediaWiki software. Unfortunately, the current software is inefficient
> at undoing large amounts of activity. For example, the User
> Contributions page should have an "undo all of this user's
> contributions" button, especially if it isn't many. At the same time,
> this undoing of all contributions should also be undoable with a single
> command. There should also be a selective feature, e.g. undo only all
> image uploads or undo only the article edits that involve adding an
> external link. All of these are non-trivial to code, which is why no-one
> has done it yet, but it would make cleaning up after vandalism much more
> efficient, even if the vandal is himself an admin.

Trying to code automated fixes to admin vandalism can have only
limited effectiveness. A skilled vandal could easily find some form of
vandalism that you haven't coded a way to undo yet. Or, better yet,
use your "undo all contributions" button as a form of vandalism in
itself. (If you restrict access to that button, then you've just
recreated all the problems we have now, just with different names.)

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Re: Admin burnout (deputy admins)

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> I think you got this backwards. If the RfA process is so strict and
> everyone then "trusts" the people who are made admins, surely that makes
> it much easier for those admins to wreak havoc (whether intentional or
> not). Surely *that* makes the whole project more unworkable.

When I say it's about trust, and not trustworthyness, that's because
most people that use Wikipedia *are* trustworthy, and aren't going to
wreak havoc. That is the premise to all these discussions about making
it easier to become an admin - that more people are trustworthy than
those than get through RfA. If that's not true, then RfA isn't broken,
and we have nothing to discuss.

I accept that making many more people admins would not result in many
wreaking havoc, however, it would result in an ungodly number of false
complaints about admins wreaking havoc. That is what I mean when I say
the community needs to trust admins.

> Adminship should not have anything to do with trust at all. Adminship
> should be synonymous with innocence. Not being allowed the admin tools
> should be a penalty, and a penalty should only be applied when someone
> does something wrong, no sooner.

If we were in Utopia, I would agree with you 100%, however, we are in
the real world, and we need to base our decisions on logic, not
ideology.

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Re: Admin burnout

Matthew Britton-2
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Timwi wrote:

> Of course, when making this assessment you are assuming the current
> MediaWiki software. Unfortunately, the current software is inefficient
> at undoing large amounts of activity. For example, the User
> Contributions page should have an "undo all of this user's
> contributions" button, especially if it isn't many. At the same time,
> this undoing of all contributions should also be undoable with a single
> command. There should also be a selective feature, e.g. undo only all
> image uploads or undo only the article edits that involve adding an
> external link. All of these are non-trivial to code, which is why no-one
> has done it yet, but it would make cleaning up after vandalism much more
> efficient, even if the vandal is himself an admin.
>
> Timwi

Oh god... imagine viewing AntiVandalBot's contributions and hitting the
"Undo" button by mistake. If you're lucky, it only vandalizes half of
Wikipedia; if you're unlucky, you kill the servers in the process.

For administrators at least, this is not an issue; going down a list of
20 or 30 contributions clicking the "rollback" link next to each takes
very little effort.

-Gurch


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Re: Admin burnout

Matthew Britton-2
In reply to this post by William Pietri
William Pietri wrote:

> geni wrote:
> As to the first, that's why I said "almost", but I gather you mean that
> a rogue with the sysop bit can cause vastly more cleanup work than a
> regular editor. Is that right?
>
> As to the second, isn't that a chicken and egg problem? All of those
> things evolved around having to deal with editorial vandalism. If you
> rule out any improvement that requires similar evolution, it seems like
> a generic argument for stasis. If the argument had been applied at the
> beginning, it would have ruled out open editability, period.
>
> If the problem is that the current structure hasn't evolved to deal with
> Y, where Y is a potential harm from an otherwise good X, then isn't the
> solution is to allow a controlled amount of X to allow the structure to
> evolve? Or at least to see if the cost of mediating Y ends up being
> under the benefit of X?
>
> William

And add to that the fact that the project has been running for six years
with virtually no Y (possibly even none at all), whereas X happens every
few seconds?

-Gurch

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