Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Cheney Shill
Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Cheney Shill wrote:
> > --- Kelly Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> I've already explained this elsewhere, so I'll only
> give a quick
> >> summary here. Wikipedia does something _right_ by
> letting everyone
> >> edit. The underlying philosophy is that everyone
> starts out as
> >> innocent
> >
> > This is equivalent to saying existing users have
> superior knowledge to new users.
>
> I'm sorry, I don't understand how.

Look up the word innocent.  If Kelly's underlying philosphy
is that you're a child and she's an adult, where does that
leave you on the knowledge tree?

> > You're claiming that the same thing you claim is wrong
> about the
> > admin approval, to be suspicious of the admins intent,
> reliability,
> > and knowledge, is actually being applied, at the very
> least, to every
> > new user.
>
> Well yes... who else do you think it is applied to?
> Clearly not the admins :-p

Ahhh, to be an admin with a free ride to edit with a
complete disregard for policy.

> > It seems the ruling policy, NPOV, is inherently
> suspicious
> > and it's not really a problem to be suspicious from the
> > ground up.
>
> I honestly don't see what NPOV has to do with anything in
> this thread.

If the underlying policy of Wikipedia is suspicious, then
what's the problem with applying suspicion to deciding who
becomes an admin?  You'll have to read Kelly's post for
this to make sense.  If it still doesn't, ask Kelly to
explain what her post has to do with this thread.


~~Pro-Lick
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/User:Halliburton_Shill 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Pro-Lick 
http://www.wikiality.com/User:Pro-Lick (now a Wikia supported site)


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 2/10/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I agree that the current process is broken; the criteria are
> increasingly unreasonable. One way to address this would be to
> whitelist the list of valid criteria, rather than allowing every user
> to come up with their own.

Agreed, but the regular voters at RFA are very insistent about their
right to set their own parameters for what makes a good admin. It
gives them a feeling of power, I guess.

Steve

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
Marc Riddell wrote:
> on 2/9/07 3:49 PM, Gary Kirk at [hidden email] wrote:
>
>> Wikipedia is not a democracy.
>
> What is it then?
>

A free encyclopedia. See [[Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not]].

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>Where's your evidence for that last sentence?
>>
>>As far as I'm aware, this theory has never been put to practice, so I
>>don't see how you can make such a claim.
>
> I think the amount of effort we have to put in to cleaning up regular
> vandalism is evidence enough. Using the same system for assigning
> admin powers as we use for assigning editing powers *will* result in
> large amounts of admin vandalism, that's just simple extrapolation.
> Saying that cleaning up admin vandalism will be harder than cleaning
> up regular vandalism is a logical deduction, it's not based on
> evidence, you're right, but it is based on very solid reasoning.

I didn't contest any of that. I contested the (fallacious) conclusion
that "it doesn't work in practice".

Everyone thought that about editing too, until Wikipedia proved everyone
wrong.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>There are two flaws in your logic. First, if your adminship bit is
>>removed, how do you "unblock" yourself? So no, you don't need an extra
>>"super-admin" level to do de-sysoppings, you can just allow admins to do
>>it. Second, your argument would equally apply to page deletion (you can
>>publish any crap because if anyone deletes it you can just undelete
>>it!), and yet admins can all delete *and* undelete and it still works
>>(because they largely follow a certain policy).
>
> So not only do you want to make everyone admins, you want to make
> everyone stewards? If anyone can desysop anyone else, then all it
> takes is one bot to remove everyone's sysop bits, and we have to wait
> for a dev, or steward, or whatever rank is high enough to avoid the
> bot's grasp, to revert it (which could be made quite easy, but it
> could be a significant wait until someone is available to do it). The
> cleanup of the damage the bot has done in this time (or, probably
> multiple bots to make it harder to undo) couldn't start until this dev
> had been found.
>
> Whatever way you look at it, you're going to need a significant number
> of people with greater powers than everyone else, it's unavoidable.

See, this last conclusion of yours is a fallacy. All you (strictly) need
to prevent this (very hypothetical) scenario you described is either
enough admins so that there's always someone around to stop such a bot
quickly enough, or a cap on the maximum number of blocks (i.e.
desysoppings) that any one user can do in a fixed amount of time (let's
say, one per hour).

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Gary Kirk
Gary Kirk wrote:

>IMHO, it should be easier to get adminship as a) it's No Big Deal(r)
>and b) all actions can now  be reversed - and users can quickly be
>dysopped. The three month tenure, however, I find silly - if someone
>was good enough and behaved well for those three months then obviously
>they should be allowed to continue. Desysopping after three months
>would turn the whole RfA process into a lottery-like game - "if it's
>no big deal, why can't I continue as an admin?".
>
You may even be right about what happens after a three month tenure.  In
that case we would be able to drop the probationary provision.

Choosing a first random batch of 100, and reporting after 3 months about
what happened to this group would support the radical concept of basing
later choices on facts.  Thus:
    1. How many refused the nomination outright? (This group could be
immediately replaced by new nominations.)
    2. How many went nuts?
    3. How many stopped editing within 1 month and within 2 months?
    4. How many continued editing without using admin powers?
    5. Which admin powers did they use?
    6. other questions?

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by MacGyverMagic/Mgm
MacGyverMagic/Mgm wrote:

>There's a reason why adminship isn't given to everyone. If you do it the
>other way around, abuse can cause a lot more damage before the person
>abusing the rights get blocked which will result in a lot more housekeeping
>to undo damage. It's nice in theory, but it simply doesn't work in practice.
>
>People who get adminship should display knowledge of the rules. If any
>newbie got those powers, this would be anarchapedia.
>
I'm afraid that any evidence to support this is purely anecdotal or
outright guesswork.  If you are personally dealing with the problem
cases all the time, and have no reason to deal as much with the good
admins your view of the amount of problems is bound to be distorted.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> See, this last conclusion of yours is a fallacy. All you (strictly) need
> to prevent this (very hypothetical) scenario you described is either
> enough admins so that there's always someone around to stop such a bot
> quickly enough, or a cap on the maximum number of blocks (i.e.
> desysoppings) that any one user can do in a fixed amount of time (let's
> say, one per hour).

You can't block an adminbot, so we're talking about desysoppings, not
blocks. If anyone can desysop anyone else, then you'll get malicious
desysoppings, which would need to be undone, either by some higher
rank, so by allowing everyone to make sysops. If everyone can make
sysops, then a vandal with a handful of sockpuppets can do constant
vandalism, always resysoping any of his accounts that are desysopped.

If you code a cap on desysoppings, the vandals simply have to use
sockpuppets. If you code a global cap on desysoppings by any account,
then simply having one more vandalbot than that cap makes you
untouchable.

Whatever ideas you come up with, in order for them to work, you end up
having a higher rank. You can keep proposing ideas if you like, and
I'll keep telling you where the higher rank is required. I'm confident
there will always be one.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> Everyone thought that about editing too, until Wikipedia proved everyone
> wrong.

Wikipedia didn't prove them wrong by showing that vandalism doesn't
happen, it proved them wrong by showing that vandalism can be dealt
with. The way we deal with it involves having some people with more
power than the vandals. You can move the goalposts wherever you like,
you still end up needing some people with more power than the vandals.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
> Choosing a first random batch of 100, and reporting after 3 months about
> what happened to this group would support the radical concept of basing
> later choices on facts.  Thus:
>     1. How many refused the nomination outright? (This group could be
> immediately replaced by new nominations.)
>     2. How many went nuts?
>     3. How many stopped editing within 1 month and within 2 months?
>     4. How many continued editing without using admin powers?
>     5. Which admin powers did they use?
>     6. other questions?

6. How many people that didn't get chosen complained loudly about/left
completely because of/started vandalising in revenge of the unfair way
admins were chosen?

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by MacGyverMagic/Mgm
That's your hypothesis. As it hasn't been tested, it's not possible to say
whether you are correct.

On 2/9/07, MacGyverMagic/Mgm <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> There's a reason why adminship isn't given to everyone. If you do it the
> other way around, abuse can cause a lot more damage before the person
> abusing the rights get blocked which will result in a lot more
> housekeeping
> to undo damage. It's nice in theory, but it simply doesn't work in
> practice.
>
> People who get adminship should display knowledge of the rules. If any
> newbie got those powers, this would be anarchapedia.
>
> Mgm
>
> On 2/9/07, Gary Kirk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > IMHO, it should be easier to get adminship as a) it's No Big Deal(r)
> > and b) all actions can now  be reversed - and users can quickly be
> > dysopped. The three month tenure, however, I find silly - if someone
> > was good enough and behaved well for those three months then obviously
> > they should be allowed to continue. Desysopping after three months
> > would turn the whole RfA process into a lottery-like game - "if it's
> > no big deal, why can't I continue as an admin?".
> >
> > I also disagree with not allowing users to object to more than one RfA
> > every three months - Wikipedia is not a democracy.
> >
> > On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Kelly Martin wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Have you seen my proposal for adminship?  It's on my blog at
> > > >
> > >
> >
> http://nonbovine-ruminations.blogspot.com/2006/10/proposal-for-adminship-on-english.html
> > >
> > > Nice. You appear to be going in the same direction as me, but I want
> it
> > > even more radical. :) In particular, your system still requires people
> > > to _ask_ for adminship (which, again, would be analogous to requiring
> > > them to apply for editing privileges instead of just letting people
> > > register freely), and I find one month a bit excessive. Other than
> that,
> > > I think you hit the nail on the head :)
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > > http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gary Kirk
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 2/12/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Everyone thought that about editing too, until Wikipedia proved everyone
> > wrong.
>
> Wikipedia didn't prove them wrong by showing that vandalism doesn't
> happen, it proved them wrong by showing that vandalism can be dealt
> with. The way we deal with it involves having some people with more
> power than the vandals. You can move the goalposts wherever you like,
> you still end up needing some people with more power than the vandals.


Actually, no. You need more positive contributors than negative
contributors.

Giving the positive contributors more power makes their work easier, but
it's not necessary.
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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> Actually, no. You need more positive contributors than negative
> contributors.
>
> Giving the positive contributors more power makes their work easier, but
> it's not necessary.

I disagree. Vandalising is easier than cleaning up vandalism, so
without the ability to block vandals, we would need far more
vandal-fighters than there are vandals, and with more vandal-fighters
you get diminishing returns. I don't think Wikipedia could exist these
days without blocks, and all these proposals basically remove blocks.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>Everyone thought that about editing too, until Wikipedia proved everyone
>>wrong.
>
> Wikipedia didn't prove them wrong by showing that vandalism doesn't
> happen, it proved them wrong by showing that vandalism can be dealt
> with.

Yes, exactly.

> The way we deal with it involves having some people with more
> power than the vandals.

This is wrong. Wikipedia was working right from the start, even before
adminship existed.

> You can move the goalposts wherever you like, you still end up
> needing some people with more power than the vandals.

You're also forgetting that Wikipedia is not the only wiki, and that
MediaWiki is not the only wiki engine. Most other wiki engines do not
have an "admin" user level at all, and last I checked the Pattern
Repository was still working just fine.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>
> I disagree. Vandalising is easier than cleaning up vandalism,

This is a false assumption.

It may be true in some cases, and it may well be the case that the admin
features in MediaWiki happen to be such cases. But it is not true in
general, and MediaWiki is still in active development.

> and all these proposals basically remove blocks.

Well, I don't know about other proposals, but mine doesn't. Quite to the
contrary, I am proposing to have several levels of blocking. The first
is that which is currently called "de-adminning".

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> This is wrong. Wikipedia was working right from the start, even before
> adminship existed.

It only worked because the vandals hadn't found it yet. If you removed
adminship from Wikipedia now, we would not be able to control the
vandalism. Obviously, I have no way to prove that, but I'm confident
it is the case.

> You're also forgetting that Wikipedia is not the only wiki, and that
> MediaWiki is not the only wiki engine. Most other wiki engines do not
> have an "admin" user level at all, and last I checked the Pattern
> Repository was still working just fine.

The English Wikipedia is by far the biggest and best known wiki, and
as such is the biggest target for vandalism.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
> If everyone can make sysops, then a vandal with a handful of
> sockpuppets can do constant vandalism, always resysoping any of his
> accounts that are desysopped.

If everyone can edit pages, then a vandal with a handful of sockpuppets
can do constant vandalism, always reinstating any of his edits that are
reverted. Nice, you're refuting yourself :-)

> Whatever ideas you come up with, in order for them to work, you end up
> having a higher rank.

It doesn't become any truer the more often you say it.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> > I disagree. Vandalising is easier than cleaning up vandalism,
>
> This is a false assumption.

Major vandalism is as simple as writing a vandalbot in pywikipedia,
which, if you know python, is a 5 minute job. Fixing that vandalism
requires reverting each of those edits, which may be spread between
multiple accounts.

Fixing subtle vandalism is even harder, because you have to find it first.

> Well, I don't know about other proposals, but mine doesn't. Quite to the
> contrary, I am proposing to have several levels of blocking. The first
> is that which is currently called "de-adminning".

I've already explained why desysopping won't work for your proposal.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
> > If everyone can make sysops, then a vandal with a handful of
> > sockpuppets can do constant vandalism, always resysoping any of his
> > accounts that are desysopped.
>
> If everyone can edit pages, then a vandal with a handful of sockpuppets
> can do constant vandalism, always reinstating any of his edits that are
> reverted. Nice, you're refuting yourself :-)

Nonsense. We handle vandals with multiple accounts all the time. It
just requires multiple blocks. He'd have to have a very large number
of sockpuppets to get around them, and an easy way to change IP
address frequently to avoid being stopped by autoblock. If he tries to
edit anonymously, or create new accounts, we can semi-protect the
page. There are all kinds of things we can do, but only because admins
have powers that vandals don't. If you remove that advantage, then
vandals can pretty much do what they like.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 2/12/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > This is wrong. Wikipedia was working right from the start, even before
> > adminship existed.
>
> It only worked because the vandals hadn't found it yet. If you removed
> adminship from Wikipedia now, we would not be able to control the
> vandalism. Obviously, I have no way to prove that, but I'm confident
> it is the case.

Don't need anything particularly drastic to prove it. Any mediawiki
installation that isn't locked down or supported by a strong admin
presence will be spammed into oblivion in short order. See:

http://www.wikiindex.org/index.php?title=Category:Spammed


--
geni

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