Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Rich Holton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>> 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?
>

A question that cannot be answered now, or as a result of this test:

How many vandals exist NOW because of the ludicrous way that admins are
chosen, the fundamental discrepancy between an "anyone can edit"
encyclopedia and a "only zealots need apply" adminship? Any suggestions
on how to get a handle on that number?

-Rich

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Rich Holton
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 :-)
>
> 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.
>

What's the harm in NOT allowing admins to unblock themselves?

-Rich

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
On 2/13/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What's the harm in NOT allowing admins to unblock themselves?

Someone hits the server with 1111 block requests and their socks
become unstopable.

We've been over this ground and everything else in this thread see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Archives

--
geni

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Mark
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.
>>    
>
> 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.
>  
Ah, but fortunately we have anti-vandal-bots, too, automating much of
that work. If necessary we could run a lot more of them, tuned to catch
a lot more vandalism, but it's not a big enough deal (yet, anyway).

-mark


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> Ah, but fortunately we have anti-vandal-bots, too, automating much of
> that work. If necessary we could run a lot more of them, tuned to catch
> a lot more vandalism, but it's not a big enough deal (yet, anyway).

A half-competent vandalbot writer could write a bot that the
anti-vandal bots wouldn't spot. Virus scanners need to be constantly
updated to keep up with new viruses, our anti-vandal-bots would need
to be constantly updated just the same, and the damage that could be
done before the update is finished would be too great.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Rich Holton
> What's the harm in NOT allowing admins to unblock themselves?

I'm not sure really. I'm not sure there would be much gain, though -
all it requires is a sockpuppet to do the unblocking. If it's easy for
a vandal to get one admin account, it's easy enough for them to get
multiple.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Earle Martin
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 12/02/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 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.

As much as it saddens me to do so, I have to make a correction on that
point. A couple of years back, we started getting our first dedicated
abusive users on the WikiWikiWeb, after a decade of largely peaceful
existence. Since then, Ward has implemented a steward privilege level
with certain administrative abilities, issued to some specific invited
users (full disclosure: including me). They deal with the occasional
odd extreme case that WhyWikiWorks[1] can't deal with.

I think the PPR community has been lucky over the years to have not
attracted the attention of the fringe too much, probably because the
we have a very narrow scope. A generalist site such as Wikipedia is
going to appeal to a much wider audience, and draw more fire as a
consequence. Still, that it took over ten years for us to have to
implement an "admin" user level says a lot about the strength of the
wiki principle.


[1] http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WhyWikiWorks - relevant to a large part of
this thread.

--
Earle Martin
            http://downlode.org/
http://purl.org/net/earlemartin/

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>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.
>
Extrapolation is indeed the logic of the simple.  Had we depended
entirely on extrapolating the visible world of Newtonian physics,
Einstein's relativity might never have been discovered.

>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.
>
Wow!  Do you understand what you said?  You have managed to undermine
the entire 17th century debate between rationalism and empiricism. =-O

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Kelly Martin-3
Thomas Dalton" wrote

> Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.

Work on it, and you might get some [[gnomic poetry]]. At present I don't that it scans.

Charles

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Kelly Martin-3
On 13 Feb 2007 at 19:57, [hidden email] wrote:

> Thomas Dalton" wrote
>
> > Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.
>
> Work on it, and you might get some [[gnomic poetry]]. At present I don't that it scans.

I prefer [[Nomic]] poetry... that's the sort where you get to change
the rules as you go along.

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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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:
> Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.

This is just plain wrong.

It is true that Wikipedia is not an experiment in a lot of things (incl.
online democracy, anarchy, etc.), but Wikipedia *is* and has always been
an experiment to create an encyclopedia using a wiki. A lot of things
have changed in Wikipedia because people realised at some point that
certain aspects didn't work very well (e.g. the CamcelCase convention
was removed because people eventually realised that having articles
titled "DemocracY" and "TelephonE" is stupid). There is no reason to
believe that Wikipedia has now reached a perfect state and requires no
further changes to the way it works.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>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?
>
I get the impression that you completely misconceive the idea of
statistical sampling.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Luna-4
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 2/14/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> There is no reason to
> believe that Wikipedia has now reached a perfect state and requires no
> further changes to the way it works.


True, but that doesn't even come close to implying that this particular
crazy idea should be implemented. I concur completely with the need for
*some* users with a higher access level. I can revert, warn, block, and
clean up after a dozen vandals in an hour, but suppose just one of them
suddenly has admin capabilities and blocks me? What's the line of defense,
then? What's the line of defense when somebody lines up 20-30 admin socks,
blocking and desysopping everyone in sight, resysopping each other and
retaliating when anyone tries to stop them? You would need -- literally
*need* -- somebody with a higher access level. Whether that implies adding
more bcrats, a level between admin and bcrat, I don't know, but unless and
until you add that provision, this sounds mostly like a suicide pact.

Which isn't to say that I don't appreciate the discussion. Ideas are
valuable, especially the original ones.

-Luna
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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

William Pietri
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. 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.
>  

Is this true? I thought the primary way Wikipedia dealt with vandalism
is by treating it as just another edit, the bad ones of which are more
likely to be nixed by subsequent edits.

My personal experience is that a tiny percentage of vandalism requires
more power to solve. Is that not the case?

Thanks,

William



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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Luna-4
Luna wrote:
>
>>There is no reason to
>>believe that Wikipedia has now reached a perfect state and requires no
>>further changes to the way it works.
>
> True, but that doesn't even come close to implying that this particular
> crazy idea should be implemented.

You are right; however, it *does* refute the previous argument that
tried to justify that it "should not" be implemented.

The reason it should be implemented is because nobody can currently know
whether it will work better than the current situation or not because
no-one's tried it before. If it doesn't work out, we can still go back
to the old system, but then we'll at least *know* that it didn't work
and can address whatever problems came up. I have given several ideas
why I think it might work, and why the proposal addresses existing problems.

> What's the line of defense when somebody lines up 20-30 admin socks,
> blocking and desysopping everyone in sight, resysopping each other and
> retaliating when anyone tries to stop them?

Surely this is the same old argument that also says that wikis can't
work because anyone could rack up 20-30 socks and keep reverting their
favourite articles to their favourite biased version.

If you let more people be admins, there *will be* enough admins around
to block 20-30 misbehaving accounts. Notice that if one of them gets
blocked (desysopped) for good reason, one of the socks resysopping him
would also qualify as misbehaving; eventually all of the socks will be
blocked (desysopped). Vandals will soon realise that it is not worth it,
and after a short initial rage, people will stop even attempting to
create 30 sockpuppet accounts.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 2/14/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.

This is a bizzarre statement. Wikipedia may not "be" an experiment,
but it can certainly conduct experiments to find out the best way of
operating.

Steve

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 2/15/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Surely this is the same old argument that also says that wikis can't
> work because anyone could rack up 20-30 socks and keep reverting their
> favourite articles to their favourite biased version.
>

Want to fight against 30+ socks without admin backup?

> If you let more people be admins, there *will be* enough admins around
> to block 20-30 misbehaving accounts. Notice that if one of them gets
> blocked (desysopped) for good reason, one of the socks resysopping him
> would also qualify as misbehaving; eventually all of the socks will be
> blocked (desysopped).

Wouldn't bother with resysopping. Just keep up the attack with the
next sock. or wait a few days and use that one. either way by the time
all the sock are blocked it is too too late.

>Vandals will soon realise that it is not worth it,
> and after a short initial rage, people will stop even attempting to
> create 30 sockpuppet accounts.
>

Because that has been what has happened with 100% of our vandals so far.
--
geni

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
geni wrote:
>
> Want to fight against 30+ socks without admin backup?

Not sure what you're talking about there, "without admin backup"?

> Wouldn't bother with resysopping. Just keep up the attack with the
> next sock. or wait a few days and use that one. either way by the time
> all the sock are blocked it is too too late.

Too late for what?

>>Vandals will soon realise that it is not worth it,
>>and after a short initial rage, people will stop even attempting to
>>create 30 sockpuppet accounts.
>
> Because that has been what has happened with 100% of our vandals so far.

Yes, precisely.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
On 2/15/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Not sure what you're talking about there, "without admin backup"?

What I say. do you want to go up against 30+ socks without an admin to
be able to throw around protection and blocking?

> > Wouldn't bother with resysopping. Just keep up the attack with the
> > next sock. or wait a few days and use that one. either way by the time
> > all the sock are blocked it is too too late.
>
> Too late for what?
>

To prevent the damage.

> > Because that has been what has happened with 100% of our vandals so far.
>
> Yes, precisely.

[[Irony]]

--
geni

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