for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

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for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

WereSpielChequers
> On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM, George Herbert <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 7:58 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>> >> On 14 July 2010 02:07, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >>> The expectations upon admins are the pivot point for that. See [[
>> >>> User:FT2/RfA <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:FT2/RfA>]].
>> >>>
>> >>> Any ideas how we can get somewhere like that?
>> >>>
>> >>> FT2
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> Well to start with you could chuck your requirements out of the
>> >> window. Your requirements like most at RFA are selecting for 3 things
>> >>
>> >> 1)some degree of editing skill
>> >> 2)Not appearing to cause trouble
>> >> 3)A decent set of wikipolitics skill
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> It's two and three that cause the problem. Anyone whith a decent set
>> >> of wikipolitics skills is going to archive 2 by playing safe going
>> >> along with the flow and not challenging things. Almost anyone actually
>> >> passing RFA is going to have got into the habit of going along with
>> >> the ah "bad faith combined with mob justice". The people who might
>> >> actually try to challenge such things are unlikely to pass RFA because
>> >> either they lack the wikipolitics skills needed in order to pass (you
>> >> would tend to fail them under the "nor into politicking" clause among
>> >> others) or because they are not prepared to use them in a way that
>> >> would let them pass.
>> >>
>> >> Upshot is that we have for some years now been promoting a bunch of
>> >> admins who will go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad
>> >> behavior by admins and long standing users. The tiny number of rebels
>> >> and iconoclasts left are from years ago and have little to day to day
>> >> stuff.
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> geni
>> >
>> > Yes, that does seem to be the main requirement, a successful candidate
>> > must never have taken a stand. This for a job that requires taking
>> > stands.
>> >
>> > Fred
>>
>> I failed my first try, and could have failed my second if I hadn't
>> made a serious effort to ameliorate a negative perception from taking
>> a stand earlier.
>>
>> The edge of the knife that we must balance on is both being willing to
>> take stands, and be open to feedback from the community and from other
>> admins if we take the wrong stand.  Balancing there all the time is
>> very hard.  Being willing to admit you're wrong on something and still
>> come back the next day willing and ready to make a hard call on its
>> merits is not easy.
>>
>>
>> --
>> -george william herbert
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>
> Somehow this thread became about RFA standards. What happened?
>
> - causa sui
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 07:56:22 +0100
> From: Charles Matthews <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Admin / experienced user flameout - how do we
>        talk people down off the ledge?
> To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
> Ryan Delaney wrote:
>> Somehow this thread became about RFA standards. What happened?
>>
>>
> True. We seem to be missing the point that the trouble with the
> Administrators Noticeboard is at least in part that it is a
> "noticeboard", i.e. not a process for which there is a charter, but an
> unchartered discussion forum. Any claims that "AN has the authority" to
> do anything are complete nonsense, and admins act entirely as
> independent, responsible agents whatever thread they are pivoting off from.
>
> I don't see why this has to be the case, and have not done so for around
> three years. The community can require more. In fact it should require
> more. AN has long been something that should have been the subject of an
> RfC.
>
> Charles

> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 03:15:37 -0600 (MDT)
> From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Admin / experienced user flameout - how do we
>        talk people down off the ledge?
> To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID:
>        <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
>
>  Fred
>>
>> I failed my first try, and could have failed my second if I hadn't
>> made a serious effort to ameliorate a negative perception from taking
>> a stand earlier.
>>
>> The edge of the knife that we must balance on is both being willing to
>> take stands, and be open to feedback from the community and from other
>> admins if we take the wrong stand.  Balancing there all the time is
>> very hard.  Being willing to admit you're wrong on something and still
>> come back the next day willing and ready to make a hard call on its
>> merits is not easy.
>>
>>
>> --
>> -george william herbert
>> [hidden email]
>>
>
> To tie this back to the original post: It is this sort of insight that
> enables a person to continue to participate and contribute over long
> periods of time. That sort of insight has been developed by people who
> have participated in the give and take of making decisions, some of which
> have worked out, while some have not. So how can we, in a practical way,
> socialize administrators in the skills involved in continuing to
> participate effectively in an important project when everything isn't
> going as you might like. This happens in all large organizations.
>
> I keep thinking that stories of our adventures are relevant. That's what
> happens in other social situations, building the culture of how
> difficulties are coped with. Stories of successes and disasters; I'm
> afraid most of that lore has been closely held by insiders and not widely
> shared in the administrator community, as much of what when on was
> confidential for one reason or another.
>
> We'd like people who get into trouble to work through it and continue to
> contribute on a long term basis. That is a different path from someone
> getting into trouble, then we're done with them.
>
> Fred
>

I've got a couple of concerns with the adminship thread above.

Firstly the idea that new generations of admins have come in and
somehow supplanted the old guard.  I've been an editor for a little
over three years and an admin for a year and quarter, by either
measure I'm easily in the newest 10% of admins. Whilst our editing
cadre and I suspect the nonadmin part of the ANI crowd will contain a
large proportion of editors who've edited for less time than I have,
the vast majority of our admins predate the RFA drought that began in
early 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:WereSpielChequers/RFA_by_month

I agree that we have a problem if admins willing to take on
problematic vested contributors are in short supply. But I would
contend that if this is the case it is more a matter of such admins
having been removed from the admin cadre than their presence being
diluted by new admins. I suspect that I'm not the only newish admin
who takes a cautious approach when wielding the mop in unfamiliar or
contentious areas, but as most admin work is uncontentious grunt work
ideally suited to new admins, it shouldn't be a problem if thats what
our few new admins mostly do. I think that the <1% most difficult
blocks are best left to more experienced admins.

Secondly Fred Bauder's idea that "a successful candidate must never
have taken a stand. This for a job that requires taking stands."

I discussed RFA at Wikimania with a DE editor and a very longstanding
EN veteran. From the German editor I learned that the requirements on
DE Wiki are more inflated than our own, with 10,000 edits now the de
facto minimum for a serious RFA candidate. The EN veteran told me that
he used to check a candidate's entire contributions before !voting,
but he abandoned the RFA process when 2,000 edits became the norm, as
it took too long to check that many contributions.  Judging from my
experiences of RFA; whilst successful candidates with less than 12
months tenure and 3,500 edits are very rare, so too are opposes based
on diffs older than 6 months, except where it leaves an easy trace
such as a blocklog, a former RFA or "excessive use of tools",  as some
editors will oppose based on the percentage of automated edits rather
than a lack of manual edits. If you've been reasonably active in the
subsequent months then stands taken over a year ago are unlikely to be
mentioned, and one of RFA's few redeeming features is that almost
anything can be treated as a learning experience if you can
demonstrate that your recent edits show improved behaviour.  However a
recently taken controversial stand is high risk, even if a majority
agree with you it only needs a 30% minority to blackball a candidate.

Based on my observations of recent RFAs,  recency of diffs quoted in
RFAs, speed of the early votes in RFAs, the number of  pageviews of
various pages in my userspace when I ran at RFA and the emphasis in
RFAs on questions and statistics rather than diffs and behaviour; I
believe that whilst the number of candidates who meet the defacto
criteria for a serious RFA run is quite limited, frankly disclosed
past controversial stances and actions are usually considered time
expired after at most 12 months. Undisclosed old incidents that didn't
merit a block are rarely discovered; So either they don't happen or
more likely no-one spots them.
--
WereSpielChequers

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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
I have a few problems with the above thread too, but perhaps different ones.

Admins will naturally have a strong say in decisions being active
experienced users who have achieved wide respect and are often involved in
abuse and conduct related decisions. But they don't necessarily have special
standing beyond any other users. While only an admin can actually block or
unblock someone, any user/s can open or involve themselves in the
discussion. As admins, they make important decisions but the community as a
whole has a right to become involved in those.

It is largely the community that is expected to self-manage. Admins have
areas they proactively act and are going to act like experienced active
users more than most, but this is not intended to marginalize the full
community.  Far from it - anything that expects admins to act like
"custodians and decision-makers" to the point of overriding and
marginalizing the community will be a concern.

So the above thread seems wrongly positioned. The first priority for admins
is to understand and exemplify the community's norms to a high standard.
Good judgment, good sense of what the project is about, what helps it, what
harms it. There are wide views on this so wide views in admins is expected.
But some things are basics. "Do no harm" to the community itself. Admins who
can be relied on to judge calmly, be neutral, be fair, be a good "face of
Wikipedia" when they speak to new users who may be asking for help for the
first time.

Also admins need to be users who will make honest thoughtful judgments when
something is bad for the project or when a user or dispute comes to
attention. No cliques or putting friends and personal topics above the
project, no "emotional dramatica" - admins have to be trusted that way
moreso than for other users.  But this is meaningless if they have the wrong
initial attitude to adminship and the project in the first place.

Beyond that, everything else is secondary.

"Going with the flow" is a problem, but moreso is being an admin when one is
not a good custodian of Wiki norms and has a basically substandard or poor
attitude on wiki basics.

FT2
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

Ryan Delaney
On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 3:22 PM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I have a few problems with the above thread too, but perhaps different
> ones.
>
> Admins will naturally have a strong say in decisions being active
> experienced users who have achieved wide respect and are often involved in
> abuse and conduct related decisions. But they don't necessarily have
> special
> standing beyond any other users. While only an admin can actually block or
> unblock someone, any user/s can open or involve themselves in the
> discussion. As admins, they make important decisions but the community as a
> whole has a right to become involved in those.
>
> It is largely the community that is expected to self-manage. Admins have
> areas they proactively act and are going to act like experienced active
> users more than most, but this is not intended to marginalize the full
> community.  Far from it - anything that expects admins to act like
> "custodians and decision-makers" to the point of overriding and
> marginalizing the community will be a concern.
>
> So the above thread seems wrongly positioned. The first priority for admins
> is to understand and exemplify the community's norms to a high standard.
> Good judgment, good sense of what the project is about, what helps it, what
> harms it. There are wide views on this so wide views in admins is expected.
> But some things are basics. "Do no harm" to the community itself. Admins
> who
> can be relied on to judge calmly, be neutral, be fair, be a good "face of
> Wikipedia" when they speak to new users who may be asking for help for the
> first time.
>
> Also admins need to be users who will make honest thoughtful judgments when
> something is bad for the project or when a user or dispute comes to
> attention. No cliques or putting friends and personal topics above the
> project, no "emotional dramatica" - admins have to be trusted that way
> moreso than for other users.  But this is meaningless if they have the
> wrong
> initial attitude to adminship and the project in the first place.
>
> Beyond that, everything else is secondary.
>
> "Going with the flow" is a problem, but moreso is being an admin when one
> is
> not a good custodian of Wiki norms and has a basically substandard or poor
> attitude on wiki basics.
>
> FT2
>
>
This all sounds good, and comes off as straightforward -- and it would be,
if we lived in a world where "Wiki norms" were clearly defined and
universally accepted. The problem there is that there is a great deal of
disagreement about what those norms should be, as well as what should be
done in any particular case, and disagreement often leads to exactly the
kind of personal judgments about character and fitness to be an admin in
general that you make here: "These are the expected standards [chosen by me
- who else?], we need people who exemplify them, and if you don't either
because you can't or don't want to, you're not fit to be an admin and should
be desysopped." That is profoundly alienating in practice, and you cannot
win people over to your point of view when your approach is that
authoritarian -- and it is the "norm" on AN/I.

If I had to read minds, I'd guess that this is exactly what Jimbo was trying
to avoid when he said adminiship is not a big deal. Obviously, it has become
a big deal, but not for any good reason, and you're going to continue to
lose valuable contributors as long as this continues to be the standard.

- causa sui
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
But I think the key norms are universally accepted.

Take "No personal attacks" and "civility" as two examples. Differences may
exist whether a particular matter is or isnt an attack or uncivil, whether
to act or ignore it, and a number of long-term users and admins have at
times posted in a way that clearly breaches those and do not seem to hold
them in high regard judging by their conduct. Despite all the breaches of
these, in 10 years I have yet to see any communal proposal gain any kind of
traction to agree that incivility is okay, that rudeness or attacks are
sometimes allowed, or that vested/long term users should be held to a
different standard than anyone else. Nothing to that effect has ever been
proposed seriously nor gained traction. Why? Because we don't believe in
those things. The belief in a common high standard is universal, even if
some users don't act up to it.

What we have trouble with is people who _know_ these are universal norms but
still seem to think "who cares" about them. The first problem is basic
attitudes - people who know what is agreed but flagrantly ignore it when it
suits them, or selectively apply it.

The second problem beyond that is the problem of "fiddling while Rome
burns". While we potter round discussing if, perhaps, such and such an
incident was uncivil or BITEy, and whether anyone feels consensus exists to
act, the user affected may be discouraged and leave. That's fine, we want to
go careful and not be over extreme. Again we count on users to act to a high
standard and enact the norms of the community. if they do - and the norms
are pretty uncontroversial - then these issues would largely be resolved by
the involved person themself.

Given that the community has fairly stable long term and universal norms
(although the detail and edge cases are very uncertain) what we need is
admins who at least agree and follow those norms or try to, to a high
standard. This would mean taking care in grey cases to avoid risk of upset
even if it's an "edge case"... take care to be visibly fair and neutral even
if they could argue they aren't involved, take care to explain and apologize
if needed rather than assume or act rough.

This is what I mean by needing users to have the right basic attitude. the
rest then overlays that.

FT2





On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 12:48 AM, Ryan Delaney <[hidden email]>wrote:

>  This all sounds good, and comes off as straightforward -- and it would
> be,
> if we lived in a world where "Wiki norms" were clearly defined and
> universally accepted. The problem there is that there is a great deal of
> disagreement about what those norms should be, as well as what should be
> done in any particular case, and disagreement often leads to exactly the
> kind of personal judgments about character and fitness to be an admin in
> general that you make here: "These are the expected standards [chosen by me
> - who else?], we need people who exemplify them, and if you don't either
> because you can't or don't want to, you're not fit to be an admin and
> should
> be desysopped." That is profoundly alienating in practice, and you cannot
> win people over to your point of view when your approach is that
> authoritarian -- and it is the "norm" on AN/I.
>
> If I had to read minds, I'd guess that this is exactly what Jimbo was
> trying
> to avoid when he said adminiship is not a big deal. Obviously, it has
> become
> a big deal, but not for any good reason, and you're going to continue to
> lose valuable contributors as long as this continues to be the standard.
>
> - causa sui
>  _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
I should say, the fact we are willing to discuss not assume is fine.
Obviosuly the harm and upset arising is not.

On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 1:18 AM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:
(Snip)


> The second problem beyond that is the problem of "fiddling while Rome
> burns". While we potter round discussing if, perhaps, such and such an
> incident was uncivil or BITEy, and whether anyone feels consensus exists to
> act, the user affected may be discouraged and leave. That's fine, we want to
> go careful and not be over extreme. Again we count on users to act to a high
> standard and enact the norms of the community. if they do - and the norms
> are pretty uncontroversial - then these issues would largely be resolved by
> the involved person themself.
>
> Given that the community has fairly stable long term and universal norms
> (although the detail and edge cases are very uncertain) what we need is
> admins who at least agree and follow those norms or try to, to a high
> standard. This would mean taking care in grey cases to avoid risk of upset
> even if it's an "edge case"... take care to be visibly fair and neutral even
> if they could argue they aren't involved, take care to explain and apologize
> if needed rather than assume or act rough.
>
> This is what I mean by needing users to have the right basic attitude. the
> rest then overlays that.
>
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

Ryan Delaney
In reply to this post by FT2
On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But I think the key norms are universally accepted.
>
> Take "No personal attacks" and "civility" as two examples. Differences may
> exist whether a particular matter is or isnt an attack or uncivil, whether
> to act or ignore it, and a number of long-term users and admins have at
> times posted in a way that clearly breaches those and do not seem to hold
> them in high regard judging by their conduct. Despite all the breaches of
> these, in 10 years I have yet to see any communal proposal gain any kind of
> traction to agree that incivility is okay, that rudeness or attacks are
> sometimes allowed, or that vested/long term users should be held to a
> different standard than anyone else. Nothing to that effect has ever been
> proposed seriously nor gained traction. Why? Because we don't believe in
> those things. The belief in a common high standard is universal, even if
> some users don't act up to it.
>
> What we have trouble with is people who _know_ these are universal norms
> but
> still seem to think "who cares" about them. The first problem is basic
> attitudes - people who know what is agreed but flagrantly ignore it when it
> suits them, or selectively apply it.
>
> The second problem beyond that is the problem of "fiddling while Rome
> burns". While we potter round discussing if, perhaps, such and such an
> incident was uncivil or BITEy, and whether anyone feels consensus exists to
> act, the user affected may be discouraged and leave. That's fine, we want
> to
> go careful and not be over extreme. Again we count on users to act to a
> high
> standard and enact the norms of the community. if they do - and the norms
> are pretty uncontroversial - then these issues would largely be resolved by
> the involved person themself.
>
> Given that the community has fairly stable long term and universal norms
> (although the detail and edge cases are very uncertain) what we need is
> admins who at least agree and follow those norms or try to, to a high
> standard. This would mean taking care in grey cases to avoid risk of upset
> even if it's an "edge case"... take care to be visibly fair and neutral
> even
> if they could argue they aren't involved, take care to explain and
> apologize
> if needed rather than assume or act rough.
>
> This is what I mean by needing users to have the right basic attitude. the
> rest then overlays that.
>
> FT2
>
>
I'm still losing sight as to what this has to do with administrator
flame-out.

Anyway, I think you've chosen easy cases for "universally accepted
standards". Let's try a hard case of a disagreement about basic values that
directly led to my 'flame out' and retirement: Should an administrator avoid
the appearance of impropriety by declining to use sysop tools to enforce the
Biographies of Living Persons policy in a dispute where he could be seen as
a participant? My opinion, and that implied by a few interesting Arbcom
rulings, is that it's dangerous -- but BLP-violating content is much more
dangerous, so we ought to remove it with all possible haste. That is not at
all everyone's opinion, as I found out.

Now, in my view, that's a kind of disagreement people ought to be able to
talk about. Both sides are plausible and it's a hard nut to crack, and you
could hold either viewpoint in good faith. So suppose I really was wrong.
Someone should be able to peer-review administrative conduct and say "Look,
you don't want to do it that way because X Y and Z consequence is bad for
the project." That's how we reach this kind of consensus about how things
ought to be done that gradually takes form in the policy. The problem was
that not only did people disagree with me, but they were fundamentally
unwilling to talk about it, or even listen to what I had to say: rather,
they took on this exact same attitude that you display here: "These are the
rules, you fucked up, so grovel and apologize, and you should be desysopped.
It's not necessary to explain why the rules are the rules because they're
the rules. If you don't understand or disagree, you're a problem, and having
you around is bad for the project." What you said is the nice way of saying
the same thing.

Why would anyone want to be an administrator in this kind of environment?

- causa sui
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
I think you're missing the point, or not appreciating where I'm looking. The
point about basic attitudes is they inform all other discussions. An admin
who embodies courtesy, thoughtfulness, calmness, balance, is not the kind
who will be (as you describe) "fundamentally unwilling to talk about it, or
even listen". That's a basic attitude problem, verging on incompatibility
with adminship. Yes BLP is a serious matter. So is resisting "mass panic"
and engaging in dialog and consensus seeking - another basic attitude: faced
with a major crisis some will forget such basics and others won't.

I wasn't active at the time (on wikibreak) so I didn't see the blow by blow
unfolding of all this nor "who did what". While BLP is a major problem,
there was probably very little that needed doing "that day" or which would
not have tolerated courtesy and time for a formal consensus seeking
approach. Even if some felt that these articles needed radical handling,
that would not negate a good basic attitude of respectfulness - it's as easy
as "Apologies, I don't disagree that we need discussion but I feel this
deletion is required. You do have valid points though".

The fact that you felt as you describe actually demonstrates the point I'm
making - because the things you describe as "the problem" would actually all
be failings of very basic courtesy and standards to other users. Your own
words show it - your complaint is unwillingness to talk, unwillingness to
listen, arguing against the person not the issue, incivility,
belittlement, etc. The words you're using show the problem was not really
BLPs or even the complexity of the dispute, but more it was the way that
basic attitudes were not sufficiently followed by all participating admins.
If they had been, you would not have felt as you describe.

My argument is therefore directly in line with that - that admins need to be
first and foremost, people who can and do exemplify good standards of
conduct - even in a heated matter.


FT2.




On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 11:55 PM, Ryan Delaney <[hidden email]>wrote:

>  On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:
> (snip)
> > Given that the community has fairly stable long term and universal norms
> > (although the detail and edge cases are very uncertain) what we need is
> > admins who at least agree and follow those norms or try to, to a high
> > standard. This would mean taking care in grey cases to avoid risk of
> upset
> > even if it's an "edge case"... take care to be visibly fair and neutral
> > even
> > if they could argue they aren't involved, take care to explain and
> > apologize
> > if needed rather than assume or act rough.
> >
> > This is what I mean by needing users to have the right basic attitude.
> the
> > rest then overlays that.
> >
> > FT2
> >
> >
> I'm still losing sight as to what this has to do with administrator
> flame-out.
>
> Anyway, I think you've chosen easy cases for "universally accepted
> standards". Let's try a hard case of a disagreement about basic values that
> directly led to my 'flame out' and retirement: Should an administrator
> avoid
> the appearance of impropriety by declining to use sysop tools to enforce
> the
> Biographies of Living Persons policy in a dispute where he could be seen as
> a participant? My opinion, and that implied by a few interesting Arbcom
> rulings, is that it's dangerous -- but BLP-violating content is much more
> dangerous, so we ought to remove it with all possible haste. That is not at
> all everyone's opinion, as I found out.
>
> Now, in my view, that's a kind of disagreement people ought to be able to
> talk about. Both sides are plausible and it's a hard nut to crack, and you
> could hold either viewpoint in good faith. So suppose I really was wrong.
> Someone should be able to peer-review administrative conduct and say "Look,
> you don't want to do it that way because X Y and Z consequence is bad for
> the project." That's how we reach this kind of consensus about how things
> ought to be done that gradually takes form in the policy. The problem was
> that not only did people disagree with me, but they were fundamentally
> unwilling to talk about it, or even listen to what I had to say: rather,
> they took on this exact same attitude that you display here: "These are the
> rules, you fucked up, so grovel and apologize, and you should be
> desysopped.
> It's not necessary to explain why the rules are the rules because they're
> the rules. If you don't understand or disagree, you're a problem, and
> having
> you around is bad for the project." What you said is the nice way of saying
> the same thing.
>
> Why would anyone want to be an administrator in this kind of environment?
>
> - causa sui
>
>
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
(By comparison and to underline what is possible, I've had "thank you" notes
on-wiki, multiple times not just once, from people whose articles I deleted
or whose AFD noms I closed against them, thanking me for a fair and well
reasoned summing up and for the courtesy shown to them
[1<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:FT2&diff=next&oldid=153438679>
][2<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:FT2&diff=142619205&oldid=142335425>
][3<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:FT2&diff=154878808&oldid=154709494>].
It's even possible to be civil and courteous to self-announced racists when
deleting their hate material
[4<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:NatDemUK#Your_user_page_.28again.29>].
Taking firm action and even disagreeing is compatible with respecting others
and considering how they may legitimately feel.)

FT2


On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 8:58 AM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think you're missing the point, or not appreciating where I'm looking.
> The point about basic attitudes is they inform all other discussions. An
> admin who embodies courtesy, thoughtfulness, calmness, balance, is not the
> kind who will be (as you describe) "fundamentally unwilling to talk about
> it, or even listen". That's a basic attitude problem, verging on
> incompatibility with adminship. Yes BLP is a serious matter. So is resisting
> "mass panic" and engaging in dialog and consensus seeking - another basic
> attitude: faced with a major crisis some will forget such basics and others
> won't.
>
> I wasn't active at the time (on wikibreak) so I didn't see the blow by blow
> unfolding of all this nor "who did what". While BLP is a major problem,
> there was probably very little that needed doing "that day" or which would
> not have tolerated courtesy and time for a formal consensus seeking
> approach. Even if some felt that these articles needed radical handling,
> that would not negate a good basic attitude of respectfulness - it's as easy
> as "Apologies, I don't disagree that we need discussion but I feel this
> deletion is required. You do have valid points though".
>
> The fact that you felt as you describe actually demonstrates the point I'm
> making - because the things you describe as "the problem" would actually all
> be failings of very basic courtesy and standards to other users. Your own
> words show it - your complaint is unwillingness to talk, unwillingness to
> listen, arguing against the person not the issue, incivility,
> belittlement, etc. The words you're using show the problem was not really
> BLPs or even the complexity of the dispute, but more it was the way that
> basic attitudes were not sufficiently followed by all participating admins.
> If they had been, you would not have felt as you describe.
>
> My argument is therefore directly in line with that - that admins need to
> be first and foremost, people who can and do exemplify good standards of
> conduct - even in a heated matter.
>
>
> FT2.
>
>
>
>
>  On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 11:55 PM, Ryan Delaney <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>>   On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> (snip)
>>
>> > Given that the community has fairly stable long term and universal norms
>> > (although the detail and edge cases are very uncertain) what we need is
>> > admins who at least agree and follow those norms or try to, to a high
>> > standard. This would mean taking care in grey cases to avoid risk of
>> upset
>> > even if it's an "edge case"... take care to be visibly fair and neutral
>> > even
>> > if they could argue they aren't involved, take care to explain and
>> > apologize
>> > if needed rather than assume or act rough.
>> >
>> > This is what I mean by needing users to have the right basic attitude.
>> the
>> > rest then overlays that.
>> >
>> > FT2
>> >
>> >
>>  I'm still losing sight as to what this has to do with administrator
>> flame-out.
>>
>> Anyway, I think you've chosen easy cases for "universally accepted
>> standards". Let's try a hard case of a disagreement about basic values
>> that
>> directly led to my 'flame out' and retirement: Should an administrator
>> avoid
>> the appearance of impropriety by declining to use sysop tools to enforce
>> the
>> Biographies of Living Persons policy in a dispute where he could be seen
>> as
>> a participant? My opinion, and that implied by a few interesting Arbcom
>> rulings, is that it's dangerous -- but BLP-violating content is much more
>> dangerous, so we ought to remove it with all possible haste. That is not
>> at
>> all everyone's opinion, as I found out.
>>
>> Now, in my view, that's a kind of disagreement people ought to be able to
>> talk about. Both sides are plausible and it's a hard nut to crack, and you
>> could hold either viewpoint in good faith. So suppose I really was wrong.
>> Someone should be able to peer-review administrative conduct and say
>> "Look,
>> you don't want to do it that way because X Y and Z consequence is bad for
>> the project." That's how we reach this kind of consensus about how things
>> ought to be done that gradually takes form in the policy. The problem was
>> that not only did people disagree with me, but they were fundamentally
>> unwilling to talk about it, or even listen to what I had to say: rather,
>> they took on this exact same attitude that you display here: "These are
>> the
>> rules, you fucked up, so grovel and apologize, and you should be
>> desysopped.
>> It's not necessary to explain why the rules are the rules because they're
>> the rules. If you don't understand or disagree, you're a problem, and
>> having
>> you around is bad for the project." What you said is the nice way of
>> saying
>> the same thing.
>>
>> Why would anyone want to be an administrator in this kind of environment?
>>
>> - causa sui
>>
>>
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

Ryan Delaney
In reply to this post by FT2
On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 12:58 AM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think you're missing the point, or not appreciating where I'm looking.
> The
> point about basic attitudes is they inform all other discussions. An admin
> who embodies courtesy, thoughtfulness, calmness, balance, is not the kind
> who will be (as you describe) "fundamentally unwilling to talk about it, or
> even listen". That's a basic attitude problem, verging on incompatibility
> with adminship. Yes BLP is a serious matter. So is resisting "mass panic"
> and engaging in dialog and consensus seeking - another basic attitude:
> faced
> with a major crisis some will forget such basics and others won't.
>
> I wasn't active at the time (on wikibreak) so I didn't see the blow by blow
> unfolding of all this nor "who did what". While BLP is a major problem,
> there was probably very little that needed doing "that day" or which would
> not have tolerated courtesy and time for a formal consensus seeking
> approach. Even if some felt that these articles needed radical handling,
> that would not negate a good basic attitude of respectfulness - it's as
> easy
> as "Apologies, I don't disagree that we need discussion but I feel this
> deletion is required. You do have valid points though".
>
> The fact that you felt as you describe actually demonstrates the point I'm
> making - because the things you describe as "the problem" would actually
> all
> be failings of very basic courtesy and standards to other users. Your own
> words show it - your complaint is unwillingness to talk, unwillingness to
> listen, arguing against the person not the issue, incivility,
> belittlement, etc. The words you're using show the problem was not really
> BLPs or even the complexity of the dispute, but more it was the way that
> basic attitudes were not sufficiently followed by all participating admins.
> If they had been, you would not have felt as you describe.
>
> My argument is therefore directly in line with that - that admins need to
> be
> first and foremost, people who can and do exemplify good standards of
> conduct - even in a heated matter.
>
>
> FT2.
>
>
>
Okay, yes, I was misreading you, and that's the bit I was missing. Thanks.
It seems like the trick is to work toward implementing this as an actual
cultural ideology, which it certainly is not on AN/I right now.

- causa sui
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

FT2
It's a major issue, and needs recognition as such and a cultural problem,
not just on ANI but anywhere it happens.

FT2.


On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM, Ryan Delaney <[hidden email]>wrote:

> It seems like the trick is to work toward implementing this as an actual
>  cultural ideology, which it certainly is not on AN/I right now.
>
>
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Re: for years been promoting admins who go with the flow rather than challenge low level bad behavior by admins and long standing users

Ryan Delaney
What do you propose?

On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 6:00 AM, FT2 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It's a major issue, and needs recognition as such and a cultural problem,
> not just on ANI but anywhere it happens.
>
> FT2.
>
>
> On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM, Ryan Delaney <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > It seems like the trick is to work toward implementing this as an actual
> >  cultural ideology, which it certainly is not on AN/I right now.
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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