While I have proposed this once before, this was when I was in the middle of the argument in question. Here, I am not. I propose that we make a policy for nominating the removal of administrators. While rare, there have been instances of administrators abusing their sysop tools, as well as generally not following the policies of the site. No one is above those policies, not any user, administrator, or bureaucrat. Abusing the sysop tools is even worse than that, though.
We currently have the case of User:Defiant, who's talk page, which has multiple instances of lashing out with anger and personal attacks when basic policies have been pointed out, such as putting proper licenses on images. This came to a head three months ago, with false accusations against User:Gvsualan, a fellow admin, of harassment. That is bad enough, but now out of the blue (and seemingly related), Defiant blocked Alan for a month, claiming "(Intimidating behavior/harassment: guilty of harassment and personal attacks!"
Defiant made no warning to Alan, did not indicate what behavior this block was for, and plainly has a personal issue here (meaning he should be the last involved in any administrative action with Alan), and seems to have clearly abused his sysop privileges. I think the time has come to consider an actual policy on removing administrators.
I'd close saying that Alan and I are likely to be butting heads later today on another issue, and he and I often do not get along. I am not a "buddy buddy" with Alan, and my motives in creating this thread are not based in affection for him, but displeasure at Defiant's actions. --OuroborosCobra talk 22:30, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- I think there should be such a policy, which should meet a high standard to prevent abuse, but such a policy should exist.--31dot 22:34, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- To clarify, I too have had disagreements with Alan and am not his best pal, but I have never known him to act in a harassing manner.--31dot 22:36, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- The entire execution of this page must surely be considered a personal attack! There have been numerous instances, as of late, of supposed "administrators" ganging up on me, to an extent that I believe to be unfair. If anyone needs to be removed from sysop status, it should be the leaders of such personal harassment, such as Gvsualan and - as is made clear from the above - OuroborosCobra. I would suggest that this page, if its existence is subsequently agreed upon, follow an "oppose"/"support" system, so that personal jibes are avoided. If the above is meant to be taken seriously, I will have no problem with answering the complaints when they are delivered without what seems to me to be sarcasm - "false accusations", etc. --Defiant 22:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not ganging up on you, I generally don't even like Alan. You have not made any of your accusations against Alan, or any sysops for that matter, the least bit clear. You have not explained what you mean by "harassment" with specific examples, nor "ganging up." I have pointed out specific examples. In addition, insult to injury, I'm not even a sysop myself. --OuroborosCobra talk 22:48, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- Back to the discussion, my early thoughts on such a policy, which are just brainstormed on my part:
- Should at least be the same standards which apply in gaining adminship, if not stricter
- Should contain a period of time during which they cannot be renominated to regain adminship
- Should have clear criteria for nomination and not be based on personal opinion
- Criteria should be limited to repeat offenses and/or a pattern of behavior and not be based on one incident
- Possibly have some sort of cool down period between nomination and discussion to let heads cool off--31dot 22:50, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- It is not a "personal attack" to discuss the creation of a policy.--31dot 22:57, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- I agree. But I do find fault with naming a user and discussing/criticizing their negative attributes when coming up with said policy, since the topic need not to be personal so it is illogical to steer it in that way! I do regard the notion of creating such a policy as being admirable, however, since the intention is to better the environment of MA! --Defiant 23:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- Apparently, it has even been unclear to some that admins are supposed to know the rules which the community enabled them to uphold with special admin tools in the first place. So, step 1 is to make that even more explicit on Memory Alpha:Administrators. I don't consider this to be a rule change at all, just a clarification that wouldn't even be necessary for most.
- As for step two, the "admin removal policy", I'm open for concrete suggestions. I believe we should have one in place to eventually be able to act - however, it should also be made sure that this policy is "fair" insofar as gaming the system to have an admin removed after a very minor issue is concerned.
- What I personally think this policy should contain is some "auto-deadmin" clause for inactive admins. This has been brought up before, but has gone nowhere. The reasoning here is as follows: Any admin that has been inactive for a considerable amount of time cannot be expected to still know about the current rules after his return. Secondary issues are concerns of security/vandalism (why have admin rights handed out to people who don't use them?) and of bookkeeping (how many active admins do we really have, and do we need more?). For example, admin rights could be revoked if the user in question has been inactive for >3 months. The user could then perhaps reapply for admin rights using the standard procedure, after having been active again for some time (say, 4 weeks), during which he could re-familiarize with the rules. -- Cid Highwind 16:43, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
- First, I think your clarification was a good thing to do.
- Second, I think it is reasonable to suspend/rescind admin status after a period of time, anywhere between 3 and 6 months. I think the time period should be long enough to weed out truly inactive people and not too short as to drop users who have not been around for some reason and intend to return. I think restoring previously lost admin status could be the one instance where you could nominate yourself, unless it was rescinded for poor behavior.
- I would first suggest (regarding the idea of a policy) that two users, including at least one other admin, be required to nominate someone for removal of admin status. I think this(or something similar) would help prevent abuse or frivolous nominations. --31dot 18:30, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Cid, I agree with your changes in language to the admin page, obviously. As someone whose job it is to enforce policy, it only makes sense that you have an understanding of that policy. I still question whether there is a need for the "months of absence" removal of status. As I said in a previous discussion on this, I feel it is a solution in search of a problem, not a problem needing a solution. We have had admins return after extended absences, such as Harry, Alan, Jaz, AJ, Enzo, and others. While we have occasionally had problems on their return, none of them seem related to "misunderstanding policy or changes in policy," all were more problems with behavior of the person, and all for the most part have been incredibly minor and settled in a matter of minutes or hours. That's just my two cents, I genuinely don't think it is a problem in need of an automatic solution.
31Dot, I agree with a lot of what you have said in terms of a proposed policy, but I differ with you on a number of sections.
- It definitely needs to have a clear reason for nomination, with specific examples (including links) of improper behavior.
- It should also be made clear on what grounds someone can be removed, such as gross violations of policy (not something little like forgetting to indent, or once carrying out a deletion too early), clear abuse of admin tools (especially in a case where other admins simply would not have acted, so we aren't just talking about protecting a page they are involved in editing, we are talking blocking someone for personal reasons others would not have blocked for, or repeated behavior of protecting an article for personal reasons others would not have done so, etc.).
- I'm a bit dubious of the "repeated offenses only" idea, in general it sounds good, but there are cases where the action may be so extreme as to warrant action based on one offense. I'd rather leave it to the voting process to decide that on a case by case basis.
- I'm going to disagree with you outright on the process itself being stricter than the nomination to be an administrator. It should be easier to loose power for improper behavior than to get power through years of good behavior. Hell, our process is already so strict (requiring another person to nominate you, and 100% unanimous consent in a vote) that just about the only way to make it stricter would be to only allow administrators to participate in the vote. To me, this would encourage a possible clique situation, and definitely give a public perception of a "cabal" situation (whether it truly exists or not).
- I'd propose, instead, that anyone meeting the requirements to vote be able to put someone up for nomination of removal (sounds so wrong using "nomination" that way), that the nomination must include the criteria I said above (specific examples, links) or be dismissed out of hand by a bureaucrat, and require a super majority of either 2/3rds or 3/4ths of the voting group, that the vote only be open to those with a clear editing history (under the same rules we have to FA nominations), and that regardless of the outcome, the vote be tossed out completely and nomination dismissed if it is discovered that sockpuppets were used at all to vote against the admin. I'd also propose that there be a minimum number of votes in a set period, say at least 6 votes over a week. That would mean a passage would need something like at least 4 people in support, and only 2 people that could be found to defend said admin.
- Yes, this might open us up for some "frivolous," but then we already have a system that can have the same for admin nominations, for FA nominations, etc. I think that rather than coming up with a system that does not allow frivolous nominations to be made (which I think would generally be a rarity anyways), the goal should be to make a system where frivolous nominations are unlikely to pass. I think I've done that.
- I look forward to your prototype. I was considering doing something similar myself but if you're going to do one it seems kind of redundant to have two; I'll wait to see what yours looks like.
- Most of my ideas were just brainstorms to start the discussion, and not hard and fast proposals on my part. I actually agree with most of your points about them:
- The reasons you give as grounds for a nomination I think are exactly correct.
- As for the strictness of the process, I think when I said stricter I was thinking that more people should be required to participate, but you made an good point that criteria could be deliberated during the voting/discussion process. You also covered participation with your minimum votes idea.
- I agree with your voting criteria suggestions: same rules as FA nominations, a supermajority(I would agree with ¾), automatic throwout by a bureaucrat of blatantly frivolous nominations, and a certain number of votes in a week(I agree with 6 in a week)--31dot 23:06, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
- There is one thing about this thread that I find particularly unnerving, no insulting regarding the recurring theme at the beginning of this thread revolving around various individuals particular dislike for me. I find that extremely rude, especially in justifying a discussion like this. As if everyone else here is perfect in their own right. Get real. All comments like that do is spread seeds of discourse and potential bias for indifferent or new users, etc. However, if those were your motives, then congratulations are in order, otherwise, uncool, very uncool. --Alan 23:28, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you are referring to. I made no comments regarding your behavior, your actions as an administrator, your following polices, etc., in opening this thread. I made a single light hearted comment later, but with the intention of steering this thread away from being about you, since it wasn't. The only reason I included anything about our disagreements in the past, and the fact that we often do not see "eye to eye" was to dispel any notion that this was an action of some "inside club" of people who just like you, Alan, and are only acting because we like you. In discussing the actual policy itself, and recommendations pertaining to it, we've made no mention of you at all except in a complimentary fashion about how when you returned once from an absence, you did not show any difficulty continuing your job as an admin and enforcing policies. Nor, should I add, did I present myself as a saint (not that it matters anyways, my behavior issues are not justification for anyone else, especially since I am not an admin). If you are referring to our arguments over the last few days on IRC, then I hate to say it, but "tough." I've been careful to keep that on IRC, and not bring it onto MA. As you pointed out earlier this evening, you can always put me on "ignore," right? --OuroborosCobra talk 23:36, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
- I did not mean to offend you, and I do apologize for it. I too only mentioned you insofar as I was not talking on behalf of you or protecting you personally; I was somneone who came along and saw that you were wrongly blocked. I certainly am not perfect and do not claim to be.--31dot 23:41, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
- For what it's worth, I, too, thought certain users' references to their dislike for Alan was in poor taste and unneeded. If they were meant to be innocent jabs or even compliments, I didn't really get that, and it's clear Alan didn't, either. I also don't really understand what all the dislike is about, anyway. Yes, he's sarcastic, but he's a good guy, IMO, and a damn good contributor. Certain people may not agree with his sarcastic style of commenting, but he has never breached policy (although some claim he has, I have found no direct evidence of it), plus he has over 98,000 edits, so, yah. Anyway, Alan's point still stands, let's try to leave personal dislike for other users out of the forums. It's counter-productive and disrespectful, to boot. --From Andoria with Love 00:02, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I've outlined specific examples (with links) of Alan's violation of policy over a year ago elsewhere. 98,000 edits is not justification for anything, unless you can find me the policy that gives an edit threshold at which the rules no longer belong to you. Regardless, this thread isn't about Alan. I'd appreciate if you stopped turning it to be about him. --OuroborosCobra talk 00:11, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
- I know, I saw, I just didn't really see where the violation came in. You're right, though, this forum isn't about Alan, by apologies on that. I just thought I'd speak my mind on the subject before we fully moved on. --From Andoria with Love 00:15, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
We'd already moved on, and now this page has become so cluttered that discussing an actual policy, which is needed, is going to be very hard to have happen. Gee, thanks. --OuroborosCobra talk 00:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
- You're welcome, and thank you for further cluttering the page to tell us it's cluttered. :) The main reason for my concern is, if this proposal goes through, I'm sure you will go after Alan and Defiant may follow suit. That said, in light of certain actions I would say a removal from adminship policy is definitely warranted. I just hope I'm wrong that you don't have some ulterior motive in supporting this proposal. --From Andoria with Love 00:23, 2 June 2009 (UTC)