Forum icon  ForumsTen Forward → Administrators and policies (replywatch)
This forum discussion has been archived
This forum discussion has been archived and should not be added to. Please visit the Forums to begin a new topic in the relevant location.

I think the time may have come when a discussion needs to happen on a policy for removing administrators. We have a problem on this site with at least one administrator who seems to feel that "the rules do not apply to them". If anything, the rules apply more to the administrators than to anyone else on this site.

Administrators cannot enforce policies that they break themselves. It makes a mockery out of themselves, and only encourages resentment and further breaking of the rules. Its like at any job, if the boss constantly breaks rules by showing up late, or leaving early, or not meeting the dress code, sooner or later everyone else will stop doing it too. If that same boss then tries to slap down and enforce coming to work on time, enforce dress code, then a serious problem is going to happen.

Our administrators are not above the rules. They should not be berating other user for asking reasonable questions that are only meant to ensure the quality of this resource. They should not be moving categories that were at previously agreed upon locations by the community without discussion (goes along with not creating categories without discussion). We should not have categories being created by administrators that either have no discussion, or there discussion have not been copied onto the talk pages per policy. There are a lot of these, and it is difficult to impossible to sort out which is which. Administrators should not be undeleting images previously deleted without at least SOME evidence why it should not be deleted, why the community was wrong before, and "because I say so" is not evidence. Administrators should not be blanking large amounts of others work with no explanation, discussion, policy cited, etc. That one in particular strikes me as wrong, as two thirds of the useful information in that article was lost. That would quite frankly seem to be a violation of the deletion policy to me.

There is more (frankly, a lot more), but I think I have illustrated my point. Something has to change here. --OuroborosCobra talk 00:29, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

  1. Jorg knows I was joking with him, you don't because you weren't there, making it Jorg's place to comment, not yours.
  2. See: Radiation. Exact same deal. In fact, it has been done so often by that point, that the practice has become more of the natural progression for lists going category versus blatant destruction of ones work.
  3. Your obsession is with my "Short answer", but your shortsightedness has all but blinded you of my "Long answer", the source of which has been alluded to all along. "Bonchune built it for Paramount, as a result of their agreement (and whatnot), the rights of all designs created for Paramount are retained by Paramount, and redistribution is allowed as long as the image is used for "non-commercial purposes", hence: {{image paramount}}." Pretty cut-and-dry. In fact, I made that even more clear, in my last post on the discussion. And with that said, how do I know what I know? Why, by the same way Jorg knows what he knows about what he contributes that is not common knowledge, and the same way ThomasHL knows what he knows to make the contributions he makes, yet I don't see a talk page for each of his contributions questioning the source of his information. They did their homework, so did I; something that was clearly not done, or actually unable to be done (if you look carefully) in the original post for deletion.
So outside of that, I'm sorry, but this is asinine. I am not here everyday reverting edits, threatening vandals and make my presence known on every talk page I can click my mouse on. I am here building an encyclopedia, and rightly so, I have done. I have no intention of going out of here as a head on a platter, or in some blaze of glory, on the whim of someone with a personal vendetta to settle. Nor do I intend to spend my time looking for everything one person, or everyone else for that matter, does wrong here, my time better spent expanding existing articles or writing new articles. --Alan 01:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

You did not berate Jorg, you berated StAkAr Karnak for daring to ask. Radiation did not include sorting by more than alphabetical, but even then I feel there should have been discussion. Your "long answer" brought no evidence to back it up, it is basically saying "because I say so, you were all wrong before". We had multiple discussions where the community came to a different conclusion than you did, you should bring something new to it rather than just saying that we are all wrong. Jorg often will provide sources if asked, such as from various books that he has, etc. He offers sources. ThomasHL is not bringing something back against the decision of the community, but I would not mind some source info there too. ThomasHL is not an administrator either. I see my fears about creating this thread are confirmed though, I am being accused of making personal attacks. It also shouldn't matter anything about me, or the edits I make. I am not an administrator, you are. Thanks for confirming basically everything I said. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:29, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I didn't have to spend time looking for "everything one person" does wrong. I didn't even have to try looking around, it was right there in plain sight. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:33, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello. If you are looking for a new adminstrator to replace the one you want to remove, please let me know. It would be my pleasure to administrate this wiki. StoryMaster 16:50, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

No, because you have demonstrated a far more difficult time following even basic editing rules, let alone etiquette. --OuroborosCobra talk 20:30, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

My time of trials and tribulations on here have allowed me to learn everything that is right. I would make a great admin because I have learned from all my mistakes. StoryMaster 20:50, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

You have said that before. Either way, please, do NOT hijack this thread. If you want to go for admin, you know where to go, and that is not here. This is not a discussion about making new administrators. This is not a discussion about you. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:02, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Not my intention to hijak. You are chasing me around this wiki. Please let me be, i am following the rules now. Thank you StoryMaster 21:55, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Add a violation of the "archive, don't delete" policy for talk pages, something I have seen regular users and anons get blocked from editing for to the list. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:06, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Ahh, so this is the forum which you spoke of on IRC? Interesting... Ok, let's cut to the chase... basically, this is a forum calling for the removal of Alan, yes? Well, sorry, but I can't support this. Yes, Alan has his own unique way of doing things, and to some they may seem like bending or even breaking established policy. But is it really? Take the those category moves, for example. A discussion could have been discussed about this, but Alan chose to follow a different policy – that is, being bold. To quote the "be bold" summary at editing policy: "Don't worry about treading on any toes, just push on ahead and edit pages!" If the editing decision proved to be controversial – in this case, it was – then a discussion regarding the decision can always be held to see if it should be put back, which is exactly what you did. So I'm not sure what the problem is there.
As for the re-uploading of the images, Alan explained when he re-uploaded them that they are, indeed, owned by Paramount. While questioning this is well within your right, Alan has been a member of MA for well over two years (or has it been three), has amassed over 50,000 edits, and has become among the most trusted contributors to this site. I doubt he would do anything to jeopardize the site.
And then there's the comment he left to StAkAr Karnak. Hey... Alan is Alan. He's sarcastic, and when someone asks a question with a fairly obvious answer, he let's them know it. Could he have been more diplomatic in his replies? Maybe... but come on, it was funny! :) And Karnak was here for over a year prior to the time the comment was made, so I'm sure he knows how Alan is. Besides, he did answer the question. ;) And StAkAr didn't even reply, so he probably didn't really think anything of it, assuming he even read it. And, let's face it – we've all made smart-ass comments on MA from time-to-time, particularly when an unruly anon or some other nuisance catches us in a bad mood. As long as we're not name-calling or swearing, I don't see a problem with a little sarcasm now-and-then. It is the highest form of with, after all, and if people can't take a joke, well... what can I say?
Another way to look at all this is – what harm has Alan done? Honestly? He hasn't attacked anybody or cursed at them or anything; he didn't violate policy in re-uploading the images (there is no page for undeleting images); he didn't violate policy in moving the categories, choosing to follow the "be bold" guideline; and he's already explained about turning the list into a category, which was the agreed-upon solution for those types of lists, I believe. So, from what I can tell, he hasn't broken any policy or violation that we have – okay, sure, he might have bended the etiquette rule with his remark, but like I said, we've all done that now and again. So, since he hasn't broken any policy... why does he need to be removed? It doesn't really make sense to me, and I have a feeling that others are going to feel the same way, as well.
Now, having said all that, I really don't think this forum is the best way to go about this. I think maybe a private chat between yourself, Alan, and maybe a mediator – Cid, perhaps, since he's the one who handles sysop priveleges – would have been best, because, let's face it... this is a battle between you and Alan that you're trying to get others involved in. Basically, what you're doing is making the public aware of your issues, calling for the removal of an admin, and expecting them to take time they could be using editing articles or vandalizing to reply to your call. Well, I'm replying, and I just used up like half an hour or a full hour which I could have been spending writing and editing articles. Look at what you made me do? Shame on you, sir! Shame! :P Seriously, this reminds me of the "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" episode of Futurama, where they held a trial when they should have been fighting the attacking Melllvar. Well here, you've basically put Alan on trial when we should be editing an encyclopedia. Those articles won't write themselves, you know. --From Andoria with Love 08:14, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

As I said in the first sentence of this article, I feel the time has come when we should be discussing a policy to remove administrators, I am not calling for one to be removed now (and would not without an existing policy as it would not be fair to the administrator in question to be removed for actions they did not know could do that). I do feel that the actions of the administrator in question are enough that were he NOT an administrator at the time of the writing of this forum thread, I doubt he would pass a vote to be made an admin.

"Be bold" is not an excuse to break other existing policies, it is a reason to be bold in contributions. If it is to be used as an excuse to break policies (such as putting the required discussions that led the the creation of a category on the category talk page, following proper undeletion procedure, not violating "archive, don't delete", etc., which I find odd that you did not talk about), then we essentially have no reason for having policy pages at all and might as well delete them. Screw the rules, you can just say you were "being bold"!

I'm all for humor, but in talk pages that I have been a part of I have felt that what he did went beyond humor and indeed crossed into personal attacks. As an administrator that is supposed to enforce those rules, he should not be skirting the line so closely.

You say I have the right to question him on undeleting an image. Doesn't that mean I should have an expectation on receiving an answer? More than a month on and he still has not provided one. It isn't like it would take almost any time for him to provide an actual justification for why TWO community votes and consensus are wrong and he, ONE PERSON, is right.

If you need me to, I will provide you with links to the specific policy pages and texts that have been irrefutably violated, and cannot even be excused as "skirting" them. In the end though, my goal is not to get Alan removed, my goal is to clean up what I see as a problem behavior among administrators. I should add that Alan is not the only one I have seen violating policies. I'd have to look through stuff again, but a month ago when I made this thread, I had violations from Shran as well. Not nearly as many, but they were there. I'm sorry that at this moment I do not recall them.

My goal is not to get anyone removed at this time. My goal is to establish rule and a policy for removing administrators in the future. Were we to finally create such a policy, I would not even try to remove someone for examples of issues from before that policy existed, therefore I could not even use it to remove Alan. My hope would be that the existence of such a policy would simply end the problem of "elitism" that I see in the administrators at this time. Right now they seem to be accountable to no one, and frankly it shows.

One final note, I was ASKED to bring this up in the forums by another administrator, Shran. Perhaps you should be saying something to them before going on me for "wasting time". --OuroborosCobra talk 09:03, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh, bah. So basically what you're saying is that you don't want to remove admins, you just want a policy implemented which would allow for the removal of admins should they cross the line. Alright, that's a good reason for a forum. It just seemed to me that you were attacking Alan for what you found to be indiscretions on Memory Alpha.
I did not say "be bold" could be used as a reason to break policy, I was merely pointing out that Alan didn't any actual policy but was actually going by another policy. However, if there is a policy I am unaware of preventing the moving of a page or category without a discussion, please provide the link.
I forgot about mentioning the "archive, don't delete" thing, but people on here have been deleting old, resolved discussions for a while now (mainly the deletion of talk pages calling for merges). That is a problem, though; it's possible Alan forgot about that little rule... who knows? Maybe you should ask him...? :P And again, that comment to StAkAr doesn't strike me as a personal attack (probably 'cause it's not... :P)
I'm sure I've violated policies now and then. I violate the "show preview" guideline repeatedly, although I've gotten a lot better in that area. I also used to violate the "Always fill the edit summary" often, but have also been working on that, as well. These "violations", however, have more to do with forgetfulness or rushing than with purposefully neglecting the policies.
anyway, back to Alan. Like I said, it just seemed to me that you were hoping for all this to result, sooner or later, in the removal of Alan from "power", as it were. My apologies if I got the wrong impression.
As for implementing a "admin removal" policy, I still don't think it's really necessary. A similar idea got shot down real quick about a year and a half ago. My feelings haven't changed since then; I still don't feel it's necessary. --From Andoria with Love 10:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Finally joining this discussion, quite late... :)
I see several issues being discussed at once, here. First, there's the issue of "You vs. Alan". I might be wrong, of course, but the fact that all the diffs you linked to show edits made by Alan or his bot, combined with the fact that you don't actually mention Alan by name but just talk about "the administrators", made it look as if you were just trying to start some personal vendetta against him, for whatever reasons. This is why I actually didn't participate in this discussion in the first place, especially after Alan joined and defended himself. I think we can and should just ignore that part of the discussion for the moment.
Second, there's the general reminder that admins are not "above the law". You are absolutely right in that regard. As far as their regular contributions are concerned, admins are (or should be) considered "regular" users. They should not do anything another user is not allowed to do, but instead follow our rules&guidelines even more strict than anyone else - because, in fact, many contributors tend to see admins as role models: "If the guy in charge acts like a jerk, then why shouldn't I do the same?". So, to all admins: stick to the rules, or work with the community to change the rules - don't ignore the ones you don't like...
...which brings us to point three, our huge pile of rules&guidelines itself. Some of them I consider important, like our content policies stating what we do or don't want to be part of our articles. Some of them I consider good general guidelines, which might make sense most of the time, but not necessarily always. Some of them are outdated for a variety of reasons - because they were written when MA was still hosted on some tiny private server (the "don't upload too much" policies), when Mediawiki didn't have some functionality yet that it does now, or when the userbase then made such a policy necessary - others are just taken out of context (thinking of the "archive, don't delete" policy, here). If some policy is constantly being broken, it might make sense to think about the reasons, and perhaps explain, change, or even remove, the rule.
Fourth, and finally, there's your question for an admin removal policy. This potential policy, like any other, should be written by the community as a whole. I personally don't see any need for it, at the moment, but feel free to suggest a procedure for that. -- Cid Highwind 10:10, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so a certain somebody came by on IRC the other day (yesterday?) and blamed me for lying and covering up another admin's actions or something like that. This person apparently didn't read the last two replies on this forum, but nonetheless, I would like to make something perfectly clear.
I never once said that the "be bold" policy could be used as an excuse to violate policy. What I was saying is that Alan's moving the category to what he saw to be a better name could be an example of being bold – he took the initiative rather than asking if it was okay, likely because he didn't think it was a big deal. Obviously, a few thought it was a big deal and a discussion was started about it. If the decision proved too controversial, it can always be moved back.
As for the sarcastic remarks, as I've said before, that's Alan's style. Thus far, I've only seen one person complain about those specific comments, because the majority of us know he was joking or being sarcastic.
Now that I've said that, let me clear something up. I do not state that Alan, or many other admins, have not violated policy. It's just that some of the things pointed out above don't strike me as a violation of policy. Yes, Alan has violated policy before. I have violated policy, as well. So has several others. Has what we have done so far hurt the community by any means? No. Could it set a bad example? Yes, of course, which is why, I say again, we could definitely clean up our act in some respects. But I don't see a need for an admin removal policy. Instead, it might be best to approach one of the bureaucrats – Harry or Cid – and tell them about your issues with a certain admin and they can get in contact with that admin and discuss what needs to change. Assuming either Harry or Cid goes for it, this can be done anonymously, if that is the user's wish. In any case, I think it's better than an admin removal policy and might produce more effective results.
PS: My apologies if a lot of this doesn't make sense, I'm a bit drugged up at the moment. :P --From Andoria with Love 04:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I suppose you have forgotten the thread created by, I believe it was GNDN, that was specifically targetted (by name in the title) at Alan? It is easy, since administrators deleted it. Or the issues with Carbonari. Or (and I'm sorry to bring up what was a private conversation, but hey, if that is the only way to prove that I am not the only one who sees problems) hour long PM conversations on IRC I have had with Renegade54 where he essentially did all the talking about how Alan feels that he runs the place, that MA is Alan's personal playground, and screw what anyone else thinks. Or the email I have from Tim expressing similar concerns to those I made initially in this thread. Or etc.

Just because I am the only one right now willing to come out in the open and say what a lot of people are thinking, well, that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. --OuroborosCobra talk 06:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd add that I am essentially willing to move on, thanks to Cid's comments of ""'If the guy in charge acts like a jerk, then why shouldn't I do the same?'. So, to all admins: stick to the rules, or work with the community to change the rules - don't ignore the ones you don't like...", but I just feel that the record needs to be set straight that I'm not the only one who sees a problem, just apparently the only one willing to stand up to 50k edits and say that they don't give you permission to be an ass. --OuroborosCobra talk 06:29, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Just to reiterate: "Thus far, I've only seen one person complain about those specific comments." Just thought I'd clear that up. Anyways, I'm done with this issue, as well. Aside from what I've already stated – that we've all goofed up now and then and that the specific things pointed out above don't strike me a policy violations – I've got nothing more to add. Seacrest, out. --From Andoria with Love 06:35, 20 July 2007 (UTC)