Wikispecies talk:Local policies

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Local Policies[edit]

Discussions regarding change of existing local policies as well as establishing new.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Local admin activity review[edit]

(Copied from Village pump discussion)

A policy regarding the removal of "advanced rights" (administrator, bureaucrat, etc) was adopted by global community consensus in 2013. According to this policy, the stewards are reviewing administrators' activity on all Wikimedia Foundation wikis with no inactivity policy. Wikispecies does not have a formal process for removing "advanced rights" from inactive accounts. This means that the stewards will take care of this, desysoping that users meet the inactivity criteria (no edits and no log actions for more than 2 years) according to the admin activity review.

But what we are free to do, is to establish a formal local Wikispecies process for removing "advanced rights" from inactive accounts.

Dan Koehl (talk) 16:01, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

For the sake of getting the ball rolling on this I guess what we need is first to establish the guidelines for considering this and second who will actually do it. The first should be self explanatory and I will make some suggestions in a minute, by the second I think (being ex-military used to chain of command stuff) I have always had a firm belief you should only be demoted, even for reasonable reasons, by your superiors or consensus of your peers. As such I think the actual demotion of an admin the decision to do it, ie the summation of the discussion from the community, should be done by the Bureaucrats. For Bureaucrats it would have to be a consensus view of a majority of the Bureaucrats. Quick question I am unfamiliar with process here, can a Bureaucrat remove the Bureaucrat flag or does that require action of a Steward? I ask because this will also affect this process.
As for the reasons for considering this, clearly inactivity is one reason, I do not think 2 years is required I think 12 months of doing nothing is plenty of time, by that I mean total inactivity. Another is of course abuse of privileges, that should be obvious but I guess we may want to define anything specific to this Wiki on that, otherwise use the generalized policies on Meta. I think also people should be encouraged to request this of themselves if their circumstances change and cannot continue they should have the privileges removed for the duration of their absence if thats the reason, sure get it back on return this will depend on circumstances. I do not think it is safe to leave "advanced rights" on inactive accounts, accounts like anything else on the internet can be hacked, and some hacker having fun is annoying, but imagine the damage they could do with an admin or bureaucrat account.
anyway my two cents to get it started. So I ask is there anything specific to WS that needs to be addressed here? or can we essentially use the policies elsewhere as a model?
Cheers Faendalimas talk 02:05, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Faendalimas:, a bureaucrat can not remove the bureaucrat flag, it requires action of a Steward. I agree with your suggestion that 12 months of doing nothing should be enough to remove the rights, unless the user has announced inactivity due to special reasons where, and when, the community may choose to give that user such a pause without removing the user rights. This may apply on different cases like illness, professional real life activities or whatever. Furthermore, I agree with you that we should more precisely define abuse of privileges. I pasted some lines from english Wikipedia during a time when a user was abusing his admin rights, and the lines were removed by User:OhanaUnited. I guess now we have the right to define admin abuse in the Wikispecies Policy, if suggestions are passed through consensus discussions. I also want to repeat my suggestion that crat and admin should not be used as "honor titles", and for the early contributors of Wikispecies, who are today inactive, I suggest we find some good alternatives to list them as crat and admins, although they havnt been active on Wikispecies for years. Dan Koehl (talk) 15:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Well then as a suggestion for the process, this is suggestion so please comment:
  • For removal of Admin rights, I would suggest a proposal to do so must be made by an admin or bureaucrat, the proposal which is open to comment by the community for 7 days, all admins and beurocrats be sent a RfC where they can comment and vote on the issue, everyone else may comment if they wish and the proposal is made clear to the community on the Pump (with a link to the discussion). The proposal must outline the reasons with supporting information, eg if inactivity an activity log, and done following all policies both local and from Meta. At the end of the 7 day period the proposer does a summation of the result and closes the discussion. At this point a bureaucrat acts on the decision of the community.
  • For removal of Bureaucrat Rights, I would suggest a Bureaucrat must make the proposal from there it would be similar to above, except only Bureaucrats can vote, an RfC should be sent to the Stewards? (so they can watch or comment) everyone else may comment and after 7 days the proposer does a summation, gathers all the pertinent information and submits this to the Stewards for them to act on. Must make sure all the information is clearly presented to the Stewards to make their decision to act easy for them.
In either case to get the rights removed it must be a clear majority of the community agreeing and the vote must also be a clear majority among those who can vote. So for example in the case of a Bureaucrat we have 9 so > 50% of the number of votes.
Anyway that is just some suggestions of process. I have not made any comment on grounds here yet. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
One extra thought we would probably have to set a minimum number of votes for it to be considered successful, cant have someone removed on the basis of 1 vote because no one else showed up, so I would suggest about 20% of current Admins and Beurocrats? Cheers Faendalimas talk 16:36, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Faendalimas: When an admin is abusing power, typically it are non-admins, who are affected most. Other admins maybe will not even notice what's going on. So, I disagree, when the new policy restricts the possibility to initiate the removal procedure only to admins and bureaucrats. Moreover, Wikispecies:Administrators tells "Administrator access is granted to known and trusted members of the community ..." and it requires "consensus amongst users". It's not a fiefdom where the hierarchy is established by top down procedures, but the community is granting power to trusted users from among themselves. So, it is logical, that the same users, who may grant these rights, also may be able to contest them. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 17:48, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: I agree with that, from experience too, its not quite what I meant. I think many issues where admins are abusing their privelages will arise out of the community. I just meant that an admin would run the vote, so the community would raise the issue with the Admins and Bureaucrats who would take the next step of beginning the process if that is the required path to follow. Sorry I was not clearer. I am in no way trying to make an exclusive club for the admins. Cheers Faendalimas talk 17:56, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Once again Dan Kohel is doing things backwards. Let's ignore the fact that it was unilaterally implemented by Dan without discussion for a moment and that the discussion takes place in a rarely-visited, low traffic page. Dan added the text on November 5 (with improper links linking to Wikipedia instead of Wikispecies). The subsequent discussion didn't happen until 3 days later, on November 8. Unless we have invented time machine, my revert was based on the information available at that time. Furthermore, this proposal seems to be tackling two completely different issues. One is about how to deal with inactive admins. The other is on how to deal with admins who have used tools inappropriately in an editing conflict. Bundling two different discussions into same section is not the most ideal way of discussing these proposals. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:33, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I am not worried about what happened last November and whatever was reverted. Am trying to focus on developing a policy, so am working in the present, past is the past let it go. A policy must work like a flow chart if its one with actions. Which this is. There are a number of issues here but as they lead to the action of removing rights, which itself is two separate actions as there are two levels we are dealing with. However they are all related. There is no suggestion that a proposal for inactivity, and one for abuse are the same, anymore than either are the same as a person who requests they have this taken from them for their own reasons. In order to be open and accountable the policy must address two things, first is why you would do this, the second is how you would do it. The why is a series of starting points in that flow chart that all lead to the how, ie the process for doing it, which has to be two separate processes depending on whether we are dealing with an Admin or a Bureaucrat. So basically that is what I am trying to do, and that is why its all in one discussion. Once this policy is developed, its all going to have to be a part of that policy. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 04:22, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

(Cut and pasted here from Wikispecies:Village_Pump#RE:_IMPORTANT:_Admin_activity_review RE: IMPORTANT: Admin activity review)

(This is copied from a previous Village pump comment, which had no reactions from the community)

Hello. A policy regarding the removal of "advanced rights" (administrator, bureaucrat, etc) was adopted by global community consensus in 2013. According to this policy, the stewards are reviewing administrators' activity on all Wikimedia Foundation wikis with no inactivity policy. To the best of our knowledge, your wiki does not have a formal process for removing "advanced rights" from inactive accounts. This means that the stewards will take care of this according to the admin activity review.

We have determined that the following users meet the inactivity criteria (no edits and no log actions for more than 2 years):

  1. Rocket000 (administrator)

These users will receive a notification soon, asking them to start a community discussion if they want to retain some or all of their rights. If the users do not respond, then their advanced rights will be removed by the stewards.

However, if you as a community would like to create your own activity review process superseding the global one, want to make another decision about these inactive rights holders, or already have a policy that we missed, then please notify the stewards on Meta-Wiki so that we know not to proceed with the rights review on your wiki. Thanks, Openbk (talk) 18:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Following admins seems to be inactive as admins:

  • @Benedikt:, last edit: 2014-04-08, last admin activity logged: 2006-07-03.
  • @EVula:, last edit: 2013-12-03, last admin activity logged: 2012-12-06.
  • @Geni:, last edit: 2015-04-20
  • @Maxim:, last edit: 2014-09-05, last admin activity logged: 2012-12-06.
  • @Open2universe:, last edit: 2014-12-11
  • @Totipotent:, last edit: 2014-04-27
  • @Ucucha:, last edit: 2013-01-16, last admin activity logged: 2011-12-26.
  • @UtherSRG:, last edit: 2014-04-07

Following bots, flagged as admin, seems to be inactive'

Any comments? Do we want to have inactive admins listed? Do we want a local policy? Dan Koehl (talk) 15:46, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

We do not need a local policy as the global is fair and has sufficient debate. It will suit our needs as they are not particularly special. We may consider a list of inactive admins just in case somebody can suggest a good reason for inactivity. Those above can have their advanced rights removed clearly! Andyboorman (talk) 20:31, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed The standard policy works for me as well. If someone wants to be an admin here, it's not a problem to just ask for the rights again. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:04, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed - I also think the standard policy is good and should be followed. Cheers Faendalimas talk 11:09, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Agreed – at least to some extent. In my opinion a global policy would be best. However as I have already mentioned in Wikispecies talk:Administrators back in February, this process is somewhat broken. Presently Wikispecies:Administrators reads "as with the policy for administrator access on Meta, inactive Administrators may have their access removed." The referred Meta administrator policy basically says that users who have made fewer than ten edits in the last six months immediately before a review date will have their admin rights removed without notice. The review dates are set to April 1 and October 1, every year.
Then again we have the Meta admin activity review policy, which establishes that "the maximum time period of inactivity without community review for holders of advanced administrative rights should be two years." So currently there are two global polices, stating that either less than ten edits in six months or zero edits in two years is the inactivity limit for admins. This issue needs to get fixed, but of course must be done on Meta, and not here. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 16:38, 4 June 2016 (UTC).

Great, thanks for the input, even if only a couple of users answered, I guess we can view this as the resent consensus in this issue, and with your permission Id like to move this (with an explaining link) to the local policy discussion page, so the topic is closed, and not open. Would that be OK with you, @Andyboorman, Koavf, Faendalimas, and Tommy Kronkvist:? Dan Koehl (talk) 22:33, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

I am ok with that. Cheers Faendalimas talk 22:54, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
This is workable. If one is not active for 2 years, there is some type of problem. Notification of intent is proper before action. There may be some sort of medical problem, etc. Neferkheperre (talk) 00:37, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Thirded I am in favor. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:14, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, except that I think 'without notice' is a mite harsh; some sort of notification a week or two before is perhaps better, so they have the option of responding - MPF (talk) 17:41, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
@Dan Koehl: & @MPF: Agreed. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 04:07, 9 June 2016 (UTC).

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Logotype for Wikispecies Checkuser

Local CU Policy[edit]

(Copied from Dan Koehl talk page:Local CU Policy)

I believe we should consider setting up local CU policy, in order to handle further CU requests within the Wikispecies project. Dan Koehl (talk) 18:28, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

@Tommy Kronkvist:,@Mariusm:,@Andyboorman: and @MPF: Yes, it would be good to be able to do CheckUser investigations initially internally. Dan, as you seem to have the best understanding of the system and its uses, would you accept nomination to be the first CU-capable sysop here? Accassidy (talk) 18:58, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree with your suggestion Alan, if Dan is OK with this. Andyboorman (talk) 19:12, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I would accept, but there must be at least two users with CheckUser status, or none at all, please see see m:CheckUser_policy/Local_policies. In any case, if there is a support for a local policy within the community, we can start to prepare a local policy. I guess the easiest would be to simply import an existing policy from another project, but I may be wrong. I kindly welcome all opinions and ideas for this. Dan Koehl (talk) 19:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Having a local CheckUser policy would certainly make things easier, especially since the number of Wikispecies users is increasing. I agree with Dan that the easiest and probably also best way to go about creating a Wikispecies' specific specification is to adopt and adapt a policy already present at another Wikimedia wiki. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 20:23, 31 January 2015 (UTC).

The question is if the demand at meta that a local CU must get at least 25-30 editors' approval, can be fullfilled, since the number of users on Wikspecies that engage in similair matters is normally not so many? Still, I think its a good idea that we develop a local policy. Read more CheckUser Policy at Meta, english Wikipedia, with language links from the english wiki you may read other projects CU Policies, like commons, Wikidata and Wikivoyage and the different Wikipedia language projects. Dan Koehl (talk) 21:20, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

I would recommend that we adopt a policy very close to that delineated here. In view of the reduced size of the community here, and the number of contributors in agreement here, I would suggest that we have a consensus in agreement with setting this up. Accassidy (talk) 22:31, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
@Accassidy, Andyboorman, Mariusm, MPF, and Tommy Kronkvist:, For some time, it seemed we had less need of local CU, but today's suspicions, and a new request on Meta today, actualize the issue, since we may have a permanent threat of sock puppets, why I re actualize the discussion of a local CU policy, and I support Accassidys suggestion, and hope that we can get a consensus in agreement with setting this up. The request that a local CU must get at least 25-30 editors' approval is maybe easier to meet and fulfill now, and if not, maybe Wikispecies may be excused that we, as a smaller wiki, ask for less number of supporting users. Dan Koehl (talk) 01:07, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I was not aware of this discussion and had similar thoughts and asked Barros for advice on this. User_talk:Barras#Checkuser my apologies for that I should have looked at this conversation. In any case it would seem appropriate that we have CU status here, but as mentioned above it must be two users and it must have clear support from the community. From my understanding of it, any policy on this we have must be in line with that of the Ombudsman and Stewards, since the matter is potentially a legal issue. So my recommendation would be to adopt the policy they deem fit and we shall just have to try and meet it, anything local we have needs to be very specific to the workings of Wikispecies and have full community support and I would suggest running it by the Stewards. Rather than have them come at us later. Cheers Faendalimas talk 01:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
PS check your email @Dan Koehl: Faendalimas talk 01:12, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I received your email, thank you, and please don't apologize @Faendalimas:, any initiative to develop Wikispecies is surely in everyone's interest, but maybe you would be kind and please point to this discussion with a link at [1]? Dan Koehl (talk) 01:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Done Faendalimas talk 01:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the links you provided here the policy for the Commons seems a reasonable place to start as a model including their requests page which I think is important to have also. Although it is stated in the policies that the Village Pump is one place to get the support of the community on this. I think we have enough on the pump. So my preference would be to set up an application process similar to RfA along the lines of what the Commons has done. However, with a small community it will I guess be necessary to point people to these things, listing it in Recent Changes quick links and state there is a RfC for this from the community on the Village Pump. Just make it clear they are to comment on the appropriate page. It would seem of course that issues such as legal age, proof of id etc are not up for discussion, and I can see why and am not suggesting it. Cheers Faendalimas talk 04:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I still support setting up a CU system here, although I doubt my technical knowledge of Wiki systems generally will enable me to be much help in implementing it. Accassidy (talk) 07:45, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Barros responded to my request here, so I would suggest reading his views before we proceed, I think they were encouraging, we have to meet the 25 support votes and 80% majority as he clearly states. So I guess its a matter of deciding how to proceed and do we think we can get 25 votes for 2 people? Cheers Faendalimas talk 17:35, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I believe its good to proceed, but I doubt on the 25 votes. But 15 votes or so could be possible, and maybe a smaller wiki can get some sort reduced conditions? Dan Koehl (talk) 02:50, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we should change the criteria. This certainly would result in some insinuations, maybe immediately, maybe sometimes later. In my opinion, the assistance by the stewards at Meta has worked satisfactorily until now. Having been pointed to the duck test is not too bad, anyway. So, if the limit of 25 votes cannot be reached, this is also OK. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
You have a point there Franz, and a good one, and maybe we don't want to be treated different than other communities. But if any other wiki managed to get their local CU with less votes and this was approved, would of course make the process easier, if we could do the same. Anyhow, Im willing to give this a try now, with nothing to loose, except a failure. Im willing to give it a try to get votes as Checkuser, and I suggest anyone who would be willing to do CU, to tell the community here. The question is, weather the voting should take place, on the admin nomination page, or somewhere else, or a new designated page? Dan Koehl (talk) 15:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I was asked to come here by Stho002 in a fascinating discussion on meta.[2] If he keeps up what he's doing, he will be indef blocked there as well. In any case, I do respond to requests like that, because wiki process and how communities work is my long-term interest. On the matter of checkuser:
  • Unless you are finding it necessary to make checkuser requests on meta frequently, you don't need local checkusers. If there is a real need, there are more stewards available, routinely, than two local checkusers!
  • Once the checkuser tool is in place and is routinely used, it's tempting to use it "off-label." Wikipedia has checkuser policies that prohibit "fishing," for example, and it is not uncommon for those policies to be disregarded. The basic idea was, for years, stay out of trouble, even if you are socking, you won't be checkusered. Increasingly, that is not accurate, I've studied this. So there is a cost to having local checkusers. Requiring cause for checkuser, actual disruption, is a safeguard.
  • So ... develop checkuser policy *first*, by study of other wikis and soliciting broad experience, and then, if needed, elect the checkusers. No, I do not believe that exceptions will be made for a "small wiki." Checkuser is a tool that opens up private data.
  • The instant case, what we'll call the "duck test" case points out something. The alleged sock was being clearly disruptive, this is what was quacking like a duck. The user is also, very clearly, from multiple evidences, a sock of the blocked user, so the editing is block evasion, and you don't need checkuser to handle the situation, only if for some reason you want to "prove" that this was socking, and who it was. You don't need to do that! If the user was a vandalism-only account, it can be indef blocked anyway, and routinely. The user has nothing invested in the account. An indef block does not really harm the user, and certainly does not harm the community. You do not need to "prove" that the sock is actually a sock. And, in fact, checkuser might fail. The blocked user might be using an alternate computer, alternate access or open proxy, or it's a friend, and there is no need to know. The checkuser report on meta was denied because checkuser was not necessary, and that steward limits his usage of the tool. In my view, properly so.
  • There is another issue, though, which is all that Stho002 thinks of. I'll bring it up below. --Abd (talk) 16:03, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments @Abd: I do appreciate the privacy issue with CU hence I have been looking at the way this is done on other wikis, the methods for Commons I discussed above seem appropriate to us. I also appreciate the other points you made and agree that being a small wiki should not change the requirements, we need the 25 votes and 80% positive to do this, there are stewards available if needed. At the present time I am trying to develop policy on this and a process for application. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 21:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Appreciate the welcome, Faendalimas. If you would like me to look at anything, ping me. Otherwise, I'm not a species editor, Wikiversity is my home (but some collaboration with en.wikiversity could well be in order, we are about educational resources, and we are highly inclusive and generally low conflict. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 02:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Request for Policy Approval[edit]

I would like to request that the community approve a CU policy on Wikispecies, based on the model utilised by Wiki Commons where I shall create a page here on Wikispecies similar to the one just linked. It shall have appropriate links to the policies on Meta where the following minimums shall be in place:

  • Applicant must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Applicant must be able to provide identification.
  • A minimum of 25 votes and 80% positive support must be achieved.
  • There must be a minimum of two users at any one time.

Further to permit a clear application process an application page shall be made here on Wikispecies similar to the one used by Wiki-Commons

  • On obtaining the necessary support in the Wikispecies community the applicants here shall be nominated for Check User at Meta Requests Page with links back to the process here.
    • This is a request to get policy approved only, including a method and I invite all members of Wikispecies to comment and vote on this, I also extend this to any Stewards watching this process to comment, or comment further @Abd, Barros, Billinghurst, and Tegus:. No one is applying for CU at this point in time. Policy first.

Support[edit]

  1. Dan Koehl (talk) 14:53, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  2. Accassidy (talk) 17:21, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  3. Andyboorman (talk) 18:04, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  4. Green Giant (talk) 09:02, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  5. Franz Xaver (talk) 10:01, 28 April 2015 (UTC) (However, separate acceptance of the final version will be needed.)
  6. Mariusm (talk) 11:09, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  7. Neferkheperre (talk) 13:27, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  8. Jianhui67 (talk) 10:30, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
  9. MKOliver (talk) 01:22, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Against[edit]

Comments[edit]

  • My own initial comments are in relation to the function of a Check-user. I would suggest the following be included in the local policies for the role of Check-User.
    • If the suspected sockpuppet has been editing pages recently edited by a check-user, then this check-user may not be involved for that case and must defer to other check-users, if this is not possible then a request to the Stewards must be made for a neutral investigation. In other words its not enough to say you are neutral, you must also appear neutral. Check-Users are accountable for their decisions.
    • If a suspected sockpuppet is making many edits an admin may put a temporary block (24 hours) on the account to prevent further damage, but make it clear to the suspected sockpuppet that they may still use their talk page to discuss this.

Thank you everyone, adding my signature... Faendalimas talk 19:29, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

@Faendalimas: Your second suggestion concerning temporary block, in my opinion, is a matter, that should not be included in the CU policy. Blocking vandals and CU need not be connected. If the account does not vandalise, there is no emergency. However, we may separately formulate policy rules concerning blocks.
In my opinion, it should be part of the policy, that the CU tools must not be used, when its use would not make any difference in the outcome.
I do not know what to support now at the moment, when the final text of our local CU policy still is not yet existing. Is it about giving a mandate to formulate a policy text? Anyway, the final text will need separate approval. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 19:57, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Good point Franz, no need to discuss blocking in the CU policy, its better that we separately formulate policy rules concerning blocks. Dan Koehl (talk) 20:23, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Good point on the block issue, I agree. On your second point I think that point is in the Meta policy which we have to follow also but I will double check on that. At the moment I am trying to be able to set this all up, ie all the needed pages. The policy and guidelines also. However before any applications are accepted we would have revisit it once more in its complete form to accept it. Its a complicated policy and I think I need it to be very visible what is happening, with opportunities for checks. Cheers Faendalimas talk 21:38, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Its excellent that we get this developed, we will learn a lot, and we will be able to look over the other different policies on Wikispecies later. Since there was issues about Bot policy just recently, it would be good if we can update that also, so everyone knows what the rules are, and that people on the Meta level agree with them. This will be a good start which will make later work easier. Dan Koehl (talk) 21:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok will move to the next step seems this has approval for this. All I am doing in the next stage is building all the relevant pages. I will open a new discussion at that point to hash out details and finalise it. Cheers Faendalimas talk 02:36, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

- moved from Village Pump - 14/1/2017

Application for Checkuser[edit]

Logotype for Wikispecies Checkuser

On any wiki, there must be at least two users with CheckUser status, or none at all. This is so that they can mutually control and confirm their actions. In the case where only one CheckUser is left on a wiki (when the only other one retires, or is removed), the community must appoint a new CheckUser immediately (so that the number of CheckUsers is at least two).

On wikis with an Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) whose members have been elected with the support of at least 25-30 members of the local community, CheckUsers may be directly appointed by the Arbitrators. After agreement, a member of the Committee should simply list the candidate on m:Steward requests/Permissions.

On a wiki without an Arbitration Committee that meets the criterion above, or in a project where there is a preference for independent elections, the community may approve local CheckUsers (stewards not counting as local CheckUsers) per consensus. The CheckUser candidate status must request it within the local community and advertise this request properly (village pump, mailing list when available, special request page, etc.).

The candidate must be familiar with the m:privacy policy. After gaining consensus (at least 70%-80% in pro/con voting or the highest number of votes in multiple choice elections) in the local community, and with at least 25-30 editors' approval, the successful candidate should request access at m:Steward requests/Permissions with a link to the page with the community's decision. If there are an insufficient number of votes for at least two CheckUsers on a wiki, there will be no CheckUsers on that wiki.

Referring to earlier discussions regarding a local Checkuser policy, I herebye apply to get Checkuser user rights, although we havnt reached a consensus reg Checkuser policy, but I want to give it a try if I can get the required votes. For a request to succeed a minimum of 25 support votes and an 80% positive vote are required (subject to the normal bureaucrat discretion). Requests for checkuser run for two weeks, and I ask kindly that somone starts the poll, like we do for adminship applications.
Please also note that CheckUser actions are logged, but for privacy reasons the logs are only visible to other Checkusers. Because of this, Wikispecies must always have no fewer than two checkusers, for mutual accountability. I dont want to suggest anyone, but hope that someone feel inspired and will step forward and also apply for checkuser.
The request to the Wikispecies community is here
Dan Koehl (talk) 01:40, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd be willing to do this. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:56, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
I could also do this if people wanted. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 12:18, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

You can nominate yourself at Checkuser application which is available at How do I become a checkuser? where you change "Username" in the string Wikispecies:Checkusers/Requests/Username to your user name, and press the button "request Checkusership". At Requests for Comment you can see and vote on the present (self-)nominated users. Dan Koehl (talk) 14:16, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

I've decided to stand: Wikispecies:Checkusers/Requests/Pigsonthewing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:36, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Since we only need two and currently have 3 applications I will not at this time apply for CU. I think it may be a little over the top to go through this many at once. If anyone thinks I should feel free to nominate me. I have supported all three applications and I would encourage all editors to have their say on this. Checkuser is an important function and I was involved in the original discussions on this some time ago. Including assisting in migrating the necessary information on it from other Wiki's. It is a role that has important privacy considerations hence people must be over 18 and be able to provide a valid identification to Wikimedia Foundation. I am glad we have finally decided to set up our own means of doing this here. Good luck to the applicants, cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 15:25, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
@Faendalimas:, I know your inspiration for local CU policy and the work you have reg CU, and I support you to nominate for CU. With 4 CU, theres greater chance that 2 are wake, online and active at WS at the same time. Dan Koehl (talk) 16:16, 28 January 2017 (UTC)]]
ok since I received the above message and offline ones I will nominate myself and have done so HERE. I am in Brazil so GMT -3 hours so should be online at times others are not. I recently returned from traveling, about 2 days ago, but should be more visible now. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:36, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Good luck to the applicants. Fingers crossed for 25 votes for support. Can we go ahead even if we fall a little short? Andyboorman (talk) 15:31, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
I believe from memory we cannot. If it looks like becoming an issue I will go back again and check the policies, but from memory it is a minimum of 25 positive and that must also be a 75% majority. It has been a while since I checked I could be wrong. Hence it is important that all editors vote on this. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 15:38, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Ok checked and as per the instructions on the Checkuser Info page that created some time ago it says "For a request to succeed a minimum of 25 support votes and an 80% positive vote are required (subject to the normal bureaucrat discretion). Requests for checkuser run for two weeks." So that is the basic rules on voting which we haveto adhere to, I based that page on the Wikimedia Policies on Checkusers. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:00, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

How did other candidates send out notifications that they were standing? I sent out notifications to everyone in the "administrators" category, but apparently others used a larger list, of which I was not aware. This has resulted in an oppose vote calling into question my trustworthiness. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:18, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

@Dan Koehl, Koavf, and Faendalimas:? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:52, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
I made a mail list, located at Wikispecies:Mail_list/active_users. Its negative with that oppose vote, in sense of if we would recieve more oppose votes, the entire possibilty to reach enough votes will not be possible, and Wikispecies will not be able to start our local CU. This means that every and any oppose vote will automatically be against the idea of setting up a local CU Policy. If someone is questioning the trustworthiness of any of the users nominated for CU, its better just to not vote, instead of making a vote which may ruin the whole local CU policy project? Dan Koehl (talk) 21:05, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: This uses the Special:MassMessage option. I was going to use it before for a discussion on Species of the Month but ended up just modifying MediaWiki:Sitenotice. You can make a new one at Wikispecies:Mail list/foo. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:09, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
I used the same list that Dan did as he shared it with me. Whether the person who made the negative vote for that very reason wishes to take this into consideration though is up to them. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 22:43, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Correcting User:Koavf, lists are made at Special:CreateMassMessageList. Dan Koehl (talk) 22:55, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
@Dan Koehl: Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:51, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Approval Several of these are going down to the wire and are very close to passing--all four of them would have the required 80%+ ratio and when it comes to the raw votes, they would only be a few shy. Since the guidelines explain that there is still some amount of discretion on the part of granting the user right, I would imagine that we could still post to m:Steward_requests/Permissions#CheckUser_access and have those approved. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:54, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

A bureaucrat or higher can make a decision based on the vote and grant rights according to the decisions they are permitted under their policies. However it is up to them. To be fair, we have about 67 active users and nearly half of them voted. To succeed outright the user must get 25 votes and no more than 7 neutral or negative votes as well, this maintains the 80%, if there are more than 7 non positives then the user will need more than 25 votes. If at least two people do not get the minimum then no one gets check user, since it is required that there be two check users minimum according to policy. These strict guidelines on the voting on roles such as check user is why myself and others sent the mass messages. WE have to try and get about a 60% vote turnout to succeed with this. The rules on this are their for good reasons, but it does make it hard for small wikis. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:05, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I dont think that a local bureaucrat can grant this type of user right within the community. We can only vote and reach a consensus. After that, each user who applied, and got enough votes, (must be minimum totally two) the user apply for the CU rights at Meta Permissions, and if passed, will be granted the rights from a steward? Dan Koehl (talk) 02:26, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I mean a bureaucrat or higher can consider the vote and decide close enough and support the application as having reached consensus if its just short. Then yes it has to go to meta. If it is under 25 votes and / or 80% it is unlikely to succeed without the support of a crat or steward. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:31, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I saw the message through Facebook group. I have reservations in some of the votes, including virtually identical comments by 2 users [3][4] and inactive "zombie" accounts reactivated just to cast some votes. I don't know... might need a closer look once the polls close (or maybe not necessary if only 1 candidate reached the threshold and make the point moot). OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:48, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: Ironically, if you were alleging a case of sockpuppetry (which I realize you are not and in this case I feel confident is not true) then we would need CheckUsers to investigate! The good news here is that they were just neutral votes anyway and won't have any impact on the outcome. I think the Proboscidea in the room is that we have a pretty serious problem for several years now of User:Stho002 coming back with several sockpuppets and eventually causing problems. Although we evidently haven't had that lately, first off, we may just have not noticed it and secondly, he has pledged multiple times that he will keep on doing it. For that reason alone, it would be nice to have two or more CUs here or at the very least a Steward who promises to check in. Otherwise, we'll have to go to Meta repeatedly and have less of an ability to be self-governing. Sad but true. In any event, we still have several days for the three that are below the threshold (two of them barely so) and for the one which is in passing range to not have a surprise attack of negative votes. Since you are a valued member here, I'd like to ask why you've declined to vote yourself. I can only speak for me but is there something that I can do to convince you that I would be a good candidate for CU at this wiki? —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:18, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Koavf, those 2 individuals not only casted 2 neutral votes in Pigsonthewing's nomination, but also voted neutral in Faendalimas and support in yours and Dan's. The copying & pasting of comments raised such concern of meatpuppetry or off-wiki canvassing and if they are meatpuppets in one of the poll, they are meatpuppets across all the polls. And yes I'm perfectly aware of the 2+ or none checkuser requirement. I don't think I would like to vote in this series of polls. It's not mandatory and there are other active users in the community who for whatever reasons they may have also didn't vote (yet). OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:45, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: By all means, decide against voting--it's entirely up to you. I saw those two neutral votes with the same broken English and just figured it was copy-pasting of one's person's comments by the other person. Do you think this is something that should be investigated? —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:17, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Thank you for your comments @OhanaUnited: I have not analyzed the voting as yet was going to wait till the finish and see what we have. I do understand your concerns I can see what you mean. I do not know who those voters are but I will leave it for now. For everyone, this is not a race, we are not competing for 2 positions. We could theoretically extend this advanced user right to as many people as community consensus agrees to. But nobody should be getting canvased individually or asked to vote on an individual basis, particularly in public. All of us have sent messages to everyone concerning this, the recipients of this can take that into consideration or ignore it, they have that right, and they have the right to do so with anonymity. No one should be put on the spot. Personally I do not consider sth002 a major issue. I know him personally I know why he does what he does, he does not try to hide it he does it to make a point. Whether we agree with it or not. He does not hide his sockpuppets, you do not need a checkuser to discover them. However there are from time to time issues that do come up where this would be helpful. It also demonstrates this Wiki can operate and manage itself. Of course we are still governed by the policies of Wikimedia Foundation, but we do not need to go running to Meta whenever we need help. This is one of the reasons I think this is an important step. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:26, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

@Faendalimas: I don't know what you could mean by saying that he doesn't hide his sockpuppets--he absolutely does. Sometimes he impersonates other users, even. He definitely does not make accounts like User:Stho002RETURNS or somesuch. And the behavior goes back to at least 2013. I respect all that he's done to add to this community and his expertise in his field but I don't think it's reasonable to sweep under the rug the fact that he has made it an explicit point to disrupt this wiki on several attempts over several years. On your other point, I agree that I don't want anyone to feel pressured or canvassed into something which has some pretty serious implications for users' privacy here. Sorry if others feel that way--I agree that it's not appropriate to call out a particular user. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:23, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: possibly I see them easier because I know him. I have known him since 2006 so yes I know his issues across at least three projects. But I am not condoning what he does, nor am I sweeping it under the carpet. It w2as just a general comment that he s not as big an issue because we all watch for him. I do not think any of us are surprised when he creates another account these days. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:54, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: Yeah, there are some very peculiar votes happening between my last comment and now. I was randomly looking at usernames that I'm not familiar with and already spotted 4 potentially problematic votes (new accounts, identical comments, "zombie accounts"). I think I need a little time after poll's closing time to take a deeper look at their edit histories. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:36, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: Well, I don't want to make some blanket, unilateral action but I can say for my part, that it's not so pressing that we can't wait a week after the polls close to let anyone who wants scrutinize how fair they were. Outside of the possibility of this poll itself, I don't know of any possible sockpuppet/CU issues that need to be addressed so urgently that you couldn't have several days to sort out your understanding solo or with others' input. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:14, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Closing[edit]

I have closed the first two Requests for CheckUser. The next one will probably expire while I'm in Slumberland and the fourth one several hours after that. I'll leave it up to someone else to tally those two. As per above, I added some language about anyone wanting to check the process to make sure it was fair and proper before someone (User:Dan Koehl?) brings this to m:Steward_requests/Permissions#CheckUser_access. I assume that this isn't a problem for anyone else and a week seems like plenty of time for anyone to audit these votes (in addition to the two weeks that they have been open and advertised extensively). Thanks to everyone who participated. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:05, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

As I explained above, there are some questionable voters involved. Also, I don't think you should be closing them especially when you are a vested party for one of them and expressed support for the other. For example, someone's first edit to this project is to vote on your RfC. I will be undoing your close while I verify the voters' credibility. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:40, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: By all means, post whatever you need on the page but don't re-open the poll. There's no time to place new votes. Just like with an actual election, you have the election, then if there's a recount or investigation, it happens afterward. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:59, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: whether @OhanaUnited: wants to investigate any of the votes is their choice, nor do I think it is the issue with regards to closing. But I think with this vote I think it is better if the decision to close is made by someone neutral. Ohana has made no vote on this for any of us is a crat and therefore should probably make the decision to close them, or any other crat or admin who has not been involved. This is just to look better to the community. I would agree though that once the time lapses that no more votes can be accepted. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:13, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Neutral[edit]

There are two statements above:

  • "To succeed outright the user must get 25 votes and no more than 7 neutral or negative votes"
  • "they were just neutral votes anyway and won't have any impact on the outcome"

Which is correct? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:46, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: What I meant was that the quantity is not enough to change the outcome in terms of the percentages. It is my understanding that all votes actually do count. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:59, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I guess that came from me, and depends on what you want to do with neutral votes. I was reading the rules as you must have 25 minimum votes and this number must represent 80% of the total vote, 25 is roughly 80% of 32, hence the absolute minimum to achieve both 25 votes and 80% is 25 positives and no more than 7 other votes, be they oppose or neutral. If we decide to ignore neutral votes, which I do not think we should (my opinion only), then it would be 25 positives and no more than 7 negatives all neutrals are ignored. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:05, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
If we do not "ignore" neutral votes, then they are being counted as votes against. I contend that they are intended as abstentions. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:25, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I understand, but the two numbers actually represent two different objectives. The minimum 25 votes positive is to show that the candidate has a minimum number of people willing to support that nomination. The 80% is about consensus and is to demonstrate that of all those who had something to say there is an 80% consensus for the nomination to proceed to the Stewards. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:30, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
The common practice is to ignore neutral votes in % calculation. Otherwise neutral votes are just as good as oppose votes. I think the original wording is 25 support votes, not 25 total votes (first statement sounded like you need a sum of 25+ support and oppose votes). That way, it's clear that people who voted neutral had their voices heard without contributing towards either the support or oppose side. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:32, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I am cool with that, I just crunched the numbers halfway through so we would have an idea where we stood and used the worst case scenario, which as you point out effectively makes neutrals count as negatives. I do concede neutral should be a way for people to show they are abstaining but wish to show they did consider the proposal. I will be honest I am being careful. I acknowledge I have a vested interest in this particular vote and have tried to not influence it beyond the mass messages we were all required to send. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:53, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
(Speaking as a former steward) A candidate must have 25 support votes, and "at least 70%–80% in pro/con voting" - meaning support/oppose. With that being said, stewards have been known to discount votes if it is not clear that the user is an established user here, i.e. not canvassed. The rights are not granted until 2 users have both passed the vote, and have signed the confidentiality agreement (and WMF has confirmed that they have signed). This is from the global CU policy, which local policies cannot override (though local policies can be stricter than the policy if they wish). --Rschen7754 22:09, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Observations[edit]

I have made some observations and posted them at the Wikispecies talk:Requests for Comment. I invite you to take a look and comment on them. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:34, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Could I ask you to list and ping every user account you believe falls into your various categories. First so we know which ones you have an issue with, though I can guess I believe, and secondly to give them the opportunity to respond. I will comment on the RfC after all votes are closed. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:55, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Close discussion and Move[edit]

If nobody objects I would like to close this discussion and move it to Local Policy with other discussions on CheckUsers where they can be archived. Since this has now been completed with 3 checkusers now present on Wikispecies after the Stewards granted access rights today. If there are no objections I will do this later today. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 13:26, 14 February 2017 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Local Bot approval and operating[edit]

It seems that the local policy Wikispecies:Bot, the local rules in regard to approval and operating of bots may need an oversight, and possibly an update? Dan Koehl (talk) 06:13, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

It seems that the main weakness is in the lack of clarity when it comes to the process of getting approval. For example, it may be best if the bot creator asks a crat or admin to handle the approval process on their behalf? This would neatly sidestep the problems that Dan had with KoehlBot. In addition, the policy needs to have more detail about the approval process itself - how long does a bot need to be in trial, how long should votes be open? These are both important, but easily solved factors IMO. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 18:14, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I am in agreement on that, it would be best if someone does not handle the process for their own bot. Just for the appearance of good process. I also think the policy needs to be very clear on the specifics that are required so that the application process is effective and will get the outcome required by Wikispecies, not necessarily the outcome desired by the applicant. We are accountable to the community so any process must be clear. Faendalimas talk 11:49, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Named taxa: list or categories? or both?[edit]

(The following is cut and pasted from my talk page, so everyone can take part in this discussion. Dan Koehl (talk) 05:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC))

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I'm working on a very prolific taxonomist (Ralph Vary Chamberlin), and am trying to figure out the best way to store data. I've seen some taxon authority pages like José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage that have lists of named taxa, while others like Carolus Linnaeus have categories, is there any consensus on which is the better system? Additionally, isis there a way to convert all incoming links into a list/category? Thanks. Animalparty (talk) 04:39, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

See Ray T. Perreault for what we are presently trying to achieve. Manually listing named taxa can be time consuming, and one may tend to forget or be too rushed to include all of them. By creating Category:X's taxa, and putting that category entry onto taxon pages, list of currently accepted forms is automatically generated, and automatically updated for generic re-assignments. Neferkheperre (talk) 05:07, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Neferkheperre. Were all the "X's taxa" categories bot-created? Is there a way to auto-populate them? Because it seems like the majority of the Category:Taxa by author are empty or contain 1-2 entries. I haven't found any tools like HotCat or Cat-a-lot; are there any easier ways to add species to categories than edit, paste, save, repeat? Animalparty (talk) 07:29, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Neferkheperre: just on this if a taxa has multiple authors I assume you will make a cat for each author on the taxon page so that all the authors have the page populated? Cheers, Faendalimas talk 13:10, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
A better example is Min Wang. PeterR (talk) 13:15, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Faendalimas brings up an issue about co-authored taxa. Would Blabomma for example be categorized in both Chamberlin taxa and Ivie taxa, or in a single category for "Chamberlain & Ivie taxa"? Or all three? Animalparty (talk) 17:45, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Animalparty:, if you ask me for my present personal opinion I agree with User:Faendalimas, make a cat for each author on the taxon page, but if this is a controversial issue, then an open discussion where more users contribute with opinions is needed. If Wikispecies gives an impression of lacking standard in way of working, this may still not always be the case, the problem is maybe that not all "rules" or traditions are written. The project is presently in a development stage, where documenting and standard building takes place. Dan Koehl (talk) 22:32, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
What I have been doing is for each author to have own author page coupled with own authored taxa category. Thus best way for co-authors is to Chamberlin taxa "and" Ivie taxa, to use above example. Creating "X & Y" co-authored categories would be confusing and create unnecessary multiples of categories. Co-authorship seems to be today's norm. Neferkheperre (talk) 23:00, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with @Neferkheperre: for each of the coauthors there should by entered a separate category. For 3 coauthors X, Y, Z, the way to do it would be:
[[Category: X taxa]]
[[Category: Y taxa]]
[[Category: Z taxa]]
Mariusm (talk) 05:43, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the coauthors. I work already with coauthors. PeterR (talk) 10:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully we wont come across any species with a ridiculous number of authors, though its usually less than 5 so should be good. Faendalimas talk 10:54, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I believe we have a consensus that: for each of the coauthors there should by entered a separate category. and I would like to close this discussion, move it to policy discussion page, and paste the outcome of the discussion on the policy page. Dan Koehl (talk) 11:03, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

yes move it and close it. cheers Faendalimas talk 11:39, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.