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Tech Admins[edit]

So, its been decided by the dev team to move forward with the creation of separate user group for editing sitewide CSS/JS - and communities (including Meta) - will be able to self-manage via their bureaucrats. I suggest we just add a new section to our existing Meta:Requests for adminship page for those that need this access, and use the same activity policies we have in place for meta admins. Most of our admins will not need this and phab:T190015 suggests that CentralNotice management is exempt. Ping to our current 'crats for any insightful feedback: MF-Warburg, MarcoAurelio, and Matiia. — xaosflux Talk 20:26, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Support - Rschen7754 02:04, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
How should we grant permissions (to existing admins who requests) during transitioning period? — regards, Revi 02:57, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
@-revi: the transition period should be long enough that we can just use the new process, in the last month there only appears to have been two volunteer admin edits to a .js/.css mediawiki page (assuming the foundation will take care of their staffers). With volume quite low and our rfa process only a week there should be time to add the access to those that need it before it is removed from +sysops. — xaosflux Talk 03:12, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Makes sense, proposal fully supported. — regards, Revi 03:15, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

Meta has not decided to remove this right from existing administrators, so administrators should be able to grant the right to themselves. I don't think such a thing as "tech admin" will exist on Meta: there's barely anything here which can be done with "technical" considerations without "social" understanding of our community. --Nemo 06:34, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

Generally agree with this, though I think that the ability to add/remove this should still rest entirely with bureaucrats due to the security concerns. Admins can have it added or removed on request. – Ajraddatz (talk) 06:58, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ajraddatz: I think its obvious that anyone that wants their access removed would have no issue and can just ask or post at RFH. For adding, I expect that the meta community will have little issue with existing admins getting this if they request - but would rather see a standard request process to document it then just something like pinging a 'crat on IRC. Our Meta:Requests for adminship page is fairly drama-free, not like the ordeal at enwiki or elsewhere. — xaosflux Talk 11:35, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: the access is being removed from all +sysop groups by the developers, that part is not a community choice. Managing membership is by stewards or by bureaucrats in communities that have them. We may set our own requirements (e.g. you must also be a meta admin; only 1 week grants; etc). I think the part about including it in GIE access (like you have) is still under some discussion with the dev team. Should it not be, I don't see issue with us having a path to enable the access for trusted users like you. — xaosflux Talk 11:35, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

Well, this is a security change. Making all administrators interface-admin's by default wholy defeats its purpose, moreover in this central Meta-Wiki where lots of global stuff is hosted and imported elsewhere. I however would like to see two different processes for getting the permission: one for existing admins (less bureaucratic, maybe even shorter in time?) and another one for non-admins willing to do interface-admin work (with the same requirements as stated to pass a regular RfA). No IRC requests. All requests must be documented somewhere on wiki IMHO, for this kind of big-deal permissions. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 17:49, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

I also won't be opposed to request at the same time both admin and interface-admin provided that it is clearly said in the RfX and that the community be allowed to support the whole pack or just one or the other; but for the sake of clarity maybe people interested in having both could open an RfA and a RfIA at the same time. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 18:02, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's a security change, but it's not that our admins can't be trusted with the right. We just need to reduce the access to those that need it. I think that allowing local admins to request it in some formal place without discussion should be sufficient, because we aren't assuming any loss of trust. If we do want a shortened request for existing admins, perhaps use the same formula for electing 'crats? Two "admin-endorses" and it can be closed early? – Ajraddatz (talk) 20:03, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm OK with that. Still think it should be all in the same place, e.g. Meta:Requests_for_adminship#Requests_for_technical_adminship - but allowing an abbreviated (2-3 day?) closing process for existing admins seems fine. — xaosflux Talk 21:25, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I can agree with that. Make it two days to mirror the bureaucrat process, if there are any serious objections then it requires a week and the usual consensus. Numerical requirements can be the same as admin, ~75% with some usual bureaucrat discretion. – Ajraddatz (talk) 15:55, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Comment I would prefer that any admin who requests the tech admin right, just be given the right, they can specify a reasonable period of time for which it is required, I would think that the duration of a week would be usual, though could be repeated or extended with explanation. If would be unusual for any admin to require unfettered and continuous access. Any 'crat who has serious security concerns, can broach them and hold the request. [Noting that meta admins have been through review processes twice, so have served a "probationary" period.] Non-admins seeking tech-admin status should have a standard process for rights.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:11, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

I support simplified process for existing admins and a regular RfP for non-admins. I do not support adding self-grant ability for admins. I like this change and such configuration would kill the purpose. This change should have happened at least a decade ago. Neither I support the motion of having it granted only for short periods of time. Of course sometimes activities are planned, but sometimes you just see a useful gadget or script in other place and import it on spur of moment, sometimes you respond to a localisation request likewise. Having to request for the rights every time would discourage doing anything. --Base (talk) 04:24, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

I agree with Base. For current admins who feel needing rights can get it without expiring. For non-admins after RfP preferably for a reasonable period of time, with good reasons for longer time. Stryn (talk) 18:09, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
See quarry:query/28677 for the stats. In the past year, there were only 47 edits to site JS/CSS, from 18 users. Admins should not get this new right indefinitely by simply asking, that's defeating the purpose. It should only be for those who will use it. It's not that hard to make a protected edit request. If admins get the right temporarily on request, I think this is fine to do without any bureaucracy. I would be weary of granting this to non-admins who are not admins on other projects, or have not gone through sufficient community evaluation. The "interface admin" right is up there with CheckUser in terms of sensitivity. — MusikAnimal talk 19:03, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: May I suggest that the default for these rights is that admins request and it is granted is a set period (be it a week, a month, ...) and there is a light review by 'crat. Any admin is able to suggest a longer, or shorter, period depending on their needs, and where it is longer, that the 'crat reviews that request and determines whether they want the community to authorise such a request. This allows for a permanent allocation, though one would think that a 'crat would be asking for a consensus of the community in that sense. So we have a tiered approach.  — billinghurst sDrewth 22:37, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
That doesn't sound so bad... but as I said below, I really don't think "temporary interface admin" is even needed. Why can't they just request edits be made on their behalf? If there is a use-case for continued, ongoing modifications, that'd be different. But data suggests this rarely happens — MusikAnimal talk 23:13, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Actually checkuser rights are given for an indefinite period of time. Ruslik (talk) 20:11, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
But subject to procedural removal after some period inactivity, no? My point anyway is "just asking" for interface admin rights, and getting it, is making it out to be no-big-deal. It is a big deal. Especially here where there are so many active stewards (I won't elaborate per BEANS) — MusikAnimal talk 23:12, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
The purpose is supposedly to have more accountability (thanks to the userrights logs) and smaller attack surface.
Giving admins the possibility to self-add and remove the right would actually achieve the purpose better, because then they could grant themselves the right just for the few minutes they need it. This would make it very easy to follow the userrights logs (while there are no feeds for "accounts who plan to edit namespace 8 in the near future") and also to restrict the right in case of attacks. --Nemo 19:41, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: I believe that this is a security measure. If any admin can self-assign admin rights whenever they want, isn't that insecure? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Billinghurst (talk)
Yes I agree, self-assignment probably doesn't help with security. Admins here may be different, but on enwiki we have many self-assigned edit filter managers that have never actually edited a filter. They mean no harm, but in the case of interface admin this wouldn't effectively be reducing the attack surface. Frankly the temporary interface admin isn't something we should be thinking too much about. Sure, ask for it if you really need it, but how often does that happen? 18 users edited site JS/CSS in the past year... most made no more than a few edits. Can't they just request the edits be made on their behalf? Doesn't seem like to much of a hurdle — MusikAnimal talk 23:07, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
 Oppose - PlavorSeol | T | C 10:45, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I suppose it makes sense to give this new group to sysops who request it, giving the reason why they need it, and to give it to other users upon a normal request on WM:RFP (1 week for comments etc.). It also makes sense to apply the sysop inactivity policy separately to this group, so that sysops who are active but don't use the interface editing rights lose them again, in line with the thinking which led to the creation of the group. --MF-W 11:01, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

@MF-Warburg: as one of the people that will be processing these requests how to you want to see them? I'm suggesting they all appear in once place, a section at Meta:Requests for adminship, but they could just go in Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat, or just an ad-hoc process. — xaosflux Talk 15:43, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
WM:RFP makes the most sense to me. --MF-W 16:50, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: WM:RFP doesn't exist... do you mean WM:RFA ? — xaosflux Talk 17:04, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Sure it does. Are you losing your mind? (;-) StevenJ81 (talk) 21:49, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Ha! Thanks there StevenJ81 I was hoping this wasn't a punt to RFP!— xaosflux Talk 23:04, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Of course. How peculiar. --MF-W 21:19, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

As a side note, will stewards be required to run for this right if they want to make a JS change on Meta? Or can they just use their steward rights? --Rschen7754 18:35, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

I'd say it'd be covered by Meta:Meta–steward_relationship#Administrative_actions_on_Meta if they're uncontroversial, etc. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:55, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't see why interface editors should be treated any different than CN admins. Both tools are equally "risky". Since CN admin rights are part of the admin group on meta it doesn't make any sense at all not to grant interface editor rights to all admins on this project. What could be considered though is to remove the CN admin rights from the admin group and then proceed with the CN admin group in a similar fashion like what is being proposed here. --Vogone (talk) 01:35, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    @Vogone: phab:T190015 suggests that the sitee js/css access (which does not currenly include USERxxx access) will be removed as well. — xaosflux Talk 15:03, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    I read "Sitewide CSS/JS editing not covered by the patch: […] Javascript in CentralNotice banners […]" or are you referring to something else? --Vogone (talk) 15:17, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    @Vogone: in the list of "Affected Wikimedia user groups:" ; it may be that removing the access from this group won't matter - as the CN banners will have their own control, but CNAdmins do appear to be on the list to lose js/css site pages in general. — xaosflux Talk 19:30, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    Alright, that's how I understood it as well. But that means my point remains valid, since a hacker likely does not care which tool he has to use in order to achieve his goals. :-) --Vogone (talk) 19:43, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

Pushing forward[edit]

To bootstrap this, the following items need to get closed, I think some are getting closer to a consensus on some topics: Revised as below. — xaosflux Talk 19:56, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Request processing requirements?
    Discussion to be open for at least 2 days for existing metawiki admins, if objections are raised discussion to extend to 7 days.
    Discussion to be open for 7 days for others.
    Closure upon a consensus being established following the minimum discussion time as determined by our bureaucrats.
    Unless the request specifies otherwise, no expiration date on grants.


Any further comments to get this off the ground? We certainly can always revisit. — xaosflux Talk 19:56, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

What happens with CentralNotice? Can admins after the change still edit CentralNotices? --Steinsplitter (talk) 17:34, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@Steinsplitter: phab:T190015 calls out that the "Javascript in CentralNotice banners" are not going to be impacted, however centralnotice admins will loose their existing access to modify other mediawiki javascript. — xaosflux Talk 17:52, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Any tweaks requested? This will need to go live in time for the change, and this discussion hasn't been very heavily attended. — xaosflux Talk 15:31, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Above text LGTM. — regards, Revi 15:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Abuse of rollback right[edit]

The following discussion is closed: There's no abuse here, as it has been explained by many users, so I'm closing this discussion. A possible modification to rollback function is being discussed at phab:T201696. And no, there's not a Meta active editor statistics here. Matiia (talk) 17:20, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Tracked in Phabricator
Task T201696

Please see this discussion:

This kind of stuff drives editors away. Otherwise I would let it go. I don't normally come very often to Meta. And stuff like this is just another reason not to come.

I will leave a link back to here from that talk page. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:12, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

  • I explained myself repeatedly. I rolled back a long term abuser who had already been blocked. When you requested an explanation, I explained to you why I did it. What more do you expect? Chrissymad (talk) 14:17, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
And I'll add that I explained to you several times after you continued hounding me. Chrissymad (talk) 14:17, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
  • (Edit conflict.) Drop the stick, Timeshifter. Chrissymad used rollback, you asked why, and she explained it. There is zero abuse. Primefac (talk) 14:17, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't see any abuse of rollback when reverting banned editors evading their ban/block/lock. -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 14:27, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
  • This IP editor is a good example which was use by the locked user User:A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver in previously, but I don't know how was about other users opinion. In fact, I do not wish to have an revert war with LTA, so I has leave it there and let other users to revert it. SA 13 Bro (talk) 15:22, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
  • There is no abuse here. LTA posts are routinely reverted without explanation per the principle of denying recognition. If you want an explanation of a revert done with rollback, all you need to do is ask the user who performed it. And please avoid comments like "You should stop editing on Wikimedia sites if you don't know how to use edit summaries..."; we have expectations of users participating on Meta-Wiki and inflammatory/uncivil comments like that are discouraged. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:28, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Circling the wagons. You all are determined to miss the point. Did you read the thread? My point was that when blanking part of a page for any reason one should put that reason in the edit summary. I was pinged by that part of the page that was deleted. I had no idea why that part of the page was deleted, and so I reverted its removal thinking it was some random vandalism, or some personal squabble.
Go ahead and continue to be dismissive. Drive away more editors. How many active editors are there on Meta Wiki? How hard is it to leave an edit summary, and prevent all these problems? --Timeshifter (talk) 14:35, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Rollback does not give an option for an edit summary. If the rollback isn't exceedingly obvious, then the user using the rollback should be able to explain what they did and why. Chrissymad did that. I'm not being dismissive, I'm wondering why you're still harping on a single instance where the user did exactly what they should have done. Primefac (talk) 14:41, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
No; you're standing alone as everyone else is telling you that you are missing the point. Nobody is driven off of Meta-Wiki because an LTA post was reverted without explanation. In fact, doing so makes Meta a much more welcoming environment - we've received feedback in the past that the sheer number of users who are banned elsewhere on Wikimedia but allowed to participate on Meta is off-putting for a large number of users. By taking a more serious attempt at removing illegitimate posts from discussions, we keep the floor open for the type of participation we want here. This entire situation should have been a slight misunderstanding - nobody is upset at your revert, or that you asked why the initial revert happened. But you've kept going with messages to the user and now the community over this. It's time to put the issue to rest. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:41, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
You can put it to rest by acknowledging that the simplest edit summary would solve the problem.
By the way someone just thanked me for my work on the Commons categorizing charts with info on active editor statistics. I can't find any on active editors on Meta Wiki. Does anybody have any stats?
Commons: Category:Wikimedia active editor statistics --Timeshifter (talk) 14:58, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
For the fourth(?) time, rollback does not give an edit summary. Full stop, end of story. You keep saying "this could have been avoided if an ES had been used" but that's not technically possible. Primefac (talk) 14:59, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I already acknowledged that in the original thread (did you read it?), and suggested not using rollback in this case. That way an edit summary can be used while reverting. Maybe an edit summary option needs to be added to rollback. That may be something that could be suggested to developers. By the way I have rollback rights on Wikipedia. I never use it though. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:17, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
If someone so desires to add an edit summary with the rollback tool they can achieve this with a script, but none of them is mandatory if someone wants to use rollback in Wikimedia projects. If you are able to do a simple check of the edit history and a look-up of the users you should easily find why the edit was reverted, even without any edit summary. Meanwhile, if you don't need rollback on enwiki maybe you'd consider requesting it removed from your account to avoid accidental clicks. -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 15:30, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I looked at the edit history, and I looked at that talk page and saw that he had stuff posted that was not deleted on that talk page. So I was baffled as to why he was being blanked. I looked at his user page, and user talk page, and saw no problems. I looked at his block log even. I was completely baffled. I have tens of thousands of edits on Wikimedia projects, and couldn't figure it out. So imagine what other users think when they see this stuff. Especially new users. I think it could easily drive away a few editors. This stuff messes up talk pages severely. Maybe the rollback function should be eliminated altogether if an edit summary can not be built in. I am being serious. Anybody have Meta active editor statistics? I want to start a Meta category here:
Commons: Category:Wikimedia active editor statistics --Timeshifter (talk) 15:39, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
  • (Edit conflict.) This is going nowhere, multiple people are telling you this is within the policy, and you are not listening. The reason behind the rollback can be presented if requested, and it was done so as requested by you. There is no room for abusers on Meta, as on other wikimedia wikis. (PS: You can have a custom edit summary with rollback but that defeats the purpose of the rollback - "make that gibberish gone ASAP".) — regards, Revi 15:42, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I understand that there is no edit summary with rollback, and have said so several times. So it is you that is not listening. So if the purpose of rollback is to speed up deletion of stuff, then let's suggest to the developers that some preselected edit summaries be built in to rollback. So that rollback uses the last one used. Until a new selection from some kind of dropdown list of edit summaries is selected. And it should be possible for the user to add entries to that local list of edit summaries. Problem solved. Fewer editors driven away. Maybe the title of this thread should be changed to "Rollback is currently inherently abusive". --Timeshifter (talk) 16:01, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
This is going off-topic. --MF-W 16:07, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
That precisely defeats the purpose of the rollback. Rollback is designed to send vandal, spammer, trolls to hell. Anything between the "rollback" button and the actual revert is the hassle. Community already have said so. (I never said "there is no edit summary with rollback", I said the opposite - you can have the edit summary, but that is so complex that you'd beter use undo.) Anyway per MF-W, this is indeed going offtopic, and again, nowhere. — regards, Revi 16:09, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
It is not offtopic. I created the topic, and it is about rollback. Is Meta always this dismissive? You did not read well what I said. I do not mean to put anything between the rollback button and the actual revert. I want an option for a default edit summary. That default can be changed at anytime. From a list of edit summaries. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:19, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
The rollback function with edit summaries is Twinkle, this is only using on English Wikipedia. Since you never use the rollback rights on English Wikipedia, then you can post a request for remove it at w:WP:AN or w:WP:ANI if you wish at anytime, even if you have no rollback rights on English Wikipedia, it can be set the preferences and use for it. This is quite ridiculous to have the category room for those abusers on Meta-Wiki. SA 13 Bro (talk) 16:29, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I want to keep my rollback rights. I tested it on my user page today. I will use it more if default edit summaries are built in later.
  • Comment. Phabricator task has been suggested:
[] --Timeshifter (talk) 16:34, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I suggest it's time to close this discussion here. The original concerns of "abuse" have been addressed and explained adequately, and the technical issues will be handled elsewhere. -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 16:45, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
 This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. — regards, Revi 15:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Allow 'snowball' closures of unsucceeding requests sitewide[edit]

Hello. I am proposing that Meta:Snowball be amended. Please find the details at Meta talk:Snowball. Thank you. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

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