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Wikispecies talk:Requests for Comment - Wikispecies

Wikispecies talk:Requests for Comment

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Regarding the votes in 4 Checkuser RfCs[edit]

This RfC is closed, please do not alter. It has been preserved for the requests for Access by the Nominated Checkusers

There are a number of editors' vote that are appears to be the result of stealth canvassing. Since these users vote on multiple checkuser RfCs in the same time period, I am grouping them into sections.

世界首都环游[edit]

I will discount the vote by this user since this user's first edit in the project was voting on one of the RfC. After doing some translation work, the editor disappeared from the project on the same day. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:23, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

@世界首都环游: Are you available? Pinging you so that you see this conversation. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 21:39, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: For context, while this user has never participated here before, he has thousands of edits across WMF sites for the past two years. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 21:41, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Also, this user is evidently from China. He may know me from a documentary that I was in that aired on Chinese television. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 21:45, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: I understand that you will defend this vote rigorously because it would drop the number of support to 24 and miss the cut. But I don't think a new user to this project has a good understanding of this project and its circumstance no matter how many edits he/she contributed to other projects. To me, this new user showed up, casted their vote, did a few things on the same day and left. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:05, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: That sounds like bad faith to me. I'm not concerned only with my vote passing and I think it would pass anyway. I am concerned with the process, especially since an experienced user here seems concerned. The best I can do is tell you what I know. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 18:32, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited: possibly this one vote could be excluded but still let the application go through to the Stewards? From what I read on Meta sometimes votes with lower than preferred numbers can be passed, let the request and its subsequent vote be looked at as a whole, ie from the point of view of number of votes, consensus, opposes (with only one giving a reason, of course that is not a requirement) and see how it pans out? @Koavf: this user is not that experienced, across some 29 projects their highest edit counts are about 800 they have been dabbling here and there for 2 years. I am not saying they are a beginner but not that experienced either. It does look bad that they came here in the way Ohana outlined. This user has no experience on this wiki, our issues, even really what we do. I do not think you canvased them. That is not what I am saying. But their vote is dubious. As an admin I have to agree with Ohana on this, but I do support the notion this request go through to the stewards. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:56, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Translation-only accounts[edit]

I noticed a number of accounts (including 世界首都环游 and others) only contributed to the project by translating project pages. While their work is much valued and appreciated, many of them have 0 edits to mainspace or Village Pump. I'm unsure how we should consider these votes which appear to be single-purpose in these 4 checkuser requests and in future RfAs/RfBs. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:23, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

I think what is important is that the editor is established here. I do not think it matters what editing role the person chooses. If they want to come here and translate pages I am fine with that it needs to be done. Is valuable to the community. Maybe we should consider a minimum number of Wikispecies edits prior to a vote being put up to be permitted to vote here? I am asking that as a question, not a proposal. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:47, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Here are some users whose edits appear to be "single purpose" and not editing in mainspace or commenting on policies (aside from casting in this particular poll):

  • (translator) 世界首都环游 26 edits, all related to translation and no edits to mainspace; casted ballot in 1 poll
  • (page mover) User:Céréales Killer 71 edits, only 1 to mainspace (in 2008, 9 years ago), casted ballot in all 4 polls
  • (translator) Djiboun 104 edits, only 4 to mainspace (in 2009, 8 years ago); casted ballot in 2 polls
  • (translator) Aboulouei1 279 edits, all related to translation and no edits to mainspace; casted ballot in 1 poll
  • (translator) AlvaroMolina 899 edits, all 2 mainspace edits are reverting vanadalism, casted ballot in all 4 polls

OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:01, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for the list.
  • On user 世界首都环游 I have agreed with you. the fact that their first edit was the poll looks bad they could not understand the purposes of this wiki acting that way.
  • User AlvaroMolina has also voted on Sysop votes which have passed. Has clearly been following along what we do and has over 800 edits here. Yes they are not mainspace. I do not think this matters. He contributes to the project in an important way. Clearly understands the project. I think the same is true of users Aboulouei1 & Djiboun although less edits it is still a fair number, and, If we were to have set a minimum, exceeding whatever number I think we would have set.
  • User Céréales Killer I could concede as borderline. The edit count at 71 I would suspect would be ok, in other discussions where minimum edit counts were discussed for voting we were generally saying around 50. However it is page moving for the most part. One point in this users favor is the reason for supporting, he said wikispecies needs a CU. A simple statement sure, but I think it says that the user understands the importance of this role and was following the discussions.
I would say this on the roles too. Apart from what else I have mentioned. These different roles are important and needed for the operation of this wiki. Many of us doing the taxonomic entry would not be capable of the translations, and administrative tasks can be time consuming. I think singling people out who do contribute but maybe not taxonomically is negative to the project. They contribute they do so positively. That is all that should matter. I have agreed with you on one voter, borderline with another. The other three I think are valid votes and have done enough here to have their votes counted. We are not trying to promote these people, we are determining if they have the right to vote. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:21, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Which brings us to the question, which rules apply? Ip-addresses and sockpuppets obviously have nothing to do with taxonomy and biology, s its completely irrelevant if a translator make edits about a taxa , or just translate, in any case the user is probably inteersted in that the work has some sort of protection. I guess there must be some difference if a translator votes for removing all category taxa (Australia), or vote in CU nomination? Dan Koehl (talk) 23:48, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Example: User:AlvaroMolina is sysop on three projects, bureaucrat on one project, and most probably knows more about what a CU is, than some of WS users, who mainly make taxonomy edits, and never even visit another project on Wikimedia? Which rule apply to that the vote from User:AlvaroMolina has weight and value than from someone, who doesnt really know what a CU is and does? Dan Koehl (talk) 00:13, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Inactive accounts[edit]

There are a several editors who casted their ballot despite an extended absence (anywhere from 2 to 7 years). Their returns are only to cast a ballot and resume inactivity aftewards. I won't discount their votes in this instance since they have contributed to the project and have knowledge about its goals. But moving forward, there may be a need to consider how to handle votes coming from inactive accounts in requests for checkusers since it requires at least 25 support votes. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:23, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

I agree with you here, we should discuss some voting policies, particularly for sensitive issues. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:49, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Just an addit for thought. As you say inactive accounts. I wonder how these people knew about the vote. Some of them maybe are active on other projects and hence received a notification. But the mass mails sent out were only sent to active users. How does an inactive for 7 years user get this notification to vote. I believe that people did not actively canvas. I certainly did not myself either. I do not know how we should in the end deal with this except restricting important votes to clearly active users. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:43, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
As we are discussing with a user, who officially is retired, (its written on the user page that he is no longer active on Wikispecies) this gives really perspectives to the subject of the discussion. I wonder if it can be considered "canvassing" when I left a note on a couple of admins and crats (example), who are still listed here as such, but who are seldom here? The rules state that 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.), and as far as I interpret, informing formal members of admins and crats on their enwiki user pages, which are more or less active here, but still listed, should be perfectly OK, especially since the CU is a step forward towards more local administration, which old users may be interested to support. Dan Koehl (talk) 04:03, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
I do not believe so Dan. I think it is our responsibility to ensure as best as possible that admins and crats are aware, no matter their activity level. I did make a post that this was on on the Wikispecies Facebook page but the link I gave was to the RfC that had transcribed all 4 applications. I made no mention of myself. I did that in the hope some currently less active users would come and look. I also was trying to show in a different forum that we are an active community worth getting involved in. I was referring to users who had not been active for some time. However clearly the message got out because sth002 certainly knew about it too. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 04:10, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Inactive doesn't mean I disappeared off the Earth or cease editing here, Dan. I'm still active on enwp. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:19, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
"I wonder how these people knew about the vote." It's not surprising, if you welcome old users (registered years ago, not using the project actively) while the voting is open, or send a lot of mass messages to these users, who don't even use this project, but have only translated some pages here. Stryn (talk) 13:27, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Reg the mail list @Stryn:, the translators you refer to, was listed among "active users" on the special pages, and I did not read anywhere in recommendations, that translators should be avoided. But your remark leads to the question, should translators on a project be removed from such a mail list? Dan Koehl (talk) 13:35, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, if they have only translated a few pages here I wouldn't call them as "active users". They may not have any knowledge of this project, and IMO shouldn't be on the mailing list. Stryn (talk) 13:41, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the input and advice @Stryn:, we will futurewise sort that list into 2-3 lists, of which one will be designed for different kind of voting. I hope though, that you support the community's wish to establish more local policies, and that we in good faith were trying to reach something that looked impossible, to reach 25/75% votes, in spite of limited number of users and that its nice to see that Wikispecies develops, step by step, into a wiki community, which soon can be compared to other projects. This will hopefully lead to a better cooperation with other projects like Wikidata, and WS will not more remain a kind of an "isolated" project. Dan Koehl (talk) 13:52, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the input @Stryn: I agree it looks like we need to have some voting policy and be careful with the mailing list. It should have only got to active users, but maybe we need to more carefully define what we consider an active user. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 16:38, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Here are some of the inactive accounts who casted their votes. It's a mix bag (some support, some oppose; some regular editors, some with advanced permissions):

I won't make any proposal as to what to do with these votes, but it's something we need to look at for sure. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:27, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Fair enough. In the absence of a policy we should accept them. But I agree we should develop a voting policy to avoid this issue in the future. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:44, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Stealth canvassing[edit]

For what it's worth, your concern is totally reasonable and I would like to declare publicly that I don't know anything about it. The extent to which I've asked other users to participate has been only what is clear and public--via the site header, a mass message, and at the Pump. I'll state now that I have no connection with any of the voters off-wiki, didn't solicit anyone's vote (except to the extent that I just mentioned), and have no alternate accounts. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 21:45, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Everything In Koavf's declaration stands for me too; apart from my alternatve accounts, all of which are declared, and none of which were used in anything to do with this matter. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:07, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Additional Comments on Voting[edit]

I am adding this here and I hope @OhanaUnited: does not mind. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:56, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Candidates[edit]

I have to say I was a little put off by some of the things that came up in this election for checkusers. Although it applies to RfA applications on Wikipedia this essay on wikipedia may be worth a read, in particular the section on During your RfA. Elections can be a brutal process. Every person voting has the right to vote by the standards they deem as important. They have the right to not have that vote challenged. We all have the right to address opinions aired by others, particularly if they are genuinely in error. But people should be very cautious about it. This goes for all elections by the way, not just on Wikimedia Projects. I have been chair of a board, been on numerous committees such as animal ethics, research council, president of societies etc. Elections to an office of any type can be brutal. As unfair as it is the person standing for a position has to just take it. I am not saying voters have the right to be cruel, insulting or mean, they do not. It is the job of uninvolved admins etc to watch for that. Just something I think people should keep in mind. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:37, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

The page you link to is headed "This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors... Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.". There is no "right to not have [a] vote challenged", especially when that vote is accompanied by baseless ad hominem attacks. Volunteers in this project, on the other hand, have a right not to be subjected to such attacks, which in this case included "I do not trust you. Sensitive information shouldn't be at your fingertips" and false allegations of "intimidation and harassment". Frankly, I'm surprised other admins did not step in to remove such blatant abuse. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:01, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Andy, I guess we are all pretty inexperienced with such votes on Wikispecies, and although I felt like making comments sometimes, I was also thinking that interfering could lead to even worse consequences, even longer discussions etc, which could harm both you, and the other opponent. Its unusual that anyone express negative words about other users here, and something we simply may lack routines for, when it comes to set a limit. But I agree that some comments were needlessly negative. Doing nothing, being an admin, does certainly not mean that a negative remark has any kind of approval. But its a delicate decision to interfere with voters comment. Dan Koehl (talk) 16:18, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Andy, I acknowledged that what I linked was an essay. It is not policy. I was not discussing policy. I was writing about the way people act under these circumstances and some things people should take into consideration. I think some of what was said was unfair and I said so offlist, but I could not interfere as one of those involved it may have made it worse. That is why I wrote what I did above. By right I was not referring to a persons rights under WM policy, I was referring to peoples rights under civility (not the policy). I also said that voters did not have the right to be cruel, insulting or mean. A two week election is stressful for the participants. Peoples perceptions in the end always matter more to them than anything else. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 16:33, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Andy, "I do not trust you" isn't "false allegation" but an opinion. You're not supposed to "defend yourself" against every nay vote and you're not supposed to offer alternatives for a nay vote. This is the basic common sense for vote integrity. Any discussion with the voters is to be conducted elsewhere and not on the voting sheet. If you think your conduct towards the voters was right then I would advise you to think again. Mariusm (talk) 05:41, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Now you're misquoting (and falsely asserting rules that have no basis in fact, to boot). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:46, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Roles[edit]

A second issue, I think we all have our roles here. Some do the taxonomic data entry, some do more administrative work, some do lots of translations. I do not care which of those people have decided is their role on wikispecies. All I care is that people are participating in a positive way. I want people here who believe in the project no matter what they see as their input is. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:37, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Voting[edit]

Lastly, It is not possible for us to know everyone involved in the various projects of WMF. An RfA vote on wikipedia is rarely someone I know or have ever come across. The information you need though is there, they list their home page, talk, contribs, blocks, etc. People who do know them can bring up points. See what they have to say. You can make an informed decision based on what they have done based on the evidence put before you. However, in saying that I am not saying people are wrong, just something maybe people should think about. You all decide your own bar of what you consider a yes, no or neutral. Yes we are a small project, so we do tend to know everyone. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:37, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Scott, I agree with most of what you say, however concerning the roles, do this small project really need three full-time managers who are completely not involved in taxonomy? Mariusm (talk) 05:59, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
My point there is who we consider an active editor, who we consider is a genuine part of this wiki project. I get your point, from the managerial perspective we probably need to keep some balance. I will look at that and see what we have. I think to see what kind of balance we have, as Dan mentioned in my crat nomination, we should deal with completely inactive admins and crats. See whats left and make some decisions to get a broad scope of admins and crats that are representative of this project. But I do not think there is no room for non taxonomists in administrative roles. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 07:22, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
"full time"? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:11, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
I assumed he meant people who only do administrative editing. No taxonomic editing. At least that is how I read it when I responded. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:15, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Andy, I meant "full WS time". WS doesn't need so many full WS time admins who aren't aware of taxonomic issues it needs admins whose main WS occupation is to edit & correct taxonomic data. Mariusm (talk) 05:50, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Using your definition, which "three full-time managers" are you referring to? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:33, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: You seem to have overlooked this question. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:48, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

comment Stewards know how to handle sockpuppets and people trying to corrupt an election. You are better to put some commentary at the top that due to the issues of sockpuppets that stewards will be requested to thoroughly vet all votes. [I would not suggest moving votes around as that makes edit checks a little harder.] Then when a crat wishes to close an election you can note those community members whose votes are regular contributors, and those that are uncertain, and the closing 'crat can state that in at m:SRP if asking for a confirmation, or at m:SRCU where you have issues about sockpuppetry and prior to declaring a vote. Billinghurst (talk) 10:46, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for that input, @Billinghurst:, thats a good suggestion for future votation routines. Dan Koehl (talk) 13:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

I think our views have been laid out. We have had comments here from those involved in the CheckUser Nominations (@Faendalimas, Dan Koehl, Pigsonthewing, and Koavf:), a local Bureaucrat, @OhanaUnited:, who was not involved in the nominations and from an Admin from Meta, @Billinghurst:. This nomination process has been difficult, stressful and has been completed. The consensus of the active community has been to support three CheckUser nominees. I believe it is time this moved forward and the applications for access to the successful nominees be put forward to the Stewards. I think this decision should now be in the hand of the Stewards. To give the Stewards the best information possible they should be provided with links to the following discussions:

Furthermore they will need the results of the following Nominations:

  • Dan Koehl - 28 Positive, 1 Oppose, 1 Neutral, 98%
  • Koavf - 25 Positive, 3 Oppose, 2 Neutral, 89%
  • Faendalimas - 27 Positive, 2 Neutral 100%

We should flag @世界首都环游: as a dubious vote who voted positive for Koavf as proposed by OhanaUnited. This vote ended two days ago, I think we all deserve some resolution now. The community has reached consensus. So I propose this move forward now. I think as Billinghurst pointed out, the Stewards are able to determine if a vote has been interfered with in any way. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 10:27, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I write this mainly out of curiosity. I don't grasp what is the big deal of becoming a CheckUser and why this mad rush to become one. The only instance when WS had to use a CU was in the case of Stephen and this was a very rare occasion. Even in that rare instance we could have coped just fine without a CU. Is this the prestige of being a trusted personage, having the power to uncover villains or just gaining power over the other mates. To me it appears somehow funny, all this scramble for nothing ... Mariusm (talk) 11:04, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
This was first discussed as something we should do some 2 years ago. So I would not consider this a rush. There is nothing prestigious about CheckUser it is a difficult job. It has nothing to do with power. I think the interesting thing in this nomination process is who has tried very hard to stop it. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 11:19, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Meaning ...?? Mariusm (talk) 11:31, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
A request was put to the Stewards not to accept any nominations from us. However, as I said we have reached local consensus. Any issues with the vote have been laid out. I think it is time to let the Stewards decide, and I believe they are quite capable of making a good decision and I have every faith in them to do so. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 11:51, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
It's not a "big deal". The reason for having check users - and a request for volunteers to undertake this clerical task to step forward - was set out in Wikispecies:Village Pump#Application for Checkuser. I note that you were active on that page, later the same day, so had ample opportunity to see it. There was earlier discussion at Wikispecies talk:Local policies#Local CU Policy. You were pinged in the second post in that discussion, and link to it was recently posted on your talk page, in the first of several notifications made there, of people offering to serve. I'm not clear what "power" you think a check user has over others. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:25, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Andy, I read the request but it didn't impress me. So enlighten me please, what was your motivation to run? To rescue WS from evildoers? To put yourself on the line for the sake of providing tranquility to WS? Mariusm (talk) 13:52, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: it is not about being a CheckUser. For myself I was not going to run initially but was encouraged to do so. It is not so important to me who the checkusers are (so long as they have support and can be trusted with the role) but that we have this capacity. As you not only commented on but should be well aware for a small wiki we have not only had issues that required it but have been threatened that this would both continue and escalate. So we need to be able to have a means of dealing with this. Yes the Stewards are quite willing and capable of doing this for us, they do so for many smaller projects. We have discussed this for over two years now that it is something we would like. The policy was put to the vote, it was supported. As were the recent checkuser nominations. Further to the actual function of the checkuser there are a number of policies within WikiMedia that it is good for wiki projects to set up once they have the numbers to do so. This is one of them. Several people have been concerned about redundancy of wikispecies, I believe from memory yourself included. The more a project comes into line with WMF policies the less this is a risk. We are about taxonomy and nomenclature, however, we exist within a foundation that supports many projects, some 700 odd from memory. It is important for the devlopment and continued usefulness of this project to be seen to operate within the WMF as a major contributing and self reliant project. As each administrative role becomes available to us it is in the interests of the project to achieve it. As wikispecies grows, and just by our adding more and more taxa we will, from a data point of view, we will attract more issues also. It is the nature of massive endeavors. We must be prepared for those eventualities. The only reason this, our first checkuser vote, seemed a little like as you say a mad rush, is because policy requires us to have two at any one time. We therefore had to get two successful nominations on this occasion. In future it will be only one at a time and rarely, with far less pressure on the issue. This is not just about wikispecies having a checkuser. It is about wikispecies and its place in the WMF. I would think that is important to all the editors here. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 14:27, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Scott, I understand your concerns and even back them, and I can only say I had no particular defiance for the CU election. Having said that and having watched the vote procedure, it's only natural my suspicions started nagging me as to the real motivations of some party or another. Now that it's done one over let's scrap that off our agenda and turn our concerns to different topics. Mariusm (talk) 15:57, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
The vote has been concluded and the results must now go to the Stewards along with the three successful applicants. Anything else is just a waste of time. Please let us not have another vote as to whether or not normal procedures should apply. We now need to move on as quick as possible. Andyboorman (talk) 14:39, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
 Support We have three nominations that the community here have agreed are successful. I have no disrespect to others who ran, whose votes were different than mine, or who have questions about the voting--those are all fine and well. But the community has had a long time to discuss this and we've reached a consensus. If there are still some kind of last-minute problems, then I trust that Stewards will uncover them. Barring that, we have a kind of political will (not unanimous) for the three Check Users listed above. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 17:05, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
 Support Yes, it seems we can put up the application at meta. Dan Koehl (talk) 18:30, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
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