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Do the Bureaucrats have too much power? 
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I wonder, in the wake of the ReadS shit-show, is the Wikipedia community genuinely happy that the true size of the domain the Bureaucrats claim fiefdom over, is as large as these representative ranges suggest it is.....

82/27/DGAF to 82/56/DGAF

164/54/DGAF to 164/112/DGAF

328/108/DGAF to 328/224/DGAF

That's the true range of Bureaucrat discretionary power when you consider they can and apparently will reach down to even 60% to drag exceptional cases out of the mire, and in such cases will happily ignore the collective will of the people when expressed in the absolute size of voting blocks or when expressed as the collective view of neutrals.

You almost don't even need to express it as a numerical range to visualise the incredible land grab of the few over the many it represents, now the theoretical impact of extending the discretionary range has become clear in practice. I think any small group of Wikipedia editors has far too much power when they are allowed to do what they did in the RexxS discussion. If you know your Wikipedia policy (the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not a strong argument), if you know the principles of debate, and if you properly read the debate they were supposedly analysing and debating, you can find several examples where they clearly, obviously, failed in their duty to weight the arguments in a reasonable manner. Far too many examples. You can find several examples where it is hard to argue that the dominant factor in deciding whether there was consensus, was indeed the dreaded supervote, the ultimate way you can abuse power on Wikipedia. Supervoting is not simply just making your own decision, it is taking the positions of others and interpreting them in ways that are simply not defensible.

The failure here wasn't individual Bureaucrat competence, although that is where it started. The failure was in the collective, for not stopping any of this leading them to an indefensible conclusion. The final insult on that score, is how the closer somehow gets away with not summarising the consensus of his fellow Bureaucrats in actual words, which is standard practice for closing any controversial decision on Wikipedia.

The fact that Arbitrators are of the view that they will do absolutely nothing that could be in any way construed as reviewing much less reveresign a collective Bureacrat decision, only makes it more obvious what the problem of giving them too much power represents.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:23 am
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The main probe for me is the complete policy of WMF with Bureaucrats of WMF and Wikipedia, and also Meta is conflicting with the European privacy regulation. https://autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl/n ... ywetgeving

Nobody is above the law, and for sure a American foundation not. Alex Voss, a respected MEP and layer was right, supported by Frans Timmermans, this is undermining the democracy and governing by shitstorm.
It was just a insane idee, the tremendous troll Romaine with his Belgium Chapter.
The Pirate Party is complete finished,
Jullia Reda has left the party and advice NOT to vote for them. Jimbo Wales was complete right to vote against Romaine and his Pirate Party and Brussels Wikimedia chapter as a board member, and the foolish Dimi, the "political scientist". It is just a fool, just like Engelfriet and Gerlach are. Foolish people!

I always will defended Jimbo Wales, of course he did stupide things in his life, but who did not? They have stolen the project of Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger, a brilliant professor. And that is what has happend! Because Larry is still connected, he gets still royalty's I have read.

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Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:49 am
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To hammer this home to the captured souls inside the cult, if you don't, won't, or have no means to, limit the power of Wikipedia Bureaucrats to that which is reasonable and defensible, then you simply end up emboldening the wingnut fringes of Wikipedia society. The parallels to Trumplandia are obvious, where the simple idea of what is true and false just dissolves away.

This is an actual example of how one of the most obviously wrong support voters in RexxS' RfA (arguing being a dick should be seen as a positive not a negative) now happily describes what he thinks the Bureaucrats did with their discretionary power.......
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There's a significant difference between "Support" without explanation and "Support per nom", for instance; while to take the specific RFA that prompted this, there's a world of difference between "Oppose. Don't like the guy" and the opposes who took the trouble to explain why they felt the candidate was unsuitable for adminship rather than just admitting they were expressing a personal grudge.
The level of unreality in this comment is, well, unreal. RexxS' nomination statement was a joke written by a humour account. In his specific case, for no less than seven votes, the Bureaucrats literally ruled there is now no difference between "Support" without explanation and "Support per nom", it being the convention that "Support" without explanation is implied to be "Support per nom". There was no visible pushback from any other Bureaucrat to this obviously indefensible position, and indeed they shamelless supervoted down contraindications to bolster the implied weight of these votes. Standing under a joke nomination probably gave RexxS a weight factor of 10 extra votes, or 1.3%. Indefensible.

Also in this specific case, there is no vote which simply said "Oppose. Don't like the guy". They were actually challenged, as happens in a 'discussion not a vote', and that led to a perfectly acceptable reason for their vote emerging, one which absolutely contradicts the idea it was nothing but personal grudge vote, but an example of principled opposition borne out of a policy based view of RexxS' own actions in choosing to stand for RfA with a joke nomination, a view shared by others, and not meeting much payback except on IDON'TLIKEIT grounds. This discussion element, exposing strengths and weaknesses, simply did not matter, at least one Bureaucrat chose to ignore that vote on the basis it was apparently just backed up by those four words. No other Bureaucrat objected to that analysis, at least not specifically, and if it was implied in the general dissents, we were not told by the closer why the majority still apparently had the best argument.

If you don't stand up and say something when you see wingnuts enthusiastically echoing perceived Bureaucrat support for their wingnut views and fantasy recollections of basic facts and inarguably reasonable interpretation of said facts, all for their own ends simply because the Bureaucrats did what they wanted them to do, then frankly you have already lost all power in the Wikipedia system. You literally are just making up the numbers, in a system where, if the numbers don't give the result being looked for, will be ignored.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:15 am
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More from the emboldened Wingnut Wing (the RexxS is a traitor to the faithful no wait he is not Division).....
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.....The actual question is whether 'crats can judge a 64% scenario to be in the discretionary range by disqualifying illegitimate opposes. That's what happened. That's the controversy. After discounted opposes, RexxS' RfA would be in the discretionary range, so they passed an RfC that did not even hit the minimum percentage. ...... ~Swarm~ {sting} 19:36, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Why lie about something so easy to check? Because the truth is fucked up. Maxim decided to open a 'crat chat because RexxS is a long standing contributor, and that was his reason why this was being treated as an exception to "almost all RfAs below 65% will fail". Perhaps seeing that is a pathetic reason, perhaps spotting it begged the question just how low would they be prepared to go for the next long standing editor who just "hung in there" instead of doing the honourable thing and withdrawing, only then did other Bureaucrats then start to try and retrofit other scenarios, where perhaps if you squinted really hard and didn't just reject illegitimate votes but ones which they thought should be invalid on grounds of their reasoning (i.e. supervoting), you could say RexxS finished within the range. Someone even flat out claimed he got there absolutely by only removing indisputably illegitimate votes (socks, no reason, etc), but of course we were not allowed to see their working on that.

They are so unprepared for this basic task of theirs, they could not even come to a consensus as to what empowered them to be the ones to come to a consensus, rather than just kicking RexxS' can down the road and giving him the only sensible option that was ever open to him if he genuine wants the community's trust, run again in six months. And more importantly, they don't much give a fuck if it doesn't make sense to you, because what is power if not the ability to ignore those without it?


Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:06 pm
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Lord High Chief of Wikipedia Wingnuts is of course now all hyped up about it.....
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Once again, if someone wishes to revoke 'crats' ability to act subjectively based on their assessment of various opposes (e.g. "I don't like the guy" for god's sake), then make that the RFC. Or if someone thinks IAR doesn't apply to this dozen or so of the millions of us, then make that the RFC. Meantime, get over it. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:08, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
See how fast the wingnut narrative is taking hold? For God's sake indeed.

He's of course mentioned IAR about a dozen times now. Wingnuts never understand that IAR is voided as a justification if your attempted "improvement" causes a riot, and even more so if said riot was entirely predictable.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:29 pm
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Look how blind this Bureacrat is to the actual effect of their decision on community satisfaction with how they wield their reserved powers....
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In this case, after weighing the strength of the arguments, in my opinion, there were more than 65% weighted responses in favor. I'd say that Enwiki either says we have absolute hard and sharp boundaries at the bottom, or they trust the discretion and resoning of the 'crats. We've always had the latter, knowing that 30%+ of participants in an RfA may be annoyed. Switching to the former requires a site-wide RfC. -- Avi (talk) 18:25, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Annoyed 30%+ participants? Really? He has assumed the only people annoyed are the opposers. In this case, it isn't unfeasible to assume he pissed off most of the neutrals too, by not factoring in what was giving them pause. In addition, the ~30% of supporters who only supported based on fact RexxS promised he would be more civil as an Administrator, a promise he is not now beholden to keep thanks to this outcome.

He has arguably pissed off more participants than he pleased in this case, if we think like he clearly does and assumed getting your way pleases you, and not, displeased you, which only further reveals their warped mindset. That is some achievement, when arguing you have identified a consensus. Not a narrow agreement in his favour, not a 50%+1 election victory, but something strong enough to give an Administrator the confidence they are trusted by the community.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:44 pm
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ABSOLUTE WING NUT.....
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Well, the one example I gave thus far was "Oppose - I don't like the guy", so that's a prime candidate for being "chucked on the trash heap". Time to start getting real here, and avoid pandering to those who are clearly not engaged in the process of electing someone to admin. If someone is prepared to give a suitable reason for oppose or support, than we should trust our 'crats to take those votes into consideration. Votes based on whether you like someone should be thrown out and the voter should be banned from future voting as disruptive. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:04, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

I'm no fan of trollish opposes in RfA's either. I've often objected when candidates are opposed for such extreme felonies as not being a native English speaker (though fluent), or being a fan of a particular author, or of editing articles that some people don't find interesting. Yet people tell me I need to respect those opposes. Which is why I'm annoyed when actual good faith opinions then get tossed in the garbage. BTW, your example of "I just don't like the guy" is a horrible example because Softlavender followed it up with a measured reply in response. Reyk YO! 22:27, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

No, it's far from horrible because it's an exemplar of the kinds of votes that 'crats have to work with all the time, and in close-run cases, they need to exercise judgement which is why they were elected in the first place. Simply put, if we want RFA to work purely numerically, then say so. If we want 'crats to work purely within the 65% to 75% range after the pure numerical closure had happened, then say so. If we want 'crats to reject anything below precisely 65% from the pure numerical closure, then say so. If we want 'crats to be disallowed any latitude on interpreting the validity of votes, then say so. If 'crats are not allowed to exercise IAR, then say so. Right now, I'm not hearing any real solutions, just a lot of bitching about one instance where a few people appear to be "butt-hurt about the situation" (to use a US vernacular). The Rambling Man (talk) 22:37, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
When your power base rests on this sort of nonsense, then you are not entitled to that power.

People are entitled to think Softlavender's vote was not one of those that was completely ignored, and that judgement was used to identify the full story and weigh it accordingly. People are entitled to think the mechanism that selects Bureaucrats (and Administrators) keeps people like the Rambling Man out of positions of power (and operating heavy machinery by the looks of it), and puts people who at the very minimum can actually read, certainly before they start mouthing off, in it.

As of right now, with Wikipedia sixteen years on this Earth, which is a very long time to work out the kinks, people still have no such confidence.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:03 pm
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Average prat (Wikipedian for thirteen years, what a SURPRISE).....
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Layered absurdities. Consensus is not about counting numbers. The bureaucrats have done an exemplary job. If the new admin breaks the encyclopedia, I understand that there are ways to fix it. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Poor Administrator (who, like RexxS, is involved in outreach).....
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While I am enjoying the ridiculous amounts of butthurt on display from the usual suspects, in all seriousness: if you don't like having bureaucrats who can act within their discretion in cases like this, campaign to change the policy. Don't demand one group of apparatchiks use their discretion to override another group of apparatchiks because they used their own discretion. Also, deploy the blue whales. Gamaliel (talk) 20:34, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
You thereoticallly give Bureaucrats power because they're meant to be smart enough to know that if you listen to morons like SmokeyJoe, who are quite happy to interpret nasty invective like Gamaliel's as the consequence free and entirely admirable bluntness of a no fool suffering genius, then you are creating a situation with the potential for entirely unfixable damage to be caused.

Unless the fix is giving RexxS the home address of the users he calls prats online, so he can go round and use the nice persona he apparently has in the real world (source:friends of such high moral judgement as Gamaliel!), to persuade them to come back to Wikipedia.

These people are proper thick. Nobody who isn't a MORON ever forgets being called a prat (proof:Geogene), especially when it is clear their only stupidly was having a perfectly legitimate disagreement with an established Wikipedia editor with powerful friends, an opponent whose sheer arrogance meant they just attempted to bulldoze the other editor, and never once apologised for their conduct.

Did pre-Administrator RexxS ever foresee the potential damage to Wikipedia of his actions? He wasn't smart enough to appreciate what effect it had on own reputation (this is admittedly different to Gamaliel knowing lots of people would gladly beat his beardy face to a mushy pulp, and not caring anyway), so it seems unlikely.

If RexxS doesn't get it after eleven years (and Wikipedia's toxicity problem is hardly a secret), if it took an RfA where nearly a hundred people were forced to expose his flaws (and in part only because he lacked the judgement to withdraw when it was obvious he had underestimated strength of feeling), what possible reassurance is there he has got it now? With people now happily sucking his dick for being such a brave little soldier, it is highly likely he will soon forget it, and revert to type (the guy who says his own actions are justifiable in situations where the other user just isn't surrendering to his will).

With great power comes great responsibility. As true on Wikipedia as it is anywhere else. When the Bureaucrats have great power, but display all the insight of the likes of SmokeyJoe and Gamaliel, well, you done fucked up. You is prat.


Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:09 am
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The hysterical fuck Biblioworm has stomped his feet and quickly run an yes/no RfC to reaffirm the 65-57 range should not be a hard limit. WP:SNOW. Yay. Now everything is clear!

Nobody has yet noticed, not even the Bureaucrats seem to understand what role the 65-75 range plays in the process, even as a fuzzy range.

Seriously, what is it for? Seriously, what the actual fuck is the purpose of any of the wording after the first sentence here?
Quote:
Consensus at RfA is not determined by surpassing a numerical threshold, but by the strength of rationales presented. In practice, most RfAs above 75% support pass. In December 2015 the community determined that in general, RfAs that finish between 65 and 75% support are subject to the discretion of bureaucrats (so, therefore, almost all RfAs below 65% will fail). In calculating an RfA's percentage, only numbered Support and Oppose comments are considered.
There is a simple paradoxical reality here, that these dicks really need to explain. In RexxS' RfA, the arguments hadn't changed for days, yet if you had continued it for another two days, he likely would have reached 60%. If the numbers don't matter, then they should be passing him at 60%. They would have passed him at 50%. They would have passed him at any numerical result, if the only support registered was an amalgam of the reasoning used by supporters, namely they've met him, he's a nice guy and a long standing contributor, opposers are idiots, he would be a net positive.

That is clearly absurd, because the numbers do matter. So just explain what needs to happen, in clearly understood terms, what opposers would need to do to ensure a candidate as poor as RexxS does not succeed. Because the only answer seems to be to create undetectable socks to just echo other opposers to push him below 60%, where presumably no Bureaucrat would have dared to tread, even though the strength of arguments irrespective of the numbers, is exactly the same.

A clear statement that a Bureacrat chat would not have happened if he had finished on 60% (and the precise method of determining that finishing value), is in order. If that cannot be made, then delete all wording referring to ranges and practice, because it is clearly meaningless.

These prats are arguing the line needs to fuzzy in part to discourage people believing they can influence the outcome by merely influencing the numerical vote. But that is exactly what they are ensuring, it just means the manipulation needed is to swing an 'edge case' by 5%, not merely one or two votes. It is not hard to do without an army of socks either, given the weakness of existing arguments, just get someone to say RexxS did something creepy at an editathon. Thirty votes lost immediately, and he finishes below 60%. Easy. Think it wouldn't happen? Well, prove to me he has never sworn at a student, like he claimed? Give me his personnel file from his former employer, and access to any confidential complaints filed to the WMF Trust and Safety team, if such things are now deemed strongly relevant in an RfA.

On any reasonable reading of what the 65-75 range is for and the interplay between strength to arguments and weight of numbers (graduated one to the other), he fucking lost. For a candidate with eleven years service who simply said 'trust me' and had supporters claiming he was the best candidate that ever lived, by any reasonable understanding of what Adminship is, a Big Deal, he lost badly. The numbers combined with the arguments showed it. They just want to ignore it, to the point some even desperately argue this would be a case of IAR. It is not.


Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:22 am
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Utter prats....
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Nothing about the change from 65.1% to 64.9% support makes consensus suddenly disappear, and our policies should not act like it does. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 01:16, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
Spot the guy who doesn't know what a trend is. RexxS peaked at 66.6% recurring for all of twenty minutes, and the trend in the last day was pretty clear - keep that RfA running another day or two, and he was headed for 60% easily. Half-way through I had thought he might make 68%, until the consensus proved me wrong.

So why was this emerging consensus ignored? Because of some bullshit argument that there is no real difference between 64% and 65% and rulez are rules, must close it exactly after seven days (ignoring the fact the rules actually say you can extend or restart RfAs if you need a clearer picture of consensus).

There is nothing in the rules that says tilt the table for long standing editors, that isn't how consensus is meant to work at all (it is the consensus of the community that this inimical to the principles of Wikipedia). But it happened anyway. Pretending 63.9% (his actual) finish is close enough to 65% when the range itself is only 10%, and hiding behind rounding to get even that far, is not nearly the biggest abuse of consensus here. But it is hardly irrelevant either.

Smart people would sensibly want a hard limit if, after the first real edge case that succeeds, they no longer see what the limit of Bureacrat power is. We are not actually talking about someone being granted the courtesy of knowing when and when not to ignore failing to hit a target by 0.2%, we're talking about people who, when seeing a candidate failing to reach the huge target range of 25% for an automatic pass (easily achievable, in an era where zero opposes is not unheard of), and then also failing to reach the second chance zone of a further 10%, choose to use entirely dubious reasoning to shave a further whole 1% off their score. That is 1% of the whole range, but a whopping 2.8% of the range considered a success. And we do not even know if that is the limit of their discretion, with talk of 63% being fine too.

We're looking at nearly one hundred Wikipedians being told to fuck off with their civility concerns, and that there is nothing to be alarmed about by seeing civility not even torpedo RfAs that could potentially be 6% short of the minimally acceptable 'generally understood' target, if the exceptional circumstances being claimed to do so are because he is a long serving candidate who has some of the nastiest people in the cult as IRL friends and admirers, and other assorted crap like not allowing people use the manner of a nomination and their reasoning for doing it, to judge the merits of the candidate.


Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:41 am
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