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Issue is resolved
Community has indicated support for changes to the Rollback request process. LiR talkblogcontribs 18:56, January 2, 2016 (UTC)

As a bureaucrat on The Sims Wiki, I and the other bureaucrats are sometimes expected to weigh in on the possibility of promoting new rollbackers through the RFR process. The RfR process gives the bureaucrats a large degree of discretion when deciding whether users are or are not qualified to take on rollback rights. The assent or refusal of a single bureaucrat can decide whether a user will ultimately be promoted. Rollbackers on The Sims Wiki are given access not only to the rollback tool – which is itself a powerful tool for fighting vandalism – but are also the only non-administrators allowed to use the warning template, and are the only users eligible to be nominated for administrator rights. It seems to me that allowing a single bureaucrat to control who is or is not allowed to access these rights and privileges may ultimately be misguided. However, at the same time, I do not feel that RfRs need to become fully drawn-out community discussions, as RfAs and RfBs are. Some kind of balance needs to be struck, I feel.

To this end, I would like to propose some changes to how the RfR process is handled on The Sims Wiki. My proposed changes would implement the requirement of two-administrator concurrence, a minimum waiting period, and an open call for dissent. I will outline each of these points below.

Two-administrator concurrence

Currently, a single bureaucrat can promote a rollback nominee, without the requirement to consult with other bureaucrats, admins, or community members. Bureaucrats can also deny nominations without seeking input. The argument in favor of this power is that bureaucrats, being long-established and experienced members of the wiki, are the most able to judge which users are or are not ready to and capable of exercising the rights and responsibilities given to rollbackers. I feel that administrative and bureaucratic input is still invaluable in determining whether a nominee/applicant should be promoted, but we should not rely on the analysis of a single person. I would like for us to adopt a standard of two-administrator concurrence.

After a request is made or a nomination is accepted by the nominee, a member of the administrative team will need to support the application/nomination on the RfR page. Before promotion can continue, a second administrator/bureaucrat must concur with the first administrator on the RfR page as well.

Waiting period

There is no rule in place now preventing a bureaucrat from immediately accepting an RfR nomination once it is placed on the page. This means that a nominee, who may be opposed by some members of the community or even other administrators, can still be promoted before those other users have been given a suitable chance to weigh in. In many instances in the past, users applying for rollback rights have been granted those rights mere minutes or hours after the application is put in, often before others even realize the rights have been requested. As a result, I believe it would be idea to implement a mandatory waiting period following the period of two-administrator concurrence.

After the second administrator concurs with the nomination, a 72-hour countdown will begin. The applicant/nominee cannot be promoted before this period has ended.

Call for dissent

A consequence of the fact that rollbackers are promoted directly by bureaucrats, is that regular users don't have any actual control over who is or is not promoted. Additionally, even if we enforce a waiting period before promotion, that is no guarantee that a bureaucrat will not simply promote the user regardless of community input. We should strike a balance between holding a full community discussion for nominations that are essentially a solid lock, and those that might warrant further scrutiny. So, to aid in this process, I would like for us to allow dissent to a nomination during the assigned waiting period.

After the beginning of the waiting period, any user may dissent to the nomination, and provide a justification for doing so. If a dissent is recorded, the 72-hour period will end, and the RfR will instead be handled like an RfA. A discussion in favor of or opposed to the nominee will begin, and will last at least five days from the time of the dissent. If no users dissent to the nomination within three days, the nomination will be approved.

Additional points
  • What if two administrators agree that a nominee is not suitable? During the two-administrator concurrence stage, two administrators may agree that a user should not be promoted. I feel that it is important to allow administrators and bureaucrats to weigh in on these nominations; as a result, I feel that if two administrators concur on opposition, that the nomination will be closed and the user will not be promoted.
  • What if two administrators disagree? In the case of a disagreement between two administrators, it should proceed directly to an RfA-style discussion as outlined above; since it is evident that at least one user will in the end dissent to the nomination, it is pointless to start a 72-hour period in this case, and it should immediately progress to a discussion.
  • Can bureaucrats still refuse to promote? I would say that the answer in this case would be "no". This rule change would essentially take control of rollback promotions away from the bureaucrats. To that end, if the community supported (or did not dissent to) a nominee, that would have the force of community consensus; bureaucrats are expected to uphold community consensus, and failure to do that could have other consequences. Bear in mind as well that bureaucrats would be allowed to support or oppose and concur with either point during the two-administrator concurrence stage, and would also be allowed to dissent during the waiting period.

This reform is meant to strike a balance between community interests, by giving them the option to dissent, and administrative interests to support a nominee that is qualified or to oppose a nominee that isn't.

I look forward to any questions or discussion. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 18:38, October 15, 2015 (UTC)

I would like to add a minor additional rule: If a user is nominated by an administrator/bureaucrat, that admin/bureaucrat will not be allowed to support or concur with support during the two-administrator concurrence stage. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 18:44, October 15, 2015 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

Support Considering RfR is essentially left up to a single bureaucrat, in our current system two bureaucrats could be discussing a nomination over IRC or chat while a third bureaucrat, unaware of the conversation, could simply accept or decline the nomination to their whim. I also have some amendments to our rollback and edit warring policies in mind, which I will probably open up a new thread for (once I stop procrastinating); in said case, the community would need to get involved, because rollback on The Sims Wiki holds a lot more weight than rollback on Wikipedia, which is granted largely based on anti-vandalism contributions, not by article development. And as LiR mentioned, rollback is a prerequisite for adminship, while it isn't on Wikipedia. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 21:04, October 15, 2015 (UTC)

SupportThe Tim Man (TSWAHMGWContribs) 22:41, October 15, 2015 (UTC)
Strong support — I also feel that this will help define the fact that roll-backers are not regular users. They are just users who are not necessarily administrators, although it does not necessarily make them any better or worse as an editor.
Also on the Sims wiki, rollback is a step towards admin-ship while chat moderator is not. I can understand why community consensus has been necessary in the past for prospective chat moderators and not for prospective roll-backers.
While I'm not sure if the RfR process should be 1) more or less the same as a RfCM process, 2) implementing the requirement of two-administrator concurrence, as proposed above, or otherwise 3) any other different processes to what we currently have.
But I nonetheless support this proposal, as I feel that it's about time we made some changes to how roll-back requests are handled. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 04:50, October 16, 2015 (UTC)
Bump: The support so far is nice to see. However, I don't think we have a community consensus yet. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 01:01, November 9, 2015 (UTC)
Support - This seems fair. Vpetmad (talk) 16:19, November 11, 2015 (UTC)
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Support - Seems good to me! Sims Plumbob Player (talk) (mistakes) 18:02, November 11, 2015 (UTC)
Support: Seems all good to me. I have no doubts that this won't work; it's a good system, and the RfR process needs to be revamped as RfA has been revamped. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 13:35, November 12, 2015 (UTC)
Comment — Just another thought that came into mind, following Vpetmad's successful promotion to rollback which was approved by the same user that made the nomination. I'm not saying that I'm against the way this particular nomination was handled, but I was surprised to discover that the user who made the nomination, and the user that ultimately approved the nomination were one and the same.
Looking back on the current system we have, there doesn't seem to be any policy that prohibits the bureaucrat approving the nomination from being the user who made the nomination. But that's where I'm getting at. Up until now, I've always imagined the bureaucrat approving the nomination to be different from the user who made the nomination - should the user who made the nomination be a bureaucrat. I guess this is just another reason why I'm in favour of revamping the RfR process. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 05:14, November 13, 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I had, in fact, discussed the nomination with two other users privately over IRC, so it was not a "one person opinion". --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 00:34, November 19, 2015 (UTC)

In the spirit of full disclosure, K6ka did consult with me prior to making that nomination and I did privately indicate my support. However, I do believe C.Syde still has a valid point; to the outside observer, it would appear as though he chose a candidate and then immediately gave them a promotion. This gets more to the problems of having some wiki-related matters discussed off-wiki, but that's not the point of this discussion. I will say that, in the proposed procedure, such an issue would be a moot point, as the nominating user would never be in the position to promote without having at least a two-administrator concurrence on the request page. I should also add that my proposal would not include the nominating administrator/bureaucrat as one of the two administrators granting concurrence; in other words, if a bureaucrat or admin nominates a candidate for rollback, two other administrators or bureaucrats would need to support it, not just one. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 05:10, November 19, 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I wasn't entirely sure whether or not it really was a one person opinion, but that's what it looked like from the outside, and I couldn't see any sources of evidence confirming what happened on the inside. But what you've said explains everything. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 05:16, November 19, 2015 (UTC)

ConclusionEdit

Given that this thread has been inactive for well over a month, and that those who commented here were in support of the proposal, I am closing this thread. Since a consensus appears to be met, I will be implementing the items proposed here. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 18:56, January 2, 2016 (UTC)

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