A forum thread that was recently closed showed community support for implementing the Content Moderator user rights group on The Sims Wiki, but left open a few questions regarding how this should be done. I would like to revive the discussion, and bring about some other issues that come to mind after the end of the previous discussion. Namely, I would like us to talk about and resolve, if possible:
- The procedures for handling applications/nominations for Content Mod rights
- Special rules for content moderators regarding pages/templates/features that are currently "admin only"
- For example, should ConMods be allowed to edit marked "Admin Only" templates and pages, respond to requests on the Admin Noticeboard, etc?
- Should content moderatorship be a prerequisite for administratorship?
- This was discussed previously but there was no clear consensus one way or the other.
Personally I feel that Content Moderator rights should be a prerequisite for administrator rights, though I'm a bit concerned that that may overshadow the rollback user-group. Although the rollback tool is quite powerful on it's own, the fact that content moderators have the rollback tool as well may cause fewer users to want to request rollback rights.
I think Content Moderators should be able to edit protected pages such as high traffic pages and templates. For admin only templates, I'm still not sure where I stand with content moderators being permitted to edit those. I guess whatever the majority thinks is fine with me.
Another thing I should bring up is the admin portal talk page. Since I know some users may think that the discussions that take place on the talk page should be limited to admins only, while other users may think that since content moderators can edit protected pages, they should be permitted to talk part in the discussions that take place on the admin portal talk page.
Personally I don't have a problem with content moderators being able to edit it, though I wouldn't be too surprised if other users had a different perspective on it. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 00:47, January 18, 2018 (UTC)
I strongly support using an RFA-like system of evaluating candidates. Since content moderators can delete (and most importantly, undelete pages), it is very important that content moderators receive at least some level of scrutiny and examination before getting the position. Deleting the wrong page is serious, but undeleting the wrong page is even more problematic, especially since we have deleted content that should not be undeleted or even shared publicly anywhere (This is one of the reasons why the Wikimedia Foundation is very uncomfortable with allowing non-RFA candidates to view the contents of deleted revisions). As such, content moderators should go through an RFA-like process so the community can evaluate them. I have proposed elsewhere that RFA should last for one week instead of five days so that the community can have more time to respond to a nomination. I would suggest a 7-day minimum candidacy period to give all community members an opportunity to comment on content moderator candidates.
Content moderators are an interesting position—they have some, but not all, of the admin tools. That being said, they should feel absolutely free to respond to deletion/undeletion and page protection/unprotection requests on the administrators' noticeboard; assuming that content moderators are supposed to help lessen administrator workloads, it makes little sense that they shouldn't be allowed to handle such threads. For requests to block/unblock users, they're like any other non-admin, since content moderators are unable to revoke or restore editing access to a user anyways; they may provide arguments and present evidence, but can't actually act on such requests. I'm fine with them being able to edit fully protected pages, provided they know what they're doing (This goes to existing admins too... *ahem*!).
The Admin Portal Talk Page is another matter. Perhaps we need to discuss the purposes of the admin portal talk page and ask ourselves why it has to be fully protected. A lot of the discussions on that page right now revolve around blocks. As it currently stands, I would suggest that content moderators not comment on such discussions, considering that other users who do not have access to the block button can't do so anyways. However, if the discussion is about deleting/undeleting, or editing protected/unprotected pages, or anything else, really, they're free to join. (I'm not sure if content moderators are able to edit whitelisted MediaWiki system messages pages... can someone confirm? If yes, they're welcome to help out with updating MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation every time a new EP comes out.)
I am as of current undecided on the third point LiR mentioned. I think in a large majority of cases, many current prospective admin candidates probably only really need (or will use) the content moderator tools, so we could possibly direct more admin candidates there. Administrators (and by extension bureaucrats) could then be more focused towards internal wiki affairs, such as user management (including resolving serious user disputes), and thus be more of a reserved role with higher standards. Given how content creation and user management are two different things (Indeed, handling content disputes and user disputes are often two different things), I'm hesitant on making content mod a prerequisite for adminship. In my opinion, if a user who was very proficient with content creation ran for adminship, I would probably suggest that they run for content mod instead. However, if a user who shows a level-head in resolving user conduct disputes and was active in more internal wiki affairs tried running for content moderator, depending on how comfortable I am with trusting the user with the tools I may suggest that they run for RFA instead, since content mod tools would probably be of limited use to them.
- Responding to k6ka's comments...
- I feel like increasing the discussion period from 5 to 7 days is a minor enough change that it could just be implemented, especially since the previous discussion seemed to show support for that idea.
- As far as I can tell, Content Moderators cannot edit any MediaWiki pages, including the Wiki-navigation page. However, we could perhaps cheat this a little, as we did with the "Community Notifications/Community Corner" system - simply have MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation display a template and set the template as fully protected. I don't know if this would work in practice, but it's a thought.
- Regarding admin vs mod, if I understand you correctly, you're essentially saying that, while hierarchically admins are "above" content mods, we should set up content moderatorship such that it appeals to the "technical" editors rather than the "community leader" types?
- Kinda. I realize that there are two kinds of editors: 1) Those that work hard on content creation; and 2) Those that are very prolific with working in the community. Those who focus on content creation may not have much of a use for the block button, so there's no need to grant them that. Content mods are pretty much what it says on the tin: people that help moderate wiki content. For those who primarily work in the field of content creation, content mod has everything that they need, with none of the extras. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 16:51, January 27, 2018 (UTC)
Content Moderator nomination/promotion guidelinesEdit
I realize it's difficult sometimes for everyone to agree on abstract ideas, as opposed to a specific proposal. So, in that spirit, I've decided to write up a draft proposal for the procedures for nominating/appointing new Content Mods.
- Minimum requirements
In order to apply for Content Moderator rights, or to be nominated, a user must:
- Be a registered member of The Sims Wiki for at least three months
- Be an active wiki editor in the content namespaces (the main namespace, game guides namespace, and/or the fanon namespace)
- Show an understanding of basic wiki editing, and at least some experience with more in-depth/technical aspects such as category or template usage
- Procedure for Applications and Nominations
- Step One - Applications or nominations
Any user who meets the minimum requirements may apply for Content Moderator rights. Applicants should add their application, including a signature, to the "Current requests" section below.
Any registered user on The Sims Wiki may nominate an eligible user for Content Moderator rights. Users nominating another user should explain why the nominee is a good fit for the role, and must include the nominating user's signature. Nominations should be added to the "Nominations" section below.
A nominee must accept a nomination on the "Requests for Moderatorship" page before it can be considered. If a nomination is accepted by the nominee and the nominee is eligible for the role, the nomination will be moved to "current requests" and will be processed in the same manner as self-applications. Nominees may decline any nomination for any reason they choose; nominees who decline nominations may be re-nominated or may apply for the position at any time in the future.
In their application, or when responding to a nomination, the applicant/nominee ("Candidate") should explain why they want and would be a good fit for the role, and must include the candidate's signature.
- Step Two - Discussion
The period of discussion on a Content Moderator promotion should last at least seven (7) days. Discussions can be ended early by an administrator or bureaucrat if the candidate is found to be ineligible, if the candidate requests it, or if the application has no chance of succeeding due to opposition. Multiple Content Moderator discussions may be conducted simultaneously, but each discussion should focus on only one candidate.
Discussions should be focused on determining whether a candidate is a good fit for the position. Any registered member of The Sims Wiki may participate in user promotion discussions. Users are encouraged to keep an open mind about all candidates and to ask questions. Users should avoid sweeping praise or generalizations about a candidate (e.g. "he she deserves/it" or "he/she is a good editor), but should instead focus on specific positives or negatives and specific reasons why a candidate should or should not be promoted. Discussion participants are expected to remain civil and polite, especially when speaking critically of a candidate. The candidate is encouraged to participate in the discussion, especially to answer questions or address any issues regarding their candidacy. All discussion posts must be signed.
- Step Three - Resolution
If, after seven days of discussion, there appears to be consensus in favor of promotion, the candidate will be promoted. If there is no clear consensus in favor of the promotion, the discussion will end and the candidate will not be promoted. In cases where a candidate is not successful in obtaining Content Moderator rights, the candidate may re-apply or be nominated again at any point in the future; however, candidates who do not achieve promotion should address the specific issue(s) brought up during the discussion before re-applying. If a user repeatedly applies for Content Moderator rights despite multiple failed applications, and the user shows no or few attempts to correct the issue(s) that led to their earlier failures, they may be restricted from making further applications for a period of time, as determined by the administrators.
- The process looks similar to the RFA process, and given how content mods do have access to some sensitive material on the wiki, I support this policy as proposed. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 17:38, February 1, 2018 (UTC)
So, this has been open for awhile now. I've decided to implement the procedure for Content Moderatorship and to open up the rights requests. I think a lot of the open questions left to be answered can be figured out in due course and through further discussion as the situations arise. Right now it just doesn't seem as though there's much interest in discussing it, perhaps because the concept is still a bit abstract.
- Since we've been having trouble trying to reach a strong consensus due to having trouble trying to get input from a lot of users, and since there doesn't seem to be any consensus against the proposal, I do feel that it was best to just go ahead and open the applications/nominations, since I feel that it will do no harm. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 07:42, February 7, 2018 (UTC)