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Resolved: The Inactive Administrator Policy was retired

I know it looks like I'm taking a gamble by even bringing this up, especially as we're trying to ready ourselves for TS4, but I'd appreciate if everybody took a read and voiced their opinion on this, regardless of whether you agree or not.

As I'm sure you all know, we have a policy known as the Inactive Administrator Policy, which is used to enforce activity amongst admins and bureaucrats and those who are inactive for a prolonged period of time, usually 3 months, are desysopped and they can regain their rights without penalty within 6 months. There are pros and cons to having this policy, of which I will list below:

Pros
  • Encourages activity amongst the administration.
  • Makes it easier for users to know which admins are active.
Cons
  • "Activity" can be seen as a vague term. While our current policy doesn't rely on arbitrary figures, defining activity can be difficult for a user who makes only a few edits a month.
  • Enforcing the policy on bureaucrats requires Wikia Staff intervention to remove their rights. This is rarely upheld due to the administrative burden this places on the active bureaucrats. I personally don't like how bureaucrats basically get a "get out of jail free card" with this, especially if we're making the point that the differences between administrators and bureaucrats are few and minor.
  • It's common belief that desysopping/decratting a user should be done the same way they were sysopped/cratted - by a community discussion - the policy doesn't allow for that.

While having the policy in place does indeed have its fair share of positives and negatives, the same can be said for retiring it:

Pros
  • Less administrative burden.
  • Allows the community to focus more on the active administrators rather than the inactive.
  • Users - admins and bureaucrats included - come and go all the time. Dropping the policy would adhere to reality.
Cons
  • One could argue that admins who are "out of touch" with the community shouldn't be enforcing policies and such.
  • Could possibly result in some users leaving completely, seeing as they wouldn't need to do anything to keep their rights.
  • Next to no encouragement of activity.

The reason I'm proposing this is because after some thought it seems that having this policy does carry with it some curious flaws, some of which are admittedly unavoidable. It's a reality that users will always come and go and the process of removing their rights - especially for bureaucrats - does place burden on determining activity, as well as the unfair advantage that bureaucrats have over administrators when it comes to this rule. We can always promote more administrators and bureaucrats if need be without worrying who's inactive and ensuring that we have enough staff to get by.

As a compromise, I'd support removing inactive administrators from {{Administrators}}, like what was done a little while back. This would make clear who is actually active.

I'd like to say from the offset that I don't mind keeping the Inactive Administrator Policy nor do I mind retiring it. Having noticed a few things across numerous wikis, this one included, I think this proposal is worth thinking about into whether or not this policy is ultimately beneficial for the wiki or not.

What's everybody's stance on this? Lost Labyrinth Flag united kingdom england (c)(b) 12:45, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

The idea of demoting admins was always much simpler than the actual practice of doing so. For one, it's deceptively difficult to define when someone is 'active' versus 'inactive'; does one edit after three months of no edits make that administrator 'active' again? And what if that edit is only a spelling change on a single article, or some other very minor edit? Ultimately, the rule as it's written is a bit too black-or-white about it, when it really is an abstract issue. However, what ultimately kills this policy is the fact that Bureaucrats are for all intents and purposes exempted from it. When the policy was first enacted, Staff was approached about demoting the inactive bureaucrats on the wiki at the time, and they declined to do so. They basically stated that a bureaucrat won't be demoted unless they do something to warrant demotion; simply being inactive isn't enough.

With all this in mind, I support the retirement of this policy. However, I would like to suggest that we adopt a replacement policy which governs, among other things, administrator retirement, removing inactive administrators/bureaucrats from templates like {{Administrators}}, etc. However, the substance of that policy would be different from the one up for removal, so I'll propose it separately. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 17:58, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

I know this isn't the place to discuss it but just a small comment, the whole thing with administrator retirement and giving up their rights is seemingly as it stands more of a voluntary action out of courtesy. I doubt it'll be exceedingly difficult to make this into a formal policy but it's best we see how this discussion goes first. Lost Labyrinth Flag united kingdom england (c)(b) 23:10, August 31, 2013 (UTC)
I think we should keep the policy. If an admin is absent for an extended period of time without giving any warning or reason why they chose not to remain active, then they aren't really there to do what they are expected. I think that when they do come back, they should be able to request the return of their "powers", but other than that I see it as a disservice to the community. I see your point about retiring it, and I have no objections if we do. But do you get the point I'm making? I don't mean to create any ill-will about this, this is just my honest opinion. :) SalazzlePGR7 (parler - entendre) 18:08, September 1, 2013 (UTC)
I personally am feeling neutral towards this proposal. I can see the upside to retiring the policy, as it would put less strain on Administrators and Bureaucrats, especially those who tend to not edit much in a month or at all, unless due to spelling or grammar or whatnot in an article. However, I can see a downside to retiring the policy.
If the policy was retired, admins & 'crats could perhaps take this retirement of the policy as a chance of no activity at all, by this, I mean they disappear and probably won't edit or take part in the community discussions or whatever Wiki business at all. (That sounded better in my head, trust me...). And that's all I have to say... Overall, I don't oppose or support the retirement of the policy, I feel neutral towards the idea. Perhaps I will come to a decision, I just need some more thought on this. Beds (parlare - da leggere) 20:42, September 2, 2013 (UTC)

Comment - Bump. Lost Labyrinth Flag united kingdom england (c)(b) 23:28, September 9, 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the idea that admins/crats could take the retirement of the policy as an opportunity to abandon the wiki... such a thing is already happening and probably will continue to happen. We have precisely zero ways to demote inactive bureaucrats, and it seems unfair to me to give bureaucrats a free pass to abandon the wiki if we don't give the same to administrators too. I don't think having the policy in place does much to encourage activity, so I reiterate my support for its removal. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 02:57, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

I'd definitely say the problem with the Inactive Admin policy is the vagueness of the concept of activity. I for one haven't been active in making significant contributions given real-life commitments as well as my Heptanomis work, but making a few edits might be considered activity, although it feels somewhat minimalistic on my part. I also will have to look in favor of removing it. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 01:01, September 14, 2013 (UTC)

Vote Edit

Seeing as discussion has been considerably mixed, I've decided to act boldly and take this to a vote. The question I ask, as evident by the initial proposal, is: Should The Sims Wiki retire the Inactive Administrator Policy?

The vote shall last one week. After that we'll see what we've got and go from there. Please vote support, neutral or oppose below using the {{VoteFor}}, {{VoteAgainst}} or {{Neutral}} templates. Lost Labyrinth Flag united kingdom england (c)(b) 20:24, September 13, 2013 (UTC)

The vote has ended


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Support - Per my proposal. Lost Labyrinth Flag united kingdom england (c)(b) 20:24, September 13, 2013 (UTC)

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Support, as I've stated above. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 22:13, September 13, 2013 (UTC)

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Suport, per Lab and LiR. DanPintalkcontribs 17:37, September 16, 2013 (UTC)
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Support - After some thought and another read of the proposal and discussion, it probably would be best to retire the inactive administrator policy. Beds (parlare - da leggere) 18:14, September 16, 2013 (UTC)
Neutral
Neutral - As I mentioned in my above reasoning. SalazzlePGR7 (parler - entendre) 02:54, September 18, 2013 (UTC)

Conclusion Edit

As the total after voting was 4 in favor and 0 opposed (with 1 neutral vote), the proposal is accepted, and the Inactive Administrator Policy is no longer in force. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 21:31, September 20, 2013 (UTC)

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