Wikiversity:Request custodian action

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Wikiversity Custodians are users who have access to technical features that help with maintenance of Wikiversity. Those features include protecting and deleting pages, blocking other editors, and undoing these actions as well. Custodians are both trusted members of the community and generally well known.

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Reviews for InactivityEdit

Hi everyone,

An option for dealing with inactivity apart from the way your currently doing it is to have a set policy on inactivity. With a local policy sysops can be assessed for inactivity, given an appropriate warning of potential desysop, and then if not responded to you can then go to the stewards for the removal of rights. I developed this policy on Wikispecies here which permits a simple and easy way to do this. After voting on the one today I thought you may be interested in this option. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:19, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

To see it in action this was my most recent case now archived at Meta it includes all the diffs and links appropriate so you can see all of it from here. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 16:48, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

Note: the current policy states that "The maximum time period of inactivity without community review for holders of advanced administrative rights is two years per the MediaWiki Global policy described at Admin activity review. After that time a Steward will remove the rights." --mikeu talk 17:58, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

SurveyEdit

  •   Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months makes sense to me. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:23, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support -yes, the above sounds reasonable to me. --mikeu talk 03:05, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
I have written up a policy that can do this and put it in draft form here, please note the bottom part will be a separate template and is de-wikified for draft purposes. Let me know what you think, Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:23, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months makes also sense to me. I am not a custodian in the german Wikiversity but I contribute to that language due to my work at a german university. Is this decision making about inactive curators performed simultaneously in other languages? Differences in decision making between language could cause problems for multiple languages editing. In my authoring activities I used icons in Sustainable Developement Goals in the english Wikiversity. In translation efforts into the german language I caused additional Wiki Commons administrator activities due to fact that german administration decisions had different licencing constraints for images. So it was to make icons visible in German wikiversity. Inconsistency in curator decision making, might have an impact on multilanguage authoring. Activities spending efforts in use-cases and applications of Wikiversity learning resources like Wiki2Reveal might also be regarded as a relevant curator activities for the community even if it is not an measuable as countable administrative action or activity. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 21:19, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I recently in my role at Wikispecies performed our inactivity assessments of admins, one eventually lost his rights over this. However an important point. I felt that our particular local policy on this was too harsh on translation admins. Hence I made a request via RfC to exempt translation admins from normal admin inactivity review. Reasons were several fold but included the reality that many of those translating pages, a valuable service, who have admin privelages for this function are only on any given wiki for short periods of time, then they move on to another wiki. Hence there are often, understandable, reasons for significant periods of apparent inactivity on one wiki. Hence my own view is in the end to deal with our own site based sysops in regards to inactivity and leave the translation admins to a more case by case assessment as needed. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:33, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
So let me summarize a few things:
  • (Vulnerability) Inactive admin accounts might create a security risk and highjacking those account (as Dave Braunschweig already mentioned) could create a hugh workload on admins to fix that especially when these accounts are used in conjunction with bots. That abuse will increase the workload for the active admins even more. That risk should be mitigated/reduced.
  • (Undesired Side Effects of Counts) If we assess the 5 activity policy for admins that want to keep their administration rights, it could lead to undesired admin activities that are performed just for the sake of getting the 5 admin activities performed. Especially deleting pages, blocking users, ... do require careful and sound handling of cases and should not be driven by admin activity counts - feels a bit strange to argue against "counts" as a mathematician and computer scientist ;-) .
  • (Admin Activity Counts) We all might appreciate the value of Wikiversity admins that support the community in educational settings at university and schools and use their admin rights with care and responsibility even if they do not reach the 5 admin action threshold. I think these counts are helpful to identify cause of inactivity and it might be the case that they were not needed anymore as Mikael mentioned for WikiJournal. I think we all would grant Mikael Häggström again the rights if constraints come up that he requires those rights for maintaining WikiJournal pages.
  • (Rights and Responsibility) Nevertheless this discussion here triggered awareness about the fact, that additional rights are provided with a responsibility to support the Wikiversity community with those access to the additional adminitrative tools.
  • (Inactive and no Response) As you see below there are some Curators and Custodians that responded to the inactive account discussion some did not. For those who did not respond to this or did not take part in a discussion they might be no longer interested in the admin rights. Of course it is better to state that additional rights are no longer required. Anyway this discussion created awareness of the fact that priviliges should be granted if needed and disabled if possible. That should not have an impact on the possibility to join the team of curator and custodians later on the we should be open them. If curators want to disable their additional rights, then I guess we all would appreciate their security and vulnerability awareness.
  • (IT perspective) From an IT perspective I would suggest to allow people to disable some or all their own rights as curators/custodians for a period of time for private reasons and during that defined time span they cannot enable the custodian/curator rights anymore themselves. If the need to they must contact the admins again and ask for it. This approach has many advantages. Admins that are aware of the security risks and they know that they will not require the custodian rights for specific time (e.g. for 9 month due to a medical treatment) they can disable that for that time span and they will not be able to restore the admin rights before the end of the time span. This decreases the vulnerability for those accounts and does not force the admin to publicly discuss e.g. the medical treatment in a discussion about inactivity. Furthermore other admins can see that this curator/custodian is currently not available for admin activities and is aware about the vulnerability of admin accounts. By this mean we all can distinguish "lost interest" from "other reasons of inactivity" of security aware admins and custodians. This suggestion is not applicable to Wikiversity admins only. If we all think that makes sense then it could be shared to the admins of other Wikis (Wikipedia, Wikispecies, WikiBooks, ...) as well.
Personal Conclusion: This discussion here was valuable for community health and community vulnerability. I personally would like to keep my additional rights, if possible. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 08:31, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months but equally I would support a higher requirement of 10 edits and 10 actions over 12 months. Re-applying for lost permissions should not be an onerous task. --Green Giant (discusscontribs) 01:39, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
  •   Support 5 & 5 actions over 12m is a reasonable low bar. We have a pretty reasonable process for re-applying for admin rights if someone returns after a period of lower activity. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 03:31, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

Inactive AdministratorsEdit

Making note of curators and custodians who have fewer than five edits and/or fewer than five administrative actions in the last 12 months, giving them an opportunity to comment.

  • Bert Niehaus (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs I personally came into the curator role due to access to import features that are not publicly available for all Wikiversity authors. This step to see the administrative perspective allowed me insights in custodian actions. For me personally it was very helpful. Created test cases for import mechanism like from Wikipedia to Wikiversity (see Wikipedia2Wikiversity) to convert wikipedia article into learning resources or to convert wikiversity articles into slides for lecture to allow individual annotation to Wikiversity contents on slides e.g. in lectures without modification of the sources in Wikiversity (see Wiki2Reveal. In general the workflow from testing use cases, analysis of custodian actions, inter wiki operation, vulnerability assessment of custodian and curator features and its requirements and constraints cannot be performed with a quick shot, because tools must have a good usablility and must be of benefit for authors in wikiversity and on the other hand it is relevant that these tools do not create a vulnerability of the core principles of openess, higher maintenance efforts for custodians and administrators or other technically facilitated options that could violate the neutral point of view of a huge amount of articles and learning resources in Wikiversity and could endanger a community driven, participatory approaches of development of learning resources and have them available as a common good. Furthermore I try to derive mechanisms at the interface to international agencies that have on the one hand a respect for regulations and the mandate of these organisation and on the other hand allow also to have participatory elements of capacity building and user-driven innovation outside the organisations that require the openness and NPOV in the Wiki to evolve in a community based way. As an example I worked on Sustainable Development Goals and on Capacity Building within Wikiversity. I understand that inactivity of Curators and Custodians require a kind of measurement to trigger actions so I supported the approach above. The consideration from a different angle might also lead to the conclusion, that custodian actions and activities do not lead to a measurable digital footprint of these activity. Anyway if we decide to remove my curator status due to the missing activity, then it is ok for me. You can be sure that I support the way forward independent of my curator status. To create a test environment like Wikipedia2Wikiversity create measurable import actions for me as a curator does not make sense to me. I appreciate the decision making process you all perform here and the option to explain activities. Thank you all for supporting the Wikiversity concept as Open Educational Resources. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 09:04, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
  • CQ (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs
Hi folks. UPDATE 02:04, 26 February 2020 (UTC) - I'm still alive and breathing in the human sense, but I'm very precariously perched on a tiny twig in Internet terms. I enthusiastically support the Wikiverse and grass-roots digital democracy but realize that our ideals and values matter less each passing year. Love is still the answer, though. Feel free to edit, delete, revert any of my stuff. I'll be watching from afar and may emerge again when conditions favor my online presence. CQ (discusscontribs)
  • HappyCamper (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs Hi, I am checking in to say hello. This risk of inactive custodians suddenly being hacked and doing damage to Wikiversity is not zero unfortunately, but it is minimal. --HappyCamper (discusscontribs) 11:11, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Juandev (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs Hey, I think I left Wikiversity after conflicts on its contents (cs.wv) in around 2013. Then from 2017, I have started to organize off-wiki content creation events. As I came back into the research in my real life, I visit Czech Wikiversity more often and use it in my studies. I may also work on the research of Wikiversity itself, which may bring me also to English Wikiversity. But I am not sure if I can help here in the future. There are quite a lot of non-paied activities around me and I have to choose those which fit to my needs. Using rights on en.wv seems to be complicated if you don't follow its development don't read discussions, etc. I can delete obvious vandalism, but as I am not tracking the recent changes I would rarely do it. So I leave the decision on the newly adopted policy. --Juandev (discusscontribs) 09:42, 2 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Lbeaumont (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs What problem is being solved here? I continue to do my best to make constructive contributions to Wikiversity, including creating these learning resources. Cardiac surgery slowed me down earlier this year, yet I persist! I appreciate having curator privileges and they can be useful. What would be gained by taking action to remove privileges that I have never abused?
    • the major issue in regards to inactivity is a safety issue. The tools are capable of doing things that would be undesirable in hacked account, and inactive accounts are an easier target for this. Hence determining if accounts are at risk of this is important. Also Global Sysops have rules/ policies on their interventions and the number of local sysops available is a part of this. It is therefore important to know how many sysops are actually active. It is a part of receiving these rights that they will be monitored. I am just responding to your what is being solved here question. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:18, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
      • If the goal is to identify inactive accounts then the suggested filter has poor specificity, as evidenced by the number of contributions I have made over the past weeks, months, and years. If the goal is account security, then I suggest adopting security procedures, such as multi-factor authentication.
        • Just answering your questions here, I am not making a call on this, part of it is admin actions, ie does a user need the tools. This is determined by the logs of admin actions, such as blocks, merges, deletions, patrolling etc. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:53, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Leighblackall (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - I'm still here, about to work more in submitting articles in WikiJournalHumanities, as well as in Wikidata. I mainly ever used the Move feature anyway, or deleting pages of my own once moved. I would appreciate retaining the privileges also. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:58, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Mikael Häggström (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - Although I occasionally use the move or delete page feature for maintenance of WikiJournal, the structure of its pages are now relatively established, so I don't think curatorship is essential for me, since I think I will only use those features perhaps 2 to 5 times per year. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 19:17, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
  • SB Johnny (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - Hi All. I've mostly been spending my online time involved in US politics the last couple years. Hoping to play around a bit with the bloom clock this year and it's nice to be able to see deleted pages (someone nuked a bunch of the worksheet type pages a while back). --SB_Johnny talk 10:36, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:22, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

ResultEdit

This thread has been sitting here unclosed for a while. While there wasn't much participation, there also wasn't any clear opposition to the proposal of requiring 5 edits and 5 actions within the last 12 months. I suggest it be closed with that result, and the policy updated accordingly (c.f. User:Faendalimas/Wikiversity Advanced Rights Review). --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 23:43, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

Follow UpEdit

The recent addition of Eyoungstrom to the Wikiversity:Support staff page encouraged me to revisit the decision above. I have updated the support staff page, removing inactive members. The following did not have five edits and five actions within the last 12 months:

I will leave a notice on their talk pages, encouraging them to participate. However, recognizing that most of them have moved on to other interests, I will request that stewards remove their administrative rights if these users are still inactive 30 days from now.

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:36, 25 July 2022 (UTC)