At 06:11 PM 5/31/2010, David Goodman wrote:
The assumption in closing is that after discarding
consensus view will be the correct one, and that any neutral admin
would agree. Thus there is in theory no difference between closing per
the majority and closing per the strongest argument. But when there is
a real dispute on what argument is relevant, the closer is not to
decide between them , but close according to what most people in the
discussion say. If the closer has a strong view on the matter, he
should join the argument instead of closing, and try to affect
consensus that way. I (and almost all other admins) have closed keep
when we personally would have preferred delete, and vice-versa.
My argument has been similar on this. Wikitheory would suggest that
no admin should close a discussion with a result that the admin does
not agree with, so it does a little further than what David suggests.
I'd even say that an admin who, after reading the discussion and
reviewing the evidence, is neutral, *should not close.* If there is a
consensus, say, for Delete, and that represents true broader
consensus, surely there will be an admin who agrees to close.
I agree that if the admin has a strong opinion or general position
making it reasonably possible that the decision will be biased (some
people can actually discern this!) the admin should instead comment.
Generally, an admin who comments with a position should not then
return and close, I've seen this violated only a few times. With a
ban discussion actually, and it was a real problem, in my view.
And the reason for this is quite simple. The least disruptive way to
review a deletion is to ask the deleting administrator to reconsider
it. The theory suggests that the one who closes has the authority to
change the decision based on new evidence or argument. When an admin
closed on the basis of "consensus" purely, we have a closer who will
often refuse to change the decision because "the community made the
decision, not me."
But when the administrator is part of that community, and closed on
behalf of that community, the administrator represents it in changing
his mind, based on new additional evidence and argument. This can
avoid a lot of DRV discussions! I've seen it work, and I've also seen
the "not my decision" response.
The theory of the adhocracy that is Wikipedia depends on the
responsibility of the executives -- the editors and administrators
who act -- for their own decisions. No decisions are properly made by
voting, per se, most notably because there is a severe problem with
participation bias. If we wanted to use voting, we'd need quite a
different structure, which may be advisable, in fact, as a hybrid,
used where it's necessary for voting to represent true community
consensus. In an organization that is the size of Wikipedia, that
would almost certainly be some kind of elected representative body,
and there are ways to do this without actual "elections" as we know
them. Simple ways, in fact.
Short of that, we have the efficiency of ad hoc decision-making by
individual administrators, expected to self-select for initial neutrality.
I've seen closing admins change their mind and undelete based on new
evidence and argument, and a Delete voter in the AfD discussion got
upset that the admin was "defying consensus." But I"ve never seen
such a decision reversed at DRV, nor by a new AfD with a different
closer. Perhaps it's happened, but, if the admin was truly following
arguments and policy, it should be rare. Thus the disruption of
another discussion is avoided unless someone is really pissed and
pursues it, and, after a while, this can become obvious, such editors
don't last long, usually.