Call me a simpleton, though sometimes I wonder whether we have the technical team of WMF staff and developers trying to get ahead of (around?) society, and societal models.

The societal model that the wikis have implemented is a thing called a bureaucrat, their role is to implement the change of status of members of the community. Soooo how about we go back and investigate utilising that model with regard to this matter?

Please explain in the current deliberations that there was the consideration for how the community's existing model of rights utilising bureaucrats? I just see a technical implementation, primarily focusing around a single wiki.  

This is and will always be a community issue, and I look forward to seeing this more broadly proposed and discussed at Metawiki.  Not stuck here in a small email forum for ambassadors.  Not stuck in a phabricator ticket in the back of nowhere.  I look forward to this being open to the whole community, not one particularly controlled by developers and staff of WMF.  That has been the wiki way through times, though not in more recent times where we have what is this approach to more technical-only solutions, and divorced from the broader wiki community.

This is a societal issue, and the technical team should be developing the tools that the society needs to manage.  It needs to come out of Phabricator for the community discussion. It needs to come out of the limited scope of this mailing list.  This is not about operating in your comfort zone.

Yes, the community is noisy, and has a diversity of opinion, and one that will take time to reach a consensus.  Yes, it is not our technical peoples general skill set, so we have others moderate the conversation.  This is not solely a technical problem, get over it.

-- billinghurst

------ Original Message ------
From: "Johan Jönsson" <>
To: "Wikitech Ambassadors" <>
Sent: 14/12/2018 6:25:59 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikitech-ambassadors] Removal of unblockself rights on wiki

On Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 8:20 PM Deryck Chan <> wrote:
I agree with what's been said in this thread so far.

An admin of a large wiki shouldn't be allowed to unblock themselves, if another admin blocked them.

However, on small wikis, this would lead to a first-mover advantage situation, so admins should be forbidden from unblocking themselves if there are more than a certain number of admins (and bureaucrats).

I would recommend a threshold of five admins. Notice that if there are only three admins (with Nemo's proposal), if one admin blocks another admin, the situation reduces to a "shoot first to win" between the two remaining admins. If there are five admins and one blocks another, there will still be three uninvolved admins left to argue it out :)

The Cantonese Wikipedia recently came close to a situation where an admin might get blocked for bad behaviour. A few users presented a strong case that an admin had been acting against policy. Because we have a dozen admins, a few other admins were able to discuss the matter, and issued strong words of admonishment to the unbehaving admin, and the unbehaving admin disappeared from the wiki since then. Thinking back, one of the concerns we had was that an admin could unblock themselves anyway, so there was actually no real course of action to take other than desysopping (we have a bureaucrat; not me). If this feature of "no self-unblocks on wikis with lots of admins" was in place, then the threat of a block would have had more teeth.

Just to keep everyone aware of what's been happening in – to avoid the "shoot first to win" situation, a blocked admin can block the admin who blocked them but no one else. Our balance of terror.

//Johan Jönsson