[Foundation-l] Emergency on Wiktionary

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Thu Aug 10 16:44:35 UTC 2006

Angela wrote:

>On 8/9/06, Wildrick Steele <wildrick.steele at gmail.com> wrote:
>>Actually not. There weren't any stewards around and the perpetrator remained
>>sysopped for a full day, doing hundreds of random blocks and unblocks. We
>>had to wait for developer intervention to remove the flag in the database.
>>Quite a nonperformance for the otherwise well-functioning steward team.
>>We'll take Wikimania as a good excuse :-)
>Wikimania may have been part of the problem. Also, the request at
>seems to have been lost amongst the noise of dozens of other requests,
>which for some reason, no longer get immediately archived, so it's not
>easy to see whether or not there are outstanding requests. Perhaps
>moving urgent requests to a separate section at the top would help in
>future. There is a (not-very-active) IRC channel at
>#wikimedia-stewards, but the #wikimedia channel is often a better
>place to find a steward in an emergency. I don't know whether either
>of these channels were tried before finding a developer.
>This might just be a sign that new steward elections are required.
The other possibility would be to give bureaucrats the power to de-sysop. 

Fortunately, these rogue sysops are uncommon, but bureaucrats are more 
often in a position to act quickly when this sort of activity happens.  
It would also be handy to have this available for de-sysopping inactive 
admins; the latter can also be reactivated on request without the need 
for votes or other complicated community processes.

While it is also possible that there can be rogue bureaucrats, these 
will be proportionally rarer than rogue admins.  Anyone who has become a 
bureaucrat has a very high degree of trust in the community, and 
especially in relatively larger communities there is sufficient 
oversight to prevent the abuses that may be more common with the 
untested bureaucrats of tiny communities.  Speaking arbitrarily, one 
could define a larger community, as one with at least 50,000 articles 
and/or 2 active bureaucrats.


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