Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd 3

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Abd (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account)[edit source]

See previous nomination and discussion at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd and Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd 2.

My previous probationary periods were terminated abruptly, the first by an out-of-process request at meta by my mentor (whom I had short-blocked for incivility), and the second by a community review started by the same person. I am aware that my candidacy is likely to be controversial, but I hope to make this quick and non-disruptive, by offering clear conditions that should assure those concerned that I would not be any more disruptive as a custodian than as an ordinary editor, and probably less so, because as a custodian I have to be more careful to represent the community, in appearance as well as in reality, and not just my own opinion.

Therefore, I agree, in advance, to the Standard stop agreement] (permanent link to effective version).

It should not be necessary to review my history, but I believe that it would show that the few controversial actions I took, so seemingly disruptive at the time, were later confirmed by the community and subsequent events. Before my final application for permanent custodianship, I'll be happy to extend and update prior assessments of my actions.

I am applying because it's clear that there is a shortage of custodial attention at Wikiversity, and I understand well the Wikiversity content policies, being fully engaged with them, as they are distinct and different from those of other WMF wikis, in a very important way. However, as a custodian, it's my duty to respect the community consensus. My goal is always, however, maximized consensus, long-term, not excluding anyone, and my history has shown that.

Thanks for your consideration. --Abd 17:18, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Update[edit source]

In the interest of full disclosure, I've been blocked and banned on Wikipedia, long story. After being blocked there, and for the first time (I'd been blocked many times), I began socking with self-reversion, and when that was met with range blocks and revision deletion, I created and used a genuine sock. This is documented at User:Abd/Wikipedia/List of self-reverted edits#w:User:Abd, which is just primary evidence, not yet analyzed, but I believe that it can be seen there that the editing, while it was certainly block and/or ban evasion, was also positive in effect. Be that as it may, I think that anyone looking at my candidacy for adminship should know about the problems at Wikipedia. --Abd 22:10, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Questions for the Candidate[edit source]

Hi Abd. You were a probationary custodian a while back, and that ended in an unusual manner. What will be different this time? --SB_Johnny talk 23:28, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I have no crystal ball, however, the Standard stop agreement I've "signed" might be noticed and used. I had agreed to this before, in the situation, but nobody asked me to stop, for days, then I was asked to stop and did, and it made no difference, I was still desysopped. I don't anticipate the conditions that arose then to recur. The first time, you know what happened, and the second time was related, and the editor, so involved in that, has retired. Did I act incorrectly? That's never been really examined, and do we need to do that? If so, I'll do it, but ... with the stop agreement, it should not be necessary. SBJ, this is better than what you asked Salmon of Doubt to agree to, because it allows all custodians to regulate the probationary custodian, not just one. I'm proposing that as a common agreement for probationary custodians, to address the problems that were raised in the beginning of this year, during the flap that ended my second probation, allowing us to get back on track with more custodians. Thanks. --Abd 00:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


Abd, I have a few related questions related to my comment below:

  • Why are you flouting Wikipedia policy and documenting it here on Wikiversity? How do you see that further the goals of Wikiversity?
  • You have chronicled a few small factual corrections that were accepted on Wikipedia; do you see this as a significant contribution to the goals of that project?
  • Why do you think that it is still appropriate for you to be a custodian here - presumably someone who would uphold local policies - given your efforts to violate the policies of a sister wiki?

SJ+> 18:46, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

The relevant question here is whether or not my activities elsewhere indicate a predeliction to violate policy here. The short answer is that, no, it doesn't. I'll claim without insisting that the Wikipedia actions result from a collision of policies, where formal policies are being violated by some in the administrative core, routinely and without adequate restraint. w:WP:IAR -- fundamental policy -- actually requires, then, that I break a minor policy, a matter of formal compliance, in favor of fundamental ones. As a consequence, I may be properly blocked for my violations. Am I claiming otherwise?
I upheld both fundamental and implementation policy on WP (as with ban compliance), for years, and only abandoned that around May 1 when I finally saw due process exhausted. The documentation mentioned shows what happened then, and it is clearly of educational interest to some, this may be moved, when ripe and in context, into mainspace here. The documentation does not attack anyone, and if it does, the attack is an error and should be immediately removed. Preliminary analysis shows me what I already had seen with others, a common disregard of Wikipedia policy in pursuit of block and ban enforcement, and that's already been helpful, to a small degree. That problem exacerbates disruption, seriously.
Most banned users do not cooperate by compiling a record like that! You'd never be able to see all those IP edits together in this way, the page may be unique. All of this is aimed toward improvement of both Wikipedia and Wikiversity, for the general issues apply here.
When a user is banned, the implied user agreement to comply with site policies is abrogated; banning shuts out cooperation, if taken as totally strict, yet strict banning is impossible on a site with anonymous editing. Wikipedia continues shooting itself in the foot over this, and who is going to show it but a cooperative banned user? To you, Sj, that may seem as an oxymoron. Do you believe in the infallibility of wiki process? If the process is fallible, how would a banned user handle IAR? Is there a way to reconcile the positions?
I do not need custodial tools to do what's important to me, I only need them to help with minor tasks, making me more efficient and effective in the cleanup work that I already do here. The "stop agreement" I've accepted makes it impossible for me to act with tools outside of consensus for more than a few hours, at best. (Perhaps I should add "steward" to those who may protest an action.) My candidacy here should be approved according to WV policy and with regard to the welfare of this wiki. That's all. --Abd 20:32, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Custodians willing to mentor[edit source]

This feels like WV Groundhog Day - I'm willing to mentor (as a custodian - I will not act as 'crat). Abd, can I suggest focusing on admin-type work and perhaps community-building - and maybe give potentially controversial issues a wider berth or ask for advice? Others, please feel free to help out. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 22:47, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Of course. I'm only interested in this for "admin-type work," i.e., routine, non-controversial stuff, which is the vast majority of what I did before. Thanks for being willing to try again! --Abd 01:48, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
If Jtneill is willing to action as crat instead, I'm happy to mentor. --Draicone (talk) 11:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
YesY Done Abd is now a probationary custodian, with a 4 week period of probationary custodianship which ends on 5th Sept 2011. [1] -- Jtneill - Talk - c 12:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit source]

  • I think Abd would do a good job and he is a very active participant of the community. Devourer09 (t·c) 01:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm really concerned with the idea of a custodian interested in the position only for the administrative aspects of it. Wikiversity is at a point where we really need to think about how to generate new content that showcases the best of what this community can do, and how to draw in people to create new learning communities around these items. I really think for now, new candidates for custodianship need to make a more convincing connection between content generation on Wikiversity and how custodianship fits into this role. --HappyCamper 04:46, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Generally, custodians are not content leaders, and it's an error, in fact, to emphasize content creation and "reward" it with admin tools, this can create a kind of conflict of interest. Custodians do routine tasks, similar to custodians at brick and mortar universities. We clean up the trash. We also handle some of what "campus cops" might do, handle "fights" that break out, when they do, prevent spamming, etc. But we have no superior rights over content, in theory, and our authority over users is properly ad hoc and temporary. When we think we are in charge, it causes problems. I've got lots of organizational ideas, but I don't need custodian tools to suggest or implement them. I think looking to the custodians for leadership is a mistake. If you lead, we will follow. Tag, you're it! --Abd 22:23, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Having been a probationary custodian again for a month, an extremely active one, I'm more than ever convinced that it's an error to expect the custodians to build Wikiversity. Most custodial tasks are relatively boring. A large part of the job is dealing with vandalism and spam, and someone who is attracted by that, who takes pleasure in blocking and deleting, can become quite a problem! (Such users tend to burn out and become jaded, seeing a spammer underneath every odd link, it's been described to me many times by experienced Wikipedia admins.) Rather, this is a job which should be shared. We don't expect the University President or the Faculty to take out the trash, and we don't expect the custodians to lead the community. The President might indeed take out the trash, and a custodian might indeed be a leader, here, but expectations are based on defined roles, and the role of custodian is servant, and a custodian only leads by serving, not by defining the community vision. If anything, being a custodian is a bit of distraction from the work I'm doing to build Wikiversity, see Wikiversity:Assembly etc. And if you look at my global contributions, you may also see extensive recruitment efforts. We need more custodians. --Abd 14:26, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I do not think that it would be a net benefit to Wikiversity for Abd to be a custodian at this time. I am concerned by SBJ's question and Abd's unprofessional public campaign to flout en:wp policy which he linked to above. Admins from one wiki proudly violating the policies of admins on another could be the start of a cross-wiki dispute, and would be a loss all around. [last year this happened with a different wikiversity, btw - ru:wp and ru:wv admins escalated to mutual blocks and factionalization before it was resolved.]
I am also concerned for the reason HappyCamper cites. While I have not been terribly active as a content creator here myself (alas!) I would like to see custodians, in addition to knowing how to use tools, understand what great content looks like and how to cultivate a community that is active in creating it. I think it would be excellent for Abd to take more of an interest in creating content here. The most socially problematic contributors on other projects are often those who do not contribute to the mainspace, and engage only in policy debates and user disputes. I hope Wikiversity's community develops around a shared love of well-presented knowledge, and not a love of social drama. SJ+> 18:42, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Sj has a habit of editing his comments after they've been responded to. Just saying. On ru:wv and ru:wp, were those permanent custodians or temporary ones? Sj's comment could be a reason, I suppose, to oppose permanent custodianship, but doesn't make sense to me re probationary custodianship, with the safeguards built in, especially with the "stop agreement." I'm also not inclined to blame that ru. conflict on the smaller wiki. But I have no opinion on it and have not researched it. I just know what has come down here many times. I am not exercised if I don't get probationary custodianship here, it's no skin off my teeth. Just today, I'd have been able to prevent a little vandalism if I'd had the tools. Just saying. So what? Someone else will do the grunt work, fine with me. Seriously.
Admin status here has no relationship to my status on any other project. How would it help me "disrupt" Wikipedia? And if I blocked someone here because of alleged sins there, I'd lose my tools in a flash. That scenario is ridiculous here. Fears like this were expressed before. Check it out! What did I lose my tools for here? Blocking or harassing Enric Naval? Surely not! It was, the first time, for short-blocking my mentor for repeated incivility, and that action was later confirmed as within reasonable discretion, by a 'crat. Second time, it was for ... what? Not clear. The CR was filed by the same custodian, who had been desysopped largely because of evidence I provided, and it was filled with canvassed votes -- this guy was a big IRC user -- , and it was decided in a rather strange way, but, again, so what? As I said many times, if it was an error, it could be fixed easily. Such as by this process! Anyone who looks at the history of this and thinks that I'd start blocking right and left simply doesn't read evidence and just makes up stories based on what they expect, perhaps what they would do themselves if they were in the situation! -- or, to be fair, what they expect from ordinary "disruptive users." --Abd 02:06, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Sj. I've been very active in mainspace, at times. HappyCamper's objection is puzzling to me, because creating great content is not the custodian's job, as long as the custodian understands content policies. (Wikipedia has made this mistake, in fact, "rewarding" good content with adminship. Anyone who thinks that adminship is a reward is at least somewhat disqualified!) I've worked, extensively, to facilitate the creation of content by others, and could point, in a permanent custodial application, to that work, I'm proud of it. My probationary custodianship would not allow me to abuse tools to defend my personal positions, it would be wiki-suicide. Rather, Wikiversity is under attack elsewhere for allowing "banned users" to edit, and I'm defending our rights elsewhere, and our users, for our tradition is strong that users may participate fully here regardless of what they do elsewhere, as long as Wikiversity itself is not abused as a platform to attack other users and other wikis, and as long as the user is not disruptive here. The page Sj cites doesn't attack anyone, as far as I can tell, it merely documents certain activity, neutrally, I hope, for long-term beneficial purpose (and the there is no "cross-wiki dispute" there, and the "beneficial purpose" includes, already, demonstrated benefit to Wikipedia, but that is to be shown later. That is not an analysis page, except for simple and obvious classification). There is an RfD open (for too long, by guidelines) on that page, and there is a clear suggestion that anything on it that violates Wikiversity policy should be removed immediately. No takers, because nothing there violates our policies. If it is alleged that the page is harming another wiki, just by existing, that could be debated. --Abd 19:37, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Comment by Abd[edit source]

Wikiversity's innovative probationary custodianship procedure was designed to avoid the kind of discussion starting up here. It's an ad hoc process that intentionally avoids testing community consensus. Permanent custodianship is the same as on other wikis, and it is there that controversy can be resolved. Permanent custodianship is mentioned in the site notice, so participation will be more balanced. Users are free to express objections here, but custodians and 'crats are free to act according to policy, and any custodian is allowed to mentor, and if there is objection to that or how the custodian mentors, that can be taken up with that custodian. No poll is required here. This is a far safer process than permanent custodianship, and the Standard Stop Agreement makes it totally safe, because any custodian can, at the custodian's sole discretion, completely stop all use of tools, in the extreme, or create any other specific restriction, and obtain immediate steward action to desysop if needed.

Probationary custodianship pages are frequently not followed, experienced users don't even look at them unless they are custodians and want to mentor, or maybe 'crats. As it is, and with a request remaining open, anyone who has had a conflict or disagreement with a user may eventually show up. Bad Idea to leave this open. So I have added to Jtneill's request at Wikiversity:Request custodian action#Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd 3. --Abd 15:51, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Permanent custodianship[edit source]

A vote took place at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd (full custodian). It was closed without promotion, but the close was protested. There was never a formal confirmation of the close, but it was not reversed, so it stood. I consider it moot at this time, because the least disruptive remedy would be resumption of probationary custodianship, which is always possible if any permanent custodian supports it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:03, 3 May 2015 (UTC)