UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archives/New User Group

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New User Group

In the light of the uptick in recent vandalism, I'd like to suggest the creation of a new wiki User Group. We only have two active admins at the moment and they can't be around all the time. My suggestion is a new group called something simply like "Block" that would, believe it or not, grant the "block" right to its members. Ideally this should be grantable/removable by admins, like Patroller status currently is.

There could be a few options for giving the new group: giving it to patrollers who have been recently active on the wiki, have been in their role for six months, and actively ask for the role seems sensible. Additionally, there could be a mechanism whereby an admin could grant the group for a short period of time while they are indisposed. For instance, just before the current round of vandalism, the one admin who was on site at the time announced in IRC that she was going to be away for a while. If the new group had been in existence, it could have been granted to other users and then removed again later on.

If this ad-hoc mechanism were to be adopted, there would need to be a few extra guidelines: no blocks for more than an hour (say); all blocks to be listed on a new page and reviewed by an admin at the earliest possible opportunity; and the same don't-use-your-ability-to-force-an-argument rules that apply elsewhere.

Note that I'm only suggesting the "block" right be given. There's an argument for "protect" too, under similar conditions. It certainly should not include the extra admin rights like "blockemail", "delete", or anything like that.

This isn't going to be a panacea, but it might help out in the short to medium term. rpeh •TCE 20:52, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

This is an excellent idea! --ModderElGrandeTalk Contribs 20:54, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking its not only gven to patrollers, but users who have reverted ______ amount of edits.--Arch-Mage MattTalk 20:56, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
To be honest, I was just about to finish an email off to GK about this. I was curious whether or not there could be a new editor position specifically for averting vandalism, with this rather prolific vandalism about. I wouldn't mind holding such a position, since i'm more or less always available. Atreus 21:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Very good idea. A new group with "trusted editors" that can make very short term blocks and semi-protect pages would stop a lot of vandalism in its tracks.--Corevette789 21:06, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
They'd have to be very active, well trusted users who have reverted lots of vandilism and made lots of trustful edits.--Arch-Mage MattTalk 21:11, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd be more than happy to step up to it, but I don't will agree due to my notorious past. --ModderElGrandeTalk Contribs 21:13, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

\=> I can vouch for the major annoyance vandalism is, especially if you are a patroller who tries desperately to revert/patrol everything - and you just can't do anything to stop the vandal(s). Having spent several hours in the last couple of days wasting my time on vandalism, I'd be happy to take on the responsibility, get the extra tool and save everybody a lot of time. And, like Atreaus, I'm available and online all the time. --Krusty 21:14, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

(re: A-MM) Well, then, i'm shot down. :P Also, UESP just gave me the warning that the page is getting too long xD Atreus 21:15, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure all of the people who have posted here would be interested in doing it (including myself) but that would be up to DaveH to start it- wouldn't it?.--Arch-Mage MattTalk 21:17, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Dave would have to create it, but my suggestion is that admins would be able to add and remove users from the group as required. rpeh •TCE 21:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

<- Yes, excellent idea. It would also ease the transition from Patroller to Admin by being one less tool for them to familiarize themselves with. ? Robin Hood?Talk 21:28, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I imagine that an admin's first choice would be a patroller, but a user who has been around for a while and demonstrated a certain sense of responsibility might be acceptable in an emergency. The emphasis here is on temporary. If one admin grants the role, another admin can easily revoke it when he or she comes online and is able to cover. rpeh •TCE 21:30, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should give only patrollers the right to this new feature, because essentialy that would just be giving all patrollers blocking rights. (Because why would you deny any patroller that askes to be in this group?) --Arch-Mage MattTalk 21:34, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(various E/Cs) Obviously, I'm in favour of this and I'm available for the job. However, I'd prefer only giving Patrollers this right (and Atreus which is a Forum/IRC moderator). After all, blocking is a serious tool and I think it should be (for now at least) limited to Patrollers, who can be trusted with it; with all due respect to MEG, Corevette and Matt. --SerCenKing Talk 21:35, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(aside) i'm not a forum mod ;) Atreus 21:37, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
No. Actually, HELL no. This is absolutely unnecessary. There are plenty of admins on the wiki to take care of this. This just seems to be a ploy to grab at power. –Elliot 21:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
It isn't a 'ploy to grab at power' for some of us at least, see Blocking Fury and friends post above, we were floundering around helplessly when this guy just kept attacking (me, mostly) when he knew he couldn't be stopped.--Arch-Mage MattTalk 21:47, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Look, only Timenn and GK are active. That's two admins!! Timenn hasn't exactly been active and we need European users for when GK isn't online. This isn't a conspiracy Elliot, it's an attempt to address issues that have arisen recently. Try refreshing RC to get an idea of what you're talking about before you post. --SerCenKing Talk 21:48, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

\=> I don't think 2 admins is enough and if you would have been here for the vandalism streak, and it wasn't rpeh who proposed it, you would be agreeing.--Corevette789 21:49, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, take into account that there's two active mods. One was generically "away" and one who was getting food. Two mods is barely enough. Plus if/when TESV or TES MMO ever come out, we're gonna need a lot more. Atreus 21:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Sercen, I am damn well informed, which is exactly why I oppose this. Okay? And Corevette, you understand not one thing between me and rpeh, so stop using that as ammo. If anyone proposed it, I would be opposed. If we can't give rollback to patrollers, then we will not be giving them the ability to block. So you drive away three admins and then ask for more privileges? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. –Elliot 21:52, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Then you want Fury and friend's barrage of attacks to happen more often? When the Admins are away, the vandilisers come out and play...--Arch-Mage MattTalk 21:55, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
First off, Elliot, this is one of the reasons why we love you. Blathering insinuations of power-grabbing. Also, it wasn't any one person to drive away mods. (I assume you mean Ratwar, Eshe and.. RH? iunno. i don't follow your thoughts that well) the amount of arguing on this site is what contributed the most. Sure, there's specific events you can show drove them away, but the underlying reason is bickering, insults, and general... ne'er-do-welling. Atreus 21:57, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
This isn't the fix we need. Trust me. And Atreus, please stay out of wiki politics. –Elliot 21:58, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
<3 this is a community, mind you.Atreus 22:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

So sorry, Elliot, but you have no right to request that Atreus stay out of "wiki politics". Please, Atreus, continue. I find your perspectives enlightening. --GKtalk2me 22:01, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Lol. You've got to be kidding me. Maybe if I agree to it then it won't happen! –Elliot 22:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Lets all try to stay calm and not let this turn into a war!!!--Arch-Mage MattTalk 22:04, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Can I suggest that anybody with substantive objections lists them? At the moment there seems to be one person with an objection, but it's not clear why. rpeh •TCE 22:09, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Because it is unnecessary. Once you give patrollers blocking rights, admins only have deletions and protections to do by themselves. I rate blocking as the main administrator privilege, followed by deleting, protection, and then rollback. If you want to get them an upper hand on vandalism, start with rollback. –Elliot 22:14, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Giving them rollback won't stop vandals, just.. make them quicker. Protection might be okay, but that seems like overkill for a single IP address vandal. Blocking a rampant user is just a quick and easy way to avert someone spamming up the RC and generally getting in the way. Atreus 22:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
That's why admins have mass rolback and blocking rights. –Elliot 22:20, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
This is just to tie down vandals to give admins more time. VERY short blocks should be used an hour seems good.--Corevette789 22:22, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
...the whole point of this discussion is that there's not enough admins and giving some patrollers/editors some intermediate abilities can cut down on spam attacks significantly. Are you saying we should just promote more patrollers to admins and have done with it? Atreus 22:24, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

People freak out every time something like this happens. The result? All accounts blocked, all edits reverted. I see no harm. –Elliot 22:26, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

You're totally missing the point here. The admins weren't here when this happened. They can't block and ban when they're not here. Thus, proposed solution: give certain people additional abilities and power. Atreus 22:29, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I have an Idea that might solve this situation: What if we give patrollers (or whoever) a right that just blocks a User for an hour or two? That means the attacker can't add nonsense to other pages, and it gives time to the admins to get on and block them for longer.--Arch-Mage MattTalk 22:33, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) Elliot, "Once you give patrollers blocking rights, admins only have deletions and protections to do by themselves." is not true. Renaming users, Check User and many other rights (list) will remain with admins only. I'm also suggesting that this group be within the gift of admins so that it can be removed at will and as necessary. rpeh •TCE 22:35, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
AMM that is what I said above.--Corevette789 22:38, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
There's no way of enforcing that in software (as far as I know) but the suggestion was in my original post: "If this ad-hoc mechanism were to be adopted, there would need to be a few extra guidelines: no blocks for more than an hour (say)". Anybody abusing that would lose the right. Simple. rpeh •TCE 22:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

(To Corevette) Woops. The infamous AMM's idiocy strikes again!--Arch-Mage MattTalk 22:44, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I would rather see the vandal brake instituted. That received consensus, but nothing was ever done. I say we stick to that if we wish to block someone. –Elliot 22:50, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I think this proposal makes more sense than the Vandal Brake (which was brought to Daveh's attention, but he never implemented). I think it would be very helpful to have trusted editors who are able to block vandals for an hour or so, and it would make me feel less guilty about leaving at times. I agree with rpeh's suggestions; if there's no way to restrict it, we should at least have guidelines. It would be rather simple to say that if a patroller blocks a person for over an hour, or uses block in a conflict he or she is involved in, they would lose the right and receive an official warning. --GKtalk2me 23:04, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Makes sense to me especialy since misusing that privilge could be considered vandalism.--TheAlbinoOrc 23:10, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
As the writer of the Vandal Brake extension, all I have to say is, it's not worth the trouble. If you want I can write a small extension that prevents blocks longer than an hour (or any configurable value) for patrollers. -- Nx / talk 11:44, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I am uncomfortable with the idea of many people being given block rights who aren't administrators (or patrollers), but do I admit we could look for a viable option that would actually address the problem at hand.
The right to block only for a few hours would certainly be better in my opinion. It would be a function that the User Group can only use in emergencies; situations where the editors can't keep up with the vandals actions. So someone who is merely yelling at editors and makes an abusive post every hour should be left to the administrators. Additionally there should be some strict rules regarding abuse of the rights (think on how every passenger has the "right" to stop a riding train with the emergency stop), to prevent the function being used in controversial situations. --Timenn-<talk> 17:45, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd have no issue with giving it to Patrollers, though I may be biased there, so I would suggest that we start with that and then see if there's a need for more. I think it was mentioned back in the beginning, but we may even want to start with only the long-time Patrollers, though I think that would be marginally more effort on DaveH's end to code...but not too much as far as I know.
I agree that the right to block for only an hour or two is what's called for here, and if Nx is willing to script something like that, I think we should take him up on it. We'd want to discuss renewal of blocks for repeat vandals when Admins are absent, but apart from that, I don't foresee any major points of contention in terms of how it should be used...I think we all understand the intent here. ? Robin Hood?Talk 19:40, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with RH, giving it to patrollers would be good idea. However there would have to be limitations, for example allowing to block up to a maximum of say, six months. However blocks that are longer than six months and indefinite blocks should be reserved for admins only. --ModderElGrandeTalk Contribs 08:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

(u/d) There seems to be consensus about non-admins being given block powers. Can we agree to set up a new group, within the gift of administrators, and get Daveh to create it? This is getting ridiculous. rpeh •TCE 20:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I wrote the following draft for the UESPWiki:Patrollers page, see here. We need to determine how many hours a Patroller's block can last, I'd say we're fine with about 4 hours. That should be enough for an admin to see it and follow up on it (the block can always be repeated if necessary). --Timenn-<talk> 15:23, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I like the text Timenn - and I'm fine with any block longer than three hours: after all, most vandals get tired pretty easily if they're blocked. My only question is: do we want to create a separate page (like IRC blocks) to list the blocks or do we want to post it here on AN? --SerCenKing Talk 19:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd change "excessively" to "persistently" - "excessive vandalism" is something of an oxymoron a tautology.
The other thing that should maybe be included is the options that patrollers can use: "Prevent account creation", "Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IPs they try to edit from" (named accounts only), "Prevent user from sending e-mail" (named accounts only), "Allow this user to edit own talk page while blocked", and "Block anonymous users only" (anons only). Any thoughts on those options - or doesn't it matter? rpeh •TCE 19:17, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Given the edits of the last few days, I don't think we'll want anons-only. I'm a little iffy about Patrollers having the ability to block the user's own talk page too...I mean, if the editor wants to edit their talk page, the Patroller can section-protect any warning, then just let the vandal go nuts, maybe reverting every so often if necessary for language issues, threats, etc. I think talk page blocking should be left to an Admin. Same thing for preventing e-mail; I wouldn't want a "bad" Patroller to be able to block a private e-mail to an Admin asking for intervention. It's unlikely to happen, but I can at least conceive of a case where a Patroller is at odds with an editor and the "dirty laundry" isn't something the editor would want to be public. I'd be fine with Patrollers having the other options. ? Robin Hood?Talk 19:37, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Since this seems to be going through, here are my thoughts. I don't think it is necessary to block IPs for more than two hours if you are waiting for an admin to come by. Most of the time, a simple 30 minute block can make them leave or get bored. I think Patrollers should be able to block talk pages, but only under the extreme condition that the vandal is making a lot of edits. I guess the key word here is discretion. Also, I don't think I am comfortable having all Patrollers with this right. I think each patroller needs to request it and have it put up to a vote by administrators only. Yeah, I know community. Well, I don't care. This isn't some simple patroller right. Also, I don't think we need more than 4 extra hands around; that is plenty enough help. And "excessive vandalism" is perfectly fine; it is what WP uses to describe it. Elliot 20:03, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

(u/d) Okay, I've asked Daveh to set up a group. Yes, I know this is jumping the gun but given that he's not always around, it made sense to me to get the group set up then GK and Timenn can decide what they want to do with it. If the proposal ends up not being accepted, then the group can be left unused. rpeh •TCE 22:37, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd also prefer to have block rights given separately from patroller rights. I think the patroller requirements aren't quite... stiff(?) enough to be used as an indicator for being given block rights. I'm perfectly fine with any maximum block length between one and four hours. It makes sense to me to allow them to "prevent account creation", "automatically block last IP...", but I agree that disabling email and disabling talk page edits should be left to admins. If I understand correctly, "block anonymous users only" refers to not blocking registered accounts when the IP has been blocked, which I also don't mind being available to these selected "trusted editors". --GKtalk2me 22:38, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Alright, Daveh has set up the "blockuser" group. I've left him another message on his talk page, because the group is not able to be granted by admins at the moment.
Nx, would you mind working on that extension you mentioned to prevent blocks beyond a set length for the group? I assume it will be trivial to change the limit later, so you can start with four hours and we'll reduce it if necessary. --GKtalk2me 15:33, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Screenshot RestrictBlock.png
Done, source and description are at User:Nx/RestrictBlock. MediaWiki can already prevent a user group from blocking email, because you need the "blockemail" right for that option. I've added the "blocktalk" right, which is needed to use the "Block user from editing talk page" option. There's a minor cosmetic issue, when the extension prevents a block, it will display its error message above the block text, and in place of where the error would normally be (such as the expiry invalid error), you'll see <hookaborted>, see the screenshot. I've reported that to mediawiki, see wikipedia:bugzilla:22922 -- Nx / talk 18:27, 22 March 2010 (UTC)