Forum:VFS: "Change these rules at any time"

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I don't want to derail or amend the nearby ballot in the middle but am writing separately to whore the fact that you are paying attention, in order to discuss a change we might vote on later.

PuppyOnTheRadio expresses displeasure (Rule 6) with the open-ended wording:

The ops can change these rules at any time for any reason to help the fight against wiki-terrorism.

But he saw no important issues during the pre-vote discussion and did not devise a ballot question. I too dislike the open-ended rule (which defeats the purpose of wordsmithing the other ones), but stand with the other Admins in wanting to protect our open-borders website. A tighter wording might be:

The Admins, acting in consensus, shall strike any nomination and any vote that they determine is not from an active contributor in good standing on this website.

That is all we should want to do; not "change these rules at any time." Indeed, that is all the Chief Justice did in the last VFS; not change any rules but repelled interference from Darthpedia; not pick winners but decided that the two highest vote-getters had been elected. If we thought we had the legitimate power to "change the rules at any time," we would delete the pages on which they were written, stop this vote, and just do the "right" thing.

Yes, the above wording would give us discretion to define "active contributor," but deny us the power to say we don't like the particular contributions. Be assured we would discuss the legitimacy of an Uncyclopedian who suddenly springs back to life on seeing a VFS opened. "Consensus" limits us to cases where we can privately reach agreement to act in concert, not one Admin acting alone. "Good standing" would empower us to keep individuals from jumping straight from parole to adminship. By the way, "the fight against wiki-terrorism" is another case where the desire to crack wise gets in the way of plain speaking, and I am for speaking plainly when we are not cracking wise on the content pages. Spıke ¬ 11:02 16-Oct-13

Discussion

Vagueness

My only problem with the re-wording is that it falls under the “we know xyz when we see it” banner. As an example, Wikia (or maybe it's MediaWiki) have a clearly defined concept of “active user”. According to Special:ActiveUsers:

  • “This is a list of users who had some kind of activity within the last 30 days.”

In a previous version of MW this was 90 days, but the time frame itself is meaningless. The second issue is the “good standing” aspect. A simplified definition of this would be any user who has not been banned over the past x days. Having said that, as a user who has been infini-banned in the past, with clear consensus from several admins, I don't think my perspective during that time was any less valid than that of any other member of the community. In fact, part of the reasoning behind my banning is that I was being too outspoken on issues that I felt impacted on the community at large, and was unapologetic for being that way.

This also brings into question the “clear consensus” aspect. In an earlier VFS there was an issue where there were votes being put forward for a candidate that was not a user who was considered in “good standing” by the bulk of the community - to the point where he had been infini-banned on similar wikis, as well as from various other forums. He did, however, have the support of active administrators of the time. The eventual result was a disagreement between admins - far from a clear consensus.

I dislike the current wording of the rule, but understand the need for a rule giving this provision. Having a provision of this nature also deters manipulation of the system, which reduces the need to enforce it.

The purpose of the rule is to avoid dickery, as defined at m:Don't be a dick. Given this is one of our few rules that we have, the need for this as a rule on VFS is realistically just a repitition of what we already have in place. But there is still a need to be blatant about the ability of admins to step in.

None of this is said to detract from what Spike has put significant thought into. As I said on that other forum, I dislike this rule, but I don't have a better alternative. My feelings are in line with Spike - that post vote from that other forum we should narrow down what would be better wording of this rule, as the pre-vote discussion, and some of the discussion during polling, suggest I'm not alone in this perspective. (And we should also look at that other forum on VFD, but I digress.)                               Puppy's talk page12:47 16 Oct 2013

No, you don't "digress," you "whore"--as I said at the outset I was doing too!
Now, I intended all the vagueness in my version, as an alternative to the blank check in the current rule; and I hope I justified the vagueness at the end of my proposal. Indeed I am against a formulaic definition of "active" or "in good standing," especially expressed in number of days, which will vary with the activity on the wiki.
In your past permabans, part of the problem was that there was trolling and dickishness on the part of some Admins, who have now moved on. However, indeed you should not have been opped during that era, because nothing will bring a wiki to a complete standstill further than fighting among the Admins. Admins who are willing (and united enough in their willingness) to permaban you for adamant dissent would indeed strike your nomination as Admin, but that is not an additional problem.
Admin "consensus" does not need to be proven to anyone. At no point during the last 8 months have we disagreed so much on an issue of control that one of us has felt the need to go public with the disagreement. (Simsie's resurrection of pests whom I banned has been with my consent.) If there were such a disagreement, we would take it as lack of consensus and not act--certainly, not strike nominations or votes. Spıke ¬ 13:06 16-Oct-13
I can say only two things: first, if we do not accept votes from not active users, we will never get anybody opped (at least with the current amount of users); second, if we cross out votes that do not help make this website better, we won't have any votes. Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 14:32, October 17, 2013 (UTC)
I can't make much sense out of this entire forum except what Anton has just said. Sorry. --ShabiDOO 01:32, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

Reflection

I don't know whether you know this or not, but here is the problem in its multiple aspects:

There can be, first of all, some votes that state that the candidate should be an admin because he is a member of another cool site, or is a really cool guy, or because his mom is hot. The problem with it is that, even though ithe vote seems to be a joke, it may actually be fair: for example, if we know that the candidate is a very serious member of another wiki, or that he is an admin somewhere else, it is a good reason to vote for him here.
Second, some votes may be jokey, but that does not permit them being stricken. I don't know if you feel all all the boringness of explaining all your actions in a serious way. So, if you know that the candidate you are voting for is very responsible, and many people stated this before you, you can as well leave a comment such as "he is a cool dude, so yeah".
Third, if a candidate's mom is attractive, it is a good reason to op him.

Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 14:41, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

I'm all for opping users with attractive moms. Is your mom hot Anton? I bet she is. I can sense it by the way you type things. Oh yeah. She's hot for sure. --ShabiDOO 01:27, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

Homework

Rooting around the archives, This VFS forum may be of interest to all newcomers. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 22:50, October 21, 2013 (UTC)

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