Admin milestones, debate

Admin milestones reached, process debated

New requests for adminship resulted in two landmarks last week, as Wikipedia reached a total of 500 administrators and one old/new admin set a record for the number of people supporting his nomination. Meanwhile, an ongoing discussion on the wikiEN-l mailing list debated whether the process was working adequately.

A record was broken on 27 June, when Ta bu shi da yu became an administrator. He received 111 support votes, beating the previous record of 109 support votes held by User:Bishonen (see archived story).

This was his third request for adminship, and he also joins the small number of admins who have voluntarily surrendered their admin privileges and later reapplied. His initial nomination in October 2004 succeeded with the substantial achievement of 57 support votes. However, Ta bu shi da yu left Wikipedia for a while in March and asked for his admin status to be removed, although he still found it difficult to stay away.

Upon returning to greater activity, Ta bu shi da yu requested adminship again, and appeared to be on the way to smashing the record already on that occasion. However, a prank on Dalek, the featured article appearing on the Main Page, turned a number of people to oppose and Ta bu shi da yu chose to withdraw that request.

Not counting the Election Officials, who were temporarily made administrators for the purposes of the Board of Trustees election, Wikipedia picked up its 500th admin on Sunday when Hedley was promoted. Other users receiving administrator status during the past week included Willmcw, Y0u, FCYTravis, Bratsche, Allen3, R3m0t, Mzajac and Spangineer.

Close calls and reform proposals

Meanwhile, partly as an outgrowth of a few more controversial nominations, there has been some renewed discussion of how liberally admin privileges should be handed out. Talrias offered a suggestion that the rollback function be granted separately, a proposal that would be feasible now that MediaWiki 1.5 provides more fine-grained user access levels. Opinions on the idea were mixed, while others took the opportunity to criticize the increasingly high expectations for admin candidates in terms of edit counts and length of participation.

One of the nominations that proved to be a close call, that of Weyes, suffered from some questionable votes and attempts to disrupt the process. The problems and the difficulty in evaluating the outcome prompted the bureaucrats to first extend the vote and then ultimately restart it. This resulted in an extended but inconclusive debate about whether the situation had been handled properly and how to determine whether a vote counted. Nevertheless, the second vote produced a very similar result to the first, 47 supporting and 18 opposing where the initial vote had 49 in favor and 17 against. On Sunday, Weyes indicated on his user page that he would be leaving Wikipedia. It was not entirely clear whether this was prompted by his failed request for adminship.

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