Seven administrators request promotion to bureaucrat status
In an unprecedented coincidence, seven administrators of Wikipedia requested promotion to bureaucrat status last week. As of press time, six of seven candidacies remained open for comment. The candidacies were:
- Majorly (nom, withdrawn by candidate)
This was Majorly's second nomination for bureaucratship; the prior nomination closed unsuccessfully on 5 April 2007. In support, Phaedriel said, "I know for a fact that he has used his tools with care, thoughtfulness and unfailing will to help the community and its individual members." Opposing, Friday cited her concern that issues raised in the prior nomination hadn't been addressed, in her opinion, and added that Majorly "tends to bicker with those opposing the RFAs of his buddies." Majorly withdrew his nomination with a final tally of 35/15/2 (70% support) on 4 July, stating, "I agree and admit to being confrontational, but I thought that I could be trusted to view others' opinions," and mentioning his plentiful contributions in discussions at requests for adminship.
- RyanGerbil10 (nom)
This is RyanGerbil10's second bureaucrat nomination; his prior attempt closed unsuccessfully on 4 March 2007. In opposition, Xoloz said that, "...in my past interactions with Ryan here at RfA (which have involved colloquies on a few different candidates), his replies have been brief and sometimes cryptic," but went on to add, "He is a nice guy, though, I'll say that." Other opposing commenters were concerned by a perceived lack of participation in requests for adminship discussions. In support, Anthony.bradbury commented that, "I believe, from reviewing his work on the project and from personal experience, that this is an admin whom we can trust with the extra responsiblities of bureaucratship." As of this writing, RyanGerbil10's nomination has a tally of 28/11/5 (72% support), and is scheduled to close 11 July.
- A Man In Black (nom)
Nominated by Somitho, this is A Man In Black's first attempt at bureaucratship. Several users commenting in the discussion seem concerned by prior incidents involving possible edit warring and interpretation of the three revert rule. Opposing, JayHenry stated that, "I hate to minimize years of good work for a half dozen bad examples, but trying to minimize the bad examples from bureaucrats is important." While Sjakkalle mentioned in support, "...some concern over the block log, but I think AMiB is a sensible person in general, and the issues raised there are not really part of the bureaucrat's domain," several former supporters had struck out or amended their initial comments. As of this writing, A Man In Black's nomination has a tally of 27/32/6 (46% support), and is scheduled to close 11 July.
- Ral315 (nom)
This is Ral315's first bureaucrat nomination. A primary point of contention in this discussion seems to be Ral's position as the editor-in-chief of the Wikipedia Signpost, leading several users to express concerns regarding possible consolidation of power. In discussions at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship, JayHenry argued that there were enough other trusted people to fill the necessary roles, and that "separation of powers is a principle that is good for societies of any size". In response, EVula (himself a recent candidate for bureaucratship) found the concerns a "Non-issue. The two don't conflict at all, and there's no "separation of powers" issue here; the Signpost is just a community-run 'newspaper', not a position of authority [that] interprets and enforces Wikipedia's policies and guidelines." On the nomination page itself, Mailer diablo said, "Let's leave holding more than one high position as a grandfather clause. The potential conflict of interest might possibly mean that the Signpost becomes a mouthpiece of crat decisions, whether unwittingly (influence) or otherwise." In response to some of these concerns, Ral315 added an addendum to his self-nomination statement and commented on the requests for adminship talk page, suggesting that he would avoid participating in articles related to bureaucrat activities, and that he would resign as a bureaucrat if he "crossed the line." Currently, Ral315's nomination has a tally of 76/12/0 (86% support), and is scheduled to close 11 July.
- Andrevan (nom)
This is Andrevan's third attempt at bureaucratship, with prior nominations closing unsuccessfully on 16 November 2004 and 3 September 2005, respectively. In support, Shalom said, "I don't have the same 'name recognition' of Andre as for the other candidates, but I like his essay about consensus and I believe that he does 'grok' it." Opposing, Durin felt that Andrevan had not displayed interest or activity in requests for adminship, until recently, saying, "In the opening to this RfB, you say 'It's been a while'. Indeed it has. You've been utterly absent from WT:RFA since November of 2005 up until a couple of days ago." Andrevan's nomination currently has a tally of 58/9/2 (87% support), and is scheduled to close 11 July.
- Deskana (nom)
This is Deskana's second nomination for bureaucratship, the first having closed unsuccessfully on 30 January 2007. Deskana's nomination has seen heavy discussion regarding the so-called "Danny question," (which has been asked of all current candidates) regarding the controversial decision by current bureaucrats to promote Danny to adminship, following his having resigned from the Wikimedia Foundation's office staff (see archived story and RfA nom). While Haukurth opposed Deskana's nomination, saying, "Deskana says the bureaucrats made the right call in promoting Danny even though he agrees that there was no community consensus for such a promotion," Pascal.Tesson supported, saying that, "I trust Deskana's sound judgment and the answer to the tricky Danny-question reinforces that feeling." Many opposing users have cited Durin's post in the discussion, which brings up concerns regarding demeanor and temperament. Currently, Deskana's nomination has a tally of 101/12/2 (89% support), and is scheduled to close 10 July.
- Husond (nom)
This is Husond's first nomination for bureaucratship. Citing personal experience, Ryan Postlethwaite said that, "From my first few weeks on the project, Husond has been someone who I have looked up to and respected. I'm not sure where I first saw him, but I admire his approach on-wiki." However, some users are concerned regarding the philosophy of consensus, with Dmcdevit opposing and stating, "we don't need another vote-counting bureaucrat (we have too many as it is). Asked above for the criteria for promotion, the word 'consensus,' or any reasonable synonyms are completely absent." Currently, Husond's nomination has a tally of 72/20/3 (78% support), and is scheduled to close 10 July.
The most recent addition to the roster of bureaucrats was Cecropia, who returned on 17 May 2007 after relinquishing his status in April 2006. The community has not approved any new bureaucrats after Redux was promoted on 12 June 2006, thirteen months ago.
From January through June 2007, there were 11 unsuccessful requests for bureaucratship by nine different candidates - an average of two per month. What caused seven users to request bureaucratship within the same week?
One major motivator has been the persistent backlog at Wikipedia:Changing usernames. Although there are currently 22 bureaucrats, only two of them - Cecropia and Secretlondon - have performed about 90% of the last 500 username changes. Some requests have waited more than a week for one of these two bureaucrats to address them.
In his nomination statement, Deskana observed, "Personally, I feel Wikipedia needs more bureaucrats. Most of the bureaucrat stuff is done by Cecropia (who might I add, was only recently re-elected as a bureaucrat), and there is a backlog at WP:CHU."
The requests are still running as of publication. The Signpost will report the final results next week.