User talk:Auron

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Sysop rights cleanup[edit]

Hello, I appreciate you've been inactive for a fair while, but on the odd chance you've still got your talk page watchlisted/notifications enabled, I thought out of courtesy I would leave a message (admittedly I'm going to copy-paste the same message for all affected users). (1) We're going through a bit of a review of which inactive users have sysop rights (including reconfirmation), and (2) here's a link to yours: Guild Wars Wiki:Requests for adminship/Auron. -Chieftain Alex 19:01, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

You can strip mine without contest. I already had my rights removed on GW2W. -Auron 11:21, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
The community actually wants you to retain your rights. Up for it? Steve1 (talk) 16:53, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
Na, wouldn't do any good. The personality most people attribute to me was a facade I dropped years ago. I have no interest in the game or its wikis. Didn't even reinstall for the 15th anniversary shit. I'm glad people still remember me fondly (sorta) but I've moved on. I requested the removal of my sysop rights on GW2W several years ago; I had kinda assumed they'd remove them on this wiki too. -Auron 22:24, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
I'm glad you've fully moved on from that approach. Since I left GW2W many years ago, this whole transition sort of passed me by (leaving most social media platforms didn't help either). Hope you're doing well and lots of love from me! :] - Infinite - talk 22:50, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
That's a shame but totally understandable. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. Aqua (talk) 22:57, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
Damn shame, but expected. I've been re-living GW with my rose-tinted glasses on since lockdown began, so it's no surprise that things aren't still as I remember them. To be honest, I was happily surprised to see Chief Al and Infi still sniffing around. I will miss your authoritative ass-kicking Auron, facade or no. — snogratUser Snograt signature.png 11:21, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Bummer. Facade or not, I bet you'd still be a good sysop. But what the hey. Take care and so long. Steve1 (talk) 16:53, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

In case you've missed it[edit]

Heya - not sure if you've seen this already, but based on you recent comment on Steve1's talk page, you may be interested in the recent reconfirmation of Tanetris on GW2W. Community interaction featured pretty heavily in the discussions surrounding it, but (as far as I've seen) nothing has actually changed since then. horrible | contribs 02:48, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

I had completely missed it, thanks for the link. -Auron 03:16, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
I feel like it's just more of the same; people who mistake sysops for power-users and inherent leaders of the community, and people who see them as users who happen to have an additional set of tools but are otherwise normal editors. We've always (always!) had sysops who had no interest in dealing with user drama - they were the ones who only edited, for example, images of Armors in the game. That's all they were interested in doing, that's all they did, and they did it amazingly well. They got sysop because it would help them in their task of pruning old/outdated armor images, deleting incorrectly named ones to make way for a move, etc. That sysop was not expected to become a troll-smiter or any kind of user police, nor did they need to. We had other sysops for that.
I was one of those, and it was a thankless job. As a result of going after trolls, they went after me. I had more RfAs and reconfirmations than any other sysop. I even faced harassment in-game over shit I did on the wiki. While I had the same set of tools as Ms. Armor-image Sysop and we were on the same team, our roles were different - and that was okay! Not every sysop needs to be a mover and shaker, and (as poke states quite clearly on the Tanetris RfA) not every mover and shaker needs to be a sysop. Not every sysop needs to be active in every policy discussion, just like they don't need to actively edit mainspace articles to police users. Hell, by the time I arbitrated the Konig case, I hadn't been seriously editing for... 3 years? I would have been disqualified from sysophood by any kind of artificial activity gatekeeping measure, but (if I may toot my own horn) clearly I still had a grasp on the concept of user policing. That's largely the reason why I think those measures are pointless (and actively detrimental to the wiki); people don't forget how to sysop, and the increase in workload on the community would be immense for no positive effect.
Probably not a big surprise, but I feel like a few of the new community members fundamentally misunderstand what sysophood has always meant on this wiki. Given its start as a purely janitorial role, and slowly (very slowly) morphing to allow small amounts of sysop discretion, it's never been glorious or glamorous. When I nominated people all those years ago, they either hadn't thought of making the leap up or were too afraid to - but I assured them that it would be fine, and they would be a fine fit as long as they contributed what they could, when they could, how they could. Poke tried to explain that the community are the leaders, and in any kind of policy discussion, the community's word goes. It just seems that a vocal minority within the community are trying to turn it into a "the people vs the admins" out of frustration that their policy proposals don't have widespread community support. It's not the admin's fault that the community doesn't agree - the admins have nothing to do with it. That issue is with the community. -Auron 04:09, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
"they either hadn't thought of making the leap up or were too afraid to" reminds me of the responses I got from people recently when floating suggestions for new sysops. Maybe I should have pushed harder. horrible | contribs 19:30, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
In university I once set up a task force to clear up extremely chaotic communication and lack of communication between faculty and the student body. Both sides of the issue(s) argued the exact same thing: if there is a problem, it should be solved. As each year was progressing within the realm of expectations, it seemed moot for the faculty to support the cries of the student body. When I investigated the student body, though, it seemed to be a constant point of criticism towards the faculty and the issue was their lack of attempts to change it. As it turned out, the student body had missed a crucial part of communication; they did not get any farther than hallway politics (whatever its equivalent is in native English). The student body collectively acknowledged an issue, actively complained about it, and even made remarks towards individual faculty members in a cry for help. What the student body did not do, was collecting themselves and actively pursuing the issue, clearly communicating it with the whole faculty as a unified force. They would literally not take their attempts beyond the hallways.
When I stepped in like the absolute bitch I am, I simply collected the pain points and listed them with feedback from the student body, before marching myself up to the head of faculty directly. Not to a single professor, but to the individuals in charge of them all. When I communicated the issues with them, it became immediately obvious that the faculty itself was also suffering from the lack of communication and had been blaming the student body for it. This may seems childish to onlookers, but the core issue lies in the fact that neither party was willing to stop blaming the other side, instead of focussing on the actual miscommunications. The students were not getting clear information because the faculty had been (individually) attempting to change their pedagogy to react to the confused students as best they (each) could, while the faculty was not understanding the problems because the students had been trying to work out the information amongst themselves and used that basis to dismiss any conflicting information from the faculty members. This could only ever lead to confusion and frustration because the issue would get splintered across various perspectives and ideas about the actual information.
This anecdote isn't just a nostalgic rant on my early career in interpersonal communications and politics. The point I am trying to make is simply that whenever there is an issue that a or any community comes across, they should not let it simmer and splinter up. It is important to tackle it head-on, before it morphs into a general state of confusion and frustration. Identify the core issue, write it out, and unify those that feel that way behind it. Don't let it be hallway politics like the above, expecting the opposing side to come into that territory in an attempt to work through the many voices. Present the issue clearly and purposely in a way that doesn't leave much room for interpretation. It is also why I reached out to you on your talk page, horrible, because I anticipate that you do have a clear grasp on how you feel about the overall issues and it would remove any splintering if collected like that before moving forward. - Infinite - talk 21:45, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

your edit / question[edit]

Disclaimer: I don't think admins have any additional power when it comes to policy making. If it came across as such it was miscommunicated.

What I do think is that bcrats have the power to ignore the vote of the community if they (those 2 or 3 guys) think it's for the best of the wiki. Maybe we'll discuss that later, but now to your question. In my case, there are three aspects.

EDIT: I assume, we agree on "The bcrats (and most sysops) no longer participate in the community on a regular basis" (by Horrible) and you're looking for some concrete examples of their (seeming) disconnect w/ the community?

1) Disclaimer: When it happened, I had a thorough email exchange with the "offending" sysop and a year later with one of the bcrats. The topic is done from my PoV, I'm only mentioning it here since you, Auron, asked. If I'm factually wrong with anything I'd ask the bcrats and the sysop to correct me please, otherwise I don't want this to evolve into another discussion.

Last year, I had an issue with another editor and a sysop about how he managed the situation. After getting frustrated (and a brief email exchange with the sysop), I wrote a mail to that sysop (since I didn't wanna go behind his back) and the two bcrats. Sysop engaged in a mostly civilized email exchange (he was always civilized, I lost it a few times). From the bcrats: No reaction whatsoever.

My grades: Sysop C- (he tried), bcrats: F+ (no response, that's a clear FAIL. They though my mail was about the editor and not the sysop, so maybe I didn't communicate as clear as I should've - that gives them the + . I expect them to reach out and ask in such a case).

Once again: This has been discussed and cleared. No need to beat a dead horse. Unless of course I made some factual error.

2) poke's edit here:

My response:

To save you time:

Poke wrote: " We have policies in place that offer ways to open discussions when a community member believes that a sysop acted incorrectly. In the past years, none of this has been brought up. So either issues like these were discussed and resolved privately, or they didn’t occur." to which I responded "That is factually incorrect. I had an issue with a sysop and used the email links on the Admin Noticeboard to contact you, Tanetris and the sysop. Neither you nor Tanetris ever bothered to reply.".

As you can see, there isn't a direct response from either bcrat on that page. Also, neither one of them reached out via mail or contacted me on my talkpage. After a few days, *I* reached out to poke and we discussed some of those things. I probably should've addressed all aspects, but so be it. Mostly cleared up.

My grades (prior to reaching out to poke myself: poke F-, Tanetris F+ (I responded to poke's post, so Tan gets a bit of leeway). According to poke, the wiki has been quiet for years. So if an issue like that pops up, I expect at least one of the bcrats to react to it. Not reacting is a clear FAIL imo and can come across as disconnected / aloof / arrogant / disinterested /yourwordhere.

Sub aspect a) Generally, if anyone has an issue with the bcrats, the only place they can appeal to is ... the bcrats themselves. What is supposed to come out of that? FUBAR structural flaw in the system. Has nothing to do with the actual 2 or 3 folks.

3) Unrelated to 1 and 2 above: Did some reading in the past months about policy and policy changes in 2012 and somewhere posted that going from an electoral system to a "for lie" system is "mind-bogglingly idiotic". Xeeron asked me about it on my talkpage, I responded and then you asked your question. And that's how we got here. Toraen brought up his good points (to which you responded) so things might not be as clear cut as I thought they to be. But those are also structural things and have nothing to do with the people.

Questions? Was I halfway clear and concise? Steve1 (talk) 13:31, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, you were quite clear. Sorry you had an issue that got no bcrat response, that does suck and there's no way to sugar coat that. But as was pointed out previously, ANet is actually the final arbiter of the wikis, and they do keep an eye on things (although generally don't interfere unless absolutely necessary). If you have an issue with a sysop, elevate it to bcrats and hear crickets, then you should elevate it to Stephane. Guarantee you'll get a bcrat response at that point, and if it happens too often, Stephane will probably have a discussion about their continued service as bcrat. The system has never been an unmonitored dictatorship, and still isn't to this day.
As poke mentioned, we already do have the reconfirmation system to publicly air grievances over mishandled situations or sysops who are having a negative influence on the wiki project. You called it factually incorrect, but I don't think it was; if you tried to solve your issue off-wiki and didn't use the public forum specifically designed to call sysops to task over misbehavior, that's proving his point. Did you post a reconfirmation request for the sysop in question - or did you just try to solve it off-wiki?
To summarize my points from other pages and this one; sysops are beholden to the community (via reconfirmation) and bcrats (via user rights tools). Bcrats are beholden to the community (again via reconfirmation) and ANet (who can strip any power they have via server settings). If the community voted overwhelmingly to remove, for example, poke as bcrat - he would willingly step down. In a heartbeat. It would be a great loss to the wiki project, but he would respect the wishes of the community. But from what I can tell - that's never actually been the case. There have been a few people with a few problems that never take them up as a reconfirmation issue, and then pretend like the system is corrupt because nothing is changing. That's two problems in one because 1. they're not using the right avenue to lodge their complaints and 2. nothing should change (systemically) if it's only a couple people who are bitching about it - especially if they're doing it out of ignorance.
Ultimately, though, yes; the bureaucrats do have the power to ignore a few people for the benefit of the wiki. And, historically, that's done far more good than bad. We've always had a few disgruntled trolls who wanted to stir the pot. To give a personal example, whenever I would ban a troll for wiki disruption, they would act like they did nothing wrong and try to get me fired. They'd run around to people's talk pages complaining about me and trying to convince them to post to request a reconfirmation. But the beauty of the system is that the bureaucrats were able to see that for what it was - a bad faith attempt to game the system. And as a result, they were able to ignore it, and let me continue smiting trolls.
After enough time passed, or enough people did pile on the "let's fire Auron" bandwagon, they would open a new RfA... and I'd get overwhelming community support. That's the problem with thinking that a couple disgruntled users are actually speaking for the community - because, historically, they have not. So it's not so much that BCrats are ignoring the community, so much as ignoring a couple people who don't quite understand how the wiki system actually works.
No offense intended, but that's really how it looks from my PoV. Thanks for your post, though, I'm always interested in hearing from anyone who thinks there's systemic issues with the wiki. -Auron 19:10, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
"Sorry you had an issue that got no bcrat response" No worries, the issue has been finished. Discussed it with the sysop and (recently) with poke. Case closed, we're good now.
"If you have an issue with a sysop, elevate it to bcrats and hear crickets, then you should elevate it to Stephane" We should add that snippet to the appropriate policy page. Couldn't help. Now fonding those blasted pages otoh ... :@
"Did you post a reconfirmation request for the sysop in question - or did you just try to solve it off-wiki?" The latter. And no reason to stive for a reconfirmation about that nowadays.
"Ultimately, though, yes; the bureaucrats do have the power to ignore a few people for the benefit of the wiki." Philosophically, where would you draw the line? What if all the remaining active users nowadays decide to vote, say, Konig or Falconeye for bcrat. Should Tan/poke ignore such a vote? And who decides what's for the benefit of the wiki? Is that a static concept? What if the community totally changes? Should bcrats conserve the status quo because it's better? For the latter the answer is "no", since policy changes can happen. Anyway, doesn't really matter. :)
"No offense intended, but that's really how it looks from my PoV" That I'm a "disgruntled trolls"? ;-P
Horrible and I aren't "working together" or share an agenda. We actually disagree on some stuff which happened in the past few weeks. But there's a good chance that I don't know every minute detail about how the wiki works, yeah.
"I'm always interested in hearing from anyone who thinks there's systemic issues with the wiki." I wasn't around at the founding times of the wikis. If I'd experienced all the drama back then first-handedly I might see things different.
"Thanks for your post, though" Sure thing. And thanks for the info, the pointers and insights. Steve1 (talk) 21:24, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, a lot of the policies we had designed to protect against bad faith trolls aren't really applicable any longer. The wiki is far less active, there's fewer people streaming in, and nearly no trolls/totally destructive editors that need policing. But I think that's the beauty of the original design; it gives the bcrats the leeway to ignore bad faith posts while expecting them to listen to (and address) even a small number of good-faith editors with genuine concerns. Should we re-write the old policies to reflect the current reality of the wiki? Yeah, probably. This is also partly why I was so quick to offer resignation; my primary role had always been troll-smiter. Without the active influx of new users, including trolls, there's not really a need for that any longer. I don't think the wiki needs me as a "defender" or anything anymore. The current sysops can deal with any problems that arise, and have been doing it pretty well - barring a few issues you've had, obviously :p
"Should Tan/poke ignore such a vote?" Yes - there's a well-documented history of those users being disruptive, destructive, abrasive, and a bunch of other naughty words. If the community did somehow simultaneously lose their minds and vote for one of them as bcrat, I'd say that's a pretty good time to ignore it. But again, we're just playing what-if games. That situation is incredibly unlikely. In this wiki's entire history, I don't think the bcrats have had to ignore the community's wishes even once.
"And who decides what's for the benefit of the wiki? Is that a static concept?" Generally, yes. The wiki is really just a collaborative effort to document a video game. Anything else is faffery. If a user (or a policy proposal) interferes with the documentation - or other users attempting to document - it's not a benefit to the wiki. Simplistic, but that's kind of how I've always seen it. The most obvious case is trolls or vandals, but the water gets muddier in cases like Falconeye. He probably meant well, but ultimately made sweeping, destructive changes that most people disagreed with and wouldn't stop. Because so much effort normally spent on documenting had to be redirected to babysitting and fixing his mistakes, he became a net negative to the wiki.
"What if the community totally changes" If community consensus is against a bcrat, they can vote him out and pick a new one. If community consensus is against a policy, it can be amended. But the wiki project - the goal of documenting a video game - doesn't really change as its community does. It's not like reddit or other forums (like the long-deleted Guild Wars Guru) where the community is the project. -Auron 22:54, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
"Yes - there's a well-documented history of those users being disruptive, destructive, abrasive, and a bunch of other naughty words. If the community did somehow simultaneously lose their minds and vote for one of them as bcrat, I'd say that's a pretty good time to ignore it. But again, we're just playing what-if games." Yup, it was a philosophical question indeed. And from your understanding of "concept of the wiki" I can see where you're coming from (and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with it). I still like Tanetris' answer much better. ;-P
In other words, your interpretation of the role of a bcrat comes from ANet's point of view who pay for the resource. Right? Steve1 (talk) 10:27, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
It mostly comes from the POV that I'm amazing, know everything, and everyone else is stupid and wrong. But sure, we'll go with that! :p -Auron 19:29, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
(Over)compensating for a too tiny ... hand - like the real Donald? ;-P Steve1 (talk) 20:50, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
*Shhh* Just let him be, everything runs so much smoother when he's in his happy place. ;) --Rainith (talk) 21:00, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
Uh....Auron, I know more than you. User DrogoBoffin new sig.png Drogo Boffin 19:25, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

After reviewing your talk page,[edit]

I don't think I've read this much politics all year Ryuu  *meow* 05:30, 30 January 2021 (UTC)