Requests for Comment/Meta Interface Admin Group

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Note: This RFC only affects Meta and does not apply globally.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This RFC is intended to establish consensus regarding the use of the Interface Administrator user group on Meta. As some background, this group was added to MediaWiki core in (I believe) version 1.32 as an added layer of security against compromised administrator accounts. Previously, users with sysop access could edit all pages in the MediaWiki: namespace and edit all CSS/JS pages, both sitewide pages and personal user scripts. However, this posed a security risk because if an admin account was compromised or went rouge, severe damage can be done that would affect all users of the site by inserting malicious content into CSS or JS pages - perhaps more damage than would be done by perhaps deleting the main page or something like that. As a result, the editinterface userright, which allows modification of pages in the MediaWiki: namespace, among other similar permissions, were revoked from the sysop group and given to their own independent group that is assignable by bureaucrats. However, on Meta these changes were overridden locally so that sysops still have the rights they originally had, and the interface admin group has since been unused.

However, there may be certain cases where access to the MediaWiki namespace and other interface pages is needed or desired while full administrator rights are not needed. The circumstance that prompted the creation of this RFC is a personal desire to do some work to improve Twinkle, which has its code hosted in the MediaWiki namespace, without applying for full administrator access. The purpose of this RFC is to establish consensus for use of the Interface Administrator group, which has the necessary permissions unbundled from the sysop group.

Proposal regarding group management[edit | edit source]

Currently, only Meta bureaucrats can add or remove the interface administrator user group, which limits the management of the group to only 2 users (John and Southparkfan as of writing). It is proposed that Meta administrators and Stewards also be allowed to manage the interface admin group, so that there is a number of people able to manage the group that any requests will be attended to in a reasonable amount of time.

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Strong support As proposer. Amanda Catherine (talk) 21:21, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

  1. Oppose While I Support administrators being able to add interface admins, I am opposed to the Steward proposal as I see no need for Steward intervention on a wiki that has active administrators and at least one active bureaucrat. Stewards should intervene when a community needs assistance or support and I feel like that is not the case for Meta. Reception123 (talk) (C) 07:30, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Oppose Per Reception -EK📝🌎 23:43, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Abstain[edit | edit source]

  1. Not against it, but the need to acquire editinterface rights should be rare enough that burdening/awaiting a bureaucrat would not be a big problem. I do support having editinterface separate from other Admin rights on the basis of demonstrated need. Another example is maintaining the Message of the Day (sitenotice/anonnotice), which are also in the protected MediaWiki: namespace. Spıke (talk)23:04 22-May-2020

Comments[edit | edit source]

Amendment 1 to Proposal regarding group management[edit | edit source]

Steward is removed from the people explicitly authorized to manage the usergroup (except in case of an emergency).

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Support As I explained in my oppose above, I don't feel there's a need to explicitly allow the local Steward group to edit this userright, since it is a local user right. In case of an emergency and a lack of local staff around, as on any other wiki Stewards can use their permissions accordingly, but they should not be doing routine appointment/revocations since this is local business. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:20, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Support. Per Reception123. Stewards have a responsibility to the wiki farm; Meta Admins administer Meta. There is no reason to blur the distinction. Spıke (talk)19:34 24-May-2020
  3. Support per reception123 and spike. DeeM28 (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

Appointment[edit | edit source]

Proposal 1[edit | edit source]

A user may be added to the interface administrator user group at the discretion of users agreed to in the above proposal for group management if the requesting user meets all of the following criteria:

  • A clear and specific purpose for requesting the right has been demonstrated (i.e. the user has made clear what exactly they plan to use the permissions for and are not "hat collecting")
  • The user already holds wiki creator, rollback, CVT, or other userrights that demonstrate that they are trustworthy
  • The user has no recent history of blocks or other sanctions on Meta
  • The user confirms that they have a strong password

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Support As initial drafter of this RFC I support either proposal 1 or proposal 2. Amanda Catherine (talk) 22:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Support I think community votes are important and necessary for rights that have a lot of permissions and rights that interact with the community. Interface administrators being in charge of editing the MediaWiki namespaces and the JS and CSS files, I think the discretion of an admin or bureaucrat is sufficient for the rights. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:09, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
  3. Support per above. Don't think we need more voting for this. DeeM28 (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

Proposal 2[edit | edit source]

Interface administrator rights may only be granted after a successful request at Meta:Requests for permissions, where successful is defined as:

  • The request has been open for at least 5 days
  • At least 5 users have independently supported the user requesting permissions (independently meaning without canvassing or meatpuppetry)

In addition, a request for interface administrator at RFP will not be considered valid unless the user has also met all of the following criteria:

  • A clear and specific purpose for requesting the right has been demonstrated (i.e. the user has made clear what exactly they plan to use the permissions for and are not "hat collecting")
  • The user already holds wiki creator, rollback, CVT, or other userrights that demonstrate that they are trustworthy
  • The user has no recent history of blocks or other sanctions on Meta
  • The user confirms that they have a strong password

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Support As initial drafter of this RFC I support either proposal 1 or proposal 2. Amanda Catherine (talk) 22:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

  1. Oppose In favor of proposal 1 I think this right can be requested similarly to how rollback/confirmed/autopatrolled are. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:09, 24 May 2020 (UTC)

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

  • Repeating my chronic request that we get close to voting on exact text after a drafting interval with public input. Here, if Proposal 1 failed but Proposal 2 were adopted, 2's incorporation of criteria from 1 could lead to controversy. Spıke (talk)23:08 22-May-2020
I think I have now addressed this. Amanda Catherine (talk) 23:28, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Revocation[edit | edit source]

Proposal 1[edit | edit source]

Interface administrator permissions may be immediately revoked by a bureaucrat, administrator, or steward without a prior discussion if either of the following occur:

  • The user account has shown indication of being compromised
  • The user has engaged in vandalism in restricted namespaces or on restricted pages

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Strong support As proposer. Amanda Catherine (talk) 22:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Support All of the above groups should defend Miraheze against vandalism and all the rules should support their doing so.. Spıke (talk)23:17 22-May-2020
  3. Support for obvious reasons. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:16, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
  4. Support of course. DeeM28 (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
  5. Support Agreed. WickyHoney (talk) 21:07, 28 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

Proposal 2[edit | edit source]

Interface administrator permissions may be procedurally removed if the user holding the rights has been inactive on Meta for 30 consecutive days. If the user is active globally on other wikis, an attempt to contact the user and notify them of the pending removal of rights for inactivity should be made.

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Strong support As proposer. Amanda Catherine (talk) 22:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Support. At least this. The power to editinterface is so specific and task-based, I wouldn't mind if it lapsed automatically after 30 days of disuse (even if the user remained on Meta doing other things); without prejudice against asking for the rights again if a new need arose. Spıke (talk)23:14 22-May-2020
  3. Support per Spike. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:16, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
  4. Support If someone is inactive they should not keep the rights. I also agree with The Pioneer and think that interface admin should be limited. DeeM28 (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment:I think that it is better to give Interface Admin authority by specifying a period rather than giving it indefinitely.First, give the interface administrator authority for 30 days, and then extend the term if necessary. (While maintaining sup{Remaining term} = 30days).-- (talk) 09:49, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment:Addendum:I would like to add the condition that an extension application can be made after the remaining period is within one week.In short, I think the deadline should not be extended when there are no bureaucrats or administrators.-- (talk) 10:13, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

Proposal 3[edit | edit source]

Any member of the Miraheze community in good standing may initiate a request for removal of interface administrator rights ("vote of no confidence") if they believe that the rights have been abused, but there is not an urgent or emergency situation necessitating their immediate removal. A user starting such a request must demonstrate clearly why they believe the rights have been abused, and preferably should support their claims by providing diffs or discussion logs. A request for removal will be successful (i.e. will result in the removal of permissions) if:

  • The request clearly demonstrates abuse of the rights
  • The request has been open for at least 5 days
  • At least 5 users independently support the removal of the rights
  • There is no evidence that the request was created in bad faith as "retaliation" for actions with which one disagreed or other reasons

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Strong support As proposer. Amanda Catherine (talk) 22:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

  1. Oppose Opposing per my support of Proposal 1 for appointment. If interface administrators are appointed by discretion, removal should also be by discretion, or else it would not make sense to appoint by discretion and remove only with a vote. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:16, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. The fourth bullet is remarkable. A Meta Interface appointee makes changes in the MediaWiki: namespace that, in my opinion, break Meta. (Imagine here whether I appealed to him directly and whether he dealt forthrightly with me about his changes.) Eventually, I request removal of his editinterface rights. Now we are to weigh whether my request was "in bad faith" or whether doing something about my disagreement constitutes retaliation? Fourth bullet could read, "Only if a drama storm fails to take root." Spıke (talk)19:42 24-May-2020

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

Proposal 4[edit | edit source]

Interface administrator permissions may be revoked by a bureaucrat, administrator at their discretion. after a discussion on Meta:Administrators' Noticeboard. This discussion is not a vote and is mainly for administrators and bureaucrats to discuss whether the user should be revoked and for what reason.

Support[edit | edit source]

  1. Support Assuming Proposal 1 for appointment passes, this is the only way that makes sense to be able to revoke someone. As I said above, you can't appoint by discretion and revoke by vote, that does not make much sense in my opinion. Reception123 (talk) (C) 15:16, 24 May 2020 (UTC)

Oppose[edit | edit source]

Abstain[edit | edit source]

Comments[edit | edit source]

  • Sloppy. How much discussion constitutes "a discussion on Noticeboard"? What if notice of abuse arises on Discord or by telephone? Sure, require that it be disclosed on Noticeboard (with the candidate for revocation permitted to state his view). But then, "for what reason....the user should be revoked"? Presumably we got here for a reason, we are not using Noticeboard to invent one. Spıke (talk)19:46 24-May-2020
    I'm assuming that you are being hypothetical here, but under most circumstances I don't think that discussing wiki things via telephone is a good idea (especially since UK tends to be even more sensitive to harassment than United States where the WMF needs to be concerned). (sorry for invoking a Wikipedia dispute on Miraheze (I know I've been criticized for doing that before) - I just happen to follow enwiki ArbCom business closely). Amanda Catherine (talk) 20:13, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Since I was the only person who supported/opposed I have striked out that and just left it to discretion. As I said, it doesn't make sense to appoint someone without a vote but to need a vote to revoke them. Reception123 (talk) (C) 11:02, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
    Agreed. However, we haven't yet decided whether appointment was by discretion or by request with support of 5 members. Again we are weighing multiple pieces moving independently. Spıke (talk) 15:15 25-May-2020
    @Spike: Yes, perfectly right and from now on the correct method should be to have the same proposals for appointment/revocation as if someone votes one proposal for appointment the counterpart would also need to be voted for revocation. In this case, of course this proposal should only pass if the appointment proposal regarding discretion passes. Reception123 (talk) (C) 17:45, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: Original Proposal has been striked out and modified since I was the only person who voted. Reception123 (talk) (C) 11:02, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

General Comments[edit | edit source]