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Howdy folks. The most recent discussions moderator (DM) request has raised a couple of questions in my mind I'd like to discuss before we have any more. Now, right from the get-go, I understand that just bringing these topics up may cause some consternation, especially with discussions users, so I'm gonna take a few minutes to set the stage properly.

DM requirements

The way we do things now is that DMs must have the following requirements to qualify for a request:

  • Be active on the Discussion Boards for a period of at least 2 months.
  • Have an endorsement from an active Discussion Moderator, Administrator, or Bureaucrat confirming that the user is a regular user of the boards, and has a record of good behavior.
  • Any ban blocks the user from applying for this role for a period of 3 months following the end of the ban.
  • If you have been appointed to another position previously, you must have held it for at least 2 months.

When they pass that request, they are given a wide range of powers:

  • The ability to block users from the entire wiki (including chat)
  • The ability to ban users from chat.
  • The ability to lock and delete discussions topics and replies.
  • The ability to see the report log on discussions.

These powers are part of the tool set that Wikia give out. We can't change them. So we ask that DMs only use their block powers for discussions and don't use their chat mod powers unless they've also passed a chat moderator (CM) request. Since DMs are similar in function on the discussion board to CMs in chat, I'll list the requirements for CM:

  • You've made at least 100 edits, and at least 50 of these must be in the article, category, module or template namespace (i.e. talk page, blog and forum contributions do not count for these set 50).
  • You have been endorsed by at least one active administrator, moderator or chat moderator (see Making the request below).
  • You have been continuously active at this wiki, and in this wiki’s chat, for at least two months.
  • You have not been site-blocked or chat-banned for a period of at least three months.
  • If you have been previously appointed patroller, you have held patroller rights for a minimum of two months.

When someone passes a CM request, they are granted:

  • The ability to kick and ban users from chat.

You'll notice that we require CMs to have a minimum number of edits. Here's where my first series of questions stem from.

  1. Why do we require CMs to have a small number of edits to the mainspace?
  2. Why do we not require the same of DMs, given that they have greater powers across the entire wiki than CMs?
  3. Is there a reasonable reason why DMs should not show the ability to navigate and make some edits on the wiki itself?
  4. Is there a reasonable reason why DMs should not have to?

I've spent enough time on the discussions boards to understand there are fundamental differences between it and the rest of the wiki. The two are not well integrated, with many users accessing discussions from the app and not a desktop or mobile browser. It is downright difficult to navigate the wiki from the app. Logged in app users do not see any notification of talk page messages. Often links to the wiki do not even work for app users. There is a slight difference with DMs though:

  • DMs can not see the report log from the app.
  • DMs can not block a user from the app.
  • DMs can not get a notification of talk page messages, the usual form of communication between members of the moderation team, from the app.
  • DMs can not access chat from the app, the easiest way to contact an admin, should they need to.
  • DMs can not use the discussions feed that helps make moderating discussions much easier from the app.

These issues make it much harder for DMs to communicate and do their job relying solely on the app. Since it is required they use the desktop site to use their tools, does this have an effect on whether we should require DMs to show competency on the wiki itself?

I am sincerely interested in anyone's opinion on this issue. It would help immensely if you could reference which question you're responding to by number. Please respond in the section below titled "Edit requirements for discussions moderators".

Voting on DM requests

That brings me to my second issue. All user rights requests are done in the forums on the wiki. This is not problematic except for DM requests. We require all user who vote on a rights request to have made one edit of any sort prior to the request to be eligible to vote. The reason for this is to establish the uniqueness of their vote and allows us to use the check user tool to determine if there is voter fraud. The tool we use on the wiki does not work in discussions and no similar tool will be made available to us at any time in the near future.

We currently ignore that requirement for DM votes. We allow discussions users to cast a vote in a discussions topic and transfer them to the forum here. There is no way to tell if any of these votes are fraudulent.

  1. Should we continue to waive the policy of making one edit anywhere on the wiki on DM requests, considering we open ourselves up to possible voter fraud?
  2. Considering the block power that DMs wield, should we allow users to vote in a discussions topic rather than the forum without any means to determine the uniqueness of their vote?

Again, I am sincerely interested in all side of this discussion. I'd like to hear from everyone on the issue. Please respond to this question in the section titled "Discussions moderator request voting".

Edit requirements for discussions moderators

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1. I have actually thought this myself. We have had some good users come in to chat like NEWTU who don't edit, but would have been good CM's. I'd like to know more about why we have this requirement for CM's to start with before we look at should DM's be required of the same. If a CM can demonstrate how to use a talk page, they are capable of doing the wikiside of the role. 2/3/4. If we were to require it of DM's, we may well limit the talent pool of potential good DM's to those who want to edit. My views on discussions is I want to bring them into the wiki fold better and we have seen some motion towards this in the last month or so. Adding an edit requirement could be counterproductive to this and potentially cause unneeded work for the wiki side staff. We have already seen this recently by someone who wants to be admin. I'd be more inclined to have a post requirement to demonstrate that this user knows what they are doing, understands the rules and knows how they should be applied. Deleted posts and threads get discounted from the total on the profile header, so we can see if they are hitting a certain "quality" benchmark rather than spamming. 1000 posts is much easier to gain than 1000 edits we have for admin so I would want a higher threshold to help demonstrate consistent activity. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 23:14, July 23, 2017 (UTC)

2. Well I feel we have CMs have edits and DMs don't have those edits is because what I've seen in my short time on the wiki is that many people who use discussions use it through the mobile app like myself. So in turn we have to use crappy mobile browser which is horrible for editing so really it gets discouraging to edit so what if instead of edits for DMs we do posts like Sakaratte said above.Quarterman812 (talk) 23:26, July 23, 2017 (UTC)

Saka, to answer your question regarding the requirement for chat mods, as I recall (I was around back then) the edit requirement showed a dedication to the wiki and also showed that the chat mod would be able to help users with questions about editing. As for discussion moderators and edit requirements, I'd like to definitely see some posts. I'd like to see DMs getting edits as well because, as we established one has to use the desktop version of the discussions site in order to do the job of a discussion mod, meaning the interface for mobile ain't an excuse. As was pointed out earlier, you literally cannot do the job of the discussion mod from the mobile site or the app, you cannot ban from that, you cannot see reported posts from that. Richie9999 (talk) 04:22, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

That is a good point. When new people come to chat they are after one of two things, editing help or to find information. I have seen a similar pattern come up with discussions users too. They chat, want information or want to edit. DM's that can do would be good, but the numbers available to DM are less than those who can "moderate" on the wiki. Maybe we should look for numbers to go up some more before considering an edit limit. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 09:19, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

3. I'm a bit twisted on this one. I think DMs should have the requirement if Chat mods have it, but I'm not sure if chat mods should have it in the first place. We talked about this a bit in chat, and the requirement certainly has some advantages (show of dedication to the wiki, prevent needlessly optimist requests, help others who don't know how to edit and who may walk into chat, ...), but I'm not sure if they are sufficient to compensate for the downsides in terms of DM/CM appointments. That being said; I do find it personally somewhat problematic how the inability to the main wiki is treated at the moment. I think DMs should be able to use at least talk pages so they can contact bcrats, admins, staff, helpers or VSTF when there is stuff that they can't fix. I think part of learning how to do this can (not must, just a way it's possible to do it) be done by editing, which in the start inevitably leads to interaction. - Greets Peace'n Hugs (talk) (blog) 12:11, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

Discussions moderator request voting

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I think there are things we need to consider before we look at this. The most recent poll has no indications of voter fraud. i confirm the majority of them are unique from general observations. Firstly we need to get users to openly declare their alt's on their bios (preferably first line) so we know who owns what. Laat and Old World Blues is best have multiple alts, the formers being very easy to spot, but we haven't enforced the alt rule very well in the past. next to none of the alts are declared. I think we need to get our discussions house rules sorted as whole in this area before we consider the voting rule. I think we also risk limiting votes to the point most wouldn't hit quorum. Most don't want to switch to browser to browser to vote and are happy to declare on a single discussions thread. Adding barriers for true voters could be detrimental to us. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 23:14, July 23, 2017 (UTC)

First a remark to Saka's post: "The most recent poll has no indications of voter fraud. i confirm the majority of them are unique from general observations.". I disagree with this, not noticing problems is for me not a reason to stay within a situation where we don't have any checks available on one of the most important aspects of wiki life. I also don't like "the majority", 100% should be the goal. This request is more or less landslide in terms of voting, so here it's hard to believe that the democratic legitimacy might be undermined, but future requests might show something different. Above that, keep in mind that ignoring the possible existence of doublevotes is basically accepting that some unique voters their vote isn't worth more than some extra vote of someone who spent 1 minute making an extra sock account. With that being said:

I think I'm more or less known to be isolationist in terms of discussions. I think wiki matters should be done on the wiki and discussion matters should be done on discussions (so this includes voting on rule changes, rights requests, ban appeals, ...). The problem here however seems to be that the way it works isn't as clear cut. The thing I hate most about how current stuff works, is that the ban powers that DMs get are wiki wide and include chat access. To me, this means that DM requests are to be had on the wiki, due to the impact they can have on the wiki-life, which should still be the core business of Nukapedia. This however then again leads to problems of democratic legitimacy as discussions users seem to have a harder time getting access to our site. Saka solved this in the last request by copy/pasting votes, but I don't really like this method, and especially if this cancels our control on vter requirements, it's bad. That being said, it being bad also doesn't mean that it isn't the best option. I'm honestly not sure myself about what we should or shouldn't do on this matter. To me, the biggest problems could be solved if Wikia would just let discussion bans work like chat bans, and then everything could just be done on discussions in terms of votes etc. - Greets Peace'n Hugs (talk) (blog) 22:38, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

Test The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 22:11, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

From the person who "wrote" the rules

Well, given that I wrote the rules, kinda (adapted from those in other parts of the rules), I feel many these questions are really directed at me.

Why do we not require the same of DMs, given that they have greater powers across the entire wiki than CMs?

When DMs were introduced, they had no ban power, this was implemented by wikia at my request (only after it was made clear multiple times by Wikia a Discussions only ban power wasn't going to happen - a position they've continued to hold, and a forum discussion on their abilities).

Most DMs users use the app, which to my understanding does not have an edit capability (I must admit I've not used it in a long time), its just read only.

I'd also point out that my interpretation is that although they have the tools, the rules prevent them from using them. So I'd ignore the "could" because we'd deal with that as any other misuse of power issue.

Is there a reasonable reason why DMs should not show the ability to navigate and make some edits on the wiki itself? Is there a reasonable reason why DMs should not have to?

It comes down to a majority of that part of the community using the app.

Although they are forced onto the main wiki to use some of the tools, it would limit the pool which we can recruit from.

Should we continue to waive the policy of making one edit anywhere on the wiki on DM requests, considering we open ourselves up to possible voter fraud?

I'm not sure if this is a concern, as a post prior to the vote being opened is an alternative credential.

Considering the block power that DMs wield, should we allow users to vote in a discussions topic rather than the forum without any means to determine the uniqueness of their vote?

My intention was when I moved to "take control" of Discussions was to have discussions only matters voted on in discussions - the intial implementation of rules, and the first elected DMs were appointed this way (with a notice only in the forums directing to discussions) simply because it seemed to be the only way to ensure those effected by the decision could participate.

I didn't want to walk in simply imposing my will, we've had a long history of "policing by consent", and I was already uncomfortable enough appointing people without positive endorsement. Agent c (talk) 23:40, July 23, 2017 (UTC)

Edits as votes

Just because it came up in the chat.... There's a question about Posts being counted as edits. The origin is here:

  • 21:35, June 9, 2016 (UTC)~ I say we give the power to SSJ3 Rusticus. -CobaltJack/Jack Clovis (no prior edits to the vote)

Okay, looks like we have a problem. The "must make an edit" rule clearly predates discussions. Surely we can count a post on discussions as an edit for this purpose. This user has many, many, posts Agent c (talk) 21:45, June 9, 2016 (UTC) - Peace has agreed to readd in chat. (in this specific case)

That user had many many posts, but what will we do now with the other accounts that had no prior votes and the anon vote? - Greets Peace'n Hugs (talk) (blog) 20:33, June 16, 2016 (UTC)

I think if we read the "Edit" rule with a purposeful approach, and read it to include posts, then

New RGI is at 794, and I can see them posting before the vote.

ArthurMaxson is DM and I gave him those powers months ago, so I can confirm his existence long term.

ColinTheCourier is at 319, and I can see them posting before the vote.

Cobaltjack I've already eplored.

Happydance is at 1358, and I can see them posting before the vote.

Strongtapdatass and Dweller111 although I don't immediately recognise the names (Sorry guys) have edited the wiki before the vote.

I am unable to presently confirm DragonAce7's presence in discussions. I have asked for Wikia for assistance.

So that to me leaves the Anon vote as out, and DragonAce7's as presently "provisional". Have I missed anyone that you would like to query? Agent c (talk) 20:51, June 16, 2016 (UTC)

Dragonace has 2466 posts, again dating prior to the vote. Agent c (talk) 20:58, June 16, 2016 (UTC)

As a bit of an explanation, the purposive approach is a rule of stautory interpretation - how laws are interprted. Basically you don't just read the plain text of the rule but try to implement what it means... A common example would be reading "Man" as "Person" (particulary from older text where its refering to the human race, or from a time where the legal role of a Man was different to a Woman).

As the purpose of the Edit rule was to ensure that people didn't just create accounts to flood a vote, and having a post prior to the vote fills the same purpose, and the rule came before discussions was invented, I read "posts" as included in the term "Edit".

The alternative would have been a plain reading of the rule, and since that would have excluded users who would be most effected by the proposal, I felt that would have been the kid of "absurd" outcome the approach is intended to avoid Agent c (talk) 23:02, July 24, 2017 (UTC)

I want to clarify something here. This discussion was there at the time because wikia didn't display the amount of posts users made. The only information you could get as a desktop user was a red link to a profile that was said to not exist. It's also as that wasn't viable that I said we could set it aside for this one specific case. While it is linked to this discussion, new problems have arisen, like the fact that we can't do checkuser on accounts that didn't post on the wiki itself. In that way, I do like the idea of making people vote here, as it automatically gives them an edit we can trace then. That being said, a democratic deficit will arise, and I really don't like the idea of discussions not being able to freely elect their own moderators. This would all be so easy to fix for Wikia, but they don't want to listen to actual improvements... - Greets Peace'n Hugs (talk) (blog) 10:00, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I have a serious problem with the thought that asking discussions user to vote here on the wiki is somehow undemocratic or even problematic at all. We act like these people can't navigate the internet somehow. That's a ridiculous position. Just because a user may be accessing discussions from an app does not mean they don't have access to a device and web browser. Every device I can think of that can run the app has a damn browser on it. To prove it's possible, I'm making this edit from my phone. And not everyone uses the app. There's plenty of folks who use mobile browsers. I bet you that damn near every time someone uses the app to participate in discussions they're also using their mobile browser to read something on the internet too. It's not an access issue, it's not a technology issue, it's an effort issue. They can easily make the edit and vote on the wiki, they don't want to. So to say it's undemocratic is too much of a stretch for me. They make me leave the comfort of my home and drive all the way to the local polling place when I have to vote in real life. Is that undemocratic too? Why can't I vote for president from an app?
This idea that discussions is somehow a different world is specious. It's not. The url starts with fallout.wikia. Wikia chose to have it integrated with the wiki so it's a part of this site whether anyone wishes it to be or not. And to think that asking people to log into the website with the same exact account they use for the app on the same exact device they use for the app and make one edit and vote in a forum here actually is pretty damn demeaning to them. I'm certain every single one of them can do it and to think that they somehow lack the ability to do this or it's somehow too difficult to do is ludicrous. It the states, you have to register to vote. You can't just walk up to a polling place on voting day. You have to make a minimum of effort to qualify to vote. Does that make the US undemocratic? No it doesn't. And it doesn't make us undemocratic to ask people who access our website from an app to drive their virtual car over to the virtual polling place and vote. The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 11:46, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
I don't use a smartphone, so I assumed that there were legit concerns. As it appears that that isn't the case, then I agree with you, Gunny. - Greets Peace'n Hugs (talk) (blog) 18:30, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
To clarify this for anyone who does not completely understand, these are the steps required to navigate to this forum from a smart phone/tablet using the app (in this case my iPhoneSE):
1. Press home button then open browser (safari in this case)
2. Search for fallout wiki in browser, click link to Nukapedia.
3. Select community>forum>wiki proposals and applications from top navmenu
4. Click on this forum
5. Click edit a section
place edit, hit publish. That's it. Again these folks use their phones/tablets to access the internet all day long every day I'd wager. I don't even use my phone to access the internet much and I still have three pages up right now, one for the wiki, one for Southwest Airlines (a boarding pass) and one for a taxi company. It's seriously that easy. As further proof, I will vote yes on this reply from my phone in a few seconds The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 20:47, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
Yes The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 20:49, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
They make me leave the comfort of my home and drive all the way to the local polling place when I have to vote in real life. Is that undemocratic too?

Well, if you want to get technical, potentially it is. It depends on how accessible that polling place is and the availabilty of alternatives like absentee/postal/proxy voting. However, the problem is that these many of users would not qualify under a strict reading of the rules if "edit" was not read to include the term "post" because they don't have an "edit" before the poll. Agent c (talk) 20:42, July 25, 2017 (UTC)

Which brings me to the main question we need to ask about edits vs. posts: while both will satisfy the requirement that any particular account has been established prior to a vote without a check user tool to verify the existence of more than one account on an IP if suspected, posts will not satisfy the requirement that each person gets one vote. And edit brings with it the ability to check an IP if it's suspect. Granted there are limitations, but anyone voting from a proxy is probably a vote we don't want to recognize either. We simply can not certify that anyone voting without an edit to check is not voting with more than one account. We know that many people have more than one account. We know that now everyone declares those secondary account like the policies dictate. Do we wish to ignore this fact and ignore the tool we can use to ensure that each person gets one vote? I've already proven that it is not an onerous task to come to the wiki and vote in the forum. That edit itself can satisfy that need. A discussions post prior to that will satisfy the requirement of being present before a vote for any particular account. The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 21:00, July 25, 2017 (UTC)

Given that the situation has evolved since the first few votes went through, and that discussions users have shown that they can and will edit the wiki to vote, I have no objection to discussion-related votes all occuring here, on the understanding that for the purposes of voter qualification that "Edit" includes "post", which seems doesn't seem to be controversial. Agent c (talk) 22:35, July 25, 2017 (UTC)

I think the general consensus is (from what I have seen) a post before the vote counts as the edit before. That strikes me as the sensible option as well. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 22:42, July 25, 2017 (UTC)
I'm all for both requiring them to vote in the forums and discussion posts counting as edits when it comes to voting on requests. I think for voting on requests we should provide the discussions folks with some idiot proof instructions to help out the non-editors. Richie9999 (talk) 23:47, July 25, 2017 (UTC)

Consensus on issue #2 - voting on discussion moderator rights requests in the forums

Seems like we've come to a consensus on this topic. The good news is we don't have to do anything officially to implement. We will continue to field rights requests in the wiki proposals and applications forum and voters will be required to vote on the request itself. Since we were the ones moving votes over from discussions, we will simply stop doing that. Also, since this fulfills the need for an edit to run check user if there is any question of legitimacy of a vote, we can also continue to apply the existing interpretation of the one edit prior to voting on a rights request rule to extend to discussions posts.

I will make a discussions topic with explicit step by step instructions so that we can link it from rights request announcements in discussions. I will also probably add a little bit to the discussions guidelines, including the link to the instructions, and our administrator page here clarifying things so it's written down in an easy to find place.

Is there anything else on issue 2 people want to bring up before I implement? Speak now if you disagree with the consensus position. The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 01:43, July 26, 2017 (UTC)
An announcement topic in discussions has been opened and the guidelines have been changed to add a link to the instructions provided in that topic: http://fallout.fandom.com/d/p/3062728919389046079 The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 23:30, July 27, 2017 (UTC)

Moving back to first topic, DM minimum requirements

I'd like to try and get to a consensus position on the first topic raised: The inconsistency between requiring minimum edits for CMs but not DMs. This is a little more convoluted topic so I think what I'd like to do is start with a quick straw poll to see where the majority positions are The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 01:43, July 26, 2017 (UTC)

In a perfect world I'd prefer to see regularity rather than an arbitrary number for posts. I know our current toolset doesn't make this easy... Agent c (talk) 11:52, July 26, 2017 (UTC)

Regularity would be 2 months of being consistently active as with all other rights no? As for a number of posts, we have it set to 1,000 for admin, but as I was told back when I was a patroller, 5000+ is recommended. Would it be worth adding a caveat that a run can be made at a lower (agreed) threshold at the discretion of endorsers where there is a strong case to endorse irregardless? Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 16:55, July 26, 2017 (UTC)
Regularity would be 2 months of being consistently active as with all other rights no?

yeah, but we never got around to defining it. I can't recall it being a major problem before, but I'd still prefer that to be a little less grey. Agent c (talk) 23:33, July 27, 2017 (UTC)

I don't know if we'll ever be able to adequately define that. Any way we slice it, it's gonna be pretty arbitrary. It's gonna be one of those "I'll know it when I see it things". Either they've been active, posting daily or many days a week, or there will be large gaps between posts. It looks like the polls above have petered out. Here's what I'm thinking. Since this will actually change the official policy, this probably needs to go to a vote? Agreed? And I'm thinking of pulling the top two responses from the polls above and doing a multi-question vote. What does everyone think? The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 02:50, July 28, 2017 (UTC)

( I agree with the vote, although I would probably go with top three for the post counts as they are a little more spread out. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 04:47, July 28, 2017 (UTC)

Update: I'm out until Wednesday. I'll look for more feedback here and create a forum vote if that's what the consensus it then. The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 19:54, July 28, 2017 (UTC)

Policy vote forum overview
PolicyAdministrators and Moderators
Amendment 1Dsicussion moderator block rights · Discussion · Vote · 16 June 2016 · 12-7
Amendment 2Content moderator · Vote · 22 November 2017 · 12-4-0
Amendment 3Technical moderator role · Discussion · Vote · 2 February 2022 · 15-0-0
Related topicsAdministration policy · User rights requests