Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2012/April

Inactive reviewer bits

The last time this subject came up, a host of things went wrong with the procedure. Part of it was that a whole host of options were mentioned, and then people started "voting" for one or another. I want to get as far from that as possible. I'm going to make a specific proposal, we can discuss it, make changes, and when-and-if we're ready, we'll see if there's support for it.

I would have done this sooner, but I wasn't entirely sure in my mind just what I wanted to propose. --Pi zero (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Draft proposal

  • If a user with the reviewer bit has not used the bit in one year (i.e., since before the same time on the same day of the previous calendar year), their bit should be disabled. They should be informed on their user talk page when this is done, with a cordial explanation (to be drafted) of how to get it back; provisions for getting it back are described hereafter.
  • Re-reviewer must be requested at WN:FR/RFP.
  • Under certain limited circumstances, such a request may be "expedited".
  • To qualify, the user must be in good standing, have had the bit removed only for inactivity, and have actually used the bit before its removal.
  • If at least two admins trusted users (admins, reviewers, etc.) support restoring the bit, and the request has been open for a couple of days with no doubts expressed nor expected, there's understood to be no need to keep it open longer.
  • When the bit is restored, the admin restoring it should leave a note on the user's talk page, including, as appropriate, things the user should know about changes over time to review standards.


  • Some advantages of this concept.
  • Wikibooks has a policy to de-sysop any admin who hasn't used their admin tools for a year, or who hasn't done anything on-wiki for a shorter period of time (I think it might actually be just one month). The idea is that if people are looking for an admin, they shouldn't be deceived by the bit into thinking someone is approachable when they really aren't around. Similar reasoning applies here.
  • Review practices change, and if you're not up to speed on what's going on right now, you ought to interact a bit with the community and find out what's been going on lately before you start wielding the bit. The request for the bit lets the returning user touch base with the community. It can be a very positive, community-bonding action.
  • We also, notoriously, have some users in the reviewer group who honestly aren't qualified, and most of whom probably don't even know they have the bit, who were given it shortly after the introduction of flaggedrevs, before the community really knew quite what the form of the review workflow would be.
--Pi zero (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Tweaked the wording slightly, per suggestion on IRC. Seems eminently reasonable to me. --Pi zero (talk) 22:32, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I found Inactive Policy when I was searching around. I know its only a proposed policy, but I think this discussion needs to be extended to include all privileges. I was looking and we have some admins, and presumably several with other bits that have been inactive for some time. I believe you should stay active, or lose / relinquish those bits, for security reasons if nothing else. Enfcer (talk) 01:45, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a pretty ancient page (I must have known about it once, as it was already on my watch list, but I'd certainly long since forgotten it). Accreditation does have a time limit now. That long-ago page mentioned nine months, which I think is too short even for reviewer. I don't think any of the priv bits (accreditation not being a bit) other than reviewer should have a fuse anywhere near as short as one year; indeed, I'd set the fuse so long that it would probably make more sense to set no automatic period at all, and make individual nominations for removal in cases where one feels it's really appropriate.
I'd really like to just stick to this one thing, inactive-reviewer, and try to get it settled and get it passed. It seems each time we've tried to get an inactive-reviewer policy in place, we've come up with a new way of not closing the deal. --Pi zero (talk) 02:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Inactive reviewer is not biting off more than we can chew. However, since many of the other bits control granting of reviewer to yourself, they should be looked at too (at some point). --Brian McNeil / talk 13:08, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]