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There are alot of things in the "wiki world" that really aren't very big deals.
Some of these come up often, some come up less often. Some of them are more big deals then others, but still not very big deals.
Features and groupsEdit
Take for example a new group or feature on a Wikipedia project. Most of these features really aren't big deals at all. When I come across a request for one there is really one important thing I think about: Why Not? Can I think of any reason that it would hurt to implement the request? If I can't I look at the reason for the request: Does it at the very least make sense? If it does then I vote yes, even if I really don't think it's necessary. Why? Why not?
How about a Request for Adminship: Here again it really isn't a big deal. I will however admit that I generally want to look for a couple things first:
- Have they shown enough to me that they can be trusted with the tools (i.e will they break the wik, which is hard)? Some of them are "relatively" powerful. To decide this I will look both at their contributions on the wiki where they are requesting access as well as foundation wide.
- Do they have a reason to have the tools? This is important, why do they want the mop and bucket? Are they planning to clean things up? Adminship isn't a big deal, but it isn't a hat to wear. There isn't any reason make someone a sysop (my preferred term) "because they are a good editor" if they just want to be an admin "because" they don't need it. In fact as the Commons project points out: being an admin can have a detrimental effect on your contributions, because your busy doing adminy (yes that's a word) stuff.
- Do they have a clue? similar to can they be trusted but a little more advanced (and harder to explain) basically do I think they will make good decisions
Contributions really aren't a huge deal to me, though a lack of them can make it hard for me to figure out the above. After everything above it still comes back down to Why Not? If they meet the general guidelines then sure go ahead. It is VERY easy for me to agree to take them away if you mess up or go inactive (it makes NO sense to keep people as sysops for years when they never come around anymore :) ). There really isn't anything a normal admin can do which can't be totally undone with a little time by other admins/stewards if they go berserk, I won't vote to promote them if I THINK they're going to go berserk but if I can't find a reason they would (and I think I have enough info to make that decision) then the benefit outweighs that risk.
- Bureaucrats- "Crats" are a special type of admin, they require (in my mind) a little bit more scrutiny but not a whole lot more, like Admins there isn't really anything they can do that can't be undone by others. However there are things they can do that have to be undone by stewards. So they have to have a "clue" and a need for the tools.
Other " minor requests" (RfX's)Edit
For most other user requests there is very little to think about and it tends to come down very much to a Why Not? mode of though. Ok they want rollback? Why Not? If I can't see any reason to say they would "fuck up" with them then why not, they can just as easily be taken away. This would hold similarly with something like WP:Importers, the Confirmed group on wikis that have it etc. If you can give an ok reason to have it the only question is Why Not?.
If you were directed here in the midst of a discussion about something else that's doesn't fit above it is because I or whoever linked you thinks Why Not applies. If your here stop and think about it for a second..... there are a lot of discussions that happen on wiki where the final result doesn't REALLY matter in the end. If we say yes what are the chances that something bad will happen? Why Not do it? Are we just delaying the inevitable? What will happen if we DO do it? There is a good chance it won't really matter either way, but still Why Not?
Where Why Not? is still used but to a different degree and along with Why?Edit
There are some things that Why Not is NOT meant for, at least by itself. These include anything where there is a serious possibility that the individual could do something that would be impossible or very hard to revert, or that could seriously harm the privacy of a user. This specifically includes anything where the Rfx Requester would have to identify to the WikiMedia Foundation for. I.E Oversight or checkuser. A big part of all the WMF projects is trying to have as much public information as possible. To that end we try to delete as much as possible and keep as much transparency as possible.
- Oversighters are able to delete data to a point where ONLY themselves and very select WMF staff members and Developers are able to see. They, by definition, work with little oversight to eliminate information that should NOT be in the public view and when they delete something the only way to undelete is to have a developer do so at the root level.
- Checkusers have an even more important job for the community. They are important tools to combat vandalism: checking to see when an account has been hacked, banned users are editing or blocks are being avoided. They help our communities keep from being overrun by vandalism and problems. That being said they are able to have access to the personal IPs of anyone who edits the Wiki, and like oversighters have only limited supervision in the other checkusers, WMF staff and higherups who are able to see what was done. If they wanted to they can cause problems for users off wiki, that can not be undone simply by removing the flag.