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An: Geoff Brigham <gbrigham@wikimedia.org> 
Cc: Kelly Kay <kkay@wikimedia.org>, Maggie Dennis <mdennis@wikimedia.org>

Dear Geoff,

Some users of the German-language Wikipedia are thinking about launching a poll for the introduction of an "administrator on trial" permission. We think that we need more administrators. However, the current process, involving an open vote and requiring a two-thirds majority for approval, has often a very inquisitorial atmosphere, which is causing two negative effects: People who could be suitable candidates don't apply at all, for they fear the dragging forth of all the little or bigger errors they made in the past, and voters are very cautious in order to avoid electing an unsuitable admin by mistake. So, we think that a "trial period" could be a solution, which would mean getting admin rights for a limited period of time to "prove oneself" before a regular vote (which would still be mandatory for permanent admin privs). The "trial rights" would be granted for three months, without a vote, but only to applying users who fulfill some formal requirements, such as a certain amount of activity in a given time frame (say, active for at least two years with at least 5000 edits etc.) and with a certain amount of supporters (say, 20 or 30).

As this would naturally enlarge the group of users who have access to deleted revisions, we would like to ask for your opinion on this - would such a process, creating a limited number of additional admins without a vote, be compatible with WMF policy? In an earlier mail (see below) from Kelly Kay to user Wnme regarding the introduction of a new user group with the permission to view deleted contents for members of the German support team the idea has been refused by you.

[...] We still do have the same inclination. Historically, the view has been (as established by Mike Godwin and later confirmed by Geoff) that access to admin rights and permissions, including that those who had access to deleted article-related permissions needed to be administrators, is because admins go through a rigorous community selection process. When the English Wikipedia recently proposed to create a new "Moderator" user right group, I approved this on the condition that the procedure for granting the right to these individuals was exactly the same as that of administrators - using the same criteria and on the same page. (See statement from June: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Village_pump_(technical)/Proposal_by_Jc37/3&diff=prev&oldid=499523757) [Support-Team spezifisches] I believe that the precedent established on Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump/Proposals/Archive/2011/11#OTRS_member_permissions) would be the same. In our opinion, it is important that anyone who has access to deleted materials have gone through the same process to avoid differing criteria and controls. I hope this makes sense to you. Our goal is constancy and common expectations.

Kelly Kay, Deputy General Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

So, this sounds as if our idea of "administrators on trial" might be a bad one, as the "rigorous community selection process" is missing for the first step. However, as said above, *permanent* administrator rights would still require the same selection process we currently use. Also, there would be only one such "trial period" for every applicant, you wouldn't be able to become "administrator on trial" repeatedly.

The current proposal for the poll is located at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meinungsbilder/Admin_auf_Probe (in German, of course ;-) ).

Many thanks for your assistance!

Kind regards,

the initiators, WP-DE-users

PS: it would be helpful, if you would release your answer under the CC-by-sa-3.0 licence, as we will then post it on the discussion page.