QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Thu 25th November 2010, 11:22am)
is amusing (here's a version from the history
that won't go away.) The real issue, which no one wants to discuss, is the ever-popular practice of Rouge Admins blocking their opponents in content disputes, typically by calling them sock-puppets. The purported evidence must be kept secret, of course, for security reasons. Boblv's proposal would expose this practice to far too much scrutiny. One simply may not trust other admins to understand one's motives for blocking new editors, now, may one?
You know, for a long time I believed that for a new admin to dive in and reverse another admin's action, ad-hoc, was not wheel-warring, that wheel-warring and revert warring were similarly defined: restoring a prior state that one had oneself created previously (or restored previously), without discussion and consensus.
The wiki adhocracy, to be reasonably functional, requires the definition I assumed, that's probably why I assumed it, plus having seen plenty of examples. But there were some troubling exceptions; ArbComm admonishing an admin for reversing another admin's action without a discussion, for example. But that action was complicated by an apparent belief that the second admin should have known that this would be highly controversial.
Taken as some are interpreting it, or want the policy to be so interpreted, the individual power of administrators, their "sovereignty," is greatly enhanced. That makes sense only for a true superuser. Jimbo called reversal of his independent, original actions "wheel-warring," in the case of a block on Wikiversity, showing how easy it is to reinforce a dangerous precedent through personal involvement. Jimbo should have relied upon a different argument, if he wanted to insist, not "wheel-warring." He should simply have reaffirmed the action and warned against reversal of it, citing WMF authority over the wikis it hosts. Far cleaner, leading to a clear path of appeal, to the WMF itself.
(I've argued, in that case, that Jimbo had the authority to do what he did, which didn't make it wise. Because of the unclarity of the situation, SBJ also had the authority to unblock, so Jimbo should not have stripped the bits, even though he, again, had the theoretical authority to do so. Everyone came unglued over this incident, instead of simply taking it as an opportunity to make the relationship between the WMF and the individual wikis clear. So, instead of simply becoming clear through a small-scale discussion, it took a massive RfC to strip Jimbo of the Founder Flag, which ran rough 400:100 on meta -- astonishing, actually, showing how shallow support for Jimbo superpowers was; do an ordinary RfC on meta on similar issues that doesn't attract massive participation, the result would have been 1:2 to support Jimbo, because of the high consumption of wiki Kool-Aid on meta. I can know that because the RfC went through two phases, the 1:2 phase, with something like (50?) comments, based only on the Wikiversity actions, and then the landslide in the other direction when Jimbo dared to delete porn images on Commons, out of process.)
The lack of a clean, simple, wiki adhocratic definition of wheel-warring (and related recusal policy) has cause enormous damage, it may be the single most dysfunctional aspect of Wikipedia. Otherwise the existence of a huge administrative corps would have been more protective against small-scale cabal dominance.