NGOpedia:Administrators

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Administrators, commonly known as admins or sysops (system operator), are Wikipedia editors who have been granted the technical ability to perform certain special actions on the English Wikipedia. These include the ability to block and unblock user accounts, IP addresses, and IP ranges from editing, edit fully protected pages, protect and unprotect pages from editing, delete and undelete pages, rename pages without restriction, and use certain other tools.

Administrators assume these responsibilities as volunteers after undergoing a community review process. They do not act as employees of the NGOpedia. They are never required to use their tools, and must never use them to gain an advantage in a dispute in which they were involved. Administrators should not be confused with NGOPedia system administrators ("sysadmins").


Administrators' abilities

Administrators have the technical ability to perform the following actions:

  • Block and unblock user accounts and IP addresses from editing
  • Apply, modify, and remove page protection on a particular page to restrict or allow editing, moving, or creation
  • Delete pages with 5,000 or fewer revisions Pages with more than 5000 revisions can be deleted by a steward.
  • Grant and revoke user permissions requested by user accounts Administrators are able to grant and revoke the account creator, autopatrolled, confirmed, edit filter helper, edit filter manager, event coordinator, extended confirmed, file mover, IP block exempt, mass message sender, new page reviewer, page mover, pending changes reviewer, rollback, template editor, and AutoWikiBrowser access user rights.
  • View and restore deleted pages
  • Hide and delete page revisions
  • Edit fully protected pages
  • Edit pages in the MediaWiki namespace, excluding JavaScript and CSS pages interface administrators can edit JavaScript and CSS pages in the MediaWiki namespace.
  • Override the title blacklist
  • Move a page to any desired title
  • Perform other special actions as listed at sysop

By convention, administrators normally take responsibility for judging the outcome of certain discussions, such as deletion discussions, move discussions, and move-review discussions, but other editors may close discussions in some cases .

History

In the very early days of Wikipedia, only Bomis employees were administrators, as the server password was required to make any administrative changes. The idea of an administrator role was proposed in late 2001 during the development of the first version of MediaWiki. Jimmy Wales directly appointed the first administrators in February 2002.

Under the role-based access control currently used, individual accounts are marked with the special roles they may play; these roles in turn determine any special tools they may access. Administrators were not intended to develop into a special subgroup. Rather, administrators should be a part of the community like other editors. Anyone can perform most maintenance and administration tasks on Wikipedia without the specific technical functions granted to administrators. An often paraphrased comment about the title and process of adminship was made by Jimmy Wales in February 2003—referred to as "sysops" here:

I just wanted to say that becoming a sysop is *not a big deal*.

I think perhaps I'll go through semi-willy-nilly and make a bunch of people who have been around for awhile sysops. I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position. It's merely a technical matter that the powers given to sysops are not given out to everyone.

I don't like that there's the apparent feeling here that being granted sysop status is a really special thing.

| Jimmy Wales|2003 wikimedia.org archive entry}} Stated simply, while the correct use of the tools and appropriate conduct should be considered important, merely "being an administrator" should not be.

As Wikipedia's worldwide cultural impact and visibility grew, and as the community grew with it, the role of administrators evolved and standards for adminship rose. Given the lengthy procedures required to remove administrative access, which often include attempts to resolve the dispute prior to arbitration, the community carefully scrutinizes requests for adminship.

Becoming an administrator

The NGOpedia has no official requirements to become an administrator. Anyone can request adminship ("RFA") from the community, regardless of their Wikipedia experience. However, administrators are expected to have the trust and confidence of the community, so requests from users who do not have considerable experience are not usually approved. Any registered editor can comment on a request, and each editor will assess each candidate in their own way.

Before requesting or accepting a nomination, candidates should generally be active, regular, and long-term Wikipedia contributors, be familiar with the procedures and practices of NGOpedia, respect and understand its policies, and have gained the general trust of the community. Candidates are also required to disclose whether they have ever edited for pay. Questions regarding this are permitted to be asked of every candidate, by any editor in the community, throughout the RFA process.

The RfA process allows other editors to get to know the candidate, and explore the candidate's involvement and background as an editor, conduct in discussions, and understanding of the role they are requesting, and to state if they support or oppose the request, along with their reasons and impressions of the candidate.

Only one account of a given person may have administrative tools.

Adminship is granted indefinitely, and is only removed upon request, under circumstances involving high-level intervention

Places where administrators in particular can assist

Administrator rights can be particularly helpful in certain areas of NGOpedia:

Expectations of adminship

Care and judgement

If granted access, administrators must exercise care in using these new functions, especially the ability to delete pages and to block users and IP addresses . New administrators should also look at the pages linked from the administrators' reading list before using their administrative abilities. Occasional lapses are accepted but serious or repeated lapses, or lapses involving breaches of 'involved' administrator conduct may not always be.

Administrator tools are also to be used with careful judgment; it can take some time for a new administrator to learn when it's best to use the tools, and it can take months to gain a good sense of how long a period to set when using tools such as blocking and page protection in difficult disputes. New administrators are strongly encouraged to start slowly and build up experience in areas they are used to, and to ask others if unsure.

Administrator conduct

Administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others. Administrators are expected to follow Wikipedia policies and to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Occasional mistakes are entirely compatible with adminship; administrators are not expected to be perfect. However, sustained or serious disruption of Wikipedia is incompatible with the expectations and responsibilities of administrators, and consistent or egregious poor judgment may result in the removal of administrator tools. Administrators should strive to model appropriate standards of courtesy and civility to other editors.

Administrators should bear in mind that they have hundreds of colleagues. Therefore, if an administrator finds that they cannot adhere to site policies and remain civil (even toward users exhibiting problematic behavior) while addressing a given issue, then the administrator should bring the issue to a noticeboard or refer it to another administrator to address, rather than potentially compound the problem with poor conduct.

Accountability

Administrators are accountable for their actions involving administrator tools, as unexplained administrator actions can demoralize other editors who lack such tools. Subject only to the bounds of civility, avoiding personal attacks, and reasonable good faith, editors are free to question or to criticize administrator actions. Administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrative actions and to justify them when needed.

Administrators who seriously or repeatedly act in a problematic manner, or who have lost the trust or confidence of the community, may be sanctioned or have their administrator rights removed. In the past, this has happened or been suggested for the following actions:

  • "Bad faith" adminship , gross breach of trust.
  • Breach of basic policies (attacks, biting/civility, edit warring, privacy, etc.)
  • Conduct elsewhere incompatible with adminship (off-site attacking, etc.)
  • Failure to communicatethis can be either with editors (e.g., lack of suitable warnings or explanations of actions), or to address concerns of the community (especially when explanations or other serious comments are sought)
    • While best practices are for administrators to have email enabled, they are not required to enable or reply to email.
  • Repeated, consistent, or egregious misuse of a tool that is bundled with the administrator toolset. An administrator could be stripped of their administrative privileges entirely to remove access to those tools.
  • Repeated or consistent poor judgment

Security

NGOpedia's policy on password strength requirements requires administrators to have strong passwords and follow appropriate personal security practices. Because they have the potential to cause site-wide damage with a single edit, a compromised admin account will be blocked and its privileges removed on grounds of site security. In certain circumstances, the revocation of privileges may be permanent. Any administrator who is discovered to have a password less than 8 bytes in length or among the 10,000 most common passwords may also be desysopped. Discretion on resysopping temporarily desysopped administrators is left to bureaucrats, who will consider whether the rightful owner has been correctly identified, and their view on the incident and the management and security (including likely future security) of the account.

Administrators must never share their password or account with any other person, for any reason. If they find out their password has been compromised, or their account has been otherwise compromised (even by an editor or individual they know and trust), they should attempt to change it immediately, or otherwise report it to a bureaucrat for temporary desysopping. Users who fail to report unauthorized use of their account will be desysopped. Unauthorized use is considered 'controversial circumstance', and access will not be automatically restored.

Involved admins

In general, editors should not act as administrators in disputed cases in which they have been involved. This is because involved administrators may have, or may be seen as having, a conflict of interest in disputes they have been a party to or have strong feelings about. Involvement is generally construed very broadly by the community, to include current or past conflicts with an editor (or editors), and disputes on topics, regardless of the nature, age, or outcome of the dispute.

One important caveat is that an administrator who has interacted with an editor or topic area purely in an administrative role, or whose prior involvements are minor or obvious edits which do not show bias, is not involved and is not prevented from acting in an administrative capacity in relation to that editor or topic area. This is because one of the roles of administrators is precisely to deal with such matters, at length if necessary. Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator 'involved'.

In straightforward cases , the community has historically endorsed the obvious action of any administrator – even if involved – on the basis that any reasonable administrator would have probably come to the same conclusion. Although there are exceptions to the prohibition on involved editors taking administrative action, it is still the best practice, in cases where an administrator may be seen to be involved, to pass the matter to another administrator via the relevant noticeboards.

Grievances by users ("administrator abuse")

If a user believes an administrator has acted improperly, they should express their concerns directly to the administrator responsible and try to come to a resolution in an orderly and civil manner. If the matter is not resolved between the two parties, users can proceed with dispute resolution . One possible approach is to use Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents to request feedback from the community however, complainants should be aware that the behavior of the filer is often also reviewed (see BOOMERANG). If a user believes they have been blocked improperly, they may appeal the block using the procedures outlined .

While the Arbitration Committee does not review short or routine blocks, concerns about an administrator's suitability for the role may be brought in a Request for Arbitration, usually when other dispute resolution approaches are unsuccessful .

Misuse of administrative tools

Reversing another administrator's action

Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought, and (if likely to be objected to), where the administrator is presently available, a brief discussion with the administrator whose action is challenged.

Special situations

In some situations, the usual policy for reversing another administrator's action does not apply:

  • Checkuser blocks: Blocks designated as "Checkuser blocks" (that is blocks relying on confidential checkuser findings) may not be reversed by administrators who do not have access to the checkuser permission. Appeal of these blocks may be made to the Unblock Ticket Requests System (which has a designated "checkuser" area) or to the Arbitration Committee. Administrators were reminded in Jan 2019 that they may not reverse checkuser blocks without prior consent from the committee or a checkuser.

When another administrator has already reversed an administrative action, there is very rarely any valid reason for the original or another administrator to reinstate the same or similar action again without clear discussion leading to a consensus decision. Wheel war ring is when an administrator's action is reversed by another administrator, but rather than discussing the disagreement, administrator tools are then used in a combative fashion to undo or redo the action. With very few exceptions, once an administrative action has been reverted, it should not be restored without consensus.

Do not repeat a reversed administrative action when you know that another administrator opposes it. Do not continue a chain of administrative reversals without discussion. Resolve administrative disputes by discussion.

Wheel warring usually results in an immediate request for arbitration. Sanctions for wheel warring have varied from reprimands and cautions, to temporary blocks, to desysopping, even for first-time incidents. There have been several relevant arbitration cases on the subject of wheel-warring. The phrase was also used historically for an administrator improperly reversing some kinds of very formal action.

Review and removal of adminship

If an administrator abuses administrative rights, these rights may be removed by a ruling of the Arbitration Committee. At their discretion, lesser penalties may also be assessed against problematic administrators, including the restriction of their use of certain functions or placement on administrative probation. The technical ability to remove administrator status rests with bureaucrats, stewards, and Jimbo Wales. In emergency situations where local users are unable or unavailable to act, stewards are permitted by the global rights policy to protect the best interests of Wikipedia by removing administrative permissions or globally locking accounts and advising the Arbitration Committee after the fact.

There have been several procedures suggested for a community-based desysop process, but none of them has achieved consensus. Some administrators will voluntarily stand for reconfirmation under certain circumstances; see Administrator recall. Users may use dispute resolutionto request comment on an administrator's suitability.

Removal of rights performed by stewards does not show up in the usual user logs. Use for full links to user rights information and full logs, including the stewards' global logs on meta as well, or ListUsers to verify a user's current rights.

Procedural removal for inactive administrators

Administrators who have made neither edits nor administrative actions for at least 12 months may be desysopped. This desysopping is not to be considered permanent, or a reflection on the user's use of, or rights to, the admin tools. The admin must be contacted on their user talk page and via e-mail (if possible) one month before the request for desysopping and again several days before the desysopping goes into effect. Desysopping on inactivity grounds should be handled by English Wikipedia bureaucrats. The summary in the user rights log should make it clear that the desysopping is purely procedural.

If necessary, the user's userpage should be edited to clarify the status — particularly if any categorization is involved. For example, the userbox should be replaced with .

Voluntary removal

Administrators may request that their access to administrative tools be removed at Bureaucrats' noticeboard.

Disputes or complaints

In most cases, disputes with administrators should be resolved with the normal dispute resolution process. If the dispute reflects seriously on a user's administrative capacity (blatant misuse of administrative tools, gross or persistent misjudgment or conduct issues), or dialog fails, then the following steps are available:

Administrator recall

Some administrators place themselves "open to recall", whereby they pledge to voluntarily step down if specified criteria are met. The specific criteria are set by each administrator for themselves, and usually detailed in their userspace. The process is entirely voluntary and administrators may change their criteria at any time, or decline to adhere to previously made recall pledges.

Restoration of adminship

Regardless of how adminship is removed, any editor is free to re-request adminship through the typical requests for adminship process.Excepting those with a specific arbitration or community sanction barring the request.

Former administrators may re-request adminship subsequent to voluntary removal or removal due to inactivity. Adminship is granted unless one of these situations applies:

  • Adminship was resigned while "under a cloud." If there were serious questions about the appropriateness of the former admin's status as an administrator at the time of resignation, the request will be referred to RFA. In doubtful cases, re-granting will be deferred until a broader community discussion takes places and is closed.
  • Over three years with no edits.' If an editor has had at least three years of uninterrupted inactivity (no edits) between the removal of the admin tools and the re-request, regardless of the reason for removal, the editor will need to instead request through the RFA process. In the case of an administrator desysopped due to a year of inactivity, only two years of continued uninterrupted inactivity (no edits) from the removal due to inactivity is required before a new RFA is necessary.
  • Security of account cannot be established. At their discretion, bureaucrats may decline to restore adminship if they are not satisfied that the account is controlled by the same person who used it previously.
  • Over five years since administrative tools were last used. In the case of removal due to inactivity, for any administrator who does not have a logged administrator action in five years, bureaucrats should not restore administrator access upon request.