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Administrator: n. A wiki editor who has proven themselves, through time and talent, to be worthy of the use of special tools and abilities on a wiki.
  — defined 


Introduction

If you don't know what an Administrator is, look carefully at the general definition above, especially one key word: editor. That's right, in spite of all the extra tools or so-called "powers", Administrators are still, first and foremost, a wiki editor.

Administrators, commonly known as admins or sysops (SYStem OPerators), are wiki editors who have access to technical features that help with maintaining wikis. Different users have access to different site functions. While anyone can do most things on the site, including reading and editing, Administrators can access a few additional functions. For a complete list of users who currently have Administrator access, see Special:Listusers/sysop.

Note that admins are not "required" to use their administrative rights, but when they do it is appreciated.

Administrators: What They Are NOT

Administrators should not be viewed as the leaders, or rulers, of the wiki. If they are viewed as such, it should be based only on setting an example by cleaning up problems, helping others, and being consistent about following guidelines or policies. The wiki is generally not hierarchical, and only very rarely can the title be used to win an argument. Unilateral decision-making should also be avoided as it can damage the trust that should be built up between all users of a wiki.

  • Judges: Administrators should always encourage quality edits, as the idea of a wiki is to have a decent resource that anyone can edit. They should not put down other editors, however, because their edits do not meet some sort of unreasonable or unreachable standard. Asking a user to improve grammar is one thing; putting them down or threatening to ban them because of they disagree with the edit is not.
  • Owners: Administrators do not own a wiki. They cannot exclusively control everything that goes into it. They cannot pick and choose who and what works for them. Everyone should have free access to the wiki, including those who operate differently from an Administrator's ideals.
  • Punishers: Administrators should not use their tools to punish users for the slightest transgression by banning, blocking, or reverting. That's a blatant abuse of the tools they've been granted, and is just asking to get them revoked.

Some Administrators, unsure of their roles, may make mistakes, usually along the lines of those above. No one's perfect; as long is the damage is fixed and apologies are made, then it shouldn't be a big deal. However, if an Administrator flagrantly does one or all of the above, it may require a reassessment of their role.

Local Administrators

Administrators are wiki users, who assist Bureaucrats with the general maintenance of the wiki.

The following comprise Gizmonauts Wiki Administrators:


Like Bureaucrats, members with Administrator rights are available to assist members should they have any questions.

Note: The rights of an Administrator and Bureaucrat does not signify a position of leadership or authority. If any user with Administrative rights is believed to be abusing their rights, please contact another active Bureaucrat or Administrator to file a complaint.

Administrative Tools

Administrators have “tools” to do certain things that help with maintenance. See the Administrators’ how-to guide for a basic guide on using Administrator functions and tools. Administrators are not permitted to engage or participate in edit wars for any reason (i.e., continuously and repeatedly revert edits). Doing so may result in loss of rights.

See also: Gizmonauts Wiki/Admin Tools

Deleting

Administrators can delete and undelete pages, page histories, and uploaded files. On most wikis, deletion is normally done to remove vandalism or not needed pages. Administrators must make well informed decisions when handling the deletion of pages. Should an Administrator delete any page by accident, s/he must undelete it immediately.

See also: Gizmonauts Wiki/Admin Tools#Delete

Protection

Administrators can protect and unprotect pages. On most wikis, protections are usually done to prevent vandalism or disruptive editing to certain pages. It is also done to protect widely used pages and images that are considered 'high-risk'. While page protection may occur for these reasons, it should only be used as an absolute last resort due to the potential for over-use.

See also: Gizmonauts Wiki/Admin Tools#Protect

Blocking

Administrators have the ability to block and unblock users from editing for a period of time, which is determined by the blocking Administrator. On most wikis, blocks are usually done to prevent users from vandalizing or disruptive editing. Should any Administrator perform an accidental block, s/he must unblock that user immediately.

See also: Gizmonauts Wiki/Admin Tools#Block

Other

For more information on when and when not to use Administrative tools, please refer to our admin tools page.

Becoming an Admin

Every so often, users are asked if they wish to become admins or users may ask to be considered for the role. However, admins need to show that they can cope with a fair bit of responsibility. To request the position of adminship, please see Request Rights for admin rights. Before doing so, it should be noted that prospective (and incumbent) admins should be able to:

  • Stay calm, mature, and rational at all times.
  • Be able to negotiate and cope with not always getting their way.
  • Have a high standard of reasoning and communication skills.
  • Demonstrate reasonable wiki skills (expertise in CSS, JS, MediaWiki stuff or templates is a plus)

Users who Requests for Rights are represented publicly to the Wiki Community who may view and comment (Approve, Oppose, and Neutral) on all requests.

All votes given will be counted equally, meaning that an administrator vote is not worth more than a non-administrator vote, however, it is less likely a request will be approved if the majority of administrator votes are opposed. An active Bureaucrat will make the final determination whether or not to grant the requester sysop rights.

Note: Final determination will be based upon all input provided, not simply by which vote has the highest number.

Removal of Rights (de-sysoping)

Bureaucrats are able to “de-sysop” Administrators. This can occur through multiple processes:

  • Community decision resulting from a bad conduct discussion;
  • Unilaterally, a Bureaucrat decision resulting from especially egregious behavior on the part of the individual de-sysoped, where delay could result in greater damage to the wiki.
  • Any extended period of inactivity, with or without prior notice, is grounds for a de-sysop.

In most cases, it is not unusual for a de-sysoped Administrator to also receive a block of some duration.

Further Reading

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