|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
Non serviam or I will not serve, is an expression that describes the attitude of one or more editors who have no interest in becoming an administrator on Wikipedia or have not decided to become one yet. This does not mean that they no longer wish to contribute to Wikipedia by editing.
- 1 Role of the admin
- 2 Why the decision
- 3 See also
- 4 Userbox
Role of the admin
The role of an administrator is closely akin to the duties and responsibilities of a janitor. They primarily involve maintaining the integrity of Wikipedia. In this respect, an admin is seen to serve the community or become dubbed a servant by regular editors.
Why the decision
There are a number of reasons why editors choose not to serve Wikipedia as an administrator:
Adminship is not editing!
Some editors who work in multiple areas retain the feeling that they will not have time for the tasks they would normally perform if they were to become an administrator. These editors, while they could contribute to Wikipedia with the tools, do not wish to become admins in order to avoid having to steer away from their preferred task of editing. It is also a very real possibility that a great article builder who only needs the tools for a small subset of tasks will be confronted with opposes based on this fact (see WP:NONEED). Many editors at WP:RFA frown upon the idea of admins who choose to work in specialty areas. Thus, those editors who only do a certain type of work, feel that they have no chance in their request for adminship.
I am no novelist
Similar to the reason before, many editors participating in RfA feel that prospective admins should have created one or more good articles or featured articles. While this is usually not a valid reason to deny a candidate the tools, as adminship is about cleaning up not creating (see WP:GNOME), many fear failure because they lack the skill, talent or interest to create new articles and would rather concentrate on cleaning up the mess others created.
Sometimes people who fail their first RfA will try again multiple times. It is perfectly feasible that they will pass after working on those flaws the previous RfA/s uncovered. However, sometimes new or experienced editors, self-nominated or nominated by others, will, after a failed RfA, quit Wikipedia completely or at least stop pursuing adminship. Feeling that the community is biased against them already because of opposing before, they will consider past failures as a stigma. Thus they will, if we are lucky, continue to work on the project as a general editor or, unfortunately, work less or leave the project completely (see also WP:BITE).
A broken system creates only broken results...
It is an outspoken belief amongst many editors that the current RfA process is flawed. Some potential admins will not want to participate in RfA, fearing that people could not understand this problem if the critics themselves use the system (see tu quoque).
Many editors are reluctant to self-nominate, although they are perfectly willing to take up the role of administrator. While adminship is often touted as no big deal, multiple users have expressed aversion towards self-nominations, labeling them as signs of "power hunger" or the desire for status. Although these concerns have yet to be the primary reason for a failed RfA, many people are aware that such feelings exist and will avoid self-nominating. Also, while many would love to have the tools to assist the community, they fear that they will fail the process because they cannot satisfy what they perceive as criteria to pass.
Nobody wants me anyway
Similar to "I fear to fail", this reason is one of self-confidence. Most successful requests for adminship are candidates who were nominated by one or more trusted admins or bureaucrats. These nominators may influence those participating at RfA, usually leading them to support if the nominator is trusted and well established within the community. The problem is that many users are overlooked and, thus, are not nominated. It is not uncommon for this to engender feelings of mistrust or that their work is under-appreciated.
Adminship is time-consuming
Wikipedia is a volunteer project. Some potential admins feel that being a sysop will take up too much of their time, perhaps having a negative effect on their real life. They think that being an admin means steady working hours with less flexibility for other real world activities.
What if I do something wrong?
Some users feel they are not responsible enough for the role. Being an admin is often dubbed to be no big deal, but many users feel admins should be wiser than other users, serving as role models and setting an example for the community. Some editors expect admins to use their real names causing many young contributors to fear real-life repercussions for their on-wiki admin actions.
I am underage
Many at RfA have a problem with candidates below 18 years of age. They think that age correlates with maturity, and is thus a good technique for estimation of maturity. Users under 18 may thus consider their chances of passing RfA to be lower, and thus not attempt it.