User:Pseudo-Richard/So you want to be an admin

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So you want to be an admin? My condolences. That's like signing up to be a waste disposal engineer (garbageman).

However, if you really want to be an admin, what follows is a short guide on how to become one. Everything that follows has been taken from Wikipedia pages. In particular, some of the information comes from the comments of users voting on specific RfA's at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship.

If you have comments or edits, please do so at User talk:Richardshusr/So you want to be an admin. I will update this page from comments made there.


What an Administrator is[edit]

Administrators are Wikipedians who have access to technical features that help with maintenance ("SysOp rights"). Wikipedia practice is to grant this access to anyone who has been an active and regular Wikipedia contributor for a while, is familiar with and respects Wikipedia policy, and is generally a known and trusted member of the community.

Request assistance - Full list of administrators - Requests for adminship

In the early days of Wikipedia all users acted as administrators and in principle they still should. Any user can behave as if they are an administrator (provided they do not falsely claim to be one), even if they have not been given the extra administrative functions. Users doing so are more likely to be nominated as full administrators by members of the community and more likely to be chosen when they are finally nominated. From early on, it has been pointed out that administrators should never develop into a special subgroup of the community, but should be a part of the community like anyone else only equipped with a few more tools to do some chores that would potentially be harmful if everyone was entrusted with them. In practice, standards to getting appointed administrator have risen but there are still several administrators created every week.

The community does look to administrators to perform essential housekeeping chores that require the extra access administrators are entrusted with. Among them are watching the Articles for deletion debates and carrying out the consensus of the community on keeping or deleting these articles, keeping an eye on new and changed articles to swiftly delete obvious vandalism, and meeting user requests for help that require administrative access. Since administrators are expected to be experienced members of the community, users seeking help will often turn to an administrator for advice and information. In general, administrators acting in this role are neutral. They do not have any direct involvement in the issues they are helping people with.

Becoming an administrator[edit]

If you have been around for a while and you would like sysop access, add your name to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship according to the guidelines mentioned there, and a discussion will take place by fellow editors in order to determine if there is consensus that you should become an administrator.

It is recommended that you write for Wikipedia for a while before requesting administrator status, since other users will have to recognize you before they can agree on your promotion. Also keep in mind that each language's Wikipedia has its own policies for administrators, which may differ somewhat.

Although multiple user accounts are allowed on Wikipedia in certain circumstances, only one should have admin powers beyond being a basic editor.

Be careful, please! If you are granted access, we ask that you exercise care in using these functions, especially the ability to delete pages and their history, to delete images (which is permanent!), and the ability to block IP addresses. You can learn about your newfound powers at the Wikipedia:Administrators' how-to guide. You should also take a look at the pages linked from the Administrators' reading list before using any of your admin abilities.

About RfA[edit]

Requests for adminship (RfA) is the process by which the Wikipedia community decides who becomes an administrator (or sysop). Administrators have access to a few technical features that help with maintenance. A user either submits their own request for adminship (a self-nomination) or is nominated by another user. Also note there is a summary of currently active requests.

Please be familiar with the administrators' reading list and how-to guide, as well as the guide to requests for adminship before submitting your request.

The community grants administrator status to trusted users who are familiar with Wikipedia policies. Admins are held to high standards, as they are often perceived as the "official face" of Wikipedia. Admins should be courteous and should exercise good judgment and patience in dealing with others. Nominees should have been on Wikipedia long enough for people to see whether they have these qualities. Almost all admin actions are reversible. Adminship is primarily an extra responsibility as there are rules and policies that apply only to admins.

Nomination standards
There are no official prerequisites for adminship, other than a basic level of trust from other editors. However, some users set a variety of standards on a personal basis. You may nominate yourself. Some people apply higher standards to self-nominations, while others view them more favorably as showing initiative and desire to serve the community.
Nomination process
Any user in good standing may nominate any other user. Nominations remain for seven days from the time the nomination is posted on this page, during which time interested users register their opinions or make comments. At the end of that period, candidates who receive a general consensus to promote will be made admins. The bureaucrats who handle admin promotions review the discussion to see if a general consensus is present (the threshold for consensus here is roughly 75–80 percent support ). Only bureaucrats may close or de-list a nomination as a definitive promotion or non-promotion. In the case of vandalism, improper formatting or a declined or withdrawn nomination, non-bureaucrats may choose to de-list a nomination but they are never empowered to decide on whether consensus has been achieved.
In exceptional circumstances, bureaucrats may extend the deadline or call for a revote if this will make the consensus more clear. If your nomination fails, please wait a reasonable period of time – at least a month – before nominating yourself again or accepting another nomination.
How to nominate an editor for adminship
To nominate either yourself or another user for adminship, follow the instructions on this page.
If you would like to request assistance in creating a nomination statement, please go here.
Commenting and expressing opinions
  • Who may comment: Any Wikipedian with an account is welcome to express their opinion, including the nominator, however, expressing an opinion on one's own nomination is discouraged, and will not be counted by the closing bureaucrat.
  • Who may not vote: Editors who do not have an account and/or are not logged in ("anons"). Votes of very new editors may be discounted if there is suspicion of fraud such as sockpuppetry.
  • To add a comment, click the "Discuss here" link for the relevant candidate. You may then indicate whether you Support or Oppose the nomination by signing your name under the relevant heading.
  • "Neutral" comments are also permitted, but are not ordinarily counted in determining percentages, although they are considered by bureaucrats in borderline cases.
  • Explain your vote by including a short explanation of your reasoning, particularly when opposing a nomination.
  • Always be respectful towards others in your comments.
  • Threaded discussions are held in the Comments section. Long discussions are held on the discussion page of the individual nomination. Anyone may comment or discuss, including anonymous editors.

Nomination standards[edit]

Nomination standards
There are no official prerequisites for adminship, other than a basic level of trust from other editors. However, some users set a variety of standards on a personal basis. You may nominate yourself. Some people apply higher standards to self-nominations, while others view them more favorably as showing initiative and desire to serve the community.

Things that will get others to support your RfA[edit]

  1. Show a thorough knowledge of Wikipedia policies and guidelines
  2. Active participation in process (e.g. Articles for deletion)
  3. Significant contribution to recent changes patrolling
  4. Exceptional service to the welfare of Wikipedians (e.g. Esperanza)
  5. Contributing to at least one Featured Article
  6. A reputation for civility, especially in times of conflicts with other users
  7. Having been awarded a Barnstar
  8. Vandal-fighting (especially reporting vandals via Administrator intervention against vandalism)

Things that will get others to oppose your RfA[edit]

  1. Being a Wikipedia account holder for too short a period of time (>3 months is a minimum; 6-12 months is better)
  2. Insufficient edit count (>3000 edits is a minimum)
  3. Insufficient edit count in mainspace
  4. Insufficient edit count in talk and user talk space (need to demonstrate ability to debate with other users)
  5. Insufficient edit count in project space
  6. Failure to use edit summaries (<95% of edits)
  7. Getting blocked by an admin
  8. Self-nomination (while it is permissible to nominate yourself, some users will look askance at those who nominate themselves for adminship, especially frowning on repeated self-nominations)
  9. Not having Wikipedia e-mail activated
  10. Failure to be civil, in particular personal attacks
  11. Edit-warring with other editors, in particular breaching the 3 Revert Rule
  12. Being the subject of an open Requests for Comment, or Request for Arbitration
  13. Claiming never to have had any conflicts with another user (such a claim lacks credibility or shows inexperience; most users eventually run into conflict with another user)

Criteria used by some users to vote on RfA[edit]


Number of Edits Time other
3000+ edits or equivalent service-- mediation committee, OTRS, multiple wikipedias Generally at least 4 - 6 months. Demonstrated ability, Barnstars, Major significant contributions weigh for support. History of vandalism, recent blocks, recent serious conflicts (Uncivility), demonstrated unreadiness weigh against.

Questions for the candidate[edit]

When your RfA is created, you will very quickly be asked three standard questions. Failure to answer these adequately will result in a slew of "Oppose" votes. You may also be asked some additional optional questions by specific users. Answering these questions is optional but failure to answer them adequately may result in one or more "Oppose" votes.

Standard questions[edit]

1. What sysop chores, if any, would you anticipate helping with? Please check out Category:Wikipedia backlog, and read the page about administrators and the administrators' reading list.

2. Of your articles or contributions to Wikipedia, are there any about which you are particularly pleased, and why?

3. Have you been in any conflicts over editing in the past or do you feel other users have caused you stress? How have you dealt with it and how will you deal with it in the future?

Optional questions[edit]

It is highly unlikely that you will be asked all of the following optional questions. However, it is very possible that you will be asked a handful of them, especially if your candidacy raises some issues based on the criteria identified above. Failure to answer these questions adequately may cause some users who are "on the fence" to vote against you or cast a "neutral" vote.

1. Why do you want to be an administrator?

2. In your view, do administrators hold a technical or political position?

3. What is your general blocking philosophy? At what point is it appropriate to block a vandal, and how do you decide when and for how long? Under what circumstances do you feel it would be appropriate to block someone who is not, strictly speaking, a vandal?

4. You find out that an editor, who's well-known and liked in the community, has been using sockpuppets abusively. What would you do?

5. An editor asks you to mediate in a dispute that has gone from being a content dispute to an edit war (but not necessarily a revert war), with hostile language in edit summaries (that are not personal attacks). One involved party welcomes the involvement of an admin, but the other seems to ignore you. They have both rejected WP:RFC as they do not think it would solve anything. Just as you are about to approach the user ignoring you, another admin blocks them both for edit warring and sends the case to WP:RFAR as a third party. Would you respect the other admin's decisions, or would you continue to engage in conversation (over email or IRC) and submit a comment/statement to the RFAR? Let's say the ArbCom rejects the case. What would you do then?

6. If you could change any one thing about Wikipedia what would it be?

7. Under what circumstances would you indefinitely block a user without any prior direction from Arb Com?

8. Suppose you are closing an AfD where it would be keep if one counted certain votes that you suspect are sockpuppets/meatpuppets and would be delete otherwise. The RCU returns inconclusive, what do you do? Is your answer any different if the two possibilities are between no consensus and delete?

9. Do you believe there is a minimum number of people who need to express their opinions in order to reasonably close an AfD? If so, what is that number? What about RfDs and CfDs?

10. A considerable number of administrators have experienced, or are close to, burnout due to a mixture of stress and vitriol inherent in a collaborative web site of this nature. Do you feel able to justify yourself under pressure, and to not permit stress to become overwhelming and cause undesirable or confused behaviour?

11. Have you, either in your interactions with users or in editing, made any decisions that you regret? How were these mistakes brought to your attention, and how did you respond? Please cite specific examples where possible.

12. You are RCPatrolling. You see an article has been edited by an anon. The page history indicates the previous entry was by TawkerBot reverting a page blank by the same anon. The current version of the article has a note in all caps at the top of the page from the anon saying the article needs to be removed as a “cut and paste job from another site.” What do you do?