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Administrators ("admins") are editors who have been given access to "tools" that are not available to others. The community places considerable trust in admins, who perform essential maintenance such as page protections and deleting material, as well as enforcing policies. In particular, they can disable the ability of users to edit the site ("blocking"). However, they occasionally make mistakes or fail to uphold the high standards they are held to.

Admins are required to follow a policy governing the exercise of their administrative privileges. AdminReview is a community-driven process to provide users with an independent review of administrative actions and behaviour, in a calm, deliberative manner. It is run by seven elected Coordinators (four non-admins and three admins) to provide an independent evaluation of events for users which have grievances against administrative actions or behaviour. The rules of AdminReview are embodied in a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Information about the Coordinators can be found here.

Admin Puzzle Icon.png

The goals of AdminReview are to:

  • build the community's respect for the admin system;
  • bring users and admins closer together in the pursuit of the project's goals; and
  • retain valuable members of the community by making sure their grievances receive a fair hearing.

It may be that the best way of launching AdminReview is as a subcommittee of delegates appointed by ArbCom, which is Wikipedia's peak body for ruling on user behaviour. This has yet to be determined.

The AdminReview process

Summary. A user with a grievance fills out a form (below) applying to have a case heard (Stage I). Two coordinators, one a non-admin, determine whether the case should proceed. If it does proceed (Stage II), those two coordinators issue a judgement. However, if they do not agree on the judgement or otherwise believe that it should be heard by all active coordinators, the case proceeds to Stage III.


In a little more detail, to be relocated somewhere: Users who believe that an admin action or behaviour has breached policy and has resulted in unfair treatment of themselves and/or other users may file a complaint (Stage 1); this must specify one or more of the codified "Specific policy requirements" set out below. If the Coordinator who takes on the case (the "Managing Coordinator") believes there is a prima facie case that the admin has breached a policy in such a way that has has been unfair to a user, the case proceeds to Stage 2 for investigation by the Managing Coordinator and one other Coordinator (at least one of the two must be a non-admin). Where they agree on a judgement and/or recommendation, this is issued and the case is moved to "Recent cases", from which it is deleted after seven days. Where the two Coordinators do not agree, the case proceeds to Stage 3, where all available Coordinators (a majority of whom must be non-admins) vote on a judgement and/or recommendation. Similarly, the case is moved to "Recent cases", from which it is deleted after seven days.

Request for hearing: blank form for copy and paste

Click on "[edit]", then copy and paste the application form at the top of the list in Stage 1. Add the required information.

Request 001

  • (1) The admin's username:
  • (2) The page(s) at which the incident occurred: [[ ]]
  • (3) Your statement:
  • (4) Have you already made an official complaint about this incident?
  • (5) Requested remedy:
  • (6) Signature of complainant:


  • (3) Your statement
  • Be succinct: state your case in 250 words or less.
  • Include only facts that are strictly relevant.
  • No personal comments; it is of the utmost importance that your statement be civil.
  • Provide the number(s) and letter(s) of the specific policy requirements that in your view were breached by the admin, together with a brief justification and diff for each.
  • Disclose your own breaches of policy during the scenario, where these have occurred—such as WP:3RR—including diffs.
  • (4) Earlier official complaint?
  • For example, AN/I, Wikiquette—prior complaints or discussions are unnecessary, but if they exist, link to them.
  • (5) Requested remedy
  • Our emphasis is on resolution, learning from experience, and reducing tension.

Stage 1: Initial listings

Your complaint will be examined by a Managing Coordinator (the coordinator who volunteers to take this role), who will select Option A, B or C. During this stage, the Managing Coordinator may or may not discuss the matter with either party.
  • Option A: The complaint is vexatious or trivial, and is removed from the process without record.
  • Option B: Although not vexatious or trivial, the complaint is not significant enough to warrant further investigation, and is recorded as such in the "Recent cases" section below for seven days.
  • Option C: It appears that the admin has breached a policy and has been seriously unfair to a user; the case is moved to Stage 2 for further investigation.

[Complainants will paste their completed forms here:]

Stage 2: Forums

Do not post your notification here; it may be moved here only by a Coordinator.

Management. Here, the Managing Coordinator is joined by another Coordinator; at least one of the two Coordinators is a non-admin. The statements and rejoinders in Stage 2 normally take less than five days, but may be extended by reasonable request.

Steps. The admin is invited to write a statement; the complainant may then post a rejoinder, and if this is done, the admin may post a rejoinder. Statements are normally up to 250 words long, and rejoinders normally up to 100 words. Each step ideally takes no longer than 24 hours. The timing of the Coordinators' decision is at their discretion; typically, it takes up to a few days after the completion of submissions by the parties.

Special applications. Either party may apply to the Managing Coordinator for leave to:

  • make a third or subsequent posting, although this is granted only with strong reason, and to both parties if at all;
  • enable a third party to post a comment, although this is granted only with strong reason;
  • extend the time normally granted for their next posting, where real-life or other online commitments make a prompt response difficult.

At the end of Stage 2, the two coordinators decide on either Option D, E or F.

  • Option D: The complaint is dismissed, with supporting reasons and the option of providing recommendations or advice to either or both parties; the completed case is moved to the "Recent cases" section and deleted after seven days.
  • Option E: A determination is made that a significant breach of policy has occurred, with supporting reasons and the option of providing recommendations or advice to either or both parties; the completed case is moved to the "Recent cases" section and deleted after seven days.
  • Option F: The coordinators do not reach agreement on a decision and recommendations, and the case proceeds to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Determinations by all available coordinators

Do not post your notification here; it may be moved here only by a Coordinator.

Here, all available Coordinators — normally at least [five], of whom at least one is an admin and a majority are non-admins — form a judgement and make recommendations by majority vote; a tied vote is resolved in favour of the admin. The numbers for and against the decision will be published.

The Coordinators decide on either Option G or H.

  • Option G: The complaint is dismissed, with supporting reasons and the option of providing recommendations or advice to either or both parties; the completed case is moved to the "Recent cases" section and deleted after seven days;
  • Option H: A determination is made that a significant breach of policy has occurred, with supporting reasons and the option of providing recommendations or advice to either or both parties; the completed case is moved to the "Recent cases" section and deleted after seven days.
The completed case is moved to the "Recent cases" section and deleted after seven days.

Recent cases

Only Coordinators may edit this section.
This is a list of cases that have been completed over the past seven days. After seven days, the text is archived.

Wikipedia's policy on admin behaviour

General policy requirements

The admin policy states that admins should:

  1. lead by example and behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others;[2]
  2. strive to set an example of appropriate standards of courtesy and civility to other editors and to one another;[3]
  3. exercise care in using their tools and avoid their misuse, especially the ability to delete pages and to block IP addresses (the latter should be exercised "with extreme care");[4]
  4. avoid consistently or egregiously poor judgement;[5]
  5. not seriously or repeatedly act in a problematic manner;[6] and
  6. have the trust and confidence of the community.[7]

Specific policy requirements

All specific policy expectations are drawn from the Admin policy. The wording of the policy has been modified without intending any change to the meaning, to organise the expectations into themes and for ease of understanding; however, the wording at the policy page and in related ArbCom rulings is authoritative.

Complaints must identify, justify and provide diffs for breaches of one or more of these policy requirements.

(1) Site policies

  • An admin should follow Wikipedia policies.[8]

(2) General behaviour

  • An admin should avoid:
    • (a) making personal attacks;[9]
    • (b) incivility (specifically, an admin should remain civil at all times while addressing a given issue, even when faced with problematic behaviour);[10]
    • (c) edit-warring;[11]
    • (d) sustained or serious disruption of Wikipedia.[12]

(3) Blocking

  • (a) The decision to block an editor should not be taken lightly or as a first resort. An admin should resort to blocking only if other means are unlikely to be effective.[13]
  • (b) Blocks should be used only to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia.[14] In particular, blocks intended solely to "cool down" an angry user should not be used, as they often have the opposite effect; however, an angry user who is also being disruptive can be blocked to prevent further disruption.[15]
  • (c) Blocks should not be used solely for the purpose of recording warnings or other negative events in a user's block log.[16]
  • (d) Some types of blocks are used in response to particular temporary circumstances, and should be undone once the circumstance no longer applies; e.g., certain situations pertaining to open or anonymous proxies, legal threats, and unapproved or malfunctioning bots.[17]
  • (e) Following a block, the blocking admin should notify the blocked editor of the block on their talk page;[18] additional notification on-site may be appropriate to seek community input.[19]
  • (f) Administrators reviewing a block should consider that some historical context may not be immediately obvious.[20]

(4) Referral

  • (a) Where an admin is unable to adhere to 1 or 2(b), he/she should bring the issue to the attention of [an]other admin(s), rather than potentially aggravating the problem by their own poor conduct.[21]
  • (b) Even when use of the tools is reasonable, in most cases it is better to ask an independent admin to review and, if justified, take an administrative action that may reasonably be questioned.[22]
  • (c) If there could be any reasonable doubt about whether a block is appropriate, the discussion should be widened to include other admins, or a wider community if appropriate.[23]

(5) Conflict of interest

  • An admin should not:
    • (a) use their tools where a significant conflict of interest or lack of objectivity is likely; that is, they must be a reasonably neutral party when using their tools[24] (see WP:UNINVOLVED for one possible exception);
    • (b) use their tools to their own advantage in situations such as content dispute in which they are a party, or an article they have edited significantly; in particular, admins should not block users with whom they are engaged in a content dispute, but should instead report the problem to other administrators.[25][26]

(6) Communication

  • An admin should:
    • (a) provide the appropriate user(s) with suitable prior warnings and explanations of their administrative actions, using accurate and descriptive summaries for edits and administrative actions;[27][28]
    • (b) respond promptly and civilly to good-faith concerns about their administrative actions and justify them when needed.[29][30]

(7) Accountability

  • An admin should:
    • (a) be accountable for their use of admin tools, and thus should not try to avoid or deny accountability for their actions;[31]
    • (b) accept that an editor has the right to question or criticise their administrative actions and ask for justification (provided the user is civil, avoids personal attacks, and assumes reasonable good faith).[32]

(8) Edit-warring

  • Where multiple editors violate the three-revert rule, admins should treat all sides fairly.[33]
  • An admin may still act against a disruptive editor for edit-warring, even if 3RR has been breached.[34]
  • Blocks for edit-warring are intended to prevent disruptive behaviour, not to punish it. Editors may be blocked for up to 24 hours for the first offence. A first block for edit-warring will usually involve violating the three-revert rule; later blocks are more likely to be issued for edit-warring that does not breach the rule.Wikipedia:3RR#Handling_of_edit_warring_behaviors|35]]

(9) Breaches of trust

  • An admin shall strive to:
    • (a) maintain the privacy of fellow editors;[36]
    • (b) act in good faith and avoid engaging in "bad faith" acts such as sock puppetry and other gross breaches of trust;[37] or
    • (c) behave fairly and in all ways compatibly with good adminship, and should never engage in acts such as attacking in message forums elsewhere.[38]

(10) Wheel-warring

  • It is strictly forbidden for an admin to "wheel-war" (reinstate an administrative action reverted by another admin). As a corollary, an administrative action should not be reversed without good cause.[39]

AdminReview FAQs

  1. Who may file a complaint? Any Wikipedia editor who was involved in the incident that led to the complaint. Sockpuppet accounts may not be used by any party.
  2. How are cases decided? A "Managing Coordinator" (who must be a non-admin) determines whether a complaint in Stage 1 is accepted for investigation. If the complaint is accepted, it is moved to Stage 2, where an additional coordinator joins the Managing Coordinator. If they do not reach agreement on the decision and recommendations, the case moves to Stage 3 for review by all available Coordinators, where a judgement and recommendations are determined by simple majority. A tied verdict will go in favour of the admin.
  3. Can more than one person file a complaint? Complaints may be filed by only a single complainant, and should primarily concern one admin. Either party may name in their statements and rejoinders other non-admins who may have similar grievances in relation to the same scenario, and other admins who may be connected with the admin action or behaviour that is the subject of the complaint; however, the simpler the case, the more likely a prompt and satisfactory outcome.
  4. How recent does the incident have to be? Only admin actions or behaviour on or after [start date] may be the subject of a complaint. Complaints should normally be filed within seven days; longer periods require explicit justification in the complaint form—such as illness, real-life pressure, inexperience on Wikipedia, or the prior existence of similar cases at other venues—but should be kept to a minimum and may or may not be accepted by AdminReview.
  5. Can the parties choose the Coordinators? Taking on the management of a particular case is at the option of individual coordinators. Complainants may not ask for a particular coordinator.
  6. May I bring a case here at the same time as at forums such as WP:Arbcom, WP:Wikiquette, AN/I, AN, and WP:RFC. Applicants may not generally file a case here if a similar application or live case is proceeding elsewhere, but must wait until the outcome of such other application or case. The exceptions are where (i) AdminReview believes there may be an attempt to "game the system" by starting a case elsewhere, and (ii) a complaint concerns Admin actions or behaviour in a case at such a forum.
  7. What safeguards are there against conflicts of interest? A coordinator will recuse themselves from participation in a case in which they are an involved party. "Involvement" includes close association with a party, an earlier official or unofficial grievance with a party, or any other appearance of conflict of interest. Where the potential for conflict of interest is minor, a coordinator may participate in the case subject to the agreement of both parties on the AdminReview page. If a coordinator becomes significantly involved (other than as coordinator) in an incident after the process starts, they must declare this and withdraw from participation in the case unless both parties agree to their continuation.
  8. How do coordinators talk with each other about the cases? Coordinators may confer with each other on the Coordinators' Page (which they alone may edit but anyone can read), on each other's talk pages, and privately via email, at their choice. Coordinators are not obliged to disclose the fact or content of their private communications about a case.
  9. Can I say what I really think about the other party? No personal comments are permitted during the process, which focuses only on facts and policy requirements. Complaints should refrain from vexatious comments; coordinators have the right to remove these as they see fit.
  10. Can a Coordinator edit posts from the two parties? Coordinators may remove information posted by either party that they find irrelevant, inappropriate, or verbose; a link will be supplied to the original text unless it is personal or vexatious.
  11. Is AdminReview obliged to take on a case? No. AdminReview may decline to take on a case; normally, a brief reason is provided for this.
  12. How do I complain if my account has been blocked? Communication with AdminReview can be by email, through this email address: x. Copy and paste the complaint form below into your message.
  13. May users make comments on the AdminReview talk page about a case? Definitely not while the case is proceeding; after completion, a degree of measured, calm commentary is acceptable.
  14. What if my case concerns information accessible only by WPians with Checkuser/CHU rights? If such information appears to be important in a case, AdminReview may seek the opinion or assistance of a user who has such access.


The six coordinators are :

  • Non-admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2011 (alpha tranche)
  • Non-admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2011 (alpha tranche)
  • Non-admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2010 (beta tranche)
  • Non-admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2010 (beta tranche)
  • Admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2010 (alpha tranche)
  • Admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2011 (beta tranche)
  • Admin: User:Username, 15 January 2009 – 14 January 2011 (beta tranche)

The Coordinators are elected by popular vote for staggered terms of 12 months; the first election is an exception, where the alpha tranche are elected for 24 months to begin the staggered process. Candidates must have at least 2000 edits at the time of nomination. Any Wikipedian with at least 150 edits may vote.

Some of the qualities coordinators require are similar to those of ArbCom Clerks. Candidates for the coordinator positions declare that they have the following qualities:

  • overall Wikipedia experience of at least two years and a competent knowledge of the pillars and policies of the site;
  • a balanced blend of caution and self-confidence;
  • the ability to be neutral, and to understand and empathise with the perspectives of both non-admins and admins;
  • the ability to apply the admin policies to specific situations and to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information;
  • competence in written communication and a feel for the running of a multistage process;
  • the ability to seek advice from other coordinators where necessary.

In the assessment of candidates, their evolved qualities are more important than measures such as historical block logs.

See also

Lists of admins

Relevant policy and guideline pages

Relevant behavioural guidelines