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Administrators on Wikipedia are generally expected to be available to respond to questions, concerns, and requests for help from the wider community as part of their role. In order to achieve this, administrators should maintain a general level of activity on the project. Under this proposal, administrators who go inactive for a period of time may be subject to the temporary removal of their tools, so that the number of administrators listed at Special:Statistics may be generally representative of how many administrators are available for assistance.
Administrators who have made neither edits nor logged actions for a period of three months or more are subject to the temporary removal of their "sysop" flag, which grants them access to administrative tools. In order for a removal request to be processed, these steps should be followed:
- Any user may leave a notice on the inactive administrator's talk page reminding them of this process, and that they are subject to the temporary removal of their tools. If the inactive administrator has enabled the ability to receive emails through Special:Emailuser, an email should be sent to the administrator as well containing the same information.
- If, after a period of one week, the inactive administrator has not made any edits or logged actions, or has not in some other way acknowledged receipt of the notices given in step 1, the user who left the notices may make a request at m:Steward requests/Permissions for the removal of the administrator's sysop flag. The request should provide a link to the administrator's talk page, contributions, and logs on Wikipedia, as well as a link to this procedure.
- The steward processing the request should confirm that the administrator has been inactive for at least three months, and has been given at least one week to respond to the notices. If these conditions are met, the steward should remove the administrator's sysop flag, and enable the rollbacker and accountcreator flags. The comment in the userrights log should clearly state that the removal of the flag is purely administrative and not a reflection on the administrator's conduct.
- Notice should be provided on the now-desysopped administrator's talk page that their administrator tools have been temporarily removed.
Return of the tools
An administrator desysopped through this process should be considered to be in good standing, as though they had voluntarily resigned the tools without pending sanctions. As such, they may request the reinstatement of their tools at any time at the Bureaucrat's Noticeboard without having to go through the Requests for Adminship process. If there is no reasonable objection to the tools being returned by a bureaucrat or the Arbitration Committee, the tools may be returned by any bureaucrat.
This proposal exists for a number of reasons:
- (reason defunct; numbering preserved to avoid confusion)
- Awareness of Policy/Tools: Many of the administrators currently inactive (see full list at WP:INACTIVE) have been inactive since large-scale changes in policy have been implemented, or new extensions to the MediaWiki software have been installed. Administrators must be familiar with policy in order to enforce it, and must be familiar with their tools in order to effectively or correctly use them. By removing the tools from an inactive administrator, they are gently forced to re-familiarize themselves with community practices and expectations.
- Project security: While the developers have stated that an active account is more at risk of becoming compromised than an inactive one, inactive accounts (and administrative accounts in particular) still pose a security risk to the project. The Arbitration Committee has been made aware of situations where inactive administrator accounts have been sold to another person, compromising the account in such a way that is not immediately evident. By removing tools from inactive accounts, this risk is somewhat allayed.
What this proposal is not
This proposal is singularly intended to provide a means for tools to be temporarily removed from inactive accounts. This process does not permit the permanent removal of the tools, barring circumstances under which the tools may be removed anyway. This process is not intended to impinge on the character of those who are inactive or otherwise be a badge of shame; adminship on Wikipedia is a mark of community trust, and going inactive for a period of time does not invalidate that trust. This process is not intended to force token levels of activity for admins; administrators are volunteers, and it is understood that long-term absences from the site may be necessary for numerous reasons. Users desysopped through this process may request the reinstatement of the tools at any time, without the need to undergo any lengthy processes or discussions.
- Previous proposals
- Wikipedia:Inactive administrators (2005) - failed proposal, September 2005
- Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/desysop poll - failed proposal, April 2008
- Other relevant pages