Wikipedia:Guide to Community de-adminship

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Community de-adminship is a process where the Wikipedia editing community may request the removal of sysop rights from an administrator account. This guide explains how the process works.

What this process is[edit]

The Community de-adminship (CDA) is a process where the community as a whole may request the removal of administrator sysop rights from an account. Each CDA request is formatted as a nomination (by 10 editors, all with a minimum of three months and 500 edits experience, or by the Arbitration Committee) followed by an accompanying poll and discussion, which must contain at least 50 !votes1 in support of the CDA, reaching (as a rule of thumb) at least 65% of the total !votes polled. The decision to de-sysop will be based on whether there is a clear consensus to do so.

Although there are some important differences, CDA is intended to be a comparable process to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship (RfA), about which you can read more at the Wikipedia:Guide to requests for adminship. RfA is also the process to use in order to regain sysop rights after they have been removed by community consensus.

1Please see Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion#Straw poll guidelines for an explanation of the "!votes" notation.

What this process is not[edit]

This process is not for:

Emergency de-sysopping
Emergency de-sysopping of accounts for the immediate protection of the project is the province of Jimbo Wales, Stewards, and the Arbitration Committee. Discussions here take no less than seven days, and are unsuitable for emergency measures.
Temporary de-sysopping
Temporary de-sysopping is the province of the Arbitration Committee. Requests for the same should be made to the Committee.
Voluntary de-sysopping
An administrator who wishes to no longer have access to administrator tools may apply to Stewards in the normal manner at m:Steward requests/Permissions.
Blocks, bans, topic restrictions, or other community sanctions
This process is solely for removing sysop rights from accounts, and determining whether the community at large has a consensus for doing so. Blocks, bans, restrictions, and sanctions should be enacted through the usual mechanisms.
Dispute resolution or other discussions
Dispute resolution should proceed through the normal channels. Disputes with an administrator must be discussed first with that administrator, and then via the normal channels such as third opinion, mediation, request for comment, and arbitration. Mild or one-time only incivility should instead be reported to Wikiquette Alerts. If the administrator is listed at Administrators open to recall and you believe the conditions listed there have been met, they should be reported there.
A CDA request may only be initiated after substantial community discussion at a suitable venue, such as Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard or Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User, has failed to produce a resolution, and there must be documentation of these prior attempts.
Removing the flag from inactive accounts
Any administrator account nominated here must be an account that has used editor or administrator tools recently.
Removing rights other than sysop rights
This process covers only sysop rights.
Undoing administrator actions
Venues for seeking reversal of administrator actions are, variously, the enacting administrator's user talk page, Wikipedia:Deletion review (for deletion/undeletion), Wikipedia:Requests for page protection (for protection/unprotection), and Wikipedia:Administrator's noticeboard/Incidents.

Requests are not valid if made on these grounds, and are subject to speedy closure as described below.

The CDA process[edit]

Before nomination[edit]

You should attempt persuasion first, by discussing your concerns with the administrator, and by pursuing dispute resolution. Also, ensure that your nomination would not be excluded by the #What this process is not restrictions above, taking particular notice of the requirement to have attempted substantial community discussion at a suitable venue, where a resolution was not forthcoming.

Nominations should focus on the core issue of whether the community as a whole does or does not trust the administrator to have sysop rights. Nominations not focused on this issue will likely fail, and possibly backfire spectacularly. If your case concerns a different issue, then you are in the wrong place. In all but the most extreme cases, there should be a demonstrable history of repeated unacceptable behavior, and not just one single incident. Processes like this one usually result in intense scrutiny of all involved parties. The bright light you are about to shine on a particular administrator will reflect on you as well.

It is generally not acceptable to make repeated nominations of the same administrator for the same reasons, without materially new evidence. Repeated resubmission of failed nominations may be speedily closed as noted below, and may be treated as disruption.


Nominations are made by creating a sub-page of Wikipedia:Community de-adminship, named after the administrator account being nominated. For example, to nominate the User:Example for Community de-adminship, you would create a new page Wikipedia:Community de-adminship/Example.

Nominations may be made in either of two ways:

By the Arbitration Committee
The Arbitration Committee may, by a motion, decide to refer the decision about sysop rights to the community for consensus. An Arbitrator or a clerk must sign the nomination, linking to the Committee's motion.
By the community at large
Nomination by the community at large requires the signatures of at least 10 editors (whose eligibility to do so is defined below), within a period no longer than seven days. Signatures must be placed in the nomination area of the requests, as simple signed bullet points.

The nominators are expected to provide a short, single, and objective statement of the nomination, supported by detailed and specific evidence.


Discussion does not open until an Arbitration Committee clerk, a Bureaucrat, or an Arbitration Committee member certifies a nomination as valid. Nominations are not valid unless all of the following apply:

The nominators[edit]

When a nomination is made by 10 editors, those editors:

  • must be active editors on the English Wikipedia, with accounts at least three months old and with at least 500 edits.
  • must all have signed the nomination personally, within the seven day period. Signatures made outside of the seven day period are invalid.
  • may not be subject to Arbitration enforcement editing restrictions or Arbitration Committee restrictions that explicitly preclude acting as a CDA nominator in the case in question, or community restrictions, including, but not limited to, topic bans, project bans, and paroles without the permission of a person or group empowered to lift those restrictions.

Tip for editors who are not eligible to make nominations: If you cannot convince 10 independent eligible editors of the merits of your request, such that they take it up themselves, then your request is probably without merit and should not be pursued.

In addition, permission must be granted by the Arbitration Committee for editors to nominate an administrator currently subject to an active arbitration process.


During the seven day nomination period, nominators may use {{CDA-nom}} on user talk pages to contact only sufficiently many interested editors to obtain the required number of signatures. The nominated administrator may likewise use {{CDA-admin}} on user talk pages at any time during the process. A bulleted list of all contacted parties must be kept on the nomination page. Any other situation not outlined in this section must adhere to the rules of WP:CANVASS.

Discussion and poll[edit]

Discussion and polling proceeds for at least seven days after discussion opens. Discussion and polling may be summarily closed ahead of that seven day deadline at the discretion of Bureaucrats or the Arbitration Committee.

Discussions are subject to the usual rules. Community de-adminship discussions follow the normal Wikipedia talk page etiquette. All editors are reminded in particular that the Wikipedia:No personal attacks policy applies to all parts of a de-adminship request.

Extended discussion belongs on the discussion page. The main request page is for the nomination, the poll, and the closure. All discussion not directly relevant to the purpose of the nomination, i.e. evaluating the level of community support for a given administrator, may be refactored to the talk page of the request. (Tip: If you want to provide an extended comment, or to begin a discussion of an indirectly related point, link to a section on the talk page.)

Anyone may participate in the discussion. Civil and relevant discussion, based upon Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, is welcome from any editor in the community, whether with or without an account. However, disruptive comments, and contributions by sockpuppets, banned users, or blocked users, are not permitted and will either be removed or struck out. Editors under a block restriction can be temporarily unblocked by an uninvolved administrator upon request, provided that they were blocked by the administrator being reviewed and the nomination is materially related to that block. The block will be lifted for the duration of, and for the sole purpose of participating in, the CDA.

The poll[edit]

The poll contains three sections: support, oppose, and neutral. An opinion is registered with a signed numbered list entry (the # markup).

Commenting next to the vote is strongly encouraged. !Votes presented without a rationale and "per" comments are both strongly discouraged, and may be discounted by the closing Bureaucrat.

Community de-adminship is not a replacement for Wikipedia:Requests for comments, and is not structured like a user RfC. In particular, there is only one poll of signatures, because there is only one thing to assess: the consensus for removing or not.

Editors (including nominators) may change their minds during the discussion period. To signify that, they can strike through the old opinion (changing the # markup to #: so that the list numbering remains correct) and sign the new opinion. Nominations, once certified, are not to be stricken.


Sometime after the seven days for the discussion have elapsed, a Bureaucrat will review the request and close it. Bureaucrats are volunteers, and closure is not required to occur exactly on the deadline.

Bureaucrats determine the consensus of the community, using both the opinion poll and the discussion on the talk page. There are two primary outcomes: either sysop rights are to be removed, or they are not. If the consensus is for removal, then the Bureaucrat will present the request to a Steward, showing project consensus for their removal. In either case, the Bureaucrat will close the discussion, recording the outcome and archiving it.

The point of the process is determining the consensus of the community at large. For an administrator to have sysop rights removed, a Bureaucrat will review the discussion to see whether both a minimum of 50 editors and a general consensus supporting the removal has taken place. Consensus can be difficult to ascertain, and it is not a numerical measurement. As a general descriptive rule of thumb, most of those above approximately 80% support for removal are passed, while most of those below approximately 65% fail, and the area in between is subject to Bureaucratic discretion.

Bureaucrats are, explicitly, free to take into account rationales and discussion, and to discount any and all forms of sockpuppetry and canvassing to recruit people who are not part of the Wikipedia editor community (including single-purpose accounts created for the purpose).


Bureaucrats may, at their discretion, extend the discussion period in order to obtain wider input, or to allow on-going active discussions to continue, in order to reach a clearer consensus.


Appeal of a decision is to be made to the closing Bureaucrat in the first instance. Someone who has had sysop rights removed by this process may re-apply to Wikipedia:Requests for adminship in the normal way.

Speedy closure[edit]

Discussions may be closed by an uninvolved administrator or Bureaucrat if the nomination is clearly frivolous and/or subject to WP:SNOW in favor of opposing. Speedy closure also applies to nominations that are excluded by the "What this process is not" restrictions, or are repeat nominations against the same administrator for the same reason, without materially new evidence.

Review of the CDA process[edit]

After one year or five CDA nominations, whichever is sooner, a formal review of this process will be made.