Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-11-29/Essay

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Adminitis: Some humor about the otherwise serious subject of burnout.


This month's essay is WP:ADMINITIS, an essay started in 2006. It has over 80 contributors; those with four or more edits include Kim Bruning, PhilKnight, 71.174.240.210, Pine and Physchim62. The essay provides some humor but also reminds the reader of the serious subject of occupational burnout.P
A white Mustang 5.0 automobile performing a burnout on a drag strip
An automobile exhibiting classic signs of adminitis

Adminitis is a state of mind in which some Wikipedians find themselves at times. Though generally confined to administrators, the condition has been observed in some non-administrators. Although the exact causes are unknown, there is thought to be some correlation towards extensive and prolonged anti-vandalism activity. The mystery is that that form of disease is not only found in humans, but in all the creatures of the planet (even to things created from humans, the most common case being cars and refrigerators, although the symptoms found on items vary significantly from the ones that appear in humans) (except plants (yet)), and the way these things are showing the symptoms of adminitis is yet unknown. Adminitis is being studied by very many scientists (especially doctors) but the results from these studies only confuse the situation. It has been ranked the top most dangerous disease in the entire Wikiverse by the Community Health Initiative.

It is generally advised that when you see anything suffering from adminitis, human being or anything else, call the nearest hospital (for humans), the nearest service center (for items) or the local building inspector (for buildings). If they do not respond, immediately call the local police department to report a public health hazard, because the entity with adminitis may harm or infect others.

Symptoms

  • Strongly believes that all users are equal but admins are more equal than others
  • Assumes bad faith frequently
  • TLAitis (see WP:WOTTA)
  • Stops editing articles, but continuously pontificates about "writing the encyclopedia"
  • Impatience
  • Exhibits immediatism
  • Hangs out in project namespace
  • Has no time for featured articles
  • Frequently refreshes pages to catch the latest change that (of course) needs to be reverted
  • Believes that they are always right (sorry, EVula...)
  • Believes anyone who uses the word 'vote' for 'express a view in a straw poll' should be banned for life
  • Originally hailed as the nicest person on the wiki, now reviled as the most hated troll
  • Prevents pages from being edited in encyclopedic fashion for policy reasons
  • General BOFHness
  • Strict adherence to "Wikipedia policy" while not using common sense or conversely,
  • Strict adherence to ignore all rules, as a strict rule... while not using common sense
  • Self-denial. "This page cannot possibly apply to me"
  • Humor breakdown. "This page is not funny"
  • Sudden spike in use of specific admin tools, or use of admin tools in areas where they haven't been using them before
  • Requires less and less evidence to be convinced of sock puppetry until confidently asserting that all new users are the same person
  • Spends hours writing sarcastic pages about admin behavior
  • Believes they are the only real claimant to the "Defender of the Wiki" barnstar
  • Exhibits signs of MPOV:

Mad scientist.svg

  • Thinks people are attacking them when they're only trying to be nice
  • Has a habit of removing criticism while pretending it's a personal attack
  • Indulges in biting delicious newcomers
  • Revokes talk page access in response to any and all unblock requests
  • They try to remove this essay or any such essay or try to vandalize it.

Diagnosis

It is a near-universal truth that sufferers from this illness will reject any diagnosis of the condition by an outside party. With that in mind, it's important for those who have received this diagnosis to conduct a self-test. If more than three of the following apply to you, you may be suffering from this illness:

  • You frequently feel that pages are broken and must be deleted (protection is for the weak!).
  • "Everyone is a vandal or a troll, and must be blocked" is a recurrent thought.
  • "Blocking people is a punishment! (not a tool to get people to cool down and edit the wiki)" is a mantra, not anti-wiki.
  • If you nominate this page for MfD even though it's only 2 minutes since the last revision, you may possibly be suffering from adminitis.
    • Corollary: If you are speedy, you are certainly suffering from adminitis.
  • If you accuse the creators of this article of making a WP:POINT, especially if you forget that making a point does not imply disruption (you need to disrupt to make a point, not make a point to disrupt! :-P), you are probably infected.
  • And if you buy the above line of thought, you are definitely infected.

Pathophysiology

The infectious nature of this illness is unknown at this time. More study needs to be conducted in order to identify transmission mechanisms. No effective containment mechanisms have been identified. So far anti-vandal bots have proved immune to this condition, although as yet there is no convincing explanation concerning this anomaly.

Observational studies have noted that sufferers will seek the counsel of their Wikipedia friends, but end up infecting them in the process. Other studies have noted the evolution of a Wikipedia editor as potentially having a causal role in this illness.

Treatment

Image of a glass thermometer, with humorous markings and a broken bulb, leaking fluid
Wikistress level of a PAS (Post Adminitis Syndrome sufferer)

Treatment varies from case to case. As of 2019, no consensus exists on the best methods for recovery. Some methods that have been used:

  • Write some articles. That stuff on the pages with a white background. (You may remember it if you think back to when you started on Wikipedia.)
  • Taking a wikibreak (short or long depending on severity of infection)
  • Submitting an RfC with yourself as the party. Note: Can lead to worsening of the infection, if all your friends come out to say what a great person you are. Do NOT tell your friends about the RfC.
  • Ask Bishzilla for a second opinion.
  • Self de-adminship.
  • Spend time editing on wikis where you are not an admin.

Prognosis and wikimortality

Mortality rates from this illness have not been clearly supported by research. Frequently, what appears to be a wikideath becomes a wikiresurrection in the form of a user who is considerably more circumspect, and often more detached from processes. Some resurrectees have exhibited shortness of temper, but with considerably lower flameout levels. Reinfection is rare, but if it occurs is almost always unrecoverable.

If the initial condition is not fatal, it may take months for a patient to recover, even if under the care and treatment of WP:ARBCOM.

Relation with Jimbo Wales

  • Chides people by asking them how Jimbo Wales would react if he sees (insert your favorite example) à la asking how your mother would feel if she sees you doing (insert your favorite example).
  • However, argues that Jimbo is Big Brother whenever Jimbo's opinions go against them, but couches it in language such as "benevolent dictator".

See also