Gamepedia Help Wiki
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{{admin guide nav}}
 
{{admin guide nav}}
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If you are reading this, you are probably a newly-appointed administrator on a Gamepedia wiki. If so, congratulations! You have been granted an additional set of permissions to help you make your wiki a better place both for its readers and for its editors. This guide is intended to help you use your position responsibly.
Public wikis successfully operate on a basically democratic level. This doesn't mean that every decision is voted on, but in general, decisions on a wiki should be made by reaching a consensus whenever this is reasonably possible. The following guidelines are provided to help administrators exercise good judgment:
 
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{{tocright}}
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== Meaning of "administrator" ==
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On most Gamepedia wikis, users with access to moderation tools have the [[Project:Wiki guardian|wiki guardian]] role, while on some wikis, the standard MediaWiki [[Project:Administrators|administrator]] role is used instead. Furthermore, on wikis that use the standard role, some of the administrators may also have the [[Project:Bureaucrats|bureaucrat]] role that grants them the ability to promote and demote administrators.
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For the purpose of this guide, the word "administrator" will refer to users with either the wiki guardian role or the administrator role, whether or not they also have the bureaucrat role.
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== General guidelines ==
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Public and open wikis operate by favoring consensus over hierarchy. While this doesn't mean decisions are based on the number of votes, this does mean that it's preferred to discuss a problem and try to find an optimal solution, rather than to choose one unilaterally and impose it upon others.
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As an administrator, you'll be expected to protect the overall well-being of your community: to moderate discussions, to ensure that articles are as complete, accurate, and easy to use as possible, along with many other objectives. Applying the following general principles is considered to be most beneficial for wiki communities:
   
 
;Assume good faith
 
;Assume good faith
 
:When there's doubt about whether an edit was intended to help the wiki, assume it was and treat the editor that way. If an edit is obviously abusive, feel free to take appropriate action, but where's there is doubt, give the editor the benefit of that doubt.
 
:When there's doubt about whether an edit was intended to help the wiki, assume it was and treat the editor that way. If an edit is obviously abusive, feel free to take appropriate action, but where's there is doubt, give the editor the benefit of that doubt.
 
 
;Administrate users, not content
 
;Administrate users, not content
 
:When it comes to the content of the wiki, the voice of an administrator should be treated as the equal of any other user. Administrators should only impose their opinions when the community fails to come to a reasonable consensus. Otherwise, administrators should try to get disagreeing users to discuss the situation. Administrators may offer their opinion as well, but they need to take care not to sound as though they're enforcing it.
 
:When it comes to the content of the wiki, the voice of an administrator should be treated as the equal of any other user. Administrators should only impose their opinions when the community fails to come to a reasonable consensus. Otherwise, administrators should try to get disagreeing users to discuss the situation. Administrators may offer their opinion as well, but they need to take care not to sound as though they're enforcing it.
 
 
;Be light-handed
 
;Be light-handed
 
:Try to settle problems with the minimum use of administrative powers reasonably possible. For example, if two editors keep reverting each others' edits on a page (edit warring), warn them and try to get them discussing it first. If that doesn't work, temporarily protecting the page might be a better option than blocking either editor, especially if it's just a matter of getting their attention. Try to use blocks as a last resort and warn first where possible.
 
:Try to settle problems with the minimum use of administrative powers reasonably possible. For example, if two editors keep reverting each others' edits on a page (edit warring), warn them and try to get them discussing it first. If that doesn't work, temporarily protecting the page might be a better option than blocking either editor, especially if it's just a matter of getting their attention. Try to use blocks as a last resort and warn first where possible.
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:The above doesn't apply to intentionally disruptive users (like spammers, vandals, and others), but even then, don't place indefinite or too long blocks on IP addresses. IPs change owners over time, and the longer the block, the more likely it is to affect legitimate editors. In most cases, blocking IPs that made just one bad-faith edit is not useful; some people consider 3 edits in a short period of time a good rule of thumb for whether to block an IP. Should your wiki have significant problems with malicious editors, contact [[GRASP]] or your [[wiki manager]].
 
:The above doesn't apply to spammers, but don't place indefinite blocks on anonymous users. IP addresses change over time and an indefinite block might eventually affect a legitimate editor. In most cases, blocking spammers is rarely very useful as they don't often spam more than once from the same IP, so it's usually best to just clean up the spam. If serious problems with spam crop up, bring it up with your wiki's Curse liaison.
 
{{tocright}}
 
==Types of administrators==
 
There are three types of formal administrator status:
 
*[[Project:Bureaucrats|bureaucrat]] (note that bureaucrats are almost always given either the administrator or wiki guardian role, as users who are solely bureaucrats do not have most of the rights that admins and guardians do)
 
*[[Project:Administrators|administrator]]
 
*[[Project:Wiki guardian|wiki guardian]]
 
 
For this document all are referred to as '''administrator'''. This status is not intended to represent extra weight within community decisions or generally directing the wiki, nor is it a requirement for moderating or enforcing policy. Like all users, administrators are expected to respect policy and consensus.
 
   
 
==Wiki design rules==
 
==Wiki design rules==
Gamepedia encourages our admins and editing community to not only contribute wiki information, but to help improve the design of their favorite wikis. These community-driven projects rely on editors to succeed, and we appreciate your efforts! When altering the design of your wiki, please abide by the [[Wiki design rules|design rules]], which includes not modifying or suppressing Gamepedia sections or ads. If you're not sure if something is allowed, contact us via one of the methods below.
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Article information isn't the only part of a wiki. Having a visually appealing, easy-to-understand, and lightweight design is no less important. As such, the editor communities are encouraged to improve the appearance of their wikis. Administrators have the ability to implement significant design changes for all visitors, however, there are certain [[wiki design rules]] that require you to not make certain modifications. In particular, do not modify or suppress any Gamepedia or Fandom sections or ads. If you're not sure if something is allowed, contact us via one of the methods below.
   
For information on editing the wiki skin, visit the [[skin customization]] page on the Help Wiki.
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For information on how to edit the wiki skin, visit the [[skin customization]] page on the Help Wiki.
   
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===Where to request features and ask questions===
===Feature requests===
 
 
Have an awesome idea for a wiki? We're constantly adding new features and expanding the functionality of wikis across Gamepedia. Please contact us via the links below to suggest a feature.
 
Have an awesome idea for a wiki? We're constantly adding new features and expanding the functionality of wikis across Gamepedia. Please contact us via the links below to suggest a feature.
   
 
For questions or concerns about wiki design, please visit our [https://gamepedia.zendesk.com Gamepedia Support] page or email [mailto:Community@Gamepedia.com Community@Gamepedia.com]. In addition, we also have [[Discord|a Discord server]], and you may find help there.
===Questions?===
 
For questions or concerns about wiki design, please visit our [https://gamepedia.zendesk.com Gamepedia Support] page or email [mailto:Community@Gamepedia.com Community@Gamepedia.com].
 
   
 
==Blocking==
 
==Blocking==
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Blocking an account, IP, or an IP range prevents the target of the block from performing most actions on the wiki. Blocked users are still able to read pages, but they cannot create, edit, or move pages, nor can they upload files. All administrative permissions are also disabled for the duration of the block, with the exception of the abilities to block and unblock (including the ability to unblock self).<!-- Editor note: Block/unblock access for blocked admins is actually under review by WMF. It's possible that in the future the only action a blocked admin will be able to perform is blocking the other admin who blocked them. -->
Blocks are applied via the form at the special page [[Special:Block]]. There are several steps to applying a block:
 
   
 
Blocks are deemed to be not a means to punish people who misbehave, but a means to prevent them from harming the wiki. See [[Blocking guidelines]]<!-- you may link to a local version such as Project:Blocking guidelines if you prefer --> for more detailed information regarding blocking individual users.
# '''Specify the IP address or user to be blocked'''. Enter the IP address to be blocked, or the name of the registered user account to be blocked, in the "User" field of the form. Note that nonexistent usernames can also be blocked, so be certain you have the correct username. You can also block a range of IP addresses; see range blocks (below) for more information.
 
#:Usually, you'll be blocking people from the "Block this user" link in the sidebar or the "Block" link next to the username/IP address in the [[Special:Recentchanges]] listing.
 
# '''Specify a duration for the block'''. You can select a predefined duration from the drop down box labelled "Expiry", or you can enter a custom value, using the [http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/html_node/Date-input-formats.html GNU standard format], in the "Other time" field. All blocks on Gamepedia are applied globally by default. No permanent ("Indefinite") blocks should be applied.
 
#:While the form accepts quite a large variety of date entry types (Fortnights, "Next Thursday"), you should generally confine yourself to the standard "years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes".
 
#:You can use decimals. Hence, "8.725 fortnights" is a valid (if strange and somewhat annoying) block duration.
 
# '''Specify a reason for the block (optional).''' This reason will be displayed to the blocked user if they attempt to edit a page.
 
#: The more descriptive, the better (especially when using some of the blocking options below). If possible, consider linking to evidence.
 
   
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A newer feature, partial blocks, also allows preventing any changes to specific pages or specific namespaces, as opposed to the entire site.
Click "block this user" to apply the block. All blocks are recorded in the [[Special:Log/block|block log]], and all currently active blocks are listed at the [[Special:Blocklist|list of active blocks]].
 
   
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To apply or change a block, use the form on the special page [[Special:Block]]. This form is typically accessed from a user's user page, their contributions page, the [[recent changes]] page, or the [[watchlist]].
===Blocking options===
 
The blocking page has three important options associated with the block:
 
# '''Block anonymous users only:''' When blocking an IP user, selecting this option will allow any registered users to continue editing from that address. This option has no effect on a block of a registered user, but it does modify any autoblocks (see below) caused by that block.
 
#:Generally speaking, this isn't a very useful option. Many of the IP users that are blocked are from spammers or spam bots - if they create an account, they'll still be able to access from that location. This option is really only for use when considering a block of a proxy, tor exit node, or dynamic IP address (such as AOL), as it minimizes the likelihood of restricting actual contributors.
 
# '''Prevent account creation:''' Duh. Anyone that tries to access from the blocked IP address will not be able to create an account.
 
#:This option should generally be turned on when dealing with an IP spammer, since they've been known to create usernames such as "[[Special:Contributions/Ki3H5x|Ki3H5x]]" to evade blocks. This also works when blocking a registered user - even though we can't see the IP address, the MediaWiki software takes care of it in the background
 
# '''Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent addresses they try to edit from:''' (Autoblock, for short) This option only applies to blocks of registered user accounts. When enabled, this option will cause the block to also apply to the most recent IP address, and any other addresses that they try to log in from.
 
#:This is the mack daddy of blocking. This is the block for that l33t h4x0r d00d who thinks that he can get around a block by having his mother drive him to the library so that he can vandalize a wiki. This option should usually be set when blocking a registered spammer/spambot, as it has a decent chance of blocking another address or two before they figure it out.
 
#:Autoblocks are taken care of in the background by the MediaWiki software, and last for 24 hours. These blocks only appear on the [[Special:Blocklist]] page (not in the regular block log) because they are added automatically.
 
#:Be careful when using the autoblock function, especially in the case of dynamic IPs (AOL being the prime example) as it can result in temporarily blocking large numbers of innocent users.
 
   
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When applying or changing a block, you need to specify appropriate settings first.
See [[Blocking guidelines]]<!-- you may link to a local version such as Project:Blocking guidelines if you prefer --> for more detailed information regarding blocking individual users.
 
   
 
# '''Specify the IP address or user to be blocked'''. Fill in the "User" field of the form with the target of the block: the username of an account, the IP address, or the IP range. Note that a username can be blocked even if there is no such account, so be certain you have the correct username.
===Effects of a block===
 
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#* If you didn't visit the special page directly, and instead followed the "block" link for a specific user from another page, this field will be already filled in with the correct value.
Blocked users may still read pages, but they cannot create, edit, or move pages, nor can they upload files. In general, all additional user rights (deletion, protecting, assign user rights) will be disabled for the duration of the block, but this does not apply to block/unblocking abilities. Any user that has blocking and unblocking abilities will be able to use them during their block (which allows them to unblock themselves).
 
 
# '''Specify a duration for the block'''. You can select a predefined duration from the dropdown box labelled "Expiry", or you can enter a custom value, using the [http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/html_node/Date-input-formats.html GNU standard format], in the "Other time" field.
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#* You can change the contents of the [[MediaWiki:Ipboptions]] system message to configure the list of predefined options in the dropdown box.
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#* Prefer the smallest duration for the block that lets it achieve its purpose of stopping the disruption. 1 or 3 days for a first-time IP vandal should be enough. Do not block IPs or ranges for longer than 2 weeks; contact [[GRASP]] or your [[wiki manager]] if you feel a longer block is needed due to long-term abuse.
 
#* While the form accepts quite a large variety of date entry types (fortnights, "Next Thursday"), you should generally confine yourself to the standard format of "years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes". You can use decimal fractions too. Hence, "8.725 fortnights" is a valid (if strange and somewhat annoying) block duration.
 
# '''Specify a reason for the block (strongly recommended).''' This reason will be displayed in public logs (and therefore will provide clarity to other users and administrators), and the blocked user will see it as well if they attempt to edit a page.
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#* You can specify just a predefined reason from a list (which is defined on [[MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown]]), use a predefined reason with a custom comment, or write your own reason entirely.
 
#* The more descriptive, the better (especially when using some of the blocking options below). If possible, consider linking to evidence, especially when the blocked user has constructive contributions as well.
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Click "Block this user" to apply the block. All blocks are recorded in the [[Special:Log/block|block log]], and all currently active blocks are listed at the [[Special:Blocklist|list of active blocks]]. Global blocks can be viewed on [[Special:GlobalBlockList]].
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===Blocking options===
 
The blocking page has several important options associated with the block:
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# In "Actions to block":
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## '''Account creation''': Prevents the blocked user, IP, or IP range from registering accounts. On by default.
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##* This option should generally not be disabled. It's not uncommon for disruptive users to register (additional) accounts to evade blocks.
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## '''Sending email''': Prevents the user(s) affected by this block from using the [[Special:EmailUser]] feature to send email to other users. Meaningless when issuing IP blocks that won't affect registered users. Off by default.
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##* The default option (allow emails) is useful if you wish to provide an opportunity to appeal to you in private. Disabling emails is useful if this feature is abused, or if there are substantial reasons to suspect such abuse may take place.
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## '''Editing their own talk page''': Prevents the user(s)/IP(s) affected from editing their talk page while blocked. Off by default.
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##* This should typically be left on to provide an opportunity to appeal. It can be disabled if the permission is abused.
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# In "Additional options":
 
## '''Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IP addresses they try to edit from''' (or "autoblock" for short): Only applies when blocking accounts. Will automatically apply 24-hour<!-- defined by $wgAutoblockExpiry --> blocks to IPs this user logs in from. On by default.
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##* This should typically be left on to prevent the user from continuing their disruption from an IP. Disable it if they are known to share an IP with a constructive editor.
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##* Autoblocks are listed at [[Special:AutoblockList]]. To prevent them from disclosing registered user IP addresses, autoblocks are identified by numeric IDs instead.
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## '''Prevent logged-in users from editing from this IP address''': Only applies when blocking IPs or IP ranges. If checked, registered users will be unable to edit from the IP(s). Off by default.
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##* Should not generally be enabled, unless you're blocking an open proxy or a Tor exit node (but see [[Extension:TorBlock]]).
 
##* This option has no effect on a block of a registered user, but it does modify any autoblocks (see above) caused by that block.
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## '''Add new or modify existing global block''': If selected, the IP or user is globally blocked on all Gamepedia wikis. Cannot and should not be used on IP ranges. On by default.
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##* Vandals and spammers rather often switch to other wikis when blocked. As such, this option should generally be kept enabled, unless the issue with the user is something rather wiki-specific, and they can be expected to contribute constructively elsewhere.
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##* Due to a bug, to make a local block global, you need to unblock, then re-block with this box checked.
   
 
===Unblocking===
 
===Unblocking===
 
An IP address or registered user account can be unblocked via the [[Special:Blocklist|list of active blocks]]. Find the IP address or registered user account you wish to unblock in the list (you can enter the address or name in the "search" field to help you find the entry), and click the "Unblock" link displayed to the right of the block's expiry time.
 
An IP address or registered user account can be unblocked via the [[Special:Blocklist|list of active blocks]]. Find the IP address or registered user account you wish to unblock in the list (you can enter the address or name in the "search" field to help you find the entry), and click the "Unblock" link displayed to the right of the block's expiry time.
   
This will lead you to a confirmation page. Enter the reason for unblocking (optional) in the "reason" field, and click "unblock this address" to remove the block. All unblockings are recorded in the [[Special:Log/Block|block log]].
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This will lead you to a confirmation page. Enter the (optional) reason for unblocking in the "Reason" field, and click "Unblock this address" to remove the block. All unblocks are recorded in the [[Special:Log/block|block log]].
   
 
==Deleting==
 
==Deleting==
When deleting a page make sure you check "[[What links here]]" to verify that deletion will not break links elsewhere on the wiki.
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When deleting a page, make sure you check "[[What links here]]" and ensure that the deletion does not cause unwanted broken links elsewhere on the wiki.
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* Don't delete an image you're not sure about as images that are used as part of the wiki's design (skin) will not show up as linked.
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Don't delete an image you're not sure about as images that are used as part of the wiki's design (skin) will not show up as used or linked. For that reason, it's preferred to have a placeholder page that lists images used in ways the software cannot detect.
   
 
===Hiding individual revisions===
 
===Hiding individual revisions===
Sometimes it is necessary for a single revision to be deleted, rather than the whole page. This is useful when a user adds personal or sensitive information, such as access keys and passwords. If you see this, revert it immediately, and contact your wiki manager to hide the revision.
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Sometimes it is necessary to suppress the visibility of a single revision only (its text, its summary, or the name of the user who made it). This operation, [[RevisionDelete|revision deletion]], is allowed only for especially gross vandalism and sensitive information. If you see such revisions, especially if they involve private information, revert them immediately and contact your [[wiki manager]] to have them hidden.
   
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If your wiki is one of the few that has [[bureaucrat]]s, they also have access to the tool. Make sure they're familiar with [[RevisionDelete|the relevant policy]].
Hiding a revision removes the text, edit summary and/or the user's name or IP address from public viewing. Only other administrators can see the hidden revision. This right is reserved by and restricted to Gamepedia staff and bureaucrats. See [[RevisionDelete]] for more information on using this.
 
   
 
==Protecting==
 
==Protecting==
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Protecting a page makes users without a certain permission perform a specific action on that page. Protection varies in which actions are restricted, and in who retains the ability to perform the restricted actions.
Protecting a page restricts it from being edited. This is primarily used for pages that have a high chance of being vandalized ([[Main Page]]) or as a temporary measure on a page that is the subject of an edit war or mass vandalism. There are three different kinds of protection:
 
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* '''Semi-protection:''' Only registered users are allowed to edit the page. Any anon (IP) contributors will still be able to see the source code, but are unable to make any changes.
 
 
Protection is primarily used for pages that have a high chance of being vandalized (such as the [[main page]]) or as a temporary measure to stop an ongoing revert war or a vandalism spree.
** This version makes a lot of sense on a page that is getting a lot of anon vandals, but it's not very useful in preventing an edit war.
 
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* '''Full-protection:''' Only administrators are allowed to edit the page.
 
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By default, there are two protection levels:
** This version should mainly be used on high-profile pages (the Main Page), pages that should never be changed by a non-administrator or as a ''very temporary'' measure to stopping an edit war. Please note that, when dealing with an edit war, no matter which revision you choose to protect, it will be the wrong one. Try to keep any pages protected for as short of a time as possible.
 
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* '''Semi-protection:''' Only registered users can edit the page. Any IP contributors will still be able to see the source code, but will be unable to make any changes.<!-- Editor note: In reality, semi-protection restricts the action to users with the "autoconfirmed" user right, but on Gamepedia, currently all registered users are invariably autoconfirmed. This may change to the future, requiring modifications to this part of the guide. -->
* '''Cascading protection:''' The page and all images, pages, and templates included into the page are also protected.
 
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** Semi-protection can help for pages frequently and repeatedly damaged by IP edits, if there are many different IPs (so blocking won't help), and the disruptive edits don't follow simple patterns (so abuse filters won't help).
** Cascading protection should '''NEVER''' be used with semi-protection. Since Cascading protection automatically full-protects all included pages, any registered user can add an image or template to that semi-protected page to cause it to be full-protected (something that only administrators should be able to do).
 
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** Semi-protection on page moving or file uploading is not<!-- currently: see editor note above --> meaningful, IPs don't have the permissions to move pages or upload files.
** This is an emergency measure, typically used to ''temporarily'' protect a very high-profile page ([[Main Page]]) if a change makes the images/templates used vulnerable. Try and avoid this option if at all possible, as it may protect templates that are used in other locations (create a duplicate copy of the template and protect that instead).
 
 
* '''Full protection:''' Only administrators can edit the page.
 
** Full protection shoud mainly be used on high-profile pages (such as the main page), pages that should never be changed by a non-administrator (such as critical templates or images used in site design), or as a ''very temporary'' measure to stopping a revert war. Please note that protecting a page in a specific state does not mean endorsement of that state. Try to keep any pages protected for as short of a time as possible.
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A variant of full protection, '''cascading protection''', protects not only the page, but also all images, pages, and templates included into the page.
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* Cascading protection [[mw:Manual:$wgCascadingRestrictionLevels|cannot be used with semi-protection]].
 
* This is an emergency measure, typically used to ''temporarily'' protect a very high-profile page ([[Main Page]]) if a change makes the images/templates used vulnerable. Try and avoid this option if at all possible, as it may protect templates that are used in other locations (create a duplicate copy of the template and protect that instead).
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Protection may be applied not just to editing pages, but also to moving pages, creating pages, and uploading (or re-uploading) files.
   
 
===Move protection===
 
===Move protection===
By checking the "unlock move permissions" box on the "Confirm protection" screen, the page move rights can be restricted independently of page editing. This is most often used on Project pages that anyone should be able to edit, but that should generally not be moved.
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By checking the "Unlock further protect options" box on the "Confirm protection" screen, the page move rights can be restricted independently of page editing. This is most often used on Project pages that anyone should be able to edit, but that should generally not be moved.
   
 
===Create protection===
 
===Create protection===
If a page does not exist, it can be protected against creation in the same way that an existing page can be protected from moving and editing. This is generally only done for pages which are frequent vandalism targets with no reason to exist, such as "index.php".
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If a page does not exist, it can be protected against creation in the same way that an existing page can be protected from moving and editing. This is generally only done for pages that are frequent vandalism targets with no reason to exist.
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Note, however, that bad-faith page creation may be better to handle via abuse filters or [[MediaWiki:Titleblacklist]]. If some serial vandal repeatedly creates pages with "Badword" in their title, and you protect "Badword", they'll just create "Badw0rd", "Bad-word", "Bаdword" (that's a Cyrillic letter А), and so on. Since protection can only affect specific pages, if you need to disable creation of any pages matching a pattern, other approaches may be better.
   
 
===Protecting images===
 
===Protecting images===
To protect an already uploaded image from being replaced with a newer version (such as images used on the [[Main Page]]), you can simply use the ''Protect'' button like with any other article.
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To protect an already uploaded image from being replaced with a newer version, you can simply use the ''Protect'' button like with any other article. This is primarily used for images used on the main page, in widely-used templates, or in site design.
   
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You may also find that a file with some name should never be uploaded. A nonexistent file can be upload-protected just like any other page. Please note, however, that the same caveat as with create protection (see above) applies to files. Various devices and software may create files with highly non-descriptive titles matching a pattern (such as the current time and date: e. g. "File:2077-10-23 09:47.png"), and it is impossible to protect all such titles.
Once in a while you may come across some image filename that shouldn't be uploaded at all to the wiki, (e.g. "File:Example.jpg"). To achieve this, simply edit the page of that image, (for example to add a reason why that page was protected). After this page has been created, the '''Protect''' button for that article will be available, and users trying to upload the image after that will receive a warning message that the page has been protected and will be unable to proceed.
 
   
 
===Notes on protection===
 
===Notes on protection===
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==Rollback==
 
==Rollback==
Any user can revert a page by going through the page history. Administrators gain access to an additional ''rollback'' link to expedite the process. To revert the edits of one user to the last version by the previous editor, click rollback on the page history, the user contribution list, or on the diff page. The reversion will be marked as a minor edit and given an automatic edit summary based on the contents of [[MediaWiki:Revertpage]]. Rollback should only be used for clear vandalism and spam. If an edit is not such, assume good faith and leave a polite revert summary.
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Any user can undo edits on a page by going through the page history. Administrators gain access to an additional ''rollback'' tool to expedite the process. To revert the edits of one user to the last version by the previous editor, click the rollback link on the page history, the user contributions list, or on the diff page. The reversion will be marked as a minor edit and given an automatic edit summary based on the contents of [[MediaWiki:Revertpage]]. Rollback should only be used for clearly disruptive edits. If an edit is not such, assume good faith and leave a polite revert summary.
   
 
==Impartiality==
 
==Impartiality==
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Thus:
 
Thus:
*If you're editorially involved in a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
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* If you're editorially involved in a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
*If you're personally involved with a member of a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
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* If you're personally involved with a member of a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
*Only mention your administrator status when justifying or explaining an administrative action.
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* Only mention your administrator status when justifying or explaining an administrative action.
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Unfortunately, the first two points require there to be another active administrator willing and able to handle your request. If you are the only administrator, if any other administrators are inactive, or if the situation requires immediate action, you will be left with no choice other than to handle it yourself.
   
 
===Cultural reverence of administrators===
 
===Cultural reverence of administrators===
Administrators do not have any say in the editorial process beyond that of any other editor. At least, that's what we like to say. More accurately, administrators absolutely do have a bit more voice than non-administrators. This extra voice is completely unintentional and stems completely from the culture of the wiki -- people look up to administrators and are more reluctant to dispute them. Even though this reverence is not the administrator team's fault, nevertheless, ''every administrator should be careful to avoid abusing this additional editorial power.'' Specific suggestions on how to do this are, by nature, controversial -- thus, if you disagree with any suggestion below, please note flaws with said suggestion here instead of simply removing it. If you really feel it doesn't belong, take your case to the talk page.
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It is commonly thought that wiki administrators should not have any say in the editorial process beyond that of any other editor. However, administrators inavoidably ''do'' have a bit more voice than non-administrators. This extra voice is completely unintentional and stems completely from the culture of the world people tend to look up to those of a higher "rank", such as administrators, and are more reluctant to dispute them. Even though this reverence is not the fault of administrators themselves, ''every administrator should be careful to avoid abusing this additional editorial power''. Specific suggestions on how to do this are, by nature, controversial thus, if you disagree with any suggestion below, please take your case to the talk page.
   
 
Some possible ways to avoid abusing non-systemic administrator authority follow, roughly sorted from simple to complex.
 
Some possible ways to avoid abusing non-systemic administrator authority follow, roughly sorted from simple to complex.
   
 
* Negate the importance of the administrator role if it gets brought up in an editorial discussion.
 
* Negate the importance of the administrator role if it gets brought up in an editorial discussion.
* Be a little more explanatory than usual. Justify edits more completely. Post in talk more often if something might become controversial. This is good advice for everyone, but it's doubly important for administrators -- a lack of an edit summary for any non-minor edit can give the impression of unilateral action.
+
* Explain your actions and opinions more thoroughly than usual. Post in talk pages more often if something might become controversial. This is good advice for everyone, but it's doubly important for administrators a lack of an edit summary for any non-minor edit can give the impression of unilateral action.
 
* Remind people that usual cultural considerations apply to administrators, too. For example, occasionally add "if you disagree, please revert" to your edit summary or talk post. Even though people are always free to revert like this, explicitly stating so helps them get over the fear of reverting an administrator.
 
* Remind people that usual cultural considerations apply to administrators, too. For example, occasionally add "if you disagree, please revert" to your edit summary or talk post. Even though people are always free to revert like this, explicitly stating so helps them get over the fear of reverting an administrator.
 
* If you get administratively involved with an article, avoid being editorially involved with that article for some time.
 
* If you get administratively involved with an article, avoid being editorially involved with that article for some time.
   
 
==Other useful notes==
 
==Other useful notes==
* Watching (and watchlisting) the [[Project:Admin noticeboard|Admin noticeboard]] is useful for awareness of currently requested tasks. Remember though, that an issue being listed there does not necessarily mean that administrator action is required.
+
* Watching (and watchlisting) the [[Project:Admin noticeboard|admin noticeboard]] can help keep you aware of current requests. Though keep in mind that, unfortunately, people often use admin noticeboards for issues that actually don't require admin attention.
* Administrators should also have their email accessible through the '''"Email this user"''' link located in the toolbox from their Userpage. To do this, go to Preferences and make sure that Enable Email from users is checked. This offers the community access to discuss issues (blocks, protections etc.) outside of the view of the general community. If an issue is brought to attention in this fashion that requires community input, the administrator should post it as is appropriate.
+
* Administrators should also have their email accessible through the '''"Email this user"''' link located in the toolbox from their user page. To enable receiving emails, go to Preferences, open the "Notifications" tab, and make sure that "Allow other users to email me" is checked. This offers the community access to discuss issues (blocks, protections, etc.) outside of the view of the general community. If an issue brought to attention in this fashion requires community input, the administrator should post it as appropriate.
   
 
== Announcements ==
 
== Announcements ==
If necessary, important wiki-wide announcements &mdash; generally temporary &mdash; can be posted via the [[Site notice]] by administrators. Adding content to the Site Notice causes a dismissable announcement to appear at the top of all Wiki pages, for anyone viewing them, until dismissed by the user. A Site Notice should be disabled when no longer needed, by reverting it to its default content, which is a single hyphen (<code>-</code>).
+
If necessary, important wiki-wide announcements &mdash; generally temporary &mdash; can be posted via the [[site notice]] by administrators. Adding content to the site notice creates a dismissable announcement to appear at the top of all wiki pages, for anyone viewing them, until dismissed by the user. A site notice should be disabled when no longer needed by reverting it to its default content, which is a single hyphen (<code>-</code>).
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 16:56, 31 May 2020


If you are reading this, you are probably a newly-appointed administrator on a Gamepedia wiki. If so, congratulations! You have been granted an additional set of permissions to help you make your wiki a better place both for its readers and for its editors. This guide is intended to help you use your position responsibly.

Meaning of "administrator"

On most Gamepedia wikis, users with access to moderation tools have the wiki guardian role, while on some wikis, the standard MediaWiki administrator role is used instead. Furthermore, on wikis that use the standard role, some of the administrators may also have the bureaucrat role that grants them the ability to promote and demote administrators.

For the purpose of this guide, the word "administrator" will refer to users with either the wiki guardian role or the administrator role, whether or not they also have the bureaucrat role.

General guidelines

Public and open wikis operate by favoring consensus over hierarchy. While this doesn't mean decisions are based on the number of votes, this does mean that it's preferred to discuss a problem and try to find an optimal solution, rather than to choose one unilaterally and impose it upon others.

As an administrator, you'll be expected to protect the overall well-being of your community: to moderate discussions, to ensure that articles are as complete, accurate, and easy to use as possible, along with many other objectives. Applying the following general principles is considered to be most beneficial for wiki communities:

Assume good faith
When there's doubt about whether an edit was intended to help the wiki, assume it was and treat the editor that way. If an edit is obviously abusive, feel free to take appropriate action, but where's there is doubt, give the editor the benefit of that doubt.
Administrate users, not content
When it comes to the content of the wiki, the voice of an administrator should be treated as the equal of any other user. Administrators should only impose their opinions when the community fails to come to a reasonable consensus. Otherwise, administrators should try to get disagreeing users to discuss the situation. Administrators may offer their opinion as well, but they need to take care not to sound as though they're enforcing it.
Be light-handed
Try to settle problems with the minimum use of administrative powers reasonably possible. For example, if two editors keep reverting each others' edits on a page (edit warring), warn them and try to get them discussing it first. If that doesn't work, temporarily protecting the page might be a better option than blocking either editor, especially if it's just a matter of getting their attention. Try to use blocks as a last resort and warn first where possible.
The above doesn't apply to intentionally disruptive users (like spammers, vandals, and others), but even then, don't place indefinite or too long blocks on IP addresses. IPs change owners over time, and the longer the block, the more likely it is to affect legitimate editors. In most cases, blocking IPs that made just one bad-faith edit is not useful; some people consider 3 edits in a short period of time a good rule of thumb for whether to block an IP. Should your wiki have significant problems with malicious editors, contact GRASP or your wiki manager.

Wiki design rules

Article information isn't the only part of a wiki. Having a visually appealing, easy-to-understand, and lightweight design is no less important. As such, the editor communities are encouraged to improve the appearance of their wikis. Administrators have the ability to implement significant design changes for all visitors, however, there are certain wiki design rules that require you to not make certain modifications. In particular, do not modify or suppress any Gamepedia or Fandom sections or ads. If you're not sure if something is allowed, contact us via one of the methods below.

For information on how to edit the wiki skin, visit the skin customization page on the Help Wiki.

Where to request features and ask questions

Have an awesome idea for a wiki? We're constantly adding new features and expanding the functionality of wikis across Gamepedia. Please contact us via the links below to suggest a feature.

For questions or concerns about wiki design, please visit our Gamepedia Support page or email Community@Gamepedia.com. In addition, we also have a Discord server, and you may find help there.

Blocking

Blocking an account, IP, or an IP range prevents the target of the block from performing most actions on the wiki. Blocked users are still able to read pages, but they cannot create, edit, or move pages, nor can they upload files. All administrative permissions are also disabled for the duration of the block, with the exception of the abilities to block and unblock (including the ability to unblock self).

Blocks are deemed to be not a means to punish people who misbehave, but a means to prevent them from harming the wiki. See Blocking guidelines for more detailed information regarding blocking individual users.

A newer feature, partial blocks, also allows preventing any changes to specific pages or specific namespaces, as opposed to the entire site.

To apply or change a block, use the form on the special page Special:Block. This form is typically accessed from a user's user page, their contributions page, the recent changes page, or the watchlist.

When applying or changing a block, you need to specify appropriate settings first.

  1. Specify the IP address or user to be blocked. Fill in the "User" field of the form with the target of the block: the username of an account, the IP address, or the IP range. Note that a username can be blocked even if there is no such account, so be certain you have the correct username.
    • If you didn't visit the special page directly, and instead followed the "block" link for a specific user from another page, this field will be already filled in with the correct value.
  2. Specify a duration for the block. You can select a predefined duration from the dropdown box labelled "Expiry", or you can enter a custom value, using the GNU standard format, in the "Other time" field.
    • You can change the contents of the MediaWiki:Ipboptions system message to configure the list of predefined options in the dropdown box.
    • Prefer the smallest duration for the block that lets it achieve its purpose of stopping the disruption. 1 or 3 days for a first-time IP vandal should be enough. Do not block IPs or ranges for longer than 2 weeks; contact GRASP or your wiki manager if you feel a longer block is needed due to long-term abuse.
    • While the form accepts quite a large variety of date entry types (fortnights, "Next Thursday"), you should generally confine yourself to the standard format of "years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes". You can use decimal fractions too. Hence, "8.725 fortnights" is a valid (if strange and somewhat annoying) block duration.
  3. Specify a reason for the block (strongly recommended). This reason will be displayed in public logs (and therefore will provide clarity to other users and administrators), and the blocked user will see it as well if they attempt to edit a page.
    • You can specify just a predefined reason from a list (which is defined on MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown), use a predefined reason with a custom comment, or write your own reason entirely.
    • The more descriptive, the better (especially when using some of the blocking options below). If possible, consider linking to evidence, especially when the blocked user has constructive contributions as well.

Click "Block this user" to apply the block. All blocks are recorded in the block log, and all currently active blocks are listed at the list of active blocks. Global blocks can be viewed on Special:GlobalBlockList.

Blocking options

The blocking page has several important options associated with the block:

  1. In "Actions to block":
    1. Account creation: Prevents the blocked user, IP, or IP range from registering accounts. On by default.
      • This option should generally not be disabled. It's not uncommon for disruptive users to register (additional) accounts to evade blocks.
    2. Sending email: Prevents the user(s) affected by this block from using the Special:EmailUser feature to send email to other users. Meaningless when issuing IP blocks that won't affect registered users. Off by default.
      • The default option (allow emails) is useful if you wish to provide an opportunity to appeal to you in private. Disabling emails is useful if this feature is abused, or if there are substantial reasons to suspect such abuse may take place.
    3. Editing their own talk page: Prevents the user(s)/IP(s) affected from editing their talk page while blocked. Off by default.
      • This should typically be left on to provide an opportunity to appeal. It can be disabled if the permission is abused.
  2. In "Additional options":
    1. Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IP addresses they try to edit from (or "autoblock" for short): Only applies when blocking accounts. Will automatically apply 24-hour blocks to IPs this user logs in from. On by default.
      • This should typically be left on to prevent the user from continuing their disruption from an IP. Disable it if they are known to share an IP with a constructive editor.
      • Autoblocks are listed at Special:AutoblockList. To prevent them from disclosing registered user IP addresses, autoblocks are identified by numeric IDs instead.
    2. Prevent logged-in users from editing from this IP address: Only applies when blocking IPs or IP ranges. If checked, registered users will be unable to edit from the IP(s). Off by default.
      • Should not generally be enabled, unless you're blocking an open proxy or a Tor exit node (but see Extension:TorBlock).
      • This option has no effect on a block of a registered user, but it does modify any autoblocks (see above) caused by that block.
    3. Add new or modify existing global block: If selected, the IP or user is globally blocked on all Gamepedia wikis. Cannot and should not be used on IP ranges. On by default.
      • Vandals and spammers rather often switch to other wikis when blocked. As such, this option should generally be kept enabled, unless the issue with the user is something rather wiki-specific, and they can be expected to contribute constructively elsewhere.
      • Due to a bug, to make a local block global, you need to unblock, then re-block with this box checked.

Unblocking

An IP address or registered user account can be unblocked via the list of active blocks. Find the IP address or registered user account you wish to unblock in the list (you can enter the address or name in the "search" field to help you find the entry), and click the "Unblock" link displayed to the right of the block's expiry time.

This will lead you to a confirmation page. Enter the (optional) reason for unblocking in the "Reason" field, and click "Unblock this address" to remove the block. All unblocks are recorded in the block log.

Deleting

When deleting a page, make sure you check "What links here" and ensure that the deletion does not cause unwanted broken links elsewhere on the wiki.

Don't delete an image you're not sure about as images that are used as part of the wiki's design (skin) will not show up as used or linked. For that reason, it's preferred to have a placeholder page that lists images used in ways the software cannot detect.

Hiding individual revisions

Sometimes it is necessary to suppress the visibility of a single revision only (its text, its summary, or the name of the user who made it). This operation, revision deletion, is allowed only for especially gross vandalism and sensitive information. If you see such revisions, especially if they involve private information, revert them immediately and contact your wiki manager to have them hidden.

If your wiki is one of the few that has bureaucrats, they also have access to the tool. Make sure they're familiar with the relevant policy.

Protecting

Protecting a page makes users without a certain permission perform a specific action on that page. Protection varies in which actions are restricted, and in who retains the ability to perform the restricted actions.

Protection is primarily used for pages that have a high chance of being vandalized (such as the main page) or as a temporary measure to stop an ongoing revert war or a vandalism spree.

By default, there are two protection levels:

  • Semi-protection: Only registered users can edit the page. Any IP contributors will still be able to see the source code, but will be unable to make any changes.
    • Semi-protection can help for pages frequently and repeatedly damaged by IP edits, if there are many different IPs (so blocking won't help), and the disruptive edits don't follow simple patterns (so abuse filters won't help).
    • Semi-protection on page moving or file uploading is not meaningful, IPs don't have the permissions to move pages or upload files.
  • Full protection: Only administrators can edit the page.
    • Full protection shoud mainly be used on high-profile pages (such as the main page), pages that should never be changed by a non-administrator (such as critical templates or images used in site design), or as a very temporary measure to stopping a revert war. Please note that protecting a page in a specific state does not mean endorsement of that state. Try to keep any pages protected for as short of a time as possible.

A variant of full protection, cascading protection, protects not only the page, but also all images, pages, and templates included into the page.

  • Cascading protection cannot be used with semi-protection.
  • This is an emergency measure, typically used to temporarily protect a very high-profile page (Main Page) if a change makes the images/templates used vulnerable. Try and avoid this option if at all possible, as it may protect templates that are used in other locations (create a duplicate copy of the template and protect that instead).

Protection may be applied not just to editing pages, but also to moving pages, creating pages, and uploading (or re-uploading) files.

Move protection

By checking the "Unlock further protect options" box on the "Confirm protection" screen, the page move rights can be restricted independently of page editing. This is most often used on Project pages that anyone should be able to edit, but that should generally not be moved.

Create protection

If a page does not exist, it can be protected against creation in the same way that an existing page can be protected from moving and editing. This is generally only done for pages that are frequent vandalism targets with no reason to exist.

Note, however, that bad-faith page creation may be better to handle via abuse filters or MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. If some serial vandal repeatedly creates pages with "Badword" in their title, and you protect "Badword", they'll just create "Badw0rd", "Bad-word", "Bаdword" (that's a Cyrillic letter А), and so on. Since protection can only affect specific pages, if you need to disable creation of any pages matching a pattern, other approaches may be better.

Protecting images

To protect an already uploaded image from being replaced with a newer version, you can simply use the Protect button like with any other article. This is primarily used for images used on the main page, in widely-used templates, or in site design.

You may also find that a file with some name should never be uploaded. A nonexistent file can be upload-protected just like any other page. Please note, however, that the same caveat as with create protection (see above) applies to files. Various devices and software may create files with highly non-descriptive titles matching a pattern (such as the current time and date: e. g. "File:2077-10-23 09:47.png"), and it is impossible to protect all such titles.

Notes on protection

When used to temporarily stop an edit war, protection may be viewed as an endorsement of that particular version. This is not the case. Be careful to remind other users of this and start a discussion on the talk page of the article to resolve the conflict.

Rollback

Any user can undo edits on a page by going through the page history. Administrators gain access to an additional rollback tool to expedite the process. To revert the edits of one user to the last version by the previous editor, click the rollback link on the page history, the user contributions list, or on the diff page. The reversion will be marked as a minor edit and given an automatic edit summary based on the contents of MediaWiki:Revertpage. Rollback should only be used for clearly disruptive edits. If an edit is not such, assume good faith and leave a polite revert summary.

Impartiality

Most active administrators also actively edit the wiki. This occasionally causes conflict of interest. For example, if people start personally attacking you after an edit to an article, blocking them yourself makes it appear as if you're using your administrator tools to control wiki content.

Thus:

  • If you're editorially involved in a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
  • If you're personally involved with a member of a conflict, request another administrator's intervention.
  • Only mention your administrator status when justifying or explaining an administrative action.

Unfortunately, the first two points require there to be another active administrator willing and able to handle your request. If you are the only administrator, if any other administrators are inactive, or if the situation requires immediate action, you will be left with no choice other than to handle it yourself.

Cultural reverence of administrators

It is commonly thought that wiki administrators should not have any say in the editorial process beyond that of any other editor. However, administrators inavoidably do have a bit more voice than non-administrators. This extra voice is completely unintentional and stems completely from the culture of the world – people tend to look up to those of a higher "rank", such as administrators, and are more reluctant to dispute them. Even though this reverence is not the fault of administrators themselves, every administrator should be careful to avoid abusing this additional editorial power. Specific suggestions on how to do this are, by nature, controversial – thus, if you disagree with any suggestion below, please take your case to the talk page.

Some possible ways to avoid abusing non-systemic administrator authority follow, roughly sorted from simple to complex.

  • Negate the importance of the administrator role if it gets brought up in an editorial discussion.
  • Explain your actions and opinions more thoroughly than usual. Post in talk pages more often if something might become controversial. This is good advice for everyone, but it's doubly important for administrators – a lack of an edit summary for any non-minor edit can give the impression of unilateral action.
  • Remind people that usual cultural considerations apply to administrators, too. For example, occasionally add "if you disagree, please revert" to your edit summary or talk post. Even though people are always free to revert like this, explicitly stating so helps them get over the fear of reverting an administrator.
  • If you get administratively involved with an article, avoid being editorially involved with that article for some time.

Other useful notes

  • Watching (and watchlisting) the admin noticeboard can help keep you aware of current requests. Though keep in mind that, unfortunately, people often use admin noticeboards for issues that actually don't require admin attention.
  • Administrators should also have their email accessible through the "Email this user" link located in the toolbox from their user page. To enable receiving emails, go to Preferences, open the "Notifications" tab, and make sure that "Allow other users to email me" is checked. This offers the community access to discuss issues (blocks, protections, etc.) outside of the view of the general community. If an issue brought to attention in this fashion requires community input, the administrator should post it as appropriate.

Announcements

If necessary, important wiki-wide announcements — generally temporary — can be posted via the site notice by administrators. Adding content to the site notice creates a dismissable announcement to appear at the top of all wiki pages, for anyone viewing them, until dismissed by the user. A site notice should be disabled when no longer needed by reverting it to its default content, which is a single hyphen (-).

See also