Commons:Administrators/Adminship policy

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What are administrators?[edit]

Administrators, commonly known as admins and also called sysops (system operators) are Commons editors who have access to technical features that help with maintenance. Administrator access should be easily available to those who the community express trust in and who have demonstrated some need for & understanding of the tools. Administrators are only ordinary users and the tools are far more janitorial than the badge of a sheriff and do not imply authority rather trust.

Experience shows that outstanding content contributors reduce their valuable contributions because of maintenance overhead after they become admins and this is what we want least. So please contribute your best skills and consider that there are many ways of getting community credit besides being an admin (if you're good at clean up go ahead, if you contribute breathtaking own photographs consider not standing). An administrator is simply a user who has the rights to:

  • protect and unprotect pages, and edit protected pages (including the interface)
  • delete and undelete pages, view and dispense information from deleted pages (including images and image pages)
  • block and unblock users
  • review Flickr images like trusted users

Administrators with check user rights have all the rights above, and also have the rights to:

  • check if a user used more than one account, or if certain users are using the same computer (sock puppets)

Bureaucrats have all the administrator rights above, and also have the rights to:

Meta Stewards have all the bureaucrat rights above, and also have the rights to:

  • remove administrator rights
  • give and remove check user rights
  • give and take Bureaucrat rights via the bureaucrat flag (on Commons and elsewhere)

Developers have all the rights above, and also have the rights to:

  • give and take Steward rights via the steward flag (on Commons and elsewhere)
  • give and take Developer rights via the developer flag (on Commons and elsewhere)

What is expected from an administrator?[edit]

To request (or be nominated for) adminship you must not be completely new to the project and must have a valid email address set up. Given the multi lingual nature of Commons it would be expected that Babel information would be given on the user's page.

There are no set limits to the number of edits or length of time that a user must be active before seeking these rights. However there would be an expectation that a reasonable number of meaningful edits (not merely own user page or similar) would have been been made over a period of time. There should have been interactions with other users which show civility and good faith. Those seeking the rights should show from their behaviour that they are to be trusted, understand the rights and will make use of them. Because the tools are for cleaning up rather than as a "badge of office" there is an expectation that they will be used to some degree.

You should show that you are a trusted member of the community who is familiar with, and will follow, the policies of the Commons and you understand and agree with the goals of the project. You must respect the consensus of the Commons' users.

A request for adminship will normally be open for a period of seven days. However a bureaucrat may decide to leave an RfA open for longer for more views or, in the case of overwhelming support, close the RfA in under seven days. Requests from users with under 100 edits are unlikely to succeed and could be speedy closed by bureaucrats.

Return to adminship[edit]

This would apply when an admin requests the removal of rights when taking a break from Commons. If the user returns within a reasonable time (~6 months) they can post a request on Commons:Administrators/Requests and votes together with a link to their original RfA. If there are no objections a bureaucrat may restore the rights after a period they consider suitable. If there are objections then the request must be taken to a full RfA.

Confirmation of rights[edit]

Confirmation of additional rights is made in groups quarterly after a year from the granting of adminship.


The confirmation is made to confirm that an admin is still trusted and is an asset as administrator. The poll is also a comparatively uncontroversial way for an admin to lose his adminship if he is fairly inactive or unsuitable. Furthermore, it is a way for both ordinary users and fellow admins to say what they think about an admin, be it good or bad.


The confirmation will be made quarterly and run for two weeks. All users with rights that have been granted 12 months to 15 months ago will be listed. No vote need be made as the assumption will be that the rights continue. However if anyone "opposes" then it will turn in to a conventional RfA.

The users are to be listed at Commons:Administrators/confirm, without subpages for each user. Users up for re-election will also be mentioned at Commons:Administrators and preferably in public places such as the village pump and Administrators' Noticeboard.

Standard RfA rules applies: The poll is open for one week but can be extended if the poll is close. If no one comments at all, or no one comments negatively, the admin is reconfirmed. However, if there is at least one negative comment, 75% support is required for retention of adminship.

If the user is also checkuser and/or bureaucrat, the poll also covers those capacities. A support vote is per default a vote for the user keeping all capacities. If the voter doesn't approve of just the bureaucrat / checkuser right, then he should say so in his support-vote, e.g. "Support adminship, oppose bureaucratship." These oppose-votes will then be counted into the separate oppose-votes for that capacity.