Administrators are YPPedians who have "SysOp rights". Current (de facto) YPPedia policy is to grant this access liberally to anyone who has been an active YPPedia contributor for a while and is generally a known and trusted member of the community. Generally speaking, standards have become harder in practice.
Administrators are not imbued with any special authority, and are equal to everybody else in terms of editorial responsibility. Some Wiki users consider the terms "Sysop" and "Administrator" to be misnomers, as they just indicate Wiki users who have had performance- and security-based restrictions on several features lifted because they seemed like trustworthy folks and asked nicely. However, administrators do not have any special power over other users other than applying decisions made by all users.
Any user can behave as if they are an administrator, provided that they do not falsely claim to be one, even if they have not been given the extra administrative functions. Users doing so are more likely to be nominated as full administrators by members of the community and more likely to be chosen when they are finally nominated.
The community does look to administrators to perform essential housekeeping chores that require the extra access administrators are entrusted with. Among them are watching the articles for deletion debates and carrying out the consensus of the community on keeping or deleting these articles, keeping an eye on new and changed articles to swiftly delete obvious vandalism, and meeting user requests for help that require administrative access. Since administrators are expected to be experienced members of the community, users seeking help will often turn to an administrator for advice and information.
- 1 So, what's the deal?
- 2 Becoming an administrator
- 3 Other access types
- 4 Administrator abuse
- 5 Dealing with grievances
So, what's the deal?
The wiki software has a few important features that are restricted. Of those restricted features, administrators have access to the following.
- Edit the Main Page, and other protected pages. You can suggest changes at Talk:Main Page.
- Protect and unprotect pages. Pages are only protected in certain rare circumstances - for information and guidelines, see protected page guidelines.
Deletion and undeletion
- Delete pages and their history. For information and guidelines, see both YPPedia:deletion policy and Wikipedia's deletion guidelines for administrators. To suggest a page for deletion (after reading the policy and guidelines pages!), see YPPedia:deletion. Sometimes deletion is a technical matter, in which a redirection page has to be removed to make way for renaming an article, or a page whose history has been broken up has to be deleted and the pieces recombined. Other times it's a matter of cleaning up simple junk edits on pages with no actual content, or removing material that has been pasted in from another site and infringes copyright.
- View and restore deleted pages and their history. See YPPedia:Undeletion policy for guidelines. To challenge an already made decision to delete a page, see YPPedia:Votes for undeletion.
- Delete images. For information and guidelines, see YPPedia:Image use policy. To suggest an image to delete (after reading the policy), see YPPedia:Deletion. To challenge a decision to delete an image, see YPPedia:Votes for undeletion.
- Revert pages quickly. Any logged-in user can revert a page to an earlier version. Administrators have a faster, automated reversion tool to help them revert vandalism by anonymous editors. When looking at a user's contributions, a link that looks like: [rollback] – appears next to edits that are at the top of the edit history. Clicking on the link reverts to the last edit not authored by that user, with an edit summary of (Reverted edits by X to last version by Y) and marks it as a minor change.
Hiding vandalism from recent changes
- Administrators can hide vandalism from Recent changes. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the URL used to access a user's contributions. For example, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=Reallyevilpirate&bot=1. When the rollback links on the contributions list are clicked, the revert and the original edit that you are reverting will both be hidden from the default Recentchanges display (by using the marker originally added to keep massive bot edits from flooding recentchanges, hence the "bot"). This means that they will be hidden from recent changes unless you click the "bots" link to set hidebots=0. The edits are not hidden from contributions lists, page histories or watchlists. The edits remain in the database and are not removed, but they no longer flood Recentchanges. The aim of this feature is to reduce the annoyance factor of a flood vandal with relatively little effort. This should not be used for reverting a change you just don't like, but is meant only for simple vandalism, particularly massive flood vandalism.
Block and unblock
- Block IP addresses, IP ranges, and user accounts, for a specific time, or indefinitely.
- Unblock IP addresses, IP ranges, and user accounts.
- See the blocking policy for more information on when blocks are appropriate and when they are not. See Special:Ipblocklist for currently blocked addresses and usernames.
Design and wording of the interface
- Administrators can change the text of the interface by editing the pages in the MediaWiki namespace. This includes the text at the top of pages such as the "Special:Whatlinkshere" and the page that a blocked user will see when they try to edit a page (MediaWiki:Blockedtext).
Becoming an administrator
If you would like administrator access add your name to YPPedia:Requests for adminship according to the guidelines mentioned there, and a voting will take place by fellow editors in order to determine if you should become an administrator.
It is recommended that you write for YPPedia for a while before requesting administrator status, since other users will have to recognize you before they can agree on your promotion.
Be careful, please! If you are granted access, we ask that you exercise care in using these functions, especially the ability to delete pages and their history, to delete images, and the ability to block IP addresses. You can learn about your newfound powers at the Wikipedia's Administrators' how-to guide. You should also take a look at the pages linked from the Administrators' reading list before using any of your administrator abilities.
Other access types
In addition to administrators, there are other types of identified users, listed here in roughly ascending order of power. (Administrators, clearly, go after Signed-in users.)
Users with ordinary access can still do most things, including the most important: editing articles and helping with YPPedia maintenance tasks. Visitors who haven't "signed in" can only view pages.
Only signed-up users can upload files, edit articles, move pages, create their own user page or rename pages.
Users with "bureaucrat" status can turn other users into administrators. Bureaucrats are created by other bureaucrats. All of these changes are recorded in Special:Log/rights.
The highest degree of technical access (actually a group of levels, the difference between all but the lowest of which isn't really visible to users) is "developer", for those who can make direct changes to the YPPedia software and database. These people, by and large, do not carry out administrative functions. This type of access is limited to the Ringers that work on YPPedia's maintenance.
Administrators can be removed if they abuse their powers. Currently, administrators may be removed either at the decree of Ringers & Ocean Masters. At their discretion, lesser penalties may also be assessed against problematic administrators, including the restriction of their use of certain powers. The technical ability to remove administrator status rests with the bureaucrats.
Dealing with grievances
If you think an administrator has acted improperly against you or another editor, you should express your concerns directly to the administrator responsible. Try to come to a resolution in an orderly and civil manner. However, if the matter is not resolved between the two parties, make sure you've tried the methods in Wikipedia's dispute resolution and then ask other administrators or bureaucrats for help resolving it.