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Administrators FAQ

This page answers some questions related to Administrators on Wikipedia.

How do policies get decided?

Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines describes how Wikipedia arrives at its policies and guidelines through a process of discussion and consensus. Discussion takes place in the various policy pages which form part of the "Wikipedia:" namespace. Sometimes policy is discussed off-wiki, but decisions always take place on-wiki.

What is an administrator? A sysop?

Two words for the same thing. An administrator is simply a volunteer Wikipedian who can access some of the few restricted Wikipedia software functions: deleting articles and files, protecting and unprotecting pages, and blocking and unblocking users. The software internally uses the string "sysop" to flag their accounts, a shortened term for system operator. See the current list of administrators.

How can I become an administrator?

You must have years of a good edit history that shows you understand Wikipedia policies, have good judgement, a good temperament, and have a need for the administrator toolset. A nomination is then made at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship where the community decides if the user deserves the tools. Honestly, you can do 95% of tasks on Wikipedia without being an administrator.

Who monitors the conduct of an administrator?

Administrators monitor each other; nearly all admin actions are reversible by any other admin (including page deletions, page protections, and blocks). The Arbitration Committee also has the power to sanction administrators, and does so fairly regularly. You can report problems with admins misusing their privileges at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard.

How can my IP address be unlocked?

Only administrators can unblock IP addresses. To request that an IP address be unblocked, see Wikipedia:Appealing a block and follow the instructions there.

How can I request for an admin to block a user or IP?

You can request for an administrator to block a user or IP that is blatantly vandalising at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism (see requirements on that page).

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