Certain long time trusted editors are given the Administrator user role which gives them additional responsibilities and privileges to assist the wiki. 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. The page documents the commonly used tools that administrators are given.
- 1 Blocking
- 2 Deleting
- 3 Protecting
- 4 Rollback
- 5 Patrolling
- 6 Impartiality
- 7 Other useful notes
Blocks are applied via the form at the special page Special:Block. There are several steps to applying a block:
- 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 "Username or IP address:" 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 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 labeled "Expiration:", or you can enter a custom value, using the GNU standard format, in the "Other time:" field. If the duration given is "indefinite", then the block will not expire, although the IP address or user account may still be unblocked by an administrator.
- IPs should never be blocked for longer than 2 weeks without permission from Fandom Staff.
- Indefinite blocks should generally not be used, except in cases of confirmed incessant spam bots.
- Blatantly malicious registered users with a clear intent to continue vandalizing should receive a 6-month to one-year block. When the intent to continue vandalizing is not completely apparent, or for non-vandalism cases that still require disciplinary action, use warnings and/or escalating block lengths, beginning with days or weeks.
- 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.
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: 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 "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 IP 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 Izzy's page again. 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.
Range blocking is a way to block all IP addresses in a certain range. Hence the name. This type of blocking should only be used under extreme circumstances with approval of Fandom Staff.
An IP range takes the form of 22.214.171.124/24 (for reference, that's the range between 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) – it shows the IP address at the low end of the block (more or less) and the number after the "/" shows the number of significant bits (it makes more sense in binary, take a look at mw:Help:Range blocks). In other words, the "184.108.40.206/24" range actually blocks all IP addresses of the form 69.208.0.XXX. Since an IP address consists of 32 bits, a block of "220.127.116.11/32" is exactly the same as blocking "18.104.22.168."
Make sure to check the IP range multiple times before range blocking, due to the massive possibility of error. One useful site is the netmask calculator, which will automatically compute the necessary values to block all addresses between the two you provide.
Please note that individual IP addresses cannot be unblocked from a range block. Any attempts to unblock that IP will not take effect unless the entire range is unblocked.
Effects of a block
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).
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.
Before deleting a file, check for foreign file uses. There is a link at the top of every file page that allows you to see a list pages on other wikis where the file is used. Other language wikis and mod wikis use this wiki as a file repository, so correct or remove the file links from other wikis before deleting.
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 report is to Fandom Staff as they are the only ones with access to the tools to do so. Specific file versions can be deleted by any administrator, and is typically only done so for those that violate law and/or policy, such as copyright violations or pornography.
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. The delete/undelete revisions page can be accessed through the history page.
Protecting a page restricts it from being edited. This is primarily used for pages that have a high chance of being vandalized (e.g. the 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:
- No protection: Anyone can edit the page, including unregistered users (IPs).
- Semi-protection: Only registered users are allowed to edit the page. Any anonymous (IP) contributors will still be able to see the source code, but are unable to make any changes.
- This version makes a lot of sense on a page that is getting a lot of IP vandals or IP edit warring.
- Full-protection: Only administrators are allowed to edit the page.
- This version should mainly be used on high-traffic pages (e.g. the main page), highly transcluded templates or files, pages that should never be changed by a non-administrator (such as this page), 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.
Cascading protection: Applies protection settings to the page and all files, pages, and templates transcluded onto the page.
- 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).
- This is an emergency measure, typically used to temporarily protect a very high-profile page (e.g. the 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).
When protecting a page, the move rights can be changed as well. By default, any changes to editing protection will be matched, but this can be overridden. 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 pages that anyone should be able to edit, but that should generally not be moved, e.g. project pages or the Terraria page.
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 being inappropriate and/or irrelevant.
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.
Once in a while you may come across some image filename that shouldn't be uploaded at all to the wiki, (i.e. File:Example.png). To achieve this, go to the protection page as normal, and by checking the "Unlock further protect options" box on, the upload rights can be restricted.
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.
- Whenever someone attempts to edit a protected page, they will be see the protection reason.
Administrators are also given the Rollback tool. See Help:Rollback for more information.
Patrolling is easy. On the Special:RecentChanges feed, un-patrolled edits have a red exclamation mark (!). Patrolling is used to make sure that every edit has been reviewed by at least one administrator, and makes sure vandalism is swiftly dealt with. It is also a great way to stay up to date and in touch with the wiki.
How to patrol
You can click the "diff" link to view the edit's change, and then mark the edit as patrolled once you have reviewed it. A reviewed edit will not have the red exclamation mark next to it.
What to mark as patrolled
Patrolling does not mean marking good edits as patrolled, and bad edits as un-patrolled. The goal is to know if somebody has reviewed the edit or not. For example, if you encounter vandalism, you should undo the vandalism, and then mark the vandal's edit as patrolled, so other admins will not waste their time studying the vandal.
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.
- 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.
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 administrative 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Administrators should also have their email accessible through the "Email this user" link located in the toolbox from their user page. 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.