Friday, September 28, 2007


Admins run Wikipedia. They can block you and delete your stuff. You get to be an admin by convincing people who hang around the requests for adminship page that you're loyal, brave, trustworthy and clean. It also helps if you haven't tangled with anybody too poweful on WP.

You usually need about 75% of the votes to win adminship. But if powerful people on WP like you, a lower percentage will work. Once in, you almost have to be blasted out of the job with a tactical nuke. Occasionally an admin will p.o. Wikipedia bigwigs - there's a whole heirarchy of them above run-of-the-mill admins - so much that the admin gets "desysopped." But this is rare. Only 26 of the more than 1,300 admins have been tossed out of the job.

I don't want to be an admin, as I make painfully clear on my WP user page. I really don't want to block people and delete stuff, which is what admins mostly do. After all, these activities earn you a lot of serious dislike from people who get blocked and whose contributions get deep-sixed. Whole bitchfest sites have grown up where these people whine, spin conspiracy theories, and plot revenge.

So it's not surprising that admins themselves often complain about the crap they take. This is a typical example of WP admins moaning that nobody loves them. The sobs were prompted by one admin getting fed up and leaving.

To be fair, some admins take a lot of grief. But it's not like they were dragooned into the position. Last I checked, nobody was hauled kicking and screaming off the street and forced to accept adminship at bayonet point.

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