Administrators (also known as sysops, system operators or shortly admins) are users with that can:
- remove pages and put them back, and view removed versions of pages;
- remove and put back users, single IP addresses, and sets of IP addresses;
- protect and unprotect pages, and edit protected pages;
- (if available) set the stable viewing level of a page (see here for an example)
- change most pages that start with MediaWiki;
- move pages from other Wikimedia projects;
- do other actions related to the technical maintenance;
- add and remove users from some user groups, such as rollback, IP block exempt or flooder.
Administrators can use these actions only on a wiki on which they are administrator.
What administrators need to and can do and their rules are different among the different projects. While administrators have more abilities than normal users, they do not have more control, which is different and given by the community. Some wiki sites do not even have rules for becoming an administrator and how they should act. Normally, this is because the project is small.
Some projects use different names for administrators. For example, the English Wikiversity uses "custodian", while the Spanish Wikipedia uses "librarian".
All "administrative" actions are logged and reversible by any other administrator. The same principle applies to all the special permissions on MediaWiki, although some are not publicly logged: see for instance checkusers, who need to be at least a couple on each Wikimedia project to check each other. This makes their activity closely scrutinized by the community at large. In particular, it is comparable to the ius intercessionis or the Roman consuls' veto: an intrinsic system for consensual action, reciprocal control, and prevention of abuse. Its degeneration, when the system fails to actually prevent abuse and such powers have to be in fact exercised (multiple times) to reverse a previous action, is the so-called wheel war.
Administrators are subject to the global admin activity review policy, which stipulates that their rights may be removed if inactive for more than two years.
- Administrators of Wikimedia projects
- Meta:Administrators – administrators on Meta
- Manual:Administrators on the MediaWiki.org – for information about the designation "Administrator" within the MediaWiki software, for users of MediaWiki projects which are not part of the Wikimedia Foundation