Global sysops/2008 proposal

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Global sysops are maintainers of smaller Wikimedia projects and technically skilled users who are able to help other Wikimedians. Their role is global on all Wikimedia projects. They have permissions on all Wikimedia projects, comparable with administrator permissions on individual projects, which they use at the projects without enough active administrators. However, their rights are limited by the nature of their own job.


While global sysops should have similar permissions to administrators, their role is not to maintain wikis at the regular basis, like wiki administrators are doing. Their role is to fight against vandals and to allow to the community at a particular project to take care of their own wiki. Because of that, while global sysops need and have permissions like deleting pages and blocking users, they don't need and don't have permissions like "Mark others' edits as patrolled", which is generally a feature which every administrator should have.


This is the list of permissions with explanations which global sysops have.

Editing permissions[edit]

  • Edit semi-protected pages: This is a permission every registered user has 4 days after registration (autoconfirmed users). However, it may be useful to give this permission to global sysops explicitly because of possible technical problems.
  • Edit other users' CSS and JS files: As it is assumed that global sysops are technically skilled contributors, they may help other contributors in fixing their CSS and JS files.
  • Move pages: Similar to edit semi-protected pages, this permission is given to confirmed users but will be good to grant explicitly.
  • Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page: This is the "rollback" permission. It is one of the most important permissions for global sysops.
  • Mark rolled-back edits as bot edits: The ability to optionally mark the vandal's edit and the revert as bot edits. This helps keep the recent changes page clean.
  • Edit MediaWiki messages. To stop local spam or massive vandalism using multiple blacklists (and override them).
  • Autopatrol of edits.
  • Purge the site cache of a page without confirmation: This is a permission every registered user has. However, it is useful to explicitly grant this permission because of possible technical problems.

Delete / undelete and protection permissions[edit]

  • Delete pages: Vandals and destructive users often create (nonsense) pages that need to be summarily deleted.
  • Mass delete pages: This may be very useful to global sysops. As far as the proposer of this policy understands, the number deleted pages is limited. However, if a vandal already made a very large number of pages, global sysop should be able to delete them with or without help of a program.
  • Change protection levels and edit protected pages: Global sysop should be able to protect and unprotect pages.
  • Overwrite an existing file: This allows for uploading new versions of images.
  • Undelete a page: This is currently the only option for undeleting pages, so global sysops should have this permission. As the only reason for undeleting pages is to fix their own mistakenly deleted page, if and when the permission "undelete if I deleted" comes into existence, the old permission should be substituted by the new one.
  • View deleted history: This permission allows accessing Special:Undelete and is therefore needed in order to be able to undelete pages.

Blocking permissions[edit]

  • Block other users from editing
  • Block a user from sending email

Crosswiki permissions[edit]

  • Block IP addresses globally
  • Administrate SUL: locking, blocking and hiding of global accounts

Policy for requesting global sysop status[edit]

The request shall be done on Steward requests/Global permissions. A time for opinion of at least one week will be given. The candidate will be given the tools listed above only if they are approved by a qualified majority of at least 75%. All editors with an account on Meta, at least one active account on any Wikimedia project, and a link between the two, may participate and give their opinion on the candidate. In case of any opposition, enough people must speak for the candidate for them to be given the tools (a qualified majority of at least 75%).

If the candidate becomes an global sysop, they should add their name to the global sysops list, and ensure they keep a valid user name page, links to at least one other project, and valid contact. Global sysops not respecting these rules will lose their privileges.

Permission usage[edit]

The Global sysop should deal only with small wikis.

  • If some wiki doesn't have any administrators at all, the global sysops should take care of that project all of the time.
  • If some wiki doesn't have administrators just in some parts of the day (like the night hours in a specific time zone), they should take care of that wiki during the unmonitored times.

Local projects must be respected. Even though their permissions are global, global sysops are not allowed to use their rights on any project with a substantial community of active administrators (e.g. the English Wikipedia; as well as a number of projects smaller than the English Wikipedia; see /Wikis and /Small and large wikis) without explicitly asking the community, even for such minor things as using rollback. Global sysops not respecting this rule will lose their privileges immediately.

It is possible that some larger projects may decide to give some rights to global sysops, and, also, structure their own policy for this function. After reaching consensus in the community, please report the status of your project regarding global sysops at Global sysops/Wikis (if your project is considered as a large one; for details see /Small and large wikis). For the full list of wikis and their classification, see Global sysops/Small and large wikis. A good example for defining what global sysops are and aren't granted to do locally may be found at the policy page of the English Wikipedia.

If there are enough active global sysops and stewards around, global sysop should prefer not to act at their home project, unless they are admins there.

Any action strictly forbidden by local policies will result in permissions being removed immediately.

Policy for removing rights[edit]


Any global sysop inactive for a full year will be de-sysoped. "Inactive" means no edits in the past 6 months and less than 50 edits in the last year. They may re-apply through the regular way.

Poll after a year[edit]

Having global sysop privileges is not a lifetime status. Get it if you need it. Keep it if people trust you. Quit it if you do not need it. Lose it if people feel they cannot trust you. Global Sysop status will be granted for one year. After that time, people will be able to vote to oppose a global sysop. If there is no opposition for the sysop to stay sysop, then they stay sysop. If opposition is voiced, then the sysop may lose global sysop status if support falls below 75%. No quorum is required. It is not a vote to gain support status, but a poll to express disagreement with the current situation. The point is not to bug everyone to vote to support the global sysop again (if there is no opposition, there is no point in voting your support again); the point is to not allow global sysop status to become a lifetime status. If a global sysop is not actually infringing rules, but is creating work for the community because of a lack of trust, then it is best that people have the possibility of expressing their opposition.

Page for confirmation/removal: Global sysops/confirm

Complaining about rights usage[edit]

Contributors of Wikimedia projects may complain about global sysops' work at Global sysops/complain.

Discussion and policy adoption[edit]

This page is a proposal and it should be discussed before being adopted. If the discussion goes as planned, it should be finished by June 15th at 23:59 (UTC), after which the community will have the opportunity to vote about the policy adoption. Voting will last from June 16th, 2008 to June 30th, 2008.


We should discuss all issues related to this policy on the talk page.


For successful adoption of this policy the following conditions are necessary:

  • at least 30 votes in favor;
  • at least 80% overall votes in favor, with neutral votes not counting toward the overall total;

Any Wikimedian with at least 500 edits (across all projects) total, and at least 100 edits (across all projects) between January 1 - May 31, 2008 may vote. Voter should have an existing user page at meta with a link to at least one content project. Comments are welcome from all, but those not qualifying to vote, will not have their votes counted.

During the mentioned time voting will be held at Metapub#Global sysops (poll).

Transitional notes[edit]

  • If the policy is successfully adopted, 3 days after the adoption it would be used for creating basic guidelines and other supporting pages, as well mailing list and an IRC channel.

See also[edit]