Grants:IdeaLab/Rotate admins

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
statusnot funded
Rotate admins
The worse harassment is the one originating from a bad administrator and his team of co-workers. A mean person holding for several years the post of admin, may develop behavior of ownership, autarchism and megalomania. How about setting an uper limit of 4 years of "office"?
targetItalian and English Wikipedia
start dateNovember 15
end dateJanuary 15
budget (USD)500 USD
grant typeIndividual
non-profit statusNo
granteeLuca Polpettini
contact(s)Luca Polpettini
created on20:14, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What happens if a "small language" WP is controlled by a group of few admins who happened to be the wrong persons at the wrong position? Who can check them? The axiom "discuss and solve the problem within the community" does not work, simply because the community is dominated by those few.

What is your solution?[edit]

Admins must change every few years. This has the side-effect that WP will lose many good ones, who are the majority. A mid solution is to create a body of "senior admins" who can have a consultative or other role, but not the authority to ban users.


Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]


  • Researcher I vote for a certain term in the office of an Admin and withdrawal of Rights to Admin after a governed period of 2/3 Years. This would give other deserving and well contributing members a chance to make a change and also become an Admin. Denver20 (talk) 14:55, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer هبة الله 22:50, 27 June 2016 (UTC)


  • As this pattern already happen on Czech Wikipedia. It is not good for the project when arbitr or administrator starts to behave arogant or decides what is good to edit and what is not. Worse, when those decisions are motivated politicaly or ideologicaly as the arbitr or administrator is member of one of well known pressure groups outside of Wikipedia as LGBT, Feminists, antireligios and other movements or inside the Wikipedia as for example Sci-POV etc. DeeMusil (talk) 06:08, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Indeed issue needs solution. I suggest that it should also include a "small community without representation" Nannadeem (talk) 07:06, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Seems to be a good idea. Zezen (talk) 08:13, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • On SvWP all admins are reelected every year.That could be a simpler option. It works great. Also makes sure that all admins do have a support from the community. --Averater (talk) 10:35, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • because i've got bad treatment from authority managers, such as insult, banishing, deletings etc Anatavital (talk) 12:01, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Not having long term "governors" is always good. Permanent power can corrupt also honest people in good faith. Angelo Mascaro (talk) 14:13, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Power should be put in check more often Houdinipeter (talk) 14:39, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support; however, I don't see the WMF enforcing this in any possible way. Or would you like to write a wiki extension which would expire user rights after a set period of time, automatically? I'd like to know more about the implementation. --Gryllida 01:01, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support ; Very long-term admins tend to become ruler of a wiki, especially in small wikis. These people annoy new users, and make their own rules without community agreement. With the lack of an active community, there is not much one can do. Qwertz84 (talk) 10:48, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support If administrators are necessary, it is necessary to limitate their mandate in time. The simple fact that this has to be discussed, and that admins do not leave their positions by themselves, shows something of the founding spirit of Wikipedia has been lost, and needs to be reactivated. Unlimited mandates imply a form of control and create leagues among users, morgue and suspicion from the part of the "institutional" ones, resentment and anger for those who feel alienated by the "system". Yours, S.P.R. Lewitt (talk) 14:49, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree with your idea. In Catalonian language some admins are focusing the articles to Independence ideas and fake relevant historic situations. Some admins have a very high political profile and avoid any discussion about the articles they create or manage, changing automatically your editions helped by robots.It happens that the catalonian language articles are manipulated all of them against an usual neutral knowledge.
The admins in catalonian language are separatist and radical admins (you can check my opinión in their profile, with their likes and background).
To support my opinión, you can take a look to the nacionality of any celebrity, sportmen or women who were born in a catalonian place. Everyone are showed as "Catalan" when this región is a part of the Spanish country and not an independent state. If you compare their biography in different languages, you could understand what I want to say.
Excuse my writing, I am from Spain and English isn't my native language. Pinfano (talk) 09:32, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support;--Randeerjayasekara (talk) 13:51, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I think this idea is very important. Although i haven't met it at Wikipedia, at some other forums, a crazy admin "takes" the place, kicks off other admins, admins his/her friends. I don't want to happen the same with Wikipedia. Miecio Spod Czwórki (talk) 14:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support This might be especially a problem on small Wikis, but it is also a problem on the English-language Wikipedia, to some extent. It would be very healthy to enforce a one-year break from admin duties for admins, say, every five years, and then have them go through the RfA again to regain admin status. Smallbones (talk) 17:13, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • As the saying goes, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"... Antheii (talk) 18:48, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Aabdullayev851 (talk) 15:05, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support "A mean person holding for several years the post of admin, may develop behavior of ownership, autarchism and megalomania." Who can prevent a few administrators to ban anyone who opposes them? To those who can ask for help the banned opponents? Nobody. Maybe this has happened in italian Wikipedia. I have been banned for asking to rotate admins. The admin, since 2004, replied to create a new Wikipedia where admins have a limit of years of office. Luca Polpettini (talk) 23:30, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Complete surport from my side ! There's a good number of adminstrators that seem to have severe psychologic problems at wikipedia. talk Tonton Bernardo (talk) 07:28, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support. Here is a quick analogy that has some degree of basis. Within the United States Department of Defense there is a statute allowing for a maximum 4 year time-on-station (TOS). TOS can be extended to 6 years but must be approved by multiple direct supervisors (Chain-of-Command). But after a 6 years the station assignment MUST change. The TOS is in place to avoid abuse of power, corruption and immoral behavior. Wikipedia should have some type of policy in place to avoid bullying (immoral behavior) within this service platform. Allowing an admin to carry on with 'no limits', makes no sense and leads to the currently acceptable 'bullying' allowed with the wikipedia domain. Vwanweb (talk) 22:57, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support. I have also seen admins behaving non constructively, being "more equal" and above the WP rules, building little states and dynasties. Such behaviour repels authors that have something to contribute, but are not part of admin circle. This must be prevented, otherwise Wikipedia content would slowly but inevitably be reduced to viewpoint of the admin. Implementation shall take care that admins cannot be exempted by themselves, or puppets, or some other scheme. I don't believe that hierarchically tying smaller or similar communities to bigger neighbors to form some "appeal process" would do any good by itself. However, having reasonable appeal process or impeachment process sounds useful. DarkoS (talk) 20:42, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support: Love this idea. There are plenty of great administrators. But there are also plenty of lousy ones with no accountability. The worst, however, is that some people who were great candidates for adminship were shut down by other admins. DaltonCastle (talk) 17:52, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support Experiments like the Stanford Prison Experiment suggest that power corrupts power holders, although not everyone is corrupted to the same degree. Rotation of the power holders - in this case admins - may prevent them from 'settling' long enough for corruption to take over and abuse to be perpetrated. This system will help avoid the public humiliation of an admin being stripped of their rights due to abuse and will also bring in fresh blood into the admin barracks. Tsoukali (talk) 14:27, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Absolute adminship has led to abuses that are damageable to other users and therefore to the project. And not only on small wikis. Joe McNeill (talk) 09:26, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Texaner (talk) 19:19, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support some Admins abuse their power and other Admins can't/won't see the need to fight this behaviour. Messerjokke79 (talk) 14:03, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


  • I am not sure that this is the best solution. An alternative soution would be to identify certain Wikipeida languages and "major languages" and others as "minor languages". "Minor language" Wikipedias woudl be linked to "Major language" Wikipedias - for example the Welsh Wikipedia would be linked to the English Wikipedia and the Austro-Bavarian Wikipedia to the German Wikipedia. Should disputes arise in these small Wikipeidas, then they can be escalated to the larger associated Wikipedia. (In teh cases cited, it is assumed that everybody who can communicate in Welsh can also coimmunicate in English and likewise those who can communicate in Austro-Bavarian can also communicate in German. This might also assist in the case of the complaints against the admins of the Catalan Wikipedia (see comment from Pinfano). It mght of course be appropriate to combine both solutions.
  • I'm an admin on a small wiki (lad:). Part of me says, "great idea". But part of me says, "so what happens if no one else is willing to step up"? That happens in small wikis. StevenJ81 (talk) 20:07, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Rotate admins must be for all languages.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 13:50, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
At the end of the day, I don't disagree in principle. But what does a small wiki do if nobody else is willing to step up? StevenJ81 (talk) 15:25, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Should that unlikely situation happen in a very small Wikipedia, we do indeed need have to think of a solution. But when admins are 'bad', they usually are so to other users (not only to the content of the encylopedia), and those users would have to accept their only choice is between having the old admins rule, or step up in some kind of way. Otherwise, if the only choice is keeping them, then they should keep them as long as no one steps up.Joe McNeill (talk) 20:22, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm not entirely in favor of this. I believe a better alternative would be some sort of "community ban" ability, like there is for English wiki editors. This way, there could be some sort of petition process (autoconfirmed users click some button so-and-so many times, or something) that would auto-ban the admin (or auto-strip them of admin rights) when a certain number is reached. Of course, each user would only be allowed to do that once. There could also be an "against" button so consensus policies are upheld. This could be only allowed to non-admins in case of "conspiracy," as could be the case on smaller wikis. -- Gestrid (talk) 07:43, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
Banning is one thing, rotating admins or limiting their mandate in time, another. Still, what you are eventually talking about are the technical means to stop an admin's mandate (why call it auto-ban? (except for a brilliant pun in German)) like an emergency button to stop a robot; it seems like a good idea. It should indeed be allowed to non-admins.
If I understand you correctly, you wish to facilitate the process for Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship, which is good. It should be used in case of administrator abuse and in that case only.
That is exactly why those who endorse the idea on this page, are users who believe there has to be an automatic (and universal) process that 'clogs' 'absolute' adminship and (thus) prevents (some of the) administrator abuses from happening. Joe McNeill (talk) 09:22, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Expand your idea[edit]

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)

Project plan[edit]


Support the project to Wikimedia Italia


Decrease the conflict between sysops and users.