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Administrators are accountable for their actions involving administrator tools, as unexplained administrator actions can demoralize other editors who lack such tools. Subject only to the bounds of civility, avoiding personal attacks, and reasonable good faith, editors are free to question or to criticize administrator actions. Administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrator actions and to justify them when needed.
Administrators who seriously, or repeatedly, act in a problematic manner or have lost the trust or confidence of the community may be sanctioned or have their administrator rights removed. In the past, this has happened or been suggested for:
“Bad faith” adminship (sock puppetry, gross breach of trust, etc.)
Breach of basic policies (attacks, biting/civility, edit warring, privacy, etc.)
Conduct elsewhere incompatible with adminship (off-site attacking, etc.).
Failure to communicate – this can be either to users (e.g., lack of suitable warnings or explanations of actions), or to concerns of the community (especially when explanations or other serious comments are sought).
While best practices are for administrators to have email enabled, they are not required to enable or reply to email.
Repeated, consistent, or egregious improper use or misuse of a tool that is bundled with the administrator toolset (such as rollback). An administrator could be stripped of their administrative privileges entirely to remove access to those tools.
Repeated or consistent poor judgment.
For administrators unfamiliar with two-factor authentication, see the Plain and simple two-factor authentication guide
Main page: Wikipedia:User account security
Wikipedia’s policy on password strength requirements requires administrators to have strong passwords and follow appropriate personal security practices. Because they have the potential to cause site-wide damage with a single edit, a compromised admin account will be blocked and its privileges removed on grounds of site security. In certain circumstances, the revocation of privileges may be permanent. Any administrator who is discovered to have a password less than 8 bytes in length or among the 10,000 most common passwords may also be desysopped. Discretion on resysopping temporarily desysopped administrators is left to bureaucrats, who will consider whether the rightful owner has been correctly identified, and their view on the incident and the management and security (including likely future security) of the account.
Two-factor authentication is available to further secure your account from unauthorized use.
Administrators must never share their password or account with any other person, for any reason. If they find out their password has been compromised, or their account has been otherwise compromised (even by an editor or individual they know and trust), they should attempt to change it immediately, or otherwise report it to a bureaucrat for temporary desysopping. Users who fail to report unauthorized use of their account will be desysopped. Unauthorized use is considered ‘controversial circumstance’, and access will not be automatically restored.
In general, editors should not act as administrators in disputed cases in which they have been involved. This is because involved administrators may have, or may be seen as having, a conflict of interest in disputes they have been a party to or have strong feelings about. Involvement is generally construed very broadly by the community, to include current or past conflicts with an editor (or editors), and disputes on topics, regardless of the nature, age, or outcome of the dispute.
One important caveat is that an administrator who has interacted with an editor or topic area purely in an administrative role, or whose prior involvements are minor or obvious edits which do not show bias, is not involved and is not prevented from acting in an administrative capacity in relation to that editor or topic area. This is because one of the roles of administrators is precisely to deal with such matters, at length if necessary. Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator ‘involved’.
In straightforward cases (e.g., blatant vandalism), the community has historically endorsed the obvious action of any administrator – even if involved – on the basis that any reasonable administrator would have probably come to the same conclusion. Although there are exceptions to the prohibition on involved editors taking administrative action, it is still the best practice, in cases where an administrator may be seen to be involved, to pass the matter to another administrator via the relevant noticeboards.
Grievances by users (“administrator a