[WikiEN-l] Re: Fixed term sysops.

Fennec Foxen fennec at gmail.com
Sat Jun 12 14:58:31 UTC 2004

On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 04:08:45 +0100, Timwi <timwi at gmx.net> wrote:
> We are trying to, but I don't think that's really possible. We cannot
> deny that sysops have additional privileges (that's the whole point).
> This, almost by definition, triggers what I have outlined above.

I disagree. Sysops don't have additional priveleges, but they have
additional powers.

They have the power to ban users, but they are not allowed to ban
users against policy. They have the power to delete articles- but
they're not allowed to delete articles against policy. They have the
rollback link- mmm, rollback! - but they could theoretically revert
the articles the old-fashioned way.
They can theoretically do database queries but I think that's still
turned off. =b

This distinction is a little more than semantics. The sysop, ideally,
does not do anything requiring general approval like deleting or
banning. They're there to implement community decisions, not to make

In theory, anyway. In theory, practice is the same as the theory, but
in practice it is not. :) The point where this boundary becomes fuzzy
is the cutting edge of Recent Changes, where it is clear that the
community has decided that vandalism is bad and vandals should be
blocked after being warned, but it's not entirely clear who is a
vandal and what is vandalism (in some cases). Moving further away from
this idealized little circle, we find the newly
registered-for-trivial-vandalism username, simple trolls wanting
trouble (naming themselves to confuse themselves with sysops, for
example), and it continues on from there. Some of the actions taken in
this area are not so much against policy as outside of policy, while
some are clearly disallowed.

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