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Help:Administrators' guide

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Welcome to the Fire Emblem Wiki administrators' guide! If you've recently been promoted and want to find out how your new tools work, or are simply interested in learning more about how the wiki's administrators do their jobs, you're in the right place. If you're looking for information on how to become a member of staff, please see here instead.

Some of the primary duties of an administrator include:

  • Patrolling the recent changes, and ensuring all edits are up to the wiki's quality standards;
  • Understanding and upholding the wiki's policies;
  • Deleting pages and files that are unnecessary;
  • Banning users who continually break the wiki's rules and policies.

A number of sections here may also be useful for patrollers, such as the sections on patrolling edits, and rolling back vandalism.

Upholding policies

All administrators should be aware of, and have a good understanding of, the wiki's policies. If you notice a user who is breaking one of the wiki's policies, please kindly inform them of where they have gone wrong on their talk page. More often than not, they will simply have forgotten, or have been unaware, that it is part of the wiki's policies. If a user continuously breaks the wiki's policies, despite having been warned previously, you should proceed to official warnings, and eventually bans. For more details on this process, see the section on banning users.

Patrolling edits

Patrolling edits is the primary duty of patrollers, and one of the main duties of administrators. This system helps to ensure all edits can be efficiently patrolled. To patrol edits, visit Special:RecentChanges. Edits that are marked by a red ! have not yet been marked as patrolled. You can check these edits by clicking on the "diff" link next to the edit's listing. Make sure to look through the edit carefully, making sure that it doesn't need any cleaning up, and isn't vandalism. Once you've finished checking the edit, click the [Mark as patrolled] link, which will remove the red ! from the edit on Recent Changes, which informs other administrators and patrollers that the edit has been checked.

In order to make it easier to find unpatrolled edits, you may choose to hide all patrolled edits from the list of recent changes, either by clicking the "Hide patrolled edits" link under "Recent changes options", or by following this link. Ideally, all edits should be patrolled.

Granting autopatrol rights to trusted users

If a number of administrators agree that a user's edits are consistently of high quality, and that they are trustworthy enough to not require patrolling, that user may be granted autopatrolled status. Users with this status will automatically have their edits marked as patrolled, without needing a patroller or administrator to review them first. To grant a user this status, see the section on changing users' rights.

Rolling back vandalism

If a single editor makes multiple malicious edits to a single page, you may quickly revert all of these edits with a single click. This is known as rolling back edits. To roll back edits, simply view the most recent diff of a page, or the recent changes, and click the [rollback x edits] link. The rollback process works by reverting all edits made to a page by a single user, until it reaches a revision of the page not made by that user (e.g. User A edits a page four times, then User B edits it once, and then User A edits it five more times. Rolling back these edits will revert the last five edits by User A, until it reaches the last revision by User B). The rollback process also does not have a confirmation prompt - the edits are reverted immediately once the [rollback] link is clicked. Because of this functionality, you must check each edit that will be affected closely, and be certain that they should all be reverted, before you perform the rollback.

If a user is the only editor of the page, you will be unable to rollback any edits. If a page is created solely for vandalism, it should instead be deleted.

By default, the rollback function provides an automated edit summary that cannot be changed. If you wish to provide a custom edit summary for a rollback, copy the rollback URL, and attach &reason=Insert+reason+here to the end (where the + symbol represents a space). If you do not do this, you should instead leave a message on the talk page of the user whose edits were reverted, explaining why you reverted their edits.

Batch text replacements

Administrators have access to the Special:ReplaceText page, which allows them to quickly replace a string of text wherever it occurs on the wiki. This is most often done when a game is officially released in English, requiring all references to characters' Japanese names to be replaced.

To use the ReplaceText form, enter the string to be replaced in the "Original text" box, and its replacement in "Replacement text". You can choose to ask it to search only in specific namespaces or categories, or to only replace text in pages whose titles begin with a certain string ("Replace only in pages with the prefix:"). You can also ask it to only replace the text in articles, or to also rename pages where possible. You may optionally include regular expression in your search query; this makes the tool's searching capabilities far more powerful, but should only be used if you have a good understanding of how regex works.

When you are satisfied with the options you have chosen, click "Continue" to proceed to the next screen. Here, you will be shown a list of all articles containing your specified original text, and the sections of those articles containing that text. Be sure to check through this list carefully, in case there are situations where your string should not be replaced, such as a name chart listing characters' Japanese names. Uncheck the articles where you do not want the text to be replaced, and, once you are happy with your selections, click "Replace" to proceed with the text replacement.

If your specified replacement string already exists somewhere on the wiki, it will be difficult to undo a replacement if it is done in error. The form will warn you in such cases; you should be absolutely certain that you want to proceed with the replacement if this occurs. If such a replacement is done in error, the changes will need to be undone manually.

If you wish to remove a string entirely from the wiki, you can leave the "Replacement text" field blank. As above, this cannot be undone via the text replacement tool, and must be undone manually if performed in error, so be sure to double-check, and be absolutely sure that you wish to proceed with the replacement.

If you need to make a large number of replacements (about 100 or more), please ask a bureaucrat to add you to the "bot" usergroup, so that the edits do not flood the recent changes.

Occasionally, the replacements may fail to process, either entirely or in part. If this happens, please contact a member of tech support.

Protecting articles from editing

Occasionally, certain articles may need to be protected from editing. This usually occurs for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The page is a common target for vandals or spammers;
  • The page receives a very high volume of traffic, but requires little editing, such as the main page;
  • The page is a template used on several pages, such as {{Copyright}}, and changing it without good reason would impact on the functioning of the site due to the processing needed to effect the change across the site;
  • The page outlines some legal policy such as the privacy policy;
  • The page is an archive of past discussions.

If you determine that a page should be protected, visit that page, and click the "Protect" tab. Here, you may choose the level of protection:

  • "Allow all users": The default setting, which allows any registered user to edit the page.
  • "Allow only autoconfirmed users": Only users with autoconfirmed status may edit the page. This is generally the only level of protection used for mainspace articles, and should be sufficient to discourage vandalism.
  • "Allow only administrators": Only administrators and higher users can edit the page. Appropriate for critical templates, policy pages, and such.

Next, set the length of the protection period. For most articles, a short length such as a few days or weeks is sufficient. In the case of important pages such as critical templates, however, indefinite protection is appropriate.

If you check the "Unlock further protect options" checkbox, you can set a different protection level for the ability to move pages. You should do this if, for example, a page's title is disputed, and it is being moved around continuously as a result, but there is no such dispute regarding its content.

You can also protect non-existent pages in this manner. This should only be done if a page that should not exist (for example, if it falls outside the wiki's coverage policy) is created continuously.

The "Protect pages included in this page" option will protect any templates included in the page with the same options as the primary protection target. This is usually not necessary.

Finally, enter a reason for protecting the page, and click "Confirm".

To change or remove protection levels, go to the page you wish to unprotect, and click the "Change protection" tab. The form used to do so is the same as outlined above.

Merging pages

Generally, it is only necessary to merge pages if someone "moves" a page by copying and pasting its content to a new location, instead of using the "move" function correctly, or if the community decides that two separate pages should become one. Since the terms of our license require us to retain a complete record of all contributors to a page, it is important to ensure that this record remains consistent.

Before proceeding with the merge, please double-check to ensure that the pages and revisions you are merging together are correct. If pages are merged in error, splitting them correctly is a far more involved and time-consuming process.

To merge pages, you will use the Special:MergeHistory form. Enter the names of the source and destination pages into their respective boxes, and click "Show mergeable edits". Use the radio buttons to select a revision. The selected revision, and all revisions before it, will be merged into the destination page. Enter a reason for merging edits, and click "Merge revisions". If a redirect is left behind at the source page, you may delete it if necessary.

Deleting pages

There are a number of reasons why a page may need to be deleted, such as:

  • The page consists solely of vandalism or spam, and there is no good revision to rollback to;
  • The page consists solely of a broken or unnecessary redirect;
  • The page's content consists solely of content that is in violation of copyright.

If it is necessary to delete a page, click the "Delete" tab on that page, add a reason for deleting it, and then click the "Delete" button. Before deleting a page, you should check its "What links here" page, and change any links that appear here, to ensure deleting the page will not leave behind any red links.

You should always provide a clear reason for deleting a page. For example, if you are deleting a page because of copyright violations, a summary of "copyright violation" is not ideal; a better example would be "copyright violation from http://example.com/example/article.html".

Restoring deleted pages

If a page was deleted in error, or if it is decided that it should be restored, it is possible to restore it. To do so, go to the page you wish to restore, and click the "undelete" tab. Here, you can view the content of the page as it was prior to deletion, and all available revisions. You can choose to restore all revisions of a page, or to only restore certain revisions. Provide your reason for restoring the page, and then click "Restore".

Deleting individual revisions of a page

In cases of extreme vandalism, such as content that is extremely offensive, or a page containing a large number of templates that causes the site to slow down, you may need to delete an individual revision of a page. To do this, go to the diff page of the offending revision, either via the recent changes, or the page's history, and click the "(change visibility)" link. On this page, you may choose to delete either the revision's text, edit summary, user, or any combination of those three. You should only remove as little as is necessary.

In the vast majority of cases, this function will not be necessary. Use this only when absolutely necessary.

Mass deletion

If a single user, such as a spambot, creates a large number of articles in a short time, and all must be deleted, you can use Special:Nuke to do the job quickly. Enter a username and/or search pattern to retrieve a list of pages that can be deleted, select the pages you wish to delete, enter a reason for deleting them, and then click "Delete selected".

Most likely, you will rarely need to use this tool, if ever, and it should not be used for most routine maintenance tasks owing to its volatility (hence the name "Special:Nuke"). If pages are mass-deleted in error, they must be restored one by one, so always double-check the list of pages you have marked for mass deletion before proceeding with the deletion.

Banning users

If you determine that a user should be banned, click the "block" link next to their username on Special:RecentChanges, or by visiting Special:Block. This will open the blocking form. Here, you have these options:

  • Enter an IP address or username to ban
  • Choose the length of the ban
  • Enter a reason for the ban
  • "Prevent account creation": Prevent the user/IP address from creating accounts
  • "Prevent user from sending email": Prevent the user from using Special:EmailUser
  • "Prevent this user from editing their own talk page while blocked" (you should generally only use this for spambots or extreme vandals, as this will prevent users from appealing their ban via their talk page)
  • "Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IP addresses they try to edit from" (if blocking a user)
  • "Watch this user's user and talk pages"
  • "Prevent logged-in users from editing from this IP address" (if blocking an IP address)

Once you have double checked, and are satisfied with the conditions of the ban, click "Block this user" to have the ban take effect. Once you have banned a user, you should leave a message on their talk page, explaining why they have been banned, and for how long. If you are banning someone for having an unacceptable username, you should leave the "prevent account creation" and "automatically block the last IP address used by this user" boxes unchecked on the block form, and invite them to rejoin the site with a more suitable username. If the user is a spambot, this is not necessary.

Generally, you will not need to block an IP address, unless you have used Special:CheckUser to confirm that several accounts used for vandalism are using the same IP address. If you are blocking an IP address, please do not use a ban of longer than one month, as most users have dynamic IPs.

When to ban a user

Banning a user is not a decision to be taken lightly. In the majority of cases, it will not be necessary. The following actions are the main ones that will merit a ban (usually temporary, unless noted otherwise, or in the case of repeated offences):

  • Breaking policies; a good rule of thumb is usually three strikes (warnings of increasing urgency) before a ban.
  • Vandalism, spam, trolling, etc.
    • Spambots should receive an immediate indefinite ban.
  • Sockpuppeteering
    • The sockpuppets should be banned indefinitely.
  • A username that breaks the wiki's username policy. Such accounts should be banned indefinitely, but please invite users to rejoin the site with a more suitable username.

When deciding what length of ban is appropriate, or if you are banning someone for reasons other than those listed above, use common sense and judgement to decide. Generally, you should start with short bans, such as a few hours or a day, increasing the length with each repeat offence (if the offence is particularly serious, you may begin with longer bans).

Unbanning users

If it is decided that a user should have their ban removed (for example, in the case of a successful appeal, or mistaken block), you may visit Special:Unblock to do so. Enter the username of the user you wish to unblock, and your reason for doing so, and click "Unblock this user".

Changing users' rights

In addition to granting autopatrol rights as mentioned above, administrators also have access to Special:UserRights for the purpose of adding users to the Bishop and Patroller groups. In the case of patrollers, this should only be done if a user has had their nomination approved by the community via the requests for permissions process; for Bishops, administrators from other NIWA wikis wishing to help out here must request this status.

To change a user's rights, visit Special:UserRights, and enter the name of the user whose rights you wish to change. On the next page, tick the box(es) next to the group(s) you are assigning, enter a reason for doing so (usually a link to the nomination page or request), and click "Save user groups". The same process applies when removing groups, except that you should instead uncheck the box(es) of the relevant groups.

Bureaucrats have the ability to add or remove any group from any user via the Special:UserRights interface. They are the only users with the authority to add or remove administrators or bureaucrats.

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