To show a user's access, different flags are given to do different tasks on Wikipedia. These flags are given to your account. Some are given automatically, and others must be given manually. A user with a flag is said to belong to that flag's 'user group', giving them certain rights and the access to certain features of the MediaWiki software. The privileges of each user group are shown here.
User groups and privileges[change source]
New users[change source]
A user who edits through an account they have registered, may e-mail other users if they activate an email address in their user preferences. All logged-in users may mark changes as small. They may purge pages without a confirmation step, but are still required to answer a CAPTCHA when adding links to other websites. They may also customize their Wikipedia interface and its options as they wish, via their preferences and their monobook.
Autoconfirmed users[change source]
- All logged-in users are also part of the 'user' group.
A number of actions on the Simple English Wikipedia are restricted to user accounts which pass certain thresholds for age and edit count: users which meet these requirements are considered part of the pseudo-group autoconfirmed. Autoconfirmed status is checked every time the user performs a restricted action: consequently, it is granted automatically by the software and is rarely removed. The precise requirements for autoconfirmed status varies according to circumstances: for most users, accounts which are more than 4 days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed.
Administrator (also known as "sysops" (system operators)) rights are granted by the community to users requesting them. Users who are members of the 'administrator' user group have access to the page deletion, page protection, blocking and unblocking buttons, the ability to edit protected pages, the MediaWiki interface, and the ability to grant and remove rollback, flood, and ipblock-exempt rights to other users. For a list of admins, please see Special:Listusers/sysop.
Bureaucrat rights are granted by the community to trusted users who have already become admins. They have more access to Special:UserRights, letting them add users to the 'sysop' (or use Special:MakeSysop) and 'bureaucrat' groups (but not remove them), and can add or remove users from the 'bot' user group. For a list, please see Special:Listusers/bureaucrat.
Stewardship is an elected role, and stewards are appointed globally across all Wikimedia Foundation wikis.
Users who are members of the 'steward' user group may grant and revoke any permission to or from any user on any wiki operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. This group is set on Meta-Wiki, and may use meta:Special:Userrights to set permissions on any Wikimedia wiki; they may add or remove any user from any group. Stewards generally act only when there is no user on a particular wiki that can make the necessary change. This includes granting of the 'administrator' or 'bureaucrat' access levels on wikis which do not have any local bureaucrats, and removing such flags if the user resigns or the account is acting maliciously. Stewards are also responsible for granting and revoking access levels such as 'oversight' and 'checkuser', as no other group is capable of making such changes.
Stewards can also act as checkusers or oversighters on wikis which do not have local members of those groups. If a wiki has a passing need for an edit to be oversighted, for instance, a steward can add themselves to the 'oversight' user group on that wiki, perform the necessary oversight activity using Special:HideRevision, and then remove themselves from the 'oversight' group using their steward rights.
Other flags[change source]
- Editors in this group are called 'rollbackers'.
Users who are given the checkuser flag ('checkuser' user group) have access to Special:CheckUser. They are able to view a list of all IP addresses used by a user account to edit the Simple English Wikipedia, a list of all edits made by an IP, or all user accounts that have used an IP address. They may also view a log of such requests. This right is only granted to exceedingly few users who are administrators, age 18+ and have identified themselves to the Wikimedia Foundation.
See Special:Listusers/checkuser for a list of users in this group.
Certain administrators have oversighter access, with access to Special:RevisionDelete. Page revisions can be hidden or removed from the public history so they can only be seen by other oversighters and developers. This right is only granted to exceedingly few users who are administrators, age 18+ and have identified themselves to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Importers and Transwiki[change source]
Transwiki and Importers are unused flags which give permissions on Special:Import. Although MediaWiki software provides the ability to import articles directly from XML, this is disabled on en.wikipedia as well as most other Wikimedia wiki projects. On en.wikipedia, these flags would only allow access to a disabled page, so they are unused.
For more information on the Import function, see Help:Import on Meta.
Accounts used by approved bots to make pre-approved changes can be flagged as such. Bot accounts are automated or semi-automated, the nature of their changes is well-defined, and they will be quickly blocked if their actions vary from their given tasks, so they need less scrutiny than human changes.
For this reason, changes from accounts with the bot flag ('bot' user group) are not displayed in recent changes or watchlists to users who have opted to hide bot changes. Small changes made by bot accounts to user talk pages do not trigger the "you have new messages" banner. Bot accounts can query the API in batches of 5,000 rather than 500.
See Special:Listusers/bot for a list of users in this group.
There are a number of development areas of some sort to which access is limited, which are not specific to any particular wiki. SVN commit access allows the development version of the MediaWiki software to be modified, toolserver access allows applications to be uploaded to and run on the toolserver, and a small number of people have shell access to the servers on which Wikipedia and the other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are hosted.
Several of the Wikimedia developers with root access to the Wikimedia servers are granted permissions without using the normal approval channels, as the rights they infer are merely safer or more efficient alternatives to modifying the database directly. For instance, Tim Starling, Brion Vibber, Kate and RobH have 'steward' rights, although they were not elected.
The 'developer' user group exists on all Wikimedia projects, but it is not usually populated. If a developer needs access to a specific permission on Wikipedia, they can assign the permission to the 'developer' group, then add themselves to the group using steward rights. Permissions which have been assigned to the 'developer' group include siteadmin, which enables them to rename users with more than 200,000 edits.
A (usually empty) list of users in the 'developer' group can be found at Special:Listusers/developer.