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What can we learn from the “Dangerous Panda” saga?

By Hersch

Yo ho, yo ho, an admin’s life for me!

At Wikipedia, the administrators or “admins” constitute a privileged caste, a nomenklatura (with 1382 members, at last count, although most are currently inactive) that is beyond the reach of Wikipedia’s normal summary justice. Savvy contestants at Wikipedia will often devote the first year or two of Wikipedia activity to thankless drone work, in hopes it will have the effect of racking up brownie points with “the community” — because if an editor can make enough friends and allies to become an admin, his or her ability to pursue an activist agenda will be dramatically enhanced.

To become an admin, the contestant must file a Request for Adminship. The relevant policy page says the following:

There are no official prerequisites for adminship, other than having an account and being trusted by other editors, but the likelihood of passing without being able to show significant contributions

…continue reading What can we learn from the “Dangerous Panda” saga?