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What is a SysOp?

A SysOp, or System Operator, is on a simple level a normal editor with certain "privileges" that allow them to carry out more sensitive tasks on a wiki (discussed below). They have proven themselves to be competent wiki users, and are thus entrusted with extra abilities in recognition of their hardwork. At Lostpedia, we currently have 10 SysOps (a list of which can be found here). It is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with who these users are, as you may at times require their assistance when editing.

Additionally, the alternative language Lostpedias also have their own set of SysOps, mostly with no overlap. A SysOp on the English Lostpedia is, for example, unlikely to have the same powers on the Spanish version. The Lostpedia Forum also has a number of post moderators, a list of whom can be found within this guide.

What a Sysop is NOT

  • A SysOp is not a censor: The task of filtering out inappropiate or irrelevant content is the responsibility of every editor.
  • A SysOp is not a better kind of user: Access to certain functions of the wiki interface does not make any user better than others. A SysOp is just a regular volunteer who must spend more time editing and regulating content. However, SysOps do regulate discussions and when necessary cast deciding votes after weighing up all arguments with care.
  • SysOps are not the only notable users: Valuable membership is not a question of status but of the ability to collaborate with others in a common interest. A good skill in a SysOp is the ability to combine the strengths of others in a single coherent task.
  • SysOps are not governors: While SysOps have access to functions like protection & banning to help defuse conflict, SysOps are not the regulators to break up fighting users. Mature conflict resolution is the responsibility of all editors, and SysOps should not be expected to step in and deal with, to be blunt, editors with an attitude problem.
  • Being a SysOp is not necessarily a progression on Lostpedia: Being promoted to SysOp status is not a reward, and editing with the ambition to be an administrator is not really the right attitude to take. "Promotion" is not always good, in fact the contrary might be true for some editors, as the level of commitment required for the role can be very demanding.


What do SysOps do?

Whilst there is distinction between a SysOp and a regular editor, those with adminship generally do similar tasks to everyone else. They still edit articles, fix links, go through wanted pages, nominate articles for cleanup/deletion etc etc. However, they do have a number of abilities that are restricted from other users as their misuse can have strong implications for the site. These abilities include:

  1. The power to rollback. You may have noticed that to revert back to a previous post in an article is a little tedious. For a SysOp, edits can be reversed with the touch of the mouse. This is particularly useful in the incidence of vandalism, as a SysOp can actually just press a button, and all a vandal’s edits are instantly reversed.
  2. The power to block. A very important SysOp power is that they can, when appropriate, block users on Lostpedia. The block duration is entirely at the discretion of the SysOp, and can be from an hour to infinity. Usually, the length of the block depends on the seriousness of the crime. As well as blocking a username, most SysOps can additionally block a user's entire IP address or netblock, meaning said user will never be able to edit Lostpedia again on the same computer. This is generally used to block vandals from further edits on the site.
  3. The power to delete. Whilst other users can nominate articles for deletion and vote on it, a SysOp is needed to actually delete the article. To delete something is a serious edit on any wiki, and so care must be taken when deciding to remove something permanently, hence why the ability is reserved to a SysOp.
  4. The power to protect and unprotect. You may have noticed that some pages say "view source" instead of "edit" in the toolbar. This means that the page has been protected from editing, which could be due to any number of reasons. A SysOp can protect or unprotect a page from ordinary editors, as well as freely edit a protected page themselves, which includes the Lostpedia homepage. As this especially is vitally important to the site (being the first thing anyone visiting us would see), the number of users allowed to carry out alterations has to be limited.
  5. The power to move. Whilst some pages can still be moved, main articles especially are now protected under new Lostpedia policy. Only a SysOp now has the ability to move an article to a new location under a new name. One can request this to be carried out when appropriate by leaving a message in a SysOp talk page, giving justification for why you want an article moved. Alternatively, one can use the {{rename}} template and vote similar to a delete discussion.


How does one become a SysOp?

This is not an uncommon question on wikis, and one shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking it. It simply shows your enthusiasm for Lostpedia, which is always a good thing.

The only way to become a SysOp is for a bureaucrat to add you to this group. Bureaucrats can be briefly defined as SysOp's with the additional ability to promote editors to SysOp status (Lostpedia currently has three). The decision to add a new SysOp is usually made with the consensus of all current SysOps, as well as with the nominee's agreement of course. The criteria for a SysOp is usually based on numerous factors, some of which are listed below. Please note, however, that this is not a “SysOp how-to” guide, merely qualities that good users on Lostpedia exhibit that may result in them being considered.:

  • The user has been a member of Lostpedia for a good length of time.
  • They have made a large number of positive edits to the site.
  • They have participated in areas of the site like maintenance, cleanup, delete nominations.
  • They are respected by their peers as a competent, solid, fair, and mature contributor.

However, one should appreciate that gaining adminship brings with it a number of extra responsibilities. Also, becoming a SysOp should not really be seen as a way of getting respect on Lostpedia. This is earned through the edits that you make and the rapport you build with your fellow editors, not your title. Finally, it should be noted that gaining SysOp privileges does not mean a user will have them forever. Lostpedia has in the past, and will continue to, deop users if they become inactive for long periods of time. This is not at all a punishment, more the fact that they don't really need to have the privileges if they rarely edit the site or require privileges like deleting pages and blocking accounts. Should they return and wish to be fast-tracked back to SysOp status once more, doing so is entirely at the discretion of Admin and other SysOps.

Hopefully, you should now have full knowledge of a SysOp’s role on Lostpedia.

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