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Wikipedia:Request an account/Procedures

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This page describes the accepted internal procedures used by and for the Account Creation Interface, primarily relating to the use of administrator tools on the interface.

ACC tool administrators (also called interface administrators or tool admins) are experienced and trusted users who have the technical ability to manage user accounts, edit interface messages (including comments), force break users' reservations and the ability to ban IPs, email addresses and usernames, and certain other abilities. Tool admins have powers similar to Wikipedia administrators (referred to as 'sysops' on this page to avoid confusion) and Wikipedia bureaucrats in the context of the tool.

Tool administratorsEdit

Tool admins are selected and promoted through a private nomination, voting, discussion, and vetting process between current tool administrators, followed by a consensus reached by tool admins whether or not to proceed with the promotion of the nominated user. Tool admins are not employees or representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tool admins have the technical ability to:

  • assess requests from new users, and then approve or decline their request
  • suspend, unsuspend, promote, demote, and rename user accounts
  • edit a user's email address and on-wiki username
  • edit a user's comments left on a request
  • view comments set as "admin only"
  • force break a user's reservation of a request
  • view the email address and IP address(es) of closed requests, and the ability to reset requests that have been closed for more than a week
  • view the email address and IP address(es) of a request without reserving it
  • ban and unban IP addresses and email addresses from requesting accounts and usernames from being requested
  • edit interface messages, such as internal messages and email templates sent to requesters
  • search for requests based on their IP (range)
  • not CC the mailing list when custom closing a request

Tool admins can authorize that a request be dropped due to a single IP block affecting the requester. Tool admins have access to the tool admins' mailing list and IRC channel and so generally close and judge the outcome of discussions among tool users.

Promotion and demotionEdit


When the existing ACC admin team believes that new admins are needed, they may approach users they believe to be good candidates for the position, and/or put out a call for self-nominations to the general ACC mailing list. Non-admins may not nominate anyone other than themselves, and all self-nominations should be made in private to the admins' mailing list. If a call is opened for self-nominations, the nomination period will last one week. Optionally, the ACC admins may also include in any call for self-nominations how many admin positions they intend to fill.

When all admin-nominated users have responded to the existing admins either accepting or rejecting their nomination (if applicable) and the seven-day period for self-nominations has elapsed (if applicable), the admin selection process moves on to the discussion phase. The discussion begins with a general announcement of all the nominees (those who accepted admin nominations - if applicable - and those who self-nominated - if applicable) to the general mailing list. During the period, also lasting one week, any ACC user may submit in private to the admins' mailing list an email in support of/opposition to any/all of the candidates. To reduce drama and to encourage honest feedback, these should not be sent to the general mailing list.

Once the discussion phase ends, the ACC admins will consider the submitted comments by the general ACC community and privately discuss the candidates. The final decision of which candidates to promote lies solely with the ACC admin team, though with consideration to the general ACC community's wishes. Specific reasons in favor of or against candidates will not be released to the general ACC population, though they may be relayed privately to each candidate, with all community input anonymized to encourage honest feedback from the community (though, of course, if a candidate is promoted, they will have access to the private admins' mailing list archives, and thus the community input). Note that the ACC admin team may choose to promote none of the candidates, though this an unlikely outcome, especially if there were admin-nominated candidates; they may also choose to promote all the candidates, or any number in between.

Once the admins reach consensus on all the candidates, the results will be announced, and if any of the candidates are selected, they will be promoted at that time.

Note that in line with holding final authority over all ACC matters, the tool roots reserve the right to veto a candidate at any phase during this process for any reason, with the intention that this is only done in exceptional circumstances involving very private information not available to the rest of the ACC admin team.

Please remember that the general attitude about becoming an ACC admin is that it should be No Big Deal™ for experienced, trusted ACC users, and all users should approach the promotion process accordingly.


Tool admins may resign or demote themselves for any reason; this reason should preferably be included.

Tool admins may be demoted:

  • when there is a consensus of tool admins, if the issue cannot be discussed with non-admin ACC tool users;
  • when there is a consensus of tool users;
  • when felt necessary by a tool root;
  • when requested by ArbCom or the WMF; or
  • where there are grounds to suspend due to misconduct, but the reviewing tool admin feels it more appropriate to demote.
  • if a tool admin is suspended for misconduct, the suspension comes with an automatic demotion.


If a tool admin was demoted under non-voluntary circumstances, due to misconduct or violation of policy, or under any conditions listed in #Demotion, they must be re-promoted to a tool administrator in accordance with the #Promotion and demotion process above. If the user was demoted at the request of ArbCom or the WMF, they must also receive approval by ArbCom or the WMF (respectively) before such promotion can be performed.

Former tool admins may be summarily re-promoted if they voluntarily demoted themselves or were demoted voluntarily or under non-controversial circumstances, meaning that:

  • none of the conditions set out in #Demotion applied;
  • they didn’t leave "under a cloud", if you were not an admin around the time they left (including before in case there was something which led them to the inactivity) check with someone who was so you have all the information;
  • they have not been suspended from the tool for more than 6 months; and
  • they have guaranteed that they have a thorough understanding of any changes made to WMF, English Wikipedia and ACC rules, policies and procedures particularly the guide and this page.

Approving and suspendingEdit

New tool usersEdit

New tool users must meet the criteria in the guide. Any doubts or concerns regarding an applicant’s suitability should be discussed with other tool admin(s). Due to the sensitivity of information and the consequences of incorrect actions on the ACC tool, preference should be to asking the candidate to come back later when they have more experience and trust.

Suggested administrative checks for new users.
  1. Confirm that the candidate is identified to the Wikimedia Foundation and that the confirmation diff supplied is correct.
  2. Check for “red flag” issues such as:
    • the account is older than 6 months old and has at least 1500 edits;
    • any abuse of multiple accounts, whether there was a block imposed or not; or
    • currently or recently (within the last 6-12 months) active editing restrictions or recent (within the last 3-6 months) adverse community or ArbCom decisions.
  3. Check for previous blocks:
    given the customer service and collegial nature of the ACC tool if there has been a previous block for incivility or personal attacks the tool admin should check through the user's recent contributions to ensure that they act civilly and collaboratively.
    blocks for edit warring which were placed more than 6 months ago can generally be ignored, assuming it isn’t a pattern of behavior, thus indicating that the user doesn’t learn from their mistakes and can’t follow policy.
    blocks within the last 6 months, or in the case of blocks for more than a week or two a longer break, should be seriously looked in to ensure that the user has learned from their mistake and that there is not a pattern of ignoring policy.
  4. At the tool admin’s discretion: ensure that before you approve the account there is a need for more tool users. If there isn't, then let the user know that they should re-request access in 3-6 months. They should send an email to the tool admins' mailing list requesting a review of their application.
  5. At the end of the day, the team has placed its trust in tool admins to select new tool users, use your discretion. Poll other admins on IRC to see if there are any objections to promoting someone before making a final decision, and if something doesn’t seem right feel free to dig deeper and ask someone else to have a look too.
If you have decided to approve.
  1. Approve their account on the tool.
  2. Leave them a welcome message on their talk page, see here for an example.
  3. Approve their access to the mailing list, and +I them on the IRC channel if you know their cloak or NickServ account name (for uncloaked users). If they haven’t requested access to either set the appropriate parameters on the welcome message which will let them know where they need to go to request. You can leave {{subst:ACC-access}} on their talk page which includes some information about the tool.
  4. Ping one of the tool roots, to mark them as identified in the tool database.
If you have decided to decline.
  1. Deny access on tool, leaving a message to explain your reasoning and that they can appeal to the tool admins' mailing list after waiting a month or two.


If a user with the account creator user right is suspended from the tool, the right should be removed per this RFC. If a tool admin who is not a sysop suspends an account creator, they should contact a tool admin who is a sysop, contact a sysop separately, or post a request on the Administrator’s Noticeboard to have the right removed.


Any account (other than a tool root or CheckUser flagged account) may be suspended indefinitely by a tool admin if the account is inactive for 45 days or more, per the on tool report.

Users suspended due to inactivity may have their account re-activated by request to any tool admin. Tool admins should ensure that the user is aware of any changes made to policy and procedure while they have been suspended, directing them to re-read the guide and site notice before handling a request is sufficient. If the requesting user has been inactive for a long period or is not familiar to the acting admin, the user's identification status should also be verified.

Own request and self-suspensionEdit

A tool user may request that their account be suspended by contacting any tool admin, although preferably by sending an email to the ACC tool admin mailing list.

Any tool admin may suspend their own account for any reason; this reason may (preferably) be included as a reason for the suspension. Other tool admins should only re-approve the account if they are confident that the reason for the self-suspension has passed (for example that the user wishes to return or that there is no longer a chance of hijacking). See also #Re-promotion below.


Tool users may be suspended for any of the following reasons until they can convince the suspending tool admin, or tool admin team, that they can be trusted and will handle requests correctly in the future:

  1. The tool user's Wikipedia account becomes blocked, banned, or globally locked for a reason in which the user's trust or ability to properly use the tool is called into question by the ACC tool admin team. The user may be suspended for the duration of the block or ban, or longer depending on the reason and the severity of the matter involved. For example: A tool user who becomes blocked for outing or sockpuppetry will typically be given an indefinite suspension on their ACC account. Blocks on other Wikimedia projects may be taken into account if they are for highly severe violations of policy, or the breaching of non-public data.
  2. The tool user begins a pattern of incorrectly handling account requests which results in one or more incorrect closes. Examples include creating an account where the IP is blocked, or overriding the antispoof check and creating an account for a request where "active" similar accounts exist. Tool admins should give leniency for new tool users, and for more experienced tool users where it is obvious they made an honest mistake. However, when a warning is repeated and appears to be the beginning of a pattern of incorrect closes, appropriate punishments and/or suspensions should be considered.
  3. Releasing personally identifying information in an ACC request comment, and after being previously counseled or warned.
  4. Releasing personally identifying information outside of the ACC tool. Suspensions will usually occur even if it is a first offense.
  5. Continued misconduct after counseling or previous suspensions. If the user has been previously counseled or suspended and continues to breach any WMF, English Wikipedia or ACC policy, guideline or procedure they may be suspended, generally indefinitely.
  6. Suspected or confirmed compromised accounts should be suspended indefinitely until the matter is resolved.

Users, including tool admins, may also be suspended for any of the following reasons:

  1. Where the user no longer has the trust of the tool admin team for a reason not stated above. The suspension must be supported by a consensus of tool admins, and should only be lifted if there is a consensus of tool admins.
  2. Where the user no longer has the trust of the ACC team, in this case the suspension must only be lifted if there is a consensus of ACC team.
  3. When requested by a CheckUser, ArbCom or the WMF. In this situation, suspensions can only be lifted with the express consent of the CheckUser, CheckUser team, ArbCom Team, or the WMF, respectively.

Tool admins should bear in mind the sensitivity of the information on the tool and the possible consequences of incorrect actions, when deciding whether to proceed with a suspension or an lifting of a suspension.


Appeals regarding suspensions and denial of tool access should be directed to, in the first instance, the tool admin who carried out the action, then to the tool admin mailing list, except where stated otherwise.

Mailing list and IRC channelsEdit

A user must not have access to a mailing list or IRC channel if they do not have the same access on the tool. That is, a non-tool admin must not have access to the tool admin mailing list or the tool admin IRC channel.

If a user is suspended for any reason or duration the read and write access for their email address(es) should be removed and they should be -I on the IRC channel.

All emails sent to tool users relating to use of the tool should be carbon copied to the tool admin mailing list. Emails sent to requesters should be carbon copied to the ACC mailing list.


IP addressesEdit

IP addresses may be banned if they have recently been, or are being used to abusively request accounts or if they are static and non-shared and are confirmed to be used by a blocked or banned user on the English Wikipedia or a globally locked/blocked user. In cases of severe and constant abuse of the tool, that is multiple bad-faith account requests coming in a short period of time, shared or dynamic IP address may be banned for a short period of time, generally not more than 24 hours to one week except in the case of severe and continued abuse, in which case it might be worth consulting a CheckUser to determine what exactly is going on.

Care should be taken when banning IP addresses which may be used by more than one person, as banning these IPs may undermine the role of the ACC tool.

Email addressesEdit

Email addresses may be banned if they have been used to abusively request accounts or if they are confirmed to have been or currently used by a blocked or banned user on the English Wikipedia or globally locked user. Email addresses should generally be banned indefinitely.


A requested username may be banned if more than one bad-faith account request has been made requesting that username. Bans made pre-emptively or after one request may be made at a tool admin’s discretion with good reason. Usernames should generally be banned indefinitely.

Lifting bansEdit

Given the confidential information involved with the ACC tool, the tool admin may not have disclosed the full circumstances in their ban reason so they must be consulted before a ban is lifted. If it is obvious that a ban has been placed in error it may be lifted by any tool admin, as long as an explanation is sent to the tool admin mailing list.

The banning tool admin may remove the ban at any time, at their discretion. A consensus of tool admins or non-admin tool users (only where all information regarding the ban can be disclosed) is required to overturn any ban which the banning tool admin does not believe should be lifted.

Ban appealsEdit

Bans may be appealed to the ACC administrators' mailing list.

CheckUser and ArbCom bansEdit

Bans which are labelled as a CheckUser or ArbCom ban must not be removed by any tool admin without first checking with a CheckUser or ArbCom respectively. Lifting a ban labelled as such is grounds for immediate demotion.

Force breaking reservationsEdit

A user’s reservation of a request may be forcefully broken when a request has been waiting without an indication of why, and if the user who reserved the request is not available.

The user whose reservation was broken should be informed. An email CCed to the admin mailing list or a message on IRC is sufficient.

Editing commentsEdit

Tool admins may edit any comment of another user if its content breaches the requirements of any WMF, English Wikipedia or ACC rule, policy or procedure. This is primarily the case when personally identifying information is left in a comment.

The user who made the comment should be counseled on why they should not have put what they did in their comment. Also let them know that they may be suspended for any further infringement.

Resetting old requestsEdit

Old requests may only be reset where there is a need to do so, such as when a requester has sent an email to the mailing list after the request was closed pending a reply.

Extreme caution should be taken if the account was created, as this is tantamount to running a CheckUser and sharing it with the team.

CheckUsers and Arbitrators are bound by relevant WMF and English Wikipedia policies.

Changes to policy or proceduresEdit

Any changes to the guide, published procedures or internal private procedures which someone may object to, or which is a major change should be discussed before being implemented or enforced. Directives from the WMF and updates due to changes to English Wikipedia policies and guidelines are exempt from this requirement.