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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 (see the procedures for tool admins below).
If you have decided to decline.
  1. Deny access on the tool, leaving a message to explain your reasoning and that they can appeal to the tool admins' mailing list after waiting at least one month.


New and returning ACC tool users can only be approved and given access to the interface by an ACC tool administrator. The process for properly approving a new or returning user is listed below:

Approval procedures for ACC tool administratorsEdit

Listed below is the proper procedure for approving a new ACC tool user for access, or re-approving an existing ACC tool user for access following a suspension of their tool user account.

  1. Verify that the user is subscribed to the ACC tool users mailing list (accounts-enwiki-l). If you are not a mailman administrator, please ask for one or ping Oshwah to have him check for you.
    • (mailman administrators only) Look for the username or email address of the user in the Membership Management option under the administrator settings on mailman. If the user is present on the list, this verifies their subscription and you can move on to step 2 below. If the user is not present on the membership list, proceed to the next bullet step immediately below.
    • (mailman administrators or moderators only) Check for a pending subscription/membership request by looking at the Administrative requests for mailing list by navigating to the "Moderation interface" - the link is on the left side. Subscription requests will be listed at the top of the list and above pending message requests. If a subscription request is pending from that user, approve it by selecting the "Approve" radio button and by clicking "Submit all data" at the top.
  2. Navigate to the "User management" interface within the ACC tool interface. Locate the user requesting access to the ACC tool interface and approve the user.
    Important: If the approved user is new to the ACC interface and not returning following a suspension, or if the user being approved is a Checkuser on the English Wikipedia - you must ping one of the tool roots so that one of them can mark the new ACC account as identified in the tool database, and/or give them checkuser access permissions to the ACC interface.
  3. Set the +I parameter of the user on the #wikipedia-en-accounts IRC channel if you know their cloak or NickServ account name. If the user is cloaked, use their cloak to set the parameter. If they're not cloaked, the user should be cloaked first before given access for security reasons. Contact the user to request a cloak to be set on their IRC nick.
    IRC command syntax: /mode #wikipedia-en-accounts +I *!*@wikimedia/UsersNickOnIRC (Replace 'UsersNickOnIRC' with the actual Nick from the user's cloak name)
  4. Leave the newly approved user a welcome message on their user talk page - see here for an example. If the user hasn't discussed their IRC nick or requested any access to the channel, set the appropriate parameters on the welcome message which will let them know where they need to go. You can leave {{subst:ACC-access}} on their talk page which includes some information about the tool.
  5. If the approval is to lift the suspension placed on an existing ACC tool user account and for reasons involving violations or misconduct (not due to simple inactivity, request by the tool user, or a self-suspension on an admin's own account), and is not an action following the outcome, consensus, or recommendation by the ACC admin team in an active email discussion, the ACC tool administrator team must be contacted immediately following the action by sending an email to the ACC tool administrator mailing list. A detailed explanation, reason, and circumstances involved must be provided in order to fully and properly inform the team.


If a user with the account creator user right is suspended from the tool, the right should be removed per this RFC. Suspension of an ACC tool user account can only be performed by an ACC tool administrator. The proper steps and procedures for properly suspending an ACC tool user account is listed below:

Suspension procedures for ACC tool administratorsEdit

  1. Remove the user's subscription to the ACC mailing list so that they stop receiving internal ACC-related emails intended for tool users only. If you are not a mailman administrator, please ask for one or ping Oshwah to have him perform this procedure for you.
    • (mailman administrators only) Look for the username or email address of the user in the Membership Management option under the administrator settings on mailman and remove their subscription access from that list. This is important to verify.
    • Important: If the user is not current present on the list or if you cannot locate them, check with other ACC admins to verify that they have been removed from the subscription list by one of them. Also check if the tool user to be suspended has perhaps unsubscribed themselves from the mailing list. It is critical that their removal of access is verified due to the private data and nature of the internal emails that ACC tool users receive.
  2. Navigate to the "User management" interface within the ACC tool interface. Locate the user on the ACC tool interface and suspend the user and with a clear reason and a detailed explanation. If it's necessary to explain via an ACC tool administrator-only email, send one and include the email subject or link in the ACC suspension reason.
  3. Remove the +I parameter of the user on the #wikipedia-en-accounts IRC channel if you know their cloak or NickServ account name. Notify the user of their suspension and removal of tool access via PM on IRC and refer them to the email that they'll receive for details (this matter should involve the ACC tool administrators and the effected tool user only - not the other tool users), and kick the user from the channel.
    IRC command syntax to remove access: /mode #wikipedia-en-accounts -I *!*@wikimedia/UsersNickOnIRC (Replace 'UsersNickOnIRC' with the actual Nick from the user's cloak name)
    IRC command syntax to kick the user: /kick UsersNickOnIRC (Replace 'UsersNickOnIRC' with the user's actual IRC Nick)
  4. If you are an administrator on the English Wikipedia and if the suspended user is not an admin and currently has the account creator user right enabled on their account, the user right must be removed.
    • If you are not a Wikipedia administrator, you must contact an administrator to have them remove the user right. First, look tool admin sysop on IRC and ping them in the #wikipedia-en-accounts-admins channel for help. If none is available, contact a sysop separately or post a request on the Administrator’s Noticeboard to have the right removed.
  5. If the suspension reason is due to misconduct or violation of a policy stated on the ACC tool guide (something that isn't due to inactivity or self-requested by the user), you must perform the following actions listed in each bullet point listed below. You must:
    • send an email to the suspended tool user and notify them of the action and why. You need to include a detailed explanation and the reason for the suspension, information regarding the request(s) involved as examples so that they understand (do not include any private information such as the requestor's email or IP), and any follow-up or appeal procedures in the message body. Your email must also send a cc to the ACC tool admins mailing list.
    A best practice you should keep in mind: If your email to the suspended user includes sufficient-enough details and information, and a clear-enough explanation so that a separate email to the ACC tool admins isn't necessary outside of sending a cc of this email to them, you'll know that you've provided a thorough explanation to the suspended user that is complete and well-written. If you feel otherwise, you should consider adding more information or reformatting your explanation or message body so that the user is not confused by your explanation in any way and that your message is clear, detailed, and concise.
    • (if necessary; see the best practice explained above) send an email to the ACC tool admins mailing list with any information or details regarding the suspension that's relevant and/or necessary and for attention and visibility only by the ACC tool admin team.


Any account (other than a tool root or CheckUser flagged account) may be suspended by a tool admin and the account creator user rights removed from their Wikipedia account if their ACC tool user account becomes inactive for 45 days or more, per the tool report. Such suspensions are indefinite by default until the inactive tool user contacts an ACC tool admin to request their tool access be restored. ACC tool root administrators and ACC tool users who are checkusers on the English Wikipedia are exempt from suspension following inactivity.

Users that are suspended due to inactivity may have their account re-activated and their account creator user rights restored by request to any tool admin at any time. 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 be verified before proceeding.

Requests for re-activation following a very long period of ACC account inactivity (typically one year or more) may be held pending a review of the user's recent Wikipedia activity, conduct, logs, blocks, and relevant experience at the discretion and judgment of the acting ACC tool admin. Such requests that are put on hold pending a review of the user should be communicated to the ACC tool administrators by emailing the ACC tool administrator mailing list.

Own request and self-suspensionEdit

Any ACC 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. As with ACC tool users that are suspended due to inactivity, they will have their account creator user rights removed from their Wikipedia account during the suspension and may have their account re-activated and the rights restored by request to any tool admin at any time.

Any ACC tool admin may self-suspend their own account for any reason and at any time by using the interface to do so; the reason should be stated as being a "self-suspension" and include a reason for the self-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.

ACC 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 the lifting of a suspension. Instructions for suspension and (re)activation of an account following a suspension are outlined in this page above.


Appeals regarding suspensions and denial of tool access should be directed to, in the first instance, the tool admin who carried out the action directly. If a discussion or reason that is satisfactory isn't reached by the suspended user, then the tool admin mailing list can be contacted by the suspended user requesting an appeal (except where stated otherwise). It must include verification that the suspended ACC tool admin was contacted first and the reason that you're choosing to appeal to the team instead.

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.