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Essay.svg This essay is an original work by Stabby the Misanthrope.
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Sysopship is nothing too special on RationalWiki.

On Uncyclopedia, admins are nominated and then approved by democratic vote. Adminship is seen as a statement of trust. Admins trust each other to not abuse their block power, and assume good faith for all blocks. Even if another admin takes issue with a ban, they don't undo it. On the flip side, if the banned user personally appeals to another admin, and has their ban repealed, the other admins (including the one who banned the user in the first place) trust that admin's judgement.

On RationalWiki, sysops are unilaterally appointed based off personal initiatives. We don't have a system, we have personal actions and reactions. As a result, we get controversies like these. (Not to say that Uncyclopedia doesn't have fights over bans like we do. They just have them far less often.)

Because of the approach we take for "demoting" sysops, sysops cannot claim any real authority here—the community needs to be able to trust sysops before that can happen.

Originally, the founders sought to make sysopship here the opposite of sysopship on Conservapedia, by making it super-easy to get one. While philosophically different, it is operationally the same as Conservapedia: a user possessing the power of demotion/promotion (ASchlafly there, a few users here) unilaterally, without input from the community (no, fellow cabalists do not count as the "community") decides to promote/demote a user. The community is then expected to trust the newly "demoted" sysop not to abuse their powers. Even worse, on RationalWiki the community is supposed and expected to pretend that the new sysop has no degree of authority, in spite of the fact that that is exactly what block, lock, and deletion powers are. Power is by definition wielded by authority.

In trying to avoid the mistakes made by Conservapedia, we have instead emulated them. We should have done what Conservapedia failed so spectacularly at: democracy. We should elect sysops, not by fiat, but by popular vote. Would that not be the ultimate repudiation, of the autocratic culture Conservapedia has bred?