Changes to user group rights

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Release date: 9 October 2014

Today we will rolled out a significant change to user groups and user rights. Read on for details.

Changes to user group rights

Briefly: All registered users now have additional, useful privileges, such as the ability to move pages. Most users who currently belong to bureaucrat or sysop groups have been removed from those groups.

Why are we making these changes?

To ensure that MozillaWiki is curated and maintained efficiently, we need a coherent process for organizing users and groups.

Prior to now there has been no process. Users who wanted access to additional features requested they be added to user groups and those requests were granted without a consistent, documented vetting process. Additionally, features normally available to regular users, such as move, were not available to them on MozillaWiki.

As such, a great many users belong to bureaucrat and sysop groups unnecessarily. These groups have powerful privileges that should be granted to users who understand those privileges and who commit to mindful administration of the wiki.


If you are losing your rights under this change, you should not see this as a personal affront. In fact, you should see this as an equalizer. While you may have earned your rights, there are others with the same rights who haven't earned them. In addition, we are greatly expanding and diversifying the rights that are available. It may be that you don't need all the rights that you had before, but there may be more specific user groups that you should be a part of. Either way, file a bug requesting additional rights and your request will be given full consideration. In the bug, please include your MozillaWiki username, which rights you need, and why.

What rights will each user group have under this new configuration?

  • Registered users who have confirmed their email addresses will be able to edit and create pages.
  • Once users have made 10 edits, they will be "autoconfirmed" and be able to move pages, delete pages, and upload files.
  • Bureaucrats will have the ability to block users, rename users, and confirm account requests.
  • Administrators (sysops) will have the ability protect pages, delete (hide) revisions, import pages, edit protected pages, and edit the user interface.
  • Account approvers will be able to view and approve account requests.
  • The anti-spam group will have the ability delete pages, block users, patrol pages and rollback several edits at once.

For a complete list of the new group rights that has been rolled out, view Special:ListGroupRights.

To recognize the contributions of previous Administrators and Bureaucrats, we have also created a special Bureaucrats and Sysops emeriti group.

How can I try out the new group rights to make sure I will be able to do my work?

You can log into the dev MozillaWiki. The same username and password you use on MozillaWiki should work unless you've changed it within the past month. (The dev wiki is running on an older snapshot of the database.)

Note: We left out an important bit of instruction here, which was to let us know in #wiki that you wanted to try this out in dev so we could adjust your rights there as they were to be adjusted in production. Apologies for any confusion this caused.

How can I request to be added to a user group such as Anti-spam, Bureaucrat, Administrators (sysop), etc.?

If your work requires that you have access to the rights of one of these groups, file a bug to request that you be added.

In the bug, please include:

  1. your MozillaWiki username
  2. which rights you need and why (e.g. which actions you need to perform)
  3. what your previous mediawiki experience has been (either on MozillaWiki or elsewhere

What is the policy for determining whether or not a request for group membership is approved?

We don't yet have this policy in place, which is why we're asking you to file bugs stating what you need and what your experience is.

Information from these bug reports will help the MozillaWiki team create a policy for reviewing requests. Anyone is welcome to be a part of creating this policy. Read MozillaWiki:Team#How_to_Participate for details.

I have additional questions. Where can I go to have those answered?

You can stop by #wiki (webchat) or email

What about pages I have protected? Will I be able to edit those after the group rights changes?

Most users who protected pages will no longer be able to edit those pages after these changes to user group rights is implemented.

Page protection should be applied to pages that have be subjected to repeated vandalism, and on pages for which vandalism would unusually disruptive (e.g. on highly visited pages).

Page protection should not be used to enforce an approval process for editing content.

Unless the pages you have protected are at high risk for vandalism, we advise you to remove protection on these pages prior to Thursday.

At any time you can request page protection be added or removed by filing a bug.

If you are concerned about misinformed edits to pages, you should add pages you care about to your watchlist. Any time someone edits a page on your watchlist, you'll receive an email notifying you of the change. This will give you an opportunity to review the change and roll it back or edit as necessary. Additionally, you can use the email user feature on the wiki to communicate with whoever made the edit.


Thank you User:GPHemsley, User:CLiang, and everyone else who reported bugs and helped with this release!

Notice any issues?

If you notice any issues with this release, please report a bug.

If you simply have questions, you are welcome to ask in #wiki (webchat).

Bugs resolved in this release

Full Query
ID Severity Summary Whiteboard Priority Status
1051201 normal Audit and adjust user rights [dev=2014-09-25][dev=2014-10-02][prod=2014-10-09] -- RESOLVED
1080773 blocker Users aren't being autoconfirmed [kanban:] [dev=2014-10-09] [stage=2014-10-09] [prod=2014-10-09] P1 RESOLVED

2 Total; 0 Open (0%); 2 Resolved (100%); 0 Verified (0%);