Admin paradoxes

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Admin paradoxes are a specific kind of paradox that is encountered by wiki administrators when they attempt to follow and/or enforce certain wiki rules. They mainly occur on wikis that have an apparently complete set of rules, such as Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia. In some cases they are caused by holes in the rules that fail to cover the situation, but often they simply stem from conveniently overlooking certain portions of the page documenting the policy or guideline. The latter is more common on Wikipedia because it is remarkably easy to fail to read all of a Wikipedia page; one often ends up huffing it instead, which usually results in something other than what one originally intended.

This article describes all the different types of admin paradoxes, and will refer to 'you' several times as a reference to the hypothetical admin in each situation.[1]


On Uncyclopedia, there are relatively few admin paradoxes, owing to a relative lack of rules. In fact, there is only one known of at this time, and that is the self-reverting paradox.[2]

This paradox stems from the rule that states that administrators' edits may not be reverted.[3] The paradox arises when you are an admin and you revert your own edit. Such reverts should normally be re-reverted, but if you have caught yourself at it and you revert yourself again, you will be committing the same offence.


On Wikipedia these paradoxes are rather more common due to the staggering number of rules that exist. They are also more likely to be recognised as such rather than simply ignored, as Wikipedians are much more obsessed with ensuring everything is done according to the proper process, to the point where they entangle themselves in impossible situations that cannot be escaped from using logic alone.

Three-revert paradox
  • If you realise you've just violated the three-revert rule, are you supposed to block yourself?
Self-blocking paradox
  • If you block yourself, does it violate WP:INVOLVED?
Wheel warring paradox
  • If you reverse an administrative action you made, is it still wheel warring?
Self-unblocking paradox
  • If you blocked yourself and you'd like to be unblocked again, are you allowed to just do it? Is it different from if someone else blocked you? Does that violate WP:INVOLVED too? Or does it just violate the rule that someone other than the blocking admin has to review the block? Or perhaps you have to talk to yourself first to get permission?
DRV paradox
  • Bringing something to DRV should only be done after you've talked to the deleting admin. If you want to bring something to DRV and you were the deleting admin, do you need to talk to yourself first?
Sockpuppet paradox
  • If you catch yourself sockpuppeting, should you block your sockpuppets? Or should you open an SPI, even though you know who the socks are? Does blocking your own socks violate WP:INVOLVED?


If you want to do something that normally requires an admin's approval, such as submitting an entry to Uncyclopedia:DYK submissions, what do you do? Can you just do it yourself, or do you need to get your approval first? Or someone else's?


  1. If you don't happen to be an admin on whatever wiki it is, don't worry about it. We're not talking about you. We're not talking to you, either,, that was someone else. Sorry.
  2. One might expect that this paradox reverts itself, but unfortunately it leaves that to us.
  3. It is unclear if this is actually a rule; nobody has been able to find it written down anywhere, so it is possible that it only exists inside a few people's heads.