On December 6, the Wikimedia Foundation enacted a group ban on 16 editors, all from the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. The announcement was made in a post to the Wikimedia-l mailing list, and re-posted on Meta, saying
As Wikimedia projects have risen in prominence across the world, it has attracted increasing attention of those who would like to control the information published on it, for political or other reasons. Community members have addressed concerns of this sort for many years, but sometimes volunteers who intervene in such cases may themselves face retaliation for their actions....
In January of 2022, the Foundation began an investigation into alleged conflict of interest editing on Wikipedia projects in the MENA region. In that investigation, we were able to confirm that a number of users with close connections with external parties were editing the platform in a coordinated fashion to advance the aim of those parties. These connections are a source of serious concern for the safety of our users that go beyond the capacity of the local language project communities targeted to address.
There was a request for comment at ar:ويكيبيديا:الميدان/إدارة (in Arabic). reflected the views of many in his community:
Did the Foundation take into account whether the Arab Wikipedia community was able to receive such a shock in this way and on such a scale? Are we able to recover? The decision was harsh and the way it was issued made it harsher on a community that has enough problems. I think it's time to think about changing the mechanism for making decisions and for empathy to be a priority for everyone before anything else.
Ten of the banned editors, including seven admins, edited mainly on the Arabic Wikipedia. Six edited mainly on the Persian Wikipedia.
The Wikimedia Foundation globally banned 7 of the 26 administrators that were active in the Arabic Wikipedia. The banned accounts are listed in order of edit count on the Arabic Wikipedia. They all also had contributed to the English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata.
The Wikimedia Foundation also banned the following 3 Arabic Wikipedia editors who are listed by their edit counts in Arabic Wikipedia. They all had also contributed to Commons and Wikidata.
The Wikimedia Foundation banned the following 6 editors of the Persian Wikipedia, listed in order of edit counts on the Persian Wikipedia. Most had also contributed in Arabic and English Wikipedias, as well as to Commons and Wikidata.
As of December 30, the number of active administrators for the English-language Wikipedia stood at 497, the year's high point.
In a News and notes column of January 2022, we touched on the "Administrator cadre continues to contract" issue. Since then, not much has changed and according to Signpost analysis, 2022 was the first year in modern wikihistory that the number of active administrators never rose above 500. In 2022, the high point for active administrators was 497 – compared to 521 in 2021. The low point was 449 on April 4 – compared to 434 in 2021.
During the entire year there were only fourteen new admins, the third lowest since adminship started in 2002. While not as bad as last year's low of seven, and better than the ten in 2018; fourteen a year would only maintain the current admin cadre if the average new admin lasted over thirty years as an admin. We will reiterate our statement from a 2019 special report, and say about all these data "Whether that is a problem, or how a problem would manifest, are questions still to be answered." – Bri