RationalWiki has an odd structure of governance to say the least. Mobocracy is a less formal term for tyranny of the majority, which RationalWiki clearly is. This is in part due to its anti-ConservapediaRW roots, meaning that they attempted to take the opposite direction. Due to the totalitarianism and abusive sysops on Conservapedia, we did the opposite, leading to a semi-direct democracy and the "everyone is a sysop" policy.


RW 2.0 started out with everyone as a sysop due to Tmtoulouse promising this to everyone who was on 1.0 (which caused some controversy with TK, who had an inactive sockpuppet on 1.0). The wiki functioned more or less like others until early 2009. Then, π began bragging about the sysops he had created, leading to Radioactive afikomen following suit. This very quickly solidified this policy, though it remains uncodified to this day. A likely contributing factor was the abuse hurled out by Conservapedia's totalitarian oligarchy of sysops, and that the less authoritarian ones were often de-sysopped by God-King Schlafly himself. The latter also shows, with de-sysopping being a very rare event on the wiki.


As the sysops are basically general users, the userbase annually elects mods, which also have their powers heavily limited. These are basically just sysops who can block sysops, and are very weak. Their entire philosophy states to be as non-intervening as possible, and only step in to end edit wars or arguments.


RationalWiki is an openly mobocratic site (trying to pin down what exactly they are is difficult, but it seems to be a direct/representative democracy hybrid under an elective benevolent oligarchy), which the previously mentioned sysop policy cements even more. In addition to the extremely diluted sysopship, RW also gives its moderators relatively little power, which leaves governance in the hands of, you guessed it, the mob. While this usually ends kind of well, it has a tendency to descend into screaming fits.