Wikipedia is a collaborative project open to all, but that doesn't mean anyone can make any update at any time. Different user access levels grant permission to make certain types of changes depending on their logged-in status, their edit history, and application for higher-level privileges.
Anyone can read Wikipedia's contents, and most users can edit the website, unless they've been blocked. Logged in editors, who are in the "user" access level, can view their past contributions and create new articles. When users have been registered for at least 4 days or contributed 10 or more edits, they are automatically "autoconfirmed". They can also move or edit semi-protected pages, upload files, and mark articles as patrolled.
Access levels beyond autoconfirmation, such as administrator or bureaucrat status, are earned and granted manually. There are more than a dozen groups granting specific rights. Next week, we'll explain a few of them.