/space REST API error: "Can't add permissions for unknown group administrators"

I am having a hard time understanding what group administrators are, in the context of this HTTP 400 error from a POST to the Confluence REST API “space”: https://developer.atlassian.com/cloud/confluence/rest/api-group-space/#api-wiki-rest-api-space-post

{“resmsg”:“com.atlassian.confluence.api.service.exceptions.BadRequestException: Cannot create Space”,
“errors”:[{“message”:{“translation”:“Can’t add permissions for unknown group administrators”,

“message”:“com.atlassian.confluence.api.service.exceptions.BadRequestException: Cannot create Space”},

I can see what a group administrator is in Confluence Server: https://confluence.atlassian.com/crowd/adding-group-level-admins-958762256.html but so far I see no equivalent in Confluence Cloud. Where is it?

Does this error mean that there is a deleted or inactive user who is configured to be a group administrator? If so, where would I go to see that? I can’t find anything in the Cloud user/group tools that looks like a group administrator permission tool (but I’m just a beginner at user/group admin so maybe it is right in front of me).

In this use-case I am using a source space to create a new one that looks like the source space. Space permissions are copied so that is my guess about why the failure happens while trying to add permissions… but I’m confused by the error message… because it mentions ‘group administrators’.

Can someone at Atlassian who is familiar w/ the implementation of the space API shed some light on the root cause of such an error?


1 Like


A colleague pointed out the the error message, “… for unknown group administrators” probably means “… for THE unknown group: [administrators]”.

And has nothing to do with “group administrators”. It has to do with the group named administrators.

That is an error message that could use some work, IMO. When I am echoing out page titles, usernames, whatever in some logline or message I like to try to be super duper clear to avoid stuff like this. Try surrounding the value of interest in square brackets, for example.