In addition to official investigation, they will mediate between the complainant and the respondent (usually a CheckUser, bureaucrat, administrator, or arbitration committee member). When legally necessary, the ombudsman will assist the General Counsel, the Executive Director or the board in handling the case.
An ombudsman's investigation should be conducted in a manner determined by the ombudsman to ensure fairness and impartiality. As a general guideline, it is best that ombudsmen avoid conflicts of interest as much as possible, particularly by avoiding routine use of CheckUser access and not processing complaints on the projects on which they are very active editors. However, matters that come before the commission are not clearcut, and the language and culture of various projects may pose barriers to outsiders. As such, how the commission investigates complaints is left to the discretion of its appointed members.
Ombudsman requests may be made to the following email address (preferably in a language spoken by one of the members):
Members of the ombudsman commission are selected by Wikimedia Foundation officials from the Wikimedia community (volunteers are welcome to propose themselves to the Foundation by writing to liaisonwikimedia.org). They are appointed (assuming they agree) for a period of approximately one year. An ombudsman's real identity must be disclosed to the Foundation legal counsel. A non-voting alternate member may be appointed to serve for one year, with an expectation for a seat as a full member the following year.
Ombudsmen have the following rights globally:
- Search deleted pages (browsearchive)
- Check user's IP addresses and other information (checkuser)
- View the checkuser log (checkuser-log)
- View deleted history entries, without their associated text (deletedhistory)
- View deleted text and changes between deleted revisions (deletedtext)
- View private logs (suppressionlog)
Current ombudsman users
See also automatically generated list (terms expire February 2015):
- Avraham from enwiki
- Gnom from dewiki
- Huji from fawiki
- Levg from ruwiki
- Polimerek from plwiki
- Sir48 from dawiki
- Thogo from dewiki
February 2014 — July 2014:
February 2013 — February 2014:
February 2011 — February 2014:
- Dweller from enwiki (April 2011 — February 2013)
- FloNight from enwiki
- Herbythyme from commonswiki (February 2011 — April 2011)
- Mwpnl from nlwiki (February 2011 — February 2013)
- Pundit from plwiki (April 2011 — February 2012)
February 2010 — February 2011:
- Carkuni from jawiki
- DR from ruwiki
- Elian from dewiki
- Lar from enwiki, commonswiki
- Palnatoke from dawiki
January 2009 — February 2010:
- PatríciaR from commonswiki
- Sam Korn from enwiki
- Schiste from frwiki
- Shizhao from zhwiki
- Tinz from dewiki
December 2007 — January 2009:
July 2006 — December 2007:
Please follow these guidelines when submitting an inquiry to the commission:
- Be concise. Lengthy emails with unnecessary information make it harder for the commission to process the case in a timely manner.
- Be objective. Avoid making inquiries based on speculations or subjective judgements.
- Provide evidence. Please provide us with diff links and/or permanent links when possible.
- Be specific. Specify what part of which policy has been violated.
- Please inform us if your wiki has an Arbitration Committee (or a similar committee) and if you have reached them (or used other dispute resolution procedure customary to your community) before reaching the Ombudsman Commission. Provide a link to the relevant case page if appropriate.
Cases brought to our attention will be processed the following way:
- Confirmation of the request: we will send a notice of confirmation to the requester, and if necessary ask for further information.
- Scope: if the request is within the scope of the ombudsman commission, we will do the investigation, if not we will decline the request and try to direct the complainor to a better place to get help for his/her individual problem.
Reports of the commission
- Special global permissions
- Resolution ombudsperson checkuser (2006-7)
- foundation-l: "Ombuds-wo-men commission" 2007-11-24
- foundation-l: "Checkuser ombudsmen" 2009-01-21
- Resolution Wikimedia Committees (2009-1)
- foundation-l: "Ombudsman Commission" 2011-01-28
- wikimedia-l: "2013 Ombudsmen Commission" 2013-02-02