Oversight policy

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For documentation on the oversight extension, see mw:Extension:Oversight. This page describes Wikimedia Foundation policy.

Oversight or suppression refer to hiding revisions, user names in edit histories and logs, or portions of individual log entries. This access is available to oversighters (those in the 'oversight' or 'stewards' user groups). Oversighted data can only be viewed and restored by oversighters.

('Oversight' and 'suppression' are often used interchangeably; 'oversight' is derived from the older oversight extension, which is being deprecated in favour of the more flexible suppression feature in core MediaWiki.)

Policy[edit]

Use[edit]

This feature is approved for use in four cases:

  1. Removal of non-public personal information such as phone numbers, home addresses, workplaces or identities of pseudonymous or anonymous individuals who have not made their identity public, or of public individuals who have not made that personal information public.
  2. Removal of potentially libelous information either: a) on the advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel or b) when the case is clear, and there is no editorial reason to keep the revision.
  3. Removal of copyright violations on the advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel.
  4. Hiding of blatant attack names on automated lists and logs, where this does not disrupt edit histories. A blatant attack is one obviously intended to denigrate, threaten, libel, insult, or harass someone.

Local oversighters should generally handle local oversighting, when they're available. Stewards may perform local oversighting in emergencies, during crosswiki oversighting, or if there are no local oversighters available (see contact details).

About[edit]

At first, a MediaWiki extension called Oversight was used. Since it required database access to undo actions, a more complex system was written as part of the MediaWiki core code to replace Oversight. This software is called RevisionDelete and has mostly replaced the old Oversight extension by now.

Oversight is logged privately, visible only to oversighters and stewards through Special:Logs/suppress. Respective example log entries:

The first action is a suppression of the content, the edit summary and the username of a revision (hiding any combination of those three is possible). The second one is hiding a log entry (suppressing any combination of log action, comment and username is possible). The third of type of oversight action is often referred to as hideuser as it hides a username on all public lists (e.g. Special:ListUsers, page history, logs). However, the username is not automatically hidden from edit summaries, e.g. in cases where the user's edits have been rolled back.

Oversight actions of the old Extension:Oversight are logged on Special:Oversight. A diff and the revision source is provided, but only Server admins can restore revisions. Example log entry:

Access[edit]

Oversight access is granted by stewards, using rules adopted from the CheckUser policy. This section just describes steward practice and the access to nonpublic data resolution.

Oversighters and stewards must be at least 18 years old, of legal age in their place of residence, and willing to provide identification to the Wikimedia Foundation. They must be familiar with the privacy policy.

Stewards have oversight access on all wikis, and a small number of editors listed below have access on individual wikis. On any wiki, there must be at least two local oversighters, or none at all. This is so that they can mutually control and confirm their actions. If only one oversighter is left on a wiki (usually when the other retires or is removed), the community must appoint a new oversighter immediately or remove the remaining oversighter.

On wikis without an Arbitration Committee, the community must approve oversighters by consensus. The candidates must request it within the local community and advertise this request to the local community properly (community discussion page, mailing list, etc). After gaining consensus (at least 70–80% in pro/con voting or the highest number of votes in multiple choice elections) in their local community, and with at least 25–30 editors' approval, the user should request access on Steward requests/Permissions with a link to the community's decision.

On wikis with an arbitration committee elected with 25–30 editors' approval, users may also be appointed by the arbitration committee (unless the local community prefers independent elections). After agreement, a member of the arbitration committee should place a request on Steward requests/Permissions.

Local administrators may also delete the specific revision containing the personal information, but it will continue to be visible to administrators until it is oversighted.

IRC channel[edit]

There is a private IRC channel (#wikimedia-privacy) to which all stewards and oversighters who use IRC should have access. Contact any channel member to gain access; a channel manager will grant permanent access. Ask a steward if you need help gaining access.

Removal of access[edit]

Oversight access is revoked by stewards, using rules adopted from the CheckUser policy. This section just describes steward practice.

Any user account with Oversight status that is inactive for more than a year will have their Oversight access removed.

In case of abusive use of the tool, the Steward or the editor with the Oversight privilege will immediately have their access removed. This will in particular happen if actions are done routinely without a serious motive to do so (links and proofs of bad behavior should be provided).

Suspicion of abuses of Oversight should be discussed by each local wiki. On wikis with an approved ArbCom, the ArbCom can decide on the removal of access. On wikis without an approved ArbCom, the community can vote removal of access. Removal can only be done by Stewards. A Steward may not decide to remove access on their own, but can help provide information necessary to prove the abuse (such as logs). If necessary, and in particular in case of lack of respect towards the privacy policy, the Board of Wikimedia Foundation can be asked to declare removal of access as well.

Users with oversight rights[edit]

All Wikimedia projects[edit]

  • Stewards can have oversight access on all wikis by granting themselves temporary local oversight access.
  • Please do not put your request on the wiki or broadcast it on the public IRC channel. All requests should be made privately.
  • Please check if the wiki has their own local oversighters before approaching a steward; the list is below. See also the contact details for oversighters on all projects.
IRC
Editors can contact stewards in the IRC channel #wikimedia-stewardsconnect. Please ask for a steward in the channel, then make your request in a private message to that steward. Do not broadcast the request in the public channel.
Email
Send an email to the steward OTRS queue at stewards-at-wikimedia.org
Send an email to any steward privately using Special:EmailUser/Steward's username goes here

Update list

English Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-en-wp-at-wikimedia.org

Appointed by Arbcom[edit]

  1. AGK
  2. Alison
  3. Avraham
  4. Beeblebrox
  5. Callanecc
  6. Carcharoth
  7. Courcelles
  8. Daniel Case
  9. David Fuchs
  10. Deskana
  11. DoRD
  12. Dweller
  13. Elockid
  14. FloNight
  15. Fluffernutter
  16. Foxj
  17. GorillaWarfare
  18. Guerillero
  19. Jdforrester
  20. Joe Decker
  21. Julia W
  22. Keegan
  23. Ks0stm
  24. LFaraone
  25. MBisanz
  26. Mailer diablo
  27. Mentifisto
  28. NativeForeigner
  29. Newyorkbrad
  30. PhilKnight
  31. Ponyo
  32. Risker
  33. Roger Davies
  34. Salvio giuliano
  35. Someguy1221
  36. Timotheus Canens
  37. Worm That Turned

Office[edit]

  1. Jimbo Wales

English Wikinews[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list

  1. Bawolff
  2. Cspurrier
  3. ShakataGaNai

German Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-de-wp-at-wikimedia.org

  1. Millbart
  2. Nolispanmo
  3. PDD
  4. Ra'ike
  5. XenonX3

Finnish Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-request-fiwiki-l-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Ejs-80
  2. Harriv

French Wikipedia[edit]

Appointed by Arbcom[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
privacy-fr-wp-at-wikimedia.org

  1. Arkanosis
  2. David Berardan
  3. Kropotkine 113
  4. Lomita
  5. Ludo29

Indonesian Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list

  1. Hayabusa future
  2. Meursault2004

Japanese Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-ja-wp-at-wikimedia.org

  1. Ks aka 98
  2. Marine-Blue
  3. Penn Station
  4. アイザール

Norwegian (Bokmål) Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list

  1. Danmichaelo
  2. Harald Haugland
  3. Haros
  4. Jon Harald Søby

Persian Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list

  1. ظهیری
  2. Kamix

Polish Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
rewizor.pl-at-gmail.com

  1. Elfhelm
  2. Magalia
  3. Maikking

Russian Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
Via e-mail user, see list

  1. Altes
  2. DR
  3. Levg
  4. Vladimir Solovjev

Simple English Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-wp-simple-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Barras
  2. Djsasso
  3. Eptalon
  4. Peterdownunder

Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-es-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Lourdes Cardenal
  2. Lucien leGrey
  3. Platonides

Swedish Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list

  1. Höstblomma
  2. SweJohan

Turkish Wikipedia[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
gozetmen-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Eldarion
  2. Elmacenderesi
  3. Taysin

Commons[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-commons-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Avraham
  2. Odder
  3. PierreSelim
  4. Rama
  5. Raymond
  6. Tiptoety

Meta[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
meta-oversight-at-lists.wikimedia.org

  1. Barras
  2. Billinghurst
  3. Courcelles
  4. DerHexer

Wikidata[edit]

Automatically generated oversight list
oversight-at-wikidata.org

  1. Ajraddatz
  2. Rschen7754

See also[edit]


User groups
Local: blocked user – unregistered user – newly-registered user – registered user – autochecked users – autopatroller – bot – administrator – bureaucrat – oversight – checkuser – IP block exempt – importer – translation admin – centralnotice admin – uploader – massmessage senders
Global: locked account – unified account – bot – rollbacker – abuse filter editor – interface editor – IP block exemption – new wiki importers – sysop – ombudsman – founder – staff – WMF researcher – system administrator – steward