Countervandalism Network/Cloaks

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CVN logo.svg Countervandalism network

The countervandalism network
is a distinct group. It is neither
affiliated with nor managed by the
Wikimedia Foundation.

On freenode, the network which hosts the Wikimedia IRC channels, an IRC hostmask cloak replaces the display of your IP address or host name with a cloak. For example, jvol@ could become jvol@countervandalism/Alexander-Sigachov in several IRC-related messages (/who, /whois, and various join/part/quit notifications, depending on the client of the person seeing the notification). Many people make use of cloaks because an exposed IP can often be considered sensitive and private information. Note that they have no effect on nicknames.

Purposes of a cloak[edit]

  • Verification on IRC: The primary reason to wear a cloak is to prove that you are the user on-wiki who you say you are on IRC. For example, Furries' @countervandalism/staff/Sactage cloak shows that he is who he says he is, as you cannot add a fake cloak onto yourself.
  • Privacy: They are also a way to hide your IP address or hostname for security and privacy reasons. Note that if this is your primary objective, Freenode also provides generic "@unaffiliated" cloaks (see There are also @wikimedia, @wikipedia and other cloaks available via IRC/Cloaks. Note: A cloak will not securely hide your IP completely. There are ways around it. If you are concerned about exposing your real IP address, use Tor or a VPN.

Gaining a cloak[edit]

We currently give out @countervandalism/* cloaks for users (where the asterisk stands for your username). If you want such a cloak, please see the Requests-section below.

We also grant cvn/bot/* for bot accounts used in the countervandalism network.

Users who request such cloaks should show some affiliation to the countervandalism network.


Cloaks can now be requested here. If you do not have a freenode IRC account, you must set one up first.

As part of the cloak request process at the above location, you will be given instructions to prove that your IRC nick and on-wiki username belong to the same person (proof is needed in both directions).

  • You will be required to send the following to send the following memo on Freenode /msg MemoServ send cvn-gc IRC cloak request
  • You will be required to provide a diff containing CVN CLOAK REQUEST in your cloak request application.

The latter two requirements are designed to prevent abuse of cloaks around freenode. It is hoped that the vast majority of the time they won't prevent genuine contributors from getting cloaks, but in the meantime while waiting to meet these requirements it is pointed out that unaffiliated cloaks can be acquired from freenode staff.

Please note that you will only be contacted by CVN Staff if there are questions or issues regarding your request. If your cloak is set, you will not be notified. Due to the process involved, cloak requests may take up to a week to be processed so please be patient.