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 ajvol@wikimedia/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 hostname for security and privacy reasons. Freenode provides an "unaffiliated" cloak to those without a cloak for a particular project. (Note: Unaffiliated cloaks will not hide hostnames for users using the client. Project cloaks do work with webchat, and unaffiliated cloaks will work with other clients). But note: A cloak will not hide your IP completly. There is a way to get around it. If you want to make sure, that nobody can see your real IP, use Tor or a VPN.

Gaining a cloak[edit]

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

We also grant cvn/* and 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).

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.