Grants:IdeaLab/Whistleblowing policy

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Whistleblowing policy
IEG key blue.png
summaryWho can prevent a few administrators to ban anyone who opposes them? To those who can ask for help the banned opponents? Wikipedia needs a whistleblowing policy for users who report serious abuses of admins. Otherwise they will simply be banned.
targetplease add a target wiki
amount20.000 USD for year
granteeLuca Polpettini
contactLuca Polpettini
this project needs...
created on09:57, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
round 1 2016

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What happens if a language WP is controlled by a group of few admins who happened to be the wrong persons at the wrong position? Who can check them? The axiom "discuss and solve the problem within the community" does not work, simply because the community is dominated by those few.

What is your solution?[edit]

Create a whistleblowing policy for users who report serious abuses of admins. The policy must guarantee anonymity and protection. Complaints must be collected and checked by a group of guarantors.


Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]



Endorse: GREAT idea! This is one of the biggest problems I have witnessed, mostly as an observer, but on rare occasions personally. Anyone accused of wrongdoing has an innate response to lash out and counter-accuse. More experienced editors take it more seriously, and administrators even more so. On the one hand, I understand that it is personally frustrating to be accused of something if you are innocent. But on the other, there needs to be a system in place for rooting out abusive senior and administrative editors. Otherwise WikiBullying will go unpunished and, in the event of legitimate abuse, nothing will be done. DaltonCastle (talk) 17:09, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Report to community does not work because they feel accused and counter-accuse: it becomes a battle!--Luca Polpettini (talk) 22:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

That said, any "Wikipedia:Whistleblowing" protocol needs to have a pretty strict and thorough set of rules. If its just a Post page where anyone gets to post anonymously against anyone, it will be a disaster. It needs to deliberately require LOTS of information on the part of the filer to ensure that they are not just some vandal attempting to malign a user. DaltonCastle (talk) 17:12, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I agree, in fact I said "Complaints must be collected and checked by a group of guarantors", not in a public page.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 22:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

In addition, reviewers for this would need to be carefully selected. It couldn't just be any administrator, since that defeats the entire purpose. I don't know the best approach to this, but the general idea is that these reviewers should be people vetted by top Wikimedia personnel, perhaps even including Jimbo Wales; these people should openly and freely give their true identities so that no one is suspicious of conflicts of interest or personal agendas; and these people should be selected largely based on proven objectivity as evidenced by community discussion and approval. DaltonCastle (talk) 17:23, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I agree, they will be guarantors.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 22:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

If somebody wants to ping me to ask for more info, question me, or tell me my idea is wrong they should probably ping me at Wikipedia, since I am far more active there than Wikimedia. DaltonCastle (talk) 17:31, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

  • There are numerous examples of clear political / ideological "party lines" defining what the world is permitted to read on Wikipedia. Luckz (talk) 12:26, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Expand your idea[edit]

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Project plan[edit]


Support the project to the Wikimedia Foundation


  • open source software for whistleblowing: free
  • people trained to select the reports: 10.000 USD for year
  • experts that respond to whistleblowers: 10.000 USD for year

Community engagement[edit]

Link on the community pages on Wikipedia to whistleblowing policy


The whitleblowing policy have to be integrated in Wikipedia

Measures of success[edit]

Decrease the conflict between sysops and between sysops and users.

Project team[edit]

Community notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?