Ombudsman commission

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The ombudsman commission investigates complaints about violations of the privacy policy (in particular concerning the use of CheckUser tools) on any Wikimedia project for the Board of Trustees. To file a complaint, please contact an Ombudsman privately.



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.

When the case is litigious, the ombudsman will be in charge of educating CheckUsers or others about the Foundation's privacy policy. When the privacy policy has been breached, the commission should report to the Executive Director or to the Board directly or via Board-delegated staff and recommend a course of action (such as removal of CheckUser access). Additionally, the commission might suggest suitable changes to policies or software.


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. A call for volunteers is issued each year in early December on the Wikimedia-L mailing list and on the talk page of this policy. 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.

Assigned rights[edit]

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[edit]

See also automatically generated list (terms expire February 2016):

Previous ombudsmen[edit]

February 2014 — July 2014:

  • M7 from itwiki (February 2014 — June 2014)
  • Stryn from fiwiki, wikidatawiki

February 2013 — February 2015:

  • Erzbischof from dewiki (February 2013 — February 2014)
  • Deskana from enwiki (February 2013 — September 2013)
  • Levg from ruwiki

February 2011 — February 2015:

  • Dweller from enwiki (April 2011 — February 2013)
  • FloNight from enwiki (April 2011 — February 2014)
  • Herbythyme from commonswiki (February 2011 — April 2011)
  • Mwpnl from nlwiki (February 2011 — February 2013)
  • Pundit from plwiki (April 2011 — February 2012)
  • Sir48 from dawiki

February 2010 — February 2011:

January 2009 — February 2010:

December 2007 — January 2009:

July 2006 — December 2007:


User:Rubin16 User:PhilKnight User:Barras User:Alhen User:Stryn User:M7 User:Polimerek User:Gnom User:Avraham User:Levg User:Erzbischof User:Deskana User:Huji User:Pundit User:Dweller User:Sir48 User:Mwpnl User:Herbythyme User:FloNight User:Thogo User:Palnatoke User:Lar User:Elian User:DR User:Carkuni User:Tinz User:Shizhao User:Schiste User:Sam Korn User:PatríciaR User:Rebecca User:Mackensen User:Hei ber User:Wegge User:UninvitedCompany User:Cartman02au


Please follow these guidelines when submitting an inquiry to the commission:

  1. Be concise. Lengthy emails with unnecessary information make it harder for the commission to process the case in a timely manner.
  2. Be objective. Avoid making inquiries based on speculations or subjective judgements.
  3. Provide evidence. Please provide us with diff links and/or permanent links when possible.
  4. Be specific. Specify what part of which policy has been violated.
  5. 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:

  1. Confirmation of the request: we will send a notice of confirmation to the requester, and if necessary ask for further information.
  2. 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.
  3. Investigation: We do whatever is necessary to find out whether or not there was a breach of the privacy policy.
  4. Result: We give the result of our investigation to the requester, and if there was indeed a breach of the privacy policy, we will inform the user who was investigated and if necessary inform the Board of Trustees and if necessary recommend removing CU or steward rights from the user breaking the policy.

See also[edit]

Reports of the commission[edit]


Other documents[edit]