Oversight policy

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Oversight or suppression refers to hiding revisions, edit summaries, usernames, or log entries from the public. This access is available to oversighters, stewards and users in the staff global user group. Suppressed data can only be viewed and restored by users in these groups.

Oversight and suppression are often used interchangeably. Oversight is derived from the deprecated MediaWiki extension Oversight, which has been replaced by a MediaWiki core feature known as RevisionDelete.

About[edit]

Initially, a MediaWiki extension called Oversight was used for hiding data from the public (including administrators); only users with 'oversight' right were able to view content which was oversighted. As it required database access to undo actions, a new system known as RevisionDelete was introduced as part of MediaWiki core in version 1.16 to replace Oversight.

RevisionDelete allowed suppressed edits and log entries to be restored without querying the database directly. In addition, it clearly identified in the page history what edits had been suppressed. In 2014, after converting the old oversighted actions to suppressed actions, Oversight extension has been disabled on all Wikimedia wikis except the English Wikipedia.

With MediaWiki's RevisionDelete feature, revision texts, edit summaries, and editor's username/IP address can be suppressed from page histories. On log entries, it is possible to suppress the target and parameters, edit summary, and the performer's username. Additionally, with 'hideuser' right, oversighters are able to suppress a username from all page edits and log entries when blocking a user.

Suppressions are logged privately and this log is only visible to the users in the aforementioned groups through Special:Log/suppress.

Rights[edit]

On Wikimedia wikis, users in oversight group have the following rights by default. Some wikis may have different configuration.

  • 'deleterevision' — Delete and undelete specific revisions of pages
  • 'deletelogentry' — Delete and undelete specific log entries
  • 'hideuser' — Block a username, hiding it from the public
  • 'suppressrevision' — View, hide and unhide specific revisions of pages from any user
  • 'suppressionlog' — View private logs
  • 'abusefilter-hide-log' — Hide entries in the abuse log
  • 'abusefilter-hidden-log' — View hidden abuse log entries

IRC channel[edit]

There is a private IRC channel (#wikimedia-privacyconnect) to which all oversighters and stewards who use IRC should have access. Contact a steward if you need help gaining access.

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:
    • on the advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel or
    • 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 issues, or if there are no local oversighters available (see contact details).

Access[edit]

Oversight access is granted by stewards. This section just describes steward practice and the access to nonpublic data policy.

Oversighters must be both 18 years of age and of legal age in their jurisdiction, and willing to provide identification to the Wikimedia Foundation. They must also be familiar with the privacy policy.

Stewards have oversight access on all wikis, and a small number of editors 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 local Arbitration Committee should place a request on Steward requests/Permissions.

Local administrators may also delete the specific revision or log entries containing the oversightable data, but it will continue to be visible to administrators until it is suppressed.

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 access 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 oversighter will have their access removed immediately. 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 Arbitration Committee, the committee can decide on the removal of access. On wikis without an approved Arbitration Committee, the community can vote for 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.

Requests for oversight[edit]

Caution This is not the place to request suppression. If you would like to request for hiding data, please note that private details should not be posted in public. See this page for details about how to contact an oversighter.

For urgent cross wiki requests, find a steward in the #wikimedia-stewardsconnect IRC channel and contact a steward privately.

Please do not post your request publicly.

All Wikimedia wikis[edit]

  • Stewards can grant themselves temporary oversight access on individual wikis when needed.
  • Please check if the wiki has their own local oversighters before approaching a steward; the list is below.
  • Please do not put your request on the wiki or broadcast it on the public IRC channel. All requests should be made privately.

IRC[edit]

  • Users 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. In emergencies, type !steward in the channel to get the attention of stewards.

Email[edit]

Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Jimmy Xu (email)
  2. Kegns (email)
  3. Lanwi1 (email)
  4. Wong128hk (email)
  5. (email)

English Wikipedia[edit]

Appointed by Arbcom[edit]
  1. AGK (email)
  2. Alison (email)
  3. Avraham (email)
  4. Beeblebrox (email)
  5. Callanecc (email)
  6. Courcelles (email)
  7. DGG (email)
  8. Daniel Case (email)
  9. David Fuchs (email)
  10. DeltaQuad (email)
  11. Deskana (email)
  12. DoRD (email)
  13. Doug Weller (email)
  14. Dweller (email)
  15. Elockid (email)
  16. Euryalus (email)
  17. FloNight (email)
  18. Fluffernutter (email)
  19. Foxj (email)
  20. GB fan (email)
  21. GorillaWarfare (email)
  22. Guerillero (email)
  23. HJ Mitchell (email)
  24. Jdforrester (email)
  25. Joe Decker (email)
  26. Julia W (email)
  27. Keegan (email)
  28. Keilana (email)
  29. Kelapstick (email)
  30. Ks0stm (email)
  31. Lankiveil (email)
  32. LFaraone (email)
  33. Mailer diablo (email)
  34. MBisanz (email)
  35. Mentifisto (email)
  36. Mike V (email)
  37. NativeForeigner (email)
  38. PhilKnight (email)
  39. Ponyo (email)
  40. Richwales (email)
  41. Risker (email)
  42. Roger Davies (email)
  43. Ronhjones (email)
  44. Salvio giuliano (email)
  45. Seraphimblade (email)
  46. Snowolf (email)
  47. Someguy1221 (email)
  48. Thryduulf (email)
  49. Timotheus Canens (email)
  50. Worm That Turned (email)
  51. Yunshui (email)
Office[edit]
  1. Jimbo Wales (email)

English Wikinews[edit]

  1. Bawolff (email)
  2. Cspurrier (email)

German Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Millbart (email)
  2. Nolispanmo (email)
  3. PDD (email)
  4. Sargoth (email)
  5. XenonX3 (email)

Finnish Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Ejs-80 (email)
  2. Harriv (email)

French Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Arkanosis (email)
  2. Jules78120 (email)
  3. Kropotkine 113 (email)
  4. Lomita (email)
  5. Ludo29 (email)

Indonesian Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Bonaditya (email)
  2. Meursault2004 (email)

Japanese Wikipedia[edit]

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

Persian Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Kamix (email)
  2. ظهیری (email)

Polish Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Einsbor (email)
  2. Elfhelm (email)
  3. Magalia (email)

Portuguese Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Biologo32 (email)
  2. Leon saudanha (email)
  3. Ruy Pugliesi (email)
  4. Teles (email)

Russian Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Altes (email)
  2. DR (email)
  3. Levg (email)
  4. Vladimir Solovjev (email)

Simple English Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Barras (email)
  2. Djsasso (email)
  3. Eptalon (email)
  4. Peterdownunder (email)

Swedish Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Höstblomma (email)
  2. SweJohan (email)

Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Lourdes Cardenal (email)
  2. Lucien leGrey (email)
  3. Platonides (email)

Turkish Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Eldarion (email)
  2. Elmacenderesi (email)
  3. Taysin (email)

Commons[edit]

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

Meta-Wiki[edit]

  1. Barras (email)
  2. Billinghurst (email)
  3. Courcelles (email)
  4. DerHexer (email)

Wikidata[edit]

  1. Ajraddatz (email)
  2. Rschen7754 (email)
  3. SPQRobin (email)

See also[edit]