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Talk:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/Archives/2023-09

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Username format settled

I've got good news: The team has settled on a username format. We'll go from "" to "~2024-12345-67". Anyone who has opted in to IP Info (which I recommend; it's currently in Beta Features) will also get the little ⓘ icon to reveal the IP address right on the page. The format is: tilde, year of temporary account creation (≈year of first edit in this account) in YYYY format, hyphen, and a purely numeric account number, broken into groups of five digits from left to right, with a hyphen between each group. (I believe that the last group mostly won't use all five digits; we're expecting to need between 10 and 20 million numbers each year.)

Due to a combination of luck and a Steward already updating the MediaWiki:Titleblacklist to prevent future creation of matching usernames, there should be no conflicting usernames (*whew*). However, bot ops and script writers should detect account status directly, rather than relying on the username format. I'm not 100% certain of the details for this, but I understand that MediaWiki will soon have three user account types, with the result that you'll be able to specify (if you wanted to) different behavior for temps vs IPs. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:48, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Any deep analysis on the impact of IP masking?

Apologies if I'm revisiting a previous question, but have there been any studies regarding the effects of concealing IP edits? I'm interested in comparing content contributions before and after the IP address masking. Specifically, I'd like data on edit counts, new article creation, content quality, IP-based anti-vandalism efforts, etc.  A l p h a m a  Talk 07:17, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

@Alphama, IP addresses are still being displayed on all the wikis, and that will continue to be the case until some time next year, so that research isn't possible yet. The team is setting up some metrics to watch, however. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:53, 23 September 2023 (UTC)


I posted IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/FAQ yesterday. Please read it, please translate it, please share it.

If you are looking for technical information, please keep an eye on mw:Help:Temporary accounts/How it works. The product manager is planning to update it with the latest information in the coming weeks.

Also, a quick note about timing: The team is hoping to have this on a test wiki in December. You can test now at https://de.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/ but it's still changing. IP masking won't be on any public content wikis until March 2024 (at the earliest). That said, this is a major project, so if you use or maintain scripts, tools, or bots that might be affected by this, I strongly encourage you not to wait until the last minute. Look into it now, put it on your calendar for December and January, and keep an eye on this page, the "How it works" technical help page, and IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/Updates. (Next update there is coming soon.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:13, 23 September 2023 (UTC)

Hello, thanks for your work. I told to a local admin, and they not only want to know if they can see the IP address of temporary account, they also want to know if they can see the IP range. Could you please also clarify this in this section? Thanks. SCP-2000 02:38, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
@SCP-2000, is the admin hoping to see all accounts using a given IP range? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:24, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes. Thanks. SCP-2000 01:56, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
The team is working on a new tool to handle this. I haven't seen it myself, but it's supposed to be a new and improved version of https://guc.toolforge.org/ (phab:T337089) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:43, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Hello, @Whatamidoing (WMF): I have a question regarding on the first deployment on temporary account. As I had some tests on Beta Cluster, I know that the temporary account uses CentralAuth system. I can create a temporary account in https://de.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/ and let them automatically created on other wikis. As you mentioned on IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/FAQ, temporary accounts may become available on a test wiki in December 2023 or January 2024. Is the test wiki you mentioned are either testwiki, test2wiki or testwikidata? If so, does it do the same on Beta Cluster which I can create a temporary account on those wikis and letting them automatically created on the production wikis (such as enwiki)? If it is true, does it mean that the actual appearance on temporary accounts on production wikis starts when it is available on test wikis? 06:15, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't think they know which test wiki will be used. My guess is testwiki or test2wiki, but it depends (e.g., on whether another team needs one of those to be stable for a different project that they're testing).
During the testing phase and even during rollout process, you could be "User:2023-12345-67" on one wiki and still be "User:" (i.e., your IP address) at another wiki. If you get a temporary account at an early wiki, but then you switch to a wiki that doesn't use temporary accounts, your edits at the later wiki will be attributed to your IP address. A temporary account isn't meant to "leak" to wikis where they're not being used yet. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:30, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

Global rollbacker

Will "ip-viewer" be added to GR? This is not clear from [1]. TenWhile6 (talk | SWMT) 09:32, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

I cannot imagine a global rollbacker wither less than 300 edits or 6 months account age... Unless the user is currently blocked from editing more than one Wikimedia project or there are stricter local requirements, they should have the ip-viewer right after optin-in and agreeing to the WMF policy.
But this leads to another important point: Crosswiki patroller such as global rollbacker or global sysops will likely need to check IPs on many different projects. If there is no way to opt-in via Special:GlobalPreferences the opt-in must be done manually on dozens or hundreds of projects (which is what annoys me about the current IP Info feature as well). Johannnes89 (talk) 11:50, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@Johannnes89 Yes, no concerns, but only (global) sysops were mentioned as groups which hold the rights automatically (and can use it after checking the settings box).
I just wanted to clarify the text - ip-viewer (and ipinfo-full) should be added to the package of rights of GRs.
I fully support your point about the opt-in, without GlobalPreferences it will be very very annoying to do it in every project per hand while the policy is the same everywhere. TenWhile6 (talk | SWMT) 12:59, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@TenWhile6, @Johannnes89,
Thanks for your questions. I asked about GlobalPreferences and got approval from Legal for that earlier this month. I expect that foundation:Policy:Access to temporary account IP addresses will be updated to endorse this. That question is now headed to the devs to see if they can correctly implement it (i.e., so that I have access on the wikis where I'm qualified but not on others, since I don't have a global user right that would give me access everywhere).
Legal officially approved access to ip-viewer for Global Rollbackers today. The main need is to support clear communication and avoid errors. Global Rollbackers need to be able to communicate clearly about abusers, e.g., by sending e-mail to a global sysop or steward, and this communication will be clearer and more reliable if you can write something like "Please urgently investigate and block IP address for abuse" than "whatever IP address is associated with User:~2023-12345-67".
Global Rollbackers will need to understand and follow the rules at foundation:Policy:Access to temporary account IP addresses#Disclosure. Basically, people with access can publicly disclose IP addresses when that is necessary, but if it becomes unnecessary later, it should be revision-deleted or oversighted (not just blanked or archived). I should see if we can add that to IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/FAQ#Project questions (the unfinished section) as well, just to make that information easier for people to find. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF) I just talked with @DerHexer about how to interpret the policy. wmf:Policy:Access to temporary account IP addresses#Patrollers and other users 3.2. requires „a minimum of 300 edits to Wikimedia projects“. Does this mean 300+ edits globally (and meeting the other requirements) allow for IP access on every WMF project?
I initially thought the policy required 300+ edits at the project a user wants to use ip-view rights, but considering wmf:Policy:Access to temporary account IP addresses#Notes and wmf:Policy:Access to temporary account IP addresses#Local requirements („Examples of more restrictive requirements“ -> „Only edits that are to the specific project“) this really means 300+ edits allow for global IP access?
If so, why even bother with defining criteria for admins or global permissions, those users will meet the criteria for patrollers anyway? Johannnes89 (talk) 20:42, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@Johannnes89, a global sysop will have IP access at all wikis. This decision was made because global sysops are highly trusted users and because they cannot do their work if they do not have access.
You need the ip-viewer user right. Stewards, global sysops, and global rollbackers will have that user right at all wikis, as part of their global role. This will be true even if you have never made a single edit to that wiki. Local checkusers, admins, etc. will have that user right at the local wiki only, as part of their local role. This will be true even if they have not made enough edits at that local wiki (e.g., if a small Wiktionary temporarily recruits a pair of checkusers from a big community to solve a problem they're having).
Editors with no special roles will have to qualify on the basis of local edits. For example, I have no global user rights. If you look at Special:CentralAuth/WhatamIdoing, I will have access at enwiki, enwikivoyage, htwiki, enwikisource, Commons, Wikidata, MediaWiki.org, and here at Meta-Wiki. I won't have access at dewiki, frwiki, jawiki, etc. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:21, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
I'll ask Legal again about the editors with no special roles. I'm certain that global sysops will have access everywhere. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
Thanks @Whatamidoing (WMF) for reaching Legal.
Will everyone with ip-viewer also get ipinfo-full? @Johannnes89 already mentioned it somewhere, that it would be good, otherwise Wikimedians with ip-viewer and without ipinfo-full have to copy the IP to something like whois to get the same Information like ipinfo could give. That would be nonsense in my opinion. Is this already clarified somewhere?
In my opinion, the rights should be given together. TenWhile6 (talk | SWMT) 05:22, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
see Talk:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation/IP Info feature#Advanced information: I agree that it doesn't make sense to limit ipinfo-view-full to admins/checkusers/stewards when all the information provided can be accessed by non-admin patrollers with ip-viewer permission anyway by just using external tools to analyse an IP address. Johannnes89 (talk) 06:21, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
@TenWhile6, the product manager is planning to post a table outlining, e.g., the checkusers get everything but admins can't see the log, etc. I believe that table cleared Legal review yesterday afternoon and just needs to be shown to the devs, so that we're not promising something that they can't deliver.
I want to say now that the table is a bit confusing, because it says that admins have (e.g.,) ipinfo-view-full but bureaucrats don't. This doesn't mean that they're taking it away from the bureaucrats. It just means that there is nothing about the bureaucrat role (i.e., assigning additional user rights to others) that directly involves vandals and abuse. (Also, I understand that all the bureaucrats are admins anyway, and it's unnecessary to give it to them twice.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:31, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF) thanks for clarifying! I suggest changing the policy to avoid confusion. „300 edits to Wikimedia projects“ sounds to me like „300 edits globally to Wikimedia projects“ instead of „300 edits to this specific Wikimedia project“. And the example for local, more restrictive requirements „Only edits that are to the specific project“ doesn't make sense to me if the 300 edits are meant to be local edits anyway.
Regarding global sysops: How will global IP access be achieved on a technical level? Unlike global rollback this user group is not truly global (see Special:WikiSets/7), that's why currently ipinfo-view-full only works on GS-wikis for me. --Johannnes89 (talk) 06:52, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
Good point, I also saw the optional requirement in the policy. TenWhile6 (talk | SWMT) 07:17, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
@Johannnes89, @DerHexer, I've been able to confirm that they were previously going to make it a global edit count, and that's what's in the policy, but because of Special:GlobalPreferences, they might make it depend on the local wiki count.
I'm not sure if they will have an answer to this question before your presentation at WikiCon this weekend, but @MMoss (WMF) is the lawyer coordinating the decision about this, and she's super helpful. If they have an answer before your presentation, I'm sure she'll post it here for you. She has promised me that she will make the answer clear and unambiguous in the policy.
Und nun muss ich auch sagen: As you may have seen at the Kurier, I am reclaiming my volunteer status at the end of this month, which is just a couple of days from now. I know that we can get through the inevitable bumps and frustrating delays that this project will entail if we work together. You can find me on the wikis whenever you like at WhatamIdoing. Perhaps I will even come over to the German-language Wikipedia to write a few simple sentences some time. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:11, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
Thanks for asking and in general for your work communicating these changes! Johannnes89 (talk) 19:10, 4 October 2023 (UTC)