Talk:Ombuds commission/Archives/2019

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2019 Ombuds Commission announcement

Full announcement text (click to expand or collapse)
Hello all,

I'm writing with information about the Ombuds Commission (OC), the small group of volunteers who investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, and in particular concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight tools, on any Wikimedia project for the Board of Trustees.

I apologize for the length of the announcement. :)

The application period for new commissioners for 2019 recently closed. The Wikimedia Foundation is extremely grateful to the many experienced and insightful volunteers who offered to assist with this work.

As with last year, this year’s OC will consist of eight members, with a two-member advisory team who will guide the new commission and also, if necessary, fill in in the event that a Commission member is unable to act due to incapacity or recusal.

I am pleased to announce the composition of the 2019 OC:


Amanda has been editing Wikipedia since 2009, when she made her first edits to English Wikipedia. Since then, she has served as an administrator, checkuser, oversighter, member of the Arbitration Committee, and Arbitration Committee clerk. She also helps to develop the Unblock Ticket Request System (UTRS) and Account Creation Tool (ACC) used by English Wikipedia.


Habib started editing in 2010 and has been heavily engaged in community affairs, both onwiki and as part of user groups, for years. A native of Tunisia, he has been a free-culture advocate on a wide range of issues in and beyond the movement. Onwiki, you can mainly find him helping out on Commons, where he is a sysop, as well as the Arabic and French language editions of Wikipedia. He has served on the Ombuds Commission since 2018.


Edilson has been contributing to Wikimedia projects since 2013. He is primarily active on the Portuguese Wikipedia, where he is a checkuser, oversighter, and administrator.

Elmacenderesi Elmacenderesi has been working on Wikimedia projects since 2007, primarily on the Turkish Wikipedia. There, he has been a CheckUser and a Bureaucrat since 2008 and an Oversighter since 2011. He is also a member of Wikimedia OTRS and serves as a global outreach coordinator, working with academic institutions and GLAMs, for The Wikipedia Library. He has served on the Ombuds Commission since 2018.


Carlos, currently editing as user:Galahad, has been contributing to Wikimedia Projects since 2009. He is a member of Wikimedia Venezuela and Wikimedistas de Perú User Group. He primarily contributes to Spanish-language projects including Spanish Wikipedia and Spanish Wikivoyage. He has been an administrator and bureaucrat of Spanish Wikivoyage since 2013.

Jamie Tubers

Sam, who edits as Jamie Tubers, joined the English language Wikipedia community in 2011 and has over the years expanded his activities into a wide range of movement activities including co-founding the Wikimedia user group Nigeria and helping to organize events like Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Women. He is dedicated to correcting our content gaps and biases related to Africa and raising awareness of the projects on the continent. He also just kickstarted a project called "The AfroCine Project" which is a wikiproject dedicated to encouraging the contribution of content that relates to the cinema, theatre, and arts sectors of several African countries, the Caribbean and the diaspora to Wikimedia projects.[1][2] He has served on the Ombuds Commission since 2018.

[1] [2]


Emufarmers has been editing Wikimedia projects since 2005. He is a Metapedian who primarily edits the English Wikipedia; he is also a bureaucrat and sysop on, and has provided software support to many third-party, non-Wikimedia wikis over the years. He has served as an OTRS administrator since 2015.


Rupika has been editing Wikimedia projects since 2015. She is the co-founder of Punjabi Wikipedians. A free knowledge advocate, she edits primarily on Punjabi Wikipedia and Meta and organizes events such as Wiki Loves Love.

The 2019 OC’s advisors are:


Krd, who is primarily active on German Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, and also serves at the Volunteer Response Team as an agent and OTRS admin, and is a member of the German Wikipedia Arbitration Committee. He has served on the Ombuds Commission since 2017.


Lucas became a Wikipedian in 2007 and started to engage with CheckUser rights in 2009, when he became a local CU on the Portuguese Wikipedia. He held both Oversight and Checkuser rights on Ptwiki between 2015 and 2017, when his term with the rights expired. He is currently an administrator on Commons and Ptwiki. His traditional main focus has been on anti-vandalism work. In 2012, the global community elected him as a steward, a position he has held since. He served on the Ombuds Commission for 2018.

Their willingness to remain, to bring their familiarity with processes and their experience to the new arrivals, is greatly appreciated!

Please join me in thanking the following outgoing volunteers, who have given substantially of their time to serve the commission:


Billinghurst is a long-term global, Wikimedian who served as a steward from 2012 to 2016 and still serves as a global sysop. He considers his home wiki to be the English Wikisource where he's performed over 260,000 edits and focuses on transcribing biographical reference data from the 19th and early 20thC. In addition, however, to serving as a local administrator on Wikisource he also holds the sysop hat on Commons, Meta and the English Wikipedia racking up almost 700,000 edits across the projects with almost a million edits when you count his bot. He claims to still have a bit of wisdom and knowledge to give. He joined the OC in 2018.


Saileshpat started editing Wikipedia in 2012 and soon became deeply involved in the Odia community. He has helped organize outreach events and done a lot to spread awareness in his region. In addition he was one of the co-organizers of WikiConference India 2016. Saileshpat has helped in a content relicensing process, where the Government of Odisha decided to release content under Creative Commons licenses. Online he is mainly active on the Odia Wikipedia and Commons. Sailesh joined the OC in 2018.


Pajz has edited the Wikimedia projects since 2005. He was a Wikipedia administrator between 2007 to 2016 and is a member of the Volunteer Response Team. He served as one of the OTRS administrators from 2013 to 2015, before being first appointed to the Ombudsman Commission in 2016.


Góngora, J. Gustavo Góngora-Goloubintseff, primarily edits Spanish Wikipedia, Catalan Wikipedia and Norwegian bokmål Wikipedia. He has been an administrator and bureaucrat on the Spanish Wikipedia since 2007, and an administrator on the Catalan Wikipedia from 2010 until 2017, where he is also a CheckUser. He was a member of the Spanish Arbitration Committee in 2008, before it was dismantled. He was a board member of Wikimedia España in 2011. He is currently a member of both Wikimedia España and Wikimedia Norge. He joined the OC in 2017.

And finally, a posthumous thank-you to user:Lankiveil:


Lankiveil was a long-term user, admin, and oversighter on the English Wikipedia, having made his first edits in 2004. He served as a clerk to the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee and as an OTRS volunteer. He also sometimes edited at Irish Wikipedia and Commons. He was a native speaker of Australian English and was a member of Wikimedia Australia. Lankiveil died in April 2018, while a member of the Ombuds Commission.

I'd also like to say a big thank you to those returning and those coming aboard for the first time, as well as to all those applied. Again, it was an extremely able group of volunteers, and while this mix of users may best serve the need for this year, I hope that those who applied will consider applying again for future commissions.

Regards, Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

The composition on the 2019 Ombuds Commission has just been announced on Wikimedia-L. The full announcement text is above. In a nutshell and in alphabetical order, the OC in 2019 will consist of:

Serving in an advisory capacity, and filling in if necessary, will be:

Many thanks also go to the departing members of the 2018 OC for their service: Billinghurst (served on OC since 2018), Saileshpat (served on OC since 2018), Pajz (served on OC since 2016), Góngora (served on OC since 2017). And a special posthumous thank-you to Lankiveil, who passed away in 2018 while serving as an Ombuds Commission member. Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Per request from Kbrown (WMF) I have added/removed the permissions from/to the users accordingly. A public request was also added at SRGP for archiving purposes. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 14:12, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Congratulations, everyone! Trijnsteltalk 21:58, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Where are the reports of the commission in 2018?

Is there any reason why the OC stopped producing reports?--Cat285 (talk) 13:46, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

Good question. @Billinghurst, Dyolf77, Elmacenderesi, Góngora, Jamie Tubers, Krd, Pajz, Saileshpat, and Teles: Could you please explain? Trijnsteltalk 13:58, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to leave the question open for any other member of the commission. --Krd 14:42, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
@Billinghurst, Dyolf77, Elmacenderesi, Góngora, Jamie Tubers, Krd, Pajz, Saileshpat, and Teles: Any update? Given developments regarding a steward candidate, this would be helpful, though it might not be able to be disclosed, I suppose. --Rschen7754 19:36, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @Cat285 and Trijnstel: Thanks for the reminder. There wasn’t anybody in charge of this specific task and looks like we forgot to post it. We are already working on it and they will be posted soon. Sorry about that.—Teles «Talk to me ˱C L @ S˲» 16:27, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
The committee reports (of the earlier years) are most basic and hardly has any details. Unless you are bringing some revolutionary change to the format, I cannot find any reason as to the consumption of a fortnight........Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 03:53, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

en.wikipedia case

Apparently some functionaries from en.wikipedia filed a case in August, see [1]. Since then they have not received any status updates or timelines as to when the case will be investigated. Is this what we can expect from a group tasked with such an important role? --Rschen7754 02:31, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

(+1). Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 03:38, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
I can't answer for the actions of the former members of this commission but I give a opinion as actual member about the case. Greetings, --Galahad (sasageyo!)(esvoy) 04:10, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
@Rschen7754 and Winged Blades of Godric:, I can support the Galahad’s answer and his comments here and at We’re reviewing the case and working in the solution. EVinente (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
@EVinente:-Thanks for your assuring comments; as a newly inducted member:-) I see a co-signatory (who is an en-wiki arbitrator) commenting over an en-wiki venue that they (the OC) have not updated us on the status of the investigation nor have they given us a time frame for completion, which is quite disturbing, to be mild. As another en-wiki functionary (Beeblebrox) has noted over there; Galahad's comments do reinforce the impression that the prev. committee did nothing as to the issue (and sort of, left it for the new guys). Whilst, you cannot be expected to answer for the last year's committee, can you comment about the progress made by the last-committee (as to this investigation), in some suitable manner? Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 10:49, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
All I can say is I hope the 2019 incarnation of this body is more responsive than the previous one. There is no reason it should take five months to have responded in any way to the evidence that was presented. For the last 12 months the committee is an absolute black box, it's ridiculous that the previous members departed without even generating the standard activity reports for their term and also left this (and who knows what else) for the new committee to deal with. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:15, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
To comment on the actions taken by previous members should know their motivations. Unfortunately I can not. All I can do is answer for my actions, comment on the actions of current members, and try to resolve cases in record time. Greetings, --Galahad (sasageyo!)(esvoy) 19:00, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
I totally get that and I completely understand that most of you have only been on the committee for a few days, this just bubbled up at a very inopportune moment when the previous OC could have acted on it months ago. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:46, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
The report that was just published for the second half of the year Ombudsman commission/2018/Report Jul-Dec is disturbing. You only closed 2 cases and pushed the remaining 12 over into 2019 (so you did 14% of your job in the last 6 months)? What happened? --Rschen7754 14:42, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
I am wondering if we should change the Ombuds commission's reporting to every two month and have a more detailed report sent to the WMF Board? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:37, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi Doc James, I'm creating a proposal to be debated among the members, one of the points is related to the reports (however, I thought of quarterly reports). Greetings, --Galahad (sasageyo!)(esvoy) 05:43, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Okay thanks User:Galahad Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:44, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I really don't know the criteria for selecting members of this committee but I realized that many of the committee members are not CUs in any Wikimedia project and may not understand how CU works or familiar with its technicalities. Some are not even an administrator in their home Wiki. Rschen7754 and Winged Blades of Godric did anyone not see this as a problem? How do you expect to get a timely result when you ask a carpenter to investigate a case of abuse of power by a high court judge? T Cells (talk) 20:06, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Not administrators? Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 20:13, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, Winged Blades of Godric. At least 2 of them are not administrators in any Wikimedia project, one of them is a temporary sysop and that will expire in April 2019. T Cells (talk) 20:39, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't see problems. The advanced rights not show experience. Many of us have experience before obtaining rights. It's funny how you try to divert the subject alluding inexperience. Greetings, --Galahad (sasageyo!)(esvoy) 03:45, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
There is nothing Ad hominen in trying to understand what the problem is. Why do you think CU is not automatically granted to administrators? Why do you think it's not granted to all experienced editors? If having non-admins and non-CUs to investigate CUs abuse is not a problem, that's fine. This is not to attack any member of the committee or the OC but to look at it from another perspective so that we can all understand the problems. T Cells (talk) 07:56, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I think there is value in including people with different perspectives and experiences on the OC, so long as they are sufficiently versed in the relevant policies and their application. It's a good thing that some of the people who can investigate CU misuse are not CUs themselves. – Ajraddatz (talk) 04:40, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Role involving local sysops and bureaucrats

There is some confusion at the recent RfB on over the role of ombudsman commission in regards to local sysops and bureaucrats. To my knowledge, the commission has never recommended desysoping on outside of the ArbCom process, and the general impression that I and several others have is the the commission basically only deals with issues regarding the privacy policy and global CU/OS policy.

Regardless, I think the description should be updated to accurately reflect whatever the current role of the commission is in this regard, because the current description does not appear to match practice even if the theoretical ability to review the actions of local sysops exists. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:15, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

OC is not a global arbcom. The only things they have been tasked with were WMF Board-approved and are listed at Ombudsman commission#Other documents. --Rschen7754 00:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. It is probably worth adding a line making it clear that they do not investigate things outside what the board has authorized, and explicitly listing those. This isn't the first time confusion over it has come up, and making the wording on this clearer will be good for everyone. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:38, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
I am not seeing where there would be a perceived conflict of interest which I understand was the central issue raised. Even if OmCom recommended ArbCom to desysop someone, it does not mean they would have a conflict of interest in being a sysop or a bureaucrat. At least to a degree even worth considering. Labeling that as a conflict of interest would be no more concerning than someone trying to argue that OmCom members shouldn't be Wikipedia editor since Wikipedia editors are potentially subject to OmCom actions. OmCom members are specifically selected for their extensive experience in the areas in which they oversee, namely advanced permissions that relate to private data. Bureaucrats have even less to do with it. What is actually happening here is the person who raised the issue simply has a very poor understanding of OmCom and in interpreting the policy. When challenged by people far more knowledgeable and experienced who actually perform these duties and tasks, they went out of their way to be uncivil about it. I wouldn't waste anymore time on it or them. Mkdw (talk) 18:19, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I was very clear about the criteria I would recommend to ensure separation of powers (SOP), so I don't know why you're incorrectly guessing the content of that communication since it's clear you've read it or you wouldn't be here. It's almost as though you guys feel threatend by the very concept of SOP and are now grasping at straws when all that will achieve is a Streisand effect. Samsara (talk) 19:25, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
No, they're just telling you that you don't understand the scope of the OC. The OC has no jurisdiction over bureaucrat actions, so there is no conflict of interest for DQ being a bureaucrat and being on the OC. There is a conflict of DQ being a local CU/OS on enwiki and on the OC, and she would need to recuse herself of any related investigation that she was involved, or could be seen as involved in. Your concern is also very enwiki-centric - all other projects have far less admins, and most have less bureaucrats. By your logic, nobody from those projects should be allowed on the OC, since they are all smaller groups and all could reasonably know each other.
Separation of powers is largely an American political principle, but the core concept - that those responsible for supervising a group should not be of that group themselves - is captured in the makeup of the OC. Originally, the OC was made up of CUs who relinquished their tools for the duration of their appointment. Now, the commission is drawn from a combination of CU/OSes, regular admins, and even some non-admins to give a balance of perspectives. The group also maintains strong anti-COI practices in that any member involved in an investigations recuses themself during the investigation. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:52, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
I think their reply perfectly demonstrates my point. Mkdw (talk) 07:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Call for applications: 2020 OC

Hi everyone! It's coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to serve on the Ombudsman commission (OC). This commission works on all Wikimedia projects to investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, especially in use of CheckUser and Oversight tools, and to mediate between the complaining party and the individual whose work is being investigated. They may also assist the General Counsel, the Executive Director or the Board of Trustees in investigations of these issues. For more on their duties and roles, see Ombudsman commission.

This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for appointment to this commission. Volunteers serving in this role should be experienced Wikimedians, active on any project, who have previously used the CheckUser/Oversight tools OR who have the technical ability to understand these tools and the willingness to learn them. They are expected to be able to engage neutrally in investigating these concerns and to know when to recuse when other roles and relationships may cause conflict.

Commissioners are required to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation and must be willing to comply with the appropriate Wikimedia Foundation board policies (such as the access to non-public data policy and the privacy policy). This is a position that requires a high degree of discretion and trust.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please write me an email at kbrown(at) to detail your experience on the projects, your thoughts on the commission and what you hope to bring to the role. The commission typically consists of ten members; all applications are appreciated and will be carefully considered. The deadline for applications is end of day on 31 December, 2019.

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think may be qualified and interested. Thank you! Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 12:52, 30 September 2019 (UTC)


Is there a report for the first half of the year? --Rschen7754 05:58, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Was just wondering that myself. Seems like it should be a fairly simple matter to supply the raw data, yet once again it's quite late. I certainly hope it won't just be left for the new guys to do like it was last year. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:11, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
@DeltaQuad, Dyolf77, Elmacenderesi, Emufarmers, EVinente, Galahad, Jamie Tubers, Krd, Teles, and Wikilover90: --Rschen7754 00:39, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
I had started up a report, but did not complete it a month ago as I noticed this too. I'll try and have it done by the weekend. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 09:58, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
Greetings guys, we're gonna take a look soon, as Amanda said. EVinente (talk) 11:17, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
@DeltaQuad, Dyolf77, Elmacenderesi, Emufarmers, EVinente, Galahad, Jamie Tubers, Krd, Teles, and Wikilover90: Any update? --Rschen7754 17:27, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Sorry by delay @Rschen7754:, the report are live here. Thanks. PS: Please, a sysop could put the report on the list? Thank you. EVinente (talk) 18:55, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Done. Stryn (talk) 19:13, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Thanks @Stryn:. EVinente (talk) 19:21, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

The regulation on Vietnamese Wikipedia opposed Checkuser policy of Wikimedia Foundation

I am a Wikipedian on Vietnamese Wikipedia. Some members on Vietnamese Wikipedia including ThiênĐế98 (talk · contribs), CVQT (talk · contribs), Thienhau2003 (talk · contribs) created a regulation named “Voting regulation on Vietnamese Wikipedia” which is contradictory to Checkuser policy of Wikimedia Foundation on Vietnamese Wikipedia. The Article 20 of this rule holds that after the election for approving local CheckUsers, Administrators, Bureaucrats close and 15 extended days the candidate is elected by pro/con rate without considering the required total number of votes. This means that CheckUsers is approved if there are 5 votes therein 4 supports and 1 oppose while the CheckUser policy of Wikimedian Foundation presents that “On a wiki without an Arbitration Committee that meets the criterion above, or in a project where there is a preference for independent elections, the community may approve local CheckUsers (stewards not counting as local CheckUsers) per consensus. The CheckUser candidate status must request it within the local community and advertise this request properly (village pump, mailing list when available, special request page, etc.). The candidate must be familiar with the privacy policy. After gaining consensus (at least 70%–80% in pro/con voting or the highest number of votes in multiple choice elections) in the local community, and with at least 25–30 editors' approval”. This Article also holds that after 10 extended days from closing date of voting, the regulation is approved without considering the required total number of votes. This means that a regulation is appointed with only one support. The format of “Voting regulation on Vietnamese Wikipedia” looks like a legal document of Vietnam Government. It uses the template of Vietnamese legal document. There are only 15 members participate in the voting about this regulation therein 5 members support the Article 20 while we have more than 1200 members with voting right. After ThiênĐế98 (talk · contribs) declared the regulation was approved by community, we opposed him by showing the CheckUser policy of Wikimedian Foundation but his partner Thienhau2003 (talk · contribs) created the official regulation bypass our opposing. Before the voting about this regulation there is a Vietnamese Wikipedian has been threatened that he will be arrested by police because of writing on Wikipedia. We are afraid this is an attempt of Vietnam Government to take control of Vietnamese Wikipedia. We are in danger. Everyone feels Vietnamese Wikipedia is not a safe place now. Please help us.

There are some important content in “Voting regulation on Vietnamese Wikipedia”:

Ghi chú 1: Đối với các biểu quyết chọn Kiểm định viên (CheckUser) thì cần với mức độ cao hơn, xem thêm Wikipedia:Biểu quyết chọn kiểm định viên.

Điều 20. Kết quả biểu quyết

- Riêng bầu chọn kiểm định viên phải có tối thiểu 20 phiếu. Hoặc có ít nhất 80% số người tham gia biểu quyết đồng ý.[11]

[11] Khoản quy chế này đang gây tranh cãi trong cộng đồng, do có nội dung trái với quy định CheckUser Policy của Wikipedia Foundation.

- Đối với biểu quyết về nhân sự, sau thời gian gia hạn thêm khoảng thời gian 15 ngày mà chưa hội tụ đủ số phiếu, bỏ qua quy tắc số phiếu tối thiểu, ứng viên đắc cử tính theo tỷ lệ ủng hộ.

- Đối với biểu quyết khác (các biểu quyết trừ bầu chọn và đánh giá bài viết), có thể gia hạn tối đa 10 ngày nếu không hội đủ số phiếu cần thiết. Quá thời gian này, đóng biểu quyết tính theo tỷ lệ ủng hộ trong biểu quyết.

Translate to English:

Note 1: For voting about CheckUser, it is necessary to a higher level, read Wikipedia: Voting about CheckUser.

Article 20. Voting result

- Particularly for approval CheckUser, there must be at least 20 votes. Or at least 80% of the participants agree.[11]

[11] This point is controversial in the community, because it contradicts Wikipedia Foundation's CheckUser Policy.

- For voting about personnel, after the extended 15 days without full of required number of votes, ignoring the rule of required minimum number of votes, the candidate are elected according to the support rate.

- For other voting (except for voting and rating articles), a maximum of 10 days may be extended if the required votes are not met. Past this time, voting is closed according to the percentage of support in voting.

Vietnamese Wikipedia does not have Arbitration Committee therefore I have to report this issue to you. I hope you will handle this issue.

You can contact some honest and neutral Administrators of Vietnamese Wikipedia such as DHN (talk · contribs), Alphama (talk · contribs) to investigate this issue. They know everything because they monitored and joined the voting also the discussion. You can translate “Voting regulation on Vietnamese Wikipedia” to English by yourself to know the problem. Michel9090 (talk) 08:46, 20 December 2019 (UTC)