Talk:Oversight policy/Archives/2012

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in 2012, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Proposed rename

Please see Meta:Proposed_page_moves#Oversight. Thank you. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 12:26, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Rename proposal was successful.[1] John Vandenberg (talk) 08:11, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Clarity of scope

RFC to get a sense whether the community would endorse an extra sentence added to Oversight policy to clarify the places the tool is capable of being used, due to richer user interactions in the pipeline involving public-created posts that aren't strictly "wiki" posts.


Okeyes (WMF) in his WMF role has stated that the General Counsel "requires" an oversight function for the feedback tool. Oversight might be needed in new types of user interface as novel collaboration tools are developed. Policy wording isn't 100% clear on oversighting such material, although one might assume obviousness since it's user-created content. Conditional on WMF consent, would the community support adding the following sentence at #use, before the sentence "Local oversighters should...":

This policy applies to any content posted on public areas of WMF hosted websites or that may be displayed to anyone viewing such public areas, subject to technical provision and activation of a suitable tool.

The expression "public areas" matches the wording of the draft Terms of Use. The middle clause allows use of oversight on public area content regardless how the content was put on the public websites or who might ever see it. The end clause means oversight is only applicable to content for which an oversight tool is actually provided and activated (at a technical level).

FT2 (Talk | email) 03:01, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

There are instances, for example, troop movements, where oversight must be used regardless of where or how they are published. I use troop movements as an example because they fall in the same category as child pornography; there is a law which explicitly forbids publication of troop movements in time of war. (I recall, I'm not running off to research and confirm it right now.) However, much oversight is of trivial matters, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. The more the software opens itself up to chatter, in terms of volume and variety, the more difficult it is to monitor both serious and trivial problems. At some point, if the system is open enough and the rules broad enough, oversight is no longer sustainable. Fred Bauder 16:02, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The crime of espionage during war consists of collecting, recording, publishing, or communicating "any information" about troop movements, ships, aircraft, or war materials and any other information" which might be useful to the enemy." Article Source:
since the current OS policy only rules in which cases the use of the tool is approved, and not in which cases it is mandatory, I don't think that these concerns are a big problem. If really no longer sustainable, just leave the trivial stuff unoversighted, no policy is broken by that (though it would be better to remove the causes of unsustainability). I think that the suggestion of FT2 makes a lot of sense. --Tinz 18:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It sounds good to me. It'd be unfortunate if someone tried to use the lack of explicit wording to say that we can't oversight e.g., libel because it didn't happen in the mainspace or something equally silly. WhatamIdoing 21:20, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this change. Everything should be technically and by policy oversightable. I don't see why in some areas nothing should be hidden, for example an evil-minded user can work for his information to be triggered by the AbuseFilter and to be kept on AbuseFilter logs. I don't see a reason why they would have the right to remove page contents and not the same thing written in any other area (such as AbuseFilter log in my example). -- Quentinv57 (talk) 15:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Reaper Eternal (talk) 16:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
That is reasonable. John Vandenberg (talk) 08:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
It's reasonable provided that we're not changing what is oversighted, as some of the comments above seem to imply, but only where the same kind of things is oversighted; and that it is not meant as a request of implementation of such tools, but only as an acknowledgement. That said, "WMF hosted websites" is too generic, let's write Wikimedia projects or "[public] wikis hosted by the WMF", because this obviously doesn't apply to mail: for instance. Nemo 09:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
It could apply to mail: if there was a tool which allowed for the mail archives to be redacted, and this tool which given to identified people outside the WMF. This is covered by the phrase "subject to technical provision and activation of a suitable tool". That said, I have no objection to either of the two alternatives you have proposed, and like the simplicity of just saying "Wikimedia projects" rather than overly complicated phrases. John Vandenberg (talk) 09:16, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
My rationale is that we usually leave non-wikis alone, those are managed by the staff or by whoever is responsible. Otherwise, someone could always claim that there is "a suitable tool" and the policy is binding, even if it's not the case at all. Nemo 10:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Inactivity beyond one year

If the account owner denotes that they will be inactive for a longer (but finite and predetermined) period of time they should be exempt from a demotion provided the wiki has two or more other Oversight users. This is particularly a problem for people whom needs to be away form the site for a variety of reasons including draft, illness and other such real-world reasons. Users access can be removed until return date where they would need to verify their identity. -- とある白い猫 chi? 19:50, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

That is clearly not allowed under the policy. Nothing stops them from reapplying on their return. As for the "should", no they should not. There's plenty of valid reasons to be away from the site, and nobody would dispute that; but that makes them inactive. Inactive users should not have access to advanced and sensitive userrights. It should be removed as provided by policy, and they're free to reapply at any time. I'm sure if they were entrusted with it two years before, they would be entrusted with it two years later. Snowolf How can I help? 19:53, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
This leads to serious discrimination of people from countries that have draft though. Re-election is a painful process. Also this way it would be possible to avoid waiting a full year to demote people whom won't be using the tools. It is an alternative to full-resign. -- とある白い猫 chi? 19:56, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
First, I don't get what discrimination you're referring to. Oversight and Checkuser are advanced userrights, and if one doesn't use them, they should be taken away. It's not a punitive action that discriminates about people, nor are people entitled to userrights indefinitely while they don't use them, for whatever reason. Second, I don't see how running for CU or OS is a painful process. It is a process by which community establish trusts and competence. I might be lenghty in some cases sure, but if it's "painful" to some people, they shouldn't go thru it, I'd say o_O, I'm a bit confused as to why you consider it to cause pain to candidates, I would suggest that if that is the case, then the processes should be seriously fixed. As for waiting the full year, I would expect users to resign voluntarily before going inactive for such a length of time if they knew it ahead of time, that seems to me the responsible course of action from their part. I'm unsure about the identity verification part, it is not routinely performed or prescribed aside from the one-time identify verification by the WMF. Snowolf How can I help? 20:11, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Here is a scenario. A very active oversight and/or checkuser is required by law to take part in a 15 month draft. Instead of being irresponsible and taking chances (as draftees may have internet access every now and then) he or she decides to let meta know that he will be not there for an extended period of time. His access is removed in the duration until his designated return date. So as to make sure the returning user is the same one as departing the identity can be verified. This is kind of what I have in mind. -- とある白い猫 chi? 20:18, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Well the scenario I see is, he's drafted, he resigns, he comes back, he says "I'm back", files a RfO and everybody says "Welcome back" and he gets his rights back. I don't see what's wrong with the current procedure. Snowolf How can I help? 20:19, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Oversight and CheckUsers should have the ability to take breaks without risking a new election. If he or she was from a country that did not have the draft he wouldn't have to worry about this hence why we should not be apathetic towards the needs of the well meaning people that serves us. What is the point of this second election beyond bureaucratic reasons?
Also consider the fact that some oversight and/or check user actions while necessary are not popular and elections are a popularity contenst - moreso on some wikis. While people would not oppose the re-promotion (or else they would have requested the removal of access prior) of the oversight and/or checkuser, they would not necessarily support the return. This will be exactly what trolls will be looking for. It takes little effort to disrupt RfX votes after all.
Requiring people to resign to take breaks is stupid.
-- とある白い猫 chi? 09:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
If the communities don't support a return of the user-right to the user, that's all the more reason why to hold elections. All community-granted userrights serve at the pleasure of the community. Snowolf How can I help? 11:57, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes and if they have issues they can at any point request a demotion. There may not be a community consensus to re-elect an individual while not enough of a consensus to demote. -- とある白い猫 chi? 15:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
We could take an intermediate approach, which is to remove access for inactivity and then restore it upon request. There appears to be nothing prohibiting that approach in this policy. That's what we would likely o if an account got acked by a spammer, after all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:53, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. People would be more willing to get strip of access when taking a break from editing if they know they would get it back (after verifying identity as a measure against hacking). -- とある白い猫 chi? 15:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)