Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-08-30/Discussion report

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Meta proposals on partial bans and IP users: Can we survive without IP addresses?


Two major Meta proposals

Two global proposals were drafted this month with wide impacts for many Wikimedia projects. One is a planned community consultation (à la the talk pages consultation—remember when that seemed really controversial?) to open up to the community the question of how partial and temporary office actions should be applied, if at all. This consultation was created in response to the controversial decision to use office actions to temporarily ban a user from English Wikipedia only (summary of the events here and a previous Signpost Discussion report).

The drafting page lists the following planned questions for the consultation:

  1. How should partial and temporary Foundation bans be used (if at all)? On all projects, or only on a subset?
    1. Large ones with an elaborate conflict resolution body as the ArbCom on the English language Wikipedia
    2. Medium-sized ones with a working process for conflict resolution but not elaborate or fully formal
    3. Small ones where neither follow up on all edits is done nor a proper conflict resolution mechanism exists within the community
  2. Can the Office Actions policy on partial and temporary bans, as written (circa June 2019), be used? If not, what changes need to be made to its text?
  3. How should partial and temporary Foundation bans ideally be implemented, if they should be?
    1. For what types of behavior should the Foundation issue partial or temporary office actions?
    2. Should partial and temporary office actions be appealable?
    3. What duration(s) should be available for partial and temporary office actions?
    4. What other considerations should be taken into account when using partial or temporary office actions?
    5. To what extent should the community be allowed to participate in the discussion about temporary Office Actions? What if the temporary Office Actions were challenged by the local community?

Discussion of the draft is currently closed, and the consultation is expected to begin soon.

The other consultation draft concerns Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) plans to hide IP addresses at some point in the future, replacing them with identifiers like "Anonymous 12345". The WMF cited concerns regarding user privacy in making this plan, noting that unregistered users actually have less privacy than registered users (for example, IPs can be geolocated). At this time, it is unclear whether users such as administrators, CheckUsers, or other users with advanced permission will still be able to see IP addresses. The page says IPs "should be exposed to as few people as possible", but that they will be provided where necessary. Many users have expressed opposition to this plan because it would make it harder for wikis to fight abuse. The WMF is still working on ways to hide IPs without creating this issue.

In brief

  • As a follow-up to the move of the years 1–99 to "AD 1", etc. (as well as some higher-numbered pages with special significance, like 911 and 404), it has been proposed that all the other years up to 999 be moved according to the same pattern.
  • The appropriateness of private hearings, particularly whether evidence must be disclosed to accused parties, is being discussed on the village pump. This request for comment came up as a result of the Fram arbitration case.
  • Strategic recommendations from WMF working groups have been released here.