Wikipedia talk:CheckUser

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Rangeblocking[edit]

I quote from WP:RANGE

If you propose to block a significant range, or for a significant time, consider asking a user with checkuser access to check for collateral damage – that is, for the presence of other users who may be unintentionally affected by the range block. Alternately, if you are unsure whether or not disruptive edits from a specific range can be matched to a single user, you can post a request at sock puppet investigations where an administrator or a checkuser will attempt to match users with IP addresses.

Is all of this accurate? I seem to remember reading that the collateral damage check is fine, because the only answers are "go ahead, since you won't affect any registered users" and "don't do it, since you'll hurt some registered users"; nothing is said about any specific editors. On the other hand, is anyone really going to "attempt to match users with IP addresses"? Nyttend (talk) 03:07, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's badly worded, for certain; however, that's pretty much what checkusers do, with a little extra twist of reviewing user agents and other information as well. Having said that, yes, there are real benefits in having significant rangeblocks discussed with at CU before application, and there are some ranges that should probably never be blocked, even if there's significant disruption from them. (Examples: certain countries with small ranges can be shut out almost completely, certain ISPs - particularly mobile ranges - with extremely dynamic IPs often result in significant collateral damage.) The type of range block is also a factor. A "soft" block that only prevents logged-out editing won't affect accounts, but a "hard" block will block everyone who is not an administrator. Hard blocks of ranges of any size should be run by a checkuser, should never be indefinite, and even hard blocks of individual IPs should be time-limited. Risker (talk) 03:50, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee review of procedures (CU & OS)[edit]

By resolution of the committee, our rules and internal procedures are currently being reviewed with the community. You are very welcome to participate at WT:AC/PRR. Information on the review is at WP:AC/PRR. The current phase of the review is examining the committee's procedures concerning advanced permissions (and the appointment and regulation of permissions holders). AGK [•] 11:22, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Participate in this review

Possible loophole - - Who has CheckUser rights, really?[edit]

I added this to the page, as an option for Contacting a CheckUser, with the edit summary that follows

A regular administrator on meta; meta administrators regularly self-grant CheckUser access only for the time needed to perform a CheckUser.
Contacting a CheckUser: Of last 50 edits, about 13 show CheckUser access self-granted, only for a brief time. https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=rights&user=&page=&year=2014&month=5)

Legoktm reverted with the summary

those are stewards who can't check on enwp by policy

I tried to verify that this is true. The closest I got was finding "Stewards generally do not perform actions on wikis where local users are available to perform them, except in emergency or cross-wiki cases.", at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stewards. However, that page isn't policy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Global_rights_policy#Stewards states that https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stewards_policy says that the global stewards policy says that stewards should not use their global rights to perform tasks that could be performed by local users. But I think it's just the non-policy page I linked to that says that; the actual global stewards policy page does not. Thoughts on how should this be addressed? Move content from the non-policy page to a policy page?

Also, I wonder why these stewards are just transiently giving themselves this right. Does that help or hurt the ability of the https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman_commission to perform oversight? Avraham, you're a member of the commission; can you comment, please?--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 20:21, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Speaking as a steward, I can tell you that among the active stewards, outside of certain clear-cut cases (an Arbcom requesting removal of rights, a self-req rights removal, active prevention of ongoing wide-spread cross-wiki vandalism) it is strongly discouraged for people who without local flags to use their steward flag on projects, outside of emergencies (which are usually time-sensitive OS issues). In these situations, it is incumbent on the steward to then immediately notify the local users (OS or CU) for them to review the stewards' actions. The stewards are all actively very careful of this; while I cannot say that it is policy, it is certainly treated as a very strong guideline. The reason why we give ourselves local rights instead of just assigning global rights to the steward group (which is permitted under the definition of stewards) is that we stewards voluntarily want to ensure that a check and balance exists on us and that we can be audited. While I believe (but have not checked) that even were we to run a global check on a project, the check itself appears in the local log, by requiring local rights, we ensure there is a log anyone can see on meta where we have granted ourselves said right. The only exception are members of the OC, which are assigned global CU rights for their use in following up on complaints. For steward/OC members, when we are acting as stewards, we assign ourselves local rights for the reasons listed above. -- Avi (talk) 14:55, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Considering nothing can be done about this from enwiki, meta would be the better place to discuss it. Stewards grant and revoke local checkuser access to their own accounts in accordance with two policies: the checkuser policy and the steward policy. The former specifies that stewards can use checkuser by granting and revoking local access. The latter specifies that stewards can perform the role of any user group when one does not exist locally. So, on projects with no local checkusers, we act as checkusers (or rarely we act on projects with checkusers when there is xwiki abuse or in an emergency). The fact that we add and remove ourselves to the local checkuser group from meta maximizes transparency - if this were not done, it would be nearly impossible for the OC and other stewards to review our actions. Ajraddatz (Talk) 20:31, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Something can be done fron enwiki. Enwiki could be more self-reliant / not make (?what have become?) untrue assertions about or rely on policies/pages out of its control. So is ":those are stewards who can't check on enwp by policy" verifiable or not? I'm not sure if you're agreeing with me or not.
I submit that checkuser policy should not say "Stewards - upon request" unless they only have that right upon request, which does not seem to be the case. Rather, it should say "Stewards" or better yet "Stewards" plus something that's accurate - e.g. that stewards self-grant local checkuser access on meta only for a brief time, because that maximizes transparency, but I can raise that there.--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 21:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
To directly answer your question, stewards cannot check on enwiki by policy (specifically the steward policy which states that stewards replace local users when they are not available, such as when a wiki has no local CUs). The rest would be best brought up on meta. Ajraddatz (Talk) 21:28, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Link (to the steward policy which states that) please? I'm aware of the meta non-policy that says, "Stewards generally do not perform actions on wikis where local users are available to perform them, except in emergency or cross-wiki cases.", which I quoted in my original post.--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 21:51, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
m:s - the stewards page on meta is a policy, or rather reflects what is done. Specifically "Stewards are empowered to act as members of any permissions group on any project with no active member of that permissions group" and, as you have mentioned, "Stewards generally do not perform actions on wikis where local users are available to perform them". Ajraddatz (Talk) 22:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
En:WP can do something, the AUSC can record and publish the number of Steward and other non-local CU/OS actiosn, and ensure that they are properly accounted for. All the best: Rich Farmbrough22:14, 31 May 2014 (UTC).

Audit Subcommittee vacancies: Call for applications (2014)[edit]

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint three non-arbitrator members to the Audit Subcommittee ("AUSC"). The Committee is comprised of six members and is tasked with investigations concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia. The AUSC also monitors CheckUser and Oversight activity and use of the applicable tools. The current non-arbitrator members are Guerillero, MBisanz, and Richwales, whose terms were to expire on June 30 2014 but were extended until August 27 2014 by the Committee.

Matters brought before the subcommittee may be time-sensitive and subcommittee members should be prepared and available to discuss cases promptly so they may be resolved in a timely manner. Sitting subcommittee members are expected to actively participate in AUSC proceedings and may be replaced should they become inactive. All subcommittee members are given both CheckUser and Oversight access. They are subject to the relevant local and global policies and guidelines concerning CheckUser and Oversight.

If you think you may be suitably qualified, please email arbcom-en-c@lists.wikimedia.org to start the application procedure for an appointment ending 31 August 2015. The application period will close at 23:59, 29 July 2014 (UTC). Further information is also available here.

For the Arbitration Committee,
WormTT(talk) 09:32, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Discuss this

Audit Subcommittee vacancies: last call for applications[edit]

This is a reminder that the application period for the three non-arbitrator seats on the Audit Subcommittee will close at 23:59, 29 July 2014 (UTC).

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint three non-arbitrator members to the Audit Subcommittee ("AUSC"). The Committee is comprised of six members and is tasked with investigations concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia. The AUSC also monitors CheckUser and Oversight activity and use of the applicable tools. The current non-arbitrator members are Guerillero, MBisanz, and Richwales, whose terms were to expire on June 30 2014 but were extended until August 27 2014 by the Committee.

Matters brought before the subcommittee may be time-sensitive and subcommittee members should be prepared and available to discuss cases promptly so they may be resolved in a timely manner. Sitting subcommittee members are expected to actively participate in AUSC proceedings and may be replaced should they become inactive. All subcommittee members are given both CheckUser and Oversight access. They are subject to the relevant local and global policies and guidelines concerning CheckUser and Oversight.

Please note that due to Wikimedia Foundation rules governing access to deleted material, only applications from administrators will be accepted.

If you think you may be suitably qualified, please email arbcom-en-c@lists.wikimedia.org with your nomination statement to start the application procedure for an appointment ending 31 August 2015. The application period will close at 23:59, 29 July 2014 (UTC). Further information is also available here.

For the Arbitration Committee, WormTT(talk) 10:21, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Discuss this

Audit Subcommittee appointments (2014): Invitation to comment on candidates[edit]

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint at least three non-arbitrator members to the Audit Subcommittee, and is now seeking comments from the community regarding the candidates who have volunteered for this role.

Interested parties are invited to review the appointments page containing the nomination statements supplied by the candidates and their answers to a few standard questions. Community members may also pose additional questions and submit comments about the candidates on the individual nomination subpages or privately via email to arbcom-en-c@lists.wikimedia.org.

Following the consultation phase, the committee will take into account the answers provided by the candidates to the questions and the comments offered by the community (both publicly and privately) along with any other relevant factors before making a final decision regarding appointments.

The consultation phase is scheduled to end 23:59, 12 August 2014 (UTC), and the appointments are scheduled to be announced by 27 August 2014.

For the Arbitration Committee,
WormTT(talk) 08:14, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

where to ask re true/claimed identity of a user[edit]

If not here, as this seems to be about checking on multiple accounts/sockpuppetry, where is there the appropriate forum to look into a very POV editor's actual identity? their username resembles that of a major PAC of some note, the views of which are mirrored in the discussion I've encountered them in, and their talkpage and contributions history, including not a small amount of misleading edit comments and mis-sourcing/conflating indicate something other than what is claimed on their userpage.Skookum1 (talk) 04:51, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

IP block exemption[edit]

I have some concerns and questions on the IP block exemption usergroup, specifically its abuse potential and possible split. I would appreciate some input here. Cenarium (talk) 22:54, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Questions embedded in text[edit]

I've removed these questions by KDS4444 embedded as comments:

<!-- What, exactly, is supposed to constitute an "emergency"??-->, you should contact the Wikimedia Foundation<!--And how should a person do that? If this is serious, then "contact the Wikimedia Foundation" should be a wikilink to such information. If it is not serious, then it should not be mentioned at all. Again, what the heck is an emergency? Can anyone give an example of one? Without an example, this piece of instruction is not very useful. --> NE Ent 12:02, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Checkuser and Oversight appointments 2015: Voting on the candidates[edit]

Following community consultation, the Arbitration Committee is now voting on appointments to the Checkuser and Oversight roles at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Motions. Comments are welcomed at that page.

For the Arbitration Committee;

Courcelles (talk) 19:27, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

2015 Checkuser and Oversight appointments: Candidates appointed[edit]

Following community consultation and voting. the Arbitration Committee is pleased to appoint the following users to the Functionary team.

  • The following users are appointed as Oversighters:

The Committee would like to thank the community and all the candidates for bringing this process to a successful conclusion.

For the Arbitration Committee;

Courcelles (talk) 03:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Discuss this

Arbitration proposed regarding giving Philippe CheckUser and Oversight tools[edit]

A motion has been proposed by the Arbitration Committee to give Philippe (talk · contribs) CheckUser and Oversight tools. Community comments are welcome on the motions page. For the Arbitration Committee, Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 13:54, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Checkuser privileges[edit]

It doesn't seem like this talk page gets much traffic but I wanted to raise the question about former arbitrators retaining the checkuser right (see Wikipedia:CheckUser#Users with CheckUser permissions). I think that if they are not actively using this ability to assist with sockpuppet investigations or other investigations, former arbitrators shouldn't have this permission indefinitely. Perhaps for a year after they aren't on the Arbitration Committee but I think that since it involves access to private information, if it's not being used for the betterment of Wikipedia, it should removed on the same basis that admin status is removed due to inactivity.
If these former arbitrators are helping out at WP:SPI or are involved in doing some editor investigation (which I believe is true with Risker), then there is no reason to remove the privilege. But otherwise, it seems like it is a right that should be relinquished if it is not needed. Liz Read! Talk! 15:23, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi Liz, anyone with CheckUser or Oversight permissions are subject to the activity requirements (5 logged actions in 3 months, including one community requested) unless they are a current arb, community auditor or on the Ombudsman Commission. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 03:24, 10 December 2015 (UTC)