Wikipedia talk:CheckUser

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Audit Subcommittee vacancies: Call for applications (2013)[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 Avraham, MBisanz, and Ponyo, whose terms were to expire on February 28 but were extended with their agreement until April 30 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 but are expected to not make regular use of them unless needed. 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 30 June 2014. The application period will close at 23:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC). Further information is also available here.

For the Arbitration Committee,
NW (Talk) 18:16, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Discuss this

Fishing?[edit]

(Discussion arose on AN under "User:Evangp unblock request" [1], moved here)

Evangp (talk · contribs) was blocked for socking in September 2010. He used socks; the last was 6 months ago, Buttchunker (talk · contribs). There's no indication of any activity from him since then.

DeltaQuad performed a checkuser [2].

In the procedural policy, WP:FISHING is defined as, "to check an account where there is no credible evidence to suspect sockpuppetry. Checks are inappropriate unless there is evidence suggesting abusive sock-puppetry."

As CU can only see back a few months, and there is no indication of any activity since 6 months ago, this seems to fit the definition of fishing. 88.104.27.2 (talk) 16:04, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Checkuser policy is open to interpretation, and deliberately so. Him having used sockpuppets in the past is certainly credible evidence of sockpuppetry. It is current practice to occasionally check blocked sockmasters to see if they have created any sleeper accounts to vandalise with. Checking a former sockmaster to see if he's still socking, when his unblock request depends pivotally on him not having used sockpuppets recently, is not fishing. Additionally, see the quote from the global checkuser policy below.

The tool is to be used to fight vandalism, to check for sockpuppet abuse, and to limit disruption of the project. It must be used only to prevent damage to any of Wikimedia projects.

This check definitely falls under the clause of preventing damage to Wikimedia projects, as unblocking someone who is actively using sockpuppets could be very damaging to this project. If my response does not satisfy you, then I recommend contacting the Audit Subcommittee so they can verify this for you. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 16:42, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess it comes down to interpretation of "no credible evidence to suspect sockpuppetry" then. Maybe the policy should be clearer on that point, or maybe it's just me. Possibly the 'fishing' section should specifically exclude people with a history of socking. 88.104.27.2 (talk) 16:47, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It's pretty vague on meta, too - "There must be a valid reason to check a user". To you, someone socking 6 months ago is enough; I wouldn't have thought it was. I'm sure some could interpret just 'using an IP address and knowing what they're doing on the wiki", ie me, now is a valid reason to check a user too? The current policy, and interpretations of it, means a CU can pretty much check anyone, any time? 88.104.27.2 (talk) 16:51, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I actually pointed out that specific sentence to the legal team recently, as it's tautological and totally useless. Regarding the checks, I'm pretty sure you know that is a misrepresentation of the way things are done. If you do know this, then your argument is a straw man and not worth responding to. If you do not know this, then you should definitely be reading up more on our practices and standards before launching discussions here. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 16:59, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
And also, it's actually a bit pointless commenting here too, as nobody here actually has the authority to change anything, or punish people for misusing the tool. The appropriate avenue for you to pursue is contacting the Audit Subcommittee. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 17:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I asked here, because I wanted to try to understand if it fitted the policy as 'fishing' - it seems to to me, but I wondered if others did. 88.104.27.2 (talk) 20:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
You're more than welcome to do so. My apologies, I should have clarified; our debate was pointless, but your enquiry was not. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 17:14, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

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, 1 April 2013 (UTC), less than 36 hours from now.

The Audit Subcommittee ("AUSC") 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 Avraham, MBisanz, and Ponyo, whose terms were to expire on February 28 but were extended with their agreement until April 30 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 but are expected to not make regular use of them unless needed. 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 to start the application procedure for an appointment ending 30 June 2014. Once again, the application period will close at 23:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC). Further information is also available here.

For the Arbitration Committee, T. Canens (talk) 14:57, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Discuss this

Audit Subcommittee appointments (2013): 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, 17 April 2013 (UTC), and the appointments are scheduled to be announced by 28 April 2013.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Risker (talk) 04:42, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Name[edit]

Shouldn't users who have access to the CheckUser tool really be known as "CheckUserers" or "CheckUserUsers"? ;) FrigidNinja 01:08, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia (WP). That would be logical, I guess, but WP is not a strictly logical place by any means. NE Ent 01:18, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I was joking, but thanks. Being logical is boring! --FrigidNinja 02:16, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

RFC regarding the scope of the Ombudsman Commission[edit]

The Ombudsman Commission is currently holding a request for comment. Currently, the Commission only hears complaints regarding the privacy policy. We propose to change the scope of the Commission to also include hearing complaints about the global Checkuser and m:Oversight policy policies.

For more information please visit the RFC, which can be found at m:Requests for comment/Scope of Ombudsman Commission. Please direct all questions and comments there.

For the Ombudsman Commission,

--(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 21:24, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Why not check banned users?[edit]

I'm not exactly active in the areas of administration that would require me to use CheckUser services that frequently, so I apologize in advance if this is a naive suggestion—but why don't we do a procedural checkuser of anyone who is issued a formal ban (i.e. by the community or by ArbCom)? It would mean we could find the existence of any other sleeper accounts the person might use to circumvent the ban, and if it happens to be a "bad hand" account of another user, we would be able to find the master. The only objection I can think to this offhand is an argument that this constitutes fishing, but if they have violated other policies so grievously that they have been asked to permanently leave the project, I would argue that they are in a position of not being trusted to have followed the sockpuppet policy anyway. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 18:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

If they haven't logged in for 90 days, it would be useless because they wouldn't have any stored ip adresses to compare other users against. At least, that's my understanding.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 22:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't necessarily thinking of users that are banned now, but rather in the future, whenever a ban is issued, that a checkuser is done as part of the banning procedure. Of course, you're right, if they hadn't used another account in the 90 days prior to the ban, the check would show nothing. But on the other hand, site bans are (or should be) an exceptional enough occurrence that it shouldn't be too labor-intensive to run a procedural check as a preventative measure. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 23:14, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

2013 CheckUser and Oversight appointments: Call for applications[edit]

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint additional users to the CheckUser and Oversight teams. Experienced editors are invited to apply for either or both of the permissions, and current holders of either permission are also invited to apply for the other.

Successful candidates are likely to be regularly available and already familiar with local and global processes, policies, and guidelines especially those concerning CheckUser and Oversight. CheckUser candidates are expected to be technically proficient, and previous experience with OTRS is beneficial for Oversight candidates. Trusted users who frequent IRC are also encouraged to apply for either permission. All candidates must at least 18 years of age; have attained legal majority in their jurisdiction of residence; and be willing to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation prior to receiving permissions.

If you think you may be suitably qualified, please see the appointments page for further information. The application period is scheduled to close 22 July 2013.

For the Arbitration Committee, — ΛΧΣ21 22:03, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Discuss this

2013 CheckUser and Oversight appointments: Invitation to comment on candidates[edit]

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint additional users to the CheckUser and Oversight teams, 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 all other relevant factors before making a final decision regarding appointments.

The consultation phase is scheduled to end 23:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC), and the appointments are scheduled to be announced by 24 August 2013.

For the Arbitration Committee, Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:06, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Discuss this announcement

Motion proposed regarding activity levels for holders of both CU and OS tools[edit]

A motion has been proposed regarding activity levels for holders of both CU and OS tools. If you wish to comment, please join the discussion at the motion on the motions page. Thanks. Carcharoth (talk) 01:55, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Please review these checkuser blocks[edit]

Please review the indef IP CU blocks at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject on open proxies/IP indefblock review 2014/CU blocks. Thanks. -- zzuuzz (talk) 08:40, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

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