Wikipedia talk:CheckUser

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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.

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 However, that page isn't policy. states that 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 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 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 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

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)

Regarding this policy[edit]

This policy is up for discussion at the policy village pump. Anyone is encouraged to contribute. (talk) 01:19, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Active/Inactive status[edit]

It was suggested off-wiki, and I thought it was a good suggestion, that there be an alternate listing of checkuser by status, whether they are active, temporarily inactive or just plain inactive. It is actually the normal behavior for arbitrators, arbitration clerks and SPI clerks to declare their status and I don't see why it wouldn't be a good idea for checkusers, too.
The rationale for adopting this standard was an observation that there are checkusers who regularly take time off and don't post a notice about it on their talk page. So, editors or admins who were seeking information about a block they had imposed or investigation they worked on would have no idea of whether they are around, if they are away for months and when they might be returning. If there was a list stating which checkuser were inactive, the editor/admin would know that they should consult an active CUer for clarification or considering an unblock request.
I have the suspicion that, as on the arbitration lists, that CUers might post a notice about their unavailability on the functionaries email list. I think sharing this information (just a CUers current status, not when they might go active or inactive and when they might return) would be immensely helpful for editors and admins and I don't see a downside to incorporating this suggestion. Your thoughts? Liz Read! Talk! 15:11, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

I approve. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 18:30, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

What constitutes a need for CheckUser?[edit]

I'm aware that a CU needs quite a bit of evidence in an SPI to use the tool, but what constitutes enough evidence for a CU and what constitutes too much evidence (if there is such a thing)? I've searched several CU Wikipedia policies, but I have yet to find an answer.

Side note: If there is a good answer for this question, it might help to add that answer to a page about CUs somewhere on Wikipedia (if it hasn't already been done) so others know what exactly they need in order for a CU to look at the case.

-- Gestrid (talk) 16:33, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Draft looking for feedback[edit]

I've started a preliminary draft about outing and COI procedures at User:Tryptofish/Drafts/COI List Draft. Feedback about it is welcome at User talk:Tryptofish/Drafts/COI List Draft. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:46, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

There is now a proposal at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal for a confidential COI mailing list. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:34, 16 August 2016 (UTC)


Hi, I have a question as I am curious to know more about how a CheckUser investigation works. Can a CheckUser see if somebody is using the same device or using the same WiFi to edit (for example; just making a scenario up—if somebody got blocked, switched their router off and on again to change their IP address, created a sockpuppet account to get around the block—can a CheckUser check if a person was using the same device—such as a phone, laptop, or desktop computer etc., or using the same WiFi connection to edit)? Plankton55 (talk) 17:20, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Is "sock puppetry" hyphenated or not?[edit]

I know it doesn't really matter, but for the purpose of internal consistency of spelling, should this page use the same unhyphenated form as the title of Wikipedia Sock puppetry? Right now there are six instances of "sock-puppetry", one of "sock puppetry" and two of "sockpuppetry". Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:36, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

" doesn't really matter". Correct. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 01:44, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess (笑) Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:08, 19 October 2016 (UTC)


In this edit, User:AGK boldly changed the policy from "Such requests are typically declined on the English Wikipedia" to "Such requests are not accepted on the English Wikipedia". The edit also removed the reason: "note, however, that requesting a checkuser in these circumstances is sometimes part of the attempt to disrupt".

I didn't see any discussions in the archive about this, and I wonder whether that's the ideal form. I've got nothing in particular against a self-requested check, so long as the significant limitations are known (i.e., "can't prove a negative"). But I'm thinking that the practical difference is relatively low – depending upon how you read the sentence. Saying that self-requests are "not accepted, unless someone decides to IAR in extraordinary cases" works for me; "not accepted, meaning absolutely never, and we'll punish any CU who dares to make an exception to the rare case" would not work so well for me. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:40, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

WP:CU reads like software documentation[edit]

I believe this page is neither concise nor thorough enough for the everyday user, a point that has occurred to me at times in many of the numerous SPI investigations I've worked with. WP:UAL explains the function much better. Should I be WP:BOLD and suggest some improvements? Mark Schierbecker (talk) 18:30, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

done. I'll continue tweaking later. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 22:52, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Request to explain types of CheckUser privileges[edit]

This post is to seek knowledge on how CheckUser privileges work.

As a former webmaster, I can only assume that CheckUser Sysops can query variables such as client IP address, HTTP user agent (e.g. OS, browser version, device make/model), cookies, and session variables that are readily available and transmitted over the web, when certain user click actions occur:

  • login/logout
  • account creation
  • article creation
  • article update
  • article delete

What I want to know is whether CheckUsers can view browsing history of a given IP address. In other words, I want to know:

  • if CheckUsers can view what pages a given IP has read or navigated to?
  • and similarly, if CheckUsers can view what IPs have read or navigated to a given page?

Thank you for your help. -- (talk) 01:52, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

You don't need to post a request across multiple noticeboards, so please just pick one and delete the others. And the answer is no. Checkusers can only view hidden metadata related to logged user actions, so they cannot see what pages an IP has browsed, or what IPs have browsed a given page. They cannot tell how an editor reached a page either. The Wikimedia foundation does collect limited amounts of information about this, but it is only kept in the minimal fashion required to observe the geographic distribution of readership, mitigate dDoS attacks, block TOS violating web crawlers, or whatever other analytics the foundation feels like doing in house. That data is not available to the checkusers. I'll crosspost this, so you can just send followup questions however you feel like, if you feel like, or just ask me at my talk page. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:58, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

CU on undisclosed paid editors[edit]

Back in 2015, there was a strong consensus at User:Doc_James/Paid_editing#9._Lower_the_bar_for_sockpuppetry_investigations_of_spammers that standards for CU be lowered when investigating undisclosed paid editors and User:Risker recently pointed out on Jimbo's talk page that little had been done to take any of the proposals forward. In my opinion there is too much ambiguity in the current policy as to whether CU can or cannot be used to check suspected undisclosed paid editors and I would appreciate more clarity. I would only suggest that CU is used when it is evident that a user is creating suspect content, and it is highly likely that they are not a new user, or when editors established users are busted as UPEs. i.e. this wouldn't apply to newbies writing about themselves/the company they work for. To me, this falls under the points 3 or 4 of the current grounds for checking but it would help if this was written explicity into policy, either here or at WP:PAID. I guess SPI would still be the best venue, but it would differ from the current position where there needs to be evidence linking accounts, which there often is not if throwaways are used. A contemporary example of a throwaway where this would apply is Wikiwookie11 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) and an example of an established user is FoCuSandLeArN (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). (Note that I will post on Jimbo's TP about this discussion.) SmartSE (talk) 11:05, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

First, I'll get a few administrative factors out of the way. First, my view on the legitimacy of the paid editing policy. Second, the "strong consensus" was very limited. Third, we are not able to expand the checkuser policy, we can only limit it's use further. (see the notice at the top of the page that says it's a global policy coming down from the Wikimedia Foundation.
On to the actual issue at hand. While we refuse to do checks solely on the basis of paid editing, there are definitely instances where we check accounts that are likely to be socking and paid editing. Looking into Wikiwookie11, I have to challenge your assertion you know this user is not "writing about themselves or the company they work for", how do you know that? I would decline to run a check on this as there is no indication that this account has spread within the article or to other articles. Now if they had recreated a similar page with a new user account after deletion, that would be grounds to run a check. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 13:05, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Well no one opposed it, unlike other proposals that were made and as you point out, this is pretty much the way things are handled at the moment, it's just not written down anywhere. That's fine for those of us who know that CUs will handle it, but not for anyone else who comes across these suspicious accounts. Did you check the deleted contribs? They wrote about several different companies. SmartSE (talk) 13:31, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi all. This page got flagged to me, and I wanted to offer some clarification around the checkuser policy (policies, actually) that might be helpful. First, to the extent I understand the policy structure, I think Amanda is correct that the English language checkuser policy has to match with the global checkuser policy on Meta. Second, WMF legal recently discussed the global checkuser policy in a response to a request from the ombudsman commission where we explained that the global policy was drafted by community members and can be edited by community members (including expanded) if desired. There are limits to any expansion, due to the access to non-public information policy, which limits anyone with the checkuser right and is a WMF-drafted policy that can't be changed. But, within those limits, it's possible for the community to make alterations to the global checkuser policy and potentially then expand the English one to match. That doesn't address the substantive issue here, but I hope that helps with the discussion. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 02:46, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I think that ArbCom should approve any such investigation, possibly provately, to cover the CheckUsers against allegations of fishing expeditions, but yes, this seems like a good idea. Guy (Help!) 21:32, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    • Arbcom doesn't have anything to do with this, and I'm flabbergasted that anyone would think so. Arbcom can't protect CUs from anything. Someone can take a CU to the Ombuds, and they'll make their ruling based on the interpretations they're used to on their projects (many of which are much, much stricter than Enwiki), and Arbcom doesn't have any say in the matter. Now...having personally led an extremely ambitious "paid editing" related CU review, I can tell you that we *will* do such checks when there's an indication of socking in promotional articles. But also keep in mind, these tend to be very involved and labour-intensive checks, and we don't have great tools to track these things when we're in the middle of a major investigation. Checkuser Wiki isn't flexible enough, and we had to resort to spreadsheets to track our findings. I strongly suspect that only Enwiki CUs do this at all. I'm very certain that English Wikipedia has the lowest bar of all Wikimedia projects when it comes to the use of the CheckUser tool. Risker (talk) 23:47, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
OK, stamp me "clueless" and s/ArbCom/$HIGHERAUTHORITY/ of some kind. Point stands: in order for a CU to conduct a check on a possible paid editor, some reasonably transparent and accountable process ought to be in place, while not tipping our hand in advance. I don't think my worst enemy would accuse me of being a supporter or enabler of paid editing, this is all about making sure the CUs have proper air cover in an excrement / air movement system colocation situation. Guy (Help!) 00:06, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, JzG. There was a point at which I was concerned that I was digging too deep with Orangemoody and could potentially get blasted if someone complained to the Ombuds. The WMF and the Board weren't my worry - they'd actually been read into the situation very early in the investigation and were very supportive. It was the broader Wikimedia community that I was concerned about, and I've had some pretty respected Wikimedians tell me in person that they didn't consider it "best practice". English Wikipedia, for better or worse, is part of that broader community. That we would have even allowed 2/3 of the deleted articles to have been posted to our project instead of speedily deleted counts against getting much sympathy from other projects for our socking problems. Hmmm...some of those articles have been recreated... Risker (talk) 01:09, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Allows All Users Limited Checkuser[edit]

I think it would help prevent sockpuppets a lot more if all users had a limited check-user-like ability. Now, clearly not all users should have access to the actual content of the check user information (they shouldn't have access to the underlying technical data including client IP address, HTTP user agent, cookies, etc.). Instead, what if all users had the ability to see if any two accounts had ever shared the same client IP address? All you would get are "plausible" (they shared the same IP at least once), or "impossible" (they never shared the same IP). It wouldn't prove that the two accounts are actually the same person (more detailed look at the technical data by an actual check user would be needed for that along with their behavior), but it would be enough to at least start an SPI and examine it closer. Also it couldn't be used when one of the accounts is an IP account (as that would reveal the underlying technical data about the non-IP user). Can anyone identify any potential privacy problems with this? -Obsidi (talk) 18:18, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

@Obsidi: Think about this: User A publishes their location as Amsterdam. User B is highly private and doesn't want their location to be known more accurately than Planet Earth. If both editors went to the same cafe/library/whatever and edited, your tool out out User B as probably being in Amsterdam. User B's wishes for privacy have just been lost. [stwalkerster|talk] 17:41, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
The Wikimedia has stringent privacy policies in place for good reason. This proposal/musing violates them and would never be accepted by the community.--Jezebel's Ponyobons mots 18:20, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Sock puppetry, only one account identified[edit]

I have conclusive evidence of sock puppetry and bad faith editing in violation of both WP:SPAM and WP:PAID, but I have identified only one of the involved accounts. How can I request a CheckUser investigation in this case? It falls under points 2, 3 and 4 of the policy, so a CU intervention should be possible, but it seems that the WP:SPI process is used only for confirming connections between identified suspected accounts. Rentier (talk) 08:12, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

How can you have "conclusive evidence of sock puppetry" when you have only one account?--Bbb23 (talk) 14:34, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
Off-wiki evidence in addition to a demonstrably bad faith edit by an editor. Rentier (talk) 15:54, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
I think this is an important discussion. When one has (1) an obviously not new account which is also (2) obviously involved in promotional paid editing, how do you connect their other potential accounts?
We see lots of cases of paid editors that use one account per job. A bunch more here were recently picked up Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Highstakes00/Archive
Per legal's comment here it appears we could adjust CU policy by adjusting the global policy via a meta RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:50, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

Meta discussion on CheckUser policy[edit]

An RfC has been raised for the CU policy, which would affect the en.wp policy. Meta:Meta:Requests for comment/Clarification to CU policy WormTT(talk) 11:06, 4 August 2017 (UTC)