Wikiversity:CheckUser policy/Proposal

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You can help develop this proposal, share your thoughts, or discuss its adoption as a Wikiversity policy, guideline, or process. References or links should describe this page as a "proposal".

At this time stewards will need to run any requested checks on Meta as there are no local CheckUsers.

CheckUser is a tool entrusted to experienced users which is used to combat serial vandals and/or abusive sockpuppets. It works by either providing the IP address of a user account, or showing all accounts that have used a particular IP. Checkuser access is given on an individual basis, and is only given to a user who is already a custodian, so that he or she can block if appropriate. Checkusers across all Wikimedia projects are in constant communication with each other and assist each other with cross-wiki issues.

Checkuser logs for any one project are visible to Stewards and any CheckUser on any other Wikimedia project. In the interests of assuring privacy, the checkuser mailinglist is not readable to non-checkusers.

The CheckUser feature in MediaWiki is a special interface for users with the checkuser permission. An editor with CheckUser status on a wiki can check if a user is, or isn't, a sockpuppet of another user on that wiki. Those with CheckUser status are able to:

  • Determine from which IPs a user has edited or done a logged action or password reset on Wikiversity
  • Determine the edits, logged actions, and password resets on the Wikiversity wiki of a specific IP (even when logged in)
  • Determine whether the user being checked has sent an email using the MediaWiki interface to some other user. The time of the event is logged, the destination email address and user ID are obscured.

Data collected from the database via the CheckUser feature is used to make a report to the custodians for appropriate action. CheckUsers investigate when a user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, or as an IP user. Data obtained via the CheckUser feature may be used to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers.

If Wikiversity has no assigned CheckUsers, then checkuser requests must be made at Steward requests/CheckUser and are subject to Meta policy.

Privacy and limits on use[edit]

On Wikimedia projects, the use of the checkuser tools and release of the private data is limited by the Meta CheckUser policy and the WMF access to nonpublic data policy. CheckUser actions are logged, but for privacy reasons the logs are only visible to other Checkusers and Stewards. Because of this, Wikiversity must always have no fewer than two checkusers, for mutual accountability.

Every Checkuser action is recorded in a log which every Checkuser can review.

The CheckUser feature is to be used to fight vandalism, block violations, or check abuse of sockpuppets, for example when there is a suspicion of illegal voting. It must be used only to prevent damage to one or several of Wikimedia projects.

One is not allowed to use the tool for political control, nor to apply pressure on editors, nor as a threat towards an editor with whom you are in disagreement. There must be a valid motive to check a user (a bare disagreement with the leaders of a wiki is not a valid motive).

Sockpuppets are not generally forbidden (editors may edit Wikiversity under several accounts). It is the abuse of sockpuppets (and in particular voting twice under two different names) which is severely frowned upon.

At Wikiversity, notice to the community of each use of the CheckUser feature must be made. This is mandatory, but private information is not released, only the fact that a check was performed. The CheckUser feature is used to check if UserX is a sockpuppet of UserY. Community members can request such checks at Requests for CheckUser by listing the users and explaining why they are asking for such a check (with links to offending edits). A Wikiversity user with CheckUser rights will answer you if these two users are from the same IP, same proxy, same network, same country, or they are completely unrelated.

Information on and requests for access are below at Becoming a CheckUser.

Requesting a CheckUser[edit]

For those in need of making a request for a sockpuppet investigation please go to Requests for CheckUser and fill out the form.

List of Checkusers[edit]

  • to be filled
  • to be filled

Becoming a CheckUser[edit]

If you are interested in getting involved with CheckUser work, please list yourself at Nominations for CheckUser. To apply for access, there must be at least two CheckUsers, so they can monitor each other (see), they must be identified to the Foundation, and each must be at least 18 years of age and of legal age in their place of residence, and must sign the privacy policy via the Legal Pad on Phabricator (see). Requests here must be advertised (Wikiversity:News, mailing list and Wikiversity:Colloquium).

Meta policy further requires that checkuser nominations must be approved by the Wikiversity community (70-80% approval, with at least 25-30 approving votes). A Bureaucrat will request for CheckUser rights at Requests for permissions with a link to the page with the community's decision.