Wikiversity:Nominations for checkuser/SB Johnny

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Note: Checkuser access was given to User:SB_Johnny and User:JWSchmidt on September 11 2007. You can request checkuser actions at Wikiversity:Requests for CheckUser.

SB Johnny (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs[edit source]

I nominate SB Johnny for CheckUser at Wikiversity. SB_Johnny is a major participant at Wikiversity (see Bloom Clock), has been a custodian since August 2006 and is an experienced CheckUser at Wikibooks. Many of our persistent vandals are blocked at our Wikimedia Foundation sister projects before they attack Wikiversity. It will be useful to have SB_Johnny as a CheckUser at Wikiversity who is aware of what is happening at other projects (SB_Johnny is also an administrator at Wikimedia Commons). --JWSchmidt 15:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Accept/decline the nomination[edit source]

Nominated CheckUser candidate: please indicate if you accept the nomination. Note the requirements at CheckUser policy.

I Accept, gladly. My hands have been feeling a bit tied lately (see my answer to question #1, below). --SB_Johnny | PA! 15:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Questions for the candidate[edit source]

  1. Wikiversity got through its first year with only minor vandalism. Why is this a good time to start having CheckUsers for Wikiversity? --JWSchmidt 15:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

The reason we need local checkusers is that Wikiversity has grown big enough now to attract the attention of some of the more harmful troublemakers. Two of these problem users have appeared on Wikiversity within the past month or so after having been blocked from other Wikimedia projects after CU results were acquired there. CU is really just a defensive tool, since it identifies vandals and others who make multiple accounts for ill intent, though it also can have the effect of protecting good-faith editors, since it can be used in place of autoblocks (which can easily misfire if a bad vandal was using an AOL IP, for example).

In theory, we have always been able to request checks from the stewards on meta, however when I recently made such a request, it took 11 days before the request was finally fulfilled (User:Whiteknight can confirm this... that log will not be visible to non-checkusers).

I've had CU access on en.Wikibooks since January, and while I rarely have need to use it (another of our CUs there is a multi-project vandal fighter), it's been quite useful on those rare occaisions that I've needed it. Vandalism has seriously gone down on Wikibooks in particular since User:Herbythyme started using it there for vandal tracking, and we can hopefully reduce it here as well (which may be even more important here since some of our learning materials are aimed at very young people).--SB_Johnny | PA! 15:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I can confirm Johnny's statement about the CU: The check request was made on meta on 17 July and was actually performed by Drini on 28 July. --Whiteknight 15:55, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. SB, would compliance with this be an issue for you? --HappyCamper 15:55, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
No problem at all. I'm already in compliance as a Checkuser on Wikibooks, actually :). --SB_Johnny | PA! 16:03, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • How would you differentiate between disruptive and non-disruptive sock puppets and how would you deal with each? --Remi 18:34, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
    Well, a non-disruptive sockpuppet would probably never come to my attention while wearing my checkuser hat. It's not a tool you use pre-emptively, but rather only useful when you see (or at least strongly suspect) that a someone is using multiple accounts in bad faith, and want to have a bit more evidence for that before you make accusations.
    I personally have 2 sockpuppet accounts on Wikiversity: User:SBJ and User:SB_Johnny-LM. They're useful for certain purposes (primarily for logging bloom clock entries from 3 distinct regions), but they're certainly not deceptive in any way. And someone might want to use a public account for logging on the bloom clock while using a more anonymous account when working on a project about domestic abuse.
    This is all more or less off the track though: the vast majority of CU checks are made on serial troublemakers who simply use another account after their primary is blocked. With CU you can "nip it in the bud" by blocking the source IP, or in some cases avoid collateral blocks to good contributors who are unfortunate enough to share a troublemaker's IP (autoblock is the B-29 to CU's smart cruise missile). --SB_Johnny | PA! 18:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Why should only two users be given this privilege, as opposed to giving it to everyone ? (One argument might be that stalkers could use it to track down their prey, but blocking the stalker's IP might be a better way to deal with this.) StuRat 17:05, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
    JWSchmidt gave the technical answer to this (which is quite correct), but there's more to it than that. Privacy is a funny thing, and here's 3 examples:
    1. User:Whiteknight is a good example of someone who doesn't mind using and publishing his real name (User:Andrew_Whitworth).
    2. I myself am for most purposes an "anonymous editor", in that I do not widely publish my real name. The Wikimedia Foundation does know who I am (in fact they have my name, address, telephone number, and a photo of me), and while I'm perfectly comfortable with that, I'm not as confortable as Whiteknight is.
    3. User:Darklama is on the other extreme... he's an excellent contributor and I consider him a friend, but I don't even know his name.
    So I guess the answer is this: if we only wanted to allow people to contribute if they weren't interested in anonymity, there'd be no reason not to give everyone checkuser. People like me might stick around, but probably not. People like darklama would be outta here like a bat out of hell. So the best compromise is to give the tools to people who are known to and trusted by the community, and who can be relied upon to use the tools only when they need them, rather than "out of curiosity". Whether or not you think privacy is a valid concern for people to entertain, people really are concerned about it, and should feel confident that Checkusers are few in number, conservative in their use of the tools, and accountable to the Foundation for their actions (which they are, and which is why the Foundation knows exactly who I am and how to find me as a Checkuser on Wikibooks). --SB_Johnny | talk 21:09, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
  • But we're only talking about being able to find editors' IP addresses and other screen names, not names, ages, phone numbers, and home addresses. Unless they've put that info out there and associated it with their IP, that info should still be private. StuRat 15:55, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, it can trace things down to a LAN (an office, for example), and has some features built in that can get you pretty close. It could also be used to expose a perfectly legitimate alternate account (say, for example, someone was contributing to a research project about domestic abuse or recovery from rape, and didn't want to use their "public face account"). I'll agree with you to the extent that I personally could care less if someone knows my IP, but I've also had requests on a couple of occaisions from people who asked me to delete a revision of a Wikibooks page because they managed to lose their login while editing and wanted their IP hidden. Whether or not it's really anything to worry about, some people really do worry about it, so we need to respect that. --SB_Johnny | talk 00:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I have one caveat: is there a mechanism for appeals? Just in case someone's IP has also been abused? Shir-El too 19:48, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Community discussion[edit source]

  1. Support. Just vaguely noting that there has been a substantial decline in vandalism for July and August 2007. However I agree that we need a CU and that SB Johnny should have CU status. McCormack 15:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    Further noting that Wikimedia Foundation rules require that any project must have either zero or two CU's, not one. As Whiteknight is a CU on other projects and active at WV, what are the chances that he will also be nominated and accept the nomination? McCormack 16:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    The chances are zero. I'm primarily a wikibookian, even if some of my work does spill over to this project as well. I would not accept any nomination here, either custodian or CU, because I wouldnt be able to devote a fair amount of my time to helping this project the way a good candidate should. --Whiteknight 16:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    Two or more, actually (there are currently 4 on Wikibooks, and many more than that number on Wikipedia). Whiteknight would of course bring more experience to the job, but I can assure you from experience that experience isn't really necessary. Also, Whiteknight isn't even a Custodian here, and you really can't make effective use of checkuser tools without sysop tools. --SB_Johnny | PA! 16:53, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  2. support. I nominated SB_Johnny and I support his candidacy for the reasons given in my nomination statement, above. --JWSchmidt 15:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  3. support. Enthusiastic support. On WB Johnny has demonstrated himself to being a hard worker and a responsible user. He is both a bcrat and a CU on wikibooks, two jobs which he performs responsibly. He will make a great asset to this community with the CU tools. --Whiteknight 16:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  4. Support I know Johnny from off-Wikiversity and trust him implicity. He would be a good and experienced choice for the CheckUser tools here. Cbrown1023 talk 01:06, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  5. Support he is deeply involved with wikiversity, and is familiar with the tool.Hillgentleman|Talk 06:53, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  6. Support I also agree that we need some CU(s) here@WikiVersity and that SB Johnny should have CheckUser status. --Chief Mike 09:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  7. Support Lost time by stopping vandalism is time for fun of the vandels. --User:Sundance_Raphael 15:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  8. Support - I'm confident you have the experience and knowledge required for access to the tool. --Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 23:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  9. Support I heard good things from John about you. So, I hope you fight vandalism also great. You have my vote. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 19:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  10. Support He sucked me into Wikiversity from Wikibooks where he is very trusted. --Jomegat 02:04, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  11. Support As someone who nominated Johnny for his first CUs rights I would do nothing less. A little impulsive at times however I would trust him with these rights without any concern. He (& I) know at lot more about them than we did. I think it is important that some of the smaller wikis obtain these rights. Steward support/interest can be very patchy and as vandals are dealt with better on wikis with CUs they will move to less well "defended" ones. The community need have no concerns and would be advised to support this. --Herby talk thyme 07:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  12. Support No reason to oppose, and I appreciate Johnny's reliability and maturity in such matters. The Wikiversity community clearly accepts his nomination as well. --Draicone (talk) 12:34, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  13. Support Nothing to say that hasn't already been said. --Luai lashire 15:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  14. Support I trust SB Johnny, and he has plenty of experience in this area.. Cormaggio talk 17:56, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  15. Support Trust. yes. CQ 19:00, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  16. Support I have very few edits here... but I have worked with SB_Johnny on other wikis, as well as on checkuser matters, (I hold checkuser on Commons, Meta and en:wp) and like the approach used. When counting supports you may or may not want to discount mine, but I strongly support the notion that Wikiversity needs to have two checkusers, and support this user for the job, and would advocate regulars give him the support needed. ++Lar: t/c 21:32, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  17. Support I support having tried and true custodians having check user rights. --Remi 11:16, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  18. I fully support and trust SB_Johnny with checkuser tools, and I'm sure he'll do a great job. guillom 13:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  19. Support But then I support giving everyone this tool, as it seems to have the power to do more good than harm, if given to everyone, despite wiki privacy policies which appear to make it impossible to give everyone equal rights. Perhaps these policies need to be changed. StuRat 15:52, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
  20. Support, already has it on wikibooks, might make muliproject check user requests easier.--Rayc 02:18, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
  21. Support He has the trust and respect of all the voices heard so far, and one piece of visual obscenity dumped on the Brouse page is more than enough to justify CU's. Shir-El too 19:41, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
    I'm not sure what you'd be "appealing"... you mean blocks made using evidence gained from CU? Assuming I understand the question, I can only say that CU doesn't have anything to do with blocking, it's just a tool used to figure out whether or not an IP should be blocked. In that sense CU can not only help find and block IPs that are the source of trouble, but also make sure that we don't inadvertently block an IP which is being used by constructive contributors to our project. Without CU, our only way of blocking an IP used by a registered (but malicious) user is to use autoblock, which is more or less shooting in the dark and hoping not to hit the neigbor instead of the thief. --SB_Johnny | talk 22:39, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
    By appealing I meant as in 'court of appeals': just in case an IP was abused by someone other than the legitimate 'owner', is there a way for that 'owner' to contact whoever blocked the IP and request a re-evaluation? I'm new to the Wiki world and ignorant of IP technology, so excuse if I'm talking through my hat. On the other hand the possibility of someone being 'frozen out' without recourse is disturbing; something of the kind happened in France many years ago, with tragic results. Thank you, Shir-El too 13:26, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
    Ah, I think I see where you're going. If someone wants to discuss a problematic block, they just add {{unblock}} to their talk page (they receive instructions on how to do this when they try to edit and find themselves blocked). It's just as easy to unblock as it is to block, and there are some safegaurds built into the checkuser tool that let us know a bit more than just the IP used by the accounts. On wikibooks I've generally given the benefit of the doubt the first time, but not the second time (i.e., if I unblock the IP and it's used again for bad behavior, I block it again, and don't pay attention to unblock requests from that IP for a while). --SB_Johnny | talk 12:13, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
    Thank you: this answers my concern. Good Luck in your new post. Shir-El too 22:47, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
  22. Support No reason to oppose. I'm new here - but I see a volunteer offering to help spend time to fight vandalism, who has gained support of other volunteers. It looks like every vote counts so here's my thumbs-up. Ikluft 10:04, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
  23. Support. -- Dionysios (talk), Date: 2007-09-03 (September 3, 2007) Time: 1141 UTC
  24. Support -- Banerjee 21:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  25. SupportTutchek 12:44, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
  26. Support SB_Johnny's experience on English Wikibooks demonstrates his ability to be trusted with the tools. --darkYin yang.svglama 19:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Please note!

As this is Wikiversity's first official discussion of acquiring local checkusers, please remember that we need two users with the tools (Wikimedia policy dictates that projects are not permitted to have only one checkuser). If it is later decided that we need more checkusers, they can be approved individually.