Wikiversity:CheckUser policy/Archived proposal

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

CheckUser is a tool 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 always given to a user who is already a custodian, so that he or she can block if appropriate.

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 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 Wikiversity
  • Determine the edits on the Wikiversity wiki of a specific IP (even when logged in)

Data collected from the database via the CheckUser feature may be used by custodians and users with CheckUser access may investigate when a user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way. 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.

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

Privacy and limits on use edit

On Wikimedia projects, privacy policy considerations are of tremendous importance. Unless someone is definitely violating policy with their actions (e.g. massive bot vandalism or spam), revealing their IP, whereabouts or other information sufficient to identify them is likely a violation.

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

The CheckUser feature is to be used to fight vandalism 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 use (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 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 #Access.

Vandalism and persistent disruption edit

CheckUser is not intended for casual use. There must be a clear reason for each use of the CheckUser feature.

Vandalism of Wikiversity edit

Vandalism of Wikiversity usually takes the form of a page edit deliberately made with the intention of altering the content of the page in a way that does not contribute to the mission of Wikiversity. Common types of vandalism include the addition of obscenities to pages, page blanking, or the insertion of useless content. Vandalism can also take the form of disruptive page moves.

Any good faith effort to contribute to Wikiversity, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Committing blatant vandalism, however, can lead to loss of your ability to make further edits. Not all vandalism is obvious, nor are all massive or controversial changes vandalism; careful attention needs to be given to whether changes made are beneficial, detrimental but well intended, or outright vandalism.

Persistent disruption edit

Editors can be disruptive without trying to be disruptive. When an editor is disruptive, Assume good faith and make attempts to discuss the problem. If disruption is persistent and the problem cannot be solved by discussion, then tools like CheckUser can be used to deal with the disruption. CheckUser should not be used to respond to disruptive events that are not persistent. CheckUser is for preventing likely future disruption, not responding to isolated disruptive events that appear to be over and isolated to the past.

Vote fraud edit

Use of multiple accounts to "stack" votes or alter the outcome of discussions is not allowed. In general, accounts created after a discussion starts or accounts used only to participate in discussions need not be taken into account in judging community consensus. Such accounts can become persistently disruptive.

Access 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 the age of majority in their country (see). Requests here must be advertised (Wikiversity:News, mailing list and Wikiversity:Colloquium). If approved by the Wikiversity community (70-80% approval, with at least 25-30 approving votes), you can list yourself at Requests for permissions with a link to the page with the community's decision.

See also edit

External links edit