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Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/CheckUser and Oversight/May 2010 election

The Arbitration Committee determined in March 2010 that additional Oversighters and CheckUsers were needed to improve workload distribution and ensure complete, timely response to requests. Following an application period, and review of submissions by the Committee, the below candidates were presented for community consideration. The election process was as follows:

  • The May 2010 election using SecurePoll ended one minute past 23:59 UTC on May 27, 2010.
  • For this election the Committee will likely take up to 4 Checkusers, and 6 Oversighters from the vetted candidates.
  • Voters can vote for as many candidates as they wish and must have made 150 mainspace edits by March 31, 2010.
  • Current arbitrators and former arbitrators from within the past year may not vote.

For answers to common questions about the election process, please see here. The results are posted below.

Timeline of election process

  • March 31 – Announcement of upcoming election and invitation to request applications
  • April 10 – Deadline to request applications
  • April 12 at 23:59 UTC – Deadline for submission of applications
  • March 31 – April 30 – Arbitration Committee review of submissions
  • May 1-8 – Preparation for election, including offers of nomination to selected candidates
  • May 7 – Candidates are announced and may post a brief statement
  • May 8-27 – The community may begin asking questions of the candidates. Question/Comment period will continue throughout the voting period.
  • May 14-27 – Voting using the SecurePoll extension for a secret ballot
  • May 28-31 – Arbitration Committee review of results
  • June 1 – Announcement of results

CheckUser candidates

Amalthea

Amalthea (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hi everyone,
I'm offering to help with the CheckUser tool.

About me: I have an account since September 2005, became an active editor in June 2008, an administrator in February 2009. I am a relatively recent active editor, but do not foresee my activity on this project to change in the near future. I've always only worked on the maintenance part of Wikipedia, in recent times mainly on technical things like templates or maintaining Twinkle and Friendly.

I am a computer scientist, am familiar with the MediaWiki Checkuser extension, and have prior work-related experience with web server log analysis and investigation of multiple account abuse therein, so I know I have the required technical and investigative skills. I believe myself to be an upright, serene, and communicative person and editor, am familiar with the WMF's privacy policy and the CheckUser policy, and have a good understanding of when CheckUser should and should not be used. I only have limited experience with pure contributions-based sock analysis or SPI clerking. Nonetheless, I believe I can be useful at the CheckUser part of SPI.

Amalthea 15:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Amalthea

Noting in advance that I will only have limited Internet access this weekend (read: via analog modem), so I will probably only be able to respond to questions late on UTC Sunday. Amalthea 15:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Questions from Deskana: (five questions, so I'm only looking for brief answers)

1. What are the key differences between the checkuser policy and the privacy policy?
A. The WMF privacy policy formulates principles about gathered private data, access to that data, and circumstances that can prompt release of that data to third parties. That gathered private data far exceeds what can be queried through the CheckUser extension, and CheckUser queries are only one aspect of the privacy policy, so its principles are more far-reaching than CheckUser queries. CheckUser policy mainly spells out specifics when queries may be used and may not be used, based on the principles from the privacy policy. In addition it details access to the right and gives some specific guidance and best practices, again building on the privacy policy. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
2. What conditions does the checkuser policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
A. Most important condition is, I believe, that there needs to be a "good and specific cause" to use it. Checkusers have a range of discretion to use CheckUser queries if there is such a legitimate purpose. Explicitly and most typically, it may be used to prevent damage to the project, i.e. to fight vandalism/bad faith editing, to check for sockpuppet abuse, and to limit disruption of the project. It may not be used to pressure or threaten editors (quite like admin tools in a dispute), and is not normally used to prove innocence on en-wiki (which the privacy policy wouldn't restrict). Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
3. What conditions does the privacy policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
A. Essentially the same thing, in a more general sense. Principles applying would be that the collected data may be used to "serve the well-being of its projects", by countering "certain kinds of abuse and counterproductive behavior", like "suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior", and minimal access (which translates, in part, to the "good and specific cause" from above). Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
4. What conditions does the checkuser policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
A. It generally defers to the conditions from the privacy policy (see below), and stresses again that disclosure of IP information should be avoided, if possible. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
5. What conditions does the privacy policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
A. Either of: Compulsory request by authorities, with permission by the user, when necessary for abuse investigations, certain technical issues with bots/spiders, message to ISP complaint department following vandalism/persistent disruption abuse, or in response to certain threats.

Brief answers, as asked for, and in parts simply taken from the policy pages. Feel free to ask follow-up questions. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Just one question from HJ Mitchell

6. If you are granted CU access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
A. Checkusers are comparatively rare since the right is (and should be) given out sparingly, so my focus will certainly shift to SPI.
I remember that when I was a very new editor comments from editors with additional user rights seemed to carry more weight. It obviously shouldn't and doesn't, by itself. Was that your question? Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC) (slightly tweaked 09:13, 10 May 2010 (UTC))


One last minute question by Buggie111

7. When do you think your definition of "the near future" will be?
A. Counted in years. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Really last minute question from Spitfire

8. Imagine a scenario where a user has created a vandalism page, which was tagged for speedy deletion, and they then then tried to remove the tag, but upon being stopped by a bot, they appeared to log out and remove the tag that way. The page was later deleted but an SPI case was opened on the user, you preform a check which reveals that the user is related to the IP, what action do you take, and why? (or would you not have preformed the check, and if not, why?)
A. Unless there are circumstances that suggest a wider pattern, there's no need for a checkuser, in particular considering the behavioral evidence, so I would not have performed one. Potential actions range from talking to the user to an indefinite block, depending on other edits by the user, the type of vandalism, and the user's reaction, but that's independent of the SPI case. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Question from User:zzuuzz

9. What actions would you consider taking if you found an editor was using one or more open proxies to edit? Under what circumstances would you reveal this discovery to the community?
A. Depends extremely on the circumstances. The IPs of the open proxies will almost always need to be blocked right away (see WP:PROXY), if they aren't already. If the editor used the proxies in violation of WP:SOCK or other policies the violating accounts will be blocked indefinitely, and possibly the master as well. There are circumstances where no action needs to be taken at all, editing through open proxies or Tor is not forbidden per se and we explicitly grant exemptions for that (e.g. for users from Mainland China). If the editor I found was using Wikipedia legitimately and the open proxy was still unblocked, I might contact the editor privately. If the proxy is open and used by only one editor, it might be a misconfiguration and he should be notified privately and urged to quickly rectify it.
In all such legitimate uses, the community should not be notified. If an open proxy was used abusively, a note of that on the respective SPI case can be useful for the future. Amalthea 01:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC) (slightly tweaked 09:13, 10 May 2010 (UTC))


Questions from User:7 (ignore the struck question)

10. What is an analog modem?
10. One of the less documented areas of CU work is to help out at WP:ACC when a CU rangeblock has been applied to an IP requesting a new account. This can be done directly in the ACC interface, or by responding to emails sent to the functionaries list or to a Quick SPI request. Do you have an account with ACC or would you be willing to setup one to help there too?
A. I do not have an account with the account creation tool. If I find that such requests are more efficiently processed in the ACC tool then sure, I'll ask for an account. I won't seek involvement beyond that, though. Amalthea 09:13, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Question from Happy-melon

11. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
A. Hmm. Probably no perspectives that aren't already there. I believe I am calm, neutral, and objective, don't hold any grudges, and hope that I can be a reasonable voice there. I tend to investigate a lot of background before I write any conclusions. I'd say that my views on privacy are comparatively conservative. Another quality might be that I'm very available throughout the day (UTC+2, currently), and can give input quickly if an issue is pressing. Amalthea 16:30, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Jamesofur

Jamesofur (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Howdy!

For those who haven't met me either on wiki or IRC (or some of you irl) my name is James. If you look at my account ( here for my matrix or here for the SUL util) you will notice a couple things. One that is obvious is that while my En account has been created for a while I wasn't really active before last August. Before that I was around (with very infrequent wikignomish edits logged in and out) but I mostly read, and read. Because of a habit I have of following links to keep getting the story this often included pages about the "infrastructure" of the wiki and eventually led me to getting more active. The other thing you will notice is that while I have not been an admin on En for long (RfA Passed April 22nd) I have a fair amount of tools... on other wikis. My focus for quite a while has been cross-wiki abuse (vandalism and spam) as part of that I am a Checkuser and Sysop on the Simple English Wikipedia, a sysop on Meta Wiki as well as a Global sysop and Global rollbacker. I am also an OTRS agent focusing on Permissions and copyright violations.

I think I could be a great addition to the En checkuser team:

  • Availability: I constantly idle on IRC and am available for hours a day (and frequently at odd hours when other CUs do not seem to be available) and easily contactable by multiple people for emergencies (and happy to help whenever humanly possible).
  • crosswiki experience, work and tools: Having access to the Checkuser tools on En would allow me to help for both time sensitive (and perhaps complex) checks and the fast and simple requests that are not worth leaving to rot, especially for the fairly frequent occurrences when stewards are looking for help or vandals are crossing project boundaries where I have either the tools or contacts to help deal with them. I will also be available to speed up processing of normal on wiki Checkuser requests.
  • Prior experience: I have held the Checkuser on another WMF project since December. Because of this I have already had extensive experience with the tools both technically (range blocks, proxies/nmap, XFF's etc) and (arguably more important) first hand experience learning more about behavioral evidence. I have also had experience with the vandals we already have to deal with through work both with they come to Simple (when they get blocked here they go there) and through the Checkuser-l mailing list (where I'm a list admin).

I can tend to be a bit tl;dr and so I don't want to drag on too much longer, but I am happy to answer any questions people have and will promise to respond quickly. I also have a slightly expanded statement since I had to cut this one down for the 500 word limit. James (T C) 16:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Jamesofur

  • Questions from Deskana: (five questions, so I'm only looking for brief answers)
  1. What are the key differences between the checkuser policy and the privacy policy?
    The short answer is that they tend to have different job. The part of privacy policy that we deal with as a CU is largely focused on the release of information with some broader comments about access and use. The Checkuser policy quotes the privacy policy but the rest is much more directly focused on who is allowed access to the tool and when it can be used. What little is added on Wikipedia:Checkuser focuses on the same.
  2. What conditions does the checkuser policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    The checkuser policy is quite clear, you can only use checkuser to prevent damage to the WMF projects most specifically to combat vandalism, abusive socks and disruption and that it must NOT be used as any kind of political tool or threat. You are allowed to check an account on request, but not required to.
  3. What conditions does the privacy policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    In general the privacy policy does not concern itself with what conditions must be required to use the tool, except that it must be used as minimally as possible and to serve the good of the projects except when forced to use it by a legally binding decision (which is generally outside of our purview).
  4. What conditions does the checkuser policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
    In general the checkuser policy does not deal with this issue (though it does quote the privacy policy). It does give some deeper explanation that basically boils down to "if in doubt, don't or seek additional tool holders to discuss it with)
  5. What conditions does the privacy policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
    The privacy policy states that data must never be released except under specific conditions (paraphrased):
    • Valid, and forced, request from law enforcement.
    • With permission from the user
    • When required to investigate, defend against and report abuse.
    • When necessary to protect the Foundation, it's users, and the public (this is a bit of the catch all, threats of harm for example)
    • Bot related technical data to help the developers (generally involves data the developers will get from elsewhere).

On a side note the Checkuser quote from the privacy policy seems a bit out of date... I'm going to have to look into that later today. James (T C) 23:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Really last minute question from Spitfire
  1. Imagine a scenario where a user has created a vandalism page, which was tagged for speedy deletion, and they then then tried to remove the tag, but upon being stopped by a bot, they appeared to log out and remove the tag that way. The page was later deleted but an SPI case was opened on the user, you preform a check which reveals that the user is related to the IP, what action do you take, and why? (or would you not have preformed the check, and if not, why?)
    To be totally honest it is highly unlikely I would do the check at all. In a case like that "proving" the connection isn't of any real help especially with the duckyness. Removing the speedy tag while "pretending" to be someone else (assuming they realized they weren't logged in) is bad but is really just a continuation of the vandalism and not an abusive sock issue. Even when vandalism is involved the tools only need to be used (and should be used) when you need them. Further actions would be the same, the vandalism is the real issue here not abuse of accounts/ips, if the IP or account is continuing to vandalize and isn't blocked then I would block but knowing they are linked is not sufficient (in my mind) to warrant placing or adjusting a block on it's own merits. James (T C) 12:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • What actions would you consider taking if you found an editor was using one or more open proxies to edit? Under what circumstances would you reveal this discovery to the community?
    • The policy on En, (it's actually a bit different in practice on some projects despite meta) is fairly clear and if I discover new, unblocked, open proxies they're going to get blocked as such. While editing from an Open Proxy may make me take a second look at the info I have there are very legitimate reasons to do so (most obviously when editing from a location which censors or blocks the project such as China or Iran). In my CU checks on Simple I have definitely found very legitimate editors while checking vandals. So far any legitimate editor I've found using Open Proxies had already asked for and received an IPBlockExemption but if I found one who did not I would attempt to get a hold of them (privately) to see if they need the Exemption. Legitimate editors are more then welcome to edit from unblocked proxies if they want without running afoul of policy and if they have to do it for some reason I have no problem given the ability to do so.
    • Regarding when I would reveal the discovery: As always, only when necessary. When investigating a sockpuppet or abuser noting on the SPI or checkuser-l thread that they used open proxies can be very helpful for future investigations and so should be noted. I can't think of any reason to reveal the fact that a legitimate editor is using open proxies. In general Open proxy editing can be used as a marker but isn't "the problem" the problem is if they are acting abusively or not. If they are then we need to address that and if they aren't then there is nothing to address other then making sure they are able to edit. James (T C) 21:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:7
  • Q One of the less documented areas of CU work is to help out at WP:ACC when a CU rangeblock has been applied to an IP requesting a new account. This can be done directly in the ACC interface, or by responding to emails sent to the functionaries list or to a Quick SPI request. Do you have an account with ACC or would you be willing to setup one to help there too?
    • A: Aye, I actually already have an account on ACC and idle in the channel on IRC where both requests and comments are posted. While I make accounts when I see them still open the majority of what I already do there is to help people who have questions on whether they should make the account or not (so same thing a CU will do) I've actually ended up helping out as a CU on multiple instances already because I was able to confirm it was not the person who was being blocked (because of evidence I had seen on either checkuser-l or from Simple since many of the vandals cross project). James (T C) 18:50, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    Mostly I don't think I'll bring something "new" as much as another angle. I think in general I'm another level headed and calm individual who would be able to comment whenever people wanted advice/thoughts or when I thought I had something that would contribute. Just like the checkuser-l list now I like to read every post I get on any of the foundation/wikipedia mailing lists even if that means I look at it briefly when I get it and read it fully when I have time if it doesn't look like it needs an emergency response and to make sure I read everything even when responding would be superfluous or unhelpful. I also think I'd be able to bring another voice from someone active in the xwiki community which can be very helpful, of course we already have some good voices in that category already. The other thing is a bit harder to "prove", I like to think that I try to see things from a "reader/user/new editor" point of view as much as possible along with the editor point of view and would like to add that insight when something comes up on the mailing list. I don't honestly know how much current functionaries think along those lines so it very well good be something that is already well represented :). James (T C) 07:30, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

MuZemike

MuZemike (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hello, folks! I am MuZemike (first name being Mike, of course), and I am making myself available to run for CheckUser in this CheckUser/Oversight election. I have been an editor on the English Wikipedia since May 31, 2008 and an administrator since September 14, 2009. I have over 40,000 edits so far (verify) and have conributed to 7 good articles and 12 did you know articles. Recently, I have co-coordinated with User:Wizardman in the April 2010 good article nomination backlog elimination drive, which resulted in a reduction in the backlog by over 300 nominations.

I have been a CheckUser clerk for sockpuppet investigations since July 21, 2009 and have helped to rewrite the administrators' instructions for sock puppetry (as now transcluded on the WP:SOCK policy page). As a clerk, I have assisted other editors and the CheckUsers in many cases; as an admin, I have handled hundreds of SPI cases, especially at times when the backlogs were quite large. In addition to SPI, I am also an edit filter manager and have created to date four edit filters, three of which I actively maintain to combat various vandalism.

Being a Wisconsinite, I live in the Central Time Zone (UTC-5). I am not in school right now, and I work 4 days a week, normally having off Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays unless other RL activities require me to be away. I have at times coordinated with CheckUsers on other Wikipedias and have gotten accounts blocked on enwiki or globally locked on Meta; if elected to CheckUser I will continue in cross-wiki coordination with other CheckUsers and administrators.

Technically, I am knowledgeable in the CIDR notation (which is essential for any type of rangeblocking) and have made many rangeblocks. I am also able to read WHOIS and geolocation information as well as interpret editing patterns to determine whether IP addresses are static or dynamic. I generally block IP addresses on a need-be basis; that is, I usually block long enough to prevent disruption as other innocent users can easily take over on IPs. If there hasn't been any recent disruption, then I normally don't block.

I have knowledge to how the CheckUser tool works and what it can check and what it can not check. As we know CheckUser is not a fishing or 8-ball tool, I understand that it's not a be-all and end-all tool for determining sock puppetry - that is up to the regular admin (as I have done many times) to ultimately take the CheckUser evidence alongside the behavioral editing patterns and determine if there is a match.

Finally (I'll put this out right here and now), I am above the legal age required by the Wikimedia Foundation (I am 28) and will identify myself to the Foundation if elected by the community. –MuZemike 17:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for MuZemike

  • Questions from Deskana: (five questions, so I'm only looking for brief answers)
  1. What are the key differences between the checkuser policy and the privacy policy?
    In the crudest sense, the WMF's privacy policy is more general and applies to both checkuser and oversight, while the checkuser policy is more specific as to what cannot be done per the privacy policy. In addition, the privacy policy covers additional points of emphasis such as the viewing of deleted pages/revisions, the usage of cookies, and legal implications. Basically, the privacy policy is the driving force behind what the checkuser policy does. –MuZemike 15:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. What conditions does the checkuser policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    Because of privacy policy reasons and the need to prevent releasing one's private information out to the public, checkuser is supposed to be used only when necessary. As the policy states, that includes abuse via socks or other abuse such as vandalism or similar disruption. Just as with other tools given to editors and admins like rollback, deletion, or blocking, you cannot use it to gain an upper hand in a dispute. –MuZemike 15:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  3. What conditions does the privacy policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    The privacy policy basically says the same thing as the checkuser policy, while the privacy policy adds that the usage of its main applicable tools (CU and OS) should be kept to a minimum to (understandably) reduce exposure to such privacy issues. This is why we normally block users without running a checkuser when behavioral evidence clearly indicates sock puppet activity. –MuZemike 15:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  4. What conditions does the checkuser policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
    First off, I sense the difference between this and the following question is that #4 deals with specifically what checkuser can and cannot do, while #5 deals with what checkuser, oversight, or any other future tool dealing with privacy can or cannot do in general. The big things with checkuser is that IPs should not be revealed publicly (which is why you see many times from CUs "no comment on the IP(s)") and only to other users (the privacy policy actually narrows this down to "other privileged users"), and the old "when in doubt, don't disclose" mantra. –MuZemike 15:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  5. What conditions does the privacy policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
    The release of private information is made more explicit in the privacy policy than in the checkuser policy. To briefly list them, reasons to release include in response to a subpoena or law enforcement request, with the affected user's permission, for abuse complaints (either internally or with an ISP) for resolution of technical issues, or when otherwise necessary to protect the WMF or the public. –MuZemike 15:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Questions from Firsfron:

You recently indefinitely blocked a good-faith contributor with over 17,000 edits under his belt with the block summary Vandalism-only account. Although you reversed the block and apologized, the editor is question has politely requested an explanation, but still has received none. You've edited since then. As a Checkuser, what will you do to prevent mistakes like this (relating to both Checkuser tools and Administrator tools) from occurring in the future? And, in the case of a mistake in Checkuser procedures, will you explain your rationale for the mistaken action? Firsfron of Ronchester 17:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I thought I have explained that in the unblocking and thought the situation was settled. I made a mistake there and admitted to it, albeit at a horrible, horrible time. I cannot add anything else there besides the fact that I messed up there on blocking.
As far as CU is concerned, if I have overlooked something in the CU results, I would not be afraid to admit to error (as I have done in the past and very recently), but my the WMF privacy policy, I cannot go as far as to disclosing anything that would result in outing a person's private information if it hasn't been done so already by that person. It is just as bad if not worse to try to rectify one mistake and then make another in the rectification process. –MuZemike 08:11, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Really last minute question from Spitfire
  1. Imagine a scenario where a user has created a vandalism page, which was tagged for speedy deletion, and they then then tried to remove the tag, but upon being stopped by a bot, they appeared to log out and remove the tag that way. The page was later deleted but an SPI case was opened on the user, you preform a check which reveals that the user is related to the IP, what action do you take, and why? (or would you not have preformed the check, and if not, why?)
    First off, if a block is necessary to stop the continued vandalism, then I would block the registered account only (remember that the related IP would be autoblocked, and such information about autoblocks is hidden from public view including administrators). The main thing here to worry about is to try and prevent the release or personally identifiable information to the user, so I there would be no need for me to disclose whether or not there is a connection. Since some will easily assume that the IP is related due to looking at the contributions on a page, there isn't much that I would be able to do preventing such inferences from being made. Now if the registered user clearly indicated that the IP did belong to that user, then there would be no privacy policy violation by disclosing that. –MuZemike 16:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • What actions would you consider taking if you found an editor was using one or more open proxies to edit? Under what circumstances would you reveal this discovery to the community?
Per our (WMF also) policy on open proxies, the OP would be blocked and normally for a very long time or until the proxy closes; good faith contributors caught under . Naturally, this block would be listed in the block logs, so this would already be revealed. They may be disclosed as part of a sockpuppet investigation for instance that OPs were being used. This is done to let users know in the case of repeated abuse via OPs; for our more serial vandals and sockpuppeteers, this is commonplace. –MuZemike 16:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:7
  • Q One of the less documented areas of CU work is to help out at WP:ACC when a CU rangeblock has been applied to an IP requesting a new account. This can be done directly in the ACC interface, or by responding to emails sent to the functionaries list or to a Quick SPI request. Do you have an account with ACC or would you be willing to setup one to help there too?
    • A. I have just a little experience in creating accounts for others, as the unblock-en-l mailing list gets similar requests from time to time. If checkuser assistance is needed over in the ACC area, I'd be willing to volunteer some of my time to help over there. I do realize the folks over at ACC are fairly low-key but just as essential. –MuZemike 17:30, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Tiptoety

Tiptoety (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hello everyone. I am Tiptoety. I have been on Wikipedia for a little over three years. In those years, I have spent a fair amount of time dealing with sockpuppetry. I started as a clerk at the former request for CheckUser back in June of 2008. After noticing a number of flaws in the system we were using, I, along with a small group of other users created Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations (our current process for dealing with, and responding to sockpuppetry). I still currently serve as a clerk there.

I was granted sysop rights on this project in March of 2008 and have since performed approximately 14,500 logged actions. I also serve as a Sysop, CheckUser, and Oversight on Wikimedia Commons, and am a Global Sysop. In those roles I deal with a large amount of cross-wiki vandalism/sockpuppetry (most of which is initiated on the CheckUser mailing list). A number of these involve en.wiki in which me having access to the CheckUser tool could assist in investigations and in the speedy response to vandalism. (For all my other userrights, please see my matrix).

One of our current issues is that there are a large amount of request for CheckUser attention that sit untouched for sometimes up to a week. I feel that by me having CheckUser rights I could assist in ensuring the quick handling of cases. I am online every day, and consider myself active. I am reachable via email, and use IRC.

Lastly, I am already identified with the foundation and am very familiar with the privacy policy. My personal philosophy is that if I am unsure, hold off and ask for a second opinion. Tiptoety talk 03:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Tiptoety

  • From Aiken drum: Why do you think you failed your last request, and do you think you've overcome the problems raised there? Aiken 12:06, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    A. I think the main cause of concern related to my previous request was my professional life. Many felt that with my work in the field of law enforcement my judgment would impaired by some form of "legal requirement to act", specifically relating to threats of violence. While I respect peoples concern, I am not sworn in any manner that requires me to report perceived threats of violence to law enforcement, nor am I bound by any policy to do so. This was confirmed by and Arbitrator (Risker), who contacted my employer. Like I promised in my last request, should I be put into a position of "mandatory reporting" I would resign as a CheckUser. I also promised the defer to other CheckUser's should I feel my decision making is some how being effected by my professional life. That said, I would argue (as shown on commons, in my role as a CheckUser there) such situations have never happened. Cheers, Tiptoety talk 20:00, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Questions from Deskana: (five questions, so I'm only looking for brief answers)
  1. What are the key differences between the checkuser policy and the privacy policy?
    The foundation's privacy policy is far more specific in regards to the principles of privacy, the release and retention of private (non-public data), and is not just limited to the information that the CheckUser tool provides those with access to it. The CheckUser policy goes more in depth with regards to the principles surrounding the actual usage of the CheckUser tool. More specifically, the criteria that must be met in order for a check to be ran, and standard operating procedures. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. What conditions does the checkuser policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    The CheckUser policy states that CheckUser is a tool which is granted to trusted users for the purpose of fighting vandalism, investigate cases of "bad faith editing" where there is a possibility of multiple accounts being used, and more generally to limit disruption to any Wikimedia project. As such an account must be involved in some form of disruption where there is a reasonable suspicion of multiple accounts being used before a check can be ran. It is worth nothing there are legitimate uses for alternate accounts. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  3. What conditions does the privacy policy require to be met in order to use the checkuser tool on an account?
    And I quote: "when investigating abuse on a project, including the suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior, the IP addresses of users (derived either from those logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior." Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  4. What conditions does the checkuser policy give on the release of data from the checkuser tool?
    For most of the cases, revealing a users IP is not an appropriate response. Only under certian circumstances should private data be released, those generally being when the disruption has reached a level to warrant IP blocks / range blocks. That said, there are ways of going about issuing range blocks without revealing who the IP is linked too. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
    The privacy policy states very specific conditions:
    In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement,
    With permission of the affected user,
    When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints,
    Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues,
    Where the user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers,
    Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Wikimedia Foundation, its users or the public. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. If you are granted CU access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    A.Nothing will change. I already work around SPI quite a bit, and deal with sockpuppetteers often. I will still ask for second opinions and seek help when needed. Just because I will have access to CheckUser will not mean I will be the end all know all. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Really last minute question from Spitfire
  1. Imagine a scenario where a user has created a vandalism page, which was tagged for speedy deletion, and they then then tried to remove the tag, but upon being stopped by a bot, they appeared to log out and remove the tag that way. The page was later deleted but an SPI case was opened on the user, you preform a check which reveals that the user is related to the IP, what action do you take?
    A. I am not sure a situation like that would even warrant a check to start with, given it is a pretty clear cases of DUCK. That said, I would probably leave a message on the users talk page advising them of our sock policies. I do not feel a block would be warranted. Tiptoety talk 20:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. What actions would you consider taking if you found an editor was using one or more open proxies to edit? Under what circumstances would you reveal this discovery to the community?
    • A. I think each situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Before taking any action, I would contact the user who is believed to be editing through an open proxy. If after doing so, I conclude that the intention of the user was to cause some form of disruption, evade a block, or avoid scrutiny then I would reveal the discovery to the community. Tiptoety talk 00:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:7
  • Q One of the less documented areas of CU work is to help out at WP:ACC when a CU rangeblock has been applied to an IP requesting a new account. This can be done directly in the ACC interface, or by responding to emails sent to the functionaries list or to a Quick SPI request. Do you have an account with ACC or would you be willing to setup one to help there too?
    • A. I had an ACC account a while ago, but had it closed due to inactivity. If this is an area that requires a fair amount of CheckUser work I would be willing to have my account reopened and help out when needed. I will be honest that this would not be a top priority for me. Tiptoety talk 22:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    A. Being that I already have access to the cross-wiki CheckUser mailing list, I am familiar with the type of discussions that take place. In that, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable of proxy detection and have often offered my assistance with such matters. I also hold CheckUser privileges on commons, and should the matter be cross-wiki I could provide my assistance there. Tiptoety talk 19:35, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment/Question from Max Rebo Band, I wonder if there isn't something underlying in the "election promise" that "My personal philosophy is that if I am unsure, hold off and ask for a second opinion." - when you appear to have been one of a handful of administrators on Wikimedia Commons who sipmly deleted dozens of images you found personally distasteful because they contained nudity this past month, without a proper channel such as a Deletion Request. I notice many of those images have been restored by other administrators, often because they were in fact on use in WMF projects, indicating you likely did not "hold off and ask for a second opinion". Examples would include File:Anelina Stretching.jpg, File:G0001.jpg, File:Camila Tavares making a handbra.jpg and File:Ashley Taking a Shower 15.jpg. I guess my concern is that your taste for "unilateral action without consensus" seems demonstrated for deleting images...how do you allay the concern that you may approach our privacy policy the same way when seeking to unmask sockpuppets? I notice that you were criticised for "misrepresenting" the fact you were in fact a Police Officer with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in your second failed Request for Admin, and admitted it yourself in your third Request. This does raise severe privacy concerns for me, when Law Enforcement is now seeking the ability to ascertain the actual identities of pseudonymous editors on WMF.Max Rebo Band (talk) 04:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Oversight candidates

Arbitrarily0

Arbitrarily0 (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Greetings all! Call me anything! I've been volunteering here at Wikipedia for a couple of years now (as an administrator since 2009). I reside in the Eastern Time Zone and am an OTRS and ACC volunteer. Being a gnome-elf hybrid of sorts, I suppose I have few major wiki-achievements to make you aware of. Low elf-esteem and gnome-good puns aside, oversight is nothing to laugh at. The responsibilities involved in dealing with oversight requests are immense. Handling real-world personal information is an interminable responsibility, very different from regular editing. As a trustworthy, honest, and helpful Wikipedian, I would be honored to extend my services to Wikipedia by helping protect the personal information of others. Thank you for your consideration, but more importantly, best regards!

Comments and questions for Arbitrarily0

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you? I hope that
    With the exception of the extra time taken to handle suppression requests, I do not see that bearing the oversight responsibility would or should affect my regular editing. Oversight is simply an expansion of volunteering in Wikipedia's background, and therefore I would hope that other editors would still feel perfectly comfortable in their interactions with me, the same as if I was an anonymous user.
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Although not required, I do feel that it is important for oversighters to respond to their requesters in most cases. In addition to being a courtesy, a response can also help the requester learn why or why not their request was handled, allowing them to make more accurate requests in the future.

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. How will you be willing to respond to saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    Unfortunately, declining requests is something that almost every administrator is forced to be familiar with, so doing so kindly is evermore important. Much of my personal experience in this area comes from handling permission requests and requests for undeletion (for example, developing Template:Afdund), where roughly half of the requests are declined. As outlined in the question above, declined unsuited good-faith requests are often best accompanied by a reply to the requester both as a courtesy, and in order to help focus their future requests.
  1. I just looked at your most recent 500 contributions. Almost all of them were red links from articles--other people's work--you deleted. I hope that was not done Arbitrarily, pun intended. How do you reconcile your work, which appears just to subtract from Wikipedia on a wholesale basis, vs all the other candidates who appear to make edits to try to improve Wikipedia? How will you being granted new, additional power serve to improve the Wikipedia project?
    Hiya! I think there might be a slight misunderstanding. Of my last 500 contributions, especially those throughout April, I've spent some time working on the daily articles for deletion backlog. I can assure you that none of my deletions (probably around 1/3 to 1/2 of my closures), if this is what you're referring to, were done arbitrarily. Rather, I hope that my work in this area helps show my dedication towards making accurate and policy-based decisions—the same dedication I would put forward to the responsibilities of oversight.
  1. Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
    While outing specifically refers only to the posting of another person's personal information, the scope of oversight is a bit larger. Revisions containing non-public personal information (including information accidentally self-published, such as an IP address), libelous/defamatory information (especially pertaining to living-person biographies), and logged attack names all fall under oversight's discretion.
  1. How much experience with submitting oversight requests, discussing usage of the tool, etc., have you had? Because you've only been an admin for six months, I wanted to hear an overview (from you personally) of your OS-related experiences.
    This is a very good question, which I am glad was brought up. Whether by random chance or just plain bad/good luck, I've never witnessed an unhandled oversight situation. That said, I have kept an active interest in oversight developments and its related discussions since before my request for adminship. While I am certainly not a candidate who is most experienced in oversight requests, if you do consider me, please consider me for my passion to learn and help, and my trustworthiness which I hope my past work conveys.
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    Before starting active communication on the mailing list, I think I would spend some good time following the discussions between veteran members, in order to better learn the intricacies of the process. That said, I also think that fresh new perspectives can be very helpful, and that my collaborative experiences in real-life as well as throughout Wikimedia projects might make a good addition to the team.

Beeblebrox

Beeblebrox (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Well, where to begin? I made my first edit as a registered user in July 2007, and passed my second attempt at RFA in August of last year. My editing is spread out fairly evenly throughout the week, I usually at least check in and make at least a few edits every day. I also recently started uploading images to Commons under this same name, and I have an account at Meta. As part of the purpose of this election is to find oversighters in under-represented time zones, I should mention that I live on the Kenai Peninsula of Southcentral Alaska, which is considered UTC-9 in winter, UTC-8 during daylight savings time. (which is an absurd concept in a part of the world that at this moment is getting fifteen and a half hours of daylight each day) In my time as a vandal fighter and subsequent step up to admin status, I have many times seen personal information posted to Wikipedia. Sometimes it is done maliciously, and sometimes out of doe-eyed ignorance of the ways of the larger world and the fact that there are some very bad people out there. I have always endeavored to remove such information as quickly as possible by editing the page or deleting and restoring it without the information, and have requested and received help from the oversight team on a few occasions.

In my real life I have some very similar duties. As the owner of a small business, I have personal information regarding my coworkers (I've never liked to think of myself as the boss, we work as a team) including their criminal and driving records. I am also privy to sensitive information regarding our clients, up to and including their home addresses, medical and mental health conditions, medications they take, when they come and go and who they are with when they do so, and sometimes other details that I don't need or want to know. I have to keep all this information to myself, and make sure my coworkers do the same, and have been pretty successful at doing so for the past nine years. In 2000, I also worked for the United States Census Bureau as an enumerator, a person who goes door-to-door finding people who did not fill out a census form and convincing them to fill one out right there on the spot with me. Obviously, this entailed a lot of sensitive information about my neighbors, which I had to listen to, record for posterity, and then forget all about it and never mention it anyone lest I be fined thousands of dollars and thrown in jail. So I'm pretty darn comfortable with keeping other people's personal information to myself. I'm glad we are not in competition with one another in this process because there are only six candidates and oversight can use all the help it can get. Best of luck to my fellow candidates. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Beeblebrox

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    When I became an admin it was a huge change for me. It altered the way I spent my time on Wikipedia more dramatically than I'd ever anticipated. However, oversight is basically just a more powerful admin tool that has to be used more cautiously than the others. Other than taking up a bit of the time I currently spend on dealing with other admin matters, I don't think it will change my actual editing all that much. It shouldn't effect my interactions with other users at all, except that I will probably use email more often in order to minimize the exposure of confidential information.
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    In most cases the person requesting the action should be able to tell what action has been taken, but it only takes a moment to shoot off an email to let them know what happened. I have gotten such emails when I have requested oversight in the past and it was good to know for sure that my concerns had been addressed by someone, so I think I would do the same in most cases.

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How will you be willing to respond to saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    last answer first: I would actively do it. Sometimes admins get requests that they don't really want to deal with, and they don't respond, figuring the user will find some other admin to do it. I admit I have done this myself on occasion, but the whole point of this process is that there isn't necessarily someone else around who can handle it, so a clear yes or no response is always warranted. As for saying no, I have plenty of experience both here and in the real world doing that. I get some very odd requests sometimes at my job from people who want me to stretch the definition of what I do to fit what they want me to do. The important thing is to make sure the person understands why their request is being denied, as opposed to just saying "no" and not even commenting on it, and not to be insulting or dismissive, to let them you did review the matter before coming to your decision..
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
  1. Well, some people "out" themselves without even realizing it. Often these are young children who don't realize that there is no such thing as "setting your profile to private" over here, and that they really shouldn't be posting their phone number, what school they go to, etc on here. With all the furor right now over "thinking of the children" oversight is one area that does just that, they just do it quickly and quietly. Other things to look for are libelous material or usernames, and certain types of extreme vandalism or copyright violations. Apparently there are also occasional requests from users who accidently edited while logged out in such a manner that their ip address could be linked back to them, and requests from the "front office" to remove material that could cause legal problems for the Foundation. While admins in general are considered a trusted group of users and can probably handle seeing such things and not blabbing about it, we have seen more than once that there are some who don't show their true colors until after they've gotten the bit, and there is a real potential for real life harm caused by such a person if they had access to sensitive confidential information.
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    Since I deal with privacy issues in my real job as well, I think I would bring a pragmatic, real world approach and perspective to such conversations. Since those discussions are closed I don't know that such a perspective is currently missing from them, but more of the same couldn't hurt. We need to be cognizant of the fact that Wikipedia is not Las Vegas, what happens here does not necessarily stay here. Indeed there are entire websites devoted solely to discussing what goes on here, and there have been instances where users attempted to use information they got from Wikipedia to threaten or harass people in the real world. Although powerful tools such as are granted to oversighters should not be used lightly, they also should not be used timidly if there is a need for them.

Closedmouth

Closedmouth (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

I'll keep this brief.

Been here since '05, admin since about a year ago, I mostly concern myself with so-called "gnomish" editing and adminning, so you've probably never heard of me. Typo fixing, deleting junk and dealing with vandals are my main areas of work, but I tend to flit about willy-nilly helping wherever I can.

I have made several requests for oversight over the years, all of which were carried out, and I have always felt it was an area I could potentially do good and helpful work in. I have the utmost respect for other people's right to privacy and I would do my best to make sure that our precious open editing policy doesn't allow for that privacy to be taken away.

I am currently in the timezone Universal Coordinated Time +10 and am available through IRC and email most hours of the afternoon, evening and night, which is apparently a valuable commodity around these parts.

Thank you for your time, I won't waste any more of it.

Comments and questions for Closedmouth

Apologies for the slow responses, I've had some real life distractions that I consider more important. --Closedmouth (talk) 07:07, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    I can't imagine how it would change anything outside of the fact that I have an extra set of buttons. "Oversighter" is not a step up some imaginary ladder of authority, and I hope people would not perceive of it as such. I'll still be doing the things I do, just with some added responsibility behind the scenes.
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    When I made requests for suppression previously, I wasn't fussed if I didn't get a response in the event of my request being carried through with, it's easy enough to see that it's been done. On the other hand, if my request was declined, I would have expected a response detailing why, it's just common courtesy. I will reply to all oversight requests that I accept or decline, but whether or not others do is up to them.

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How will you be willing to respond to saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    Oversight is pretty much policy-bound, if something isn't covered by oversight policy, it's simple just to say "This request isn't covered by oversight policy, the material you refer to does not need to be oversighted" or something along those lines. So yes, to the second part.
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
  1. As little as possible, if we can help it, but any gross violations of law such as extensive copyright violations, libellous material, especially of living people, anything listed at Wikipedia:Oversight#Policy basically. Policy is pretty cut and dry with this, and I don't intend to deviate from it.
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    I don't see what this has to do with me getting oversight, but I'll try to answer it anyway. I don't consider myself an outspoken person, and I have never contributed my own opinions to a mailing list, Wikimedia-related or otherwise. That being said, if I am called on to contribute, I will do my best to be honest, forthright and unbiased and to be informed about what I'm saying before I say it. I try to also be unswayed by petty politics, but I guess most people like to say that. I hope this is adequate, I was unsure how to approach this question.

Lankiveil

Lankiveil (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

G’Day!

My name is Craig Franklin, and I’m an Australian in my mid-20s. I have been editing since August 2004, and I passed RFA on my first attempt back in August of 2008. My activity here is a mixture of article editing and gnomish stuff; I have contributed a number of DYKs and frequently engage in cleanup and polishing of new articles added by new editors. I also do quite a bit of work around AIV, CSD, and our other various "behind the scenes" processes. I am also a founding member of Wikimedia Australia, and have been involved in numerous outreach activities to museums and educational institutions on behalf of the chapter. I am also an OTRS volunteer and have dealt with a number of cases in that capacity.

I believe I am suited to the role of oversight due to my experience dealing with subjects that require discretion and an appreciation of real-world consequences that might ensue from things that happen on Wikipedia. This experience comes from working with OTRS, long experience as an admin, and from my real-world job, which often involves handling sensitive information. I have in the past made a number of requests for particular revisions to be oversighted, none of which have been turned down.

I’m available pretty much every evening via email, Skype, and sometimes on IRC as well. I’m committed to being as transparent and accountable as possible given the nature of the tools. I would primarily be available between 19:00 and 23:00 AEST (09:00 to 13:00 UTC), although I often find a way to get online at other times as well.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to the other oversight candidates and the checkuser candidates as well! Lankiveil (speak to me) 00:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Lankiveil

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    I do not believe so. I've actually become more of a content contributor after getting the admin flag, and I don't see myself getting so preoccupied with oversight that my other activities drop off. I certainly wouldn't expect other editors to treat me any different as an oversighter, just like how I don't expect other editors to treat me differently as an arbclerk or administrator.
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Definitely yes. It's impossible to know the exact circumstances of every request for oversight that I might receive, but my general policy would be to reply to requesters either thanking them for bringing something oversightable to our attention, or outlining the reasons why their request has been denied.

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How will you be willing to respond to saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    Per the answer to the question above, I'm very happy to say "no" to a request if it doesn't have any merit. If you look at my history of admin actions, you'll see that I'm quite comfortable turning down a request for tool use when I don't think the situation justifies it. The key is to be polite, but not a pushover. In most circumstances, I would outline my reasons for saying "no" in my reply to the requester (unless it's obviously a bad faith request or similar).
  1. Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
    Generally speaking, hiding stuff from everyone including administrators is something that should be done as infrequently as possible. With that said, there are some cases where it might be justified; under a directive from the foundation, information that could be used for fraud or to steal identities (credit card numbers and the like), or situations where there is some suspicion that an admin might be misusing suppressed data (I hope that one does not ever happen on my watch though!). Without seeing the sorts of requests that get sent in, I'd be extremely conservative with the ability to hide stuff from even administrators.
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    I think that all of the candidates here could bring something new, unique, and useful to the mailing list. Obviously, I don't have access to the list so I'm not certain what actually goes on in there, but I am calm, rational, and as my nominator said on my RFA, "He is capable of explaining his opinion and motives well". I've also been around for a long time (longer than any of the other oversight candidates), so I have a broad base of experience of the comings and goings of the project to draw upon.

LessHeard vanU

LessHeard vanU (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hiya.
I am Mark James Slater, resident in the United Kingdom, 50 years old and a father of two, and a husband. I have edited from this account since March 2006, previously as an ip for a couple of months, and have been an administrator since May 2007. I have 3 alternate accounts, of which only LHvU (talk · contribs) has any substantive edits.
I have put my name forward for consideration for the responsibility of Oversight, since I feel it falls within my competence and preferred role within the project. I am no longer the content contributor that I was, and am now firmly orientated toward commentary and advice, interpretation and implementation of policy and guideline, and combating vandalism and disruption to the community. It is this last aspect I feel I could usefully expand by being able to assist in the removal or suppression of content that violates WP:Oversight. I put myself forward as someone who would be scrupulous in application of the policy and where there is any area of doubt of leaning to the side of suppression - since such material may be reintroduced if found appropriate, whereas violations that remain may create serious damage to the project or members of the community - who would, however, initially be content to assist and participate with my colleagues while familiarising myself with the responsibility. As ever, as far as the particular standards of the role permit, I would seek to be accountable for my actions.
With regard to the last, I would necessarily amend my Caveat to permit people to contact me with possibly sensitive information with confidence. While my antipathy toward IRC remains, I am contactable upon Skype, Windows and Yahoo Messenger, as well as my Wikipedia email and talkpage. I would be available most weekday evenings and over the weekends, as I have previously been with my editing. I would close by further noting my participation at Wikipedia Review, although I would be unwilling to recommend that environment as a communication option.
I was pleased that the ArbCom saw fit to allow me to proceed to this stage in the process, and I am content to allow the members of the community to pass their judgement on my fitness to assume the responsibility of Oversighter. So... Let's get started.

LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for LessHeard vanU

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    I am quite sure that the Oversight responsibilities will effect my editing (as in article editing) minimally; it is now so small a part of my contributions that even if it stopped then the net result to the project would not register. As an administrator, I think it will mostly be an extension of my anti-vandal / countering disruption work I already participate in and therefore not. If the requests were in the form of removing personal information relating to the requester, then that is also an extension of my responsibilities in helping editors, of which I have had some experience. Should it effect me (or any applicant, for that matter)? No, we should all be mature and experienced enough to encompass the responsibility otherwise we should not have asked to be considered and likely would not have been confirmed by ArbCom.(Nothing like reviewing other candidates responses to realise one has missed the point of the question...) I very much doubt having these flags would improve peoples perceptions of me. I cannot believe, also, that someone who would have contacted me previously in an admin or editor capacity would not do so because I were an Oversighter - and quite rightly.
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Yes. If I, or another, has used a flag then a "thank you" is the least we can give to someone who took the time to point out such a serious violation. It has been my experience as a reporter to receive such confirmations. If a request has been refused, I think it more important in order to explain why; so that the policy is better clarified and the misunderstanding of it not repeated, and that the reporter is encouraged to contact an Oversighter next time they think they see an appropriate incident. Lastly, of course, a response declining a request may elicit a reply that provides more context relating to the original request which may then result in the request being granted. Communication in all events is essential.

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How will you be willing to respond to saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    I would be willing because it is - or should be - part of the remit of the role to communicate as clearly as possible the reasons why a decision is made, so that a better understanding of the policies ensues when a request is declined. On that basis, and the reasons given within the answer to HJ Mitchell's second question above, I most certainly would.
  1. Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
    Outing is covered by bulletin point 1. of Wikipedia:Oversight#Policy, regarding the disclosure of private information that is not readily discoverable. As I see it is part of a duty of care toward individuals that disclosure of such information, whether deliberately or accidentally exposed, should be restricted to potentially as few persons as possible. In the same way, points 2. and 3. are more in regard to the limiting of exposure of content, including administrators, in an effort to reduce the liability of the project. Simply, the fewer people who have had access to such material, whether they viewed it or not, equates to less potential damage.
    The use of Oversight tools to hide username violations, and to remove serious vandalism, from administrators is policy. As administrators habitually deal with serious vandalism, and often hardusername block accounts, and are already trusted members of the community I might wonder what circumstances might arise where sysops should be unable to view such content, but... if instructed to oversight or suppress such instances then that is what I would do.

You mention that "possibly sensitive information" is the only reason you would override your caveat ("I shall consider that the sender has waived any claim of privacy...").

  1. Q. Please expound specifically on what types of cases you would consider under the umbrella of "claim of privacy", and which cases you would disregard that.
    Any email I would receive as part of the role of Oversighter would be exempt from my caveat - I will make the necessary alteration to make that clear should I be one of the successful candidates, and upon confirmation that the WMF are satisfied with my bona fides. The caveat as worded is something I feel necessary to enable me to better perform the task of sysop, and was written specifically for that purpose.
  2. Q. Because you are "not bound" by privacy requests, does your caveat mean that you are willing to repost or provide copies of conversations with others against their will? Do you see merit to keeping certain (perhaps not blatantly sensitive) email communication private, or no?
    Last point first; people have entrusted me with sensitive information by email - and this is the first and possibly the only time I have noted that fact. Nothing I have received has made me consider divulging the contents. I will also say that I have been notified by a couple of people commenting they will not provide certain information because of my caveat, and again it is only in this context that I mention it. The first point is that by contacting me via off Wiki under notice of my caveat means that I do have their permission to disseminate the contents of such messages, and thus it cannot be against their will. That is the entire raison d'etre of the caveat. It is also the reason why I would amend it in such a way so that I would be able to perform the task of Oversighter, should I be granted that position of trust, without compromising the privacy of the reporter, the subject or any other individuals involved.
  3. Q. Do you think your caveat, even if it gets amended, may interfere with others' trust in you as an oversighter? Why or why not?
    Well, since it would be amended were I to be granted the communities trust to undertake the responsibility I am unable to answer what difference the current styling would make to peoples perception. In an amended form - and I am confident I can do so unambiguously - the answer is no. It would clearly define the different expectations regarding privacy and non-disclosure in relation to the separate roles of Oversighter and sysop. In the former, I would only release such information as is required to enable me to undertake the role of Oversighter to persons with the same or greater obligations to confidence than me. In the latter, the status quo would remain.
    Comment Good questions. I had been anticipating something, and these were well considered and constructed. LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:56, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
  1. Qualities? Hmmm... I suppose I would consider myself an effective communicator, in that I can usually convey my point of view comprehensively (if not always succinctly). I think I have the ability to both comprehend and absorb other points of view, although you may need other peoples input toward that point. I certainly try to. I should think that my participation in a topic I am involved in would be consistent - I am unlikely to drop out before it is concluded. As for perspective, it would be as someone who is rather wedded to the ideal of transparency and communication. While I understand the nature of Oversight and Checkuser necessarily involves an expectation of privacy, I would possibly seek to present a pov that was orientated toward disclosure where possible so to test that the appropriate standards in the application of non-disclosure are maintained. I also regard myself as something of an "outside of the box" thinker, so I could be someone who may offer different options when discussing practice and policy application. Truth is, though, I have no idea of how the role, my presence on the mailing list, or any aspect might effect me - or the environment - should I be permitted to participate. I will simply be me, I suppose. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:07, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Ryan Postlethwaite

Ryan Postlethwaite (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hi there. For all those that don't know me, I'm Ryan. I've been here since October 2006 and an administrator since March 2007. I currently serve as a clerk for the Arbitration Committee and I formerly chaired the Mediation Committee.

My reason for requesting the oversight flag is because over the past year, a considerable number of users have contacted me privately with material that needs to be either suppressed oversighted and it's taken time to do as I've had to direct them to the oversight mailing list. It's given me time to think about the flag and how I could use it to help with any backlog that the mailing list might have. Most backlogs on Wikipedia don't mean anything, but this is one where time really is of the essence.

Whilst I believe that the current oversighters work extremely hard and action requests in a timely manner, I believe that with a few more they will be able to work very efficiently.

I hope that over the years that I have earned the trust of the community to use the oversight tool correctly. Should I receive the flag and at any point be unsure as to what to do, I will always request a second opinion from other members of the team. Whilst time is an important factor here, it's also important to get it right first time.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and thank you in advance for taking the time to vote. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Ryan Postlethwaite

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    Not at all. The oversight flag is not a hat of importance, it's merely a critical task that needs doing. Oversighters have no higher standing than any other members of the community. That said, I believe it's especially important for oversighters to work in a professional manner when working on requests and work to a higher than expected standard of civility when dealing with users who are making requests. In short, oversighters have no greater power than any other user and so should not change the way they interact with others. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Absolutely. If someone has taken the time to request oversight, then I think it's the right thing to do to let them know the outcome of their request. This is especially important when dealing with people outside the project. If there is a delay whilst it is being discussed, then the user requesting the oversight should be kept informed. It's common courtesy to do so, but it also allows individual community members to learn why, or why not, their requests were actioned in the way they were. Hopefully it allows them to learn better when oversight is appropriate. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How well will you do saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    I think it's obvious that there will be a number of requests that shouldn't be actioned. I'd have no problem turning down a request if it wasn't within policy. That said, if at any point I wasn't sure I'd ask for a second opinion. I know I've used the oversight mailing list in the past when I wasn't too sure in order to get opinions from members of the team - in fact, the last one you answered in an extremely friendly manner, which moves me nicely onto my second point..... When responding negatively to a request, I'd always strive to do it as civilly as possible and offer as much advice to the user in question, both on policy and what options they had available (such as revision deletion). Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Q. A couple of weeks ago my talk page was repeatedly vandalised and the edit summaries in particular contained increasingly gross personal attacks and threats. Please look at the edit summaries here: [1][2].

Please set out your decision and reasoning if were you to receive a request for this material to be suppressed. Leaky Caldron 12:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

  1. Per the policy, these requests could potentially be handled by being suppressed. I would stat a discussion on the oversight mailing list if these edits came to my attention as policy requires. There may be an argument that these requests could potentially be handled using normal admin deletion (i.e. deleting the whole talk page and restoring the history minus the diffs), but in the case of such egregious and attacking vandalism, I think that I would err towards to the side of suppressing them using the oversight flag. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
    An interesting question - This in many ways is a balancing act between hiding revisions which all users shouldn't see and allowing administrators to have all the information available to them before acting. One obvious area is BLP - if there's potentially libelous material on the project, then I think that would be a good candidate for suppression as that shouldn't be seen by anyone - it's still libeling someone wherever it's at. In some cases vandalism should be suppressed as well, but that's more due to the fact that there are restraints on the number of revisions an administrator can delete. In egregious violations, when someone is being seriously attacked or threatened, there may be a case to suppress this from all users. Another area that policy says can be suppressed is where there's copyright violations, but per policy, this should only be done after a direct statement from WMF counsel - To be honest, I doubt I'd work very much in this area anyway and from what I've seen, it's rarely enforeced. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:23, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from Tryptofish
  • I hope you don't mind my asking this, but there was recently this incident. Can you assure us that this was a unique event, and that it doesn't portend problems with a new flag? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
    • To be perfectly honest with you Tryptofish, that was a complete mistake using twinkle for the first time. It completely changed my interface and I wasn't at all aware that Twinkle could be so powerful. I'm fully aware that Oversight is a powerful tool and some actions using it aren't easily reversed - Basically, I now know not to press buttons when I don't know what they do :-) . In short, it was a totally unique event and I can assure you that I learnt plenty of lessons from it! Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 21:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Hypothetical scenario from bahamut0013
  • This may or not be a softball for you, but please tell me how you would handle this situation: I use the e-mail function to inform you that I have recently recieved some off-wiki threats. In the email, I state that I have used my real name for several years and that my userspace and a few user and article talk pages have information about myself, that if peiced together, could help reveal my identity and location to outing; normally not an issue since I believe in transparency, but the threat of RL harm has me spooked. I request to have this information expunged from the encyclopedia. How would you handle this (please be very detailed)? bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
    • This is an extremely tough question and I would guess is one with no correct answer - people will simply differ in opinions, but let me take a stab at it. As far as the oversight policy goes, oversight can be used for "removal of non-public personal information, such as phone numbers, home addresses, workplaces or identities of pseudonymous or anonymous individuals who have not made their identity public." In this case, what you're essentially suggesting is that the user in question made the information public, but then wished to retract this information. I'm not sure exactly how policy would view this - I'd probably have to say that this shouldn't be actioned. It would depend on a number of things though; Firstly, how widely the name was spread across the project. If the name in question could easily be removed (i.e. it was only in a couple of diffs) then there might be an argument towards allowing the request. If it was in a large number of pages, or a large number of diffs would need oversighting then I'd suggest that it wouldn't be actioned. This is one of those situations where I'd always start a discussion on the oversight mailing list to get the thoughts of other oversighters - I couldn't, and wouldn't, decide this off my own back. Another consideration is who made the name public originally - if it wasn't the user in question then it would give greater weight towards allowing the request. A further issue would be whether or not there had been a threat made towards the individual - if someone was attempting to use their personal details then this may also be a reason to allow the request. To give an example; It would be impossible for me to request that every record of my name be oversighted from the project - I've used my real name since I started here and it would be too large a task for the oversight personnel (plus, a good argument would be that I introduced it myself). I have placed my mobile number on my own userpage. If I wanted it removed from the project completely because someone had started making malicious calls to me, then it would only affect my own userpage and there would be relatively few diffs that would need to be oversighted - in this case, although I brought the information onto the project myself, there would be a good case to allow the oversight. Apologies about the waffling, it's just there's a lot of matters to consider. Please feel free to ask a follow up question if you want anything clarifying. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 16:08, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
      • You've already given sufficient explanation and justification for me, so I won't cause you any more grey hairs on it. In any case, I deliberatly made it ambigious enough that you would seek the judgement of others in a tricky situation, which is what I was hoping you would say (the remainder of the answer not being particularly important to me, though I applaud your detailed response). I'm of the opinion that "no man is an island", and somebody who would wade into the surf alone and get swept away doesn't have what it takes. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 20:45, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from JamieS93
  • You recently opposed an RfA candidate for making a rollback mistake 10 days prior. Within the CU/OS application period, you made a few deletion mistakes when trying out Twinkle, as outlined above (Q6). I have no problem with people making mistakes, but to be completely honest, it looks like a double-standard here. Feel free to explain in more detail, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I wouldn't say it's double standards for a few reasons; Firstly, HJ Mitchell had concerns stemming from his first RfA about the use of rollback. Whilst one might say it's a minor issue, I felt that he simply hadn't learnt lessons from that first RfA. My second, and perhaps most substantive point is that my deletion error was purely a technical problem - I clicked a button by accident and didn't know what I was doing. The minute it became apparent what I'd done, I immediately went to the admin noticeboard for guidance. HJ Mitchell's mistake was different - he rolled back an edit knowing full well what he was doing - he was using rollback and it wasn't until those concerns were brought to him that he apologised for his error. In short, my mistake was purely technical and my deletions did not reflect what I was trying to achieve whilst HJ Mitchell's mistake was an error or judgment which showed he misunderstood what admin rollback was for. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 20:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
  • I think it's fair to say that all the candidates standing will bring fresh blood and insight onto the mailing list - it's always good to have new input and ideas. As I noted in my statement, I'm an Arbitration Committee clerk and also a former chair from the Mediation Committee which means that I have a background in Wikipedia's dispute resolution mechanisms. I think that my experience in these roles will be useful to the mailing list. Both the roles that I've just noted have private mailing lists which do occasionally have private matters discussed in them - I've therefore developed skills in discussing private matters so I wouldn't be coming to functionaries-en blind. I believe I could give sage advice on the mailing list and as already noted, from a fresh perspective. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 19:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Someguy1221

Someguy1221 (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hello.

I'm Someguy1221 (Bob Johnson), an active editor for the last three years, and an administrator for the last year. With regard to Wikipedia, I tend to focus on one area at a time. Over my three years, my point of focus has shifted between vandal patrol, gnome-like mass edits, articles for creation (AFC), newpage patrol, AFD, and the reference desk. I have at all times maintained a low level of ativity across AFC, reference desks, the help desk and related pages, and blocking users reported to AIV. I also monitor false positive reports for the abuse filter, and occasionally edit them.

Right now, and for some time, my most active area has been OTRS emails. Unfortunately, most Wikipedians cannot see them and thus cannot judge the bulk of my recent contributions to the project. Most OTRS matters that I handle merely require me to answer questions, but it also leads me to further matters of vandal fighting, dispute resolution, etc.

I believe I would be a good fit for oversight because responding to questions and complaints has long been what continues to draw me to Wikipedia - the desire to help out fellow editors. This is what keeps me active at the help desk, AFC, false-positive reports, and OTRS; I enjoy answering questions, handling complaints, and fixing problems.

Additionally, in answering OTRS questions and lurking over almost every noticeboard and Q/A forum, issues occasionally pop up that would be best handled by oversight. Indeed, it is through answering emails and lurking noticeboards that I was led to most of my recent administrative actions.

I live in Southern California, and am available on almost all days from 10pm - 2am pacific time. As an OTRS volunteer, I have already provided my age (above 18) and identity to the foundation.

Comments and questions for Someguy1221

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    Obviously, as an editor and an administrator, I would no longer have to email oversight for obvious cases. Otherwise, the only effect it should have on me is providing yet another compelling reason to go about editing in a way that retains the community's confidence in myself. All administrators are in a position of trust within the community, and must know that although they have earned their position through hard work, it is janitorial only, and that trust can be lost. Oversights and OTRS volunteers are entrusted even more greatly, specifically to maintain the confidentiality of private information.
    I sincerely hope that, should I receive oversight permissions, editors do not change how they interact with me, aside from feeling confortable sharing concerns about material that has been or should be oversighted. Neither administrators nor members of any other user access level have greater authority than others in the realm of content disputes. The only difference with regards to editing is that administrators and oversights are expected to be well versed in policy, and able to maintain their cool. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Personally, I greatly appreciate when I receive a response, positive or otherwise, after requesting oversight. However, without personally knowing what volume of email the oversights face, I cannot pass judgement on their failure to respond to all requests. From my experience with OTRS, there are certainly some emails that are better to not respond to. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How well will you do saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    Between AFC, OTRS, help desk requests, abuse filter false-positive reports, and questions on my talk page regarding articles I have deleted, I am very used to having to say "no" to other editors. I would actively say no to requests to oversight material that does not require oversight, and be as courteous as possible about it. Someguy1221 (talk) 09:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
    Outing specifically refers to providing inappropriate private information about an editor, but oversight is also used to hide inappropriate private information about anyone, as well as certain extreme cases of copyright violations and BLP violations. And revision-delete can be used for hiding offensive usernames and edit summaries. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:07, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    I will bring the perspective of someone who firmly believes that all internet denizens are entitled to privacy, even those who do not respect the rights of others. I will all bring the quality of respect for the opinions of all existing functionaries. But largely, I expect to spend a lot of time simply watching what happens to the less cut-and-dry cases reported for oversight. Whenever I start to contribute to a new noticeboard, help desk, or OTRS mailing category, I normally spend a bit of time simply watching how others deal with sticky issues, before diving into them myself. Someguy1221 (talk) 06:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Valley2city

Valley2city (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Hi, I’m Matt (aka Valley2city) and I’m running for Oversight. I'm 26 and will be 27 by the end of the election. I have been a registered user on Wikipedia for four and a half years and an admin for fourteen months after a nearly unanimous RfA. After dabbling in many aspects of adminship I have found my niche working primarily with speedy deletions, and particularly with those that fall under criterion G10, aka Attack pages. While performing these duties I often come across information that needs oversight, such as phone numbers and social security numbers, and proceed to e-mail the OS list and then track down oversighters on IRC. Sometimes I get a relatively quick responses, and sometimes not, but there are not enough oversighters to guarantee that there will be an OSer online (hence my using IRC after e-mailing to see if any OSers are active). I have also worked with difficult cases, such as discovering that a terrorist had an active Wikipedia account immediately after he shot up a federal building in a deadly attack, as well as taking a leadership role in dealing with hard-to-keep-up-with high levels of vandalism due to talk show hosts recruiting their users to vandalize and disrupt Wikipedia. There are things that need oversight, and there are things which need revision deletion and there are things that just need to be reverted and I think I have the discretion to determine which needs which.

As I mentioned I am active on IRC and do a lot of coordination through there. I am also a volunteer of the OTRS response team in the English and Hebrew queues.

Off-wiki, as I have mentioned on my user page, I perform a sort of oversight in my daily life, as a mashgiach (a kosher supervisor) and as a rabbinical student. Whether checking if the contents of a box are kosher, if there is a mistake in a Torah reading or marriage document, or eliminating bread crumbs (with a flamethrower!), I am constantly scrutinizing things and thinking on my feet. I think that I can serve as extra set of eyes to give close scrutiny to things that need oversighting, not rash but still efficient. I might not be the most active administrator but this is definitely the department in which I focus my time both IRL and on-wiki.

  • NEW! Please note that as a religious Jew I do not use a computer during the Jewish Festival of Shavuot and therefore will not be online from Tuesday Evening Pacific Daylight Saving Time (Wednesday 2 AM-ish UTC) to 9 PM Thursday PDT (Friday 4 AM UTC). Additionally I will be celebrating my birthday with friends following the holiday and will probably be limited in my editing that night. I hope that you will understand if I don’t answer questions posed during this time until I emerge from the holiday and birthday celebrations Thanks, Valley2city 00:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Shavuot Festival and Shabbat over. I'm now in it until the end. Valley2city 04:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments and questions for Valley2city

  1. If you are granted Oversight access, how do you think that will affect you as an editor and an administrator and do you think that will (or should) affect the way that other editors interact with you?
    Thanks for the questions. I don't think this will considerably affect what I do besides that it gives me the ability to act on the occasions that I find information that needs oversight. As I mentioned in my statement, I mainly deal with Speedy Deletions and so such information is something that I frequently come across and this will give me the technical ability to deal with it. As for the way others interact with me, I don't think that it will change much either. The much bigger change comes with becoming an administrator. Oversight happens to be a bit that is given to a select few administrators, people who already have earned the community's trust, and happen to have a legal requirement to identify themselves to the foundation. I think the only real difference is that when someone pings !OS on IRC, I'll get paged and I'll be getting a couple more e-mails. Valley2city 04:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Do you feel it's important for oversighters to reply to email requests to inform the requester of the action you've taken or not taken?
    Definitely. If someone took the time to e-mail OS then a simple "thank you for your vigilance" would be well-merited. As an OTRSer and as a human being I understand the importance of responding to e-mails to know that you are being heard. It doesn't have to be more than a sentence or two, but the thank you and perhaps a brief descriptor of how you've handled it or why you are not handling it might just brighten that person's day. Well, maybe not, but it probably couldn't hurt! Valley2city 04:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  3. Do you feel that your religious observances (and please don't take offence at my asking) might negatively affect your availability and ability to act as an oversighter?
    I don't take offense and thank you for the question, for it was also raised at my RfA. My religious observances would necessitate that I be offline for the duration of the Sabbath once a week as well as the restrictive days of the Jewish Festivals (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot). Though this does mean I am gone one day a week (or on the rare occasion of Festivals two or three days total), I find that, if anything, my batteries are recharged to face the coming week. I think it's great to have one day off to avoid burn-out both in real life and on-wiki. Speaking of which, I'm feeling very refreshed right now coming out of Shabbat. Valley2city 04:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I know it is asked in the questionnaire:

  1. Q. How well will you do saying no to a request, and will you actively do it?
    Hey Keegan, I was about to go to sleep and did one last check of the questions and I noticed this question creeping up on other candidates' sections so I figured it was only a matter of time before I got asked. I have to say "no" to requests on a regular basis. When users make requests for rollback or other permissions, sometimes I grant it, but sometimes I can't grant it, whether I've determined they are not ready or have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. But when I do have to say no, I try to be as cordial as possible. Relevant diffs include [3] [4] [5] [6]. Valley2city 08:09, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Question from User:zzuuzz
  • Other than attempts at outing, what types of revisions should be hidden from administrators?
  1. Sometimes outing is unintentional, such as when it is self inflicted ie, when an established user accidentially edits while logged out and the edit is personally identifiable. There is also situations where a revision should not exist even in the deleted-but-undeletable form, or mandated by the Office (in cases of libel and copyvio). Rather then leaving the risk of legal action or other issues in these situations, it's policy that these things be obliterated instead of undeletable or viewable by admins. I want to add that there is a reason that OSers and CheckUsers have to identify themselves to the WMF whereas admins don't. It goes beyond trust, something which we hopefully have for all our admins, and into legal responsibility. Valley2city 19:25, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. All CheckUsers and Oversighters are members of the functionaries-en mailing list, a forum for discussion and co-ordination of privacy-related issues which affect any and all areas of Wikipedia. What qualities and perspectives would you bring to such discussions?
    Coordinated responses are very useful on matters in which you shouldn’t run in, guns blazing. I know all about dealing with privileged information and how to coordinate a response. As someone who is going to be clergy this is something I take very seriously. In order to be able to cope with the information that is thrown at you, you need a few allies, such as other colleagues, members of the clergy whom you can trust and with whom you can talk about cases you don’t know how to deal with. We need to protect privacy as much as possible but also be able to discuss how to handle it. I also think I will learn a lot watching the more complicated cases unfold and be able to put in my own two cents as I originally did on the admin channel on IRC. By taking it all in I quickly learned the ropes. My thoughts collected, I think I have a lot I can contribute. Valley2city 17:11, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Results

Below are the results of the elections for CheckUser and Oversight permissions conducted in May 2010:

CheckUser results

Note: 393 users participated in this election
Username Support Neutral Oppose % Support
Amalthea 211 122 60 77.8%
MuZemike 213 81 99 68.3%
Tiptoety 209 67 116 64.3%
Jamesofur 146 128 119 55.1%

Oversight results

Note: 368 users participated in this election
Username Support Neutral Oppose % Support
Lankiveil 133 166 69 65.8
Ryan Postlethwaite 182 61 125 59.3
Closedmouth 123 157 88 58.3
Beeblebrox 138 119 111 55.4
LessHeard vanU 151 88 129 53.9
Valley2city 90 181 97 48.1
Someguy1221 82 196 90 47.6
Arbitrarily0 93 171 104 47.2

See also