|If you are a user who has a request for suppression, please note that details should not be posted in public. Use this form, email oversight-en-wpwikipedia.org, or see Wikipedia:Requests for oversight for other ways to request suppression.|
|This page in a nutshell: Suppression (historically "oversight") is used within strict limits to protect privacy, to remove defamatory material, and sometimes to remove serious copyright violations, from any page or log entry.|
Suppression on Wikipedia (also known as oversight for historical reasons) is a form of enhanced deletion that, unlike normal page deletion or revision deletion, expunges information from any form of usual access, even by administrators. It is used within strict limits to protect privacy, remove defamatory material, and sometimes to remove serious copyright violations, from any edit, revision, page, or log entry (including, if required, the list of users) on the English Wikipedia.
On the English Wikipedia, "oversight" (the power to suppress information) is entrusted to a restricted number of users, who can suppress material if it meets the strict requirements below. Use of these tools is monitored by other oversighters who patrol the log, and by the Arbitration Committee. The fastest way to request oversight is to email the oversight team.
The permission is granted by Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee, after community consultation and vetting of the editor by the committee's members and the functionary team. While there is no formal requirement that oversighters also be administrators, the Arbitration Committee has traditionally restricted applications to users who are currently administrators. Oversighters must also be 18 years of age or older and have signed the Wikimedia Foundation's confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information before being appointed. The use of the Oversight tool on the English Wikipedia is monitored and controlled by the Arbitration Committee, and Oversighters may have their permissions revoked by the Arbitration Committee for misuse or abuse of the Oversight permission.
This policy supplements the global oversight policy and applies only to the English Wikipedia.
The original term "oversight" (for the function/tool) came from the Oversight extension, a revision removal function, whose log access was intended to allow oversight of its operation. The Oversight extension was intended to be a temporary measure; in 2009 the RevisionDelete system was enabled which fixed several problems with oversight (including causing misattribution of edits and its irreversibility) and added features not originally present (including account and log hiding). For historical reasons, the group of users with the ability to use the RevisionDelete and Oversight tools are still known as "oversighters" and suppression might still be referred to as "oversight." However, "oversight" might refer specifically to use of the Oversight extension, while suppression will not.
Page revisions removed with the old Oversight extension did not leave a placeholder in the page history and could not be restored, and revisions that were hidden using the old Oversight extension were logged at Special:Oversight; Oversight, however, has been superseded by RevisionDelete with the new version and deployment of the MediaWiki software. With the replacement of the old extension with the updates and changes to the MediaWiki software, revisions suppressed with RevisionDelete (the new suppression workflow) leave a visible placeholder in the page history and can be restored if the situation calls for it. All visibility changes that were made on Wikipedia using the old Oversight extension were migrated over to the updated workflow and hence are visible and reversible.
|Hidden from:||Visible to all in page history?||Easily reversible?||In public deletion log?|
This feature is approved for use in these cases:
In the following cases, revision or log suppression may be used when justified by the circumstances. However, consideration should be given to whether administrative revision deletion is an adequate response:
The original meta:Oversight policy, containing only the first three criteria above, was adopted because the now-deprecated Oversight tool did not provide oversighters with the ability to restore oversighted revisions. The fourth criterion was adopted at meta:Oversight policy in November 2009. The fifth criterion was adopted after the implementation of RevisionDelete which allowed suppression actions to be easily reversed.
Suppression of account renames will not be granted. This is true even if the original username is a real name. The Oversight team recommends to users who have serious privacy concerns because of their username, but who also wish to continue editing Wikipedia, to create a new account and disclose the connection to the Arbitration Committee.
Oversighters can perform the following actions:
The RevisionDelete extension, as well as the delete and block function pages can be used by both oversighters and administrators. Oversighters have an extra option in the RevisionDelete extension that, when ticked, indicates that the visibility change is a suppression action that prevents administrator access, or (if left unticked) as an administrator action that any administrator can see and modify. The delete and block function pages also have an extra option available to oversighters that, when ticked, automatically suppress all revisions and information, or suppress the username from all edits and log entries, respectively. Administrators do not have access to these extra options. These actions are logged in the suppression log if the options are ticked, or the deletion log or block log if they are not.
Each entry in the log will list the account who made the visibility change, a timestamp of when the change was saved, the page, edits, or logs that the changes were saved to, and the summary that the performing user entered when applying the change. Log entries regarding the visibility of an edit include a diff link to compare the previous live revision to the modified one.
On the English language Wikipedia, access to the suppress function of the RevisionDelete tool is controlled by the Arbitration Committee. Permission is generally automatically granted to members of the Arbitration Committee and retained by them when they leave the committee. Non-Arbitrators may be granted the oversight user rights at the discretion of the Arbitration Committee, and are selected for trustworthiness and availability to handle requests. However, only a very few appointments are typically made per year. Users interested in obtaining access should add the Arbcom noticeboard to their watchlists for an announcement or contact the Committee, and proceed from there. Appointments that are confirmed by the Arbitration Committee will be posted on Requests for permission on Meta-Wiki, a Steward will assign the permission once the user has completed the necessary non-public information confidentiality document.
Beginning in 2009, the Arbitration Committee held periodic elections that allowed the community to have a voice in choosing oversighters. Candidates were vetted by Arbcom, and a list of pre-approved candidates was presented to the community for a vote. The May 2010 election then resulted in no new oversighters, and thereafter appointments were made directly by the Committee with community consultation. The Committee has since held "calls for applications", and sought community input among interested candidates before making the final selections, typically around once a year.
Oversighter status may be revoked by the Arbitration Committee at any time. Generally, permission is revoked only "for cause", such as abuse of suppression to remove items that do not qualify under the stated policy, or for unauthorized release of suppressed information. The Arbitration Committee has also ruled that permission will be revoked from oversighters who do not meet the minimum activity level.
As on all Wikimedia Foundation wikis, the technical assignment of the permission to the user account is made by a steward, acting on instructions from the Arbitration Committee as posted at requests for permission on Meta-wiki. Emergency requests based upon clear evidence may also be made in exceptional circumstances, the same way. In an exceptional case, and for good cause, a steward may temporarily remove the permission, pending a decision by the Committee. The steward should check the matter is well founded, and make clear immediately that it is a temporary response only, since such an action could lead to controversy.
Complaints or inquiries about potential misuse of the oversighter flag should be referred to the Arbitration Committee.
An automatic list is available at Special:Listusers/oversight. There are currently 43 users with the Oversight permission on the English Wikipedia. As of 30 July 2020, the following editors comprise the Oversight team on the English Wikipedia:
The list above is served from Template:Functionaries.
User:[email protected]in the "Title" box.