|This page documents a procedural policy of Wikipedia.|
|If you are a user who has a request for suppression, please note that details should not be posted in public. See Wikipedia:Requests for oversight for the email address (monitored 24/7) and other ways to request suppression.|
Oversighting on Wikipedia (also known as Suppression) is a form of enhanced deletion which, unlike normal deletion, expunges information from any form of usual access even by administrators. It is used within strict limits to remove defamatory material, to protect privacy, and sometimes to remove serious copyright violations, from any page or log entry (including if required the list of users) on the English Wikipedia.
On the English Wikipedia, "oversight," the right to suppress edits, 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 both by other oversighters who patrol the log, and by the Arbitration Committee (Arbcom) by its Audit subcommittee.
The permission is granted by the Arbitration Committee after community consultation and significant review of the user's contributions. Users in the oversight group must be over 18 years of age and must have provided personal identification to the Wikimedia Foundation. Once this information has been verified, the documents supplied to the Foundation are destroyed.
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 fixes 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."
This feature is approved for use in these cases:
- 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. This includes hiding the IP data of editors who accidentally logged out and thus inadvertently revealed their own IP addresses. Oversight/suppression is a tool of first resort in removing this information.
In the following cases, revision and/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:
- 2. Removal of potentially libelous information, either: a) on the advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel; or b) when the case is clear, and there is no editorial reason to keep the revision.
- 3. Removal of copyright infringement, on the advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel.
- 4. Hiding of blatant attack names on automated lists and logs, where this does not disrupt edit histories. A blatant attack is one obviously intended to denigrate, threaten, libel, insult, or harass someone.
- 5. Removal of vandalism. Suppression may be occasionally used to remove vandalism for which removal by normal administrative measures is insufficient. Such cases should be handled with suppression, rather than with the Oversight tool, so that they may be reversed if needed, and should be discussed in advance on the Oversight mailing list unless they are urgent or time-sensitive, in which case they should be discussed on the mailing list afterward. (Note: This criterion was enacted as an interim measure, due to limitations of administrator tools at the time.)
The original meta:Oversight policy, containing only the first three criteria above, was adopted because the now deprecated Oversight tool did not provide Oversight volunteers with the ability to restore Oversighted revisions. The fourth criterion was adopted at meta:Oversight in November 2009. The fifth criterion was adopted after the implementation of RevisionDelete which allowed suppression actions to be easily reversed.
Users with the "Oversight" permission can perform the following actions:
- Suppress individual page revisions (as a whole) using Oversight.
- Suppress and unsuppress elements of individual page revisions (any or all of the text, username, or edit summary) using RevisionDelete.
- Suppress and unsuppress log entries.
- Suppress and unsuppress user names when blocking.
- Review the suppression logs (one for each tool) and suppressed material.
Page revisions suppressed with the Oversight extension do not leave a placeholder in the page history and can not be restored. Revisions suppressed with RevisionDelete leave a visible placeholder in the page history and can be restored if the situation calls for it.
RevisionDelete vs Extension:Oversight[සංස්කරණය]
|Scope||Suppression of page revisions only||Suppression of page revisions, file revisions, log entries, and usernames.|
|Suppression of page revisions||The entire edit is suppressed as a whole; no finer level of control is possible.||The username, edit summary, or text, can be individually selected; data that does not actually require suppression can remain visible and unaffected.|
|Suppression of entire page||Only by suppressing each revision in turn as a whole, however many revisions there may be. Last revision on a page cannot be suppressed.||All revisions of the page are set to fully suppressed. Effectively a shortcut to quickly suppress the username, edit summary, and text, on each revision, when the entire page and all revisions are in breach.|
|Suppression of latest or only revision on a page||Last or only revision cannot be suppressed.||Last or only revision can have various fields suppressed but not the entire edit.|
|Suppression of log entries||Not available||The username, target, and reason can each be suppressed in log entries; data that does not actually require suppression can remain visible and unaffected.|
|Suppression of page name||Not possible (details in footnote)||Possible: the page should be moved to an innocuous title and then the original page name suppressed in the move log.|
|Suppression of user name||Not available||A user name that contains oversightable material can be suppressed wherever user names will usually be shown, including removal from the list of user names. This appears as an additional option when blocking the user.
|Effect of suppression on page revisions (and log entries for RevisionDelete)||The revision is completely "removed" as if it never existed – it does not appear in any page history, contributions record, or the like, nor will a diff or direct link to it work.||The revision (or log entry) appears in all logs as normal, but the suppressed portion cannot be viewed or accessed by users and links that would show the suppressed data are inactive. An error will be given if access is attempted. Existing links will continue to work for oversighters.|
|Effects on editing history and attribution||Any change between the revision before and after will appear to be due to the following edit, hence attribution and "blame" may be affected.||Although the material cannot be seen, the fact that suppression has taken place is shown and logs are less disrupted, so readers are less likely to mis-understand the editing history.|
|Reversibility||The Oversight extension does not have a "reverse" function; oversighted material can only be reinstated by a sysadmin.||Suppression using RevisionDelete can be reversed or amended by any oversighter, if circumstances call for it.|
The key differences are that Extension:Oversight fully removes page revisions (without leaving a placeholder) which can then only be viewed via the Oversight log and cannot readily be restored. RevisionDelete redacts the entries, which can also include log entries and usernames, affects history and contributions much less, allows finer control, and is reversible.
The RevisionDelete extension can be used both by oversighters, and by administrators. Oversighters may select whether RevisionDelete will be used as a suppression action that prevents administrator access, or as an administrator action that any administrator can see and modify; administrators only have access to the latter. The action will be logged in the suppression log or deletion log accordingly.
- Page revisions and logged events that have been suppressed using the "also hide from administrators" checkbox are logged in the suppression log.
- Page revisions and logged events that have been deleted by an oversighter without using the "hide from administrators" checkbox or by an administrator, are logged in the deletion log.
- Accounts which are blocked with the "suppress user name from lists" checkbox are logged in the suppression log.
The logs list who made the removal, when, from which page, and a provided comment. A diff link to compare the previous live revision to the hidden one is available.
- ^ The reason for this behavior is that RevisionDelete is configured to allow administrators to hide page revisions from regular editors but not other admins, while allowing users with "oversight" permission to hide page revisions from regular users and admins. Admin suppressions are logged in the deletion log and are viewable and reversible by other admins, while revisions suppressed by oversighters are hidden from admins as well and logged in the suppression log.
Assignment and revocation[සංස්කරණය]
On the English language Wikipedia, access to the Oversight and suppress functions 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 Oversight permission 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. See the above page for further information or for requesting Oversight access.
Beginning in 2009, the Arbitration Committee has held periodic elections that allow the community to have a voice in choosing Oversighters. Candidates are vetted by Arbcom, and a list of pre-approved candidates is presented to the community for a vote. The previous election was August 2009. The May 2010 election resulted in no new Oversight permissions.
Oversight permission may be revoked by the Arbitration Committee at any time. Generally, permission is revoked only "for cause", such as abuse of oversight 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 are inactive for more than one year.
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 oversight flag should be referred to the Audit Subcommittee.
Users with Oversight permissions[සංස්කරණය]
An automatic list is available at Special:Listusers/oversight. As of 1 January 2011, the Oversight team is:
- Current Arbitrators
- Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry, Coren, Elen of the Roads, Jclemens, John Vandenberg, Kirill Lokshin, Mailer diablo, Newyorkbrad, PhilKnight, Risker, Roger Davies, Shell Kinney, SirFozzie.
- Current Arbitrators who do not oversight edits
- Casliber, Cool Hand Luke, Iridescent, Xeno.
- Former Arbitrators
- Deskana, Dominic, FloNight, Fred Bauder, Jdforrester, KnightLago, Wizardman, Yellow Monkey.
- Non-arbitrators appointed by Arbcom
- Alison, Avraham, Bastique, Beeblebrox, Daniel Case, Dweller, EVula, Happy-melon, Howcheng, Jredmond, Keegan (on leave, no access), LessHeard vanU, MBisanz, Mr.Z-man, Nishkid64, Phantomsteve.
Developers typically do not handle routine requests for suppression, but rather require occasional access to the extension interface for maintenance and enhancement purposes. "Others" includes users who require access for WMF reasons, and WMF officers.
- Wikipedia:User access levels: Wikipedia page outlining the various user access levels, including oversight;
- m:Oversight: Master copy of this page, on Meta-Wiki;
- Oversight requests
- Wikipedia:Requests for oversight: For requesting that a revision, log entry, or account be suppressed. Requests should be made by email, not on that page. Please read the instructions there.
- Oversight access
- m:Requests for permission: The permissions requests page ("RFP") on metawiki, where the Arbitration Committee will direct user rights changes, including oversight appointments.
- m:User rights log: Shows oversight assignments and removals. Enter User:USERNAME@enwiki in the "Title" box.
- mail:oversight-l: Mailing list administration
- Email address for oversight requests: oversight-en-wpwikipedia.org
- mw:Extension:Oversight: Oversight extension documentation on MediaWiki.org.
- mw:RevisionDelete: More detailed description of how the Revision/Log entry hiding feature works.
- mw:Bitfields for rev deleted: How the bitfields for revision deletion are implemented and a list of who-can-see-what.
- Wikipedia:Selective deletion
- Criteria #4 and #5 were implemented as an interim solution to certain serious vandalism and grossly disruptive abuses that administrators would expect to address, but could not with their tools (due to previous software limitations). Since tools have since been developed so that administrators can apply deletion norms to all public logs and data fields on the wiki, these criteria might be considered for removal.
- Neither Oversight nor RevDel can fully suppress (including mention of existence) the only or most recent revision of a page. As neither can act on the last visible revision, neither can suppress a page title directly. Both Oversight and RevisionDelete can suppress deleted revisions if the page is deleted first.
- Current member of the Audit Subcommittee
- Held prior to appointment to Arbitration Committee.
- Although this user has the oversight tool, they use it only for review and do not actually oversight edits themselves.