News and notes

News and notes

Requests for CheckUser created

This week, former Arbitrator (see related story) and current CheckUser Kelly Martin created Wikipedia:Requests for CheckUser, a page where Wikipedians can request that a CheckUser be performed on other users. CheckUser privilege, which reveals which IPs a user is using and any other usernames being used by that user, is currently granted to only seven Wikipedians, all of them current or former Arbitrators. The page was created because of the large number of requests that were scattered in several different pages, including the Administrators' Noticeboard, the Administrators' Noticeboard of Incidents, and the user talk pages of the seven CheckUser members. However, because of the nature of the requests, restricted by the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy policy, requests "will not be performed unless the individual(s) in question are engaged in significant (e.g. pattern) vandalism or there is reason to believe that sockpuppets are being used to evade a block, ban, or 3RR, or to otherwise violate policy (such as to vote multiple times in a poll or to otherwise appear to represent a wider opinion in discussion than one actually does)."

In addition, this week Hall Monitor requested CheckUser priviledges for Curps. Though the request, which was initially placed on requests for adminship, received limited support at first, several users objected on the grounds that Wikimedia Foundation policy states that only the Board or Arbitration Committee can grant the rights. Curps never accepted the nomination, instead asking that his nomination instead be used to begin discussion. "I think CheckUser is a little too sensitive an issue to be decided by RfAdmin-style nomination and voting, so I don't really support this process," he commented. "I thank Hall Monitor for his initiative and confidence in me, and any discussion below may be useful for gathering opinions on the topic of Checkuser."

Wikimeetups in Seattle and St. Petersburg a success

Wikimeetups in Seattle and St. Petersburg were held on 14 January. The Seattle meetup, held at the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington, was the third Seattle meetup, after previous occasions in November 2004 and January 2005. The St. Petersburg meetup, the second in the area after a January 2005 meetup, was attended by Wikimedia Board members Jimbo Wales and Angela, as well as Wikimedia CFO Daniel Mayer.

New tools created

Interiot released several new statistics tool this week. His Contributions Tree Tool allows users to peruse their edits by namespace and by number of edits; it also has the ability to let Wikipedians search for edits to a particular page. In addition, Interiot also created an edit counter, copied after the existing Kate's Tool. However, Interiot's tool also provides a graphical representation of the number of edits per namespace per month. Finally, Interiot also programmed a page to tally the results of the ArbCom elections. Providing live results (assuming negligible server lag), the tool also provides percentages, differences between support and oppose, and also flags votes from users who may not have suffrage.

Esperanza amendments proposed

Since the Esperanza Advisory Council elections in December, many members of the Wikipedia Esperanza community have been talking about some changes to the voting system and how the group is organized. According to the present Charter, there must be a referendum to amend the rules, if a consensus cannot be reached within 21 days. The process of amending will be made much clearer after Saturday's Advisory Council meeting. Some of the changes discussed would ultimately alter the way that the Esperanza community elects its officials and leaders.

Rollback request policy considered

A proposal to allow users to apply for the rollback privilege separate from all other administrator tools is in its final stages of discussion. The proposal would "be given out liberally to Wikipedians who request it", and it warns that misuse of the tool could result in the tool's removal.


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