An RfA candidacy favored 123 to 1 was closed with the comment "This was unsuccessful due to the candidate being ArbCom blocked during the nomination process." was blocked as a sockpuppet of during the RfA, though the Arbcom decision was not unanimous.
explained "This was a very determined, carefully planned attempt to fool the community, and it nearly succeeded, probably would have if it weren't for one particular committee member who doggedly pursued this for quite some time, although it obviously acquired a sense of urgency when the account ran for adminship."
The community generally reacted with shock and thanks for Arbcom's vigilance. Few editors defended Eostrix or questioned the decision.
Little or no public evidence on the guilt or innocence of Eostrix and Icewhiz has been available. The Signpost emailed Icewhiz for a response, which was evasive. They wrote that they would neither deny nor confirm the sockpuppeting allegations or even whether they edit Wikipedia at all. The Wikilawyer-like tone of the two Icewhiz responses and even some exact wording matched extensive email discussions between Icewhiz and The Signpost conducted in 2019.
A new account on a Wiki-discussion site claimed that they were Eostrix and denied being a sockpuppet. Members of that site were generally unimpressed with the denials. They claimed that Eostrix and Icewhiz consistently made the same rare editing mistake – spelling "albeit" as "all be it".
Several editors asked whether candidates for adminship should automatically be checked for socks on the theory that we can't risk having a long-term abuser become an admin. and others expressed horror that editors' privacy could be violated so routinely, until it was shown that checkuser data was used by stewards to verify election results. Thereafter the objections focused on arguments that checkuser data wouldn't have helped discover the socks in this particular case, and then to a statistical argument that CU data doesn't help in any case where there is no prior evidence of sockpuppetry. – S
Toby Negrin, the head of WMF's product department, posted a letter of resignation on 12 October. The function of the department is to "build, improve and maintain the features of Wikimedia sites". This departure leaves the WMF with less than half of the C-team that was previously around: the positions of the heads of the Technology, Communications, and Operations departments are all still vacant, as is the CEO. – Y, B
Wikimedia Enterprise, the commercial data service launched by the WMF, officially opened for business on October 25. With three different API services offered starting at $25,000/year, the product is designed for corporations who depend on Wikimedia data such as Google posting knowledge boxes on their search page. It is designed to minimize or eliminate any backflow effects on Wikipedia content or the Foundation. The WMF has capped commercial revenue at 30% of overall revenue. Previous coverage in The Signpost resulted in some skeptical comments from Wikipedians. – G
In last month's News and notes, we covered the RfA 2021 review in "Another look at requests for adminship". The review has progressed into a brainstorming phase to address these issues, and possibly a handful of others:
3–5% of editors using Apple's Safari browser may be blocked in the next few months. This includes logged-in, active editors who may not understand why they've encountered a block. This is because of iCloud Private Relay, a new service in Safari, which is similar to a proxy or a VPN. There is a discussion about this on Meta. The goal is to learn what iCloud Private Relay could mean for the communities. – Tech News weekly editors, selected by B