[Foundation-l] checkuser

The Uninvited Co., Inc uninvited at nerstrand.net
Thu Aug 2 02:37:44 UTC 2007

I believe that Nathan has handled most of the complaints himself.  I
have investigated a handful (3 or 4).  There have been no findings that
have led to anything being referred to the board of trustees.

There are some points of policy that are vague and should be clarified.

The first of these has already been brought up by others, which is
whether or not the commission should be investigating allegations of
abuse of the checkuser tool that are unrelated to privacy violations. 
My sense is that it should not, except possibly in the case of smaller
wikis that do not have the governance systems in place to do this
themselves.  The language barriers are too hard to overcome and it isn't
possible for the commission to appreciate the nuances.

Another issue is that policy is silent on the release of derived data. 
If someone releases the information that someone is "a user from
Chicago," or at a particular college, they have revealed partial
information derived from page logs about an individual user.  It's
unclear whether or when this is permitted.  We should be providing clear
guidance not only for the commission but for individual checkusers.

As awareness of the commission rises I think we should make it clear
that it is not an alternate venue for routine sock-related disputes. 
Checkusers operating on various wikis should have the confidence to do
their jobs without worrying about being second-guessed by a commission
that is unfamiliar with the conventions of their home wiki and language.

The board of trustees approached me about the ombudsman role initially
and I would be happy to serve in that capacity if asked to do so again,
though it is not a role I particularly relish nor one that I would seek


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