[Foundation-l] misleading advice on oversight on wikizine

Pedro Sanchez pdsanchez at gmail.com
Tue Feb 19 03:02:27 UTC 2008

At Wikizine 91, tech news  that pages with more than 5000 edits can't
be deleted got published.

However, they also publish:

Also a result of this is that need for users who have "oversight"
status becomes higher on the projects who have not yet those. This
because you can not longer deleted and restore selective editions if
that pages has more then that 5000 versions.

And in some translatinos "higher needs" even got translated as "necessity".

Now, there are only 3 approved uses of oversight as described on
Foundation's wide  policy at  m:Oversight_policy:

This feature is approved for use in three cases:

   1. 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, or of
public individuals who have not made that personal information public.
   2. Removal of potentially libellous information either: a) on the
advice of Wikimedia Foundation counsel or b) when the subject has
specifically asked for the information to be removed from the history,
the case is clear, and there is no editorial reason to keep the
   3. Removal of copyright violations on the advice of Wikimedia
Foundation counsel.

The fact that a page can or cannot be deleted is nor relevant to
oversight, be it on the case of vanilla vandalism (which CAN NOT be
oversighted) nor in the case where the policy applies (since it can be
applied regardless of the page being deleted or not)

Therefore it's a fallacy to say that the need for oversighters is
higher (unless the wikizine is implying that common vandalism is
usually oversighted, which is a a serious mislead then).

Since wikizine cannot be easily "edited" (it's sent via email, and
also published offsite), it's important that an errata gets published,
and that it be made clear that foundation's wide policy doesn't allow
simple vandalism to be oversighted unless it falls on those 3 cases
(and then it's irrelevant that a page has more than 5000 edits).

Given that some translations of wikizine got so far as stating that
wikis now have a "necessity" for oversighters, I guess I should
mention it publicly so either the policy is modifified or wikis don't
get mislead.

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