This page provides information about CheckUser access and outlines the policy on its use. It was discussed in September and October 2005, and went live in November 2005.
CheckUser is an interface for users with the checkuser
permission. A user with the CheckUser permission on a wiki can, in particular, check if a user is a sockpuppet
of another user on that wiki (not on all wikis). By using it, users are able to:
- Determine from which IP addresses that an account has performed edits, logged actions, or password resets on the Wikimedia wiki;
- Determine all edits, logged actions, login attempts, and password resets that were performed on the Wikimedia wiki from a specific IP address (including users who were logged in with an account);
- Determine whether the account being checked has sent an email using the MediaWiki interface to any other user. The time of the event is logged; the destination email address and destination account is obscured.
This information is only stored for a short period (currently 90 days
), so edits made prior to that will not be shown via the CheckUser tool. A log is kept of who has made queries using the tool. This log is available to those with the checkuser-log
Use of the tool
The tool is to be used to fight vandalism, spamming, to check for sockpuppet abuse, and to limit disruption of the project. It must be used only to prevent damage to any of the Wikimedia projects.
The tool should not be used for political control, to apply pressure on editors, or as a threat against another editor in a content dispute. There must be a valid reason to use the CheckUser tools to investigate a user. Note that alternative accounts are not forbidden, so long as they are not used in violation of the policies (examples of violations include double-voting, increasing the apparent support for any given position, or to evade blocks or bans).
Some wikis allow an editor's IPs to be checked upon their request if, for example, there is a need to provide evidence of innocence against a sockpuppet allegation; note, however, that requesting a checkuser in these circumstances is sometimes part of the attempt to disrupt.
considerations are of tremendous importance. Unless someone is violating policy with their actions (e.g.
Even if the user is committing abuse, it's best not to reveal personal information if possible.
- Generally, do not reveal IPs. Only give information such as same network/not same network or similar. If detailed information is provided, make sure the person you are giving it to is a trusted person and will not reveal it himself/herself.
- If the user has said they're from somewhere and the IP confirms it, it's not releasing private information to confirm it if needed.
- If you're in any doubt, give no detail.
Access to CheckUser
, some Wikimedia Foundation staff, and a very small number of other users are allowed to have CheckUser access. Users can only have CheckUser status locally (except for the ombuds and those staff members with access).
If local CheckUsers exist in a project, checks should generally be handled by those. In emergencies, or for multi-project CheckUser checks (as in the case of cross-wiki vandalism), stewards may perform local checks. Stewards should remove their own CheckUser access on the projects upon completion of the checks and notify the local CheckUsers or the CheckUser e-mail list.
If no local Checkusers exist for a project, requests will need to be made to the stewards to perform checks (such as "is UserX a sockpuppet of UserY"). To do so, simply add the request to Steward requests/Checkuser
listing these users and explain the need for the check (with links). Depending on the nature of the request, the steward may deny it, may ask for more information, or may answer about the likelihood of the users in question having the same IP, same proxy, same network, same country, or being completely unrelated (see discussion for what the Steward should more precisely say to the editor
Appointing local Checkusers
On any wiki, there must be at least two users with CheckUser status, or none at all. This is so that they can mutually control and confirm their actions. In the case where only one CheckUser is left on a wiki (when the only other one retires, or is removed), the community must appoint a new CheckUser immediately (so that the number of CheckUsers is at least two).
On wikis with an Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) whose members have been elected with the support of at least 25–30 members of the local community, CheckUsers may be directly appointed by the Arbitrators. After agreement, a member of the Committee should simply list the candidate on Steward requests/Permissions
. After gaining consensus (at least 70%–80% in pro/con voting or the highest number of votes in multiple choice elections) in the local community, and with at least 25–30 editors' approval, the successful candidate should request access at Steward requests/Permissions
with a link to the page with the community's decision. If there are an insufficient number of votes for at least two CheckUsers on a wiki, there will be no CheckUsers on that wiki.
There is a closed mailing list (CheckUser-l
) to which all stewards and checkusers should have access. Email the list moderators to gain access. Use this mailing list to ask for help, ideas and second opinions if you're not sure what the data means.
There is a private IRC channel (#wikimedia-checkuserconnect
) to which all stewards and checkusers who use IRC
should have access. This channel serves the same purpose as the mailing list
, but in real-time. Contact any channel member to gain access; a channel manager will grant permanent access. Ask a steward if you need help gaining access.
Removal of access
Any user account with CheckUser status that is inactive for more than one year will have their CheckUser access removed.
In case of abusive use of the tool, the Steward or the editor with the CheckUser privilege will immediately have their access removed. This will in particular happen if checks are done routinely on editors without a serious motive to do so (links and proofs of bad behavior should be provided).
Suspicion of abuses of CheckUser should be discussed by each local wiki. On wikis with an approved ArbCom, the ArbCom can decide on the removal of access. On wikis without an approved ArbCom, the community can vote removal of access.
for all Wikimedia projects.
Users with CheckUser access
(last updated: 2021-03-25)
- جار الله
Automatically generated checkusers list
Local policy mandates that only users who gain at least 25 votes in favor and 80% support can be appointed (application will open for no less than 30 days).
- Martin Urbanec
Appointed by Arbcom
- Groucho NL
Appointed by ArbCom
- David Fuchs
- Doug Weller
- Joe Roe
- Mailer diablo
- Reaper Eternal
- Salvio giuliano
- Worm That Turned
- Chuck Entz
- Marc Mongenet
- Mathis B
- Deror avi
- יונה בנדלאק
- עוזי ו.
- David Wadie Fisher-Freberg
- Penn Station
- Kiran Gopi
- Wojciech Pędzich
Under the local policy
, CheckUsers are elected with two year term.
- Conde Edmond Dantès
Appointed by ArbCom
- Q-bit array
- Ле Лой
- Обрадовић Горан
Simple English Wikipedia
- Lofty abyss
Appointed by ArbCom
- Magog the Ogre
- Dan Koehl
- Jasper Deng
Last edited on 12 March 2021, at 10:15
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