An ombuds' investigation should be conducted in a manner determined by the ombuds to ensure fairness and impartiality. As a general guideline, it is best that ombuds avoid conflicts of interest as much as possible, particularly by avoiding routine use of CheckUser or oversight access and not processing complaints on the projects on which they are very active editors. However, matters that come before the commission are not clear-cut, and the language and culture of various projects may pose barriers to outsiders. As such, how the commission investigates complaints is left to the discretion of its appointed members.
Members of the ombuds commission are selected from the Wikimedia community by Wikimedia Foundation officials. A call for volunteers is issued each year in early December on the Wikimedia-L mailing list and on the talk page of this policy, as well as other project forums as appropriate. They are appointed (assuming they agree) for a period of approximately one year. A non-voting alternate member may be appointed to serve for one year, with an expectation for a seat as a full member the following year.
Ombuds have the following rights globally, among others:
- Search deleted pages (browsearchive)
- Check users' IP addresses and other information (checkuser)
- View the checkuser log (checkuser-log)
- View deleted history entries, without their associated text (deletedhistory)
- View deleted text and changes between deleted revisions (deletedtext)
- View private logs (suppressionlog)
- View revisions hidden from any user (viewsuppressed)
For the prior membership, see here
Complaints may be made to the Ombuds Commission through the following ways (preferably in a language spoken by one of the members):
Both ways will send message directly to OC mailing list.
Please follow these guidelines when submitting an inquiry to the commission:
- Be concise. Lengthy emails with unnecessary information make it harder for the commission to process the case in a timely manner.
- Be objective. Avoid making inquiries based on speculations or subjective judgements.
- Provide evidence. Please provide us with diff links and/or permanent links when possible.
- Be specific. Specify what part of which policy has been violated.
- Please inform us if your wiki has an Arbitration Committee (or a similar committee) and if you have reached them (or used other dispute resolution procedure customary to your community) before reaching the Ombuds Commission. Provide a link to the relevant case page if appropriate.
Cases brought to our attention will be processed the following way:
- Confirmation of the request: we will send a notice of confirmation to the requester, and if necessary ask for further information.
- Scope: if the request is within the scope of the Ombuds Commission, we will do the investigation, if not we will decline the request and try to direct the complainant to a better place to get help for his/her individual problem.
- Investigation: We do whatever is necessary to find out whether or not there was a breach of the policies or a non-compliance or conflict of local policies with the global ones.
Last edited on 6 June 2021, at 14:15
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