Grants:IdeaLab/Better Police Liaison

Better Police Liaison
In some countries the Police are beginning to take online harassment seriously. Where they are willing to act we should be willing and ready to feed them evidence re incidents. Where they aren't willing to act we should be able to brief press and opposition so that off wiki groups can put pressure on Police and Governments.
contact emailWereSpielChequers (talk)
Hex icon with lightning white.svg
idea creator
Hex icon with bee white.svg
community organizer
• [[User:WereSpielChequers (talk)|WereSpielChequers (talk)]]
Hex icon with circles white.svg
• [[User:WereSpielChequers (talk)|WereSpielChequers (talk)]]
created on12:47, Friday, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Project ideaEdit

What is the problem you're trying to solve?Edit

Harassment is a serious problem. Most people are nice, but some aren't and for some the internet has been an anarchic space where they can do things that would be illegal in real life.

We need to help the Police deal with criminals who use our sites for harassment.

What is your solution?Edit

We need staff, either in chapters or the WMF, who liaise with law enforcement in countries where that is appropriate. Obviously not in countries where the state is more interested in catching those who write neutrally online, but in countries where the laws are just and the courts are fair we should be letting the Police deal with the criminals. I'd envisage this being done by setting up harassment reporting links for national Police forces that we can work with.

One way of doing this is to give Administrators a very limited subset of checkuser rights, enough to identify which country an editor has been editing from. Alongside an admin only "report to Police" option.

Another would be to have WMF staff filter all the cases where an admin clicks "report to Police", check where the harasser is editing from and where we have an appropriate Police partner forward the details.

In either event, where there is a chance of getting a conviction, we should pass the evidence to the authorities. Including the IP data that should give the Police a chance to catch the harasser.

We may need to get an amendment to our privacy policy to make it compatible with this.

Project goalsEdit

Some harassment will stop when perpetrators are imprisoned or get a real life warning.

Much harassment will stop if people are deterred by the risk of being caught.

We can and should make harassment less frequent in occurring and more likely to result in conviction.

Get involvedEdit



  • Absolutely. When online harassment has zero cost, harassers go crazy. Creating real life consequences is the best plan, especially since WMF has to money for legal work and police liaison. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:11, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, absolutely, and strengthen cooperation with other social networking sites as well--FB, Twitter and others are way ahead, they had stuff in place last summer, while WP has yet to act. You may be interested in [1] preliminary paper, just came out. California is pioneering some enforcement options, and Harris just did very well in the primaries. For background, you might want to look at this. ——Neotarf (talk) 00:24, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Expand your ideaEdit

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)