Ombuds commission/2013/Report Jul-Dec

During the above period, a total of 9 cases have been brought before the commission or have been handled by it. Of these, 8 have been closed, and one is still being discussed by ombudsmen. In addition, we received number of emails which were outside our scope as they referred to other problems than violation of the Privacy Policy, to which we replied informing the sender of the email of our scope.

Most cases were closed in less than 6 weeks from the original inquiry, and the breakdown is as follows:

  • Closed in less than 10 days: 2
  • Closed in more than 10 days but less than 6 weeks: 5
  • Closed in more than 6 weeks but less than 3 months: 1

No case required us to report abuse of the CheckUser tools to the Wikimedia Foundation.

During the past year, the Ombudsmen Commission has come to the conclusion that a lot of the complaints sent to the Commission have their root cause in poor documentation of activities by the CheckUsers. In a number of occasions, a complaint was sent because the plaintiff was confused by the contradictory actions of a CheckUser, leading the user to believe that the check shouldn't have been done in the first place. In addition, reviewing past checks was difficult for the Ombudsmen Commission when the CheckUsers did not provide a meaningful explanation of the reason for the check, in the "summary" box of the CheckUser tool.

The Ombudsmen Commission strongly encourages the CheckUsers to document the reasons for checks in a clear, unabbreviated way to facilitate retrospective analysis of these checks. The CheckUsers should consider documenting a more detailed explanation on the CheckUser wiki, whenever applicable. The Ombudsmen Commission also strongly recommends to the CheckUsers to be specially careful about their comments about whether a check is justified, when they are making such comments on wiki. It is in the best interest of CheckUsers and the Community at large, that the amount of ambiguity in justifying checks would be reduced as far as possible.