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The following request for comments is closed. After a year, there's no consensus to implement the changes. Matiia (talk) 21:37, 27 January 2019 (UTC)


BackgroundEdit

SummaryEdit

Users may be surprised to learn that when they are logged in and visit a Wikimedia wiki which they have not previously visited when logged in, then that visit is publicly logged whether or not the user makes an edit at that time. This RfC addresses the public nature of these logs and the current use of these logs on some wikis to add public welcome messages to users' talk pages in a way that prominently discloses the timing of the users' first visits to Wikimedia wikis.

Extended background informationEdit

Mindful of https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2017-December/089401.html and subsequent discussion in that email thread, this RfC attempts to address the privacy and transparency of user creation logs and welcome messages, including the public disclosure of when a logged-in Wikimedian first visits a Wikimedia wiki which they have not edited. Related Phabricator tickets are https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T183876 "Consider whether auto-created user accounts should be hidden at the time of creation" and https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T42006 "CentralAuth account autocreation may be violating WMF's privacy policy". WMF Legal believes that the current practices do not violate WMF's Privacy Policy, but there appears to be concern from some users that the current practices should be changed and that policies should be made more restrictive.

Proposal 1Edit

For Wikimedia user accounts that have never edited, usernames and other identifying information of those accounts should not be public. Regardless of the outcome of the discussion here, the information would remain available to stewards, some researchers who have active non-disclosure agreements, WMF Support and Safety, anyone who has the global rename permission (to avoid renaming conflicts), and anyone else who has the global checkuser permission.

Support
  1. Support Support out of an abundance of caution. It could be difficult to support proposal 2 while opposing proposal 1, because a global list of every account which has been created could be used to estimate the times that accounts were created, particularly if the list of accounts is updated frequently. --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose As it stands I remain unconvinced by the privacy arguments of any of these proposals. Are numerous welcome messages annoying as an existing user? Sure. But trying ban such practices centrally is a massive overreaction to that and the idea that this merits an entire RfC is a bit of a stretch. WMF legal have already assessed this in 2012 to not be a privacy violation. Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
    The focuses of this RfC are primarily on user privacy and what methods of communicating of welcome messages are compatible with user privacy. The question of the user-friendliness (or annoyance) of welcome messages is outside the scope of this discussion. The opinion of WMF Legal pertains to the WMF Privacy Policy in its current form, not whether the policy should be changed. --Pine 06:43, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose in favor of leaving the decision to individual communities. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose I don't see this as a necessary change. Samwalton9 (talk) 11:28, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose, this doesn't seem like a big deal to me. If it is, then a better way to handle it would be to auto-create accounts on all wikis when the account is registered, or better still to only have one list of all accounts (i.e., complete the change to global accounts), rather than the proposals here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:03, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Oppose Bogus. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:22, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
  6. Oppose Oppose, unconvinced. --Artix Kreiger (Message Wall) 18:48, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  7. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  8. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:41, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss

Proposal 2Edit

Information about when a Wikimedia account is first created should not be public. This refers to the time of account creation, not the time of the first edit. If the consensus here supports this proposal, then the time of the first edit would remain public information and would publicly disclose the existence of the account. Regardless of the outcome of the discussion here, the time of account creation would remain available to stewards, some researchers who have active non-disclosure agreements, WMF Support and Safety, and anyone else who has the global checkuser permission.

Support
  1. Support Support out of an abundance of caution. --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose see my comment to proposal 1.Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per my comment in p1. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose I don't see this as a necessary change. Samwalton9 (talk) 11:28, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Oppose per above. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:36, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
  5. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  6. Oppose Oppose Rather, disable auto-creation of accounts then. Leaderboard (talk) 12:00, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:42, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss

Proposal 3Edit

When someone who is logged into a Wikimedia account visits a Wikimedia wiki with that account for the first time or at any time thereafter, the fact that the visit occurred and the timing of that visit should not be public except in an aggregated form that adequately protects individual privacy.

Support
  1. Support Support --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Support This one I can see an argument for. This is simply logging a visit to one of our websites, and I can't see why it would be necessary for that information to be public. We don't log the first time an account visits the project they signed up on, so why should we have a log for when that account visits another project? The only confounding issue I can see is that users on a project where an account wasn't created might be confused at not seeing an account creation date for some accounts. The best solution in my opinion would be that all Wikis show the same - initial - account creation date for each account. Samwalton9 (talk) 11:28, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Support Support Looks better. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:37, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose see my comment to proposal 1.Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per my comment in p1. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose While this seems sensible on its face, without also doing #1 or #2 (or weird screwing around with the account creation date and the account creation log entry) it means that you'd no longer be logged in via SUL on a site until you go there and explicitly log in to auto-create the account. Anomie (talk) 14:04, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
  4. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:43, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss

Proposal 4Edit

When someone who is logged into a Wikimedia account visits a Wikimedia wiki with that account for the first time, whether or not the wiki is the wiki on which the account was created, and the user has made no public edits on that wiki, providing that user a welcome message is permissible when that welcome message is hidden from public view, such as by sending the user an email if the user provided an email address and/or displaying a popup message. This would not be more restrictive than the current Privacy Policy but would provide more specific guidance.

Support
  1. Support Support I think that welcoming new registered users and providing them with guidance, in a way that respects their privacy, is a good practice. --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose see my comment to proposal 1.Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per my comment in p1. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Oppose bogus. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:29, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:44, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss
  • I would assume this proposal, and those below, become unnecessary if Proposal 3 passes. Samwalton9 (talk) 11:28, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Proposal 5Edit

When someone who is logged into a Wikimedia account visits a Wikimedia wiki with that account for the first time, on the wiki where the account was created, and the user has made no public edits on that wiki, providing that user a welcome message is prohibited when that welcome message would publicly visible, such as on that user's talk page. (If you support Proposal 2 and oppose Proposal 5 then please explain how you think that a user can be provided with a public message without disclosing that the user has created an account and/or visited the site.)

Support
  1. Support Support --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose see my comment to proposal 1.Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per my comment in p1. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Oppose bogus. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:30, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:45, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss

Proposal 6Edit

When someone who is logged into a Wikimedia account visits a Wikimedia wiki with that account for the first time, when the wiki is different from the wiki on which the account was created, and the user has made no public edits on that wiki, providing that user a welcome message is prohibited when that welcome message would publicly visible, such as on that user's talk page. (If you support Proposal 3 and oppose Proposal 6 then please explain how you think that a user can be provided with a public message without disclosing that the user has created an account and/or visited the site.)

Support
  1. Support Support --Pine 03:54, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Neutral
Oppose
  1. Oppose see my comment to proposal 1.Seddon (talk) 06:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per my comment in p1. Ed [talk] [en] 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  3. Unnecessary changes. — regards, Revi 11:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Oppose bogus. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:30, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Oppose per Seddon.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 13:45, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Discuss