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Wikipedia:Requests for oversight

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For the fastest way to request oversight, click here.

Read on for information on when to request suppression, how to request it, and what information the oversighter will need from you.

You must never draw attention to suppressible material and links on Wikipedia or other public venues. Requests are only accepted by email or other private methods.

When will we suppress?

We suppress edits that breach somebody's privacy or defame somebody. We only suppress if they do this in such a way that the edit should not be visible even to Wikipedia administrators; otherwise, Revision Deletion (RevDel) may be used.

Wikipedia has a strict privacy policy that means we only allow an edit, once it is suppressed, to be viewed by a small, vetted, and identified team of highly-trusted users (the "Oversighters"). Please see Wikipedia:Oversight for more information on the Oversight/suppression system and team members.

We usually suppress an edit or other information on Wikipedia if it contains the following type of information:

  1. Non-public personal information about a real individual. This could be private information about you or others.

    This includes a telephone number, an address or location, the name of a workplace or school, other online and offline identities, a date of birth, accidentally disclosed IP addresses, and (subject to oversighter judgment) other information of an identifying nature.

  2. Clearly private, personal, or non-public information.

    We suppress some highly sensitive and potentially harmful non-public information, even if it does not strictly help "identify" the person. In the past, we have suppressed content such as the self-disclosure of age or date of birth of a minor, or an individual's medical information. This is subject to oversighter discretion.

  3. Clearly (or probably) libelous posts when we have no editorial need to keep the revision.
  4. Gross vandalism that we would delete if usual deletion tools could deal with it. This includes grossly improper user names. (This is an interim policy and subject to change.)
  5. Other reasons: We are not likely to make other exceptions, but reserve the right to do so.

    An example of one instance where an edit was exceptionally suppressed was an edit made as part of a real-world stalking campaign, where the edit had no project value, and where no lesser remedy was sufficient. Suppression may also be used for copyright violations upon instruction of Wikimedia Foundation counsel.

We will use our best judgement in applying these criteria to your request. If we deny your request, you can instead request speedy deletion or revision deletion. These processes remove content from public view and leave it visible only to administrators; this is adequate for many cases, and means your content is not available to almost every Wikipedia reader. Appeal of our decisions is only to the Arbitration Committee.

What information do we need?

You and anybody may request suppression at any time, but we will require the following information. Please ensure you provide it, or your request will be delayed.

  • The full URL (web browser address) of the page, edit, log, or log entry containing information you think we need to suppress. If the facts are not obvious, please also supply a brief description of what we need to suppress and why we need to suppress it.

If you know how to do so, please also:

  • Send us diff(s) of the content requiring suppression. This saves us time.
  • RevisionDelete or revert the relevant revision(s) first (but only if it will not draw undue attention). This removes the material from public view and stops it being perpetuated in future edits. Never use an edit or log summary like "awaiting suppression" when you do this; be discreet.

How do you contact us?

Choose one or more of the following:

Using Wikipedia's quick form – recommended if you have an account

If you have a Wikipedia account with email enabled, then use this form to directly post a request. (click here to enable account email)

This is one of the fastest ways to request suppression. Please use a descriptive subject line.
Monitored at most times.
Using your own email to send a message to us – recommended if you don't have a Wikipedia user account

If you don't have a Wikipedia account with email enabled or prefer to use some other method of emailing, then email directly to: oversight-en-wp@wikipedia.org to directly post a request. (You may have to type the @ sign into your e-mail client after you copy and paste our email address; pasting that address may render as @ as -at-.)

This is also one of the fastest ways to request suppression. Please use a descriptive subject line.
Monitored at most times.
Using IRC

If you use IRC (tutorial), then you can ask for an oversighter, or help finding an oversighter, in any of Wikipedia's official channels on Freenode. Visit any of these IRC channels and type the trigger word   !oversight

  • #wikipedia-en connect on Freenode, the general chat channel for the English Wikipedia.
  • #wikipedia-en-help connect on Freenode, the general help channel for the English Wikipedia.
  • #wikipedia-en-revdel connect on Freenode, For sending urgent revision deletion requests to administrators.
  • Stewards can also suppress, but will not usually do so as English Wikipedia has its own team of oversighters. In a true emergency, there is almost always a steward on #wikimedia-stewards connect on Freenode, and they are extremely helpful and alert.
If an oversighter is around, using IRC can be a very quick method of requesting suppression. However, you must not post a diff to the suppressible edit(s) in any public channel. Find an oversighter, and then tell them about the edit in a private chat window.
Fast if an oversighter is around and available.
By direct personal contact

If you know an oversighter and can contact one directly, you may do so. Requests do not have to be submitted through any official route, though you should not post it to their talk page. However, if the oversighter is not available then the above methods (especially sending an email request) will ensure an oversighter acts upon your request. Users with oversighter status are listed here.

Consider using the form or email as well to make sure the request is seen as soon as possible.
Note: The suppression team does not respond to threats of harm. Such emergencies are dealt with as described here.
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