--- Comment #21 from Risker <risker...@gmail.com> ---
(In reply to comment #18)
> (In reply to comment #12)
> > Reopening.
> > The decision to disregard the risks needs to come from WMF management.
> WMF doesn't own MediaWiki, nor do they get the final say on whether something
> is implemented in core or not.
Just for the record, I think the vast majority of Wikimedians would be
surprised to hear that; I'm pretty sure they *do* think that MediaWiki is
owned, or at least controlled by, the WMF. That's sort of irrelevant to this
> > I have provided a bit more info in email to functionaries-en.
> Is there a reason your info can't be shared publicly? If this feature does
> up going into core (or any extension for that matter), there has to be some
> public justification anyways.
I believe what it comes down to is this: the original Oversight extension,
known to cause certain oddities in the revision table, was long known to be a
hack. It was also long known to only be reversible by direct root sysadmin
action. It has not been in use for almost five years (and was disabled shortly
after that time). The practices for its use are radically different than those
that apply to revision deletion and suppression since 2009: it was almost
impossible to get something oversighted unless there was a very, very serious
problem with the edit(s) involved, and it was specifically advertised as
*permanent*. Suppression, in use since 2009, is specifically advertised as
*easily reversible*. Oversight was also specifically advertised as *complete
removal including publicly viewable logs* while suppression has always been
advertised as leaving the date/time of revision and all unsuppressed aspects of
the revision in place and publicly accessible. The vast majority of
oversighted edits involved personal non-public information about users or BLP
subjects; those whose information was affected were assured at the time that
nobody except for the tiny number of oversighters would ever even know that the
edit had been made.
Thus, while this is a technical change, it is also a change in the social
contract directly affecting both users and BLP subjects. Perhaps that
assurance should not have been made, but it was, and it was based on the best
information available at the time. In fact, attempts to get certain oversighted
revisions "un-oversighted" by developers were soundly rebuffed with the comment
that once it was gone, it should be considered permanently gone.
So...we're in a difficult situation here.
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