Wikipedia:Requests for oversight

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, or any links to suppressible material on Wikipedia or any public venue. 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 specifies that we only allow edits or logs, once they are suppressed, to be viewed by a small, vetted, and identified team of highly-trusted users ("Oversighters"). Please see Wikipedia:Oversight for more information on the oversight/suppression policy, application, and team members.

We usually suppress an edit or other information on Wikipedia if it contains the following types 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, 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. We suppress content such as the self-disclosure of one's age or date of birth if the user is a minor. In the past, we've also suppressed content such as an individual's medical information. This is subject to oversighter discretion, and can vary case-by-case.
  3. Clearly (or likely to be) libelous content made either toward another editor or a BLP, regardless of their validity, when we have no editorial need to keep the revision.
  4. Gross vandalism that we would delete if usual deletion tools could handle 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 your request does not meet the threshold required for suppression, but does unambiguously meet the threshold for applying revision deletion instead, we will apply redaction using revision deletion. If your request is denied, 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 most cases, and it means that the content is unavailable to almost all Wikipedia readers and users. An appeal of our decisions can only be requested by contacting the Arbitration Committee.

What information do we need?

Any user or reader may request the suppression of content 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 the content or information that you think we need to suppress. If the facts or information 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 a significant amount of time.
  • RevisionDelete or revert the relevant revision(s) first (please do this 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 contact methods below:

Recommended contact methods that are actively monitored for new oversight requests at most times:
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.
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 if you prefer to use some other method of emailing, then you can send a request for suppression by emailing the required information to: (You may have to type the @ symbol into your e-mail client if you copy and paste the email address from here; pasting the email that you copy from here may render @ as -at-.)

This is also one of the fastest ways to request suppression. Please use a descriptive subject line.
Available, but not recommended with urgent situations, as these contact methods aren't guaranteed to be monitored reliably or nearly as often:
Using IRC

If you use IRC (tutorial), then you can ask for an oversighter, or for help finding an oversighter, in any of Wikipedia's official channels on Libera Chat. Visit the IRC channel listed below, and send the following stalkword as a message: !oversight. This will alert all active oversighters that you have a request:

  • #wikipedia-en-revdel connect on Libera Chat, 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 Libera Chat, 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.
By direct personal contact

If you know an oversighter and can contact one directly, you may certainly do so. While oversight requests do not have to be submitted through any official route, never post an oversight request, or any pertinent information regarding an oversight request, to the oversighter's user talk page. If the oversighter you're trying to contact is not currently online or available, using one of the recommended methods listed above will ensure that an oversighter acts upon your request. A list of Wikipedia users who currently have the oversight user permissions can be viewed by clicking here.

Consider using one of the recommended contact methods in addition to this method 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 at Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm.