Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community Health, Roles & Responsibilities

2019-06-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
Ask yourself why you do not get it as you describe them as "noisy". There
is a photo of a presentation at the London Wikimania going round that
describes it well. It is a long time coming and the chickens have come home
to roost.

Indeed they are not learning the appropriate lessons but they is you.
Thanks,
   GerardM

On Mon, 17 Jun 2019 at 00:02, Nathan  wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 5:03 PM Ad Huikeshoven  wrote:
>
> > 
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation took a bold step in banning Fram for a year.
> They
> > have the authority to do so. They are not obliged to give reasons.
> >
> >
> Here's a fundamental source of disagreement. It gets at something I'm not
> sure the strategy process is properly addressing. Does the WMF lead and
> direct the Wikimedia movement? Or is its role to provide support and
> services to the movement's contributors, who are (collectively) its
> leaders? Should it impose change on projects based on its own determination
> of need, or respond to needs identified by project communities?
>
> My impression is that the WMF views the noisy contributors who participate
> in meta discussions (and, incidentally, vote for Board elections) as a
> necessary evil -- and its own role as being the guarantor of the best
> interests of the readers, whom the movement is intended to benefit. Their
> sense of the gravity of any controversy among insiders is always tempered
> by the conviction that readers are unaffected, and will ultimately benefit.
> Since readers are by definition a group who cannot react to internal
> politics, they have no voice to criticize any decisions taken in their
> name.
>
> I think this becomes the true basis of the anger and resistance on the
> English Wikipedia: *the sense that the WMF has declared that it is
> leading now, instead of supporting*. That's also the message in comments
> that assert the WMF has the authority to do what it likes, and no
> obligation to explain or justify its decisions. Each time the WMF has taken
> similar decisions the reaction has been similar, but as I mentioned in a
> previous post... They are not learning the appropriate lessons.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community Health, Roles & Responsibilities

2019-06-16 Thread Nathan
On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 5:03 PM Ad Huikeshoven  wrote:

> 
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation took a bold step in banning Fram for a year. They
> have the authority to do so. They are not obliged to give reasons.
>
>
Here's a fundamental source of disagreement. It gets at something I'm not
sure the strategy process is properly addressing. Does the WMF lead and
direct the Wikimedia movement? Or is its role to provide support and
services to the movement's contributors, who are (collectively) its
leaders? Should it impose change on projects based on its own determination
of need, or respond to needs identified by project communities?

My impression is that the WMF views the noisy contributors who participate
in meta discussions (and, incidentally, vote for Board elections) as a
necessary evil -- and its own role as being the guarantor of the best
interests of the readers, whom the movement is intended to benefit. Their
sense of the gravity of any controversy among insiders is always tempered
by the conviction that readers are unaffected, and will ultimately benefit.
Since readers are by definition a group who cannot react to internal
politics, they have no voice to criticize any decisions taken in their
name.

I think this becomes the true basis of the anger and resistance on the
English Wikipedia: *the sense that the WMF has declared that it is
leading now, instead of supporting*. That's also the message in comments
that assert the WMF has the authority to do what it likes, and no
obligation to explain or justify its decisions. Each time the WMF has taken
similar decisions the reaction has been similar, but as I mentioned in a
previous post... They are not learning the appropriate lessons.
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community Health, Roles & Responsibilities

2019-06-16 Thread Paulo Santos Perneta
How is banning an user for 1 year for secrete reasons a "bold step"?
What's the educative value of it? How does it advance any of those
strategic objectives you mention there?

Paulo

Ad Huikeshoven  escreveu no dia domingo, 16/06/2019
à(s) 22:03:

> We are in a turbulent episode on this mailing list and en.wp. I don't claim
> to speak for the community. I wish everybody can speak for themselves.
>
> Some people don't like the Wikimedia Foundation stepping in and banning an
> user for a specific project for a year. Most people don't react, while some
> are vocal.
>
> Some people comment on a more general level than this specific case. That
> can be separated from the case. There is an ongoing strategy discussion on
> meta and elsewhere about Wikimedia 2030.
>
> There are working groups for Community Health. There are working groups for
> Roles and Responsibilities in the movement. They do ask for input. People
> who want to influence the roles and responsibilities of project communities
> versus for example the Wikimedia Foundation board and paid staff, go ahead,
> and find your way to participate.[1] Or just fill out the survey.[2]
>
> Previously a strategic direction has been agreed. Something with diversity,
> inclusion and something about underrepresented voices, and communities that
> have been left out by structures of power and privilege. It goes as far as
> "We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers
> preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge."
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation took a bold step in banning Fram for a year. They
> have the authority to do so. They are not obliged to give reasons.
>
> The Community Health group guiding questions inter alia are "How can we
> ensure that our communities are places that people want to be part of and
> participate in, and how can we make people stay? How do we engage and
> support people that have been left out by structures of power and
> privilege?"
>
> Those last two questions are interesting questions. I'ḿ curious to learn
> answers from people who strongly oppose interventions by WMF staff. and
> from others as well.
>
> I'm looking forward to have conversations about the recommendations of the
> working groups in the Wikimedia 2030 process at Wikimania Stockholm. I hope
> to see a lot of you there.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Ad Huikeshoven
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Participate
> [2] https://wikimedia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d718KRfJ5W3OVYV
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


[Wikimedia-l] Community Health, Roles & Responsibilities

2019-06-16 Thread Ad Huikeshoven
We are in a turbulent episode on this mailing list and en.wp. I don't claim
to speak for the community. I wish everybody can speak for themselves.

Some people don't like the Wikimedia Foundation stepping in and banning an
user for a specific project for a year. Most people don't react, while some
are vocal.

Some people comment on a more general level than this specific case. That
can be separated from the case. There is an ongoing strategy discussion on
meta and elsewhere about Wikimedia 2030.

There are working groups for Community Health. There are working groups for
Roles and Responsibilities in the movement. They do ask for input. People
who want to influence the roles and responsibilities of project communities
versus for example the Wikimedia Foundation board and paid staff, go ahead,
and find your way to participate.[1] Or just fill out the survey.[2]

Previously a strategic direction has been agreed. Something with diversity,
inclusion and something about underrepresented voices, and communities that
have been left out by structures of power and privilege. It goes as far as
"We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers
preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge."

The Wikimedia Foundation took a bold step in banning Fram for a year. They
have the authority to do so. They are not obliged to give reasons.

The Community Health group guiding questions inter alia are "How can we
ensure that our communities are places that people want to be part of and
participate in, and how can we make people stay? How do we engage and
support people that have been left out by structures of power and
privilege?"

Those last two questions are interesting questions. I'ḿ curious to learn
answers from people who strongly oppose interventions by WMF staff. and
from others as well.

I'm looking forward to have conversations about the recommendations of the
working groups in the Wikimedia 2030 process at Wikimania Stockholm. I hope
to see a lot of you there.

Kind regards,

Ad Huikeshoven

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Participate
[2] https://wikimedia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d718KRfJ5W3OVYV
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 


Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Vi to
Honestly I cannot imagine a functional Wikipedia citing itself.
Such Wikipedia would be so easy to trick.

Vito

Il giorno dom 16 giu 2019 alle ore 16:54 Martijn Hoekstra <
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com> ha scritto:

> I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible source
> is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.
>
>
>
> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dear all,
> > The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> > the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> > pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t
> talk
> > and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try
> and
> > abstract some more general points for discussion.
> >
> > The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> > Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> > structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It
> would
> > not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.
> But
> > in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> > Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of
> the
> > various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
> >
> > It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works
> in
> > practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What
> the
> > experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> > as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> > aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> > project founded on crowd-sourcing.
> >
> > Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> > failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> > and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> > bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that
> compares
> > itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> > has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> > references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> > there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> > Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of
> the
> > risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> > There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright
> violations:
> > again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> > mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> > itself.
> >
> > This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> > "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> > hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> > informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This
> creates
> > an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> > but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the
> major
> > violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct
> policy
> > makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> > witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> > copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> > volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> > requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> > mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> > when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> > it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and
> existing
> > community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
> >
> > These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> > organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> > outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> > the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> > so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members
> of
> > the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and
> have
> > most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> > the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> > inevitably continue to do so.
> >
> > Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
There is a picture of Jimmy Wales giving a talk at a Wikimania explicitly
talking about the situation that is here being considered. A person can be
a wonderful editor and a toxic personality. What is happening is not new,
it is coming to a head. When you, the English Wikipedia "community" has not
seen this coming, where have you been.

Personally I have lost faith in the English "community" for its insistence
on independence and thinking that it is the same as their way of doing
things. It sucks, it is largely a power play where the incumbents fight of
anything new, different because they consider themselves to be the
"community". Yes they may be but it is not the best for us. Get a grip,
consider this and do not think for a moment that it is not on you to allow
for the difference.
Thanks,
   GerardM

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 at 17:09, Todd Allen  wrote:

> I think it's a good question.
>
> The first thing, I think, is to regain the community's trust, which has
> been very badly damaged at this point. I only see one way for them to do
> that, and that is to back off, sooner rather than later. Ensure the
> community that this will not happen again, at least not until a solution
> workable to all sides can be arrived at. (And while I shouldn't have to say
> it--honor that.) If the WMF carries on the way that it is now, that loss of
> trust may become irreparable. In 2006-2007, when the WMF was starting to
> expand its role, some community members expressed a fear of this very type
> of situation, that the WMF would consider itself "in charge" of the
> project. They were, of course, ensured that, no, WMF's just here to handle
> the clerical stuff and keep the servers ticking along, that'd never happen.
> Some of us were around long enough to remember when those things were said,
> and that makes it feel, not just like a power grab, but like a betrayal.
> Don't say one thing and do something else.
>
> From there, if you think there's a problem with the English Wikipedia,
> discuss it with the community there. Not in carefully parsed and polished
> corporatese, but in frank, direct language. If you think something's wrong,
> say so. Be aware that "I want to see your source for that" is almost
> second-nature on the project, as well it should be. Come prepared. If you
> just kind of have a hazy guess based on a couple anecdotes, that's not
> going to fly. (Note that this means a widely publicized discussion on ENWP.
> NOT meta.)
>
> From there, don't approach with the attitude of "Now, here is the solution
> that we will be imposing." Instead, have an attitude of "What can we do to
> fix this and make things work better?". Whatever "it" may be. If it's like
> the points in the earlier email, that there are copyright violations, well,
> the community doesn't want those either. If it's poor sourcing, we don't
> want that. Errors? Don't want 'em. So, if those problems exist, of course
> we'll want to fix them too. You will not get an argument over those
> principles.
>
> Once there actually is a consensus on a fix, then it can be proceeded with.
> There, the software fiascos are instructive. The first time around on them,
> WMF tried to use a "cram it down your throat" approach, with the
> predictable results since the software was not yet fit for purpose. After
> they withdrew it and fixed it, they came back and asked "Does this look
> alright to you now?". The result was overwhelming support to go forward
> with the deployments. Even those few people who still vehemently didn't
> want them didn't try to start a fight against it, or disable it by editing
> the MediaWiki namespace, because the community had come to a consensus on
> the matter and they weren't going to defy that.
>
> Basically, you cannot start shoving someone and then be amazed and
> surprised when they fight back. Talk instead. It is utterly stupid and
> counterproductive for the community and WMF to be in a fight. That should
> absolutely never happen, and this situation was entirely preventable. But
> the WMF must very clearly understand that the English Wikipedia community,
> at least (and I suspect many others as well) will not willingly give up
> their editorial independence to the Foundation. That portion, I'm afraid,
> is never going to be negotiable. But without doing that, I think the
> community and the WMF can collaborate to solve problems, if and only if
> that relationship can be one based upon trust. But the community didn't
> swing first on this one, and the Foundation has absolutely got to stop
> picking these fights if it wants any credibility at all. You do not get
> someone to trust you by trying to force them to do something they don't
> want to.
>
> Todd
>
> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:21 AM Gerard Meijssen  >
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia
> "business
> > as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
> > know and expect that things are to 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Todd Allen
I think it's a good question.

The first thing, I think, is to regain the community's trust, which has
been very badly damaged at this point. I only see one way for them to do
that, and that is to back off, sooner rather than later. Ensure the
community that this will not happen again, at least not until a solution
workable to all sides can be arrived at. (And while I shouldn't have to say
it--honor that.) If the WMF carries on the way that it is now, that loss of
trust may become irreparable. In 2006-2007, when the WMF was starting to
expand its role, some community members expressed a fear of this very type
of situation, that the WMF would consider itself "in charge" of the
project. They were, of course, ensured that, no, WMF's just here to handle
the clerical stuff and keep the servers ticking along, that'd never happen.
Some of us were around long enough to remember when those things were said,
and that makes it feel, not just like a power grab, but like a betrayal.
Don't say one thing and do something else.

From there, if you think there's a problem with the English Wikipedia,
discuss it with the community there. Not in carefully parsed and polished
corporatese, but in frank, direct language. If you think something's wrong,
say so. Be aware that "I want to see your source for that" is almost
second-nature on the project, as well it should be. Come prepared. If you
just kind of have a hazy guess based on a couple anecdotes, that's not
going to fly. (Note that this means a widely publicized discussion on ENWP.
NOT meta.)

From there, don't approach with the attitude of "Now, here is the solution
that we will be imposing." Instead, have an attitude of "What can we do to
fix this and make things work better?". Whatever "it" may be. If it's like
the points in the earlier email, that there are copyright violations, well,
the community doesn't want those either. If it's poor sourcing, we don't
want that. Errors? Don't want 'em. So, if those problems exist, of course
we'll want to fix them too. You will not get an argument over those
principles.

Once there actually is a consensus on a fix, then it can be proceeded with.
There, the software fiascos are instructive. The first time around on them,
WMF tried to use a "cram it down your throat" approach, with the
predictable results since the software was not yet fit for purpose. After
they withdrew it and fixed it, they came back and asked "Does this look
alright to you now?". The result was overwhelming support to go forward
with the deployments. Even those few people who still vehemently didn't
want them didn't try to start a fight against it, or disable it by editing
the MediaWiki namespace, because the community had come to a consensus on
the matter and they weren't going to defy that.

Basically, you cannot start shoving someone and then be amazed and
surprised when they fight back. Talk instead. It is utterly stupid and
counterproductive for the community and WMF to be in a fight. That should
absolutely never happen, and this situation was entirely preventable. But
the WMF must very clearly understand that the English Wikipedia community,
at least (and I suspect many others as well) will not willingly give up
their editorial independence to the Foundation. That portion, I'm afraid,
is never going to be negotiable. But without doing that, I think the
community and the WMF can collaborate to solve problems, if and only if
that relationship can be one based upon trust. But the community didn't
swing first on this one, and the Foundation has absolutely got to stop
picking these fights if it wants any credibility at all. You do not get
someone to trust you by trying to force them to do something they don't
want to.

Todd

On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:21 AM Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia "business
> as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
> know and expect that things are to change, how do we introduce change and
> steer it in a way where people feel less threatened by the usual suspects.
>
> What I have noticed is that there has been no room for real arguments,
> arguments where points of view are floated and considered for their merits.
> So what does it take for people to consider the merits of proposals without
> immediately reverting to "but that is not how I/we do things"?
>
> Important when you want to consider points of view is the way in which we
> converse. There is a huge difference between calling a point of view
> bullshit and calling the person a bullshit artist. Even so, calling a POV
> bullshit is acceptable when arguments are provided WHY you consider
> something bullshit.
>
> Technically many things have progressed to a point where Wikipedia could
> take them seriously. This does not happen even when it is all too obvious
> how our public would benefit. As our intention is to share in the sum of
> all knowledge, we do not need to have it all 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible source
is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.



On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
>
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
>
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
>
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
> community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
>
> These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
> the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
> most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> inevitably continue to do so.
>
> Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
>
> Thrapostibongles
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia "business
as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
know and expect that things are to change, how do we introduce change and
steer it in a way where people feel less threatened by the usual suspects.

What I have noticed is that there has been no room for real arguments,
arguments where points of view are floated and considered for their merits.
So what does it take for people to consider the merits of proposals without
immediately reverting to "but that is not how I/we do things"?

Important when you want to consider points of view is the way in which we
converse. There is a huge difference between calling a point of view
bullshit and calling the person a bullshit artist. Even so, calling a POV
bullshit is acceptable when arguments are provided WHY you consider
something bullshit.

Technically many things have progressed to a point where Wikipedia could
take them seriously. This does not happen even when it is all too obvious
how our public would benefit. As our intention is to share in the sum of
all knowledge, we do not need to have it all available, we can point to
partners eg Open Library where publications are available written by the
subject of an article. We do have the data in Wikidata and we could
experiment by including Open Library in the {{authority control}}. Many
more practical opportunities exist where Wikipedia would objectively
benefit from a different modus operandi.

Given that as always, there are those who insist that Wikipedia has failed
let us prove them wrong. Let's consider what is needed to make Wikipedia
innovative again, what it takes for our community to be considered as not
toxic. We can and, as a community we will benefit but as important
Wikipedia, the project we all care for will turn a page.
Thanks,
GerardM

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 at 14:18, Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
>
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
>
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
>
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were 

[Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Dear all,
The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
abstract some more general points for discussion.

The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.

It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
project founded on crowd-sourcing.

Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
itself.

This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
"encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.

These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
inevitably continue to do so.

Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?

Thrapostibongles
___
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,