Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board update on Branding: next steps

2020-06-29 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
Thank you WereSpielChequers for writing so clearly and concisely what I
have been struggling to put into words for some days.

I understand that good faith efforts were made to investigate the usability
of the terms "W" and "Wiki". [1] Once these wiki-related terms were off the
table, the options were narrowed to "Wikipedia plus some term" for survey
purposes. While the survey is thus useful to see which Wikipedia-based name
community members prefer most, it excludes the options "no change" and
"change but not to a Wikipedia-based term".

It is possible that people crunching the numbers already know what
percentages of the community(ies) support the other two options based on
rfcs and so on. If this is so, it would be great for that information to be
made public.

If however those numbers are not known, I would urge that an addendum to
the survey be run that asks people to select one of the following; "no
change", "new name containing the term Wikipedia", "new name not containing
the term Wikipedia". I believe that even if this would cause the timeline
to slip a little, it would be worth it.

Ariel "Wearing sporadic-volunteer hat" Glenn


On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 12:06 AM WereSpielChequers <> wrote:

> Dear Natalia,
> I wouldn't say that it was a badly designed survey, more that it was a
> survey designed to constrain responses to three specific options. The
> problem is with the choice of those options and that the survey seems to be
> designed to push the community into a particular direction, rather than
> find out what direction if any the community wanted to go in.
> "No name change is necessary" is not the only missing option. I'm sure I am
> not the only person who accepts that Wikipedia and Wikimedia are
> sufficiently similar that it causes confusion, or who knows that some
> people assume that we are connected to WikiLeaks. Changing the name of the
> WMF to something that is a suitable parent for all the projects, not just
> Wikipedia, and that reduces confusion with WikiLeaks should be a relatively
> harmless thing for the WMF to do. There are only a limited number of
> projects that the WMF can take on at any time, and this wouldn't have been
> my priority. But if you are going to rebrand, then doing so without
> differentiating yourselves from WikiLeaks, and without maintaining some
> sense of being a parent for multiple projects not just one favoured child,
> does seem to me to be a mistake. So "if you want to change your name, don't
> change it to Wikipedia, Wiki or to something you can't trademark" is also a
> position, I suspect it is stronger than "no name change is necessary".
> Regards
> WereSpielChequers
> Message: 1
> > Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2020 02:27:11 +0300
> > From: Nataliia Tymkiv 
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List 
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Board update on Branding: next steps
> > Message-ID:
> > <
> >>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> >
> > Dear all,
> >
> > I want to share with you the next steps of the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> > of Trustees about the Brand Project.
> >
> > Originally the Board meeting dedicated to the brand project was supposed
> to
> > happen no earlier than October. The expected outcome from the project
> were
> > the recommendations on what the rebranding should look like - from
> changing
> > fonts/logos to renaming. And if there is going to be a renaming - to
> what.
> > Of course, the Board’s role is not in approving a change in fonts, but
> if a
> > recommendation to rename was to be made - the Board’s role would have
> been
> > to make a decision on that recommendation. The timeline has now been
> > changed, and the renaming part of rebranding will be discussed in our
> > August meeting.
> >
> > Moreover, the Board will meet in early July to receive a briefing about
> the
> > project and talk about the process between June 2018 - June 2020. The
> > consolidated materials on what the brand project team has been working on
> > for a while now will be presented to the Board, and these materials are
> > also going to be posted publicly. The more-strategic conversation is
> > planned for the August meeting. Time to prepare the materials is needed,
> > and the ongoing conversations need to be summarised, so the Board can
> have
> > an in-depth discussion about this, before making any kind of decision.
> >
> > We would like to continue with the survey [1] - we have discussed the
> > possibility of technical changes to the survey with an additional option
> > like “no renaming is needed” (not the exact words, mind you), but with
> more
> > than 700 respondents it is not methodologically 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid API?

2020-06-14 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I know that the dumps will be freely available to all.

Beyond that, I hope one of the people in the project will reply to your

I do suggest that people comment or ask questions on the task itself, as I
have no idea if any of the people on the brand new team involved with that
project see these emails.


On Sun, Jun 14, 2020 at 9:33 PM Amir Sarabadani  wrote:

> Hello,
> Today I stumbled upon this public phabricator ticket [1] created by someone
> from WMF starting with:
> "My team is creating bi-weekly HTML Dumps for all of the wikis, except for
> wikidata as part of the paid API project."
> I have so many questions:
>  - What is the "paid API" project? Are we planning to make money out of our
> API? Now are we selling our dumps?
>  - If so, why is this not communicated before? Why are we kept in the dark?
>  - Does the board know and approve it?
>  - How is this going to align with our core values like openness and
> transparency?
>  - The ticket implicitly says these are going to be stored on AWS ("S3
> bucket"). Is this thought through? Specially the ethical problems of
> feeding Jeff Bezos' empire? (If you have seen this episode of Hasan
> Minhaj's on ethical issues of using AWS [2]). Why can't we do/host this on
> Wikimedia infrastructure? Has this been evaluated?
>  - Why is the community not consulted about this?
> Maybe I missed announcements, consultations or anything, forgive me for my
> ignorance. Any pointers is enough. I also understand diversifying our
> revenue is a good tool for rainy days but a consultation with the community
> wouldn't be too bad.
> [1]:
> [2]:
> Best
> --
> Amir (he/him)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Brief request for advice about "What's making you happy this week?"

2019-11-25 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I was thinking earlier about replying to this email. Since other folks have
chimed in along similar lines, here's my version of 'make it shorter'.

I don't really need or want a full review of all the good stuff in the past
week, or even all the good stuff that you in particular noticed. Rather,
just one cool item would be great, along with why it made you smile or
chortle or go 'Wow!'. That gives folks something short to look at and
hopefully also smile about, and it leaves room in the conversation for
others to contribute similar short pieces.

Example: for the Tech Conference, you could have said something like,
"While you can find all the summaries of activities and discussions here
[link], I really liked X [link'.  Or even 'it was hard to choose just one
thing because there was so much awesome discussion at the conference, but
this really caught my eye [link].'  And then an explanation of why that
thing was interesting, cool, fun, really grabbed you.

Hope this helps!


On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 10:36 AM Pine W  wrote:

> Hello colleagues,
> I would like to ask for your advice about one issue with the "What's making
> you happy this week?" emails.
> I was hoping that people would frequently comment in the email threads
> and/or on the talk pages of WMYHTW publications in *The Signpost* to share
> what is making them happy, in the Wikiverse or elsewhere. However, comments
> are somewhat rare.
> I am concerned that some people may feel too intimidated to comment.
> I understand that communicating in public requires courage, but I believe
> that people who try to be respectful will have their comments received well
> by the community if they comment in these threads. Perfection is not a
> requirement for WMYHTW.
> Also, I think that public communication becomes easier with practice, and
> these threads would be good places for people who want to become more
> experienced with public communication on Wikimedia-l to practice.
> Is there something else that you think could be done to facilitate
> participation in WMYHTW? I would appreciate your advice and input.
> Thank you,
> Pine
> ( )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-06-30 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I would urge anyone who is following this thread to read and contemplate
the Arbcom open letter to the WMF, posted early on June 30th. Link:

This statement was sorely needed, as a means to create the space for the
sort of frank and difficult discussions that must take place in order for
the underlying issues to be resolved.

Note that I am sending this email solely in my capacity as a sporadic
volunteer on the projects, both by name and anonymously.
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[Wikimedia-l] Wikidata now officially has more total edits than English language Wikipedia

2019-03-20 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
Wikidata surpassed the English language Wikipedia in the number of
revisions in the database, about 45 minutes ago today.I was tipped off by a
tweet [1] a few day ago and have been watching via a script that displays
the largest revision id and its timestamp. Here's the point where Wikidata
overtakes English Wikipedia (times in UTC):

[ariel@bigtrouble wikidata-huge]$ python3 ./ -d -r 888603998,888603999,888604000
revid 888603998 at 2019-03-20T06:00:59Z
revid 888603999 at 2019-03-20T06:00:59Z
revid 888604000 at 2019-03-20T06:00:59Z
[ariel@bigtrouble wikidata-huge]$ python3 ./ -d -r 888603998,888603999,888604000
revid 888603998 at 2019-03-20T06:00:59Z
revid 888603999 at 2019-03-20T06:00:59Z
revid 888604000 at 2019-03-20T06:01:00Z

Only 45 minutes later, the gap is already over 2000 revsions:

[ariel@bigtrouble wikidata-huge]$ python3 ./
Last enwiki revid is 888606979 and last wikidata revid is 888629401
2019-03-20 06:46:03: diff is 22422

Have a nice day!


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] America may go bizarro, but Wikipedia has a choice to make

2019-01-09 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
The files made available as 'Wikimedia dumps' are not intended to be a full
backup. And indeed that is not their purpose. People do set up mirrors
using these dumps from time to time, though I have not done so recently.

Actual honest-to-goodness backups (database snapshots) are another thing
altogether and one of the Wikimedia DBAs may want to talk about that.


On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 4:52 PM Risker  wrote:

> Without in any way suggesting that David's and Fae's question is
> inappropriateI suspect that the people most likely to have used/tested
> the backups are not people who follow this list; they're much more likely
> to participate on technical lists.
> It's actually a pretty good question, and Ariel Glenn of the WMF may be the
> best person to ask since they seem to be managing the process of making the
> files available.
> Risker/Anne
> On Wed, 9 Jan 2019 at 06:44, Fæ  wrote:
> > Location: This is a tangent, one that has been raised before as a
> > /non-answer/ to the issue of actually getting on with contingency
> > planning. Realistically I would start by looking at the potential
> > matches of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands (where servers already
> > are used for WMF operations), or lastly and for very different
> > reasons, Peru.
> >
> > What I find weird, or bizarro, is that the responses so far are vague
> > dismissals for non-good fantastic reasons, at the level of "let magic
> > blockchain technology solve it for free", rather than taking on board
> > that preparing a hot switch for Wikimedia operations in a welcoming
> > host country, is a highly cost effective disaster contingency plan,
> > whether due to natural disasters in San Fran / Florida / Amsterdam, or
> > due to national government using its legal authority to freeze, switch
> > off or tamper with content due to politically inflated "security" or
> > "emergency" issues. The risks are real and predictable, and as a
> > globally recognized charity with plenty of money in the bank, the WMF
> > should have contingency plans to ensure its continued existence, as
> > any professional business actuary would advise.
> >
> > As a past IT auditor, what also made the hairs prick up on the back of
> > my neck, was David Gerard's sensible question "So ... when did someone
> > last test putting up a copy of the sites from
> > the backups" - Could someone give a real answer to that please? If
> > it's never, then wow, we all have to ask some hard questions of the
> > WMF Board of exactly how they hold senior management to account.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Fae
> > --
> >
> >
> > On Tue, 8 Jan 2019 at 23:05, Nathan  wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Fae,
> > >
> > > I'm curious what nation you have in mind for your stable Plan B. Is it
> > > Brexit Britain? France of the Yellow Vests and Front National? Perhaps
> > > Orban's Hungary, Putin's Russia, or Germany with its recent right-wing
> > > resurgence?
> > >
> > > Maybe you'd prefer Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil? I suppose in Italy we'd
> worry
> > > about Beppe and criminal libel statutes, while BJP would hardly seem
> > > welcoming in India and I can't imagine you'd suggest a home on the
> other
> > > side of the Great Firewall.
> > >
> > > Maybe you're hinting at Canada, but otherwise, I'd love to understand
> > what
> > > island of liberal stability and legal safeguards you think is safe from
> > the
> > > vagaries of electoral politics or rigid authoritarianism.
> > >
> > > The countries I list above have their own flaws (although in each
> case, I
> > > believe, many desirable traits as well) as does any other alternative.
> > > Anyone could reasonably argue it's unfair to stigmatize any of them by
> > > glaringly public flaws.
> > >
> > > To my mind Steve Walling has it right - the very nature of Wikipedia is
> > > maybe the best protection there could be, even against the absurdly
> > > unlikely circumstance of a United States government takeover of
> > Wikipedia.
> > >
> > > Nathan
> > >
> > > On Tue, Jan 8, 2019 at 12:17 PM Fæ  wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dear fellow Wikimedians, please sit back for a moment and ponder the
> > > > following,
> > > >
> > > > For those of us not resident in the US, it has been genuinely
> alarming
> > > > to see highly respected US government archives vanish overnight,
> > > > reference websites go down, and US legislation appear to drift to
> > > > whatever commercial interests have the loudest current political
> > > > voices. Sadly "populism" is happening now, and dominates American
> > > > politics, driving changes of all sorts in response to politically
> > > > inflated and vague rhetoric about "security" and "fakenews". It is
> not
> > > > inconceivable that a popularist current or future US Government could
> > > > decide to introduce emergency controls over websites like Wikipedia,
> > > > virtually overnight.[1][2][3][4]
> > > >
> > > > The question of whether the Wikimedia Foundation 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Blocks which appear to demonstrate prejudice against minorities

2019-01-07 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
A note that the user's talk page
may or may not reflect all of the comments made at any given moment, since
the user has been engaged in deleting large parts of the discussion. You'll
want to double-check the history to see what's been written.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Blocks which appear to demonstrate prejudice against minorities

2019-01-02 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
Additional notes:
The user's regular page can be viewed on en wikipedia:
Queer may have to do with gender identity as opposed to being an indicator
of 'sexual behavior', so the blockers didn't even get that right. Example:
I am gender-nonconforming as to my gender identity and expression; this is
the primary reason I use the label 'queer'.

I believe this should be reported... somewhere. But I don't know where. The
WMF CoC only covers technical spaces. A little help here?


On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 4:26 PM Fæ  wrote:

> Do we have cross project policies to govern or limit local policies
> for the use of sysop tools? I would like to pass on policy advice, and
> any past cases folks here would like to highlight that set a
> precedent.
> The case below is illustrative, though based on my recall of several
> complaints which went nowhere over the years, on email lists, and
> Jimmy's talk page, about apparently arbitrary blocks on different
> non-English Wikipedias, it seems reasonable to believe those
> complaints are the tip of the iceberg, and there are likely to be many
> historical cases of blocks that could have been appealed... had the
> user been confident to complain in English, and have the energy to
> pursue generic WMF policies on terms of use, or
> harassment/discrimination, to establish a meta-level case.
> # Example case
> An account block on the Amharic Wikipedia (am.wp) was flagged up
> yesterday on the WM LGBT+ Telegram discussion group.[3] The rationale
> for blocking the account was because the account name includes the
> word "Queer"[1]. The incident raises questions about process and
> accountability, particularly as the block gives the impression that
> this is the norm or an agreed interpretation of policy for sysops on
> am.wp, and because the user is well established using this account
> name across Wikimedia projects and has never edited am.wp so the block
> cannot be based on any prior action or dispute.
> In this example there is no obvious process for appeal, if sysops on
> that project think that blocking any LGBT+ related account name
> represents local consensus. After off-wiki discussion, the WMF Trust
> and Safety team has been approached for advice,[2] as the rationale
> for the action appears hostile to any openly LGBT+ volunteers who
> might want to include something queer looking in their account name
> (such as my account name, should anyone want to read it as transgender
> related).
> # Links
> 1.
> ;
> the block log states "Names calling attention to your sexual behavior
> have never been allowed here in 15 years and aren't suddenly allowed
> in 2018"
> 2.
> 3.
> Thanks
> Fae
> --
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia in an abstract language

2018-11-15 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I want to add a caution about the idea of translating one article for all
audiences. Even articles on some plants or animals will contain different
information depending on their role in the communities of the speakers of a
given language; how much more will articles about some politician or a
religious custom vary depending on the presumed cultural context of the
community of readers? Even sources vary according to the language of the
project, with sources in the project language preferred for ease of
verifiability. One of the strengths of multi-language Wikipedia is this
very concept of a topic being presented in a fashion that is suitable to
different communities of readers, and the language of the text is only one
part of that.

On Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 8:40 AM Leila Zia  wrote:

> Denny, thanks for writing and rewriting this piece. I finally got a chance
> to go through it end-to-end. Challenge accepted! :)
> Here are a few early thoughts, and I look forward to discussing it with you
> and others further.
> * I tend to agree with you that the challenges of artificial intelligence
> are a superset of the challenges of bringing to life the abstract
> Wikipedia. Quite a few items you list in "Unique advantages" section make
> the abstract-Wikipedia space more easily approachable.
> * I agree with you that if we are to take the content of Wikipedia to many
> of the languages spoken in the world today, and engage their speakers to
> share in, the current model won't work/scale (at least soon enough).
> * You've raised a great point about "Graceful degradation". A very nice
> challenge.
> * In "Unique advantages" you talk about "a single genre of text,
> encyclopedias" and I wonder what it takes to expand our thinking to include
> images as well. Will we need to rethink your current construct? Including
> images is attractive for at least two reasons: Because in terms of learning
> people have different needs and we will likely need to (continue to)
> include images as we create the abstractions, but also because one can
> potentially think of images as representations that are already abstract.
> Best,
> Leila
> --
> Leila Zia
> Senior Research Scientist, Lead
> Wikimedia Foundation
> On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 10:13 AM Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
> > an interesting concept indeed!
> >
> > dj
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 5:36 PM Denny Vrandečić  > > wrote:
> > The extended whitepaper that was presented at the DL workshop is now
> > available here:
> >
> >
> >
> > Still not a proper scientific paper (no references, notv situated in
> > related work), but going into a bit more detail on the ideas on the first
> > paper published previously.
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 11:32 Denny Vrandečić  >> wrote:
> >
> > > Semantic Web languages allow to express ontologies and knowledge bases
> in
> > > a way meant to be particularly amenable to the Web. Ontologies
> formalize
> > > the shared understanding of a domain. But the most expressive and
> > > widespread languages that we know of are human natural languages, and
> the
> > > largest knowledge base we have is the wealth of text written in human
> > > languages.
> > >
> > > We looks for a path to bridge the gap between knowledge representation
> > > languages such as OWL and human natural languages such as English. We
> > > propose a project to simultaneously expose that gap, allow to
> collaborate
> > > on closing it, make progress widely visible, and is highly attractive
> and
> > > valuable in its own right: a Wikipedia written in an abstract language
> to
> > > be rendered into any natural language on request. This would make
> current
> > > Wikipedia editors about 100x more productive, and increase the content
> of
> > > Wikipedia by 10x. For billions of users this will unlock knowledge they
> > > currently do not have access to.
> > >
> > > My first talk on this topic will be on October 10, 2018, 16:45-17:00,
> at
> > > the Asilomar in Monterey, CA during the Blue Sky track of ISWC. My
> > second,
> > > longer talk on the topic will be at the DL workshop in Tempe, AZ,
> October
> > > 27-29. Comments are very welcome as I prepare the slides and the talk.
> > >
> > > Link to the paper:
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Denny
> > >
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> >
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> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Emerging Communities: a proposed new definition

2017-09-27 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
Would a name like "emerging knowledge communities" be clearer?  Yes, you'd
think that in the context of Wikipedia and related projects, the word
'knowledge' would be a given, but perhaps it isn't?


On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:36 PM, ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) <> wrote:

> I find it a lot difficult to explain the phrase 'Emerging communities'
> among my crowds during any outreach event.
> The phrase still doesn't get to pass on the idea of 'knowledge empowerment'
> or 'open digital access'. Rather it still make people think it's all about
> economic and technological advancement.
> My two fast bits.
> -User:Viswaprabha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikitribune!

2017-04-26 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
Hi Jimmy,

The articles I've read on the new venture have been like appetizers,
providing just enough information to generate a new list of questions. :-)
So, in no particular order, here are some things that came to mind:

Will the focus be investigative journalism, or "deep dives" in the manner
of, or breaking news, or something else?

AIUI, fact-checking will be done by community volunteers in the
collaborative manner of Wikipedia; will they flag information that they
consider to be problematic, annotate draft news articles with comments and
questions, revise drafts themselves,...?

The website shows an initial goal of ten journalists to be hired; does this
include copy editors as well?  And more generally, how will copy editing be

With what frequency do you envision news to be published, e.g. a weekly
magazine, a daily feed of several short pieces and one feature article, ...?

Who will have access to journalists' notes and other raw materials?  How
will sources be protected while permitting maximum participation of
community volunteers in the vetting/fact-checking process?  Will there be
provision for leakers, i.e. some sort of SecureDrop thing?  If so, how will
that be handled?

Will guides be produced around vetting of information, like e.g. the guide
at  More generally, how will community members
learn vetting and verification skills for journalism?

How will good-faith disputes around fact-checking be resolved and by whom?
How will trolls be handled?

Will Wikitribune journalists collaborate with other groups doing
like-minded work, for example

I gather that there are developers working on this project too, at least on
wordpress hacking; are they also part of the crowdfunding?  More generally,
is budget/staffing information available or will it be soon?

What roles will the four named advisors play in this project, with their
specific skillsets?

In an ever shrinking paid market for journalism, where funding is harder
and harder to come by and many publications have closed their doors or
turned digital-only, what are your thoughts about competing in that market,
both as a job provider and potentially taking subscribers from other media?

Please feel free to ramble on at length about these topics as much as you
like; I'm interested in the broader picture and not just the specific
details :-)

Thanks a lot!


On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 12:59 AM, Jimmy Wales 

> Today I announced a new initiative, outside of my Wikimedia activities,
> to combat fake news. It is important to me that I share directly with
> all of you information about this new initiative early on.
> The new project  will use a wiki-style setup and experiment with
> bringing together professional journalists and community contributors to
> produce fact-checked, global news stories.  At launch, we'll be using a
> hacked version of wordpress and we'll be evaluating whether that's the
> right tool moving forward.  Wordpress has a lot to
> commend it (free software, mature platform, used by lots of newsrooms,
> active developer ecosystem) but also has some philosophy that's quite
> "top down" in a way.
> (Not many people would think in a wiki way when setting up a newsroom!)
> This new initiative, Wikitribune, will be a learning experience - my
> vision is one that I've had a hard time explaining... except to
> Wikimedians who tend to immediately
> get it.
> While I am launching this project independent from Wikipedia and the
> Wikimedia Foundation, it is my plan that this new project will work
> alongside Wikimedia in the free knowledge movement. For example, I hope
> that the numerous Wikinews/Wikinoticias/Wikinotizie/etc. communities can
> collaborate with the  Wikitribune community in way that allows both to
> learn and benefit from each other. Additionally, Wikitribune will
> utilize the same Creative Commons license (CC-BY) as other free content
> projects in
> the news space - so they can take the stories written by our
> professional journalists and communities and make use of them.
> You can find out more information about Wikitribune at:
> Thank you for your time and I'm happy to answer questions!  (But I'm
> quite swamped with everything at the moment so please forgive me if I
> answer in bursts!)
> --Jimbo
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general

2017-01-27 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I would not consider the dumps to be backups.  They are for purposes of
mirroring, research, analysis, offline reading and bot processing among
other things, but as a backup of our data they fall short.  Not only are
they not up to the minute but they do not contain private data, as they are
intended for public use.

I should note here, though IANAL, that any restrictions that may be placed
on US government communications do not of course apply to the private
Having said that, I would like also to see offline backups happen, for
various reasons.


On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Amir Ladsgroup  wrote:

> Yes they are: and three out of
> four of them are outside U.S.
> Best
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 3:26 PM Gerard Meijssen  >
> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > No they are not backed up outside the USA. I am not so sure there are off
> > line backups/
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> >
> > On 27 January 2017 at 10:10, Peter Southwood <
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I hope the servers are backed up outside the USA in at least two places
> > > and that the data is also backed up off-line somewhere to make it
> > > unhackable.
> > > Cheers,
> > > Peyer
> > >
> > > -Original Message-
> > > From: Wikimedia-l [] On
> > > Behalf Of Romaine Wiki
> > > Sent: Friday, 27 January 2017 5:34 AM
> > > To: Wikimedia
> > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general
> > >
> > > Today I was reading in the (international) news about websites with
> > > knowledge on the topic of climate change disappear from the internet as
> > > result of the Trump administration. The second thing I read is that
> > before
> > > something can be published about this topic, the government needs to
> > > approve this.
> > >
> > > Do you realise what the right word for this is? censorship.
> > > Even if it is only partially.
> > >
> > > Luckily there are many scientists working on getting all the data
> abroad,
> > > out of the US to ensure the research data is saved, including on
> servers
> > in
> > > the Netherlands where Trump (hopefully) has no reach.
> > >
> > > In the past week I was reading about the Internet Archive organisation,
> > > who is making a back up in Canada because of the Trump administration.
> I
> > > did not understood this, you may call me naive, but now I do
> understand,
> > > apparently they have some visionary people at the Internet Archive.
> > >
> > > I miss a good answer to this situation from the Wikimedia Foundation.
> > >
> > > Trump is now promoting harassment and disrespect, already for some
> time,
> > >
> > > What signal is given to the rest of the world if an America based
> > > organisation is spreading the thought of a harassment free Wikipedia
> and
> > > the free word, while the president of the US is promoting harassment,
> > > disrespect and censorship on a massive scale.
> > >
> > > This is just the first week of this president!
> > >
> > > I am 100% sure everyone in the Wikimedia movement is willing to make
> sure
> > > Wikimedia faces no damage whatsoever, including in WMF, but to me this
> > > still starts to get concerning.
> > >
> > > If we as Wikimedia movement think that free knowledge, free speech,
> > > freedom of information, etc are important, I would think that the
> > location
> > > where the organisation is based is that country where liberty is the
> > > largest, I do not know where this is but it is definitely not the US.
> > >
> > > To my impression WMF is stuck in the US, so I do not believe they would
> > > actually move when the danger grows.
> > >
> > > But I think it is possible to make sure risks are spread over the
> world.
> > > Certainly as we are an international movement that intends to cover the
> > > knowledge of the whole humanoid civilisation.
> > >
> > > To come to a conclusion, I think WMF and the Wikimedia movement should
> > > think about a back-up plan if it actually goes wrong.
> > >
> > >
> > > If you do not agree with me: that is perfectly fine, that's your right
> > and
> > > should be protected.
> > >
> > > Thank you.
> > >
> > > Romaine
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to:
> > > Unsubscribe:,
> > > 
> > >
> > > -
> > > No virus found in this message.
> > > Checked by AVG -
> > > Version: 2016.0.7998 / Virus Database: 4749/13841 - Release Date:
> > 01/26/17
> > >
> > >
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Music industry threats to safe harbor?

2016-12-20 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
The Communications Decency Act of 1996, Section 230, mentioned in Todd's
email, is the subject of a recent lawsuit:


On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 11:37 PM, Todd Allen  wrote:

> What you posted there regards contract terms between the artist and
> Youtube. That's between them to fight out. If they don't like Youtube's
> terms, they can take their stuff elsewhere.
> DMCA safe harbor has nothing to do with contracts. It means that, if you
> run an interactive web site (essentially, anything where users are allowed
> to post stuff), you can't be held liable if one of your users posts
> copyrighted material. The user still can be, but you, as the site operator,
> cannot.
> In exchange, you must provide a way that a copyright holder can contact
> you, using a standard method, and tell you that they've found material that
> infringes their copyright. You must then take that material down (within a
> certain period, I think ten days) and provide notice to the user that
> you've done so. The user can then either file a "counter notice" if they
> believe the material is not infringing, which you'd send back to the
> copyright holder if they choose to do so, or drop it, in which case the
> material stays gone. If a counter notice is filed, the copyright holder can
> at that time either take the matter up in court directly with the user, or
> drop it. If they don't file in court after a counter notice, you can
> automatically reinstate the material after a certain period of time. If the
> DMCA notice was malicious or fraudulent, the safe harbor provision also
> establishes liability against the person or entity who filed it. But as
> long as you file those procedures, you, as the site operator, are immune
> from liability for either the material being present to start with or for
> it being taken down.
> Without that protection, no one in their right mind would operate an
> interactive web site, at least not in the US. It protects everything from
> classic car hobbyist forums operated by a few people at their own cost, to
> sites like Youtube and Facebook. None of those would be possible without
> it. Or, at the very least, they would have to be operated from countries
> which are, shall we say, much more lax on copyright enforcement. That's bad
> for everyone, including the copyright holders--they no longer would have an
> effective method of getting infringements taken down.
> Since Wikimedia is DMCA-compliant, that means that, say, AP or Getty can't
> sue Wikimedia if a user uploads a bunch of their images to Commons. They
> would have to find and sue that user. And of course, they could file DMCA
> requests to have their stuff removed. But since WMF is much easier to find
> and has much deeper pockets, if they had the option of suing WMF, I
> guarantee you that they would. The only thing that stops them from that is
> safe harbor.
> That, and Section 230 of the CDA (which excludes liability from site
> operators for other types of illegal conduct like threats) are, without
> exaggeration, the very reason that interactive web services can exist at
> all. Without those, you'd be accepting liability for anything a user of
> your site might choose to do. You'd have to be insane to do that.
> Todd
> On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 1:36 PM, Lilburne 
> wrote:
> > On 19/12/2016 16:45, David Gerard wrote:
> >
> >> For various reasons * I follow music industry news. One drum the record
> >> industry has been beating *hard* in the past year is attempts to reduce
> >> the
> >> DMCA "safe harbor" provisions in order to squeeze more money from
> YouTube.
> >> It's been a running theme through 2016.
> >>
> >>
> > Oh dear! If this gets traction poor little Google, won't be able to run
> > their protection racket any longer. It is so worrying that a little
> cellist
> > might bring a $400 billion company to its knees.
> >
> >
> > ng-youtube-google-music
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to:
> > Unsubscribe:,
> > 
> >
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-05 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
I'd like to see more complete minutes that get published more frequently; I
suspect the members of the Board would love it if they could make it happen
by waving a wand and have it be so.

I was once a public observer taking notes for a Board meeting for a
different organization, and there was no way to get notes out the door with
universal agreement except to redact large parts.  A lot of it involved "I
did not say that" or "I did not mean that" or "That's out of context".
Controversial topic discussions will be even harder to cover fairly without
being content-free.

And, as others have said on this list, recording meetings often has the
side effect of moving real discussions out of the limelight back into the
shadows.  If you don't believe me, check out your respective legislative
bodies ;-)

So, given that, as Risker and others point out, "it's complicated", perhaps
we could start with a smaller step: get the agenda published within 5 days
after any meeting.  This would mean publishing: the items brought into the
meeting for discussion, marking those that were actually discussed, and
those that were dropped or alternatively held over for a future meeting.

Even this document will not be controversy free and will need to be vetted
before being released, but a 5 day period (let's say) seems manageable.

Once we have that going smoothly we can take what's been learned from it
and apply it to summaries with a bit more detail, etc.


On Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 1:19 AM, Craig Franklin 

> This sounds like an excellent strategy if you're looking to have the board
> meetings turn into a rubber stamp for issues that have been discussed and
> decided elsewhere.
> Rather than solving the transparency problem through gimmicks like wheeling
> a video camera into the board room, we should look at reasons why the Board
> of Trustees might not feel comfortable being transparent.  The only real
> solution will involve cultural change, not just on the WMF side, but also
> from the community.  What can *we* as community members do to assist the
> WMF in being transparent?
> Although, I most certainly agree that the official minutes of meetings
> could do with a little more detail.  If brevity is wit, then the existing
> minutes are positively Wildean.
> Cheers,
> Craig
> On 3 March 2016 at 16:31, Pine W  wrote:
> > Having WMF Board meetings be open and recorded by default would be
> > a wonderful step in aligning the Board with the value of transparency.
> >
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[Wikimedia-l] Message just sent to the BoT

2016-02-25 Thread Ariel Glenn WMF
The following is the text of a letter I just sent to the Board of Trustees.

A tale from the trenches

I wake up every day short on sleep, check staff mail, check wikimedia-l,
check the facebook discussion group, check signpost comments, check irc,
check officewiki recent changes, check wikimediafoundation recent changes...

I gear myself up to learn who may have left today, what they will have
said, to digest the outpouring of support and sadness from others, and the
deafening silence from those who are in a position to put an end to all of

I go over the reasons again in my mind that we're in this crisis: bad
hirings, decisions in secret, dissembling and coverups about the processes
that led to those decisions; refusal or inability to state a clear vision,
let alone get buy-in or the involvement of staff/community in shaping that
vision; restructuring the organization following these same broken
processes.  And so much more.

Make no mistake, this is not just about an ED.  It's also about failure of
oversight, powerlessness of staff, and a culture of exclusion, among other
things.  If, as I hope, the Board acts decisively to remove the current ED,
that will only be the first step in a mountain of work ahead of us.  Hard,
painful, exhausting work.  But we can't begin to get started on it until
that first step is taken.

In November at The Meeting (you all know which one I mean), Jimmy Wales
called on all of us to give Lila Tretikov a second chance, a chance to
rebuild the trust that had been lost.  We're well beyond that point now.
That trust is irrevocably broken.  It's possible that she would be able to
play a part in the healing and regrouping that must happen within the WMF
going forwards, but only as a private individual.  I would have to have
some distance from things in order to figure that out, and none of us has
that right now.  What I do know is that the current situation is toxic, and
getting increasingly more so.

We're bleeding out.  Slowly at first, but it's a just matter of time--and
probably not much of it--before that trickle turns into a flood.  I plead
with the one organization that has the ability to stop it, to step in and
do so.



Ariel Glenn
tech gnome, WMF staff
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