Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-04 Thread George William Herbert
I think that the idea of taking the weekend off from the topic is excellent.  
We may not have reached universal consensus yet but everything we needed to 
have said was, and it's been acknowledged as received and under consideration.

Have a good weekend everyone.

-george 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 4, 2017, at 12:38 AM, Pine W  wrote:
> 
> Rogol,
> 
> I don't get the impression that Anna's position is that "everything is all
> right and that (WMF doesn't) need our help after all". That comment comes
> across to me as inflammatory and unhelpful.
> 
> It seems to me that Anna is interested in improving the situation rather
> than having a battle with the community. I'd like to let the improvement
> process happen. Please have some patience, and let's be grateful that WMF
> is trying to make the situation better. I would rather see a thoughtfully
> re-designed report in 2 weeks than pour gasoline on the fire and have
> another report come out on Monday that also has problems.
> 
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread George William Herbert
I agree with Pine's comments.  Lots of good things happening and great content, 
and that should not be minimized in all this.  If I left that impression then 
my apologies to the content creators and annual report staff on those points.


-george 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 2, 2017, at 5:10 PM, Pine W  wrote:
> 
> Hi Eric,
> 
> Speaking generally, I think that telling stories about Wikimedia content
> and platforms, and how content is created, delivered, or used, are all
> likely to be compatible with WMF's mission when the stories are written in
> an NPOV way. I must have missed the link to Andreas' arctic photography,
> but I can imagine how a story about a Wikimedian's work taking photos of
> icebergs and arctic wildlife could be written in such a way as to be
> compatible with the WMF mission to share knowledge of factual information
> (as opposed to analyses of that information or advocacy to take political
> action based on that information). Similarly, a story about the use of
> Wikimedia resources to assist refugees could likely be written in a way
> that is NPOV and compatible with the mission to share knowledge.
> 
> WMF, the affiliates, and the communities do good work that is not advocacy,
> and informs discussions of public interest, and contributes to the public
> good. I think that sharing those stories can likely be done in a way that
> is compatible with the WMF mission.
> 
> Pine
> 
> 
>> On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 4:12 PM, Erik Moeller  wrote:
>> 
>> On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 12:26 PM, Stuart Prior
>>  wrote:
>> 
>>> As an example, anthropogenic climate change is a politically sensitive
>>> issue, but how can a consensus-driven movement not take into account that
>>> 97% of climate scientists acknowledge its existence
>>> ?
>>> [1] 
>>> Accepting a scientific consensus just isn’t a political position.
>> 
>> It isn't, but I think it's still worth thinking about context and
>> presentation. There are organizations whose job it is to directly
>> communicate facts, both journalistic orgs like ProPublica and
>> fact-checkers like Snopes/Politifact. In contrast, WMF's job is to
>> enable many communities to collect and develop educational content.
>> 
>> If the scientific consensus on climate change suddenly starts to
>> shift, we expect our projects to reflect that, and we expect that the
>> organization doesn't get involved in those community processes to
>> promote a specific outcome. The more WMF directly communicates facts
>> about the world (especially politicized ones), rather than
>> communicating _about_ facts, the more people (editors and readers
>> alike) may question whether the organization is appropriately
>> conservative about its own role.
>> 
>> I haven't done an extensive survey, but I suspect all the major
>> Wikipedia languages largely agree in their presentation on climate
>> change. If so, that is itself a notable fact, given the amount of
>> politicization of the topic. Many readers/donors may be curious how
>> such agreement comes about in the absence of top-down editorial
>> control. Speaking about the remarkable process by which Wikipedia
>> tackles contentious topics may be a less potentially divisive way for
>> WMF to speak about what's happening in the real world.
>> 
>> I do think stories like the refugee phrasebook and Andreas' arctic
>> photography are amazing and worth telling. I'm curious whether folks
>> like Risker, George, Pine, Chris, and others who've expressed concern
>> about the report agree with that. If so, how would you tell those
>> stories in the context of, e.g., an Annual Report?
>> 
>> Erik
>> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread George William Herbert


On Mar 2, 2017, at 11:13 AM, James Salsman  wrote:

>> politics damages our brand in real and serious ways.
> 
> Such as how? This assertion keeps being made without any evidence supporting 
> it.
> 
>> It's more ammunition for everyone else's distrust and fear of our community 
>> and organizational motives.
> 
> Are there any actual reasons to believe that such distrust and fear
> exists apart from those upset about being on the losing end of some
> Wikipedia content dispute?


Surely you haven't missed the spectrum of external criticism of Wikipedia which 
in no small part claims we have a left bias.

We are always able to come back and point to (usually) functional neutrality.  
But then we go and do this.


-george

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread George William Herbert




> On Mar 2, 2017, at 9:22 AM, David Gerard  wrote:
> 
> I note this discussion is leaning "I totally am not offended myself,
> but unspecified others might be." I think some posters need to own
> their own discomfort more.
> 
> The trouble with liberality is a tendency to shy away from wishing to
> assert oneself even when actually it's quite important.

*I* an engaged and asserting myself on these issues and in support of 
appropriate organizations in each area.

The WMF is not the appropriate organization to do that.  It detracts from what 
the WMF is chartered to do for it to go rolling in the mud with the pigs on 
specific issues not related to creating and maximally sharing neutral 
encyclopedic knowledge.

We have enough problems in the core mission, communities, and Foundation that 
we're no good at solving yet.  I do not want the Foundation going off mission.  
We haven't got the mission solved yet, and going off mission into politics 
damages our brand in real and serious ways.

No matter how much I agree with all the specific positions implied, it was 
wrong to go there.

It may feel good, but it's a net negative to neutral and conservative readers 
and our position in the US social and political spectrum to move off 
organizational neutrality.  Liberals don't need us patting them on the head 
saying we agree with their views.  It's more ammunition for everyone else's 
distrust and fear of our community and organizational motives.

-george

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread George William Herbert




> On Mar 2, 2017, at 1:14 AM, James Salsman  wrote:
> 
> On the contrary, the left-wing is the only source of credible,
> trustworthy, and bias-free information on a wide variety of topics
> such as climate change.  Equating neutrality with credibility and
> trustworthiness is a clear mistake, because political bias is not
> orthogonal to factual bias.

I think there's an excellent argument to be made as to the underlying factual 
validity of the stance(s).

None of which addresses the point that it's off mission and a distraction from 
the mission, and will attract even further off-mission criticism and attacks 
and resentment.

Someone out there (and not just a tiny minority) is going to disagree strongly 
with the position; I don't.  But I care that we made them our enemies here and 
in this manner.  I donate to and support the ACLU and immigration lawyer groups 
when I want to make those points.  The WMF picking this fight hurts the WMF.


-george


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread George William Herbert

My two cents.

I agree with the sentiments in the statement/report.

I don't feel comfortable seeing them from the WMF.  I would not be comfortable 
seeing them from a PBS mission statement or report, a Humane Society report, 
the Red Cross, ... ok, the ACLU has about said as much.  But I feel that the 
Foundation let "We are good people, these are good ideas" get a bit out of hand.

It's not political context.  It stands out a bit more but that's not the nature 
of the problem.

I don't want the WMF as ACLU-lite, or advocating for health like Medcin Sans 
Frontieres or the Red Cross, or doing everything for internet freedom the EFF 
does.

These things become contextually controversial, and attract negative attention. 
 Each one may individually be morally or mission justifiable, but you end up 
with a pattern generating controversy and attacks that are totally off axis to 
WMF's actual point of existence.  As Pine and others mentioned, it's ultimately 
not mission aligned, and that does add up and hurt us.

When we take mission aligned stances we have to and should and we are owning 
that value and any criticism that comes back.  That's our point.  That's our 
community fight and point of existence.  But we don't own human rights or 
immigration policy.  We may consensus agree on a good moral platform but we 
don't own the problem or solutions.

I understand that the planning process for this may have been open and public 
(have not looked myself yet but believe you).  But WP and WMF are *immense* and 
have more corners with stuff going on than any human can comprehend and follow 
even dedicated to it full time, which frankly most can't be.  Many unfortunate 
things are done in the open but practically escaping wide enough audience to 
get the peer review they really needed.  This is a community problem mostly but 
hit the Foundation here.


-george

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 2, 2017, at 12:00 AM, Anna Stillwell  wrote:
> 
> Pine,
> You and I have a call scheduled and we can begin to think together on this
> issue. Thank you.
> /a
> 
>> On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 11:58 PM, Pine W  wrote:
>> 
>> Hi Anna,
>> 
>> Thanks for chiming in.
>> 
>> As someone who is personally feeling a lot of strain between myself and WMF
>> -- and I think I'm not the only one -- I would like to figure out how to do
>> something so that all of us can get on with mission-aligned work instead of
>> having conversations about what's wrong for the nth time.
>> 
>> I think that problem will take some effort to solve, and it probably won't
>> be solved in this thread. It's certainly a ripe issue for discussion, and
>> I'd like to see that happen.
>> 
>> I'd like to hear suggestions about how to make that happen. I can't
>> continue to participate here tonight, but perhaps others will. When I loop
>> back here -- hopefully tomorrow, and certainly within a few days -- I'd
>> like to hear suggestions about how to get better alignment between WMF and
>> the community. This has been a problem for a long time, and I find it
>> really frustrating. I know we can do better, and I'm glad you're giving
>> some thought to this.
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> 
>> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Blocks of new accounts in Angola?

2017-02-21 Thread George William Herbert

Have them hit whatismyip.org and tell us what shows up..,

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 21, 2017, at 5:58 PM, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton 
>  wrote:
> 
> I've been receiving complains via Facebook from people of Angola about not
> being able to create new accounts, some know something about it? They
> receive the as if the IP was blocked, however we receive more then 5
> complains just in the Commons FB page.
> 
> Any ideas?
> 
> -- 
> Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
> rodrigo.argen...@gmail.com
> +55 11 979 718 884
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The tragedy of Commons

2014-06-17 Thread George William Herbert
We need an Uncommons, where the strict open license / PD rules are abandoned 
and we accept images as long as their fair use can be established.  And don't 
delete unless that fair use is credibly questioned.

Conflating and comingling our educational role with open content advocacy was 
always risky and is proving impossible.  Without devaluing open content, we 
need to separately support fair use for educational purposes, and stop letting 
cross-project advocacy games screw with our educational mission.

Third parties may or may not be able to re-redistribute, but we simply put it 
up with an explicit reuse at your own risk.

I don't recall if the code which handles finding images at Commons can take a 
search path of multiple alternate image sources; if so, I would like to propose 
Uncommons as a project, initial central file upload default target replacement 
for Commons, and putting it in said search path.

This has gone on too long.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

Sent from Kangphone

On Jun 17, 2014, at 7:47 AM, Osmar Valdebenito b1mbo.wikipe...@gmail.com 
wrote:

 If you take a look at the undeletion requests after the URAA discussion,
 most of the images restored were deleted afterwards anyway.[1][2] The only
 exception that I've seen are some German stamps that haven't been deleted
 (yet).
 The problem is that, at this moment, most of the people whose valid images
 were quickly deleted and re-deleted are tired and have no intention to
 start again defending their contributions when they will be deleted no
 matter what.
 
 [1]
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Per%C3%B3n_Funeral.jpg
 [2]
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive/2014-05#Files%20of%20Category:Ra%C3%BAl%20Alfons%C3%ADn
 
 
 
 2014-06-17 10:31 GMT-04:00 Fæ fae...@gmail.com:
 
 On 17/06/2014, Tomasz Ganicz polime...@gmail.com wrote:
 with final consensus that URAA cannot be used as the sole reason for
 deletion...
 
 This is a selective quote, missing the explicit caveat that:
 Deleted files can be restored after a discussion in COM:UDR.
 
 If the process is being followed correctly, there should be an
 established specific consensus via an undeletion request, *before* an
 administrator action can or should be taken.
 
 Links:
 1.
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Massive_restoration_of_deleted_images_by_the_URAA#Close
 2.
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests
 
 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The tragedy of Commons

2014-06-17 Thread George William Herbert



On Jun 17, 2014, at 8:37 AM, Emmanuel Engelhart kel...@kiwix.org wrote:

 On 17.06.2014 17:26, George William Herbert wrote:
 We need an Uncommons, where the strict open license / PD rules are abandoned 
 and we accept images as long as their fair use can be established.  And 
 don't delete unless that fair use is credibly questioned.
 
 Conflating and comingling our educational role with open content advocacy 
 was always risky and is proving impossible.  Without devaluing open content, 
 we need to separately support fair use for educational purposes, and stop 
 letting cross-project advocacy games screw with our educational mission.
 
 Third parties may or may not be able to re-redistribute, but we simply put 
 it up with an explicit reuse at your own risk.
 
 reuse at your own risk = risky = no reuse for most actors
 Well done!

Not my problem.

Educational role.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Child Protection Policy

2014-05-23 Thread George William Herbert



On May 23, 2014, at 10:09 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 23 May 2014 13:05, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:
 
 Is the following a full statement of Wikipedia's Child Protection
 Policy, reflecting all responsibilities that the Wikipedia community
 and the Wikimedia Foundation have taken on to protect children in all
 of the projects they are involved with and/or sponsor?
 
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Child_protection
 
 Are there any other *published* policies of WP or the WMF pertaining
 to child protection that I might have missed?
 
 I know that this is a very politically charged issue in the WP
 community. I'd appreciate a high light:heat ratio if anyone has
 comments beyond links to current policy statements.
 
 Thanks!
 ,Wil
 
 
 English Wikipedia policy:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Child_protection
 
 The existence of a 'formalized' policy has been a topic of heated debate
 since its creation, although there is some truth that its original form
 more or less documented existing practice at the time.
 
 Risker/Anne

Right.

I can guarantee you that the policy more or less as written will be implemented 
by most senior experienced admins.  It documented existing very poorly 
publicized informal practice in that regard.

There is and has been much controversy as to whether it's good, fair, 
reasonable, appropriate.

As with the responding to threats of harm essay (originally responding to 
threats of suicide, now expanded), there were considerable theory based top 
down discussions that did not resolve, followed by someone documenting what was 
actually being done most of the time and that settling is as precedent.

This is perhaps not the best process.  However, even in the absence of total 
community support on these issues, admins and arbcom and senior community 
members will act to protect individual people and the community and 
encyclopedia and foundation.  It seems to be agreed that documenting usual 
parameters for that, so people understand the usual responses, was a net 
positive.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fuck the community, who cares

2014-04-07 Thread George William Herbert
Way to completely miss the point.

Sometimes, the rule of nonattribution is necessary to foster open exchange of 
views.  Nothing anyone has said disputes that.

If you disagree, disagree before the meeting, not after.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

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On Apr 7, 2014, at 9:31 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com wrote:

 On the other other hand, having any sort of Chatham House Rule in an
 organisation which prides itself as having openness and transparency as one
 of its core tenets..think about it people..
 
 Hell, we once had Oliver Keyes spouting on IRC how lowly he thinks of Jimmy
 Wales (in addition to attacking other editors) and he was rewarded with a
 promotion and a shout-out from Sue at Wikimania, so seriously, the
 organisation has no need for any Chatham House Rule.
 
 What is the issue here, isn't so much the comment that was made, but the
 context in which it was made. We keep hearing about context. Well give us
 context guys. Surely the context isn't a secret?
 
 Or will you all prove true Fae's comments: corrupts the movement by
 turning the higher ranks into an Old Boys Club who are more likely to
 find ways to cover up for each other, rather than be seen to be
 accountable.
 
 Russavia
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread George William Herbert



On Dec 29, 2013, at 9:11 PM, Tim Starling tstarl...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Leslie Carr wrote:
 At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
 which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
 hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.
 
 Google and Facebook are apparently taking that route. Maybe some day,
 this technology will be available for anyone to buy.
 
 -- Tim Starling


One hears rumors of enterprise grade hardware manufacturers floating product 
ideas to customers (cough) but rumors persist that paying customers actually 
calculate bandwidth issues for their applications and generally say no. The 
ones who say yes tend to be academics in strange corners of the money / compute 
cluster CPU vs IO trade space, and are ok with building their own.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] is wikipedia zero illegal because it violates net neutrality?

2013-08-26 Thread George William Herbert




On Aug 26, 2013, at 10:42 AM, JP Béland lebo.bel...@gmail.com wrote:

 2013/8/26, Martijn Hoekstra martijnhoeks...@gmail.com:
 On Aug 26, 2013 6:30 PM, JP Béland lebo.bel...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 And if it is illegal or borderline according to, say,
 netherlands, swiss, or german law, is it appropriate to do it in
 countries where the law is less developed? 
 
 As said Kevin, it is impossible to respect the law of all countries in
 every country (Wikipedia already fails at that in its current state by
 the way, with or without Wikipedia Zero). So no we cannot just
 abstain from any
 activity which might be perceived as illegal somewhere. After that,
 are you suggesting we should apply the laws of some developed
 countries to all countries and just ignore the others, this is way
 more morally wrong in my opinion.
 
 That being said, the law on net neutrality you cited applies to ISP,
 which Wikipedia Zero or the WMF isn't, so it doesn't apply to it.
 
 But of course, we as a community and the WMF should still keep high
 ethical and moral standards.
 
 JP Beland
 aka Amqui
 
 I do think there is some merit in the net neutrality argument, at least
 sufficiently so to be open to discussion on whether or not offering
 Wikipedia Zero is a good thing. It comes down to the question if we believe
 that having a walled garden variety of internet consisting only of
 Wikipedia for free, and with that undermining the market position for a
 paid, open internet is a net positive. I'm inclined to say it is, but the
 opposite position, though counter-intuitive, is pretty defensible.
 
 -Martijn
 
 Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
 the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.
 (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vision)
 
 I agree with you that it is good to discuss about it. The real
 question we have to ask is what between Wikipedia Zero giving free
 access to Wikipedia or avoiding that for net neutrality and not
 undermining the market position for a paid open internet is getting us
 closer to our vision.
 
 JP Béland
 aka Amqui


I believe a nonstandard interpretation of net neutrality is being used here.

It's intended - as originally posed - to prevent a service provider from 
advantaging their own bundled services and disadvantage independent services 
via tariff structure.

What competitors for Wikipedia exist?

And to the extent there are such, are we associated with this provider in some 
way that causes us to be their service in some preferred way to their or our 
benefit?  What benefit do we get?


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