Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board of Trustees elections, membership, quorum, and

2020-10-01 Thread Bill Takatoshi
After I asked my questions on September 4, I was sent the message
below by some role account I've never heard of, asking about claims
that have used the names of five other people. I don't edit under my
real name, but I have never used the names in the linked forum
postings.

The linked posts also claim that the Foundation's nonprofit status is
at risk. I am not a lawyer, but I am skeptical of that claim even
though five Trustees whose three-year terms expired in August
apparently voted on a Resolution in a Board meeting on September 24.
According to Section 4 of the Bylaws, "A quorum shall consist of a
majority of Trustees then in office." Section 6 says, "the Board may
continue doing business as a Board during the vacancy of any Trustee
position." Therefore, since four of the five remaining Trustees all
voted in favor, the Resolution was properly carried, in my layperson's
view. I am less certain about the propriety of allowing a Trustee
whose three year term expired to continue to serve as Chair.

The lack of any update or even ETA for an update on
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2020#Postpone%3F
is baffling. Elections have never been held in person, only online,
and so the excuse that they were postponed because of the pandemic
crisis seems extremely suspicious. Indefinitely delaying elections for
such a vacuous reason makes the Foundation look like the worst of the
bad actors in today's international political climate. Doesn't the
cancelled travel of the pandemic crisis give the Foundation more time
to hold elections, not less? Whether non-profit status is at risk or
not, I would hope that the Foundation, Board, and Elections Committee
would be more interested in upholding the principles of good
governance than failing to even announce a new schedule or even a date
by which a new schedule will be announced.

-Will

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 10:31 PM Gender Desk  wrote:
>
> Mr. Takatoshi,
>
> Wikipediocracy has suggested that you have also used the names "Rogol 
> Domedonfors, Renée Bagslint, Jennifer Pryor-Summers, Felicity Braingut, 
> Thomas Townsend and others." 
> http://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14=11567
>
> Can you comment on that?
>
> Regards,
> Genderdesk
>
> genderdesk.wordpress.com


On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 7:38 PM Samuel Klein  wrote:
>
> Can anyone from the elections committee comment?  What is the current
> plan?//S

>
> On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 8:05 PM Bill Takatoshi 
> wrote:
>
> > How long can the Foundation legally postpone Board of Trustees elections?
> >
> >
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2020#Postpone%3F

> > has a comment from April saying, "Once things get moving again,
> > appopriate [sic] date for the election will be decided and an
> > announcement will be made."
> >
> >
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees#Current_members
> > suggests that five board members terms end on "Wikimania 2020" -- but
> > is that accurate?
> >
> >
> > https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Term_Limit_Proposal_for_Bylaws
> > is clear that "All Board terms are three years" and "the term of each
> > such appointment shall not exceed three years."
> >
> > Who are the current members of the Board of Trustees?
> >
> > Can the board achieve a quorum in its present state?
> >
> > Who is the Chair currently?
> >
>
> --
> Samuel Klein  @metasj   w:user:sj  +1 617 529 4266

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[Wikimedia-l] Board of Trustees elections, membership, quorum, and

2020-09-04 Thread Bill Takatoshi
How long can the Foundation legally postpone Board of Trustees elections?

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2020#Postpone?
has a comment from April saying, "Once things get moving again,
appopriate [sic] date for the election will be decided and an
announcement will be made."

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees#Current_members
suggests that five board members terms end on "Wikimania 2020" -- but
is that accurate?

https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Term_Limit_Proposal_for_Bylaws
is clear that "All Board terms are three years" and "the term of each
such appointment shall not exceed three years."

Who are the current members of the Board of Trustees?

Can the board achieve a quorum in its present state?

Who is the Chair currently?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the Wikimedia-movement apolitical?

2020-04-27 Thread Bill Takatoshi
On Mon, Apr 27, 2020 at 4:41 PM Yair Rand  wrote:
>
> Neutral Point of View is a fundamental founding principle. Per the policy,
> NPOV "is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot
> be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus." It
> may not be violated, period.

Are you suggesting that the Foundation may not take any political
positions at all?

> The Wikimedia Foundation's mission still stands. It does not include
> promoting a higher minimum wage, nor public advocacy for environmentalism.

I doubt that more than 20% of the long-term project editor base share
that opinion. Can you point to even a single instance other than your
own dozen or two complaints to this list of anyone opposed to the
WMF's Sustainability Initiative. The only comments about it ever say
that it should be doing more (I agree: we should be flexing our muscle
with the datacenter operators to ask them to buy renewable power,
perhaps in return for the visibility of a joint press release or
acknowledgment on a high-traffic page, or both.)

And again, I doubt even 5% of the long term editor base is opposed to
campaign finance reform, which was the only only issue championed by
the Earth Day Live sponsors, and I doubt less than 10% thinks that
both issues support the Mission to "engage and empower" free content
contributors. Similarly for living wage standards, which support the
ability of editors to fund their living so they don't, for example,
need to take two jobs and thereby lack time to edit. I am sure you can
see the connection, but for whatever reason you simply choose not to.

I repeat my request for the Foundation to survey the editor base to
put an end to this disruptive bickering.

-Will

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[Wikimedia-l] US passport issuance and immigration suspended

2020-04-25 Thread Bill Takatoshi
I have been waiting for more than three years for the WMF to settle
the question (below) of whether our long-term editor community
supports political activism, and if so, what sort, by surveying the
opinions of established editors. I was promised that the WMF would
include such questions in their regular annual surveys, but those have
apparently been discontinued entirely. Why?

I agree with and commend the Foundation for strongly supporting the
Earth Day Live event along with KDE and Imgur. Climate action and
campaign finance reform is certainly not opposed by any more than a
tiny, sub-5% fraction of the long-term editor base, and I question
whether the vocal minority on this list opposed to the WMF taking such
a firm position actually want more fossil fuel production and more
political financial corruption, or if the outrage stems instead
because political parties have also taken stands on those issues? Are
we going to allow the platforms of the political parties govern what
we consider acceptable from the Foundation?

In any case, do we all agree that the ability to travel
internationally is still fundamentally essential to the continued
operation of the Foundation and its servers, personnel, hiring, and
ability to protect its employees and editors from government abuses?

US State Department Halts Passport Issuing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
 
https://www.reddit.com/r/MarchAgainstNazis/comments/g7yrb7/us_state_department_halts_passport_issuing_amid/

Stephen Miller indicates immigration pause will be long term: report
 
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/494572-stephen-miller-indicates-immigration-pause-will-be-long-term-report

That is what we should be running banners and threatening blackouts about.

-Will

> >>> The people who are loudest in their demands for consensus
> >>> do not represent the Wikimedia movement.
> >>
> >> The voices loudest for the WMF doing something against the
> >> Trump administration are not representative of the Wikimedia
> >> movement either
> >
> > Is the Community Process Steering Committee currently
> > prepared to "engage more 'quiet' members of our community"
> > with a statistically robust snap survey to resolve this question?
>
> Anyone can go to Recent Changes and send a SurveyMonkey link to the
> most recent few hundred editors with contributions at least a year
> old, to get an accurate answer.
>
> Will a respected member of the community please do this? I would like
> to know what the actual editing community thinks of the travel ban and
> their idea of an appropriate response. I don't want to see community
> governance by opt-in participation in obscure RFCs.
>
> I would offer to do this myself, but I value keeping my real name
> unassociated with my enwiki userid.
>
> -Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-06-13 Thread Bill Takatoshi
> No idea what could be the relation with GamerGate

I too see nothing in common, and since at least a handful of people
hold this view, could the parallels that they see to be made explicit,
please?

> pathological people, having been called out on being pathological

I am having trouble finding anything more than hundreds upon hundreds
of kilobytes of very civil, if considerably indignant, discussion
around the issue, and several people taking principled stances at
great risk to their own standing. So I would also like to see an
example of someone being called out on being pathological, please.

> There is always a danger of the tyranny of a vocal and motivated minority 
> appearing to be the dominant opinion of the community as a whole

Again (after two years and four months) this is why we need regular,
periodic, scientific, carefully sampled surveys of the community:

https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2017-February/086576.html

Is there any reason that the Community Engagement team thinks such
surveys aren't worth the time and effort?

-Will

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[Wikimedia-l] proposal for regular surveys of community opinion

2017-02-24 Thread Bill Takatoshi
Over the past few weeks I have been discussing how to correct the lack
of information about community opinion and the disadvantages of
relying on opt-in (RFCs or less formal "speak up and stick your neck
out") methods for addressing the problem with Foundation staff, other
community members, and outside researchers experienced with surveying
wikipedians. A number of themes are apparent, most prominently that I
should, "collectively propose and work to develop additional systems,"
as one Foundation staffer put it.

So to get that ball rolling, I propose a monthly survey of editing
community members as follows:

(1) Anyone may suggest a topic or subject area to be included, for
each of the top 20 largest language editions of Wikipedia by number of
active editors, by sending email to an independent, outside firm
experienced with surveying community members. All such emails will
have their sender and other identifying information removed and then
will be posted in a public location on the web for review by anyone
interested.

(2) Each month, the independent firm will pick the top five most
popular topics to be included in each language's Wikipedia community
survey, and will compose two to five opinion questions on each of
those topics, with the goal of producing a neutral opinion
questionnaire with about twenty likert and multiple choice tally
questions. Every question will have an "other" option when
appropriate, enabling a fill-in-the-blank opportunity when selected.

(3) All questions will be clearly indicated as entirely optional. Each
survey will conclude with demographic questions asking the
respondents' age, sex, education, household income, and household
composition, in compliance with the instructions at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Survey_best_practices along with
state-level geographic location, estimated hours spent editing over
the past month, and the date each respondent started editing.

(4) When each month's survey is ready, the independent firm will use
the Recent Changes history for one day randomly selected from the past
two weeks to select 1,000 users with contribution histories of at
least 100 edits and going back at least one year, and who have email
enabled, and send a link to a Qualtrics survey questionnaire to each
of those 20,000 users. I believe this step can be efficiently
automated, but bot approval will be necessary at least for the final
step of sending the survey email text and links.

(5) The email will indicate that the survey will be open for two
weeks. At the end of the two week period, the raw Qualtrics results,
expected margins or error, and any significant cross-tabulations
information apparent in the data will be made public at a new web page
for each language each month, all linked from a static URL where
highlights from the results will also be summarized in paragraph form.

I would be thrilled to learn what you think of this proposal. I hope
the Foundation will consider funding such a regular opinion survey,
and I certainly hope they will help with implementing the technical
aspects, but if not, I am willing to pass the hat in the form of a
GoFundMe or similar.

Finally, it seems to me that more than a few of the nagging
controversial questions concerning the Draft Code of Conduct for
Technical Spaces, a subject of ongoing apparent acrimony on this list
recently, could easily benefit from such a facility, were it
available.

-Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] community survey request

2017-02-13 Thread Bill Takatoshi
On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 6:03 PM, Nathan  wrote:
>
> What would your intended use of the results of such a survey be? How do you
> think the community, or any group of people, should interpret, value and
> react to the results?

I only intend that the results be published as soon as possible. As I
pointed out over a week ago, several different people on this have
made more than ten proposals, most of which can not reasonably be
acted on until we know the opinions of the volunteer community.
Without that information, none of the remaining proposals are likely
to go anywhere.

-Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] community survey request

2017-02-13 Thread Bill Takatoshi
When a contentious question about the community's opinion is
preventing consideration of one or more proposals, what is the best
way forward, in general?

I am considering commissioning a survey of community opinion from a
neutral and respected third party who has published a well-received
survey of English wikipedians a few years ago.

The Foundation is not willing to help, in part because, "Reaching
consensus on what wording to use, the quality of the results, and how
to interpret the results will be very challenging and take significant
amount of time." I would argue that not doing such a survey, or
relying on opt-in methods like RFCs, are both worse than obtaining a
respected third party to perform a straw poll of recent editors with
an established history of contributions composed of a few unambiguous
opinion questions.

If I did this, would anyone object to a gofundme intended to recover
the cost of commissioning the survey on a voluntary basis?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-07 Thread Bill Takatoshi
>>> The people who are loudest in their demands for consensus
>>> do not represent the Wikimedia movement.
>>
>> The voices loudest for the WMF doing something against the
>> Trump administration are not representative of the Wikimedia
>> movement either
>
> Is the Community Process Steering Committee currently
> prepared to "engage more 'quiet' members of our community"
> with a statistically robust snap survey to resolve this question?

Anyone can go to Recent Changes and send a SurveyMonkey link to the
most recent few hundred editors with contributions at least a year
old, to get an accurate answer.

Will a respected member of the community please do this? I would like
to know what the actual editing community thinks of the travel ban and
their idea of an appropriate response. I don't want to see community
governance by opt-in participation in obscure RFCs.

I would offer to do this myself, but I value keeping my real name
unassociated with my enwiki userid.

-Will

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[Wikimedia-l] banner proposals

2017-02-05 Thread Bill Takatoshi
In the past two days I've been four off-list messages in response to
my request for proposed banner language, all but one from James
Salsman, who I recently defended here and who was subsequently "placed
on moderation." I asked moderator Richard Ames whether it would be
appropriate to forward his messages, and he said they should be sent
to the moderation queue. James then sent me a BCC of a very brief post
yesterday, which apparently has not yet been approved. James then sent
me, but not the list, arguments about the merits of the various
alternatives. I don't agree with the censorship, but in deference to
the moderator I am sending these links without James's commentary:

http://i.imgur.com/3Fb8Zrr.png

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8671628/national-strike-protest-president-donald-trump/

https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/5s6ay6/activists_call_for_a_nationwide_strike_in_protest/ddctj1h/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/31/wheres-the-best-place-to-resist-trump-at-work/

https://www.thenation.com/article/throw-sand-in-the-gears-of-everything/

Another respondent who asked that I not use their name suggested that
an effective campaign can be patterned after this recent success:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/progressive-activism-forces-uber-ceo-break-trump

Could we please have banner text proposals do NOT call for a general
strike? I am not suggesting it be ruled out, nor am I suggesting that
we not join the call. I am simply asking for discussion in the middle
ground.

-Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-03 Thread Bill Takatoshi
On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Pax Ahimsa Gethen
 wrote:
>
> I don't think this mailing list should be open to just any and
> all discussion of politics, regardless of viewpoint. What is
> and isn't appropriate to post is a delicate judgment call

Again, the Wikimedia-l list Charter says "potential new Wikimedia
projects and initiatives" are on topic. While there is no mention in
the Charter of political discussion. Presumably discussion of facts
and opinions pertaining to proposed initiatives should be encouraged.

More than ten proposals for new initiatives have been made in the past weeks:

* make international backups of complete Foundation data (seconded, no
opposition, task created)

* relocate the foundation (seconded, controversial)

* assist Wikimedia staff with travel difficulties (no second or opposition yet)

* correct systemic bias said to be responsible for underlying issues
(seconded; unclear whether this is controversial)

* turn our culture toward more generative and constructive forms of
public discourse (no second or opposition yet; clarification questions
were asked but have yet been answered)

* issue a statement condemning the travel ban (seconded,
controversial, statement issued by ED)

* call for a general strike (no second yet, controversial)

* improve Wikimedia content on pertinent issues (no second or opposition yet)

* require community discussion and consensus as a precondition of
action (seconded, controversial)

* create an alternative mailing list where discussion topics are
restricted (no second yet)

* add the names of "a certain country's top political leaders" to this
list's spam filter (no second yet, controversial)

It is clear that there are multiple people on both sides of the
political issue, so it might be helpful to focus discussion on support
or opposition to proposed initiatives. (Did I miss any?)

I would like to see something more substantial than a blog post but
less extreme than calling for a general strike. Usually when political
issues impacting Wikimedia come up someone usually proposes banners.

I have no suggestion for what a banner might say, but I would like to
see such proposals from others.

-Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] guidance from Foundation leadership as to where to draw the line on policy requests?

2017-02-02 Thread Bill Takatoshi
On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 1:02 AM, Michael Peel  wrote:
> Have you seen Katherine's statement at:
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/

That statement is well worth reading. It says,

"we believe in a world that encourages and protects the open exchange
of ideas and information, community and culture; where people of every
country, language, and culture can freely collaborate without
restriction"

"we will continue to stand up for our values of open discourse"

+1

The charter of this mailing list says "potential new Wikimedia
projects and initiatives" are on topic here. There are no exceptions
given.

If some participants want to restrict what other participants can say
because their ideas are political, or don't conform closely enough to
what Wikimedia is already doing, or are repetitive, or annoying, or
opposed to somebody else's politics, then a new mailing list should be
created, Wikimedia-l-restricted, where the forbidden topics can be
specified clearly and without ambiguity, and all of the people who
want to restrict what other people can say can enjoy restricting each
other.

Good luck with that.

The complaints about messages complaining about recent political
events FAR MORE ANNOYING AND FAR MORE INAPPROPRIATE than the
complaints about recent political events.

-Will

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