Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-11 Thread Kevin Gorman
 If we can improve the functioning of the BoT for what is, in
terms of our budget and reserves, a minor amount of money, how can we
justify NOT doing so?

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 4:18 PM, geni <geni...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 10 May 2016 at 15:35, The Cunctator <cuncta...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > One very serious element of this decision-making really should be the
> fact
> > that Google is blatantly violating the CCA-SA by reusing Wikipedia
> content
> > without making their derivative work open.
> >
> >
> >- *Share Alike*—If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you
> >may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a
> >compatible license.
> >
>
> They would argue that they are using the facts not the presentation of
> those facts and facts are not subject to copyright.
>
>
>
> --
> geni
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-07 Thread Kevin Gorman
I talked to James throughout his trusteeship, and I have no doubt that he
for a second believed that his fidicuiary duty was towards anyone other
than the WMF. Two very different confidentiality issues have been conflated
w/r/t Jame's removal: the appropriate level of of confidentiality regarding
the KE, a significant movement engineering project (which is not terribly
high, imo,) and the appropriate level of confidentiality regarding the
concerns of staff members regarding leadership (which is much higher imo,
to the point that if James honestly believed that by disclosing a
particular piece of information revealed to him by a staff member he would
be endangering the possibility of future staff members approaching him with
similar concerns, it may be completely appropriate for James to
categorically not reveal that information.)

Fidiciuary duty is, unfortunately, an often misunderstood concept.  James'
duty was not to act how other board members thought he should act, nor how
outside counsel thought he should act.  To use an EXTREME example, and to
be clear, I have no basis to believe this was the case, if Lila had
personally committed severely inappropriate personal acts against an
individual staff member and in James' best judgement informing outside
counsel of that fact could harm the interests of the WMF- e.g., by not
having future whistleblowers' be willing to come forward to him, then it
would both be unethical and against Jame's fidicicuary duty as a trustee to
reveal this information to anyone - be they fellow board members, outside
counsel, etc.  James is absolutely 100% correct in stating that any
attorney retained by the Wikimedia Foundation, whether in-house (e.g.,
Geoff, Michelle,) or an outside firm, has, as their client, the Wikimedia
Foundation - not the staff members in question.  If outside counsel thought
that they in turn had a duty to their clients (the WMF) to reveal
information that James had revealed to them that he had received from a
staff member, outside counsel would be acting unethically if they then
didn't do so.  Jame's description of his events backs up everything he's
said publicly previously, with the exception of me adding "new WMF trustees
really need better training, and I can suggest nonprofit consultancies to
provide such if needed."

I find it bloody incredible that James, who was involved in figuring out
whether a formal task force was needed, was then excluded from it and
expected to suborn his personal judgement (which he cannot legally do) to
that of other trustees.  I know my involvement in Wikipedia-proper has been
at a nadir of late, but I've still been closely following events (and
expect that nadir to receed soon.) Ignoring Arnon, and other recent poor
decisions, I still have incredibly serious issues with the fact that we
have a trustee sitting FOR LIFE (Jimmy) who has been committing defamation
per se against James' this entire time, who is in his professional role, a
doctor.  WMF governance needs a VERY through review, and all of the issues
involved in this entire situation - including a trustee for life
continually failing his fiduciary duty by committing defamation per se
against James - needs a TRANSPARENT outside review as soon as possible, or
we face a literally existential threat to WMF's survival.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 9:47 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Denny I never stated that I "was informed at a later point that [my] duty
> as a trustee is towards the WMF". I have at all times understood that I
> have a duty to the WMF and believe I have at all times fulfilled this duty.
> A duty to the foundation; however, does not permit me to act unethically
> and one is still required to use their own judgement.
>
> What I did state was "Note that in later conversations I was informed that
> it may not be legal for board members to promise confidentiality to
> individual staff, as our ultimate duty is to the WMF as a whole".
>
> James
>
> On Fri, May 6, 2016 at 10:10 AM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Fri, May 6, 2016 at 12:03 PM, Denny Vrandečić <vrande...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Just a few points of clarification:
> > >
> > > * I have, to the best of my memory, passed on information only with the
> > > understanding of my sources. If any of my sources disagrees with that,
> > > please send me a message - I want to know and understand that I made a
> > > mistake there.
> > > * We are not talking about the information being shared with the whole
> > > Board (this was not clear from my account, sorry). No one was asked to
> > > forward information to the whole Board. Instead, external legal counsel
> > was
> > > collecting the documents: they were sent to the lawyers, under
> > >

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

2016-03-10 Thread Kevin Gorman
Keegan,

Jimmy has attacked James on a personal level in public multiple times, and
sent frankly confusing private emails to multiple people off-list.  There
is no general 'legal shield of confidentiality' surrounding organizations
in general.  Sometimes employees are forbidden from making information
public due to NDA's, etc.  I've never heard of a board member being asked
to sign an NDA regarding information of the sort apparently contained in
the email.  If the particular email in question is a reasonable email,
it'll silence a lot of the debate around this issue; if it's not, it'll
bring up a valid question and debate as whether or not one of
our fiduciaries is capable of carrying out his duties.

When Jimmy has already defamed James publicly, no counsel in their right
mind would have an issue with the publication of private emails that show
Jimmy behaving in a reasonable manner towards James.  As it stands, there
is more potential damage to WMF if the email in question is *not* released
than if it is, assming it is reasonable - although I have no doubt that
James would not take legal action, when you combine Jimmy's public
statements with the fact that James is a doctor, a profession where
confidentiality is paramount, it starts to look an awful lot like
defamation per se.  Besides the internal and external brand damage caused
by Jimmy's actions, you don't want to be in a situation where it looks like
one board member is literally commiting defamation per se against a former
remember removed for "cause."

BTW: besides there being no general "legal shield of confidentiality"
around organizations or boards, any lawyer worth his salt will, accurately,
tell the board members he's advising that unless there is a separate legal
basis for confidentiality (like an NDA signed on a grant,) that each
individual trustee is positively obligated to release information about
their organization or obtained from board meetings if they believe that
doing so is in the best interests of the organization.  Releases of
information should normally be coordinated with other trustees and with
comms staff, but if you end up in a situation where you disagree with the
rest of the board about whether or not it's in the best interests of an
organization to release information, there's not a separate legal basis for
confidentiality (and there normally isn't,) and you feel that releasing the
information is going to cause more benefit (or avert more harm) to the
organization than whatever damage it may do to the cohesiveness of the
board, you are obligated to release that information.

But that is pretty irrelevant when we're not dealing with issues that
really deal with the board as a whole, just an individual email that
doesn't contain confidential information between two board members.  Jimmy
has no legal obligation to keep it confidential, or to seek the permission
of the rest of the board to release it.  Neither does James - he could
release it this second if he decided to, but values privacy enough that
instead of doing so he's asking Jimmy to follow through with his promise of
radical transparency.


Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 11:11 AM, Keegan Peterzell <keegan.w...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 12:33 PM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Jimmy, given the fact that James has requested you release it combined
> with
> > the fact that it contains no confidential information, please release the
> > particular email James requested you release.  You've said that you would
> > release it when you received permission from the board, but it was a
> > private communication between James and you that did not contain any
> > confidential information.  The combination of private emails from you to
> > Pete, me, and I suspect the email James refers to, combined with your
> > public statements, makes me honestly have serious doubts about your
> ability
> > to place the interests of the WMF above your personal interests,
> something
> > your position requires you do.
> >
> > I'm expecting no bombshells in the email - I imagine it's just insulting
> or
> > untrue language directed at James - but you can't keep claiming to be an
> > advocate of radical transparency while refusing to release emails that
> > don't contain confidential information that shine light on an issue of
> > public contention.  In three seconds, you could demonstrate that my
> > concerns are unfounded and that your email was reasonable, and with a
> > little more you could demonstrate that there were defensible reasons for
> > removing James in the first place.
> >
>
> ​Kevin,
>
> You've been touting your experience on Boards in giving advice, and I have
> some experience there myself, so let's think of ​it in those Real World
> terms:
>
&g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

2016-03-10 Thread Kevin Gorman
Jimmy, given the fact that James has requested you release it combined with
the fact that it contains no confidential information, please release the
particular email James requested you release.  You've said that you would
release it when you received permission from the board, but it was a
private communication between James and you that did not contain any
confidential information.  The combination of private emails from you to
Pete, me, and I suspect the email James refers to, combined with your
public statements, makes me honestly have serious doubts about your ability
to place the interests of the WMF above your personal interests, something
your position requires you do.

I'm expecting no bombshells in the email - I imagine it's just insulting or
untrue language directed at James - but you can't keep claiming to be an
advocate of radical transparency while refusing to release emails that
don't contain confidential information that shine light on an issue of
public contention.  In three seconds, you could demonstrate that my
concerns are unfounded and that your email was reasonable, and with a
little more you could demonstrate that there were defensible reasons for
removing James in the first place.


Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Manipulative behavior thrives in an environment where a person can say
> different things to different audiences, and can speak freely with the
> expectation they will not be held accountable for their words.
>
> Erik, thank you for articulating your views. As for my own actions, you
> have either made some incorrect assumptions about the background, or you
> operate on a set of principles that I don't entirely share. I'm pretty sure
> it's the former. I carefully considered whether to publish this email
> before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
> violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia will
> be positive in the end as well. Jimmy Wales sending this email, in my view,
> tends to damage our project. It's worthwhile for those who care about
> Wikimedia's future to know.
>
> I agree very much with what you said in reply to SarahSV. You present a
> very useful overview of how things could or should go in the future. Thank
> you for that.
>
> Specifics about my choice to release the email below:
>
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing
> it.)
> >
> > Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
> > to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
> > think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
> > like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
> > totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
> > himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.
> >
> > This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
> > honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
> > things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
> > implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.
> >
> > Meatball Wiki, as you know, has some wise words on this kind of stuff.
> > http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/ForgiveAndForget is a good page to
> > remember.
> >
> > And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
> > arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
> > But this isn't how we should move forward. Criticizing people's
> > actions is fair game, even calling for resignation or other types of
> > structural and organizational change. This kind of picking out of
> > lines from private emails ought _not_ to be, in my view.
> >
> > Erik
> >
>
> Erik,
>
> Jimmy Wales and I have never had a working relationship, or an ongoing
> email correspondence. I'd guess we've exchanged under a dozen emails since
> 2008 or so, and spoken in person fewer times than that. I cannot think of a
> single example of an exchange where we came to an agreement. The much more
> common theme is that, the moment I express any kind of disagreement, he
> vanishes without a word.
>
> So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy Wales
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

2016-03-09 Thread Kevin Gorman
Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving, intentionally,
and if this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it
in a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a founder.
Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have signed up for
them.

*Unfortunately, I'm going to have to second this pretty loudly.

---
Kevin Gorman

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 5:48 PM, David Emrany <david.emr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Oliver
>
> I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
> people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
> the community.
>
> IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
> and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
> things.
>
> I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
> trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
> whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
> protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.
>
> David
>
> [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/
>
> On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
> > Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
> > threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
> > horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
> >
> > This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
> > neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
> > detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
> > LessWrong.[1]
> >
> > No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
> > that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
> > in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
> > James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
> > or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
> > with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
> >
> > Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
> > intentionally, and if
> > this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
> > a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
> > founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
> > signed up for them.
> >
> > And if you instead don't understand why this
> > sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
> > you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
> > find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
> > productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
> > you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
> > you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
> > demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
> > a part of.
> >
> > [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
> > [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
> > brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
> > people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
> > disagreeing with an idea
> > http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
> >> 29.
> >> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
> >>
> >> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> >> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> >> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> >> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
> >>
> >> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> >> response to this list message of mine:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
> >>
> >> -Pete
> >> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >>
> >> -- Forwarded message --
> >>
> >> *From: *Jimmy Wales
> >>
> >> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
> &g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-03-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Chris: this is certainly not meant to constitute legal advice and it's
getting tangential any way because since we have community 'selections'
James can CERTAINLY run since it's a 'selection,' but I ran the statutory
language passed a Florida lawyer, alhough one who doesn't practice this
sort of law.  Section (1)(a)(1) starts off with "Except as provided in
paragraph (i)..." and then goes on to talk about further details regarding
director removal.  At first glance, both she and I parsed the language to
mean that the provisions of (1)(a)(1) did not apply to directors removed
under paragraph (i) - that is, a director removed without cause would not
be subject to the provsion barring him from standing for election in the
next cycle.  But this really is irrelevant, since there is no similar
provision banning the rerunning of "community selected" trustees.

Jimmy, I've been reassured by James, who I have significant trust for, that
the email James is requesting the relief of doesn't deal with confidential
WMF business.  Combined with Pete Forsyth's recent message about you using
offlist messages to attack James more viciously than you have on list, it's
starting to feel a lot like you are using the cover of 'confidential board
information' to hide an email that simply makes you look bad.  Please
release the email; if you don't within a couple of days, I'll start trying
to convince Doc James that it wouldn't be a violation of his integrity to
release your email even without your permission.  Your behavior in these
emails could itself be significant for the movement to be aware of.  You've
sent me multiple long emails; I know you have time to forward the email in
question to the list.

I'm pretty severely disappointed that the board of the largest single free
knowledge organization in the world is engaging in more vicious personal
attacks than the boards I've seen that consisted of college students, and,
equally, have been operating with less transparency.


Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 6:29 PM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherloc...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>
> > On 2 Mar 2016, at 5:55 AM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Chris: I parse the reference to paragraph (i) in (a.1) as meaning that a
> > director removed without cause may in fact stand for the next election
> > cycle.  As far as I can tell, James was removed without cause.  Every
> > reason put forth by the BoT for his removal has been torn apart, some by
> > WMF employees.  E.g., one early frequently cited reason was that he was
> > having inappropriate discussions with WMF employees - multiple WMF
> > employees came forward to say that he promised nothing untoward in these
> > conversations, and simply listened to their feedback.  In an ideal
> > situation, Board tells the ED when they have conversations with most
> > employees, but that's only best practice in situations where Board
> alerting
> > the ED to the conversations doesn't undermine the purpose of the
> > conversations, which they would have hear.
>
> Agreed with your larger point about removal for/without cause. All I can
> say is that the bit I quoted doesn’t state for or without cause, it doesn’t
> seem to distinguish between the two modes of removal.
>
> > More importantly, as the board has made abundantly clear in recent weeks,
> > we don't have 'board elections,' we have 'community board selections' -
> the
> > board is gracious enough to allow the community to suggest board members,
> > which the board may then choose to accept or reject.  Given the fact that
> > we do *not have* board elections, I don't think there's any doubt that
> > James can stand in the next 'community board selection.’
>
> Fair point. I’m definitely not a lawyer. Nobody would be happier to see
> James stand for reelection than myself. :-)
>
> > Jimmy: I've been reassured that the specific email James has requested
> you
> > to release multiple times contains no confidential information, and the
> > fact that you aren't releasing it isn't looking good to me.  W/r/t an
> email
> > related to the removal of a community selected and trusted trustee, full
> > transparency seems necessary.  You've said the email contains nothing of
> > mindshattering significance, and I suspect you are telling the truth
> there
> > - I suspect that at most it contains you making comments to James that
> > either weren't quite true or paint yourself in a less than great light.
> > But here's the rub: even if there's nothing too important in that email,
> > the fact that you're unwilling to release it means that you still don't
> get
> > that transparency in this situation is necessary. Are you willing to
> > release the email, redacting anything

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

2016-03-01 Thread Kevin Gorman
Popping back earlier in the thread a bit:

The statement "The Board has decided unanimously to back Lila's continued
tenure," was false.  The statement "The Board has decided to back Lila's
continued tenure," was true.  The exact nature of any dissent doesn't need
to be publicized, and really the very fact that there was dissent doesn't
need to be publicized, especially because in what is generally considered
poor governance WMF BoT uses a lot of straw votes to avoid opinions being
recorded transparently  - but one of the earlier statements is true, and
one is false.  They aren't very different statements, and honestly, I do
not understand why the false statement was chosen.

The Board of Trustees needs outside review.  In what should be an
exceptionally transparent movement, they use practices that other
nonprofits that don't have the same values of transparency that we have get
slammed for.

---
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:31 PM, Nick Wilson (Quiddity) <
nwil...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Craig, I believe it is all free (not purchased), per
> https://www.google.com/intl/en/nonprofits/products/#apps#tab5 ("Google
> Apps
> for Nonprofits")
>
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 6:27 PM, Craig Franklin <cfrank...@halonetwork.net
> >
> wrote:
>
> > My understanding is that the Foundation purchases certain technical and
> > apps services (cloud email, for instance) from Google.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> > On 1 March 2016 at 12:15, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > I cannot for the life of me imagine what Google sells that the WMF
> would
> > be
> > > interested in buying, so I'm finding your example a bit weird.
> > >
> > ___
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> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-03-01 Thread Kevin Gorman
Chris: I parse the reference to paragraph (i) in (a.1) as meaning that a
director removed without cause may in fact stand for the next election
cycle.  As far as I can tell, James was removed without cause.  Every
reason put forth by the BoT for his removal has been torn apart, some by
WMF employees.  E.g., one early frequently cited reason was that he was
having inappropriate discussions with WMF employees - multiple WMF
employees came forward to say that he promised nothing untoward in these
conversations, and simply listened to their feedback.  In an ideal
situation, Board tells the ED when they have conversations with most
employees, but that's only best practice in situations where Board alerting
the ED to the conversations doesn't undermine the purpose of the
conversations, which they would have hear.

More importantly, as the board has made abundantly clear in recent weeks,
we don't have 'board elections,' we have 'community board selections' - the
board is gracious enough to allow the community to suggest board members,
which the board may then choose to accept or reject.  Given the fact that
we do *not have* board elections, I don't think there's any doubt that
James can stand in the next 'community board selection.'

Jimmy: I've been reassured that the specific email James has requested you
to release multiple times contains no confidential information, and the
fact that you aren't releasing it isn't looking good to me.  W/r/t an email
related to the removal of a community selected and trusted trustee, full
transparency seems necessary.  You've said the email contains nothing of
mindshattering significance, and I suspect you are telling the truth there
- I suspect that at most it contains you making comments to James that
either weren't quite true or paint yourself in a less than great light.
But here's the rub: even if there's nothing too important in that email,
the fact that you're unwilling to release it means that you still don't get
that transparency in this situation is necessary. Are you willing to
release the email, redacting anything you view as reasonably necessarily
confidential w/r/t the BoT?  I'm sure James will comment if your redactions
are excessive.  Without any confidential information, all the email is is a
document that shines more light on a situation involving the removal of a
community 'selected' trustee, something that those involved should be as
transparent as possible about.


Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 3:44 AM, Ziko van Dijk <zvand...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Jimmy,
>
> Thank you for the clarification. I very much appreciate signals that
> lead to a better understanding and coming to terms with each other. I
> am happy to read that you wouldn't, as a person, object to a return of
> James to the board.
>
> However, the FAQ says in the introduction: "The Board has compiled
> this list of answers to many of the most common questions." So this
> FAQ is a statement of the board, also in your name.
>
> Which relates to your very decision to vote for the removal of another
> board member. Why did you support the removal? For a gut feeling
> anticipation that James might misbehave in future? Or for specific
> actions of James in the past, actions that could be defined legally,
> or at least within the frame of the WMF regulations? You know: nulla
> poena sine lege.
>
> I don't want to judge about matters I don't know sufficiently about. I
> don't want to speculate and spread rumors. I don't want to rely on
> leaked documents. I don't want to show disrespect to people who invest
> a lot of time in order to keep the board and the Foundation running.
>
> I just want to know, as a voter, why a board member coming from the
> elections has been removed, and what are the consequences. Because I
> want to know what is the value of my vote.
>
> Kind regards
> Ziko
>
>
> PS: Thanks for the quote, Chris; I wonder what "next annual meeting"
> means in our context.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 2016-02-29 16:51 GMT+01:00 Denny Vrandecic <dvrande...@wikimedia.org>:
> > I agree as well.
> > On Feb 29, 2016 06:00, "Jimmy Wales" <jimmywa...@wikia-inc.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On 2/29/16 5:52 AM, Nathan wrote:
> >> > There is a simple and easy way to rectify this: you and the other
> members
> >> > of the board can honestly and fully describe the circumstances that
> led
> >> you
> >> > to eject Heilman from the board.  I've seen lots of indirect and
> >> > non-specific claims from both sides; I wish you would all stop making
> >> vague
> >> > assertions and just tell us what happened. I'm sure you can come up
> with
> >> > lots of reasons why you Simply Cannot Do That, but if that's the case

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Kevin Gorman
The thing that disturbs me more than anything else about a lot of recent
events is the utter lack of transparency related to a lot of recent
changes.  To pick a tangential topic: WMF now has six employees dedicated
to foundations and major gifts.  I don't mean general fundraising
employees, I means specifically tasked to pursue foundation grants and
major gifts.  I think it's probably a *good* thing that we now have a major
gifts team, but the standard in the past was to be extremely leary of major
gifts, and for pretty good reason. I think we should have a team pursuing
grants and major gifts, but the standards governing what type of major
gifts WMF pursues and accepts  should've been developed as part of an open
community conversation, not apparated out of thin air.  We've always taken
some major gifts and grants - e.g., Stanton & the USEP - but there has both
been a lot of caution around them, and community discussion around them.
The Knight Foundation grant is an example of how this goes wrong, but I'm
betting a lot more are going to surface.

Jimmy is also refusing to release a single exchange he had with James that,
I am assured, contained no remotely confidential information - een though
James has requested its release multiple times.  It's disappointing to see
such a lack of transparency on so many fronts at once.  When I tried to
return my (working) key to the WMF offices a year after I'd no longer had a
real reason to have a key,the person (who no longer works there, and their
departure from WMF wasn't good for WMF,) they laughed and told me to keep
it because I came in to the of office enough that I might as well save
people the time of opening doors from me.  I have a feeling if I had an
identical internship now, I'd be required to sign a NDA, have my key yanked
the second either my internship was over or I did anything remotely
suspicious, and would not been exposed to the valuable training working
with Moka and Jay provided me, because that information would be perceived
as too sensitive to let an intern near.  It seems more and more like
instead of a shining light, a black sheet is being draped over WMF's doings.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:12 PM, Kevin Smith <ksm...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I think some people aren't realizing the difference between the leaked
> presentation (which outlined a general search engine) and the actual grant.
> The former was just an idea, while the latter is official. By my reading,
> the grant clearly is NOT for a general internet search engine, although it
> (unfortunately) did retain a bit of the language from earlier documents.
>
> Also, I think I disagree with this statement:
>
> > It envisages a volunteer-curated search engine drawing on a whole host of
> > sources from within and outside of the Wikimedia universe, with output
> > vectors including "Mobile", "API", "Kindle" and "Apps".
> >
> > This is part of the overall strategy to this day. Consultation would
> really
> > be appropriate here.
>
> The only "volunteer curation" I see in the actual grant can be covered by
> the curation of Wikidata that volunteers are already doing. I don't see
> anything in the grant that relies on volunteers signing up for additional
> work.
>
> To my knowledge, drawing on non-Wikimedia sources is still in the
> "strategy" (or more accurately the roadmap) in two ways: 1) OpenStreetMap
> data is already being used in limited ways, and 2) other free information
> sources are only being considered in a vague "maybe someday but not this
> year" way.
>
> I don't recall hearing of any plans for Kindle support, but we do already
> support APIs and mobile apps, and will (presumably) continue to expand
> both. If Kindle support were considered at some point (past or future),
> that wouldn't seem like a radical step to me.
>
> I say all of this as someone who works closely with the Discovery team. If
> I'm mistaken on any of the facts, please let me know.
>
>
>
> Kevin Smith
> Agile Coach, Wikimedia Foundation
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:41 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywa...@wikia-inc.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
> > > secret project to build a Google-competing search engine.  We had a
> > > discussion where I told him that wasn't right.  We had further
> > > discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
> > > himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
> > > of it.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > ​Jimmy, this is something I find disturb

Re: [Wikimedia-l] The reinstatement of James Heilman

2016-02-27 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

Maria's appointment should be viewed as a replacement to that of Arnnon
Geshuri.  I like her, and I think she'd stand a fair chance in a community
election, but she is not and cannot be described as a community selected
trustee at present.  It's perfectly possible for boards to have members on
it that don't get along, even of large organizations.  I've been a trustee
of a sizable organization and had significant disagreements with at least
one other trustee - more significant than those between Jimmy and James.
The fact that there is animosity between board members isn't a barrier to
having a productive board.  It's disingenious, at best, to say that James
was dismissed because he spoke out about the knowledge engine, etc.  James
had conversations with employees not related to the knowledge engine, but
related to other significant issues at the WMF.  It's best practice to
inform the ED when board talks to staff, but only if informing the ED would
not harm the purpose of those conversations - and in this case it would.
I'm also going to state here that I've had a number of conversations with
employees in the same time frame James was having them, and that combined
with other details is why I am absolutely convinced they were necessary.

One of the first leveled and oftened returned to statements as to why James
was removed was that he had conversations with employees that were
inappropriate.  Every employee who has come forward stating they had
conversations with James has stated that those conversations were
necessary, and exactly the type of conversation that a trustee should be
having when the situation has gotten to a point where they are,
unfortunately, necessary.  James had the trust of both the community and
many WMF employees, which is why so many people who felt they needed to
talk went to him.  I have no doubt that many other trustees were doing
important less visible work, many probably even about the same problem, but
James was handling an element of it - direct communication with employees -
that was absolutely necessary for the continued success of the Foundation,
even if all other aspects had been handled.

It's unfortunate that James and Jimmy have gotten in to it in public, but -
I hate to say this, but there's no other way around it - Jimmy should be
embarassed.  He's been exceptionally disrespectful of a respected community
member, but worse than that, he's flat out lied on multiple occasions about
the situation involving James.  If someone challenges me on that statement,
as I have time, I will compile a list of diffs and archived emails in which
he's done so. If the situation between James and Jimmy is such that a
healthy board dynamic with both as trustees is not possible, then frankly
Jimmy should step down, or at a minimum give up the concept of a Founder's
seat, convert it to a community elected seat, stay on as a board member
until the next elections, and then run as an ordinary community member in
the next set of elections.

I think it should also be stated for the public record that Jimmy was the
individual who pushed for Lila's stay to be extended (and I like Lila, I
really do,) and for trustees to not speak with the day to day WMF employees
that have formed the backbone of the WMF side of the movement.  I also
don't know who put the FAQ together, but want to point out that it's not
factually accurate to say that James cannot run in the next elections, as
at least one official FAQ stated at one point.  That would be true if he
was a community ELECTED board member removed for cause.  He wasn't, so the
relevant provision doesn't apply, and he's eligible to run again as soon as
there are faux-elections again.


Kevin Gorman

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:26 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am willing to return to my seat on the board and continue to push for
> greater transparency and improved WMF / community relations. Otherwise I
> plan to run in the next community (s)election.
>
> Lila's stepping down is an important first step towards putting the WMF
> back together again and I would like to thank the current board for taking
> that step. We have a number of C-levels who are able to do an excellent job
> as interim ED. I will post more about this soon but am just heading out to
> ski.
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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[Wikimedia-l] The reinstatement of James Heilman

2016-02-26 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

I understand that this idea has been discussed on other currently active
threads, but in my opinion, it deserves a separate thread.  To an informed
observer, it was pretty obvious why James was removed to begin with, and to
a casual observer, I'm guessing it's become obvious.  It would be
unfortunate of events have soured James' relationship with other board
members to the point that it would be literally unworkable to put him back
on the board... but it's also become readily apparent that the community
trusted community selected (and sorry, but that's a bullshit trick,)
trustee James Heilman wasn't violating his fiduciary duties.

I would go as far as to say that James Heilman was the only trustee who was
actively and aggressively following his fidicuiary duties, and that if Dr.
James is willing to accept a reappointment to the board, one of the next
three board motions that passes should be appointing James Heilman as
trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation.  His removal wasn't a surprise to him,
he knew it was coming - but he also knew he was acting in the interests of
the Wikimedia Foundation.

And that's the exact kind of trustee we need.


Kevin Gorman
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was the Wikimedia Foundation's removal of membership in 2006 legal?

2016-01-27 Thread Kevin Gorman
"As a current WMF staff member, and having received a formal scolding two weeks
ago for expressing my professional and personal opinions on this list--that
a hierarchical corporate structure is completely inappropriate and
ineffectual for running the Foundation--I don't feel safe editorializing
about what  membership could mean for the future of the Wikimedia
movement.  But I would be thrilled to see this discussion take place, and
to contribute however I am able."

I find this paragraph deeply disturbing.  Historically, members of the
Wikimedia movement, including those who work directly for WMF, have been
completely free to vehemently advocate their opinions about both how the
work of the Wikimedia movement should be done, and about whether or not a
particular line of behavior fell within our against our movement's values -
including on public lists.  Although it was on internal-l, I even remember
a thread where a seniorish person in HR announced that they had just gotten
a certification in something (I can't honestly recall what,) and it started
a thread where multiple staff members started posted peer reviewed papers
(and metareviews, etc,) published in highend journals that brought the
value of what the HR person had gotten in to severe question - it basically
made it look like at most it had absolutely no effect - and multiple staff
members asked about whether or not the certification had been paid for by
WMF, and if it had, asked the HR person to reimburse the cost of the cert
because since there was solid evidence it was useless, it was a waste of
donor money.

In all of the recent brouhaha, at least some WMF staffers have come forward
with their opinions, and many more have made their opinions obvious.
Historically, that's been a fine thing, and a lot of positive change has
come about as a result of it.  That's one of the things I loved about
coming in to WMF as an intern and later as a contractor - I was encouraged
to publicly question things if I thought they were flawed or I could
improve process - and I did. Even though it wasn't at all my department, I
remember within my first week as a communication intern noticing a severe
flaw in the calculation of the metrics Zack Exley, a C level in a different
department, was using.  When I asked my boss what to do, her answer was
pretty much "... if you're sure they're his metrics just email him.  If you
aren't sure whose they are, email internal asking.  If you noticed an issue
somewhere else, you should still absolutely get it fixed."  I dropped Zack
an email (who is now one of Bernie's senior advisors,) and he promptly
gratefully fixed the problem though, iirc, it made his stats sad.  While at
WMF, I expressed strong opinions on both internal and foundation-l, was
encouraged to do so regarding most things, and was joined in doing so by a
lot of actual staffers.

I brought up a number of other relatively serious questions about practices
and values while actively at WMF, including in public forums, and a lot of
staffers did, too.  I saw way more good things happen from staffers feeling
free to openly speak out than bad things.  It's disturbing to me that
there's been a cultural shift towards a hierarchical structure that
discourages open and blunt dialogue even on public lists - and it's a
cultural shift that hasn't been talked about much outside of WMF directly.
It's also iffy from a practical standpoint.  I hate to call out a specific
person, but *Tim Starling* has expressed extremely strong feelings about
recent events in public on this list.  You can't really fire Tim, or a
number of other staffers who have spoken out publicly, because they are
Wikimedia.  If the culture inside WMF stays this way and people like Tim,
WMF's longest standing employee get disciplined if they speak out
publicly... The Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia Foundation are going
to rapidly diverge.

All of the content that WMF relies on to raise money is freely licensed,
built by volunteers, and although difficult technically, is forkable.  The
social capital that allows WMF to raise $70m+ a year belongs far more to
the movement than to the Foundation, and if they do start to diverge
further, that's going to put WMF in a tough situation.  I know one of the
risks in the strat document this year is decreased revenue from
fundraising... part of me is seriously starting to wonder if that's a risk
pretty much created by WMF's recent behavor.


Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:14 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> It would be interesting to know if the people who participated in that
> decision actually had the legal authority to make it. They might have, but
> this would be worth further inquiry.
>
> Pine
>
> On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:03 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:39 AM, Adam Wight <adam.m.wi...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

2016-01-27 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Ben, Arnnon -

There will be at least two bay area editathons in March, which I'll
announce when I finalize the details of.  At least one of them is going to
be at least partially closed due to the nature of the host, but one should
be fully open... and Arnnon, you are invited to both of them.  I realize
full-well the board needs your skillset - really pretty badly - but don't
see a way right now you can possibly serve as a trustee.  I hold no grudge
against you and would be happy to see you at March's editathons and help
introduce you more directly to the community and editing Wikipedia about
subjects you're interested in... it's just really hard to see you
successful in a fiduciary role, and my doubts here are magnified by other
ongoing situations.


Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:16 PM, Ben Creasy <b...@bencreasy.com> wrote:

> Arnnon Geshuri <ageshuri@...> writes:
>
> >>>>>
>
> Hi Arnnon - nicely worded message! I can't imagine that you're feeling too
> great
> right now, but I want to give you a little hope. Wikipedia can be a
> forgiving
> place - many have been blocked and banned only to return later for second
> or
> third chances. We take who we can get, because we can't afford to be too
> picky.
>
> If you're really looking to prove yourself, we are in a weird way
> fortunate.
> Some of the appointed (and even nonappointed) board members don't seem
> highly
> engaged with the English Wikipedia, and you're actually facing the
> consequence
> of board neglect of the community right now. My concern with someone like
> yourself, given that you don't seem to have prior interest in Wikipedia,
> is that
> you're actually looking for little extra conversation filler when you're
> rubbing
> elbows with powerful folks at cocktail parties. I hope you prove me wrong.
> Jimbo
> Wales gets a lot of flak, but I appreciate the fact that he's there on
> Wikipedia. I prefer him over someone who is basically "phoning it in" once
> or
> twice a year.
>
> So, the "SF Bay" group of Wikimedians could use some extra love. I gather
> you're
> not too far from San Francisco? I've been in San Francisco for a year and I
> think I missed one or two meetups, but that's not very many and I hear DC
> is
> much more active. When I went to the 15th anniversary meetup, there were a
> fair
> number who had never edited and most of the veterans had never been to an
> editathon (and neither have I). I collected as many emails as I could, but
> I
> imagine you'd have more connections of potential new volunteers -
> let's connect and try to get a regular (even as rare as quarterly or twice
> a
> year) meetup/editathon happening in San Francisco. I've done a fair bit of
> editing on corporate governance and nonprofits, and I'd be happy to show
> you
> around.
>
> I understand that the antitrust settlement is, in the scheme of corporate
> scandals, somewhat mild. It's not Arthur Andersen and Enron or subprime
> mortgages. Although people do go to prison for antitrust violations (which
> is in
> some cases a felony, per the Sherman Act), this case didn't involve
> criminal
> charges. Despite what the textbooks say, I believe it's difficult to
> succeed as
> an executive without being unethical. In picking my battles I've been a
> part of
> things I'm not proud of even in my limited career.
>
> Power does funny things to people. It's been shown that powerful people
> are 3
> times as likely to help a stranger in distress.[1] Powerful people focus on
> the rewards and take risks but they lack broader perspective and can easily
> objectify people or ignore social norms or laws, as we see over and over
> with
> executives.
>
> We need a powerful person on Wikipedia's board to help steer them towards
> sensible decisions. The board's judgment seems to be lacking, especially
> when
> they made the remarkably poor decision (for their reputation) to spark this
> controversy by removing James even though he was upholding their odd
> omerta by
> not leaking to the community the 90% disapproval of the executive director
> among
> staff and the new (yet to be fully revealed) partnership with the Knight
> Foundation. In the end, it's actually worked out for the best since it
> sparked
> a conversation that needed to happen.
>
> I'm not sure you're the powerful person who can pull WMF out of this
> ditch, but
> if you are, I'd say a worthwhile step would be to take a shot at getting
> your
> hands dirty in the trenches of Wikipedia as an editor and join me in
> trying to
> recruit volunteers in the Bay. Plus James should be appointed back to his
> rightful place on the board.
>
> [1]
>
> https://we

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Evidence supporting my statements

2016-01-26 Thread Kevin Gorman
It's...disturbing that this is necessary.  Bad things are going to happen
to the Wikimedia movement - or at least the Wikimedia Foundation -if the
Board doesn't get it together.  Bringing Arnnon on was a severe failure in
due diligence and the fact that failing to respond promptly starting to
look like paralysis rather than behind the scenes coordination is just
bad.  Removing a trustee who is a highly active and trusted community
member should only ever be done if absolutely necessary, and should be
followed up with prompt and transparent reasoning, not the mix of
falsehoods and bullshit that have accounted for a sizeable portion of what
anyone on Board has said publicly.

Jimmy, you should be embarrassed at that comment, and you should also
remember that your fame is contingent on the continued success of the
Wikimedia Foundation.  If that success is sabotaged by your behavior, I'm
sure you're still score some speaking fees, and I'm sure your stake in
Wikia is worth something, but you dont have the 500m cushion to either fall
back and rest on your laurels, use to reset yourself, or use to good (I
can't be the only person who is encouraging everyone who asks for a
suggestion at the moment to donate to the Internet Archive - which is still
primarily funded out of Brewster's Alexa fortune - over WMF.)

Other board members: fiduciary duties really isn't just a catchphrase and I
would highly encourage to consult outside counsel if you disagree with what
the board is up to and have questions about the scope of your obligations
and abilities.


Kevin Gorman

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:57 PM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Following the recent statements by JW on his talk page I am planning to
> publish my email to the board from Oct 7, 2015. I have given the board some
> time to redact anything they feel is confidential. I have also requested
> they send me information of what statute, bylaw, or board handbook item
> they feel would make details, if any, confidential.
>
> Additionally I do not see anything in Jimmy’s 12/30 email that should be
> confidential, and since I was not a Trustee at the time he sent it, clearly
> he did not consider it highly confidential either. But I prefer not to
> publish it without his consent, and I have no plans to do so.
>
> I hope for a reply from the board by Feb 8 and plan to release the email on
> Feb 15th.
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

2016-01-26 Thread Kevin Gorman
Arnnon -

This is about the first piece of polished communication put out by the
board regarding either recent incident - and given your professional
background, it doesn't really surprise me that you are the first person
involved to put out a polished communication.  I have no doubt that your
backgrounds at Tesla and Google helped you develop a skillset that the WMF
Board truly needs - and those aren't positions you would have held if you
were bad at your job. Unfortunately, your own actions prevent you from
successfully fulfilling the honorable duties of a trustee.  It would be one
thing if the issues at hand were just rumor and innuendo, but there's
already been a half a billion dollar settled class action suit involving a
series of actions where, although you may not have been the absolute
center, you were certainly at least quite visible on center stage, and your
name is mentioned quite a bit on PACER.  Some lawsuits get settled because
it's easier to settle than it is to fight them - that's not the case here.
Even for four tech giants, $415,000,000 isn't a nuisance settlement.

Now, lets take a further step back, and remember that the settled suit
isn't for shareholder damages due to poor decisions or anything of that
nature - it's for employee wages lost due to illegal and unethical
anti-solicitation agreements.  The companies involved deny breaking the
law, but even four tech giants aren't going to give away $415,000,000 out
of the goodness of their hearts, and the publicly available documents make
it entirely obvious that if it had gone to trial there would have not been
a good outcome for the companies involved.  Let's reframe 'employee wages
lost due to illegal and unethical anti-solicitation agreeements' one more
time.

You played a fundamental role in stealing $415,000,000 from your employees
and the employees of three other companies.  Even though you have a
skillset that WMF needs, that is absolutely incompatible with the honorable
duties of a trustee, out of line with the fundamental values of the
Wikimedia movement, and even more problematic at a time when cultural
matchup between the Board and everyone else is in greater doubt than at any
other time in the history of Wikimedia.

Resign. Please.


Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:55 PM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> It's unfair of anyone to expect Arnnon to comment about the legal case or
> the circumstances surrounding it. I'm sure he has a stack of legal advice
> and corporate policies that specifically prevent him from answering Todd's
> questions or others. Even though I don't support the corporate collusion
> that he apparently participated in, I'm starting to feel sympathetic to
> Arnnon for what the Board has put him through and for the criticism and
> scrutiny he will continue to suffer for as long as he remains on the Board.
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-11 Thread Kevin Gorman
@NYB: at least one major pension fund has ongoing litigation related to the
nonsolicit, so I agree with you Arnnon is unlikely to be able to comment
publicly.

Best,
KG

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 9:29 AM, Newyorkbrad  wrote:

> It would be great if we could have Arrnon's input and perspective on
> the events that have caused the concern raised in this thread.
> However, it's been stated that major shareholder litigation involving
> the issue is still pending.  If that is so, it is very unlikely that
> he's going to be able to make any public statement about the subject.
>
> Newyorkbrad/IBM
>
>
> On 1/10/16, Craig Franklin  wrote:
> > I don't disagree that we need an explanation not only of his actions, but
> > also on how he was selected without this being disclosed to existing
> > trustees, but even at a show trial it's usually considered necessary to
> > allow the accused to say a few words in their own defense.  I'll be
> > reserving my judgement until I hear his side of the story (or he declines
> > to provide one).
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> > On 10 January 2016 at 03:51, David Gerard  wrote:
> >
> >> ... and the court papers, and the smoking gun documents, and ...
> >>
> >> This is the sort of thing that needs some serious explaining. Assume
> >> good faith, but we're starting from some pretty *startling*
> >> circumstances and evidence here.
> >>
> >>
> >> - d.
> >>
> >> On 9 January 2016 at 09:19, Craig Franklin 
> >> wrote:
> >> > Chris,
> >> >
> >> > Thanks for saying that.  I'd also add that while the situation with
> >> Arrnon
> >> > looks damning on the face of it, I'm a little disappointed that people
> >> are
> >> > breaking out the pitchforks based purely on media reports, before he
> has
> >> a
> >> > chance to present his own side of the story and before Dariusz and the
> >> > others can properly look into the matter.  I also think that some of
> the
> >> > more 'excitable' commentary on this list in the past couple of weeks
> is
> >> > more likely to push the trustees away than get us the explanations we
> >> > want.  Yes, what is happening is deeply concerning, but lets not all
> >> > lose
> >> > our heads.
> >> >
> >> > Cheers,
> >> > Craig
> >> >
> >> > On 9 January 2016 at 19:06, Chris Keating  >
> >> > wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> > I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig
> >> >> > into
> >> >> the
> >> >> > matter, and prepare an answer
> >> >>
> >> >> Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.
> >> >>
> >> >> In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
> >> >> strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now.
> >> It is
> >> >> in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key
> >> parts
> >> >> of the solution have to happen in private.
> >> >>
> >> >> I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and
> energy
> >> in
> >> >> these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an
> >> organisation
> >> >> that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate
> the
> >> >> pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a
> deep
> >> >> breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board
> >> members
> >> >> are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying
> to
> >> >> coordinate between three different continents.
> >> >>
> >> >> In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone
> >> speculates
> >> >> and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
> >> >> downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who
> >> spends
> >> >> 5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading
> all
> >> the
> >> >> emails
> >> >>
> >> >> Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon,
> >> which
> >> >> they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet
> >> more
> >> >> emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
> >> >>
> >> >> Regards,
> >> >>
> >> >> Chris Keating
> >> >> ___
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> >> >>
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> >> 
> >>
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-09 Thread Kevin Gorman
Though I'm trying to cut back on the number of posts I make to this list, I
want to respond to a couple points made in this thread.

First I totally understand - and agree - that we can't expect immediate
board comment on Arnnon's appointment.  Although I think the degree of the
issue should've been discovered in pre-appointment due diligence, it seems
like the issue and it's degree has caught many of the trustees by surprise
- even if figuring out how to respond to issues like this was their full
time (and since even the trustees are volunteers, it's certainly not,) it
would take some time to come up with a reasonable response, and they should
certainly be given the time they need to form an appropriate response.

However, I also want to respond to the suggestion that people are bringing
out their pitchforks based solely on media coverage of Arnnon's actions.
Although there are still shareholder lawsuits underway and there has
certainly been gossipy media coverage, the employee settlement has already
been agreed to upon by the companies (and class representatives) involved,
many of the documents involved have been released by order of the federal
judge involved, etc.  Arnnon's emails that I sent a copy of out earlier on
this thread don't come from someone leaking to Gawker - they were given by
Google to a federal judge, and then unsealed by her order.  We're not in a
situation where there's just media gossip that Arnnon was involved in some
way in setting up an illegal and unethical anti-solicitation agreement
between tech companies - rather, he was found to play a fairly integral
role in it's creation by a federal judge.  Some lawsuits are settled to
make them go away, but nearly half a billion dollars is not "This is a
groundless lawsuit, but it'll cost less to settle it than to make it go
away" territory - even for the companies involved, as large as they are.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:21 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Anders, thank you for your thoughtful message; I understand your position
> much better now, and see much to agree with:
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Anders Wennersten <
> m...@anderswennersten.se>
> wrote:
>
> > I used the word Superprotect but could just as well said the disastrous
> > implementation of Visual Editor, which definitely  was not the doing of
> > Lila. And the very positive response to Community Wishlist i have read on
> > this list (and on the talkpages), I have not co,me across any real
> negative
> > feedback.across
> >
>
> Yes, I agree -- the organization's software development processes are
> improved under Lila's leadership. Significant positive steps have been
> taken, no question -- and she certainly deserves some credit for that.
>
> I am happy to read that there were several in the tech org who initiated
> > this, and that there is a positive feeling of it. I was 25 years ago for
> > seven years was a manager of a org developing sw tools for 3000 sw
> > developer (very similar the WMF setup)  and I went through the process of
> > going from inside-out.  And I learned that the setup of "wishlists" etc
> was
> > the easy part. I learned that when this was in place the internal org and
> > roles had to be redefined (it was not upwards you had to look what to
> > implement but to the community).
>
>
> I don't know for sure, but my impression is that in this case, much of this
> has been done simultaneously; internal structures have been changing
> alongside the processes for community engagement. I expect there is much
> credit for that to be shared among various parties, including Lila.
>
> And there were a lot of squeaks before the org got sorted out, but then the
> > people got very stimulated working in a outside-in organisation.
> >
>
> Glad to hear of this experience.
>
>
> > And from this perspective I actually think the Board made a very good
> work
> > identifying the competence Geshuri has which I believe is just what the
> > Board and WMF needs just now.
>
>
> That very well may be the case. I do not have a strong opinion on Mr.
> Geshuri's competencies, and am happy to defer to your more-informed
> perspective. I am heartened to hear that the Board may have done good work
> in identifying and addressing certain missing competencies (even if there
> may be separate issues with the specific choice).
>
> I do think there are two significant issues with Mr. Geshuri's appointment,
> though -- the second of which has not been brought up yet:
> (1) The Board did not apparently do basic due diligence in looking into his
> background
> (2) Mr. Geshuri himself did not highlight the Google firing issue to the
> board prior to his appointment, which makes me

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-08 Thread Kevin Gorman
You'll find the allegations to be true, Dariusz.  Although the link
provided was just to Pando, the internal email from Arnnon was released by
court order - and the entire anti-solicitation fiasco has been fairly
widely covered in the US tech news.  I knew I recognized Arnnon's name from
somewhere, I just didn't remember where immediately. It recently resulted
in a $435 million settlement for employees of the the companies involved
due to lost competitive wages.  There's also an ongoing shareholder lawsuit
about it still.  Besides the news coverage, really, the damning thing is
just the direct emails.  They were unsealed by the judge and a copy is
hosted here:
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/1019489/google-email-chain.pdf -
although you can also get a copy from PACER if you want a 100% verified one.

They show in Arnnon's own words that (a) he's willing to participate in an
illegal anti-solicitation agreement, and (b) he's willing to
instantaneously fire any employee who violates that illegal
anti-solicitation agreement.  I know WMF has benefited from it's
relationship with Google historically... but in terms of board members, I
really think we need people who are not just talented but who uphold the
values of the movement - and I don't think Arnnon's behavior as covered in
the media and in the case filings do that.  Also, since we're appointing a
fiduciary, it seems like it might not be the best idea to appoint a
fiduciary whose actions at another company were part of a chain of actions
that resulted in a $435 million settlement.  That's a lot of Jimmyeyes from
the corner of my screen.

I'm additionally kind of worried because... this really should have come up
in background vetting of potential board members.  Since there's
information explicitly about it within the first couple pages of any search
engine, this suggests that the process involved in vetting potential board
members didn't involve digging deep in to their backgrounds at all.  Hiring
for pretty much *any* position should normally involve at least a cursory
scan of the internet to see if they are, say, a wanted fugitive, or
participated in illegal anti-competitive behavior like this in the past to
the point that it resulted in a settlement that large (and that is just for
the employees of the companies involved, several shareholder lawsuits are
ongoing.)

Here's a recent lawsuit from shareholders related to it.  Keep in mind that
these are just allegations by the shareholders, but they're pretty well
supported by the court-ordered released emails -
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Googpoach.pdf - and a
class action by employees of the companies involved recently settled for
$435 million in lost competitive wages due to the illegal anti-solicitation
agreement.

"Defendant Arnnon Geshuri (“Geshuri”) has served as Google’s Director of
Recruiting at all times relevant to this lawsuit. Defendant Geshuri was
involved in developing and perpetuating the illegal collusive scheme
alleged herein. Defendant Geshuri knowingly, recklessly, or with gross
negligence: (i) oversaw the creation of the protocols governing
anticompetitive hiring agreements between Google and other companies; (ii)
caused or allowed Google to enter into such illegal anticompetitive
agreements; (iii) allowed Defendants Page, Brin, and Schmidt to dominate
and control the Google Board of Directors with little or no effective
oversight; and (iv) failed to implement adequate internal controls to
ensure that Google complied with federal laws and regulations"

Even though those are allegations from an unsettled shareholder lawsuit,
since the employee class action was settled for $435m and there are
extensive details of what went on in the settement documents, I'd give that
paragraph a bit more credence than I would a paragraph from an average
unsettled lawsuit.  I'm sure that Arnnon is personally skilled, I just
really don't feel that his behavior as described in the settled class
action/documents related to it/the general news media is in line with the
values of the Wikimedia movement.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl>
wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the Wikimedia
> > Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the world,
> > with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest
> professional
> > standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile "highest
> > professional standards" with the prior actions of Arnnon,
> >
>
> I have read about these allegations today, and I am going to follow up on
> that. I don't have an opinion formed, as jumping to conclusions is
> definitely not just to people. I can assure you that in the whole process
> Arnnon's expertis

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-08 Thread Kevin Gorman
I'm going to publicly second (or third, or fifth,) the idea that given
Arnnon's role in an incident involving illegal anti-poaching agreements he
should either be removed from the board with haste, or the board should
publish an incredibly good reason as to why he should remain on it.  Keep
in mind that Arnnon wasn't a bystander to this scandal, he actively fired a
recruiter who failed to follow the terms of an illegal anti-poaching
agreement in less than one hour of being informed about it in the first
place.  I like to think of Wikimedia as a relatively humane movement, and
there are very few situations where I'm comfortable with someone who is
that comfortable with the idea of firing an employee (who had presumably
been there for some time) within sixty minutes of learning the employee
didn't follow an illegal agreement having the degree of influence over the
movement that members of the Board of Trustees have.

The Wikimedia movement is not a movement whose direction should be set by
someone with that degree of callousness - and the fact that he happily
participated in the sort of anti-competitive agreement he did, which he
must have known was illegal and which exposed his former employers to not
insignificant liability, brings forth significant doubt as to whether or
not he can reasonably be trusted to carry out his fiduciary duties as a
trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation.


Kevin Gorman

On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 5:27 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My apologies. I just noticed the resolutions were in fact added on January
> 6, 2016.[1]
>
> They are dated December 9, 2015. Both appointments were unanimous.
>
> [1]
>
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Resolutions=104423=104354
>
> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 1:22 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The resolutions and voting records for these recent appointments have not
> > yet been posted to https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions
> >
> > Could the page please be brought up to date?
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

Just to be clear, none of my previous posts were meant to suggest that the
sky was falling - just that from the information that has been made public
and am aware of, choosing to remove James from the board certainly wasn't
legally necessary, and that there's a good chance it wasn't in the
interests of the movement to remove him, and that it should probably be
examined publicly whether or not it was a good or necessary idea.  I'm not
calling for anyone's heads even if a mistake was made; I know and respect
many of the board as well, and don't doubt their devotion to Wikimedia - I
just question if a mistake was made, and think that we should be
transparent enough as a movement to figure out a mistake was made in a
transparent fashion.  If a mistake was made, then it would be a good idea
to examine both procedures around the removal of board members, and also,
potentially to ensure that the idea of transparency believed in by the
Board is the same as the idea of transparency believed in by much of the
rest of the movement.  We've already learned one valuable lesson from this:
 Board should probably consult with comms before holding a meeting likely
to generate controversy, even if that decision isn't 100% yet.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 2:03 AM, Anders Wennersten 
wrote:

>
>
> Den 2016-01-02 kl. 10:44, skrev Yaroslav M. Blanter:
>
>>
>> This is an interesting theoretical discussion, and I criticized WMF in
>> the past on a number of occasions, but I feel necessary to emphasize that
>> there is not a slightest indication at this time that they do not care
>> about retaining the community. At most, we have indications that they did
>> not handle some issues in sub-optimal way. The probability that Wikipedia
>> and sister projects will collapse in say ten years because some novel
>> technical means become available and we do not manage to respond properly
>> is in my opinion a billion times higher than that we will collapse because
>> BoT or WMF staff function sub-optimally in their daily communications with
>> the community. Let us discuss real things and not what happens if Martians
>> come to enslave us.
>>
>> Cheers
>> Yaroslav
>>
>>
> I agree and I also think we should not over dramatize that someone is at
> odds with a group and leave the group (by resignation or by forced leaving).
>
> I have myself been part of numerous groups in my life, probably several
> hundreds, and have left in being at odds with the group/employer almost a
> dozen times. A very few times by being sacked or ousted and mostly with me
> resigning, but then feeling I have had very sound reasons for taking my
> position making me becoming at odds with the rest.
>
> But in no case after the resignation has been a fact, have I continued to
> dwell publicly over it. A fact is a fact and it is better to go on with
> life for all parties (and it is enough my loyal wife has had to hear "my
> side of it") .
>
> In this case I know first hand a majority of the Board and I know them to
> be true to the values and belief of the movement, and as individuals  being
> caring, and the opposite to my  most hated disliked personality, power
> hungry persons without empathy.
>
> Anders
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Thank you for coming forward, Ben and Asaf.

I'd been debating whether or not to gather more details about the handling
of this event, or for just trying to make sure that procedures went more
smoothly in case any further trustee was removed, but this calls for a
direct question: were documents intentionally being withheld from James -
for a couple of months at that - that were either being distributed to
other trustees, that he directly asked for, or that were reasonably
necessary for him acting in good faith to fulfill his fidicuiary duties?  I
can't cite chapter and verse of state code - partly because it varies
depending on what exactly was involved, and I'm far more familiar with
Califonia's requirements than Florida's - but if so, this is a problem.
California is an extreme state when it comes to stuff like this, but in
certain situations, intentionally withholding information that a sitting
board member is legally entitled to is in some cases something that results
in the waiver of protection they normally enjoy in most of their duties
conducted in good faith even in unrelated areas to any and all trustees
that were involved in the decision to withhold information - going as far
as to negate not even specifically purchased insurance coverage.

If documents were intentionally held from James while he was still in fact
a sitting trustee that were either distributed to other trustees, that were
drectly asked for by James, or that were reasonably necessary for him to
uphold his duties of loyalty and care to WMF, I believe an outside
investigation by a nonprofit consulting group that WMF doesn't have a
pre-existing relationship is likely necessary.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM, Laurentius 
wrote:

> Il giorno sab, 02/01/2016 alle 09.31 +0900, James Heilman ha scritto:
> > Dear all
> >
> > I have been accused of three things:
> > [...]
>
> Does the board agree that these three are the things contested to James?
>  * Giving staff unrealistic expectations regarding potential board
>decisions;
>  * Releasing private board information;
>  * Publishing the statement about his removal on Wikimedia-l.
> (the last one clearly cannot have had a role in his removal, so this
> leaves the first two)
>
> Laurentius
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Philippe -

I totally agree with you that none of my experiences with WMF suggest that
such a thing is likely to happen.  Organizations and people change over
time, though - similarly, this is the first time a sitting trustee has been
dismissed.  Given the unusuality of the situation, in my opinion at least,
given the *drastic* seriousness that something like deliberately
withholding documents in such a manner under California state law (I can't
speak with familiarity about Florida NPO governance,) and the fact that
both the BoT and James could pretty easily give flat out answers to the
question of whether or not they think it occurred, I think it's worth
asking for those answers.

If James and the BoT agree that such withholding took place, I think it
demands an outside review of WMF governance.  If James thinks it did, but
the rest of the BoT disagrees.. given the general respect held for James'
and the seriousness of the charge, I think an outside review of WMF
governance is *still* probably reasonably necessary.  If neither thinks
such withholding took place, then it settles a serious charge quite simply.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 7:01 PM,  wrote:

> I don't believe that's "very clear" at all.  You yourself said "If what
> Ben said is true"  I think it's very possible - to the extent that Ben
> cautioned against it himself - that this may be a misunderstanding.
>
> In my nearly seven years at the WMF I never once saw corruption of the
> sort you suggest. Not once. And I think it's safe to say I was well
> connected.
>
> --
> Philippe Beaudette
> philippe.beaude...@icloud.com
>
> > On Jan 2, 2016, at 5:48 PM, Comet styles  wrote:
> >
> > We should probably start with our high and mighty leader, Jimbo, just
> > like everyone else, He should now be 'elected' into the BoT, no more
> > free seats..Wikimedia has now grown to an extent where we may no
> > longer need him to run the foundation or to hold a deciding vote on
> > issues where he has his own interests in..This problem of lacking
> > transparency has leaked down to the lower levels of wikimedia as well,
> > is that the example they are going to set? .. As I said before, the
> > longer this drags on, the more likelihood of a 'manufactured' truth
> > coming out..
> >
> > People who do wrong need time to come up with a good lieeveryone
> > knows this..James spoke the moment he was "fired" for which he was
> > reprimanded by the same authority that 'fired' him...If what Ben
> > Creasy said is true, then its definitely not James on the wrong here
> > and I'd be really effing pissed if he was made a 'scapegoat' by the
> > powers that be to save their own useless hide..Its very clear that
> > there is corruption at the highest order at WMFthe question is..
> > How deep does it go? ..
> >
> > --
> > Cometstyles
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Philippe -

Well - one of the things is - from all public indication from the BoT - it
doesn't appear that it's their current inclination to do something like
commission an outside review of the situation by a consultancy familiar
with Florida NPO governance.  I definitely don't want to pronounce early
judgement, but both public and private conversations have made me think
that this situation is worth a formal investigation, and allegations of
potentially intentionally withholding relevant documents from sitting
trustees just make me think even more than an outside review is
appropriate.  I hate wasting $20 or $40k of movement money on such a
review, but since, if substantiated and not resolved, thes allegations
could be so damaging to Wikimedia, I unfortunately think it's necessary
unless James speaks out against the idea.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 9:56 PM, Philippe Beaudette 
wrote:

> again, i disagree with little (if any) of what you say that.  I don’t
> agree with the characterization, prior to any sort of investigation, that
> something was absolutely wrong.  We don’t KNOW what’s gone on, is my point.
>
> So let’s not speculate until and unless an investigation is completed -
> and probably not then either.
>
> pb
>
>
> > On Jan 2, 2016, at 9:54 PM, Comet styles  wrote:
> >
> > I'm quite aware of what James was trying to achieve
> > (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Doc_James/Foundation) and I'm
> > fully in support of his ideas so if whatever he did was related to one
> > of those he mentions on the link, then its quite understandable why
> > right now I'm on his side  and not on the the other side...5 of whom
> > the community did not appoint (or trusts) and one who is there by
> > 'default'
> >
> > The issue is not what James did, it was the drastic step taken and
> > above all the silence in relation to this from the 'BoT' which has
> > become quite deafening..When you fire someone and them make a
> > statement regarding it and why, we all would have accepted it  and
> > possibly fought it if we had found it unjustified..but when you fire
> > someone and then run back into the hole...what are we to assume?..Its
> > too early to start an investigation since no one is forthcoming...so
> > speculation and allegations are the only things left... I'm not angry,
> > I personally don't care but I have seen too much nonsense by the
> > hierarchy over the last 5 years to allow another one to be swept under
> > the rug under the veil of "privacy" ...
> >
> > --
> > Cometstyles
> >
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
I know you probably realize this pb, but I just want to emphasize that the
verbiage that certainly something untoward has taken place wasn't coming
from me, and would like to stress that to the rest of the list.  It's just
such a serious matter, that I believe outside investigation is almost
certainly warranted, unless James agrees that there was no such withholding
and additionally agrees that the degree of transparency with which his
removal took place is in line with both the law and the values of the
movement.  On the extreme end, under california NPO governance, there are
certain situations where such intentional document withholding could
actually risk eliminating the normal shield trustees enjoy for most of
their actions and making them personally liable, so it's a situation that's
weird enough that clearing it up with transparency and speed is in the best
interests of the Wikimedia movement.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 9:43 PM, Philippe Beaudette <phili...@beaudette.me>
wrote:

> Kevin,
>
> I disagree with nothing you’ve said here.  What I disagreed with was the
> characterization that “certainly” something untoward had taken place.
>
> pb
>
>
> > On Jan 2, 2016, at 9:41 PM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Philippe -
> >
> > I totally agree with you that none of my experiences with WMF suggest
> that
> > such a thing is likely to happen.  Organizations and people change over
> > time, though - similarly, this is the first time a sitting trustee has
> been
> > dismissed.  Given the unusuality of the situation, in my opinion at
> least,
> > given the *drastic* seriousness that something like deliberately
> > withholding documents in such a manner under California state law (I
> can't
> > speak with familiarity about Florida NPO governance,) and the fact that
> > both the BoT and James could pretty easily give flat out answers to the
> > question of whether or not they think it occurred, I think it's worth
> > asking for those answers.
> >
> > If James and the BoT agree that such withholding took place, I think it
> > demands an outside review of WMF governance.  If James thinks it did, but
> > the rest of the BoT disagrees.. given the general respect held for James'
> > and the seriousness of the charge, I think an outside review of WMF
> > governance is *still* probably reasonably necessary.  If neither thinks
> > such withholding took place, then it settles a serious charge quite
> simply.
> >
> > Best,
> > KG
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 7:01 PM, <phili...@beaudette.me> wrote:
> >
> >> I don't believe that's "very clear" at all.  You yourself said "If what
> >> Ben said is true"  I think it's very possible - to the extent that
> Ben
> >> cautioned against it himself - that this may be a misunderstanding.
> >>
> >> In my nearly seven years at the WMF I never once saw corruption of the
> >> sort you suggest. Not once. And I think it's safe to say I was well
> >> connected.
> >>
> >> --
> >> Philippe Beaudette
> >> philippe.beaude...@icloud.com
> >>
> >>> On Jan 2, 2016, at 5:48 PM, Comet styles <cometsty...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> We should probably start with our high and mighty leader, Jimbo, just
> >>> like everyone else, He should now be 'elected' into the BoT, no more
> >>> free seats..Wikimedia has now grown to an extent where we may no
> >>> longer need him to run the foundation or to hold a deciding vote on
> >>> issues where he has his own interests in..This problem of lacking
> >>> transparency has leaked down to the lower levels of wikimedia as well,
> >>> is that the example they are going to set? .. As I said before, the
> >>> longer this drags on, the more likelihood of a 'manufactured' truth
> >>> coming out..
> >>>
> >>> People who do wrong need time to come up with a good lieeveryone
> >>> knows this..James spoke the moment he was "fired" for which he was
> >>> reprimanded by the same authority that 'fired' him...If what Ben
> >>> Creasy said is true, then its definitely not James on the wrong here
> >>> and I'd be really effing pissed if he was made a 'scapegoat' by the
> >>> powers that be to save their own useless hide..Its very clear that
> >>> there is corruption at the highest order at WMFthe question is..
> >>> How deep does it go? ..
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Cometstyles
> >>>
> &

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Over-opinionated

2016-01-02 Thread Kevin Gorman
Billing -

I hope some of my earlier contributions were, well, contributions, since I
do have fairly extensive training in the governance requirements of
CA-based non-profits - which certainly aren't Florida-based nonprofits, but
definitely share some similarities.  One of the things that has concerned
me is the public words of board members have pretty much entirely stressed
a hope to move past this smoothly, rather than a desire to instigate even
the sort of external review that the IEP resulted in.  One thing that would
make me pretty much shut up about the matter instantly is if, preferably
the BoT as a whole, but even an individual board member, voiced a strong
opinion/desire/committment to try to ensure that events that have
transpired so far are subject to an outside review by a group without
previous strong connections to the WMF that has a strong familiarity with
Florida NPO governance, and is as transparent as possible.

Best,
KG

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 8:33 PM, Richard Ames  wrote:

> Yes, please slow down the conversation and reduce the alarmist tones 
>
> Regards, Richard (one of your moderators)
>
> On Sun, Jan 3, 2016 at 3:16 PM, billinghurst 
> wrote:
> > The whole process of James sacking from and by the Board is disturbing
> > to many of us. At this point there are many who have ... much to say.
> 
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-01 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

What concerns me as much as anything about James' removal is his final
statement - "I have always acted in what I believe are the best interests
of the
movement and the WMF."  James has been active in the movement for a long
time in a variety of roles, and we have no reason to believe that this
statement is not true - in fact, even public statements from other trustees
so far have not contradicted it.  If James statements is to be taken at
face value, then he has in fact met his fiduciary duty to the WMF.
Trustees don't have an inherent duty of confidentiality - they have
inherent duties of loyalty, and inherent duties of care.  They *often* have
a derived duty of confidentiality, but that's a derived duty - disclosing
information related to an ongoing lawsuit to another party in a way that
would be harmful to WMF would violate the board member's duty of loyalty to
WMF.  Even though that's often spoken about as if it would be a problem
because of an inherent duty of confidentiality, except in situations
involving things like obligations to third parties (e.g., most issues of
staff discipline, or explicitly private details of a contract with a
 thrird party,) the root issue in the theoretical situation I described
would be breaking their duty of loyalty, not breaking their obligation to
hold an issue confidential.

I don't believe that James' announcement of his dismissal from the board is
potentially a broach of his fiduciary duty to the WMF.  Given the other
issues involved here, I find it reasonable - and I tend to agree with him -
that having an open, prompt, and transparent conversation about his
dismissal from the board and the reasons behind it is in the best interests
of the Wikimedia Foundation.  If he had been explicitly informed that the
rest of the board was in the process of crafting a public, detailed
statement about his dismissal, then this could potentially be an issue, but
it seems like he wasn't informed that that was the case, so I don't
understand how James' announcement of his own dismissal could be taken as a
breach of his fidicuiary duties.

Without knowing what specific information was involved, it's hard to gauge
whether James released confidential information in a way that was a breach
of his fiducuiary duties.  I will say that I've talked with James pretty
often during his tenure on the board, and although he's been quite frank
about his own opinions and about how he thought certain issues should be
approached, I do not believe he disclosed a single piece of information
that would reasonably be deemed confidential to me - and even if he had
disclosed information the board believed should be held confidential (and I
honestly don't believe he did,) unless there was a secondary obligation of
confidentiality (e.g., a contract with a hosting provider with a
nondisclosure clause,) doing so wouldn't inherently be a breach of his
fiduciary duties - if he disclosed such information to me (or anyone else)
because he thought that the benefit of our advice was outweighed by the
chance of us disclosing the information further, it still wouldn't
inherently represent a breach of his obligations to the board.  But again -
at least in conversations with me, he hasn't even gone that far.  From time
to time he has sought my opinion about particular issues, but he's done so
in a way that hasn't made anything apparent except at the most his own
personal opinion - in cases where he sought my advice, I wouldn't even have
been able to make a clear guess as to whether he was asking for advice
about an issue currently before the board, or an issue he was considering
bringing up in six months.

Speaking with staff presents a trickier issue than the first two, but still
isn't a black and white bad thing to do.  Board members are generally
encouraged to restrict their conversations to conversations with management
(so that they don't end up accidentally interfering with management issues,
since the primary role of board is governance,) but at the same time, if
they believe that in order to fulfill their fidicuciary duties they need to
have direct conversations with staff members, then legally, they would be
breaking their fiduciary duties if they *didn't* have those conversations.
While having them they should stress that they are interacting with the
staff members as individual board members, not representing management or
the BoT as a whole, and not trying to interfere with day to day management
of the organization - but it sounds like James tried to follow those
standards.  There's also a secondary issue; if a staff member approached a
board member with a concern that they believed could not be adequately
addressed within their normal leadership chain, the board member would be
absolutely remiss in not at least having a conversation with the staff
member.  If someone from fundraising had approached James with concerns
that management had somehow embezzled $100m, and those concerns turned out
to 

[Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-31 Thread Kevin Gorman
Patricio -

I understand that the final decision likely wasn't predecided going in to
the meeting, however, communications responses should have been prepared
for all likely outcomes, including a prepared statement to disseminate
immediately following the removal from the board of Jame Heilman.  Even if
he hadn't announced it himself, it should have been anticipated that people
would realize the removal had occurred - I'm aware of relatively few
WMF-related matters, even at a BoT level, that don't eventually leaked if
they aren't promptly announced.  When you see a candidate who just lost his
election giving a concession speech, he didn't write it after he heard the
election results - he likely had it 99% finalized days or weeks before he
lost the election (and this is true even of candidates who really, truly
expected to win their election.  I was an unpaid WMF comms intern some
years ago, and even then we regularly drafted statements in advance of it
being clear they were needed.  Since WMF comms has only become more
professionalized since my time there, I'm positive that this is still
standard practice for major issues for WMF comms. It might be a good idea
to speak with Katherine or someone else in WMF comms to guide the board in
best practices in communication on issues like this in the future.

Additionally, I'd like to correct you on another point: Florida trustees
don't have an absolute duty of confidentiality.  I suspected this given the
training I was given before being put on the board of a decently large body
incorporated in California, but just confirmed it with a Florida lawyer.
WMF Trustees have fidicuiary duties to the WMF; in practice, the two main
details this encompasses are (a) a duty of loyalty (an obligation to put
the interests of WMF above the interests of themselves and (b) a duty of
care (an obligation to carry out their trustee-related duties in a way that
an ordinary and prudent person would carry out the management of their own
affairs - or if you're a lawyer etc, a an obligation to carry out your
trustee-related duties in a way that a lawyer of average skill and prudence
would.)  Many other duties derive from these two, but don't override them.
Frequently, a duty of confidentiality is involved - for instance,
disclosing material that would hurt WMF in an ongoing lawsuit against WMF
would be a violation of your obligation to maintain confidentiality - but
that obligation only exists (barring an outside contract with another
organization) as a derivative of your duties of loyalty and your duties of
care.  If you believe that prompt disclosure of the details of whatever
happen w/r/t James is in the interests of WMF (examples of why it might be
in the interests of WMF: failing to promptly disclose as many details as
reasonably possible could significantly damage comunity trust in WMF, or
generate significant bad press for WMF,) then you most likely don't only
not have a duty of confidentiality that stops you from closing, you may
actually have a positive duty to disclose depending on how significant you
believe that consequences of failing to disclose would be.

I don't have sekrit knowledge about why James was removed, but knowing him,
and reading your last email, I'm going to venture a guess that James may
have wanted WMF board meetings to be more transparent, or he may have
wanted to seek the counsel of community members not on the board about
issues in front of the board.  In fact, he may have felt that failing to
seek outside advice on some issues or failing to make WMF board meetings in
general would have represented a violation of his fidicuiary duties of
loyalty and care.  I really hope that the Board comes out with a more
complete statement in the immediate future, because speculation about is
going on during a high tension situation like this is never a good thing.
Dariusz would never have opposed his removal if it was 'for cause' if that
cause was something like James violating his fidicuiary duties in the sense
of leaking sensitive details to the press, leaking info to people suing
WMF, engaging in outright theft, etc. I have a feeling that James' removal
did relate to him desiring increased transparency, and that does make me
distinctly nervous,

Andreas: by my reading of that, it would mean that even if he were a
directly elected trustee (and the BoT sees to suggest that he wasn't a
directly elected trustee, but just a community recommended trustee that the
WMF BoT chose to accept) he wouldn't be able to stand in special elections
- e.g., an election to replace his own vacant seat - but seems to suggest
that he would be able to stand in the next set of regular community
elections.

Patricio: I would really invite you to talk with Katherine about how best
to handle board communications issues in the future.  This is something
where much more detailed statements should have been prepared in advance,
in case they were needed - if it turned out they weren't needed, it

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Kevin Gorman
As far as I can tell, no one alleges Doc James did anything wrong - if
there were serious allegations of wrongdoing then, for one thing, I have
trouble seeing Dariusz as having supported James staying on the board.  The
board *can* remove members for any reason, but if you're removing one
member elected - and generally quite trusted - from the board, and that
removal is opposed by *another* community elected board member, there
better be a damned good reason behind it - board *can* ignore the will of
two of the three directly elected trustees, but doing so without a damn
good reason is a significant error.  To be honest, since the motion to
remove James was clearly prepared in advance, I'm pretty surprising that
board didn't ask WMF comms for help preparig to deal with the fall-out.
I've been told by multiple sets of people that this doesn't involve
allegations of wrongdoing against James - but if it does, that needs to be
quickly communicated, as James holds multiple other positions of trust in
the Wikimedia movement.  And if doesn't involve allegations of wrongdoing
by James... well to be honest, I have a hard time seeing a situation where
the removal of James (a community elected trustee) which was opposed by
Dariusz (another community elected trustee) is reasonably justifiable.
Without more details about the situation, it really reads like a board out
of touch with the community it is intended to serve.

Unless an extraordinarily good reason is produced (like James regularly
shouting things Cluebot would censor in the middle of meetings,) I would
hope that the board would consider reinstating James... and spending the
time to learn how to work with with a respected and accomplished
Wikipedian.  Doc James is one of the most active contributors to
Wikiproject Medicine, is a long time former president of Wikimedia Canada
and the Wiki Project Med Foundation, and has done a ton of other
wiki-stuff. It's hard to see him as a detriment to the WMF board, and it's
concerning that the first time the WMF board has ever felt the need to
remove a member it was a member as awesome a human being and Wikimedian as
James.

Best,
KG
-sent from mobile.


On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Nathan  wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 3:25 PM, olatunde isaac 
> wrote:
>
> > I'm very disappointed to know that the board meeting was still ongoing as
> > at the time James revealed that he was ejected from the board. It is a
> > silly idea! Perhaps he felt the community can stop the meeting or
> override
> > the decision of the board of trustee. The WMF BoT is not a parliament
> where
> > the house do not have the veto power to remove an elected member.
> > Section 7 (remover) of the WMF's bylaws clearly stipulated that
> > “Any Trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority vote of
> > the Trustees then in office in accordance with the procedures set forth
> in
> > Section 617.0808(1), or other relevant provisions of the Act”. Based on
> > this bylaw, James remover is justified!
> > I understand that majority of the community members who elected James are
> > likely not to be aware of this provisions but James is aware of it and
> will
> > probably have an answer to (1) the reason for his remover (2) why his
> > remover was supported by eight members and (3) why the third
> > community-elected trustee, Denny Vrandečić, lost confidence supported his
> > removal.
> > The fact that James never stated the reasons why he was ejected from the
> > board as at the time he disclosed his remover is worrisome.
> > James, I'm sorry if I'm too factual here.
> >
> > Best,
> >
> > Olatunde Isaac.
> > Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
> >
> >
> He didn't use his phone to mail to the list while sitting in a meeting...
> He was dismissed from the board and then ejected from the board meeting.
> After he left the room as ordered, he posted the notification. We don't
> know all the precise circumstances, but I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't
> have done the same in his place.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Kevin Gorman
"For cause" can mean a lot of things - everything from getting drunk and
plowing in to a crowd to embezzling money, to simply holding consistently
different opinions than the rest of the board and continually voicing them.
We won't know much more until the board statement (although, again, I'm
surprised comms weren't pre-prepped,) but this is a really surprising
situation, and I really hope the board makes a clear statement that
justifies the removal beyond a shadow of a doubt.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2015, Robert Rohde <raro...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Jimbo, on his talk page, says this was a removal "for cause", and that he
> expects the whole Board will provide a further statement.
>
> -Robert Rohde
>
> On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 12:03 AM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > As far as I can tell, no one alleges Doc James did anything wrong - if
> > there were serious allegations of wrongdoing then, for one thing, I have
> > trouble seeing Dariusz as having supported James staying on the board.
> The
> > board *can* remove members for any reason, but if you're removing one
> > member elected - and generally quite trusted - from the board, and that
> > removal is opposed by *another* community elected board member, there
> > better be a damned good reason behind it - board *can* ignore the will of
> > two of the three directly elected trustees, but doing so without a damn
> > good reason is a significant error.  To be honest, since the motion to
> > remove James was clearly prepared in advance, I'm pretty surprising that
> > board didn't ask WMF comms for help preparig to deal with the fall-out.
> > I've been told by multiple sets of people that this doesn't involve
> > allegations of wrongdoing against James - but if it does, that needs to
> be
> > quickly communicated, as James holds multiple other positions of trust in
> > the Wikimedia movement.  And if doesn't involve allegations of wrongdoing
> > by James... well to be honest, I have a hard time seeing a situation
> where
> > the removal of James (a community elected trustee) which was opposed by
> > Dariusz (another community elected trustee) is reasonably justifiable.
> > Without more details about the situation, it really reads like a board
> out
> > of touch with the community it is intended to serve.
> >
> > Unless an extraordinarily good reason is produced (like James regularly
> > shouting things Cluebot would censor in the middle of meetings,) I would
> > hope that the board would consider reinstating James... and spending the
> > time to learn how to work with with a respected and accomplished
> > Wikipedian.  Doc James is one of the most active contributors to
> > Wikiproject Medicine, is a long time former president of Wikimedia Canada
> > and the Wiki Project Med Foundation, and has done a ton of other
> > wiki-stuff. It's hard to see him as a detriment to the WMF board, and
> it's
> > concerning that the first time the WMF board has ever felt the need to
> > remove a member it was a member as awesome a human being and Wikimedian
> as
> > James.
> >
> > Best,
> > KG
> > -sent from mobile.
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> > > On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 3:25 PM, olatunde isaac <
> > reachout2is...@gmail.com <javascript:;>>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > I'm very disappointed to know that the board meeting was still
> ongoing
> > as
> > > > at the time James revealed that he was ejected from the board. It is
> a
> > > > silly idea! Perhaps he felt the community can stop the meeting or
> > > override
> > > > the decision of the board of trustee. The WMF BoT is not a parliament
> > > where
> > > > the house do not have the veto power to remove an elected member.
> > > > Section 7 (remover) of the WMF's bylaws clearly stipulated that
> > > > “Any Trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority
> vote
> > of
> > > > the Trustees then in office in accordance with the procedures set
> forth
> > > in
> > > > Section 617.0808(1), or other relevant provisions of the Act”. Based
> on
> > > > this bylaw, James remover is justified!
> > > > I understand that majority of the community members who elected James
> > are
> > > > likely not to be aware of this provisions but James is aware of it
> and
> > > will
> > > > probably have an answer to (1) the reason 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Obsessed with secrecy?

2015-12-29 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Adam -

Thanks for the email - and the idea.  Something like this had been floating
around in the back of my head for some time, but I hadn't acted on it yet.
I'm in the middle of a desert for a few more days, but have bookmarked this
to help contribute to when I return.  (Unfortunately this is our first
experiment with solar-powered iphones, and we didn't make an array
sufficient to power ours for more than a few more minutes for the day.)

Best,
KG

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 3:12 PM, Adam Wight  wrote:

> Pete, thanks for asking, and for your ever toughtful voice.
>
> About my wiki edits:  In my volunteer time, I'm a lurker, hack translator,
> fringe developer, and sometimes say obnoxious things on mailing lists or in
> this case on metawiki.
>
> About my staff position: I've sent this email from my staff account as part
> of my duties to care for the organization that pays for my living, the
> WMF.  I'm a 75%-time employee in the Fundraising Tech team, currently in
> the sheepdog or ill-named "tech lead" role.  Great job, aside from the
> hierarchical corporate structure that I oppose.
>
> I'm looking forward to the sunshine...
>
> Love,
> Adam Roses Wight
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Adamw
>
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Pete Forsyth 
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Adam,
> >
> > Here is a sort of meta-request: could you please identify your position
> at
> > Wikimedia?
> >
> > I will make this suggestion on the page, as one of the very low-hanging
> > fruit items that will make a big difference: if Wikimedia staff could
> make
> > a regular practice of listing info like their title, and stuff like user
> > page and contact info as appropriate, that would make it much easier to
> > understand and make sense of the huge amount of information coming from
> > various channels.
> >
> > Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 2:42 PM, Adam Wight 
> wrote:
> >
> > > There is a lot of room for improving the WMF's transparency and
> > > accountability to the broader community.  Please help identify our
> > > shortcomings by contributing to this page:
> > >
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Transparency_Gap
> > >
> > > -Adam
> > > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-29 Thread Kevin Gorman
 interests at
heart pass, but pass with the opposition of Dariusz - someone with whom
I've personally had little interaction with, but who understands the
Wikimedia movement well enough to write an excellent ethnography of it, and
with enough business acumen to become a full, tenured professor of
management at Poland's top b-school, and in the Financial Times top 50
b-schools worldwide.

With an unprecedented decision like the removal of Doc James - and that
removal opposed by 2 of the 3 commuity elected trustees - I really really
hope that there's something not yet missing that makes things make sense.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Doc_James/Foundation

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:02 AM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM, Newyorkbrad <newyorkb...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> > of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> > talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> > page, I have copied his comment below:
> >
> > "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> > been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> > explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> > about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> > begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> > the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> > can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> > Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> > when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> > now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> > have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> > likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> > December 2015 (UTC)"
> >
> > I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> > find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> > relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> > aware of it..
> >
> > I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> > should be circulated promptly.
> >
> > Newyorkbrad/IBM
>
>
> Thanks Brad.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

I have to start this email with a pair of disclaimers: I'm both not a
lawyer, and I've never been on the board of an organization headquartered
in Florida. However, I have been on multiple California-based boards - none
that had nearly the revenue of WMF, but some whose assets did run in to the
mid-double millions, with revenues in the lower double digit millions.  I
can't assert that the knowledge and training I received about a board
member's fiduciary duty and obligation to ensure that our board members
functioned with 'mutual confidence' in each other equates to the same
obligation that WMF trustees are bound by.  However, in our context,
'mutual confidence' certainly did not mean that we had mutual confidence
all of our duly appointed board members would agree with us on all issues
we considered important - or even that we have confidence that we would be
able to meet agreements that were, in our opinions, fair compromises
between all of our interests.  It meant something else entirely; that we
retained mutual confidence that our fellow board members would uphold their
own fiduciary duties to the organization - which didn't necessarily mean
agreeing with us, but meant strenuously supporting their own ideas about
what would be best for the organization, even if they disagreed with our
own.

Although I'm sure WMF board members received both extensive, and different
(given the locales) training than we did, but for us at least, it would've
been highly unusual for one of us to try to remove a board member,
especially one at-large, simply for strongly advocating their own viewpoint
- it would've been more typical if there were allegations of financial
malfeasance, CoI issues, etc.  It makes me a bit nervous to see one of only
three trustees directly elected by the community and whose platform seemed
to be pretty heavily supported removed with so few details about the
reasoning behind the decision other than the idea that mutual confidence
had become an issue.

Best,
KG

On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 6:34 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> Bodhisattwa and Nathan,
>
> If I imagine myself in James' shoes, I would be thinking a lot right now
> about:
> * What are my legal obligations around what I may or may not say
> * What are the difficult-to-predict consequences to WMF, to Wikimedia,
> and/or to oneself of saying various things
> * What obligation I have to speak, when no charge against me has been made
> (at least publicly), and when my term as a trustee is now over
>
> Speaking for myself, if I were James, I would not be rushing into any
> public statement.
>
> The people we need most to hear from right now are the eight people who
> made a mysterious decision. The two people who opposed the decision might
> or might have interesting responses -- I too am curious to hear what they
> will say. But it's the majority and/or chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board we need most to hear from.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 6:05 PM, Bodhisattwa Mandal <
> bodhisattwa.rg...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hey Doc,
> >
> > The community wants to know about what happened. I think, you need to
> talk
> > about this.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Bodhisattwa
> > On 29 Dec 2015 07:25, "Nathan"  wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM, James Heilman 
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > As Patricio stated the "Board has a responsibility to ... ensure that
> > the
> > > > Board functions with *mutual confidence*"
> > > >
> > > > My fellow trustees need no reason beyond lack of trust in me to
> justify
> > > my
> > > > removal. No reason beyond that is needed per our board by laws.
> > > >
> > > > There was not any COI or legal impropriety on my part. I have done
> > what I
> > > > believe is in the best interest of our movement. I hope Patricio and
> I
> > > can
> > > > work together to provide greater explanation in the coming days.
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > James Heilman
> > >
> > >
> > > Why be cute about it, then? Just say what happened and leave the games
> to
> > > others.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
I really, really hope that, as fast as one can be written, a resolution
explaining more fully the circumstances of James' departure from the board
is written and passed.  If there are legal reasons that mean that his
departure cannot be more fully explained, that itself needs to be noted -
and I hope they're particularly strong reasons.  Without looking up the
vote count in the last election: James has the trust of a huge segment of
the community, and also has a much stronger sense of direction in how WMF
should be steered than many of our trustees have in the past.  His sudden
removal (the power mechanism I've cobbled together to have my laptop
functional today is hilarious) without further explanation looks way too
much like one of only three directly elected trustees spoke up too openly
in a way that wasn't welcomed about the directions he thought Wikimedia
should go - even though he literally published a platform before he was
elected.  The sudden removal of a very well respected community elected
trustee has at least the appearance of a board that may not want to be
responsive to those who literally create it's only valuable asset.

Best,
KG

On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 4:10 PM, Tito Dutta  wrote:

> Add me as well.​
> ​Eager to know what happened.​
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
I really really hope that the full and transparent text of the resolution
is published as soon as is reasonably possible.  James has the trust of a
colossal number of movement members, and seeing him suddenly removed short
of allegations of financial malfeasance or something to that effect is
incredibly jarring.  This has never happened before in the history of the
WMF... and bluntly, we've definitely had community elected trustees whose
judgement was less well thought of than James.


KG

On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 3:29 PM, Patricio Lorente <
patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> Today the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees voted to remove one of the
> Trustees, Dr. James Heilman, from the Board. His term ended effective
> immediately.
>
> This was not a decision the Board took lightly. The Board has a
> responsibility to the Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia Foundation to
> ensure that the Board functions with mutual confidence to ensure effective
> governance. Following serious consideration, the Board felt this removal
> decision was a necessary step at this time. The resolution will be
> published shortly.
>
> This decision creates an open seat for a community-selected Trustee. The
> Board is committed to filling this open community seat as quickly as
> possible. We will reach out to the 2015 election committee
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2015/Committee
> >
> to discuss our options, and will keep you informed as we determine next
> steps.
>
> Patricio Lorente
>
> Chair, Board of Trustees
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement

2015-08-31 Thread Kevin Gorman
Congratulations to Maggie, and I'm sure she'll do a great job... but
Phillippe, I'm deeply sorry to see you go.  Out of everyone I've ever
met, you have to be nearly the closest (if not the actual closest)
thing that exists to a living repository of Wikimedia's history (and
connections.)  I don't WMF can ever have another Philippe, and we will
certainly not benefit from losing  you.  The movement as a whole has
greatly benefitted from your passions and most of us have litttle idea
how much critically important stuff you have handled behind the
curtain that has allowed the projects to keep functioning.  (I mean,
I'm sure I only know the tiniest fraction of it but Is till know
enough to know that your actions and passion greatly - almost
incalculaby greatly - contributed, oft invisibly, to the success of
the mvovement,)

Still though...as I've learned myself in the past year, health has to
come first.  I wish you the best of luck, and hope our paths cross
again.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 2:55 PM, Steven Zhang <cro0...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Philippe,
>
> I feel honoured to have known you these last few years. I will sorely miss 
> you around here, and I wish you all the best with everything.
>
> Steven Crossin (Zhang)
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On 1 Sep 2015, at 5:01 AM, Philippe Beaudette <phili...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>>
>> Dear friends,
>>
>> Six years is a long time.  Over the last six years, I've been privileged to
>> be a part of so many things with you.  And I'm proud of what we've done
>> together.  For the last six years, I've been a part of things that will
>> excite me until the day that I die - the things that, together, we did in
>> service of that phrase - "the sum of human knowledge" - were magical.  I'll
>> never forget them, and I've been honored to be a part of this movement.
>>
>> But it's time for me to move on.
>>
>> As many of you know, for the last couple of years, I've struggled with my
>> health.  I've come to the unpleasant realization that for my own good, I
>> need to step back and focus on healing, and then look around for new and
>> exciting opportunities.
>>
>> When Sue left, she said that her decision process included looking around
>> and taking stock of the people and the condition of the Foundation, and
>> asking herself "Is it safe? If I leave, is it safe?" and when she knew it
>> was, she began to consider the idea.
>>
>> I've been doing the same, obviously focused on projects and programs that
>> are important to me.  And I look around and I know that with the
>> contributors that we have - brilliant, dedicated, passionate people and
>> the staff that we have - dynamic, talented, devoted, and fearless it's
>> safe.  So it's time for me to move on, and to leave it to them.
>>
>> As a housekeeping note:  I've agreed with Luis that I'll be available until
>> 9/15, though I'll be out on medical leave, so may be slow to answer
>> questions.  If I owe you something, please remind me so that we can get it
>> properly assigned out.
>>
>> You can all reach out to me at any time... phili...@beaudette.me and
>> any time I see you will be a celebration.
>>
>> With my deepest affection,
>>
>> Philippe
>>
>> *Philippe Beaudette * \\  Director, Community Advocacy \\ Wikimedia
>> Foundation, Inc.
>> T: 1-415-839-6885 x6643 |  phili...@wikimedia.org  |  :  @Philippewiki
>> <https://twitter.com/Philippewiki>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] On historical event / WMRS Microgrants 2014

2014-07-16 Thread Kevin Gorman
Congratulations to all involved, this is quite an auspicious start to a
project with a really remarkable amount of promise.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM, Cornelius Kibelka jckibe...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Looks really nice. Could you send an update, when the files are uploaded?
 And a blog post would be wonderful :)

 Best!
 C.

 
 Cornelius Kibelka

 Twitter: @jaancornelius
 Mobile:+351-91-9860232 (Vodafone PT)
 German number currently offline




 On 16 July 2014 18:02, Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijs...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hoi,
  WOW
  Gerard
 
 
  On 16 July 2014 17:31, Milos Rancic mill...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   I am finally able to share with you the biggest benefit of WMRS
   Microgrants projects for this year. It's about cooperation with one
   very old institution, and it was necessary to wait for their formal
   letter.
  
   But first about the side effects of the Microgrants project...
  
   When you are going outside and tell people that you are willing to
   support their projects, it could lead into interesting outcomes. It is
   important to understand possibilities which could be opened and catch
   them.
  
   We got one interesting proposal. It was about a long term project of
   making photos of one person. The project was very interesting, but it
   turned out that it's not suitable to be supported by Wikimedia, as
   well as the amount of needed money is so small, that I am able to fund
   it personally.
  
   However, that was not the end. That guy, an amateur photographer (with
   professional skills) is actually the top Serbian lector. He proofread
   the Orthography of Serbian language.
  
   He is also a lexicographer, working in Matica srpska [1].
  
   So, we met in my office. While drinking some alcohol, besides his own
   project, we were talking about the state of Serbian lexicography and
   culture in general.
  
   We were talking about Matica srpska, as well; about present financial
   state of the institution, which has money for salaries and the most
   important projects, but doesn't have for a number of projects.
  
   I had bold ideas, of course, but I was quite skeptical about rational
   possibility of cooperation between WMRS and Matica srpska. However, he
   convinced me that the president of MS is likely willing to cooperate
   and that we should talk about that.
  
   So he told me that he'll arrange the meeting with the president and
   that we should talk about that.
  
   Few weeks later I led WMRS delegation (our ED Mile and our program
   manager Ivana were in the delegation) to the initial talks with MS.
  
   I think we were talking two hours. And I am quite confident to tell
   you that on June 20th, 2014 happened one historical event, not just
   for Wikimedia Serbia, but also for Serbian culture and free knowledge.
  
   I wasn't able to talk about this till today, when we got formal letter
   from MS, which summarize our meeting and emphases their commitment to
   accessibility of knowledge to as much people as it's possible.
  
   If you are in Slavic culture in general, you should know what Matica
   srpska is. As the most of you are not, here is the story in short...
  
   MS is the oldest cultural and scientific institution in Serbia. They
   are the main lexicographical and encyclopedistic institution in
   Serbia. It isn't easily comparable with large cultures, but,
   basically, if we don't count independent institutions, 90% of
   dictionaries and the most important encyclopedias have been created
   inside of MS or with MS as the leader of the project.
  
   We share one important trait with the institutions like MS is. It's
   about long term goals. We want to start cooperation and develop it.
   So, we are starting with cooperation slowly. During the next year our
   goal is to liberate two dictionaries. One is ornithological, the other
   one covers dialects of Vojvodina.
  
   That's just the beginning, of course. Their editions are the main
   dictionaries of Serbian language and we'll discuss the next year about
   the steps toward liberating them. They are also in charge for creation
   of national encyclopedia, but it has its own Board and during the next
   months we should start talking with the Board, as well.
  
   The significance of this cooperation for Wikimedia is that we are at
   the beginning of the first close relations with one main national
   cultural institution, which focus is creating dictionaries and
   encyclopedias. They share our goals, as well as they want to cooperate
   with us.
  
   And it's not just about liberating content because we will help it
   financially. It's their commitment, as well. They want to share their
   content on Internet. With our (technological, licensing etc.) help,
   they will become the institution which shares their content by
   default, no matter if we are involved or not.
  
   I know that this story is not applicable in many cases. It's not
   rational

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Internet archive and strategy survey (was Re: 24 TB for User:Dispenser on Tool Labs please)

2014-07-07 Thread Kevin Gorman
James, I think you may have missed the part of my message about and are
willing to work with us to address concerns we may have about their
existing services :)

In any case, given that the IA in general is way more eager to test the
boundaries of copyright law and given that they (through Brewster) have
much deeper pockets to handle any legal challenges that do come up, I
cannot really imagine a situation where a situation that the IA considered
too legally risky to consider would be anything approaching a good choice
for the WMF.


On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 2:42 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
wrote:

  IA's legality in general has apparently never been tested in court,

 A bit too generic a statement; I assume you're talking only of the
 legality of giving public access to Wayback copyright-eligible all
 rights reserved content.
 IA follows a standard which is designed to avoid litigation:
 http://www2.sims.berkeley.edu/research/conferences/aps/removal-policy.html
 Until the Oakland Archive Policy is supersed, they're not going to
 change their policies. Is there an alternative standard that one (e.g.
 Wikimedia) could adopt? If not, who's going to make one? Probably
 netpreserve.org and IFLA would need to be involved at least.

 Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 24 TB for User:Dispenser on Tool Labs please

2014-07-06 Thread Kevin Gorman
Regarding the IA: they have a significant interest in working with the
Wikimedia projects, a lot more experience than the Wikimedia projects have
caching absolutely tremendous quantities of data, a willinness to handle a
degree of legal risk that would be inappropriate for the Wikimedia projects
to take on, and a willingness to adapt their services to better fit our
needs (even when it rquires engineering time ) A large chunk of the
infrastructure needed to do something like this is already in place on
their end, and they're willing to work with Wikimedia projects to ensure it
is actively useful for us.  Because of the source of their financing and
mission, they're pretty much guaranteed to stay around for the long term,
which is certainly important in us considering a partner.  I've spoken with
them about various Wikimedia-collaborations before (including meetings at
WMF's offices,) and would be more than happy to either act as a liaison
with them about this or to simply make appropriate introductions.

To me, at first glance at least, partnering with an established
organization that has the financing, desire, technical skills to pull this
off without much of a hitch, and has already built out much of the required
infrastucture, seems likely to be a better idea than trying to establish
the capability ourselves from the ground up (especially when the total
amount of storage this will need is _greater_ than the total amount of
storage than toolserver, across all projects, had.)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk
wrote:

 On 4 July 2014 01:00, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
   I don't think it's a donation if you're getting something (a survey)
 in return.
 
  How could the Foundation possibly not benefit from understanding
  contributors' opinions about general strategic goals for improving
  participation?
 
  I also want development of accuracy review. If there are any reasons
  that the Foundation would not benefit from that, the survey, or a
  reflinks cache which includes enough room to fit a category adjacency
  map in, then please bring them to my attention.

 The survey *again*? Oh, dear. It was a bad idea before, and it's still
 a bad idea when we're bribed into agreeing to it with hardware
 donations.

 James, this is getting a bit sad to see. You've raised this idea of a
 political issues survey a dozen or more times on the mailing list over
 a couple of years, and the responses tend to be along the lines of
 no, that's inappropriate or no, that's irrelevant, both from the
 community and from Foundation staffers; at least one person honestly
 seemed to think it was satirical!

 I don't think these responses were particularly ambiguous, so it's a
 bit odd that you seem to think that people haven't clearly explained
 why it's a bad idea.

 See, eg,

 http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070583.html
 http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-April/070937.html

 Almost every issue on that political survey is irrelevant to most of
 our work - I suppose you could make a case for metropolitan
 broadband, which might be relevant - and irrelevant to the specific
 question of volunteer participation.

 To take a straw poll on whether a few people in the community prefer
 steeply progressive taxation to school class size reduction, and
 then use that as justification to divert resources into one or the
 other those topics, is frankly insulting to our donors and volunteers,
 who have signed up to support something entirely different and nothing
 to do with either of them. It also arrogantly presumes a lot about
 other people's political and economic beliefs which I find somewhat
 disquieting - why are you so confident that Wikipedians are *for* all
 of these things?

 Wikimedia has a goal we have chosen to adopt and a general method we
 have developed to try and achieve it. That method does not involve
 engineering massive external changes in order to produce long-term
 second or third-order effects that *might*, in some undefined fashion,
 lead to incidental benefits towards the goal in a decade or three.

 Those changes may be *good* in and of themselves - in most cases, I'd
 agree they would be, and I think our community would broadly tend to
 agree as well - but bringing them about is simply not what Wikimedia
 was set up to do and it's not what people have given money and time to
 support. Why not throw WMF's efforts at cancer treatment or clean-air
 programs? Or climate-change campaigns? All great things and need all
 the support they can get, and they'd probably have as much effect on
 user activity as data-centre energy efficiency... which is to say,
 very little direct impact.

 Put it from the other perspective: we should try and work on (or at
 least identify!) things which might directly affect the problem of
 participation, rather than trying to solve all the world's political
 and economic

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Please be considerate of everyone's time.

2014-06-16 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Ed -

Though I'm not sure what your area of specialty is offhand, I'd point you
towards the Wiki Education Foundation and the US Education Program.
 Although the program has a bit of a checkered history, I feel like it's
starting to come together quite well, and it does have the direct aim of
improving the quality of our content in areas that are currently lacking.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 6:22 AM, edward edw...@logicmuseum.com wrote:

 On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 4:12 AM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi all,
 
 As I scanned through the weekend emails on this list I noticed that
 many of
 you are ready to get back to discussing the goals we are all working
 on. I
 am really glad to see that. We have plenty of interesting projects to
 discuss without the gossip. Let's respect the time that many following
 this
 list are donating to the project by sticking to constructive, on topic
 matters.
 
 And for starters: the Wikipedia Android Beta app is in store and is
 awaiting your comments.
 


 I don't know what an Android Beta app is. Could I ask if there are any
 plans by WMF to address some of the content problems in Wikipedia?  Pretty
 much any article in my specialist area (which is actually not all that
 specialist) has serious problems - gross factual errors, omissions, bias
 and so on.  I know from other specialists that this is not just restricted
 to my area: economics, sociology, many areas of the arts and humanities
 have similar problems.

 This is not just a Wikimedia issue, it's a public interest issue.
 Wikipedia is now the go-to place for knowledge for pretty much everyone in
 the world. I don't see how WMF is fulfilling its mission (empowering people
 to collect and develop and disseminate educational content under a free
 license) when the content isn't actually educational.

 Regards

 Ed




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms

2014-06-11 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Pine -

It's worth noting that although Bill was one of the primary architects of
this and deserves quite a bit of credit for that imho, it has effects far
beyond just him and his own clients.  There's an awful lot of big PR firms
on the list of participating agencies, including Edelman,
Burson-Marsteller, FleishmanHillard, and Ogilvy. A significant chunk of the
US-based PR industry has signed on to this - I think one of the more
interesting questions in coming months will be figuring out whether or not
we actually have the volunteer bandwidth to have a significant chunk of the
PR industry playing by our current rules.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 12:29 AM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 I appreciate this, WWB, especially after the grilling I gave you about
 proposed edits to the Hedge fund article! The fact that you and your
 clients are persistent, willing to be open about your associations, and
 willing to abide by Wikimedia's CoI's standards even if it makes adding
 content take a lot longer, is a big plus. I hope you, your clients, and
 Wikipedia will mutually benefit from this in the long run.

 Pine

 Pine


 On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM, Bishakha Datta bishakhada...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 12:05 AM, William Beutler 
  williambeut...@gmail.com
  wrote:
 
   Hi, everybody. Longtime lurker, first time writing to the list—the
 first
  in
   a few years at least.
  
   You may have seen some news coverage today about an initiative from a
  group
   of public relations, marketing, and communications agencies offering a
   statement, posted as a user essay on Wikipedia, stating in a public way
   their intention to follow Wikipedia's rules—especially regarding
  WP:COI—to
   educate themselves more about Wikipedia, and educate their colleagues
 and
   clients in turn.
  
  
  Thank you for posting this. It was a pleasant surprise and seems like a
  sound and constructive approach to this issue.
 
  Best
  Bishakha
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms

2014-06-10 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

I was invited to the meeting Bill refers to, but unfortunately unable to
attend.  I've talked to a number of the participants though, and would like
to stress that this is, well, er, not a joke.  The PR-side people involved
in this are sincere in what they state, and I genuinely believe that this
is probably the best opportunity we've had to establish a working
relationship with the PR industry that preserves the integrity of our
encyclopedia while avoiding stuff like Bell Pottinger, Wiki-PR, and all the
low level constant PR manipulation that occurs throughout our sites that
we've ever been presented with.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM, William Beutler williambeut...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Hi, everybody. Longtime lurker, first time writing to the list—the first in
 a few years at least.

 You may have seen some news coverage today about an initiative from a group
 of public relations, marketing, and communications agencies offering a
 statement, posted as a user essay on Wikipedia, stating in a public way
 their intention to follow Wikipedia's rules—especially regarding WP:COI—to
 educate themselves more about Wikipedia, and educate their colleagues and
 clients in turn.

- Here's the statement on Wikipedia:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Statement_on_Wikipedia_from_participating_communications_firms#Participating_agencies
- Here's a good treatment of the subject from PR Week:

 http://www.prweek.com/article/1297798/pr-firms-outline-wikipedia-compliance-joint-statement
- Here's a good blog post from Phil Gomes (User:Philgomes) about his
agency's participation in it:
http://www.edelman.com/post/todays-multi-agency-wikipedia-statement/

 This is a project I've led for a few months now, following a meeting in DC
 in February, bringing together a number of big agency representatives with
 individuals from the Wikipedia community, and some with academic
 backgrounds. These included User:Ocaasi, User:Harej, and User:Fuzheado.
 Some who watch this list may well have been invited as well, and while I'd
 love to have had a bigger group, the conversation that day was very good,
 and has led us to this point.

 We're also very mindful that this was only one step—as User:Pigsonthewing
 has reminded me, not the first such step—but I think it could be a good
 one. U.S. agencies going on the record as pledging to follow Wikipedia's
 rules is a new thing, and we hope can renew this conversation.

 Following this message you'll find the statement in full, and a list of all
 agencies (and other organizations) signed to it, as well as names +
 usernames of the representative from each.

 Cheers,
 Bill (User:WWB / User:WWB Too)

 +++

 *Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms*

 On behalf of our firms, we recognize Wikipedia's unique and important role
 as a public knowledge resource. We also acknowledge that the prior actions
 of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the
 community of Wikipedia editors.

 Our firms believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and
 Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing
 an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for
 communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of
 ethical engagement practices.

 We therefore publicly state and commit, on behalf of our respective firms,
 to the best of our ability, to abide by the following principles:

- To seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding
Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
- To act in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines,
particularly those related to conflict of interest.
- To abide by the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use.
- To the extent we become aware of potential violations of Wikipedia
policies by our respective firms, to investigate the matter and seek
corrective action, as appropriate and consistent with our policies.
- Beyond our own firms, to take steps to publicize our views and counsel
our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.
- We also seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue
with Wikipedia editors, inasmuch as we can provide accurate, up-to-date,
and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its
 goals.

 A significant improvement in relations between our two communities may not
 occur quickly or easily, but it is our intention to do what we can to
 create a long-term positive change and contribute toward Wikipedia's
 continued success.

 *Participating agencies*

- Beutler Ink (William Beutler, User:WWB + User:WWB Too)
- Ogilvy  Mather (Marshall Manson, User:Tmmanson)
- FleishmanHillard (Sam Huxley, User:SamHuxleyFH)
- Peppercomm (Sam Ford, User:Leumas712)
- Burson-Marsteller (Patrick Kerley, User:Patrick at Burson)
- Ketchum (Tim Weinheimer)
- Porter

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikiconference USA in the media

2014-06-07 Thread Kevin Gorman
Fae: if you didn't know, US chapters don't have any permanent paid
employees whatsoever, and only one temp contractor between either chapter -
and he was only hired a few days ago, and to help manage one specific
project. So no chapter employees from the US attended as employees, since
none exist. I'm not sure if any overseas chapter employees attended, but
even if they did, it would be a bit unusual for them to have directly
participated in planning the conference. I'm sure there was some WMF staff
overhead involved in handling the grant for the conference and for those
that attended, but doubt it was that hugely significant. I'm not sure where
you would get the idea that a high proportion of registered attendees were
WMF or chapter employees, let alone why you would think they handled most
of the conference prep.

-
Kevin Gorman
-sent from my mobile

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, Pharos pharosofalexand...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com javascript:;
 wrote:

 
  * What proportion of attendees were Wikimedia Chapter or Foundation
  contractors or employees and attending the conference could be
  considered part of their employment? *
  - At least one email here claimed that volunteers broke their backs
  running the conference, which seems to overlook that a high proportion
  of registered attendees were employees and probably did most of the
  preparation. I asked this question last year about another conference,
  it was never answered properly, as it was never measured. Again, this
  ought to be *a good thing* to report on, as our values are to keep the
  volunteer at the centre of everything we do and driving our movement
  rather than paying Executives six-figure sums to tell us what we
  should believe in.
 

 I would like to answer this question first, as it has a really simple
 answer.

 There were exactly 0 employees on the organizing committee, and exactly 0
 employees who did the preparation.

 This was an entirely volunteer-run conference.

 Thanks,
 Pharos



 
  On 07/06/2014, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com javascript:; wrote:
   Craig Franklin wrote:
  I think there's something of a lesson here for people: don't trust the
  press.
  
   The part of the piece I found most striking was that the author
 readily,
   and almost boastfully, admits to speaking to a minority of the
 minority
   of the minority, but she seems to have no issue using this very
 limited
   sample size to evaluate Wikipedia on the whole. Even if we assumed that
   there are 22,000 registered Wikipedians, is a sample size of five or
 six
   appropriate? If she meant 22,000,000, it seems like an even crazier
 leap.
  
   After re-reading the piece, I'd probably stand by a lot of it. It's
 not a
   great reflection of Wikipedia, but I also wouldn't call at least many
   parts of it inaccurate, per se, just crudely distorted and manipulated.
  
   The author used the tactic where you mention that Mandela was a
 convicted
   criminal that spent 27 years in prison, but fail to mention that he won
   the Nobel Peace Prize and was the revered president of South Africa.
  
   This tactic is an easy way to create a distorted, but technically
   accurate, impression. Some of the fine folks at Wikipediocracy are very
   good at employing this tactic as well. :-)
  
   MZMcBride
  
  
  
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  --
  fae...@gmail.com javascript:;
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
  Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikiconference USA in the media

2014-06-06 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Russavia -

Since the conference was funded through the PEG program, with the exception
of any WMF staff whose travel was funded by WMF (I don't know how many that
may include,) you can figure out the answer to how much did it cost to the
movement pretty ridiculously simply =p  Given the number of connections
that were made and future events that were generated, I suspect that, yes,
the conference was absolutely worth the money spent on it, although we
won't know that with surety until some of the planted collaborations have
an opportunity to actually be carried out.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Russavia wrote:
 As GerardM mentioned in the thread relating to the Berlin conference,
 wikiconferences are an opportunity for wikimedians to come together to
 share in knowledge.

 I attended WikiConference USA this year. It was a wonderful event and I
 was particularly impressed with the organizers' work. Congrats to all of
 them for a job well done!

 New York Magazine published an article on the conference which gives
 us great insight into everything that is wrong with the wiki
 culture.[1]

 I know for certain that there quite a few people who feel that you,
 Russavia, are actively damaging and degrading the wiki culture with your
 actions... perhaps the same would be said of me and others, though I hope
 not.

 Out of curiosity, what was the total cost to the movement for this
 knowledge sharing opportunity, and do people consider it money well
 spent given the golden sound bytes the conference generated in the
 media?
 
 [1] http://nym.ag/1urkXlD

 In the medium, you mean? You've only linked to one story, a story that
 happens to conveniently link to a press release about a certain banned
 editor. Interesting. :-)

 This article also seems to make some strange claims; e.g., the article
 claims that there are only 22,000 registered Wikipedians. Given where it
 links to, what it discusses, and the seeming inaccuracy of facts it
 includes, I'm not sure how much this piece should be trusted.

 MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia movement affiliates liaisons

2014-05-29 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Bence -

I'd encourage you to not really factor in 'could this help someone get a
quick grant and run?' in to  your decisionmaking processes. The FDC
requires a multiyear track record of successful largescale program
implementation before considering a grant, and I'd think if a UG had that
strong a track record, their track record would speak for itself (actually,
are UG's eligible for FDC grants? I don't know offhand.)  The GAC doesn't
require any formal recognition whatsoever, and we've pretty regularly given
grants to individuals, groups of people with no official status,
mission-aligned but non-Wikimedia orgs, and all sorts of Wikimedia orgs.
 Speaking entirely for myself, I don't think that being a recognized UG (or
equally, not being one,) would effect my recommendation about whether or
not to approve a PEG grant whatsoever.

I suspect the same is true for most other active GAC members given the
relatively low bar required for UG status - we'll be paying way more
attention at the details of the grant and the applicant(s) than on whether
they have AffCom recognition.  I'd definitely rather give a grant to four
well-established Wikimedians with no official status than four less
well-established Wikimedians who happen to be a recognized user group all
things being equal, and I suspect the same is true of other GAC members.
 We definitely take people's previous histories in to account when
considering whether or not to make a grant, but I don't think being an
officially recognized user group would make a  group of people meaningfully
more likely to get a grant than a group of people with an equivalent track
record without that status.

Although usually some form of history with the projects - or at least a
strong endorsement from someone with a solid history with the projects - is
needed to secure a sizable grant, we give out grants to individuals, groups
of individuals that are not officially recognized, organizations aligned
with our values that don't have Wikimedia affiliate status, and all kinds
of other entities all the time, and I've never heard a GAC member express
reservations about a particular grant based on whether or not a group of
people were a recognized UG or not.  Moreover, I'd be pretty surprised to
hear someone do so.

We'd love to receive any and every solid proposal for a mission aligned
grant, whether it comes from an individual, a group of three friends, a
recognized usergroup, or a chapter or thorg that doesn't yet qualify for
FDC funding (or that seeks funding for a project that the GAC can grant
that the FDC can't - political advocacy is the only thing that comes to
mind.) If anyone reading this who has a cool idea that can be facilitated
by a PEG grant and advance the Wikimedia mission,  Please come visit us :)
 We approve most grants that we deal with, and work hard with applicants to
get grants in to approvable states if they aren't initially so:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 12:52 PM, Carlos M. Colina ma...@wikimedia.org.ve
wrote:

 Hi Leigh,

 As Greg just said it, we are all aware that your application has more
 complications. We are doing the best we can to speed the process up, but
 the AffCom is not the only actor involved in our investigations, as it is
 with other cases. We also know that you have included the WMF Board on your
 communications, and let me remind you that WUG recognitions do not depend
 on the WMF Board, as the AffCom has a mandate from it to recognize those
 groups seeking to affiliate. -and more than that, there are two Board
 Liaisons on the AffCom mailing list, so all the communication between us
 has been read by them. I don't think is necessary to send two copies of the
 same e-mail to the same people :-)

 M.

 El 29/05/2014 10:31 p.m., Leigh Thelmadatter escribió:

  We have been doing all of that including the board members for a year
 now. This is the first bit of information Ive had from you in months.  This
 seems to work a lot faster.



  Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 15:28:49 -0400
 From: gregory.var...@gmail.com
 To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
 Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia movement affiliates liaisons

 As Leigh and people who follow this list and others know, the Wiki
 Borregos
 application has more complications. I do not think rehashing that on this
 public list is the best way to resolve that. Leigh, we are discussing it
 actively now, and you are welcome to email us for an update. You are
 welcome to CC a couple of board members if you feel that will help the
 process along.

 -greg
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 2015 strategic plan

2014-05-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
I don't think that it's meant to imply that the entire next strategic plan
will focus on agility, only that one of our strategic priorities is likely
to be building a greater capacity to rapidly react to unexpected
developments than we've had in the past. So - reacting quickly and
accurately when necessary as a priority, but certainly not the whole plan.
 (I can't speak for WMF, but I'd be pretty surprised if they intended their
whole plan to focus on agility.)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:45 AM, rupert THURNER
rupert.thur...@gmail.comwrote:

 Am 28.05.2014 09:31 schrieb ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com:
 
  Hi, can someone with knowledge of WMF's thinking expand on this statement
 from Lila?
 
  Starting the process for our next strategic planning exercise, which
 will be different from last time, and focused on improving our ability to
 react quickly and adjust as necessary to opportunities and challenges.
 
  Is this implying that the entire strategic plan will focus on agility, or
 that agility will be a priority in the next strategic plan?

 _that_ is a real pleasure to hear ... and if the basic principles are set
 and with them it is assured no quick jumping left, jumping right happens
 before things get a chance to properly mature it would be even more
 pleasure.

 Rupert
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A personal note.

2014-05-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
... I wish I kept more up to date on this set of threads and had stepped in
to say something sooner.  I'm going to go ahead and say that I agree with
Pete that at this juncture the most beneficial course of action would
probably be for Wil to back this set of discussions for at least a few
days, if necessary even by putting Wil on temporary moderation as bizarre
as that sounds.  Wil: I'm going to type a private email after I send this
to you, and I promise the last thing I desire is to shut you up - you're
just currently running through a minefield with no map, and it would be
much better if you had a map before continuing.

Kevin Gorman



On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:

 You *can't* be serious. Now I'm *really* starting to get the idea that
 you guys just want to shut me up. And you're using the fact that I'm
 actually being very open about something to justify it. This is
 extremely worrying if everyone else on this list agrees with you.

 ,Wil

 On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:45 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  l:
 
  I don't know the first thing about the alleged safety concerns discussed
 on
  IRC, but the following quote is troubling to me:
 
  On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:
 
  She replied a WMF employee emailed me that there are safety
  concerns,
 
 
  It seems that Wil has chosen to repeat something that was said privately,
  about personal safety, in a public forum. It seems likely to me that this
  kind of choice would tend to *increase* potential danger, not decrease
 it.
 
  I'd like to suggest that Wil's access to this email list be blocked, at
  least as a temporary measure. I think his behavior here has been reckless
  in a number of ways. This is no judgment on him as a person, but I do
 think
  we need to protect this list from further flooding.
 
  I don't know much about the precedents for list access removal, but I
  suspect that consensus among active Wikimedians would be pretty strong at
  this point. Can anybody comment on what would be necessary to make this
  happen?
 
  Pete
  [[User:Peteforsyth]]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A personal note.

2014-05-28 Thread Kevin Gorman
Wil: nothing anyone is saying here is aimed at discrediting you, you've
just jumped in to a field of landmines without a map, and we'd rather not
have you blow your legs off.  I'll have a private email incoming to you as
fast as I can type it but given that the deputy director of the WMF and
several respected Wikimedians have said things may be better if you back
off a bit, it would probably good to extend us the trust necessary to give
you a map of the field of landmines you've jumped in to.

---
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:

 I didn't really mention anything specifically, except a leader who
 could change the concerning aspects of the WP community. It has been
 WMF's stated goal to change things like the participation of women on
 WP for years. I suppose it would be most accurate to say that I meant
 the things that the WMF has been very publicly trying to change about
 the community and WP for years now. I believe these goals are shared
 by Lila, but we haven't really discussed them.

 You know, that's strange. Everything you guys are adding to this
 thread could be used to discredit me in the eyes of various parts of
 the community. I really hope that isn't the case, but it wouldn't
 change my behavior if it were. I encourage everyone to read these
 threads and make up their minds for themselves. Keep in mind that some
 of the characterizations of what people have said haven't been
 substantiated yet. Maybe some more evidence will come to light on this
 thread.

 Thanks.
 ,Wil

 On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:44 PM, Jasper Deng jas...@jasperswebsite.com
 wrote:
  I mean, you referred to Lila as a potential source of change in the
  community's problems in your email right before mine on this thread. If
 you
  meant the community of the wikis, I'm just saying that it wouldn't really
  be kosher according to our current practices.
 
 
  On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:
 
  Yes, we did talk on IRC. But what are you referring to? I wasn't
  referring to you anywhere. I don't even remember talking about WMF's
  role in the community. I guess if you have a log of that part of the
  conversation, you should post it now. I may have a log in my own
  client, if you don't mind my posting it.
 
  I think it's becoming abundantly clear why I think it's best if I
  don't interact with WMF employees in private.
 
  ,Wil
 
  On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:31 PM, Jasper Deng jas...@jasperswebsite.com
 
  wrote:
   Wil, we talked about this on IRC, so I won't repeat what I said. But
  what I
   did *not* say is that the foundation tends to let the community do
 what
  it
   wants, and it would be against that long-standing tradition for staff
 to
   try to force a change in the community.
  
   On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Wil Sinclair w...@wllm.com wrote:
  
   First off, I said that about Greg, and I firmly believe it. He's
   uncovered many controversies at Wikipedia. In fact, his article was
   the first to be critical of Lila's appointment, and- save the rather
   petty comment about airline fees at the end- was pretty on-point.
 That
   doesn't mean that I agree with everything Greg says, just that I
   personally am glad someone is saying it. He added *Wil Sinclair*,
   Partner of Lila Tretikov (Wikimedia Foundation executive director);
   I'd prefer he just leave it at Wil Sinclair, but it's really his
   call on what he puts on his own site.
  
   Now, I don't know what Lila thinks of this- and I don't want to know-
   but I would really like to understand if there is a chance for any
   leader to change the concerning aspects of the WP community at this
   point. I know that if there is, it's likely to be a very strong,
   charismatic leader like Lila. But if there isn't, then so be it and
   it's better to know now. And I'm pretty sure that if the community
   here wants positive change, it has to be ready to talk about the hard
   problems- no matter who brings them up. Whatever happens, Lila is
   going to land on her feet; no one need worry about her. But, again,
   that's all just my opinion.
  
   I know you didn't ask me for a response, but this mail is all about
 me
   so I felt justified chiming in. Thanks for (intentionally) taking it
   to the list this time. :)
  
   ,Wil
  
   On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com
 
   wrote:
Dear Lila,
   
I think many of us are interested in how you will engage with the
   Wikimedia
community, what kind of outcomes you will seek, and what kind of
  tactics
you will employ in seeking those outcomes.
   
Can you please clarify whether you believe it is possible for
 somebody
   with
a close connection to you to influence public perceptions in
disproportionate, and significant, ways? If so, do you consider it
 a
legitimate option for you to (privately) assert your right to
  establish
yourself in your new position

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announceme​nt by the Supervisor​y Board of Wikimedia Deutschlan​d

2014-05-19 Thread Kevin Gorman
Thank you Pavel for your service to the projects and your time spent at
WMDE. I hope you choose to stick around the Wikimedia projects moving
forward, even if in a somewhat lower key role than you reviously held.
 Five years is quite a lot of time - and stress - for someone to hold an
executive directorship of an organization undergoing such rapid growth and
change.

Best wishes,
Kevin Gorman



On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 5:21 AM, Nikolas Becker nikolas.bec...@wikimedia.de
 wrote:

 Dear all,

 Pavel Richter has been Wikimedia Deutschland’s Executive Director since
 2009. Over the course of the past five years he has established an
 organizational structure that serves as a solid basis for Wikimedia
 Deutschland’s free knowledge mission.

 For quite some time the Supervisory Board has been striving for a different
 strategic course for Wikimedia Deutschland, which will be illustrated by
 the strategy paper to be introduced at the coming general assembly. The
 Supervisory Board has come to the conclusion that it will not be able to
 implement this paper with the current Executive Director. Thus, the
 Supervisory Board and the Executive Director have agreed on jointly shaping
 a well-ordered transition.

 The association and Pavel Richter have agreed on a mutual separation to
 take place. There will be talks regarding the modalities of an amicable
 arrangement. On behalf of the Supervisory Board of Wikimedia Deutschland I
 would like to thank Pavel for his very good work and for both the
 professionalism and passion with which he has shaped the development of
 Wikimedia Deutschland.

 Nikolas Becker for the Supervisory Board of Wikimedia Deutschland

 Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.

 Tempelhofer Ufer 23/24
 10963 Berlin

 www.wikimedia.de

 Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
 Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
 der Nummer 23855 B.
 Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin,
 Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-16 Thread Kevin Gorman
I should state that I haven't fully kept up to date on this thread; I
managed to give myself a concussion this week and have been limiting the
amount of time spent on activities that are mentally intensive.  I decided
to pop in and check on how it was going though, and after seeing Russavia's
friendly there-are-no-problems-with-commons-culture tone in his last post,
I figured I'd pop in and ask a question of Russavia (which he refused to
answer on-wiki.)

Russavia: one of your recent comments at a deletion discussion (here: [1])
looks an awful lot like you think that labelling a group of identifiable,
living people as engaged in prostitution related activities with no
evidence other than their location is perfectly acceptable and not a
violation of [[COM:IDENT]] or the board BLP resolution.  To me, labelling a
group of identifiable, living people as engaged in prostitution related
activities with no evidence other than their location is a strong violation
of both COM:IDENT, and the board's BLP resolution.  Most of the other
Wikimedians I've shown your comment to have interpreted it in the same way
I have. (You said that labelling a group of identifiable, living people as
engaged in prostitution related activities was apt because they were in
an area known to have a lot of sex work.  Given my understanding of the
word, that means you thought it was appropriate/suitable - apt is
definitely not a word I'd use to describe a BLP violation.  Just in case
I'd misunderstood what the word meant, I took a look at MW and the OED,
both of which indicated that no,I really hadnt.)

a) Have I accurately interpreted your comment?  If I haven't, would you
mind clarifying your intent as you refused to do on-wiki so those confused
about what you meant are able to understand what you meant?
b) Do you believe that walking away from an active on-wiki discussion
refusing to explain what you meant by a comment some took as highly
questionable is in line with what should be expected of sysops on major
projects?

Here's the comment in question reproduced for those who don't want to click
through:
Carrer de Sant Ramon in El Raval, Barcelona is notorious for being one of
the worst places in Barcelona for street prostitution, and this is also
acknowledged in local Catalan press. The uploader has done the right thing
in applying cover to the eyes of the people, and no individual person is
being named as a prostitute, but given that this street is known for
daylight prostitution, the name of the file and its description is apt.
However, prostitutes in the street do not generally like their photographs
to be taken. I am not opining delete on the basis of the nomination but
rather for very different reasons. Inline
withCommons:Country_specific_consent_requirements, in Spain one requires
permission to both take a photograph and publish the photograph when it is
taken in a public place, and there is no evidence that this was obtained by
the uploader. So on that basis, and that basis alone, it's a firm delete.

-
Kevin Gorman
(Since I cut/pasted Russavia's comment directly, one of the links to
Youtube he posted may attach to this email, and I don't currently see the
right button to turn that off.)


On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:03 PM, John Mark Vandenberg jay...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  We're getting a long way off topic of the still frame on MOTD, but I
  agree, and wish that the WMF would make this a priority for their
  multimedia and search team.
  Many improvements have been suggested by the community, and both sides
  of the fence have even agreed on some of them, such as clustered
  search results:
 
 
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Controversial_content/Brainstorming#Clustering_for_search_results_on_Commons
  https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35701

 First, as general background, WMF recently started migrating its
 search infrastructure over to ElasticSearch. See:

 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Search
 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:CirrusSearch

 The new search is available on Commons as a BetaFeature. It's worth
 looking at search results that are viewed as problematic through the
 new search and compare. For example, the results for Asian are
 markedly different in the new search.

 I would caution against a simplistic characterization of technology as
 a solution for what's inherently a complex socio-technical problem.
 That was a core issue with the image filter proposal and it's a
 similar issue here. If people insist on uploading pictures of
 masturbation with toothbrushes, those pictures will come up in
 searches. If we insist on not having a distinction between explicit
 and non-explicit materials in file metadata, search results won't have
 it either. We can point the finger at technology because that's easy,
 but it's not magical pixie dust.

 To get a feel for ElasticSearch's capabilities, please see the help
 page above

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-16 Thread Kevin Gorman
Russavia -

It would be pretty easy to go No, I didn't mean to imply that it was okay
to label a group of identifiable living people as prostitutes based on the
street they happened to be standing on, which, for some odd reason, you've
refused to do both on and off-wiki.  This has obviously gotten
significantly away from the topic of the original thread, but would it
comfort you if I asked one of the non-concussed people who interpreted your
comment in the exact same way I did to pose the same question to you here?

It doesn't exactly look awesome to make what is, charitably, an easy to
misinterpret statement, and then refuse to clarify the intent of your
statement on a project you're a sysop on.


Kevin Gorman


On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 1:12 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.comwrote:

 Kevin,

 Let me know when you have recovered from the concussion you have
 incurred, which I hope is soon and I hope you are getting better, and
 then I would urge you to re-look at the issues and re-present them,
 and I would be more than happy to discuss publicly right here.

 It would be unfair of you to expect me to be able to comment frankly
 (which is my preferred way) right now, when what you are writing here,
 on Commons, and in the comments section of Pete's blog post may not be
 Kevin Gorman, Wikipedian-in-Residence at UC Berkeley, but Kevin
 Gorman, the guy who has received a nasty knock to the head.

 Until then, I would prefer not to comment further.

 Cheers,

 Russavia

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-13 Thread Kevin Gorman
Pierre, if you could point out to where exactly I've insulted a volunteer I
don't know, it would be appreciated.  As someone who has been significantly
active in meta-discussions about Commons, and at times significantly active
on Commons, and who has monitored all traffic on all Wikimedia mailing
lists (or at least 95% of it) for the last three years as well as a
significant portion of traffic on individual projects, I'm also going to
have to disagree with the idea that I know nothing about Commons :)  Having
looked back over my posts here, the closest I see is implicitly suggesting
that Russavia might be snarky, and suggesting that people with advanced
privileges on Commons, as a whole, have frequently exercised less than
ideal judgement, as well as an incidental use of a profanity on my part
(when interacting in multiple contexts at once, I don't always context
switch appropriately.)  The first two things which could be conceived as
insults (I suppose) are first and foremost true, and secondarily I'm sure
that Russavia can deal having it suggested that he might, sometimes, be
kind of snarky.


Kevin Gorman


On Tue, May 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM, Pierre-Selim pierre-se...@huard.infowrote:

 How about you shut your mouth and stop insulting volunteer from other
 projects that you just don't know. Really that would spare a lot of time to
 everyone here on this mailing list.


 2014-05-13 21:39 GMT+02:00 Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com:

  Pete: there's not really any point in making this thread a laundry list
 of
  times that admins and crats on commons fucked up vs times they didn't
 fuck
  up.  There are plenty of historical decisions on Commons that I agree
  wholeheartedly with. There have even been cases where I advanced
 arguments
  in deletion nominations that I honestly didn't expect to be accepted that
  were, including one instance where someone who initially voted keep took
  the time to go ahead and read the laws of the country the photograph was
  taken in w/r/t identifiable people and changed his vote.  Instances like
  that are absolutely commendable, but they're also far from universal.
   Admins and crats on commons have also historically made a large number
 of
  decisions that fly in the face of WMF board resolutions, often
 repeatedly.
   Commons doesn't speak with a unified voice, but people with advanced
  userrights on Commons do speak with a louder voice than the rest of the
  community, in that they have the ostensible authority to actually carry
 out
  their actions. A project where people with advanced userrights fairly
  regularly make decisions that fly in the face of WMF board resolutions
 and
  are not censured by their peers is a project with problems.
 
  David: I haven't seen anyone assert that the image in question isn't a
  violation of the principle of least astonishment.  I've seen several
 people
  suggest the image was acceptable for other reasons.  If you can
 articulate
  a reasonable (i.e., not full of snark and one that indicates you've read
 at
  least most of the ongoing discussion) argument that putting the image in
  question on Commons frontpage (and the frontpage of numerous other
 projects
  in the process,) is not a violation of the principle of least
 astonishment,
  I'd love to hear it.  Especially if you craft your argument to recognize
  the fact that the image was both displayed on projects that didn't speak
  any of the languages it was captioned in, and given that most Wikimedia
  viewers can't actually play our video formats.  I guess you could argue
  that the resolution only says that the board supports the POLA rather
  than requires it, but that's a rather weak argument for putting a grainy
  black and white stack of dead corpses linking to a video many can't play
  that's only captioned in a handful of langauges on the frontpage of a
  project that serves projects in 287 different languages.
 
  
  Kevin Gorman
 
 
  On Tue, May 13, 2014 at 12:14 AM, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com
 wrote:
 
   On 13 May 2014 05:04, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:
  
No, Russavia: I'm not suggesting that Commons' policies should mirror
   those
of ENWP.  I'm suggesting that Commons should have a process in place
  that
ensures that it follows the clearly established resolutions of the
 WMF
board, which I would remind you *do* trump local policy.  This
  particular
incident failed to do so, and it's not the first time that such a
 thing
   has
occurred on Commons.
  
  
   See, there you're asserting that this is a slam-dunk violation, and
   it's really clear just from this thread that it really isn't. Your
   personal feelings are not the determinant of Wikimedia comment, and
   won't become so through repetition.
  
  
   - d.
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-12 Thread Kevin Gorman
No, Russavia: I'm not suggesting that Commons' policies should mirror those
of ENWP.  I'm suggesting that Commons should have a process in place that
ensures that it follows the clearly established resolutions of the WMF
board, which I would remind you *do* trump local policy.  This particular
incident failed to do so, and it's not the first time that such a thing has
occurred on Commons.  I would suggest further that if a process that brings
Commons in to compliance with WMF board resolutions is not designed and
implemented by the next time this occurs, Commons will likely either be
forced to rapidly adopt a process to address the problem, or, if reluctant
to do so, is likely to have stewards step in to ensure that WMF board
resolutions are not flagrantly disregarded.  Neither of those are ideal
outcomes for anyone involved.  Commons as a community is generally pretty
hardline anti-anything-that-could-be-perceived as censorship, which is
absolutely fine.  However, ignoring WMF board resolutions - repeatedly -
especially with no justification other than OMG THIS IS CENSORSHIP is not
absolutely fine.  If you view my initial post here as an incoherent rant as
you've described it elsewhere, I'd suggest you read it again.

I'm absolutely happy to help with setting up a process that ensures that
ridiculous stuff like this doesn't happen in the future, and intend to
participate in on-wiki discussions trying to set up such a process.  I will
admit that I'm doubtful Commons is willing to comply with resolutions of
the WMF board - at least not without putting up a hell of a fight - since
the last time I came to Commons and started some deletion nominations based
on the fact that the media in question violated multiple WMF board
resolutions, although my deletion nominations were pretty consistently
upheld, at least one commons admin suggested in seriousness that a more
appropriate resolution to the situation would simply be indeffing me from
the project rather than conforming to the WMF Board's resolutions about
media which involves identifiable people.


Kevin Gorman


On Sun, May 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.comwrote:

 Kevin,

 On Sun, May 11, 2014 at 6:54 AM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hi Pete -
 
  I was using oversight rather loosely to mean there's a body of people
  looking over the process sufficient to catch any terrific fumbles before
  they get out of the gate, rather than any stricter sense of the term.  I
  view the scrutiny of a reasonable number of other Wikimedians as a form
 of
  oversight, even without a hierarchical structure in place.  I would say
  that ITN or DYK on ENWP have reasonable oversight (although it certainly
  sometimes fails,) but don't view a process that needs 1-2 people to
 promote
  something to a highly viewed mainpage as having reasonable oversight.


 You seem to be suggesting that:

 1) Commons should follow the lead of English Wikipedia and,
 2) Commons should become as self-censored as what English Wikipedia has
 become.

 Several years ago, I 5x expanded the article for Fucking[1] and I nominated
 it for DYK.[2] The article had the potential to be the most viewed DYK of
 all time, but instead of being placed as the lead hook, it was buried at
 the bottom. When I asked about it possibly being the lead hook, I was told
 that it was up to any individual to promote hooks, and that it should be
 taken up with them. I remember getting a response that it would be
 inappropriate to have foul language (or a photo thereof) visible like
 that on the front page, even though it certainly wasn't foul language at
 allit's simply the name of the town. So needless to say, a DYK which
 could have gotten 100,000 views was left to get only around 15,000 views
 for that day.

 Is this the type of oversight you mean Kevin? If so, keep that sort of
 oversight on English Wikipedia thank you very much.

 Cheers

 Russavia


 [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucking,_Austria
 [2]

 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template_talk:Did_you_knowoldid=325560941
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-12 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Yann -

Commons is unique in that AFAIK it's our only project that, by it's very
nature, effects other projects, as well as outside collaborations.  As have
been brought up by Risker earlier in this conversation, Common's MOTD on
that day was transcluded to the mainpages of projects that do not use one
of the five languages in which context for the video was provided.
Combining that fact with the fact Commons' has a history of not wanting to
comply with WMF board resolutions and the fact that the last time I was
heavily active on Commons we stumbled across a page where a couple sysops
were chatting about whether or not they could indef me for being disruptive
(when I was, pretty literally, only trying to enforce WMF board
resolutions,) I view bringing it up at a wider venue as absolutely
appropriate, especially given that without this discussion, I'd bet that
Fuzheado's and Eddie's ignored comments would still be, well, ignored,
rather than there now being a rather active discussion on that page.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM, Yann Forget yan...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi,

 I am puzzled than you launch such a Wikimedia-wide protest about this,
 and that you are even not active on Commons.
 If there is something which you don't like, come to Commons and
 participate!
 Sending you opinion accross without doing anything won't help...

 Yann


 2014-05-09 7:40 GMT+05:30 Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com:
  Hi all -
 
  This is a slightly unusual email for me, in that I'm wearing more hats
 than
  I usually do. I'm writing as a community member, but also as someone
  currently employed by one of the best public universities in the world
 in a
  department that is, at least in decent part, aimed at ensuring that
  injustices of the past do not go forgotten.  This email represents my own
  opinions alone, mostly because I don't want to go through the process of
  getting approval for any sort of formal statement, and also don't view
  doing so as necessary, but it does highlight my views as someone actively
  employed by a major university, and not just as an editor.
 
  Today, Common's front page highlighted a video taken shortly after the
  liberation of Buchenwald, one of the largest concentration camps to
 operate
  on German soil during the second world war, where more than 50,000 people
  lost their lives. (Since Commons apparently uses UTC, it's already
 changed
  to a different piece of media.)  For reasons that baffle me a bit, the
  video screenshot displayed on Commons' frontpage is that of a stack of
  corpses, taken from a five minute long video (that is primarily not
 stacks
  of corpses.)  To make things worse: because Commons only supports open
  video formats, an overwhelming majority of people who look at the Commons
  frontpage in any one day are not using a browser that can view the actual
  video - so they would've only been able to see a photo of stacked up
  corpses, with no accompanying video (and no accompanying explanation if
  they didn't speak english or one of four other languages.)  The caption
 of
  the video does hyperlink to the English Wikipedia's article about
  Buchenwald, but displays only after the graphic image and video link.
 
  I want to be clear: I'm not objecting in any way whatsoever to the fact
  that the Wikimedia Commons contains a video of Buchenwald.  I would be
  disturbed if we /didn't/ have a video like this on Commons.  It is of
 great
  historical significance, and it's a video that absolutely needs to be on
  Commons.  In fact, it's a video that I think should probably have
 appeared
  on Commons frontpage sooner or later... just not like this.  The same
 video
  is played in multiple classes at UC Berkeley, after the context behind
 the
  video is given and people are warned about the nature of what they're
 about
  to see.  Even in that setting, I've pretty regularly seen people burst
 into
  tears upon watching the video that Commons links today.  Such video
  evidence of the atrocities committed by Hitler's regime plays an
 incredibly
  important role in understanding the past, but what differentiates an
 effort
  to understand the past and a shock site can pretty much be summed up as
  contextualisation. A video with explanation of its context and some
 degree
  of warning before a pile of corpses is displayed is a large part of the
  difference between a shock site and documenting history.  Common's front
  page today leans a lot more towards the shock site aspect than the
  documenting history one.
 
  This isn't the first time that Commons frontpage has featured content
 that,
  while often appropriate material to be hosted by Commons, has been framed
  in an inappropriate way likely to cause dismay, upset, or scandal to the
  average Wikimedia Commons viewer.  It flies in the face of the WMF-board
  endorsed principle of least astonishment - [1] - no one expects to click
 on
  Commons homepage to see a still image of a stack

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-10 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Pete -

I was using oversight rather loosely to mean there's a body of people
looking over the process sufficient to catch any terrific fumbles before
they get out of the gate, rather than any stricter sense of the term.  I
view the scrutiny of a reasonable number of other Wikimedians as a form of
oversight, even without a hierarchical structure in place.  I would say
that ITN or DYK on ENWP have reasonable oversight (although it certainly
sometimes fails,) but don't view a process that needs 1-2 people to promote
something to a highly viewed mainpage as having reasonable oversight.

Best,
Kevin Gorman
Wikipedian-in-Residence
UC Berkeley


On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.comwrote:

 Kevin,

 I didn't think you were using oversight in the MediaWiki jargon sense.
 But I do think the concept of oversight -- as distinct from consideration,
 discussion, deliberation, or consensus-building -- is very disconnected
 from the present reality. What authority would be claimed in conducting
 this oversight, and what set of rules would be enforced?

 Pete


 On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 6:27 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

  Heh, I probably shouldn't have chosen a word with two more or less
  contradictory ideas that also refers to a mediawiki userright.  I meant
  oversight as in scrutiny by other Wikimedians to ensure the process
 doesn't
  go off the rails, not oversight as in negligence or oversight as in what
 we
  do to especially nasty content instead of revdel.  (I would consider any
  process that gets large graphics on to prominent pages on the projects
 with
  so few checks on it as lacking sufficient oversight.)
 
  -
  Kevin Gorman
  Wikipedian-in-Residence
  UC Berkeley
 
 
  On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com
  wrote:
 
   On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
there's something seriously weird about the fact that a project that
  all
other projects depend on has the media it displays on it's front page
selected by pretty much one person with no
  
  
   I was with you up until the last word. Did you really mean:
  
  
oversight.
   
  
   ???
  
   -Pete
   [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-09 Thread Kevin Gorman
*contradictory meanings, not ideas - I just woke up from a nap and am
typing like a sleepy person.


On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 6:27 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

 Heh, I probably shouldn't have chosen a word with two more or less
 contradictory ideas that also refers to a mediawiki userright.  I meant
 oversight as in scrutiny by other Wikimedians to ensure the process doesn't
 go off the rails, not oversight as in negligence or oversight as in what we
 do to especially nasty content instead of revdel.  (I would consider any
 process that gets large graphics on to prominent pages on the projects with
 so few checks on it as lacking sufficient oversight.)

 -
 Kevin Gorman
 Wikipedian-in-Residence
 UC Berkeley


 On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.comwrote:

 On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

  there's something seriously weird about the fact that a project that all
  other projects depend on has the media it displays on it's front page
  selected by pretty much one person with no


 I was with you up until the last word. Did you really mean:


  oversight.
 

 ???

 -Pete
 [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-09 Thread Kevin Gorman
Heh, I probably shouldn't have chosen a word with two more or less
contradictory ideas that also refers to a mediawiki userright.  I meant
oversight as in scrutiny by other Wikimedians to ensure the process doesn't
go off the rails, not oversight as in negligence or oversight as in what we
do to especially nasty content instead of revdel.  (I would consider any
process that gets large graphics on to prominent pages on the projects with
so few checks on it as lacking sufficient oversight.)

-
Kevin Gorman
Wikipedian-in-Residence
UC Berkeley


On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

  there's something seriously weird about the fact that a project that all
  other projects depend on has the media it displays on it's front page
  selected by pretty much one person with no


 I was with you up until the last word. Did you really mean:


  oversight.
 

 ???

 -Pete
 [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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[Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-08 Thread Kevin Gorman
 a discussion here.  I will mention this discussion
on Commons' mainpage talkpage, so that Commonites who desire to comment can
do so here.

For those curious to see the media now that it's off the front page, here's
a snapshot of what was on Commons' frontpage for a day - warning, it is,
well, corpses -
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Main_Page#mediaviewer/File:Snapshot_of_Buchenwald_video_as_MOTD_May_8%2C_2014.png

Is there anyone who thinks that it doesn't violate the principle of least
astonishment to open commons's frontpage and see a stack of corpses?

Can anyone articulate a valid reason why the freezeframe from the video
posted on the frontpage was just about the most graphic still possible from
the video?

-
Kevin Gorman
Wikipedian-in-Residence
American Cultures Program
UC Berkeley

[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Controversial_content
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons' frontpage probably shouldn't prominently feature a decontextualised stack of corpses.

2014-05-08 Thread Kevin Gorman
There are multiple comments on Common's mainpage talk about this, as well
as one at their administrator's noticeboard. As I mentioned in my first
post, since Commons is a project that by its nature effects all other
projects, I don't think discussion of this issue should be limited to those
who frequent talk pages on commons.  Additionally, I'm not sure that
meaningful change can come from the current Commons administration without
outside pressure, so I've started a discussion here.  As said in my OP,
I've explicitly mentioned this thread on Common's mainpage talk so that
interested commonites who desire to comment can do so here or there.

--
Kevin Gorman
Wikipedian-in-Residence
American Cultures Program
UC Berkeley


On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 8:15 PM, K. Peachey p858sn...@gmail.com wrote:

 Have you discussed this on commons, or just trying to bypass them?

 On Friday, May 9, 2014, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hi all -
 
  This is a slightly unusual email for me, in that I'm wearing more hats
 than
  I usually do. I'm writing as a community member, but also as someone
  currently employed by one of the best public universities in the world
 in a
  department that is, at least in decent part, aimed at ensuring that
  injustices of the past do not go forgotten.  This email represents my own
  opinions alone, mostly because I don't want to go through the process of
  getting approval for any sort of formal statement, and also don't view
  doing so as necessary, but it does highlight my views as someone actively
  employed by a major university, and not just as an editor.
 
  Today, Common's front page highlighted a video taken shortly after the
  liberation of Buchenwald, one of the largest concentration camps to
 operate
  on German soil during the second world war, where more than 50,000 people
  lost their lives. (Since Commons apparently uses UTC, it's already
 changed
  to a different piece of media.)  For reasons that baffle me a bit, the
  video screenshot displayed on Commons' frontpage is that of a stack of
  corpses, taken from a five minute long video (that is primarily not
 stacks
  of corpses.)  To make things worse: because Commons only supports open
  video formats, an overwhelming majority of people who look at the Commons
  frontpage in any one day are not using a browser that can view the actual
  video - so they would've only been able to see a photo of stacked up
  corpses, with no accompanying video (and no accompanying explanation if
  they didn't speak english or one of four other languages.)  The caption
 of
  the video does hyperlink to the English Wikipedia's article about
  Buchenwald, but displays only after the graphic image and video link.
 
  I want to be clear: I'm not objecting in any way whatsoever to the fact
  that the Wikimedia Commons contains a video of Buchenwald.  I would be
  disturbed if we /didn't/ have a video like this on Commons.  It is of
 great
  historical significance, and it's a video that absolutely needs to be on
  Commons.  In fact, it's a video that I think should probably have
 appeared
  on Commons frontpage sooner or later... just not like this.  The same
 video
  is played in multiple classes at UC Berkeley, after the context behind
 the
  video is given and people are warned about the nature of what they're
 about
  to see.  Even in that setting, I've pretty regularly seen people burst
 into
  tears upon watching the video that Commons links today.  Such video
  evidence of the atrocities committed by Hitler's regime plays an
 incredibly
  important role in understanding the past, but what differentiates an
 effort
  to understand the past and a shock site can pretty much be summed up as
  contextualisation. A video with explanation of its context and some
 degree
  of warning before a pile of corpses is displayed is a large part of the
  difference between a shock site and documenting history.  Common's front
  page today leans a lot more towards the shock site aspect than the
  documenting history one.
 
  This isn't the first time that Commons frontpage has featured content
 that,
  while often appropriate material to be hosted by Commons, has been framed
  in an inappropriate way likely to cause dismay, upset, or scandal to the
  average Wikimedia Commons viewer.  It flies in the face of the WMF-board
  endorsed principle of least astonishment - [1] - no one expects to click
 on
  Commons homepage to see a still image of a stack of corpses at
 Buchenwald.
   This is not the first time that Commons administrators and bureaucrats
  have drastically abrogated the principle of least astonishment, and the
  continued tendency of those in charge of Commons to ignore such a
 principle
  makes me hesitate to recommend the Wikimedia Commons to my students or my
  colleagues.  In fact - if there was an easy way to completely bypass
  Commons - at this point I would suggest to my students and colleagues
 that
  they do so. I don't want

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Assessing this round of FDC proposals, including the WMF's proposal

2014-04-27 Thread Kevin Gorman
Risker: just to confirm one way or another, when you say  which you
shouldn't be reviewing anyway as it is a complete conflict of interest for
the FDC, are you referring to the FDC evaluating the efficacy of the FDC's
grants in particular, or of all WMF grantmaking programs?  I would agree
that the former is definitely problematic, but I'm not convinced of the
latter.  I think they could probably review something like PEG with no
problem, and probably do so quite well since the FDC is accumulating
grantmaking expertise, and doesn't realistically compete with PEG for
funding or anything like that.

Sorry for only commenting on one aspect, I'm still working out the others
in my head.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.orgwrote:

 Just also wanted to share a more moderate sound here: I think this is, even
 while not perfect, a practical implementation of what FDC has been asked to
 do. I haven't hear any alternatives that would really be /better/ and good
 to implement at this moment.

 But maybe things could be different next year. I suggest that people who
 have good ideas for alternative organizations bring that up with that in
 mind for next year (in a few months or so, when the FDC is less swamped
 with work).

 Lodewijk


 2014-04-27 23:51 GMT+02:00 Risker risker...@gmail.com:

  On 27 April 2014 17:23, Dariusz Jemielniak dar...@alk.edu.pl wrote:
 
   On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:45 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
  
Nemo, my position is that it shouldn't be being done at all because
 the
request is outside of the FDC's scope, and that assessment is done,
  then
community assessment will be more useful than a quasi-official,
 partial
assessment by a conflicted group that isn't staff, has no
 experience
using the analytical metrics, and doesn't have the wherewithal to do
 a
complete the full assessment.  The FDC does not have its own staff;
 it
   has
WMF staff appointed to assist them by creating staff assessments, in
   accord
with the FDC structure approved by the Board.  The FDC doesn't get to
   pick
who does the assessments.
   
  
   Risker, I understand your view. However, we believe that there is value
  in
   having a spectrum of views, and also in not putting WMF staff in a
  position
   where they assess a project which includes their own department. WMDE
  staff
   has a lot of experience in using different metrics, and understands our
   movement. The FDC can request any the movement stakeholders
 specifically
   for comments, and so it did.
  
   best,
  
   dariusz pundit
  
  
  
 
  There is a huge difference between a request to any of the movement
  stakeholders specifically for comment and asking a specific stakeholder -
  one that has a lot to gain if the role of the WMF itself is diminished -
  to usurp the role of staff analysis.  I'm really sad that you can't see
  that, Dariusz.  You're better off having the staff do the analysis of
  everything except grantmaking - which you shouldn't be reviewing anyway
 as
  it is a complete conflict of interest for the FDC.
 
  Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Organizational development for the Wikimedia movement

2014-04-27 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Chris -

Thanks for starting this; it's something we need, especially going in to
the next few years.  I'll aim to contribute quite a bit to the page,
although the bulk of my contributions may await the end of the term.  It's
also probably worth noting that there will be some degree of overlap
between this and the WMF's program evaluation pages (although I do see an
active point in having both sets of pages.)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 Thanks Chris.

 Interesting you chose to link to my unfinished peer review with WMEE,
 considering you asked me to halt my inter-chapter governance
 activities when you were the Chair of WMUK. If you think it is a good
 idea to allow me to finish the peer reviews I started, perhaps you
 should check with the board of WMUK so that I am can officially
 approach those involved to see if they think it would be worthwhile.

 Fae

 On 27/04/2014, Chris Keating chriskeatingw...@gmail.com wrote:
  Hi all,
 
  I've started a page on Meta which I hope will act as a hub for
  documentation and ideas around the training and development needs of
  Wikimedia movement organisations:
 
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Organisational_development
 
  I'd ask anyone who's interested in this kind of thing to have a look and
  add examples and thoughts for the future.
 
  As many people will know from my contributions to this year's and last
  year's Wikimedia conference, or from the training workshop we held in
  London in early March, this is an issue where I feel the movement (or, at
  least, the part of the movement that is involved in movement
  organisations!) can and should do better.
 
  I was interested to read the Signpost coverage of the Wikimedia
  Conference(1) which evidently comes from a similar point of view!
 
  We are slightly hampered by the fact that there is no single body
  responsible for doing this kind of training and development work, so I
  would invite everyone with a stake in this (WMF, FDC, AffCom, Chapters,
  Thorgs, User Groups, interested individuals) to treat this as something
  where everyone can play a role in sharing experience, scoping out the way
  forward, and building a better way of doing this for the future!
 
  Regards,
 
  Chris
 
 
  (1)
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-04-23

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] community broadband

2014-04-21 Thread Kevin Gorman
I couldn't think of an appropriate response, so here's some pandas doing
stuff:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/04/20/304915015/google-frecking-the-week-in-pandas

But, in seriousness, James: the Foundation is not going to be active on
stuff like pushing for community broadband.  It's not within even the broad
remit of the Foundation.  With this particular one, I'm guessing we'd gain
approximately half an editor per million dollars WMF invested in advocacy
efforts.  Community broadband is a noble cause, and there are many
organizations fighting for it.  We aren't one of them.  We shouldn't be one
of them.  The more you push for the WMF to become a broad-based advocacy
group targeting issues you care about (many of which I also care about,)
and the more often you are told by more people 'this isn't within our
remit,' the less likely future posts of yours that may have really solid
points in them are to be taken seriously.


Kevin Gorman


On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:


 http://stopthecap.com/2014/01/30/anti-community-broadband-bill-introduced-in-kansas-legislating-incumbent-protection/


 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/alec-tech-and-the-telecom_b_1696830.html

 Is the Foundation active on this issue? My question to the
 advocacy_advisors mailing list was not approved by the moderator, but
 after a few days now I don't have any reason that it's not a
 legitimate question. Was there any discussion about whether that list
 should be moderated?

 Does the Foundation want to base advocacy efforts on issues that can
 help a declining number of volunteers instead of the no longer extant
 exponentially growing number of volunteers?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

2014-04-15 Thread Kevin Gorman
Just mentioning it because David mentioned the Internet Archive.  The IA is
actively interested in collaborating with Wikimedia, and I think they have
a lot to offer us - the reason nothing has come to fruition yet has been a
combination of funding constraints and time constraints for everyone
involved in the discussions.  They have the technical infrastructure to
eliminate deadlinks pretty much universally across our sites, and Andrew
Lih and I have also been speaking with them about a very interesting video
project that would get around a lot of the video limitations we currently
have.  So even if we don't currently use them heavily, I think there are a
lot of opportunities there :)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:27 PM, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 15 April 2014 20:50, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
  extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
  that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
  specific goal established in a grant agreement.


 Creative Commons, OpenStreetMap spring to mind. What are their budgets
 like? I expect ours dwarfs theirs. We should throw money at Freenode
 on a regular basis.

 CC is a charity, I think OSM is a nonprofit but not actually a UK
 charity as yet (though WMUK achieving charity status makes that more
 achievable if they want to go for that).

 Internet Archive and Archiveteam is not something we use as heavily as
 any of those, but they need it too.

 Is there anyone else whose stuff we prevail upon that we really should
 be helping?


 - d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UC Berkeley hires Wikipedian in Residence

2014-03-20 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi Russavia -

I'll copyedit it for clarity later, but I see absolutely no
contradiction between what I wrote and what I've said since. Your last
email contained a pretty substantial suggestion that doesn't seem to
be backed up by anything I've written anywhere.  Honestly, from your
last email, I'm not entirely certain you actually *read* the statement
about paid editing that I have on my talk page.  As I say in it, I
believe that most collaborations between cultural institutions and
Wikipedia are likely to be quite fruitful, that current 'corporate'
paid editing should be greeted with a grain of salt, and that most
current 'corporate' paid editing is inconsistent.  I've said nowhere
that all WiR positions result in awesomeness, and have equally said
nowhere that all 'corporate' paid editing is bad - just suggested that
we approach traditional WiR collaborations with initial good faith
because our missions line up quite well most of the time, and approach
'corporate' paid editing with a grain (or ten) of salt because we're
much less likely to have congruent mission.

I'd love to see a full report about what happened at Belfer, and I
suspect that what happened there falls in to the portion of
collaborations with cultural institutions that are *not* quite
fruitful.  The details I've gathered of what hapened at Belfer suggest
that it was significantly more ethical than Wiki-PR or most of the
other 'corporate' paid editing I run in to, but certainly suggest that
it fell short of what we should aspire to.  I know a couple dozen
current WMF employees, but so does most of this list - that doesn't
really make me part of any 'in-crowd'.  If you can explain how you
somehow thought that the snippet of my paid editing post you quoted
indicated '''in context''' that I support unethical practices on the
part of WiR's, please let me know, so I can clarify the wording so no
one else encounters the same confusion.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 8:56 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com wrote:
 Kevin, I am intrigued by your comments in relation to Belfer.

 Whilst your paid position at Berkeley is a great opportunity, and
 congrats on that, I can't help but think that you haven't been exactly
 forthcoming with the media. Or you are in denial about numerous
 things.

 I see at 
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Kevin_Gormanoldid=595779595#My_position_on_paid_editing
 you present your views on paid editing, with an interesting caveat at
 the bottom:

 Nothing in this section is intended to apply to Wikipedian in
 Residence-type programs, and similar collaborations between Wikipedia
 and cultural and educational institutions. I think that our missions
 match up with cultural institutions quite well, and I think that
 collaborations between us and them are likely to be quite fruitful.

 I, and many in the community, couldn't disagree more. If anything, the
 ethical standards for a paid Wikipedian-in-Residence are higher than a
 commercial outfit. The very reputation of the WiR program depends on
 it.

 Unfortunately, the Belfer Wikipedian in Residence was anything but
 ethical, and since Odder's blog post I have done some research on
 this, and I am gob-smacked at what I have found. Kevin, you are part
 of the in-crowd of the WMF, perhaps you could ask them for their
 report on the Belfer position. It is required for all grants I
 believe. As someone who is so vocal on the ethics of paid editing
 (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/wikipedia-editors-locked-in-battle-with-pr-firm-delete-250-accounts/)
 you will surely want to see the report. Perhaps it will answer why, in
 your words, the position, and everything surrounding it, was so under
 the radar.

 Cheers

 Russavia



 On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:32 PM, Kevin Gorman kgor...@gmail.com wrote:

 Tomasz is right that Belfer was first... but Belfer was done so under
 the radar that I actually had never even realized that someone had
 been hired for the position until I stumbled across Tomasz's blog
 about it, some time after the initial announcement of my position at
 Berkeley.  I had a conversation about the matter afterwards with
 Berkeley's news people and with most of the journalists who have
 contacted me about it since the initial NewsCenter posting, and the
 general feeling has pretty much been that Belfer's practices were
 different enough from the norm of what a Wikipedian-in-Residence is
 that people have been comfortable running the story without a bunch of
 caveats to explain Belfer.  There's also Arild Vågen's previous
 position at SLU, which is why most places are going with first US
 university rather than first university.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UC Berkeley hires Wikipedian in Residence

2014-03-19 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

Thanks :)

Fae: there isn't currently an on-wiki page fully summarizing what I'll
be doing, partly just for the simple fact that I haven't had time to
write one yet.  I'm hoping to have one up in the near future, the
first couple months I've spent here (and it's also only a part-time
position,) have been pretty swamped between working on instructional
design issues, doing direct hands-on work with students, liasing with
some of our GLAM institutions, and dealing with media inquiries.  I'm
more or less trying to combine two things in to one: I'm working with
several courses affiliated with our American Cultures program in the
context of the USEP, and I'm trying to get some of Berkeley's
historically significant collections released under free licenses.
USEP-wise, we put a _lot_ of time in to instructional design for the
classes we're working with with a specific focus on trying to avoid
the problems that USEP classes often run in to, and so far (though
most stuff is still in a pre-wiki stage,) it's looking like many
aspects of our design and implementation are going to be successful in
doing so.  We'll be releasing all of our instructional design
materials as well as a detailed post-mortem after the semester.

GLAM-wise - a lot of our neat stuff is already digitized, it's just
sitting in silos with extremely limited access.  I'll be focusing on
historically significant collections related to the material in-line
with what the AC program here covers ('theoretical and analytical
issues related to race, culture, and ethnicity in the United States,)
especially collections unique to Berkeley - unreleased media dealing
with the free speech movement, etc.  I won't be limited to that,
though - one neat collaboration already came up by complete
happenstance.  The SF Chronicle sent someone out last week to cover my
position, and by complete happenstance, the photographer they sent was
scheduled to shoot the inside of the [[Lawson Adit]] after he finished
up with me - an ENWP article I wrote about a really neat historical
oddity on Berkeley's campus, a horizontal mineshaft dug by Berkeley
students directly through the Hayward Fault, one of the Bay Area's two
really major faultlines.  It was a bit surreal to see the inside of
the Adit (it's rarely opened, and even more rarely opened to the
public,) since it still uses its original ca. 1918 loadbearing redwood
timbering and is dug through a major fault - and also kind of
hilarious to show up to see that the ENWP article I had written about
it years ago was being used as a major source of reference by the
journalists and Berkeley person present.  UCB is preparing to install
seismographic equipment in an old secondary deeper inside the mine
than I went - I'll be going back when they do with a real camera, and
should get some of the first interior shots of the mine with full
electric lighting (since they just strung it) in decades, let alone
freely licensed shots.  I should be starting substantial outreach to
internal GLAMs within the next couple weeks about stuff directly
related to the AC program, and should have some media donations lined
up in the not too distant future.

Tomasz is right that Belfer was first... but Belfer was done so under
the radar that I actually had never even realized that someone had
been hired for the position until I stumbled across Tomasz's blog
about it, some time after the initial announcement of my position at
Berkeley.  I had a conversation about the matter afterwards with
Berkeley's news people and with most of the journalists who have
contacted me about it since the initial NewsCenter posting, and the
general feeling has pretty much been that Belfer's practices were
different enough from the norm of what a Wikipedian-in-Residence is
that people have been comfortable running the story without a bunch of
caveats to explain Belfer.  There's also Arild Vågen's previous
position at SLU, which is why most places are going with first US
university rather than first university.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 7:03 AM, Andrew Lih andrew@gmail.com wrote:
 This is the only thing approaching a complete list I've seen. Kevin is on
 it, but the information is stale.

 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence

 Update please!

 -Andrew



 On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 19 March 2014 13:11, Tomasz W. Kozlowski tom...@twkozlowski.net
 wrote:
  Neither of these is true: Wikimedia Foundation hired a paid
  Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Belfer Center for Science and
 International
  Affairs, a research center within the John F. Kennedy School of
 Government
  at Harvard University, back in 2012.
 
  I described that hire in a blog post last month:
  http://twkozlowski.net/the-pot-and-the-kettle-the-wikimedia-way/.

 Thanks for highlighting the history. It is amazing how quickly the
 community forgets past projects, or indeed past contributors.

 Fae

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] (press release) Frank Schulenburg named executive director of new Wiki Education Foundation

2014-02-13 Thread Kevin Gorman
Congratulations Frank -

I had been getting a bit worried about the ED search for the WEF, and
my faith in the organization's future success is significantly
increased by your selection for the position.

Best wishes,
Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:14 PM, Jami Mathewson
j...@wikiedfoundation.org wrote:
 Hi, Mike.

 For an answer to your question about the name, please see this
 conversation[1] on Meta. Our board is active answering questions on wiki
 and not on mailing lists, so I encourage you to post questions to the Wiki
 Education Foundation board on Meta.

 Hope that answers it for you,
 Jami

 [1] See
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki_Education_Foundation#Organization_Name


 On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM, Michael Peel em...@mikepeel.net wrote:

 Hi all,

 Frank, congratulations on the new job. :-) Can I ask for a clarification
 on the funding situation please?

  (1) WMF grant money
 
  The Wiki Education Foundation received a grant to get things off the
 ground
  last year as part of the Projects and Events Grants process. The Wiki
  Education Foundation has already reached out to a major donor in the
 United
  States and is confident to get third-party funding in place by the second
  quarter of this year.

 Are you anticipating that direct donors will be able to support all of
 WEF's future funding needs, or might you be applying to GAC or FDC for
 funding in the future?

 I'd also like to echo Andy's question:
  ...why isn't this called The Wiki Education North America
  Foundation,, or suchlike?

 as that would seem to be a more natural name for the organisation (unless
 it has international intentions?), and would help avoid the confusion
 between 'WEF' and 'WMF'.

 Also, as a general question to those involved, the announcement QA says:
 He was chosen by the Board of the Wiki Education Foundation in a process
 that began in late 2013 and concluded in February 2014. Please could more
 details of that process be shared? What was the process, how was it
 structured, and who was involved in it?

 Thanks,
 Mike
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 --
 Jami Mathewson
 Program Manager
 Wiki Education Foundation
 j...@wikiedfoundation.org
 User:Jami (Wiki Ed) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jami_(Wiki_Ed)
 @WikiEducation https://twitter.com/WikiEducation

 *Our organization supports the Wikipedia Education Program in the United
 States and Canada.*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Statement for the police about the fundraising?

2014-02-07 Thread Kevin Gorman
My Finnish is hardly perfect, but the letter essentially outlines the
Finnish law regarding what is and what isn't money collection activities,
and then compares what goes on with fi.wikipedia.org with the relevant
Finnish statutes, concluding that the fundraising campaign is in fact a
money collection activity and thus needs a permit from the Finnish police.
They request that the webmaster of fi.wikipedia.org explains the purpose of
the fundraising text, and also furnishes the Finnish National Police Board
with information regarding the total sum of money that has been raised
through the text, at a date no later than the 21st of February.  They also
say that additional details may be required.  They indicate that it is
currently an administrative issue, but that the Police Board has the
authority to initiate investigations of criminal wrongdoing if the answers
of the webmaster of fi.wikipedia.org are unsatisfactory.

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.comwrote:

 http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1889/18890039001#L17P16b

 Nemo


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF employee writing articles for $300

2014-01-05 Thread Kevin Gorman
Sarah used to be a DJ in Indianapolis.  I don't find it very surprising
that she'd write an article about a nightclub in Indianapolis. That would
probably also explain the use of unusual sources - surely someone who used
to DJ in Indy is more familiar with local music sources there than most
people would be.


Kevin Gorman


On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 11:20 PM, Oliver Keyes ironho...@gmail.com wrote:

 As an apparent Wikimedia insider; I think that if the allegations are
 substantiated they need to be addressed. I don't mean to run interference
 on that. I mean to try and undercut any attempt to turn a subject worth
 discussing substantively into an excuse to crow. My objection is not that
 you raised this allegation, it's that you insist on posting four hundred
 word screeds about how hard-done by you are and how this demands that
 people accept you were right all along. If you actually care about the
 substance of the discussion, stop doing that. If you don't, just stop.


 On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Steven,
 
  Did it occur to you that the reason the account is anonymised is that
  one would likely not want it to be found out? It also beyond the
  realms of imagination that Wikipediocracy trolls would create an
  account on 6 January 2012 as a joe-job account, and sit on it all this
  time and then have Odder (who is certainly no friend of
  Wikipediocracy) find out about it, and let him beat them to the punch.
 
  But here's a little more evidence for you. From that screenshot, you
  will notice in September Sarah earned $96 from a job which is
  described as Wikipedia Writer Editor. The information for that job
  is found at https://www.odesk.com/jobs/~01fb1fd477c79e30b0 (and I have
  taken the liberty of uploading it at
 
 
 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8j_w_yHF5ymdHQzTkJkRkY5TWM/edit?usp=sharing
  )
 
  From this we can ascertain the following:
 
  * The job was posted on 3 September 2013
  * The client is in the United States
  * Sarah was one of 9 applicants for the job, applying on 4 September 2013
  * The client was interviewing 2 applicants, and they ended up hiring
 Sarah
  * On 4 October 2013 (a Friday), the client last viewed this job -- the
  little question mark pop-up says This is when the client last viewed
  or interacted with the applicants for this job. - in all likelihood
  this is when the information was provided to Sarah.
 
  From Sarah's contributions between this period we can see that she was
  involved in creating and editing articles relating to Turkey, Algeria,
  Guatemala, creating articles such as
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugénie_Luce, etc
 
  On 6 October 2013 (-8 GMT), after editing articles on places/people in
  Moldova and Ukraine, at 12:14 she made this edit
  (
 
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stephen_III_of_Moldaviadiff=prevoldid=576031919
  ).
  At 13:53, a little under 2 hours later, Sarah posted
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub). Again, this is a
  somewhat puff piece article, out of sync with what she was editing at
  the time, with sourcing that one wouldn't really expect in an article.
  The wording at
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody_Inn_(nightclub)#Music
  is especially telling. Then
 
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1935diff=prevoldid=576044989
  is done straight afterwards. That it was posted a little under 2 hours
  after her edit to the Stephen III of Moldavia article would correlate
  with the 2 hours that she billed the client for cleaning the article
  up to make it presentable, receiving $96. Then it was back to normal
  editing. Not bad for 2 hours editing on a Sunday afternoon, eh?
 
  And surely you can understand why people would post this information
  publicly. Already on this very list I have been attacked by no less
  than 4 Wikimedia insiders (yourself included) who are clearly trying
  to run deflection and interference. Emailing the WMF and Sue
  privately, so that it can be quietly ignored, or swept under the
  carpet; this is the experience of many people in the past, so why
  waste one's time. And anyway, doesn't the public, including the media
  whom I have also taken the liberty of advising that this issue exists,
  have a right to know that such things are happening on a project that
  prides itself on how transparent it is.
 
  Steven, does this smell like trolling and an elaborate set up Sarah
  joe-job? People can continue to bury their heads in the sand, attack
  me for trolling, run interference, and believe in vast conspiracies
  and other such nonsense. I will look at this logically, and taken in
  with information that Odder provided, it's couldn't be clearer.
 
  What isn't so clear is how Sue and Jimmy will respond..
 
 
 
 
 
  On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM, Steven Walling steven.wall...@gmail.com
 
  wrote:
   On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
  wrote:
  
   Odder

[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [GLAM-US] Position: Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

2013-12-20 Thread Kevin Gorman
Hi all -

George Mason University just posted a one year position for a remote
Wikipedia Affiliate.  It's unpaid, but that's not the point: if selected,
you'll have full access to GMU's library resources, including access (via
proxy) to their electronic journals.  There's a huge amount of important
content that currently only exists behind paywalled journals.  If you write
frequently in a field where you find your ability to write restricted by
your lack of access to sources, I would highly encourage you to apply for
this.  It's worth noting that, besides for improving twenty five articles
of historical significance and giving a brief talk about how you used your
access at the end of the year, there is pretty much no further 'work'
associated with the position.

After I lost my student access to journals, I lucked in to a not dissimilar
arrangement with another major research university, and it's been
absolutely invaluable - there are things I couldn't possibly write about
without access to paywalled journals.

Kevin Gorman

-- Forwarded message --
From: Proffitt,Merrilee proff...@oclc.org
Date: Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Subject: [GLAM-US] Position: Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center for
History and New Media
To: Wikimedia  GLAM collaboration [Public] g...@lists.wikimedia.org,
Wikimedia  Libraries librar...@lists.wikimedia.org, North American
Cultural Partnerships glam...@lists.wikimedia.org


Hi everyone,

This is an exciting announcement for those interested in the Wikipedia
Libraries Project. For those of you working in libraries (or anyone wanting
to attend!) we are having a meeting at the American Libraries Association
midwinter meeting in Philadelphia (Saturday January 25th). We have a number
of academic libraries who are interested in supporting Wikipedians in this
novel way. Hopefully a lot more to report in the new year!

Merrilee

-Original Message-
From: open-glam [mailto:open-glam-boun...@lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of
Amanda French
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:21 PM
To: open-g...@lists.okfn.org
Subject: [OpenGLAM] Position: Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center
for History and New Media

Position announcement: Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center for
History and New Media

(also posted at
http://chnm.gmu.edu/news/position-announcement-wikipedia-affiliate-roy-rosenzweig-center-for-history-and-new-media/
)


In conjunction with The Wikipedia Library
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library project,
the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
http://chnm.gmu.edu/ (RRCHNM) at George Mason University is seeking
applicants for a Wikipedia Affiliate.€  This is an unpaid, year-long,
remote research position beginning March 1, 2014 and ending February 28,
2015 that entitles the affiliate to full library privileges at George
Mason University http://library.gmu.edu/, including proxied access to
all online materials to which the GMU Libraries subscribe: more than 400
databases, thousands of scholarly journals and mainstream periodicals,
and hundreds of ebooks. The position is designed to give research
library access to a Wikipedia editor who does not currently have such
access or who has only limited access to scholarly resources: the
purpose of the position is to help improve Wikipedia's reliability and
accuracy by providing Wikipedia editors with access to the best
scholarly information resources while providing a model for other
universities to do likewise.


  Qualifications

The affiliate will be an experienced Wikipedia editor with at least one
year of regular activity contributing to Wikipedia on historical topics
in any field, region, or period. The affiliate will also be a thorough
researcher who is committed to improving Wikipedia articles by
consulting and citing reliable, scholarly sources and who is a lucid
writer of text for Wikipedia encyclopedia articles on historical topics.
An undergraduate or graduate degree in History, Art History, or a
related discipline is desirable but not required.


  Position Description and Duties

During the affiliate year, the affiliate will conduct scholarly research
using the library resources of George Mason University with the aim of
significantly improving the accuracy and reliability of at least 25
Wikipedia articles on historical topics, preferably articles within a
particular historical scope (for example: modern Russian and Soviet
history, U.S. Civil War history, the history of late imperial China).
Near the end of the affiliate year, the affiliate will write a brief
report listing the Wikipedia articles he or she has contributed to and
improved over the course of the year, describing how his or her access
to GMU library resources has helped increase the reliability of
Wikipedia on this topic and analyzing whether the affiliate program
could serve as a model for other universities. The affiliate will also
be asked to give a brief talk on the same subject

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

2013-08-25 Thread Kevin Gorman
It's fine (and necessary) to hold ourselves to our own ethical standards,
but if we start trying to avoid activity that might be perceived as illegal
in any country, we would run in to a lot of problems awfully fast.  Trying
to avoid activity that might be perceived as illegal somewhere in the world
would result in Wikipedia being quite thoroughly censored and rather
useless.  I like Wikipedia Zero and don't see a problem with it, but if we
do want to have a debate about whether or not it's a morally acceptable
project, it should at least be framed as 'does this project violate the
Wikimedia movement's principles?' and not 'does this project violate the
law in any country in the world?'


Kevin Gorman


On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM, rupert THURNER
rupert.thur...@gmail.comwrote:

 hi,

 most people know some advantage of wikipedia zero and everybody can
 look up the advantages by just typing wikipedia zero into some search
 engine. as i am not sure about the answer and anyway get asked in rare
 cases what i think of wp:zero i guess it should be best answered on
 the mailing list:

 is wikipedia zero illegal in some countries because it violates net
 neutrality? 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? or should wikimedia
 foundation apply a higher moral standard and just abstain from any
 activity which might be perceived as illegal somewhere?

 just for the ones not so sure about net neutrality [1]:
 Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on
 the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by
 user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached
 equipment, and modes of communication.

 [1]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

 rupert.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Updates from the WMF Grantmaking department

2013-08-05 Thread Kevin Gorman
On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 10:53 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.comwrote:


 As for the FDC/annual plan grants, that would require for them to be
 recognised Wikimedia partner orgs in the new affiliation model, right?

 Nemo


Unless I am mistaken, it would, yeah.  I'm assuming that Anasuya is hoping
that they would be able to achieve affcom recognition in their partnership
grant funded period of operation so that they could apply for FDC funding
going forward.


Kevin Gorman
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing four new Community Liaisons (Product)

2013-06-20 Thread Kevin Gorman
Congratulations all :)

---
Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Nurunnaby Chowdhury n...@nhasive.comwrote:

 Congratulations all  good luck..


 On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM, Steven Zhang cro0...@gmail.com wrote:

  Congratulations to you all, and good luck. I'm sure you will all do a
  great job!
 
  Steven Zhang
 
  Sent from my iPhone
 
   On 20/06/2013, at 4:04 am, Philippe Beaudette phili...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:
  
   Hi everyone,
  
   Howie and I are pleased to announce the onboarding of four new
 community
   liaisons for the product team.  Howie has generously allowed me to send
   this email, since their initial tasking will be to VisualEditor and the
   Change Management team, working with me.  At the conclusion of the
   deployment of VisualEditor, they will be assigned as community liaisons
  to
   other groups within the product team.
  
   Please welcome four new contractors:  Erica Litrenta, Sherry Snyder,
   Patrick Earley, and (a returning face) Keegan Peterzell.
  
   These positions are temporary, contract-based positions, each with an
   initial term of roughly 90 days.  Below, I've pasted below a brief
  summary
   of each of the four so that you can get to know them.  I know you'll
 join
   me in wishing them the best with their new work!
   pb
  
   ___
   Philippe Beaudette
   Director, Community Advocacy
   Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  
  
  
   *Erica / Elitre*
   Erica will be initially primarily tasked with supporting the deployment
  on
   Italian Wikipedia, but will also be helping out with other wikis as
 well.
   She edits as User:Elitre https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utente:Elitre
  on
   the Italian Wikipedia.  Born and raised in Cosenza, Italy, she
 graduated
   from Università della Calabria (with a Master's degree in Foreign
  Languages
   and Literature), and now lives in Bologna.  Her favorite work
 experience
  so
   far was last year with lettera27 Foundation, where she wrote case
 studies
   for the WikiAfrica/Share Your Knowledge projects (go GLAMs!) and hunted
  for
   more free contents and institutions to involve (She's been involved
 with
   the Wikimedia Movement and has evangelized about our projects since
  2005).
   She's  fond of: playing life/construction and management videogames,
  taking
   pictures, making cheesecakes, studying and writing about Italian
  folklore -
   notably the Palio di Siena, listening to symphonic metal/rock.
  
   She's in a romantic relationship with OTRS (yes, you read that right -
  she
   was once dubbed romantic and dreadful because of this) since 2006
  which,
   she points out, is longer than her relationship with her boyfriend: she
  met
   him later.
  
  
   *Sherry / WhatamIdoing*
   Some of you know her well, if nothing else, for her descriptive
 username
  (
   WhatamIdoing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:WhatamIdoing).  She
   writes:
  
   *My name is Sherry Snyder, better known as WhatamIdoing on several
   English-speaking projects.  My culinary quest for the summer is a
  low-sugar
   chocolate peanut butter, which those of you with European tendencies
  should
   interpret as like Nutella, only better.  (In response to this, my
  husband
   says, POV-inline, dubious - discuss?)  I've been a Wikipedian since
   2007.  I am a metapedian by nature and a typo fixer by compulsion.  I'm
   still a little amazed that the WMF hired me for this project and happy
 to
   be joining the team that is trying to make the transition to
 VisualEditor
   be more successful and less surprising.
   *
  
   Sherry will be supporting the deployment on the English Wikipedia and
   non-English speaking projects to be assigned still.  She was a huge
 help
   during the development of the Terms of Use, and I'm looking forward to
   working with her.
  
  
   *Patrick / The Interior*
   Patrick is from Kamloops, British Columbia (yes, another Canadian!), a
   logging and cattle town in the Interior of the province.  He edits
 enwiki
   as The Interior https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:The_Interior.
  He
   has studied library science and film, and has worked a variety of
   interesting jobs so far, including wildland firefighting, documentary
   filmmaking, treeplanting, sorting books at a second hand store,
   cataloguing, screenwriting, teaching English in Taiwan and, now,
 liaising
   for the WMF! He currently lives in Vancouver in the aptly named Mount
   Pleasant neighbourhood.  He wishes to point out that he uses Canadian
   spelling.  :P
  
   Patrick has been a Wikipedia editor since 2008. He loves working on
   geography and both natural and human history.  He has worked with the
   Education Program, hopes to be more involved in GLAM projects in the
   future, and is very interested in the Wikipedia/library interface.
   Patrick
   will be focused on non-English speaking wikis.
  
   *Keegan*
   Some of you will remember that
   Keeganhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan previously

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia events: staging area?

2012-04-19 Thread Kevin Gorman
If we don't want to develop an internal solution, it would be pretty
simple to set up a private flickr album and email it out to all
attendees for feedback.


Kevin Gorman
user:kgorman-ucb

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 8:07 AM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:
 However this is done, it could also be a cheap first pass at a
 quarantine for images being worked on with a GLAM institution as well,
 while cleaned up / license-cleared / de-duped.

 S.

 On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 8:26 AM, Sage Ross ragesoss+wikipe...@gmail.com 
 wrote:
 On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 8:19 AM, Lodewijk lodew...@effeietsanders.org 
 wrote:
 Hi all,

 With all the Wikimedia events it is a problem that keeps coming back:
 whether participants do or do not want to be photographed. Often we get to
 a very crude binary result: either everything is allowed, or nothing at
 all. And still most people seem to violate that simply.

 Hence, I was thinking whether a more personal and photo specific option
 would be available - allowing people to veto certain pictures before they
 get 'really' published. After all, Commons doesn't allow deletion simply
 because you dont like the quality or dont want to become public in that
 position.

 Would it be an option to create a staging area, where people can upload
 their event photos of Wikimedia events, and where people can simply veto
 their own pictures? The vetoing doesnt have to be water tight, but rather
 easy. A password to enter the staging area for that specific event could be
 given to the participants where they can check the photos and veto them.
 Then we can proceed with 'no veto = published' and mass upload the
 non-vetoed photos after a while to Wikimedia Commons.

 If we can develop this centrally (and make it available to all Wikimedia
 events) or install something on Wikimedia servers that already does this,
 that would save a lot of event organizers headaches. Any feedback, anyone
 who would be willing and able to pick this up?



 This is a really good idea, Lodewijk!

 Keeping track of who does and doesn't want their photos up on Commons
 (and which photos they want) can be quite a hassle.

 -Sage

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