Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikitribune!

2017-04-27 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 04/25/2017 05:59 PM, Jimmy Wales wrote:

Today I announced a new initiative, outside of my Wikimedia activities,
to combat fake news. It is important to me that I share directly with
all of you information about this new initiative early on.


First I should say (putting aside the name, marketing, and potential COI 
issues for a moment):


I welcome more independent journalism and fact-checking.  In a world of 
media consolidation (that means the same people controlling more and 
more of the media), more voices is a good thing.



The new project  will use a wiki-style setup and experiment with
bringing together professional journalists and community contributors to
produce fact-checked, global news stories.


This (and particularly the name "Wikitribune") is one of my main concerns.

What defines a wiki is that you edit from the browser, and edits go live 
immediately.  (There are limited exceptions like FlaggedRevisions, but a 
site with 100% FlaggedRevisions is not a wiki, especially if approvals 
are not by the community).


The BBC says, "However, while anybody can make changes to a page, they 
will only go live if a staff member or trusted community volunteer 
approves them."


If this is correct, it is not a wiki, and "wiki-style" is very debatable.

Calling something a wiki when it is not will lead to major brand 
confusion with Wikipedia, particularly given your involvement.


Please clarify the model of the site, so we can assess this further.

Matt Flaschen

(Speaking only for myself in personal capacity.)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-03-07 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/26/2017 01:23 PM, Adrian Raddatz wrote:

The benefit to individual admins (and whatever the equivalent
is on phab) making decisions about blocks is that you know who did it and
how to appeal it.


There is no equivalent on Phabricator.  That just had enforcement by 
Developer Relations, first based on best judgment and the Phabricator 
etiquette and later their own interpretation of the community-written 
CoC draft.


Going forward, Phabricator enforcement will be less WMF-centric, since 
it will be done by the Committee (once it's up and running), with only 
appeals handled by Technical Collaboration.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-03-07 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/25/2017 02:15 PM, MZMcBride wrote:

The "no conduct policy for technical spaces" argument was debunked here:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-November/085573.html


This is false.  None of the three policies you cited are a code of 
conduct for technical spaces that applies online to everyone, including 
volunteers:


* https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Code_of_conduct_policy - Only 
binding on staff and Board.


* https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use - Not a code of 
conduct, does not define harassment.  A legal document that encourages 
creating project policies like the code of conduct ("The Wikimedia 
community and its members may also take action when so allowed by the 
community or Foundation policies applicable to the specific Project 
edition, including but not limited to warning, investigating, blocking, 
or banning users who violate those policies.")


* https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Friendly_space_policy - Does not 
apply online, or to Wikimedia tech events that are not funded by the 
foundation.



Pine W also wrote:

Well, WMF will have to deal with this policy too. (:


Sort of. The proposed text currently includes "If a WMF employee or
contractor is accused of wrongdoing, or a WMF employee or contractor is
reported as being subjected to wrongdoing, the Committee will forward the
report to the employee's or contractor’s manager, and to WMF HR in
writing." It remains very unclear whether this code of conduct policy can
apply to Wikimedia Foundation employees, given comments from the Wikimedia
Foundation's Legal and Human Resources departments.


No "sort of".  It unambiguously applies to all members of the community 
regardless of status, and Legal posted consistent with that 
(https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Code_of_Conduct#Freedom_of_the_Code_of_Conduct_Committee)



It's darkly amusing to see you citing the English Wikipedia. When I
pointed out to you on mediawiki.org that "it would never be appropriate
for the person who began a discussion to then also close that discussion,"
you replied that "English Wikipedia policies do not apply here."


I noted that in response to a claim about all WMF wikis: "That is always 
the case.", so in this case citing any wiki was a sufficient 
counter-example to disprove that claim.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-02-22 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/21/2017 06:24 PM, Todd Allen wrote:

No. The community I am referring to is all WMF project participants who
might be interested in presenting their opinion on the subject, regardless
of whether or not they currently participate in any given specific area.
That is always the case.


No, it certainly is not.

Generally users who are not part of the community/just joined for the 
discussion do not have the same weight, and their position may be 
disregarded entirely.


English Wikipedia policy is clear 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry#Meatpuppetry): 
"In votes or vote-like discussions, new users may be disregarded or 
given significantly less weight, especially if there are many of them 
expressing the same opinion."


Other wikis have similar conventions and policies, and some other wikis 
even formalize this into required edit counts.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-02-22 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/21/2017 05:42 PM, Erik Bernhardson wrote:

It's not particularly clear hear, which community? The developers of

mediawiki-core? extension developers? people who attend hackathons and
such? It seems all of these groups have been bombarded with calls to
participate in the process over the last year and have had plenty of
opportunity to be heard. That only a small group of WMF staff have decided
to participate, almost entirely in their free time as volunteers and not
paid employees, doesn't seem to change that.


I agree that it's been widely announced in the appropriate venues (e.g. 
wikitech-l and other lists, Phabricator, MediaWiki.org).  Ultimately, 
what matters is whether they are a participant in the technical 
community, not whether they are a volunteer or staff.  However, both 
volunteers and staff participants have joined the CoC process.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Draft Code of Conduct for Technical Spaces

2017-02-22 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/21/2017 05:36 PM, Lane Rasberry wrote:

I would like for whatever is adopted to match other similar proposals. So
far as I know, the technical space proposal is not compared with the
"online" proposal or the "events" proposal.


Although those are training modules and the Code of Conduct for 
technical spaces is a draft policy, the purposes are consistent.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] (no subject)

2016-11-17 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/17/2016 04:57 PM, C. Scott Ananian wrote:

I would love to have a broader discussion about communication in the
projects more generally.  As you know, we currently have a few mechanisms
(and please correct any mischaracterizations in the below):


As people may know, we are working on a Code of conduct for technical 
spaces.


It will cover on-wiki communication in the technical spaces (including 
talk pages), technical mailing lists, technical IRC channels, and 
Phabricator (including Conpherence).


There are some existing guidelines in place.  It's a very fragmented 
picture (most guidelines only apply to one form of communication (e.g. 
IRC), and sometimes only a single IRC channel), which is part of what 
the tech CoC will improve.  I also don't necessarily endorse these older 
guidelines.



  * Conversation in the Talk: namespace (either in raw wikitext or Flow)
 - This is archived, and presumably subject to same code of conduct
guidelines as parent wiki.  It is public. Anonymous/IP editors are allowed.


Worth remembering that many important projects don't *have* a code of 
conduct or equivalent, and on those that do, it's often not enforced.



  * Echo
 - Unarchived transient notifications, very restricted by design.  Could
be made more general (but see below).


Right, this not a user-user communication system (though it will notify 
you *of* user-user communications, sometimes with snippets included).



  * Phabricator
 - Archived task-oriented discussions, leaving to a desired outcome.
Anonymous participation disallowed.  Search possible in theory; in practice
the implementation is quite limited.  Some (security-sensitive)
conversations can be private, but (AFAIK) an ordinary user does not have a
means to create a private conversation.  I'm not aware of an explicit code
of conduct.


Conpherence allows either public or private conversations.

There are currently guidelines 
(https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bug_management/Phabricator_etiquette). 
The Code of Conduct for technical spaces will cover Phabricator as well.



We have no comprehensive code of conduct/mechanisms to combat harassment,
vandalism, and abuse.  Harassment or vandalism which is stopped in one
communication mechanism can be transferred to another with impunity.  IRC
in particular is seen as a space where (a) private discussions can happen
(good), but (b) there are no cops or consequences.


Yeah, I agree this is an issue, and is why the technical code of conduct 
will have one central reporting place (so you always know where to 
report, and they can consider multi-space harassment).


This is important stuff.  Thank you for talking and thinking about it.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why we changed

2016-02-23 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 02/21/2016 11:03 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

So, if you speak of structurally connecting *open* sources, as a basis for
smart editing tools, you seem to be saying that such copyrighted yet openly
accessible sources, as well as all genuinely paywalled sources, should be
excluded from these efforts.

If that's correct, and I am not misunderstanding what you mean to say here
(please correct me if I do!), how do you square it with the Wikimedia
vision?


She did not say anything about excluding references to proprietary 
sources like those you mentioned above.  I think we're all in agreement 
they will still be referenced.


She described possible enhanced support for including/connecting to open 
data.  That may not be possible/advisable to do for proprietary data, 
which might require proprietary licenses or software.


Of course, it depends on the actual details, but as an analogy think of 
how fair use images are allowed on some specific projects (e.g. English 
Wikipedia), but the central repositories (Wikimedia Commons and 
Wikidata) only include open content/data.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes in the Board

2016-01-27 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 01/27/2016 03:52 PM, Patricio Lorente wrote:

Dear All,

Throughout the discussion about the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri to the
Board of Trustees, the Board has carefully listened to you and discussed
internally. Earlier today, Arnnon decided to step down from the Board.


Thank you to Arnnon and the Board.

I'm sorry this situation arose, but this was the best way to resolve it.

Best wishes,

Matt Flaschen


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

2016-01-21 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 01/20/2016 09:36 PM, George Herbert wrote:

There was a finding of civil, not criminal, liability in the case.  Against the 
companies as a whole not individuals.

Generally such never becomes individual liability or criminality.


You're right that we shouldn't expect criminal charges of Geshuri.

Also, we shouldn't expect key new facts will emerge (the main civil 
cases have completed).  The jury is not out.


However, what Geshuri did ethically is just as important, if not more. 
The board had available information they needed to assess that, but not 
all of them found or used it.


Geshuri's choice not to reveal this information is also an ethical problem.

Matt Flaschen


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

2016-01-11 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 01/08/2016 12:43 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:

On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Pine W  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.


WMF doesn't have the excuse of ignorance, or that the case is in 
progress.  When you appointed him:


1. The documents were unsealed.
2. The Department of Justice case was fully complete.
3. The civil case by employees was fully complete and payouts had either 
started or were fully complete.


Saying you learned about this *after* voting to appoint him is 
incredibly frustrating and disappointing.


Being ignorant of the allegations is even worse than coming up with some 
dubious reason why we should forgive him, and he's still high-integrity 
enough to represent a non-profit backing movement with strong values.


The board had an obligation to fully research both candidates, and 
insist on more time as needed to do so.


There is nothing to wait for (the shareholder lawsuit will probably also 
be settled, but there is no need to wait for it given the released 
documents and fully complete cases above).


See 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_Litigation 
for details (though I'm sure someone has linked this from the list).


Matt Flaschen

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

2015-12-31 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 12/31/2015 08:02 AM, Patricio Lorente wrote:

Thank you to everyone who responded to my email about the Board’s recent
decision. We recognize this is the Board's first removal of a sitting
Trustee, and that has led to questions and perhaps some confusion.

I wanted to provide you with some additional information in response to the
discussions on this thread.


Thank you for providing a clearer picture.  I understand the board 
members are bound in what exactly they can say.


I don't have enough information to agree or disagree with the decision 
you made, but I have a better understanding of its basis.


Matt Flaschen


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

2015-12-31 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 12/31/2015 04:07 AM, Anthony Cole wrote:

Matt, here
,
Jimmy says this was a removal for cause.


Thanks, I appreciate you forwarding this.

Matt Flaschen


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

2015-12-30 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 12/29/2015 07:19 AM, Gnangarra wrote:

there are bigger questions than why like;

- how can this take place
- how can the community ensure its representatives independence in the
future,
- what effect will this have on other elected representatives on the
board

  The Florida statute(
https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/617.0808 ) referred
to earlier says that If a director is elected by a class, chapter, or other
organizational unit, or by region or other geographic grouping, the
director may be removed only by the members of that class, chapter, unit,
or grouping.


IANAL, but I believe that clause does not apply.  There are no "members 
of that class, chapter, unit, or grouping." because there are no members 
at all 
(https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Bylaws#ARTICLE_III_-_MEMBERSHIP). 
 It is also under "2. A majority of all votes of the members, if the 
director was elected or appointed by the members." which also does not 
apply for the same reason.


To be clear, I believe the board's action was legal, but I believe that 
ethically they should state whether it was for cause, and if at all 
possible why he was removed.


Matt Flaschen

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

2015-12-28 Thread Matthew Flaschen
Under Florida law
(https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/617.0808), there is a
distinction between removals for cause and removals not for cause
(https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/617.0808).

Removals not for cause require a 2/3 majority (this standard was still met).

If you are unwilling or unable to specify the reason for removal, I
think you should at least specify whether it was for cause.

Thanks,

Matt Flaschen

On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 6:29 PM, Patricio Lorente
 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
> 
> 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 about changes to the Board

2015-12-28 Thread Matthew Flaschen
Yes, it's still a Florida organization.

You can see the resolution cites
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Bylaws#Section_7._Removal , which in
turn cites Section 617.0808(1), which is what I linked to (
https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/617.0808)

Matt Flaschen

On Monday, December 28, 2015, Thomas Goldammer  wrote:

> Pine, the resolution was published, and it does not provide any
> information.
> https://m.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:James_Heilman_Removal
>
> Matt, why would FL law apply to Board decisions? WMF is based in Cali. Are
> they still officially a Florida entity?
>
> Best,
> Th.
>
> 2015-12-29 1:39 GMT+01:00 Pine W >:
>
> > I am hopeful that the resolution, when it is published, will provide us
> > with more information.
> >
> > IMO, speed is less important here than the completeness of the
> information.
> > I'd prefer a more thorough explanation provided tomorrow than a hasty and
> > potentially incomplete explanation today.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Pine
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 4:32 PM, Kevin Gorman  > wrote:
> >
> > > 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] [Wikitech-l] Announcing Danny Horn's move to Community Tech

2015-10-01 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 10/01/2015 07:05 PM, Ryan Kaldari wrote:

Howdy (my apologies for cross-posting),

I'm pleased to announce that the Community Tech team has a new Product
Manager – Danny Horn, who will be moving from the Collaboration team to
join this new initiative. The Community Tech team is focused on building
improved curation and moderation tools for experienced Wikimedia
editors.[1]


Danny, we're going to miss you a lot on the Collaboration team.

But I'm also excited about the work that the Community Tech team is 
doing.  These are important areas that WMF hasn't always spent enough 
resources on.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's fix templates

2014-10-09 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 09/02/2014 03:27 PM, pi zero wrote:

The templates are extremely complicated in implementation, which is
irrelevant.  If templates were rejected based on extremely complicated
implementation, that would rule out essentially everything that uses
Scribuntu under the hood.


I don't agree with this.  Scribunto is a new language to learn (Lua), 
but that language is far easier for complicated work than parser 
functions are for complicated work.


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's fix templates

2014-10-09 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 09/03/2014 07:08 AM, John Mark Vandenberg wrote:

(Wouldn't it be nice if all skins could be written in Lua + LESS
stored as wikipages on the wiki, instead of distributed as php files;
I know of one LESS skin which works well:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon ; are there others?)


Vector?

It's now all LESS except the jQuery UI styling.

Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's fix templates

2014-10-09 Thread Matthew Flaschen
I agree with the general thrust of Brad's points.  There are some known 
major issues with templating (styling, unreadable parser functions, and 
templates being used for data like Information on Commons are the most 
important ones).


However, these do not all have the same solutions.  Some issues are in a 
bit stalled but the idea is known (e.g. 
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Allow_styling_in_templates). 
 Others have an understood solution (e.g. Wikidata for meta-data of the 
sort used on Commons).


Finally, I consider the unreadable parser functions problem 
essentially solved.  Lua is not perfect, but it's a usable language (and 
not a Mediawiki-specific one) that is far more readable and writable 
than complicated nested parser functions.


I think we should standardize on JavaScript (for interactivity) and 
Scribunto (for business logic that supports templates) as the on-wiki 
languages for non-trivial logic, leaving the wikitext template side for 
simple presentation.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users

2014-01-13 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 01/13/2014 01:25 AM, MZMcBride wrote:

I don't follow what you're saying about a bot account being the only
alternative. You can use the exact same user interface exposure (i.e.,
little (thanks) links) and simply post to the IP's talk page rather than
creating an Echo (logged-in user) notification. I can't see any need for a
separate bot account.


Yeah, we could do that (using the edit API).  However, that still leaves 
the issue of a totally separate user experience (one goes in your 
contributions, one doesn't; different for the recipient), depending on 
what kind of user the recipient is.


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Commons-l] The British Library releases 1 million images

2013-12-17 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 12/16/2013 03:36 AM, Andrew Gray wrote:

Remember that while US caselaw is clear on this point, it is less clear-cut
elsewhere. We at WM tend to take a clear line that 2D reproductions are
ineligible, but it's not a guaranteed absolute truth, particularly in the
UK! We can predict how a court might rule... but they haven't yet, and
claiming copyright is a legally defensible position in many cases.

(Legally defensible is not always correct, of course...)

As a result, an explicit declaration is a positive thing and definitely
should not be discouraged.


I would actually prefer it be more explicit.  The EXIF data says public 
domain, but Flickr says No known copyright restrictions (why not 
public domain or CC0?).


However, we can do our own standard PD-Art analysis to confirm this.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The British Library releases 1 million images

2013-12-17 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 12/15/2013 12:48 PM, Juergen Fenn wrote:

2013/12/15 Katie Chan k...@ktchan.info:


We plan to launch a
crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe
what the images portray.



The images release contained no image-level metadata == One million
uncategorised images == Commons community raise up in arms


It does not really make a difference whether you release a million
images without metadata to Flickr, or to Commons. It comes without any
metadata, so it cannot be searched (and images cannot be found) in
either case. :(


As Andrew said, the interesting question is whether the Commons 
community can effectively help curate/add metadata for this unidentified 
content.


I agree with Andy (see 
http://www.generalist.org.uk/blog/2013/mechanical-curator-on-commons/#comment-209343) 
that tools for easier curation will be quite helpful.


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Which Wikipedias have had large scale bot creation of articles this year?

2013-11-25 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/25/2013 05:00 PM, Erik Zachte wrote:

For all time totals per bot there is
http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/BotActivityMatrixCreates.htm


For the purposes of that chart, how are you defining bots?

Thanks,

Matt Flaschen


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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Increase in page views for the last 3 months

2013-11-23 Thread Matthew Flaschen


It's not clear if this is a bug or true organic growth, but it seems to 
be occurring across multiple Wikipedias (see the rest of the thread).


Matt Flaschen

 Original Message 
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Increase in page views for the last 3 months
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 23:41:09 +0200
From: Strainu strain...@gmail.com
Reply-To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org

Hi,

Looking at the summary reports per language, I've noticed a linear,
significant increase in pageviews for many European languages (ro, bg,
hu, fr) Wikipedias in the last 3 months. This is not happening for
Asian languages or Russian and is not obvious from the report card.

Has anything changed in the reporting or the visit patterns for these
Wikipedias? It looks pretty weird to have a 100% increase for Romanian
in just 3 months [1].

Thanks,
  Strainu


[1] http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryRO.htm

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] September 11 wiki

2013-11-20 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/20/2013 07:09 PM, Tim Starling wrote:

In 2007, the September 11 wiki was moved to a non-Wikimedia site,
evidently hosted by an individual without the capacity to preserve
that content for posterity. It was offline after only 3 years.


It is still accessible at the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine 
(http://wayback.archive.org/web/20060111221201/http://sep11.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) 
(if I try a later year, it seems to redirect to sep11memories.org).


Considering it will not be opened for editing again, that and the dumps 
should be enough.


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright infringement - The real elephant in the room

2013-11-19 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/13/2013 04:57 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

Marco Chiesa, 13/11/2013 10:21:

There are bots that go and look whether a newly inserted block of text is
already present somewhere else, [...]


Rectius: there *used* to be a bot (RevertBot, Lusumbot). The program
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Pywikibot/copyright.py has been
stopped when search engines changed their limits and Lusum has been
waiting for the WMF's Yahoo! BOSS key, needed to run the bot, for a while.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MadmanBot is still running on English 
Wikipedia, which uses the same Yahoo APIs 
(http://www.uberbox.org/~marc/csb.pl).


It might be possible to run it on Italian Wikipedia as well, even 
without generating a new key.  The operator seems to be 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Madman


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright infringement - The real elephant in the room

2013-11-18 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/16/2013 09:04 AM, Anthony Cole wrote:

The problem of false positives from mirrors doesn't exist if we scan edits
as they are made.


Agreed.  However, that example is a legal, attributed (at least on the 
talk page) copy from a third-party freely licensed text, not a false 
positive copy from a Wikipedia mirror.



Maggie says 
herehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Emergency_block_of_an_editor_with_which_I_have_been_previously_involvedthat
copyright bots populate
WP:SCV https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SCV So a
similarly-configured bot could scan recent changes and tag suspected
copyvios in watchlists and page histories like suspected vandalism is
currently tagged.


The suspected vandalism checks that actually tag the edit (e.g. Tag: 
possible vandalism)  are based on AbuseFilter checks.  These are 
relatively fast determinations that consider the text of the edit (e.g. 
regexes for strings of curse words, or meaningless repeating 
characters), and comparisons to the previous version (blanked the 
section, blanked the page).


As far as I know, regular AbuseFilter rules can not hit a database or 
web search to check for copyright violations.  An extension could in 
theory do this.  But there would possibly be performance problems, since 
AbuseFilter runs on the actual server (not just some bot's computer) on 
every edit.


It is possible for a bot to scan every edit; it just can't use 
AbuseFilter tags.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright infringement - The real elephant in the room

2013-11-13 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/13/2013 02:40 AM, James Heilman wrote:

The Wikimedia Foundation needs to wake up and deal with the real tech
elephant in the room. Our primary issue is not a lack of FLOW, a lack of a
visual editor, or a lack of a rapidly expanding education program.

Our biggest issue is copyright infringement.


I don't really agree with that.  It is a serious issue, but I would put 
NPOV (in the face of active threats such as companies paying for 
publicity on Wikipedia) and growing the editor community higher.


We also have solutions to address it (not perfectly, true), both 
preventing the problem and dealing with it after the fact


* MadmanBot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MadmanBot) (mentioned at 
Wikipedia:TurnItIn, and a major technical tool against copyright 
infringement).

* Clear policies against copyright infringement
* Dealing with copyright violations 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_Copyright_Violations_101)
* Finally, the DMCA ensures the foundation is not liable as long as they 
promptly respond to notifications (which of course we want them to anyway).



We have had the Indian program, we have had issues with the Education program, 
and I have today
come across a user who has made nearly 20,000 edits to 1,742 article since
2006 which appear to be nearly all copy and pasted from the sources he has
used. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DrMicro#Copyright_infringement
This has seriously shaken my faith in Wikipedia.


That is indeed disturbing, and I'm glad you found it.


This is especially devastating as there is a tech solution that would have
prevented it. The efforts are being worked on by volunteers here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Turnitin and has been since at
least March of 2012. We NEED all tech resource at the foundation thrown at
this project. Other less important project like FLOW and the visual editor
need to be put on hold to develop this tool.


I don't agree that all tech resources should be used for this.  However, 
there may be room for enhancing MadmanBot (e.g. as a GSOC or OPW project).


A significant problem with TurnItIn is that is proprietary, and can not 
be customized by anyone in the movement.  The fact that it is 
proprietary also means it can never be port of the main infrastructure, 
nor run on Wikimedia Labs.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Copyright infringement - The real elephant in the room

2013-11-13 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 11/13/2013 05:16 AM, Philippe Beaudette wrote:

On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 2:37 AM, Matthew Flaschen 
matthew.flasc...@gatech.edu wrote:


A significant problem with TurnItIn is that is proprietary, and can not be
customized by anyone in the movement.  The fact that it is proprietary also
means it can never be port of the main infrastructure, nor run on Wikimedia
Labs.



Another significant issue is the False Positive factor that is created by
our overwhelming popularity.  Frankly, we're mirrored all over the place.
And tools like Turnitin find the mirrors too.  It's not an easy problem to
solve.  I was on the team that looked at this a couple of years back - it's
just not simple, and there are complex challenges.


Yes, an intelligent solution would take into account when the mirror was 
first indexed (or ideally first published), and when the Wikipedia 
article was edited, to reduce false positives requiring manual intervention.


Matt Flaschen


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Invalid security certificate for en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org

2013-10-03 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 10/02/2013 08:49 PM, Tim Starling wrote:

On 02/10/13 05:56, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

Yes, beta can't currently really be used unless you manually confirm
certificates. (Which, by the way, you should never do on any website.)


Why not? Self-signed certificates are as secure as plain HTTP, which
you would think would be good enough for most people for connecting to
a test wiki.


First of all, trusting random certs is a bad habit to get into.  Few 
people go through the trouble to check the cert chain themselves, 
obviously, so they don't know if it's self-signed or 
man-in-the-middle signed.



We give all sorts of people access to labs, so a proper
certificate for *.wmflabs.org shouldn't give you much additional
confidence.


We do not give all sorts of people access to Beta.  To get your PHP code 
there, you need to get it merged into master.  To get JavaScript there, 
you either need to do that or be an admin on Beta.


So yes, it's a test wiki, but it's *our* test wiki, and the gates are 
not flung totally open.  With a self-signed cert (and the fact that 
nobody really inspects it), you could be connecting to any machine.


Moreover, the goal of Beta is to be like production, which includes the 
SSL.  Self-signed SSL certs interfere with both automated and manual 
testing.  More details are at the bug Nemo linked.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia and the politics of encryption

2013-09-02 Thread Matthew Flaschen

On 09/02/2013 06:17 PM, Tim Starling wrote:

It would allow WMF to monitor censorship and surveillance by being in
the request loop.


There's no guarantee they would accept HTTPS, even if there were still 
user surveillance inside the data center.


 It would be kind of like the cooperation we give to the US government
 at the moment, except specific to readers in China instead of imposed
 on everyone in the world.

This is apples and oranges, in my opinion.  Yes, the U.S. monitors 
Internet traffic in some circumstances.  And I assume they occasionally 
serve subpoenas and such to Wikimedia.


But as far as I know, the U.S. government has never blocked the general 
public from accessing a Wikipedia article, nor have they sent a takedown 
that was based on ideology/social harmony/etc.



We would be able to deliver clear error messages in place of censored
content, instead of a connection reset.


Not necessarily.  Google was delivering such censorship notes for a 
while 
(http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jan/04/google-defeat-china-censorship-battle), 
but eventually conceded to China in a game of chicken.


As mentioned by other people, they also tried this approach of 
tolerating censorship in China for google.cn, but eventually pulled out. 
 google.cn is now just a picture of their home page that links to 
google.com.hk


I understand the goals of your hypothetical solution.  However, 
pragmatic matters aside, I think it's too far down the road of appeasing 
censorship.


Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Disinformation regarding perfect forward secrecy for HTTPS

2013-08-02 Thread Matthew Flaschen
On 08/02/2013 05:06 PM, James Salsman wrote:
 Marc, I note that you have recommending not keeping the Perl CPAN
 modules up to date on Wikimedia Labs:
 http://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Labs/Tool_Labs/Needed_Toolserver_featuresdiff=678902oldid=678746
 saying that out of date packages are the best tested when in fact
 almost all CPAN packages have their own unit tests. That sort of
 reasoning is certain to allow known security vulnerabilities to
 persist when they could easily be avoided.

Besides being from a few months ago, and unrelated to this conversation,
I think that's a mis-characterization of what he said.

He said in general he would lean towards keeping the distribution's
versions since those are the better tested ones, but noted it should be
looked at on a package-by-package basis, and that there may well be
good reasons to bump up to a more recent version (a security
vulnerability that the distro isn't fixing rapidly enough would be such
a reason).

It seems from the context better tested meant something like people
are using this in practice in real environments, not only automated
testing.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Staff Images

2013-07-30 Thread Matthew Flaschen
On 07/12/2013 04:18 AM, Eddy Paine wrote:
 Dan, A placeholder for people without pictures shouldn't be a
 problem. Thats common use. And they are all the same so thats a OK
 thing. The picture of Rory is a picture of Rory. It even says its a
 mascot and I agree with Erik we need Tux for Engineering. And no, we
 are not in the 1950's but as a international organisation we should
 still keep in mind that tattoos aren't accepted world wide.

I don't think that should be a requirement.  Even clothing choices are
not accepted world-wide (in some places, short sleeves and/or showing
your hair are considered unacceptable).

I see no problem with Brandon's choice to show his tattoo.  It might be
nice to use a greater depth of field so his face was in focus too, but
you can still see it.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia Zero in Google search result

2013-06-26 Thread Matthew Flaschen
On 06/18/2013 06:35 PM, Adam Baso wrote:
 Update:
 
 We've added an enhancement to Wikipedia Zero so that if a user who isn't on
 a participating carrier network navigates to a Wikipedia Zero page on
 language.zero.wikipedia.org, such as
 http://en.zero.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muse_%28band%29 , the user will be
 presented an option to visit the canonical URL of the article. If clicked,
 the canonical URL should get the user to the mobile or desktop version of
 the page, based on device type.

That's good to hear.  It would be helpful if when visiting on desktop
(the original report,
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=48856, is about desktop
search), it did not mention mobile carriers, data charges, and such.
 Perhaps it could even redirect silently.

If that's not feasible for now, perhaps the message could be a bit more
general so it reads better on desktop.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: First public peek at Daala, next-next-generation video codec from Xiph

2013-06-21 Thread Matthew Flaschen
On 06/20/2013 07:09 PM, Samuel Klein wrote:
 And what should pop up in my mailbox but a discussion about the next
 free video codec the Xiph Foundation is working on.  This looks pretty
 amazing, and is worth a read:
 
 http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/daala/demo1.shtml

Thanks for pointing this out.  It's great to see they're working on a
new codec and taking a somewhat different path.  I was even able to
understand a bit of the technical documentation.

Matt Flaschen

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] prism and certificate authorities, snooping https

2013-06-16 Thread Matthew Flaschen
On 06/15/2013 05:48 PM, rupert THURNER wrote:
 the conclusion is also interesting:
when a company that uses a certificate authority located in a
 country different than the one in which it holds user data, it
 needlessly exposes users’ data to the compelled disclosure by an
 additional government.
 
 so, by getting the certificates from digicert, the traffic can easier
 be snooped by the u.s. government. and only u.s. citizens are
 protected by u.s. law. this gives a lot of trust :)

Your quote (when a company that uses a certificate authority located in
a country different than the one in which it holds user data) warns of
what happens when you use a *foreign* (not the same as where the servers
are) cert.  Wikimedia uses DigiCert, a provider in the same country,
exactly what that recommends.

Your statement that the traffic can easier be snooped by the u.s.
government is false.  If Wikimedia received a secret U.S. court order
to turn over certain data, the certificate would make no difference,
since the headquarters and servers are already in the U.S.

But using a U.S. provider reduces the WMF's vulnerability to additional
governments.

Matt Flaschen

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