Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation and affiliates disclosing salaries on job ads & the effect of this on workplace equity

2020-09-11 Thread Nathan
I'm sure it will vary considerably. Does that matter? When measuring
internal equity, do we measure based on how expensive of a  lifestyle each
employee leads?

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 7:46 AM Peter Southwood 
wrote:

> Should they? Their cost of living expenses may vary considerably.
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf
> Of Nathan
> Sent: 11 September 2020 13:39
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation and affiliates disclosing salaries on
> job ads & the effect of this on workplace equity
>
> Dan,
>
> Shouldn't two candidates for the same position for the same company get
> roughly the same salary, regardless of where they live?
>
> On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 7:00 AM Dan Garry (Deskana) 
> wrote:
>
> > Asking candidates for their current salary is prohibited in San Francisco
> > as of July 2018 [1] which means that, as a San Francisco based
> > organisation, the Foundation will undoubtedly not be doing this. To my
> > knowledge, this wasn't done by the Foundation before either, but we can
> > confidently state that it won't be done now.
> >
> > There are some complexities in disclosing salary ranges for the
> Foundation.
> > One practice that can be used for encouraging diversity in candidate
> > applications is to specify that a position is open to candidates with a
> > wide range of experience and in all locations in the world, in which case
> > the salary range posted will be so large that it will basically be
> > meaningless. On the other hand, another good practice for encouraging
> > diversity is to source internally for senior positions, which opens up
> more
> > junior roles that can be sourced externally, in which case a salary range
> > can be more meaningful and helpful. It's hard to figure out what the
> right
> > balance is.
> >
> > Regardless, more public transparency in salary banding would be good to
> > see.
> >
> > Dan
> >
> > [1]:
> >
> >
>
> https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-
> updates/pages/san-francisco-bans-salary-history-questions.aspx
> <https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/san-francisco-bans-salary-history-questions.aspx>
> >
> > On Fri, 11 Sep 2020 at 10:44, Chris Keating 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Good morning everyone!
> > >
> > > There's a campaign(1) for nonprofits to disclose the salaries, or at
> > least
> > > salary ranges, on job ads.
> > >
> > > An increasing body of evidence(2) shows that practices like not
> > disclosing
> > > expected pay, and requiring applicants to disclose their current
> salary,
> > is
> > > harmful to equity in the workplace.
> > >
> > > Not disclosing salaries affects pay levels within the organisation -
> > > because white men are usually relatively confident in negotiating their
> > > salaries upwards, so tend to end up with a better deal.
> > >
> > > It can also affect the diversity of candidates who apply. Candidates
> who
> > > have stronger networks within the industry they're moving into (again,
> > more
> > > commonly white men with privileged social and educational backgrounds)
> > also
> > > have clear expectations because they are 'in the know' about industry
> > > norms, while people who don't, find the lack of salary information a
> > > barrier to application. (After all, why take the time and effort to
> apply
> > > for a job when you have no idea how the likely pay compares to your
> > current
> > > employment?)
> > >
> > > I know practices vary within the movement - I believe the WMF never
> > > mentions salaries on ads, and I don't know whether the range is
> disclosed
> > > to applicants or not - some chapters I know do advertise a salary.
> > However,
> > > I'd urge all entities within the movement that hire staff to disclose
> the
> > > expected salary ranges for posts they are advertising, as part of their
> > > commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
> > >
> > > Thanks for reading,
> > >
> > > Chris
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (1): https://showthesalary.com/
> > > (2): e.g. at https://showthesalary.com/resources/
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation and affiliates disclosing salaries on job ads & the effect of this on workplace equity

2020-09-11 Thread Nathan
Dan,

Shouldn't two candidates for the same position for the same company get
roughly the same salary, regardless of where they live?

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 7:00 AM Dan Garry (Deskana)  wrote:

> Asking candidates for their current salary is prohibited in San Francisco
> as of July 2018 [1] which means that, as a San Francisco based
> organisation, the Foundation will undoubtedly not be doing this. To my
> knowledge, this wasn't done by the Foundation before either, but we can
> confidently state that it won't be done now.
>
> There are some complexities in disclosing salary ranges for the Foundation.
> One practice that can be used for encouraging diversity in candidate
> applications is to specify that a position is open to candidates with a
> wide range of experience and in all locations in the world, in which case
> the salary range posted will be so large that it will basically be
> meaningless. On the other hand, another good practice for encouraging
> diversity is to source internally for senior positions, which opens up more
> junior roles that can be sourced externally, in which case a salary range
> can be more meaningful and helpful. It's hard to figure out what the right
> balance is.
>
> Regardless, more public transparency in salary banding would be good to
> see.
>
> Dan
>
> [1]:
>
> https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/san-francisco-bans-salary-history-questions.aspx
>
> On Fri, 11 Sep 2020 at 10:44, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
> > Good morning everyone!
> >
> > There's a campaign(1) for nonprofits to disclose the salaries, or at
> least
> > salary ranges, on job ads.
> >
> > An increasing body of evidence(2) shows that practices like not
> disclosing
> > expected pay, and requiring applicants to disclose their current salary,
> is
> > harmful to equity in the workplace.
> >
> > Not disclosing salaries affects pay levels within the organisation -
> > because white men are usually relatively confident in negotiating their
> > salaries upwards, so tend to end up with a better deal.
> >
> > It can also affect the diversity of candidates who apply. Candidates who
> > have stronger networks within the industry they're moving into (again,
> more
> > commonly white men with privileged social and educational backgrounds)
> also
> > have clear expectations because they are 'in the know' about industry
> > norms, while people who don't, find the lack of salary information a
> > barrier to application. (After all, why take the time and effort to apply
> > for a job when you have no idea how the likely pay compares to your
> current
> > employment?)
> >
> > I know practices vary within the movement - I believe the WMF never
> > mentions salaries on ads, and I don't know whether the range is disclosed
> > to applicants or not - some chapters I know do advertise a salary.
> However,
> > I'd urge all entities within the movement that hire staff to disclose the
> > expected salary ranges for posts they are advertising, as part of their
> > commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
> >
> > Thanks for reading,
> >
> > Chris
> >
> >
> >
> > (1): https://showthesalary.com/
> > (2): e.g. at https://showthesalary.com/resources/
> > ___
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> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UCoC update, emergency@, and T behavioral investigations

2020-08-24 Thread Nathan
Hi Maggie,

First, thank you for the update and for the additional background
information. How does T determine *which* local processes to refer users
to? In the particular case here, it might have been better if the user had
been offered a mix of private or public methods to address the problem. It
seems as though the only advice given was to a noticeboard, but as others
have noted communicating privately with an administrator or with the
functionaries list or other private means may have been more effective.
That could be true for future inquiries as well, so perhaps reviewing what
advice regarding local processes is offered would be a good idea.

The emergency@ response also did not offer or suggest sending the inquiry
to ca@, which might have been helpful.

~Nathan

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 2:38 PM Maggie Dennis  wrote:

> Hello, all.
>
> Yesterday some questions were raised in this channel about Trust & Safety’s
> response to an issue of harassment reported via our emergency email
> address. The director of that team reports to me, as I am the Vice
> President of Community Resilience & Sustainability, so I wanted to speak to
> that, to clarify our approaches in the hopes of avoiding unnecessary
> confusion and distress to individuals in the future. I also wanted to give
> you an update on the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) drafting committee.
> :)
>
> Apologies in advance for the length of this!
>
> Let’s start with the UCoC.[1] As a brief recap, there is a drafting
> committee working on a global policy that will set basic minimum standards
> for conduct in the Wikimedia movement. The committee is making good
> progress, but time challenges in part around the current global health
> crisis has led them to ask for two more weeks to prepare this draft for the
> month-long community review period on Meta. This means we will be asking
> for community comment from September 7 to October 6, which will push the
> delivery of the policy to the Board from September 30 to October 13. The
> full timeline is on the main Meta page.
>
> In terms of the Foundation’s Trust & Safety team and how and when to reach
> out to them, Trust & Safety’s team handles several key workflows with
> different addresses according to urgency.[2]
>
> Our emergency@ channel is set up to deal with threats of physical harm -
> ranging from terrorism to suicide - which the team triages and escalates as
> appropriate to law enforcement and other emergency services for them to
> handle. (“As appropriate” is under an escalation protocol defined for the
> Foundation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who helped build this
> multinational crisis line.) The team’s sole role here is to act as a
> switchboard putting these threats into the hands of professionals trained
> to handle them, around the world. This channel is staffed 24 hours a day, 7
> days a week, and the team has strong direction not to handle other matters
> through this channel. In order for it to function effectively, it deals
> with nothing else. (See the Meta page on this process - [3].) Other
> matters, including behavioral investigation requests, should be sent to
> Trust & Safety via the email address c...@wikimedia.org.
>
> I’d like to acknowledge that it is not unusual for the Trust & Safety team
> to encounter problems caused by lack of clarity as to what constitutes
> harassment and what to do about it when it is encountered. There are
> differences in how different projects define and handle issues, including
> how many resources they have to dedicate to investigating and responding to
> these and where and when concerns should be raised. This is one of the
> reasons that the Movement Strategy working groups recommended the Universal
> Code of Conduct to begin with, with clear escalation mechanisms. We are
> working with communities on this, with an expectation that over the next
> few months international conversations will help everyone better understand
> what behavior is acceptable in the movement and better navigate and choose
> where to report their concerns to find effective help.
>
> How the Foundation will support communities in these governance issues is
> important, with an essential balance of giving targets of harassment the
> care they need while also respecting that communities are better positioned
> to self-govern. Our role is and should remain to assist with issues that
> are beyond the capacity of communities to handle. Our goal should be to
> empower communities to handle as much as they can.
>
> The Trust & Safety team has a small division of people who review
> behavioral investigation requests they receive. Their first task is to
> assess whether the issue is for some reason not solvable through community
> self-

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Operation and oversight of OTRS system

2020-07-20 Thread Nathan
Perfect encapsulation of what's gone wrong here in this debate. Andy makes
some really solid points; OTRS is a black hole, has a history of being
clubby, etc. That history has a lot of smudge marks on it going all the way
back to wiki-en IRC channels and the overlap between IRC admins and OTRS
admins and how it all fed into toxicity and secrecy.

The end goal - transparency in OTRS - is therefore a no brainer, but the
strategy being deployed to make progress is ineffective.

Below is an example of why: Tomasz notes, correctly, that OTRS agents
on *general
info queues* (which he distinguished from permission queues) just answer
questions, they don't exercise authority. Andy's reply is both
argumentative and inaccurate. Tomasz could easily be on-side for genuine
reform. He's an insider at OTRS who acknowledges room for improvement. But
it wouldn't surprise me if this response converts him to an opponent.

This is a common dynamic on Wikipedia itself, and a big part of why people
burnout and stuff doesn't get done. No one is inspired to collaborate from
what reads as angry, argumentative accusations liberally applied to all
participants.

Whether you agree with the ultimate objective or not, it's easier to just
disengage.

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 11:36 AM Andy Mabbett 
wrote:

> On Mon, 20 Jul 2020 at 10:01, Tomasz Ganicz  wrote:
>
>
> > In fact - OTRS agents answering questions for general info queues have no
> > special power - I mean they do not make any "secretive" decisions
>
> But they do; and we know that they do. The specific case to which you
> refer above occurred when an OS agen declined to accept multiple
> in-scope photographs, from multiple correspondents, sent at the
> request of Wikidata editors, to OTRS by non-Wikimdians. This only came
> to light because the person who had organised the campaign noticed,
> and brought it to the attention of Wikidata editors, on Wikidata.
>
> Nonetheless, that specific case led to general questions. about how
> ORS operates across our movement.
>
> And note that not one of the ten questions I referred to at the top of
> this thread mentones any specific case.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Operation and oversight of OTRS system

2020-07-06 Thread Nathan
OTRS has always seemed modeled after our wikis; self-selecting,
self-perpetuating, self-governing... Often inconsistent, and always opaque
to outsiders. There was a time when this was regarded as a feature. As
other functions have become more transparent and accountable, OTRS has kept
a low profile.

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 5:42 PM Amir Sarabadani  wrote:

> Hello,
> This is the first time that I heard that the rules and policies of a
> volunteer body are confidential. As a CU and OS we don't have any
> confidential policy (confidential data, sure)
>
> Can you elaborate more?
>
> On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 7:52 PM Jonatan Svensson Glad <
> gladjona...@outlook.com> wrote:
>
> > Some quick non-answer (better knows as !answers):
> >
> > 1. what are OTRS' rules and policies?
> > I’m unable to answer this due to the Confidentiality Agreement all OTRS
> > agents sign.  Any and all
> > information on the OTRS wiki is private. OTRS wiki is used as a private
> > workspace restricted to Wikimedia Foundation staff, chapter
> > representatives, and Volunteer Response Team members, and is is strictly
> > confidential.
> >
> > 2. where are those rules and policies documented, and why are they not
> > public?
> > All rules and policies not stored on a local wiki (Commons, enwp, etc.)
> or
> > Meta are stored on the OTRS wiki . Why,
> > if any rules or policies posted on OTRS wiki, are not public, I’m unable
> to
> > answer this due to the Confidentiality Agreement all OTRS agents sign.
> >
> > 3. where are those rules and policies discussed and decided?
> > If not discussed publicly on a local wiki (Commons, enwp, etc.) or Meta,
> > they can be discussed on e.g. the Café on the OTRS wiki <
> > http://otrs-wiki.wikimedia.org> or on the mailing list. Or, I guess, by
> > ”decree" by WMF.
> >
> > 4. what is the process for getting those rules and policies changed (or
> > reworded for clarity)?
> > I’m unable to answer this due to the Confidentiality Agreement all OTRS
> > agents sign.
> >
> > 5. how is OTRS overseen, and who by?
> > OTRS has 9 ”OTRS admins” <
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS#OTRS_administrators>. I believe
> OTRS
> > falls under the Communications committee’s purview, and perhaps T
> >
> > 6. what is the approval process for an individual to become an OTRS
> agent?
> > Please see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/Volunteering.
> >
> > 7. what is the process for the community to remove an individual’s OTRS
> > permissions, if they fail to uphold or abide by policy?
> > I do not know the answer to this question.
> >
> > 8. if an individual has been acting contrary to policy, what is the
> > process for reviewing and if necessary overturning their past actions
> > (including contacting and apologising to their correspondents)?
> > I’m unable to answer this due to the Confidentiality Agreement all OTRS
> > agents sign.
> >
> > 9. which individuals can make someone an OTRS agent, or remove their
> > permissions?
> > OTRS admins .
> >
> > 10. how are the individuals in #9 appointed and overseen?
> > I do not know the answer to this question.
> >
> >
> > Jonatan Svensson Glad
> > Josve05a
> > ___
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> > 
>
>
>
> --
> Amir (he/him)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Moderation notice: Gerard Meijssen

2020-06-29 Thread Nathan
Asaf,

Thank you for notifying the list. I have read Gerard's posts to this list
since 2007, and it's a safe bet that his thousands of messages make him the
single most prolific contributor to this list since it was created. I
appreciate that the moderators felt compelled to act, but I find the
ultimate result unfortunate. I hope that he will reconsider and make the
needed adjustments in his posts; I know that Gerard is a deeply passionate
member of this community, and a particularly fierce and protective advocate
of Wikidata, and for me at least his perspective will be missed.

On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 3:22 PM Asaf Bartov  wrote:

> Dear list subscribers,
>
> In my volunteer capacity as list-admin, I write to let you know that
> subscriber Gerard Meijssen has been placed on indefinite moderation after
> making toxic comments to another subscriber, and failing to apologize for
> them after it was pointed out to him.  Gerard had been warned before about
> his aggressive conduct on this mailing list.
>
> As most of you know, being placed in moderation still allows moderated
> people to contribute to the list, but their posts don't go straight to all
> subscribers, but wait for an admin to review and release them, or reject
> them.  They are a compromise between wanting to be inclusive of people who
> are good faith volunteers but who sometimes find it difficult to maintain
> civil discourse on the one hand, and protecting the list's other
> subscribers from unacceptable discourse on the other hand.
>
> However, Gerard chose to unsubscribe himself from the list.  We want to be
> clear that the moderation remains in force, should he choose to
> re-subscribe in the future.
>
> Asaf
> on behalf of the list-admins
> --
> Asaf Bartov 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board update on Branding: next steps

2020-06-29 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 6:36 AM Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Just analyse the text, read the arguments. When you express an opinion, it
> warrants analysis. When this is not permitted it follows that you can not
> argue based on what people state. To what extend do you allow for the
> exchange of arguments when you do not allow for reading and commenting on
> what has been expressed?
>
> For the record I do value WereSpielChequers, he is imho an accomplished
> Wikimedian who I respect.
>
> When you tell me that I cannot comment on what people write, how do you
> expose a bias. What does it do for a freedom of expression? What I bring
> are arguments that you do not refute by dismissing them.
> Thanks,
>GerardM
>
>
I think the problem is that you appear to have misread what he wrote, or
maybe confused him with someone else entirely. Or are you replying, in this
thread, to something he wrote in another? As it stands, his comment
suggests that the WMF can and perhaps should change its name to something
"suitable for the parent of all projects, not just Wikipedia. " The point
being, as I read it, that other solutions to that problem may be available
and the survey neglects to touch on them at all.

Nothing in that sounds like an en.wp-centric view that one project should
be the flagship for all projects and that should be reflected in the brand.
Exactly the opposite.

This is the issue with imputing motives to individuals who haven't stated
them; you may be wrong, and if you are wrong, you may offend your target or
others.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board Update on Branding

2020-06-23 Thread Nathan
Considering the context, Gnangarra, I think you owe something a little more
substantial. In the midst of tearing Nat down for misdeeds which you
yourself acknowledge she didn't personally commit (that of Board
miscommunication), and considering your opposition is based on Board
directives that she did not write, you slandered her with an accusation
that is both incorrectly applied to her and false in any case.

As you said, "Taking responsibility for a gross failure does in fact mean
accepting and acknowledging you failed, and then stating what you intend to
do to rectify that failing." I await your demonstration of this principle
which is clearly so critically important to you. Nataliia is a human being
and a volunteer, as are we all, and we should all be better than to toss
off gross insults against colleagues on no basis whatsoever.

On the topic, I think others have said it very well - the core problem is
that this rebranding approach is backward. It should have begun with
community conversations, with a "grass roots" effort to develop a common
understanding of the problem. Instead the Board decided, paid some people a
lot of money to present a narrow range of options, and planned the
community consultation as a last and limited step. These are serious errors
with significant consequences, as we see.

On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 6:19 AM Gnangarra  wrote:

> My apologies for that error
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the Wikimedia-movement apolitical?

2020-04-26 Thread Nathan
There's a tendency of people with an association with the Wikimedia
movement to see it as a hammer that can be swung at every nail. This is
embodied most perfectly in the e-mail by Rebecca O'Neil, who claims that if
WMF doesn't take a position on any issue (or every issue?), it is taking a
position in support of the status quo.

That is absurd. The movement and the WMF have a purpose. That purpose is
not koala habitats, nor Superfund sites, nor opioid addiction nor LGTB
rights in Uganda. All those issues are valuable purposes for an
organization to have, but the WMF has a different purpose. Its activities
should be in pursuit of its mission. Not any and every mission that at
least some Wikimedians think is valuable.

All that said, how many views did the wikimediafoundation.org site get
during the time the banner was up? A few hundred? A few thousand? Varnum
apologized, the banner was a bit of a rush job. Rather than arguing why WMF
should support all your pet causes or, alternatively, hand over the keys to
"the community" - maybe just move on.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] SEEKING A WIKIPEDIAN IN RESIDENCE! (U.S.)

2020-02-27 Thread Nathan
I won't claim to speak for an entire state, but as a Vermont resident I
find I have no objection to this post.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Snøhetta and Wikimedia

2020-01-20 Thread Nathan
Just want to reinforce some other comments -- Pine... WMF employees, many
of whom gave up subscribing to this list long ago, are real people and this
is their livelihood.

Suggestions to start firing people add no value to the discussion and, if
anything, detract from the credibility of the other points you are trying
to make (which I largely agree with).

Hoping with the benefit of a few days of cooling down that is clear to you
as well.

~Nathan

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 7:50 PM Pine W  wrote:

> There are ways that Wikimedia rebranding consultations could be done
> collaboratively, politely, and with careful stewardship of donor's money.
> This is not one of them.
>
> I think that it's time for some people in WMF to move on. Without having
> access to WMF internal discussions, I don't know exactly who I would
> remove, but I've had enough of poor coordination, questionable financial
> decisions, and discourtesy, and I hope that the donors and the Board have
> too. These problems are not isolated to the rebranding effort, but I think
> that this is as good a place as any to start replacing employees who aren't
> working out.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement Strategy: Draft recommendations are here!

2019-08-12 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 7:12 PM Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> Ziko's original comment appears to derive from the "Terms of Use/Licensing"
> section of the Recommendations.[1] It says: "Present licensing for both
> text and photographs should change to allow restrictions for non-commercial
> use and no derivative works, if those will improve the ability of the
> project to better reflect diverse knowledge on a global scale, such as by
> including videos, allowing culturally significant text or photos to remain
> intact without misappropriation, etc."
>
> The recommendation appears to have been written in the absence of a full
> awareness of the extensive debate throughout the Wikimedia movement that
> resulted in the present policies. That debate exists in mailing list
> archives, Board of Trustees minutes, on Meta Wiki, and elsewhere.
>
> Wikimedia already has a framework for permitting non-free files. It's
> called an "Exemption Doctrine Policy"[2]; any project may adopt such a
> policy according to a framework defined by the WMF in a 2007 resolution.[3]
>
> I am someone who has tried hard to get such a policy passed on English
> Wikisource, and I have failed. I believe it would be the right choice for
> English Wikisource, but the people I have to persuade are English
> Wikisource volunteers.
>
> To have any weight, a recommendation like this one would need to
> demonstrate familiarity with the history behind Wikimedia's current
> policies toward licensing. Absent that, there is plenty of room to advocate
> for the use of non-free files on a project-by-project basis. Demonstrating
> an ability to win support at specific projects, and then demonstrating that
> implementing an EDP paved the way toward good results, could form a
> compelling argument.
>
> Strong advocacy in a strategy document does not form a compelling argument.
>
> -Pete
> --
> Pete Forsyth
> Volunteer primarily on English Wikipedia, English Wikisource, Wikidata,
> Commons, and Meta Wiki.
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/9#Q_3_What_will_change_because_of_the_Recommendation
> ?
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Non-free_content#Exemption_Doctrine_Policy
> [3] https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Licensing_policy
>
>
>
>
One counter-argument that doesn't seem to come up that often is that the
movement as a whole may be better placed to decide the needs of the
movement as a whole than smaller, more local communities. We limit the
autonomy of local communities in many ways in order to serve the mission
and directives of the global community. Do we exclude the possibility that
the global community may decide, and may have the authority to decide, that
the mission or approach of Commons (or English Wikisource) should be
adjusted? Or if the Wikimedia movement wants a repository for NC/ND
content, should it be forced to create a new version of Commons with a
different starting policy foundation?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-07-04 Thread Nathan
On Thu, Jul 4, 2019 at 10:56 AM Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

>
>
> It is well known that English Wikipedia is considered a toxic environment
> This has been known by all for a very long time. The fact of the matter is
> that the arbitration committee is not able to do something about it. There
> are many considerations possible but it is not this committee that is at
> fault it is the community itself. Many people are indignant that they are
> told that it has to stop. FRAM may be the "victim" in this but hey why not
> him? A point is being made.



Yes, the environment is full of toxic people. This has always been true,
and yet it exists. You want a revolution to make Wikipedia a friendlier
place? It isn't going to happen. There is no such place, at least not with
the critical mass of human participants that this project needs. Have you
been to a city? Have you seen Reddit or 4chan? Participated in a national
election? If so, do you really think that the WMF is going to institute
some sort of culture program that will solve problems inherent in human
nature?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-07-04 Thread Nathan
>
>
>  Also, I believe that the
> near-miracle of English Wikipedia should be tended with great care, and
> that the scars from this incident will be with us for a long time.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> 



I think there's a kernel here of something really important. An argument
can be made (and has been, I'm sure) that the English Wikipedia is a modern
Wonder of the World. It's a towering achievement of technology and
humanity. It's humanity means that, like all of our towering achievements,
it can't escape our flaws. The world is full of toxic people. Released from
the risk of being iced out of society or punched in the face, they let that
toxicity reign on the Internet and all of its spaces - including Wikipedia.
The idea that the WMF or the Wikipedia community is going to solve this
problem is earnest and well-meaning but foolish.

Yet Wikipedia was brought into being despite the toxicity, and has survived
and thrived all this time alongside the struggles of human interaction. So
maybe what we really need is for the WMF to be hands off and let the forces
that created this "miracle" keep doing their work, and for the community of
the English Wikipedia to keep struggling but with the practical realization
that success means just keeping temps below a rolling boil.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-06-28 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 3:58 PM Robert Fernandez 
wrote:

> Because they'd be immediately accused of libeling him and it would
> turn into a he said/they said.
>
> Also, while I do think the WMF should be in the business of blocking
> problem-causing users, it shouldn't be in the business of speaking out
> against them publicly.


Robert, I don't follow your arguments here. You think the only two possible
explanations are that one or the other side is lying, and prefer a practice
where the WMF silently bans people and never offers an explanation? Neither
position seems reasonable in my opinion.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Some goodbye to all

2019-06-20 Thread Nathan
I think it's OK to mourn the loss of someone's future contributions and
participation, without purporting to make a decision on the substance of
any accusations. I read Romaine's e-mail and thought it sad that he felt it
necessary to withdraw. I also am not blindly trusting of T This is the
same team that took the extraordinary and unique step of banning an en.wp
admin for saying "fuck arbcom", apparently not anticipating or taking any
steps to mitigate the inevitable blowback.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Community Health, Roles & Responsibilities

2019-06-16 Thread Nathan
On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 5:03 PM Ad Huikeshoven  wrote:

> 
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation took a bold step in banning Fram for a year. They
> have the authority to do so. They are not obliged to give reasons.
>
>
Here's a fundamental source of disagreement. It gets at something I'm not
sure the strategy process is properly addressing. Does the WMF lead and
direct the Wikimedia movement? Or is its role to provide support and
services to the movement's contributors, who are (collectively) its
leaders? Should it impose change on projects based on its own determination
of need, or respond to needs identified by project communities?

My impression is that the WMF views the noisy contributors who participate
in meta discussions (and, incidentally, vote for Board elections) as a
necessary evil -- and its own role as being the guarantor of the best
interests of the readers, whom the movement is intended to benefit. Their
sense of the gravity of any controversy among insiders is always tempered
by the conviction that readers are unaffected, and will ultimately benefit.
Since readers are by definition a group who cannot react to internal
politics, they have no voice to criticize any decisions taken in their
name.

I think this becomes the true basis of the anger and resistance on the
English Wikipedia: *the sense that the WMF has declared that it is
leading now, instead of supporting*. That's also the message in comments
that assert the WMF has the authority to do what it likes, and no
obligation to explain or justify its decisions. Each time the WMF has taken
similar decisions the reaction has been similar, but as I mentioned in a
previous post... They are not learning the appropriate lessons.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-06-12 Thread Nathan
A lot of different issues are being conflated by commenters on-wiki and
here, muddying the issue. The WMF responses and some others think that this
is about policing conduct, and the perennial difficulty of doing that
against people who have entrenched support and lots of positive
contributions. But that's not really it - even in the discussion, many
people acknowledge that Fram can be a jerk and has a lot of distance to
cover before they reach the community norm of appropriate behavior.

The problem is that most people were surprised by the blunt assertion of
WMF authority in a realm where they have mostly been absent. The appearance
is that an insider with a connection to Trust & Safety went outside
community processes to report what she viewed as (on-wiki) harassment. The
T team made a very token effort to intervene, and then imposed a high
profile ban with the flimsy excuse of a diff that says "fuck arbcom". They
then used that diff to excuse not including ArbCom, as if ArbCom had never
been subjected to any abuse before.

And then predictably the WMF can't ven figure out how to help
themselves once the screw up has occurred. I take Philippe's point that
multiple levels of people contributed to the screw up, and the silly
meaningless responses (and the tepid defense of some other insiders) only
exacerbated the issue. The bottom line is that if WMF wants to change the
rules of who in en.wp is responsible for what, and lift conduct policing
from the community's responsibility, it has a duty to let people know in
advance. This is an echo of the lesson that the WMF has clearly failed to
learn despite many chances over the years (superprotect, LiquidThreads, a
dozen other features and changes people didn't like, and so on). When will
they learn? Philippe moved on, so the easy solution - put him in charge of
everything - isn't going to work.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block

2019-06-11 Thread Nathan
Wow, what a cluster. How does the WMF get themselves into these things? I
have ten edits to en.wp since 2018 and even I could have 100% predicted the
entire spectrum, and scale, of the reaction here. Why are WMF staffers so
deeply, fundamentally disconnected from the communities where they feel the
right to ban people for saying "fuck arbcom"?

On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:49 PM Todd Allen  wrote:

> Amir, yes, ArbCom members must sign the WMF confidentiality agreement for
> nonpublic information (
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Confidentiality_agreement_for_nonpublic_information
> )
> , as must all functionaries (checkuser, oversight, etc.). I was on the
> English Wikipedia ArbCom for two years, and it was routine for us to deal
> with sensitive, private information.
>
> Todd
>
> On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 9:46 AM Amir Sarabadani 
> wrote:
>
> > People who oppose the ban: Are you aware of all aspects and things Fram
> has
> > done? Do you have the full picture? It's really saddening to see how fast
> > people jump to conclusion in page mentioned in the email. I personally,
> > don't know what happened so I neither can support or oppose the ban. As
> > simple as that.
> >
> > So what should be done IMO. If enwiki wants to know more, a community
> body
> > can ask for more information, if body satisfy two things:
> >  - They had signed NDA not to disclose the case
> >  - They are trusted by the community
> >
> > I think the only body can sorta work with this is stewards but not sure
> > (Does ArbCom NDA'ed?)
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:58 PM Paulo Santos Perneta <
> > paulospern...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Lack of transparency from the WMF, whatelse is new.
> > > I'm currently under a funding ban secretly decided (by who?) based on a
> > > false accusation, without providing any evidence. Until now I'm waiting
> > for
> > > an explanation from the WMF. So, this sort of attitude doesn't surprise
> > me
> > > at all.
> > > It is very unfortunate that the WMF apparently thrives in this kind of
> > > medieval obscurity, the opposite of the values of the Wikimedia
> Movement.
> > > Matter for Roles & Reponsibilities.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Paulo
> > >
> > >
> > > Benjamin Ikuta  escreveu no dia terça,
> > 11/06/2019
> > > à(s) 05:45:
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for this.
> > > >
> > > > I'm glad to see I'm not the only one dismayed by the unilateralism
> and
> > > > lack of transparency.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Jun 10, 2019, at 8:25 PM, Techman224 
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Forwarding to WIkimedia-l since WikiEN-l is relatively dead.
> > > > >
> > > > > Since this message, an Arbcom member (SilkTork) stated that they
> > > weren't
> > > > consulted, nor did this action was the result of Arbcom forwarding a
> > > > concern to the office. [1]
> > > > >
> > > > > The only non-response excuse from the WMF [2] was that "local
> > > > communities consistently struggle to uphold not just their own
> > autonomous
> > > > rules but the Terms of Use, too.” even though there were no
> complaints
> > > > on-wiki nor to Arbcom privately.
> > > > >
> > > > > The on-wiki discussion is taking place at the Bureaucrats and the
> > > Arbcom
> > > > noticeboards.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bureaucrats%27_noticeboard#User:Fram_banned_for_1_year_by_WMF_office
> > > > <
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bureaucrats'_noticeboard#User:Fram_banned_for_1_year_by_WMF_office
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard#Request_for_ArbCom_to_comment_publicly_on_Fram's_ban
> > > > >
> > > > > [1]
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard=prev=901300528
> > > > <
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard=prev=901300528
> > > > >
> > > > > [2]
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bureaucrats%27_noticeboard#Statement_from_the_WMF_Trust_&_Safety_Team
> > > > >
> > > > > Techman224
> > > > >
> > > > >> Begin forwarded message:
> > > > >>
> > > > >> From: George Herbert 
> > > > >> Subject: [WikiEN-l] Fram en.wp office yearlock block
> > > > >> Date: June 10, 2019 at 8:54:34 PM CDT
> > > > >> To: English Wikipedia 
> > > > >> Reply-To: English Wikipedia 
> > > > >>
> > > > >> In case you're not following on-wiki - Office S blocked English
> > > > Wikipedia
> > > > >> user / administrator Fram for a year and desysopped, for
> unspecified
> > > > >> reasons in the Office purview.  There was a brief statement here
> > from
> > > > >> Office regarding it which gave no details other than that normal
> > > policy
> > > > and
> > > > >> procedures for Office actions were followed, which under normal
> > > > >> circumstances preclude public comments.
> > > > >>
> > > > >>
> > > >
> > >
> >
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] Recognition of the Grupo de Usuários Wiki Movimento Brasil

2019-06-07 Thread Nathan
Philip - as can be seen from the group's meta page, this is the former
Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil. Originally founded in 2013, this
organization was de-recognized by AffCom about one year ago.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF commitment for a Wikimedia projects archive

2019-05-14 Thread Nathan
I think questioning the strategy for sustaining the movement's projects is
worthwhile, particularly as part of the strategy discussion. I'm not sure
if sniping on this list is as fruitful.

I considered Fae's question as well; not just the mechanical "do we need an
archive site" that seemed implicit, but the fundamental question of whether
new action needs to be taken to ensure the Wikimedia projects can be
preserved. I hadn't considered that the strategy process would abrogate the
core promise of these projects, that worthwhile content would be largely
preserved to make that worth perpetually available to others.

If that's truly in question I find it hard to imagine what else the
strategy discussion could find as a substitute. I haven't engaged in the
strategy discussion for lots of reasons, but one is that I long ago
acquired a deep skepticism of movement bureaucracy, whether within the
projects or without. The entire edifice seems to have adopted the worst
attributes of bureaucracy - lethargy, indecision, internal strife, and an
abiding commitment to self-enrichment and constant bureaucratic growth.

All that rescues the movement is the persistent desire of its contributors
to add, improve and conserve and the simple demand that the bureaucracy -
if it does nothing else - keep the lights on and stay out of the way. If
that changes, then perhaps we will need the Internet Archive to step in
after all.

PS: Thanks, Seddon, for your thoughtful reconsideration of your earlier
post. To muddle the words of Michelle Obama, always go high. You can't go
wrong.

On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 7:49 PM Risker  wrote:

> Well, I think perhaps Fae's question may be considered more generally.  Fae
> is knowledgeable about the structure of the Wikimedia movement as well as
> the WMF, and I think it might be best to work from the assumption that
> their core question is probably more along the lines of whether (and how)
> the current long-term strategy development process will, in fact, make
> recommendations that are in line with ensuring that there will be (at
> minimum) a publicly accessible archive of the Wikimedia projects.
>
> The movement strategy process is very broad, and  contains a lot of diverse
> ideas about how the movement/WMF/chapters/other entities/projects can be
> improved, maintained, developed and supported.  I'm pretty deep in the
> strategy stuff, and as far as I know, at this point there's no clear path
> to maintaining (or dissolving) any of the existing structures; more to the
> point, there's no guarantee that the final summary recommendations of the
> combined strategy groups will continue to support the current WMF mission
> statement - that is, the part that says " [t]he [Wikimedia] Foundation will
> make and keep useful information from its projects available on the
> internet free of charge, in perpetuity."
>
> I don't think that's really a bad question to ask - in fact, it may be one
> of the more important ones.  I hope I am not presuming too much, but I
> think Fae is saying that this is something that is really important and
> valuable, and that continuity/perpetuation of that particular aspect of the
> mission statement should be a recommendation that gets included in the
> final reports - regardless of which entity assumes responsibility for it or
> who pays for it.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
> On Tue, 14 May 2019 at 18:03, Nathan  wrote:
>
> > The Internet Archive, incidentally, already seems to maintain copies of
> > Wikimedia projects. I don't know to what degree of fidelity.
> Additionally,
> > the WMF's core deliverable is already to provide and sustain access to
> its
> > projects. It has an endowment for that purpose already. Other websites
> and
> > media that might have ephemeral access due to their nature as short-term
> > tools need the IA to be preserved, but the WMF's projects seem to occupy
> a
> > different space. It's sort of like asking if the Library of Congress
> needs
> > to invest in some external project to preserve and organize its
> > collections. No, that is its actual raison d'etre.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF commitment for a Wikimedia projects archive

2019-05-14 Thread Nathan
The Internet Archive, incidentally, already seems to maintain copies of
Wikimedia projects. I don't know to what degree of fidelity. Additionally,
the WMF's core deliverable is already to provide and sustain access to its
projects. It has an endowment for that purpose already. Other websites and
media that might have ephemeral access due to their nature as short-term
tools need the IA to be preserved, but the WMF's projects seem to occupy a
different space. It's sort of like asking if the Library of Congress needs
to invest in some external project to preserve and organize its
collections. No, that is its actual raison d'etre.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Introducing our newest chapter, Wikimedia Korea

2019-04-23 Thread Nathan
I'll ask the obvious question - why is it not Wikimedia South Korea?

And congrats to the participating Wikimedians on their achievement and
recognition!

On Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 6:11 PM María Sefidari 
wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I am happy to share that earlier this year, the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> of Trustees approved our newest Wikimedia chapter - Wikimedia Korea!
>
> For more information about our newest Wikimedia chapter, Wikimedia Korea,
> please see the announcement on the Wikimedia Foundation website:
>
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/2019/04/23/wikimedia-korea-new-chapter-affiliate-launches-in-south-korea/
>
> I want to congratulate the new chapter and recognize their commitment,
> efforts, and time involved in moving through the chapter recognition
> process over the past year. From their work building partnerships with
> universities, to supporting and training new editors in South Korea, we
> look forward to seeing the impactful work from our community members in
> South Korea as they advance in their new affiliate role.
>
> As many of you know, this is our first chapter approval in several years -
> since the newest Wikimedia affiliate approval processes were put in place.
> This marks a new moment in the history of our Wikimedia movement
> affiliates. The Board appreciates the amazing work coming from these user
> groups around the world, and is inspired to see how far some of these
> groups have come in terms of their impact both on our movement and their
> local communities. Indeed, we should all be proud of the impact our
> affiliates continue to have on our projects, our vision, and the world
> around us.
>
> Any affiliate interested in becoming a chapter or thematic organization
> must have at least two years of activities and experience as a user group
> before applying. Please check out the user group creation guide to get a
> user group started - it is meant to be very easy:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_user_groups/Creation_guide
>
>
> You can find a lot more information about our movement affiliates model on
> Meta: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_movement_affiliates/Models
>
> You may also reach out to the Affiliations Committee with questions or to
> begin the approval process for your group:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee
> Please join me in congratulating Wikimedia Korea for this important
> achievement and thanking the members of the Affiliations Committee and
> Wikimedia Foundation staff who supported and worked with them during this
> long process.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> María
>
> --
>
> María Sefidari Huici
>
> Chair of the Board
>
> Wikimedia Foundation 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reviewing our brand system for our 2030 goals

2019-04-13 Thread Nathan
On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 12:42 PM phoebe ayers  wrote:

>
>
> Dear all,
> I haven't weighed in before. But it seems to me there's a simple question
> underlying all of this: do we actually want, or need, to increase public
> awareness of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters/affiliates (as
> opposed to the projects themselves)?
>
> Having Wikimedia be a more recognizable entity or brand does not seem to me
> like it would help us in our core goals, of recruiting editors and content
> to the *projects*. We do not typically use the Wikimedia name to do
> outreach, or to talk about the projects; the handful of us that are
> insiders and give presentations about the WMF is small, relative to the
> number of educators and librarians and editors talking about Wikipedia. (I
> give many trainings on editing Wikipedia every year; talking about
> Wikimedia is irrelevant for this purpose). Perhaps a rebrand would make
> fundraising easier -- but we already use the project brand for that, as
> most fundraising is directly off the projects, and the fundraising that
> isn't (grants and large donations) has a lot of communication around it. So
> I'm not sure how a rebrand would help here either.
>
> The premise of this whole exercise is that people knowing about Wikimedia
> as an entity will somehow help us. But we are not trying to recruit
> contributors to the Foundation, or to the chapters; we are trying to
> recruit them to the projects, and if the infrastructure of our network is
> invisible, I am fine with that. I think to increase the centrality of the
> *organization* is a distraction that misses the point of both our mission
> and the role of the organization, which is to provide infrastructure. We're
> not selling shoes here; more brand awareness of the Foundation does not
> translate into a direct furthering of our mission, and more focus on the
> organization is at best a distraction for overworked volunteers.
>
> Like Andrew, I might have been excited about naming it the Wikipedia
> Foundation ten or fifteen years ago. But now, I think there is a wide world
> of free knowledge that we want to imagine -- including a future of our
> projects remixed into something new, beyond Wikipedia. So for that reason
> too, I am skeptical.
>
> regards,
> Phoebe
> (former WMF trustee)


This is the most persuasive perspective I've read so far, thank you Phoebe.

I also wonder why it makes sense to pursue a WMF rebranding project (which
is expensive in terms of time, money, volunteer effort and in other ways)
at the same time as the strategy process is questioning  whether the WMF
(or chapters, UGs, etc.) are the right vehicles for the movement goals. If
the strategy process is honestly holding open the possibility that the WMF
might not be the right organization to lead, then rebranding before the
process is complete is a strange decision.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] America may go bizarro, but Wikipedia has a choice to make

2019-01-08 Thread Nathan
Hi Fae,

I'm curious what nation you have in mind for your stable Plan B. Is it
Brexit Britain? France of the Yellow Vests and Front National? Perhaps
Orban's Hungary, Putin's Russia, or Germany with its recent right-wing
resurgence?

Maybe you'd prefer Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil? I suppose in Italy we'd worry
about Beppe and criminal libel statutes, while BJP would hardly seem
welcoming in India and I can't imagine you'd suggest a home on the other
side of the Great Firewall.

Maybe you're hinting at Canada, but otherwise, I'd love to understand what
island of liberal stability and legal safeguards you think is safe from the
vagaries of electoral politics or rigid authoritarianism.

The countries I list above have their own flaws (although in each case, I
believe, many desirable traits as well) as does any other alternative.
Anyone could reasonably argue it's unfair to stigmatize any of them by
glaringly public flaws.

To my mind Steve Walling has it right - the very nature of Wikipedia is
maybe the best protection there could be, even against the absurdly
unlikely circumstance of a United States government takeover of Wikipedia.

Nathan

On Tue, Jan 8, 2019 at 12:17 PM Fæ  wrote:

> Dear fellow Wikimedians, please sit back for a moment and ponder the
> following,
>
> For those of us not resident in the US, it has been genuinely alarming
> to see highly respected US government archives vanish overnight,
> reference websites go down, and US legislation appear to drift to
> whatever commercial interests have the loudest current political
> voices. Sadly "populism" is happening now, and dominates American
> politics, driving changes of all sorts in response to politically
> inflated and vague rhetoric about "security" and "fakenews". It is not
> inconceivable that a popularist current or future US Government could
> decide to introduce emergency controls over websites like Wikipedia,
> virtually overnight.[1][2][3][4]
>
> The question of whether the Wikimedia Foundation should have a hot
> switch option, so that if a "disaster" strikes in America, we could
> continue running Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons from other countries
> has been raised on this list several times over many years. The WMF
> and its employees are heavily invested in staying in Silicon Valley,
> and that will stay true unless external risks become extreme.
>
> However, there has never been a rationale to avoid investing in a Plan
> B. A robust plan, where the WMF can switch operations over to a
> hosting country with a sufficiently welcoming with stable national
> government and legislation, that our projects could continue to meet
> our open knowledge goals virtually uninterrupted and without risk of
> political control. A Plan B would ensure that if the US Government
> started to discuss controlling Wikipedia, then at least that published
> plan would be a realistic response. If they tried doing it, we could
> simply power off our servers in the USA, rather than compromise our
> content.
>
> If anyone knows of committed investment in a practical WMF Plan B, it
> would be reassuring to share it more widely at this time. If not, more
> of us should be asking about it, politely, persistently but perhaps
> less patiently than indefinitely. :-)
>
> Links:
> 1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46739180
> 2. http://www.lse.ac.uk/ideas/research/updates/populism
> 3.
> https://www.cnet.com/news/obama-signs-order-outlining-emergency-internet-control
> "... this order was designed to empower certain governmental agencies
> with control over telecommunications and the Web during natural
> disasters and security emergencies."
> 4.
> https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/presidential-emergency-powers/576418
> "The president could seize control of U.S. internet traffic, impeding
> access to certain websites and ensuring that internet searches return
> pro-Trump content as the top results."
> 5. Bizarro, as used in the title of this email:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_World
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Subject lines for WMF fundraising emails

2018-11-13 Thread Nathan
"Deleting Wikipedia?" was the subject line of the e-mail I received as
well. It also, as usual, included the claim that if enough donations were
received the campaign would end early. That hasn't been the case in the
past when campaign goals are met.

On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 6:04 PM Pine W  wrote:

> There is a report from a user on Jimbo's talk page on ENWP regarding
> receiving fundraising a fundraising email with the subject line "[NAME] -
> Deleting Wikipedia?"
>
> In previous years I've disagreed with some of WMF's fundraising choices,
> and it would be unfortunate if in the era of "fake news" becoming
> mainstream WMF chooses to continue to be a part of the problem. If this is
> happening then I request that WMF put a stop to it. Regardless of how
> effective it is to send misleading fundraising appeals and that WMF has
> received minimal repercussions for doing so over the years, it's wrong and
> it should stop.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

2018-10-11 Thread Nathan
Thank you for acknowledging the existence of this thread and the fact that
AffCom is still making some effort to bring the problem to a resolution. It
doesn't seem like it should be all that challenging, if one disputant is a
single individual and the other is a community of people led by those for
whom they have repeatedly expressed support.

If, as described, AffCom laid out a procedure by which one side could
legitimize itself and then decided to revoke that procedure after much work
by those trying to follow it... AffCom could acknowledge an error and
apologize. That you have described your proposed next step is at least
progress in the right direction.

In any case, I'm sure we all look forward to AffCom sharing the results of
its solicitation of advice with the Wikimedia public.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 8:07 PM Kirill Lokshin 
wrote:

> As I believe we mentioned the last time this particular topic came up, we
> are unlikely to resolve the intricacies of Portuguese nonprofit law by
> debating them on a mailing list.
>
> Gonçalo and his colleagues have quite clearly expressed their position:
> they believe that the process by which they came to control Wikimedia
> Portugal complies with the applicable provisions of Portuguese law.  At the
> same time, the other side in this conflict has expressed a contrary
> position: that the process in question does *not* comply with those
> provisions.
>
> The Affiliations Committee has obviously been unable to make any real
> headway here, particularly as the dispute hinges in no small part on
> interpretations of case law rather than a plain reading of the applicable
> legal codes; consequently, we've solicited advice from actual Portuguese
> legal experts, which we hope to receive in the near future.  Until that
> happens, however, we are not going to be able to bring this to closure, one
> way or the other.
>
> Regards,
> Kirill
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

2018-10-11 Thread Nathan
I can't tell which part of this situation is the more sad; is it the events
themselves, the total absence of any comment from AffCom, or the very
limited interest evinced by the rest of the folks subscribed to this list?

It seems if we follow the AffCom model described here, we should take WMPT
at its word as the complainant and decide that AffCom should perhaps be
disbanded - maybe to be reconstituted by others at a later date.

Perhaps those others would feel themselves responsible to a constituency
beyond themselves, at least to the minimal extent that they deign to offer
a response of some sort in public.

If that sounds like an extreme and unfair outcome, I might even agree...
but it's clear that AffCom itself sees some logic in that approach.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 1:02 PM Chris Keating 
wrote:

> I think there's a question to think about, about how the movement
> handles this kind of situation where there are evidently serious
> governance problems affecting an affiliate.
>
> There are some clear-cut situations (e.g. total inactivity) where the
> current de-recognition process can simply be followed by Affcom. And
> there are some situations where there is a large and prominent
> affiliate that has plenty of activity, but serious governance issues,
> where the WMF Grantmaking and/or Legal teams can get involved in some
> depth (thinking about  Wikimedia UK in 2012 and Wikimedia France in
> 2017).
>
> This is the only case that's "in the middle" that I am aware of - are
> there more that have been made public? Of course, it's possible that
> there may be other cases where a small/medium affiliate has been
> helped to have their governance problems resolved by one process or
> another (derecognition or something else) but it's happened silently
> in the background.
>
> Chris
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 5:29 PM Paulo Santos Perneta
>  wrote:
> >
> > Just a quick message to clarify that the only conflict that ever existed
> in
> > Wikimedia Portugal, as far as I know, was with João Vasconcelos himself.
> >
> > Paulo
> >
> > Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l 
> > escreveu no dia quinta, 11/10/2018 à(s) 15:38:
> >
> > >  The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I
> think
> > > many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting
> point
> > > (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that
> someone
> > > else with more community experience would have never behaved such way,
> but
> > > that's speculation.
> > >
> > > Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably
> did
> > > not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution"
> were,
> > > even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise in
> > > other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts that
> > > later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is
> not a
> > > great resolution.
> > > The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few
> months
> > > ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both
> wrong".
> > > Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again, it
> > > gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct
> position
> > > can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody
> pays
> > > equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try to
> > > grasp the general vibe here.
> > >
> > >  This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and spotting
> the
> > > real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But
> wisdom
> > > comes also with experience.
> > >Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <
> > > goethe.w...@gmail.com> ha scritto:
> > >
> > >  Hi Illario,
> > >
> > > Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a
> chapter
> > > is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
> > > explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in
> management
> > > and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
> > > Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to
> the
> > > chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an
> advantage,
> > > but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
> > > competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.
> > >
> > > In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter,
> and he
> > > was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very
> quickly
> > > started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did
> not
> > > personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
> > > projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started
> sending
> > > legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our
> most
> > > active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] New Wikimedia Foundation website has soft launched!

2018-08-10 Thread Nathan
Mike, the "soft" part of the launch is that it is available only in
English, has not been heavily promoted and every link and reference
elsewhere has not been transitioned. This info was in Gregory's initial
post about the soft launch on the 1st.

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 9:50 PM Michael Peel  wrote:

> Huh? it’s already been live at https://wikimediafoundation.org/ for the
> last week or so - that’s not a “soft launch”, that’s a full launch (maybe
> without the trimmings).
>
> Should I repost the comments/bug reports I sent to wmfcc-l last week more
> publicly?
>
> Thanks,
> Mike
>
> > On 10 Aug 2018, at 22:34, Gregory Varnum  wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Thank you to everyone that has sent in productive feedback and bug
> reports! In the interest of having this conversation more transparently and
> succinctly, we have answered a number of questions on the talk page of the
> Meta-Wiki page for this site:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_website
> >
> > We will continue to monitor feedback, address bugs during soft launch,
> and let you know when the translations are in place and we are ready for
> the full launch of the site.
> >
> > Again, thank you all for your patience during the soft launch of this
> site.
> >
> > -greg
> >
> > ---
> > Gregory Varnum
> > Communications Strategist
> > Wikimedia Foundation 
> > gvar...@wikimedia.org
> > Pronouns: He/Him/His
> >
> >> On Aug 8, 2018, at 8:28 AM, attolippip  wrote:
> >>
> >> It also does not seem to work correctly on mobile (android):
> >>
> >> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMFnewsiteonandroidmobile.png
> >>
> >> Best regards,
> >> antanana
> >>
> >> On Wed, Aug 8, 2018, 17:47 Andy Mabbett 
> wrote:
> >>
> >>> On 8 August 2018 at 15:23, Shabab Mustafa 
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
>  I had to turn off my anti-tracking extension to see this site
> properly.
> >>>
> >>> This is how it appears for me, in Firefox (current version) with
> >>> AdBlockPlus enabled:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Screenshot_-_2018-08-08_-_Wikimedia_Foundation_blog.png
> >>>
> >>> AdBlockPlus is reportedly active on 100 million devices.
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Andy Mabbett
> >>> @pigsonthewing
> >>> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
> >>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Israel joins the nationwide strike to protest the exclusion of gay couples the right to become parents

2018-07-22 Thread Nathan
I think Andrea's post perfectly illustrates the risk to WMF and WM
affiliates of embracing political positions outside the core mission of the
projects. The number of worthy causes is near infinite; every time you
endorse one you please some people and make many other people wonder why
you considered other causes less important.

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 4:09 AM Andrea Zanni 
wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'll ask forgiveness in advance for starting a probable flame.
>
> I support WMIL stance: equity is absolutely within our Wikimedia
> values, and supporting LGBTQ rights is always a good thing.
>
> But I cannot help but see the enormity of omission here: the Israeli
> government just passed a law proclaming Israel a "Jewish"
> nation-state¹, and it's bombing for the n-th time Gaza, where over 1
> million people are sieged.
>
> It saddens me a bit that WMIL is getting political, stepping "outside"
> our wiki box for a good but still controversial topic, with a minor
> impact, while major things are happening. Purely in terms of numbers
> the scale of the latter are huge: the scale of the first much smaller.
> I see a double standard (Jewish LGBQTs important; Arab-Israelis non
> important) which is directly against the equity we we're talking about
> in the first place.
>
> Again, sorry,
> but I couldn't shut up this time.
>
> aubreyia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns about WMF's "Manager of Community Development" job posting

2018-07-15 Thread Nathan
I agree with Ad and keyed on the same objection when reading Pine's
complaint. The WMF has been the primary organization responsible for
developing the community since the inception of the Wikimedia movement.
That isn't changed by the titles of any particular position. To the extent
that conflicts of interest develop between the WMF and affiliates, I
question the objectives of the affiliates. Affiliates that fund Wikidata,
GLAM projects and other efforts that source significant volumes of high
quality content do good work. The value of edit-a-thons, "management
effort" dedicated to organizing organizations and paying staff and all that
entails and other soft efforts is less well established. I don't think the
creation of a management layer position over existing staff and work at the
WMF is a great moment to consider the pros and cons of these efforts,
however, whether at the WMF or affiliates. That opportunity is the strategy
development process.

On Sun, Jul 15, 2018 at 5:58 PM Pine W  wrote:

> Hi Ad,
>
> I agree that WMF support for training can be beneficial (although, given
> the choice, I would prefer non-WMF funding sources in order to minimize
> conflicts of interest between community/affiliate goals and WMF). However,
> the more firmly that WMF tries to elevate itself as the manager of the
> wikiverse and to tell community members what to do, the more strongly I
> object. Community autonomy should be respected, and WMF's purpose in the
> wikiverse is to offer support rather than to assert centralized management.
>
> I have been thinking about these issues for a few days. I think that WMF
> providing technical support and training, such as a document regarding "How
> to create a citation", is much safer than non-technical training, such as
> "How to apply notability guidelines" which may refer to policies and
> practices that are almost exclusively established by community consensus
> instead of WMF edict.
>
> Regarding WMF involvement in community health, I think that there are ways
> that WMF can be supportive without placing itself in control or asserting
> leadership. For example, WMF can usefully and safely improve technical
> tools for sockpuppet detection, and WMF can research the prevalance of
> incivility on wikis over time, and WMF can research the effectiveness of
> interventions that the community decides to implement.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
>
>
>
>  Original message From: Ad Huikeshoven 
> Date: 7/15/18  12:19 PM  (GMT-08:00) To: Wikimedia Mailing List <
> wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns
> about WMF's "Manager of Community
>   Development" job posting
> Dear friends,
>
> Pine wrote "The idea of WMF placing itself in the position of managing
> community development is problematic."
> I disagree with Pine. It has been recognized in the past that community is
> the key asset in the movement. I do belief that it is a fiduciary duty to
> manage your key asset wisely and responsively. Editing / contributing to
> Wikimedia projects has a radically decentralized nature. Your concern
> regards paying due respect to that radically decentralized nature.
> Community health has been or is an issue for example. I am very glad there
> is going to be a person leading a team of professionals to provide guidance
> to volunteer leaders. And the person will have a challenge to gain trust of
> the community, and to build trust within the communities.
>
> Have a nice weekend,
>
> Ad
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Rebuilding Wikimédia France

2018-06-06 Thread Nathan
Congrats Charlotte and WMFr for everything you have done and achieved in
such a short period of time. A truly impressive and meaningful
accomplishment and demonstration of the capacity of Wikimedians to use the
movement's tools and ethos to effect positive change.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 6:04 PM  wrote:

> Dear all,
>
>
>
> As we reflected on our Wikimedia Conference experience and as we just got
> an answer from the FDC, which we thank warmly, the Wikimédia France Board
> thought we should give you an update on our current situation.
>
>
>
> Since September 2017, the newly elected Board and the staff have dedicated
> their energy to the improvement of the governance and an organizational
> restructuring. We would like to share with the community all the efforts
> that have been made during the last 8 months in order to restore confidence
> and to rebuild Wikimédia France.
>
>
>
> First steps
>
>
>
> The first steps we took were:
>
> * Reopening communication channels with our members;
>
> * Having two general assemblies[1][2] and widely renewing the Board;
>
> * Successfully completing the Grant expectations process[3] which had been
> set by WMF during the 2017 crisis at Wikimédia France;
>
> * Governance review by external auditors (report will be published soon);
>
> * Constant discussions with WMF.
>
>
>
> Major staff restructuring
>
>
>
> Since then, a major staff reorganization and a transition to a flatter
> organization have taken place.
>
>
>
> The two employees at the head of the organization(Executive Director and
> Deputy Executive Director) of the Association in 2017 left Wikimédia France
> (WMFr) in the last quarter of the year.
>
>
>
> In order to work on the reorganizing, during the second half of 2017, the
> Board conducted individual interviews with all employees to establish a
> general state of the organization and to collect ideas for WMFr's and its
> staff's future. With those elements in hand, and after several months
> reflecting and observing how the Association functioned in the absence of
> salaried management, the Board came to the conclusion that the team's
> maturity and relative autonomy made possible a less hierarchical
> organization than the classical one (i.e. “Board / Executive Director /
> staff”). It has been decided to carry out an internal reorganization of the
> team, without further recruitment to replace the Directors.
>
>
>
> The new organization unfolds as follows[4]. The Board stays in charge of
> managing the Association, whilst proceeding to two delegations of power: a
> delegation to Resources and an operational delegation, each receiving part
> of the Employer's liability and part of strategic functions. The Board
> occupies its role in strategy and budget matters, and also reserves the
> right of final decision for all sensitive Employer competencies (like
> decisions of dismissal, sanction or recruitment). Our goal here is twofold:
> to no longer concentrate all responsibilities in the hands of only one
> person and to minimize the risk of having the Board disempowered by
> depriving it of its right (and duty) to take fundamental decisions.
>
> In addition to these HR and Operational delegations of power, he Board is
> also considering implementing a Financial delegation of power, able to
> bring together the skills of an accountant and a chartered accountant
> within the internal staff. This would lead, in the medium term, to an
> organization presenting as a four-headed structure: Human Resources,
> Operations , Finances and Board — all of these under the control of the
> General Assembly.
>
>
>
> To fill the two new positions created, the Board has decided to choose two
> staff members whom it trusts and whose qualities it has had the opportunity
> to observe in the past few months: Cindy David for the HR part and Rémy
> Gerbet for the Operational part. Being aware that an organization without
> salaried direction is not without difficulties, the Board has decided to
> begin with a three-month probationary period, during which the work of the
> two appointees will be evaluated, as well as the ability of the Board
> itself to properly fulfil its role. At the end of these three months, a
> first assessment will be made and the new organization will be either
> validated, abandoned, or tested for three more months before final
> decision. In order to implement this new organization, our staff will be
> provided, if need be, with professional training.
>
> The new structure now counts 8 FTEs, including a newly hired Junior
> Fundraiser position, instead of 11 in 2017. We are confident that this new
> structure is well suited to bring Wikimédia France forward effectively.
>
>
>
> The reorganizing of the team also comes with a complete overhaul of the
> salary grid[5][6].
>
>
>
> Relying on the global Movement
>
>
>
> Our Chair, Vice-Chair and Operational Coordinator took part in the
> Wikimedia Conference. This was an amazing opportunity to learn, to work 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Category: French Jews on en.wp / GPDR

2018-05-25 Thread Nathan
I'm not seeing an argument here for why Wikimedia should adhere to this
law, if it is correctly stated by the OP. If France passed a law banning
Internet-published photos of living people, how would we approach that law?
If Germany barred publishing the place of birth, date of birth or religious
preference of public figures? If the United States banned publishing the
name of individuals accused of mass murder? Passionate arguments could be
made in favor of each, but none of them would support the perspective of an
educational organization dedicated to the freedom of knowledge.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Information on "Multiple failed attempts to log in" emails

2018-05-06 Thread Nathan
I get hundreds of these a year (my user name, Nathan, seems to be a popular
target). It would nice to be able to use some sort of multi-factor
authentication, which is actually supported by OAUTH. However, it seems
most projects (including en.wp) restrict use to accounts with elevated
rights. Can anyone explain why these tools can't be made more widely
accessible?

On Sun, May 6, 2018 at 1:24 AM Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks, John.
> Fae, I suggest that we let the WMF folks who are working on this issue
> extinguish the current fire before asking them to write a report about a
> previous one.
> I agree that the report about the previous incident is overdue. Perhaps as
> the current situation becomes calmer (updated metrics and news would be
> nice to have on the public Phab tickets) some staff can be moved off of the
> front line and back to the archives.
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> null
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikimédia France - informations sur la situation actuelle

2017-07-11 Thread Nathan
Everything else aside, the apparent fact that the ED of WMFr hired her
husband in any capacity is a clear sign of serious dysfunction and poor
governance controls. If the association has had half its board resign and
is accusing Anthere and Christophe Henner of misconduct, it suggests that
WMFr's dysfunction has become terminal.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] Chapter De-Recognition: Wikimedia Philippines

2017-04-25 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 2:17 PM, Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> When individuals are discredited in this way, your option, you are judging
> these people. That is in my opinion a mistake. You may judge a situation
> and determine because of what you consider your responsibility to either
> accept or no longer accept the existence of a chapter, whatever entity.
> When you judge people and determine that you will not trust them in the
> future to do good. You have a problem.
>
> It is exactly when a group is small that your priority must be in growing
> the group and the quality of their interaction. By dismissing people
> totally you achieve the opposite of what we want; that is representation of
> our movement in the most optimal way.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM



It seems very strange to me to discount the mere possibility that AffComm
may, in the course of its work, discover that specific individuals are
untrustworthy or impossible to work with - or that signals of such a status
must be resolved before collaboration can continue. We don't exist in a
world where entities matter but individuals do not. It would appear that
AffComm is trying very hard not to publicly discredit any individuals. By
senselessly ruling out that this could be true, you're unnecessarily
pushing them to 'out' potential misconduct in a way that won't help the
movement or any future Philippines-based affiliate.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

2017-03-02 Thread Nathan
On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 2:46 AM, Anna Stillwell 
wrote:

> Hello everybody,
>
> I want to thank everyone for offering their considered thoughts. I mean
> that genuinely. There are many legitimate views expressed in this thread,
> many by generous, constructive, wise, and delightful members of our
> communities. That's good.
>
> And I'm struggling with a process problem (not one of substance) that I
> don't know how to solve. I truly don't. And it's kind of killing me.
>
> We (people who work and volunteer at the WMF) need a way to get feedback.
> We need a way to be accountable and responsive.  We all want that. And I
> actually believe that we are all working in good faith toward that. *And*
> the cumulative impact of the way people at the Foundation get this feedback
> begins to feel like public, collective punishment. And that dynamic, one
> that we all tend to participate in, is driving talented people away from
> the foundation.
>
> Now some here may not care about that. Some of us think there is no point
> to the foundation anyway, so it's great that talent wants to walk.
>
> Others may believe that I am saying that "we should all just be kind" and
> that I am terribly polyannish (of course I am, I work in HR) and that I am
> saying that we should not tell each other difficult truths. But that's a
> forced false choice. I'm decidedly not saying that we should not tell one
> another difficult truths. I'm saying that when we add it all up the way we
> tell each other the truth has damaging effects on many people I talk
> to—employees, volunteers from around the world, board members... and it
> hits women and minorities particularly hard. No one single person intends
> for it to be so. Of course they don't. But add it all up, put it out in
> public, everyone chimes in, and overall morale goes down the toilet.
>
> What do we do? How can we find ways to tell each other difficult truths
> while remembering that we are talking about and to *people *in public and
> in large groups?
>
> ---
> As a separate issue and a different interpretation on how this report
> likely came about...
>
> In this report 3/11 fact stories are about issues that have become
> politicized. (Yes, sadly I included some facts about biographies of women
> political). If travel is also a political issue now, I think I’m glad they
> legalized cannabis in this state.
>
> But imagine it is October. Sure, Brexit has happened and large portions of
> the world are closing, not opening. There is a turn away from a global
> mindset and a turning toward clamping down on freedoms. But a good portion
> of Americans believe that we don't really have anything to worry about.
>
> The Comms team begins writing a report. If Hillary Clinton had won, it's
> likely that these would not have looked so terribly much like political
> statements. It may have looked like a normal affirmation of acceptable
> values (because, 3/11). But America went another direction and now things
> that could have been considered normalish suddenly look like a shot fired
> round the world.
>
> I'm not saying that this makes any of the legitimate views expressed here
> invalid. I'm just saying that the context has changed radically. Some of
> that change now makes acceptable values (valuing the scientific method /
> valuing climate science, valuing people of other nations, particularly
> those in distress, valuing biographies about women), look fringe.
>
> /a
>
>
>
>
>

I have a really hard time accepting on good faith that the themes of the
annual report were etched in stone in October, or that refugees, freedom of
travel and immigration and "true facts" were the main thematic elements at
that time with no additional emphasis added since. Even if that were
completely true in all respects, the report was not issued in October, it
was issued in February/March. These themes are political now; there is no
space for claiming otherwise, and Zach's post did not try.

I totally understand that people at the Foundation who are working hard and
doing their best to always do the right thing, to serve the right mission
and to please the right people feel attacked by criticism and complaints
that they have failed. But the Foundation courts controversy when it jumps
into political debates and involves itself in subject matter that is
further and further from its core educational mission, and I hope that your
leadership isn't surprised that criticism and complaints from some quarters
are the result.

I think your insinuation that people objecting to political statements by
the WMF object to the values of the scientific method, climate science,
"valuing people" etc. verges on insulting. We can share those values
without believing that the WMF is the right vehicle or context for
expressing them or that doing so benefits the WMF's core mission as we
understand it.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF advanced permissions for employees

2017-02-17 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 2:40 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> How would you suggest modifying the process so that it is compatible with
> community governance? Note that while I'm dissatisfied with the system that
> is in place now, I doubt that there will be a perfect solution that is free
> from all possible criticism and drama. I would give the current system a
> grade of "C-" for transparency and a grade of "F" for its compatibility
> with community governance. I don't expect ether grade to get to an "A", but
> I would be satisfied with "B" for transparency and "B+" for community
> governance.
>
>
>
> Pine
>
>

Community governance is a tool. It is not the point. It is also not always
the best tool. It's been an urge for years in some parts to treat the
Wikimedia movement (or pieces of it) like a governance experiment to play
out their personally ideal model for the distribution of power. But in this
case, the responsibility of the WMF to fundamentally control access to
project sites cannot be completely cleaved away to the community. If you
would like to experiment with power dynamics, there are other better forums
I'm sure.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] community survey request

2017-02-13 Thread Nathan
What would your intended use of the results of such a survey be? How do you
think the community, or any group of people, should interpret, value and
react to the results?

On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Bill Takatoshi 
wrote:

> When a contentious question about the community's opinion is
> preventing consideration of one or more proposals, what is the best
> way forward, in general?
>
> I am considering commissioning a survey of community opinion from a
> neutral and respected third party who has published a well-received
> survey of English wikipedians a few years ago.
>
> The Foundation is not willing to help, in part because, "Reaching
> consensus on what wording to use, the quality of the results, and how
> to interpret the results will be very challenging and take significant
> amount of time." I would argue that not doing such a survey, or
> relying on opt-in methods like RFCs, are both worse than obtaining a
> respected third party to perform a straw poll of recent editors with
> an established history of contributions composed of a few unambiguous
> opinion questions.
>
> If I did this, would anyone object to a gofundme intended to recover
> the cost of commissioning the survey on a voluntary basis?
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing the Foundation's challenge to recent U.S. immigration executive order

2017-02-06 Thread Nathan
I generally share Yair's reluctance to see the WMF engage in political
activity outside the scope of the Wikimedia mission, but I'd like to
express my support for the WMF taking action specifically in pursuit of
maintaining the freedom to travel and work of its employees and volunteers
engaged in Wikimedia movement work. It's clear that appellate orders on
this subject are imminent, and high quality briefs from individuals and
organizations with meaningful injury are essential. This brief is tightly
focused on the disruptive and damaging effect the executive order has on
the operations and future interests of the filers. While the WMF's own
guideline should be followed or revised so that it can be practically
followed, I think this is an example of acceptable and even necessary work
that directly serves the WMF's mission.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] "Delegation of policy-making authority" resolution

2017-02-06 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 3:39 PM, Rogol Domedonfors 
wrote:

> Christophe
>
> On 20 December, you wrote
>
> > Basically it's making the legal team life's easier when they need to do
> > small and/or quick changes. They don't have to go through the whole
> > resolution process to change a comma.
> >
> > Now you write
>
> > the Executive Director
> > has authority to set and change policies for the organization and its
> work,
> > without requiring prior Board approval in most circumstances. The
> baseline
> > is that the Executive Director has authority over policies, unless the
> > Board asks otherwise
>
>
> These do not appear to be the same, and the later version appears to be
> what is in fact in force.
> Do you agree that your December posting was inaccurate?
>
> "Rogol"



I also noticed this discrepancy. I hope that the bottom line is that the
Board is maintaining its focus on big picture issues of strategy, vision
and governance, and leaving the management and maintenance of policy
decisions to its senior executive leadership. This seems typical and
appropriate to me.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] De-Recognition of Affiliates with Long-standing Non-Compliance

2017-02-05 Thread Nathan
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:22 AM, Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> I fail to see who you are targeting and on what basis. My impression is
> that it only has to do with money.. I understand this. For other parts like
> the language committee there are no reports except for the activity on its
> mailing list. I fail to see why it has to report to anyone. It is not the
> task the committee seeks and it does its activity on behalf of the
> Wikimedia board.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM


You misread - evidently both the original message and my reply. I answer
your question in my prior post, and hopefully subsequent posts by others
have cleared up any other confusion.

Maor - thank you for your explanation. Would it be fair to say that the
criteria for considering denying renewal are informal, and that some
factors (including communication with AffCom) may not be publicly available
for review?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-05 Thread Nathan
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 5:57 AM, Andrea Zanni 
wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 10:15 AM, Yair Rand  wrote:
>
> > "Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park.
> It
> > is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to
> > learn, to share our knowledge with others."
> >
>
> The point is,
> you are implicitly assuming that a public park or a library,
> the right to have "a temple for the mind", "a place we can all go to think,
> to learn,
> to share our knowledge with others",
> are thing that are not inherently political.
>
> You're simply wrong.



No. As others have, you are attacking an argument that is not being made.
Yair did not claim that the Wikimedia movement's goals are apolitical; he
has simply asked that its political activity be restricted to its mission,
as the WMF's own internal policy evidently requires. While permitting free
travel for those with valid visas is certainly within that scope, it's
unclear how free movement for refugees can be.

GerardM claims that "we" have common values, and seems to be utterly
convinced as to what those values are - and lucky for him, they perfectly
match his own. I suppose that means there is no place in Wikimedia for
anyone who would happily support the movement mission but disagrees with
Gerard's other unrelated political positions. If the WMF's voice continues
to be used to declare its position on this or that (and there will be many
opportunities and entreaties to do so), that is the message some will draw.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] De-Recognition of Affiliates with Long-standing Non-Compliance

2017-02-04 Thread Nathan
It looks like there are many chapters and orgs at risk of being denied a
renewal. I'm curious about how you decided who to label non-compliant and
who you did not.

I notice that WM Armenia appears to have had no reports or activity (other
than 2015 wrap up information) in 2016. Are they considered up to date
because they provided a report for activities the year before last? Not to
pick on Amernia, it's just the first example I encountered. The chapter
provided consistent monthly reports from 2013 to 2015, but not one since.
They also posted a financial statement and an auditor's report for 2015,
which link to the same 3 page PDF. The brief financial statement, which is
not finely detailed, suggests that travel expenses account for nearly all
expenditures.

Maor, if you have a link to a document or page which explains the standards
being applied to chapters and orgs, and which might illuminate why WM AM is
in compliance but others are not, I would appreciate it!

Thanks,
Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-04 Thread Nathan
I did not see many arguing that the WMF must be neutral; the debate is not
about political neutrality, but about political activity outside the
mission of the WMF. Few argue, on the substance or even principle, that the
WMF's statement about the travel ban is wrong or misplaced - merely that
the process of making such statements should include consulting the
community.

But some have claimed that Katherine's free speech right entitles her to
opine on the WMF's behalf without restriction, and multiple others have
recently asked the WMF to get involved in other political or advocacy work
that is outside the scope of the WMF mission. I object to these on the
principle that the WMF is not a vehicle for the general political beliefs
of its employees, management, readers or even volunteers. It has committed
itself to a mission, and its activities and voice should maintain focus on
that mission without allowing itself to be distracted by the worlds many
other problems.

Its  surely easy for those who find nearly complete political and cultural
accord with WMF staffers to be comfortable with their political statements
on behalf of the movement. But the WMF should take care not to court a
backlash from outside the bubble by embracing such activity beyond the
reasonable confines of its raison d'etre.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

2017-02-03 Thread Nathan
On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM, Natacha Rault  wrote:

> ...After all there is a notion called "freedom of speech"  Katherine
> Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent wikipedians from
> editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV (actually there is no
> achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the gender biases as far as I
> see it).



I imagine that your response would be different if Katherine's position
didn't match your own. What if she posted that she agreed that "extreme
vetting" was an appropriate response to the risk of terrorist attacks, that
nations with liberal refugee policies had experienced multiple attacks in
recent years, and that radicalism is an existential threat to free
societies? These are views shared by hundreds of millions of people
(although not you, Katherine, or me). This hopefully illustrates why taking
political positions beyond the mission is fraught with risk, and why the
frequent demands that the WMF (or the community) do so are misplaced.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Publicpolicy] news events impacting the Foundation's ability to hire and its employees' ability to travel

2017-01-30 Thread Nathan
It might be more effective, and certainly more courteous, if you could
avoid making essentially the same set of advocacy posts almost every day.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 6:38 PM, James Salsman  wrote:

> I propose that the Foundation issue a statement in support of striking
> Google employees:
>
> http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/30/14446312/google-
> immigration-protest-walkout-trump-googlers-unite
>
> And endorsing the call for a national general strike:
>
> https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/5r3wxp/
> forget_protest_trumps_actions_warrant_a_general/
>
> (Except for the Lyft part, because one of its founders is on the
> adminstration's transition team.)
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 12:38 PM James Salsman  wrote:
>
> Is this more appropriate for the Public Policy or Wikimedia-l list?
>
>
>
> http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/
> jurisprudence/2017/01/court_rulings_couldn_t_protect_
> everyone_detained_because_of_trump_s_immigration.html
>
>
>
> Several permanent residents have apparently been tricked into signing
>
> away their green cards while being detained without benefit of
>
> counsel.
>
>
>
> How many Foundation employees are affected by the travel ban?
>
>
>
> Will the foundation join the calls for a general strike?
>
>
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>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general

2017-01-27 Thread Nathan
Romaine makes some good points. There is a legitimate concern that the turn
to populism and unpredictability threatens the environment in which
Wikimedia operates, and its only reasonable to consider a move of core
assets somewhere safer from the unspooling of Western social fabric.
Perhaps the Netherlands is a good alternative, although Geert Wilders is
quite popular there... The United Kingdom, perhaps? Yet with Brexit and
UKIP, one wonders how safe Wikimedia would be there. Perhaps France, if not
for Marine Le Pen... This is more challenging than I expected. Where will
we find some place that is protected from the pernicious threats that beset
the Wikimedia Foundation in the United States?

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 10:33 PM, Romaine Wiki 
wrote:

> Today I was reading in the (international) news about websites with
> knowledge on the topic of climate change disappear from the internet as
> result of the Trump administration. The second thing I read is that before
> something can be published about this topic, the government needs to
> approve this.
>
> Do you realise what the right word for this is? censorship.
> Even if it is only partially.
>
> Luckily there are many scientists working on getting all the data abroad,
> out of the US to ensure the research data is saved, including on servers in
> the Netherlands where Trump (hopefully) has no reach.
>
> In the past week I was reading about the Internet Archive organisation, who
> is making a back up in Canada because of the Trump administration. I did
> not understood this, you may call me naive, but now I do understand,
> apparently they have some visionary people at the Internet Archive.
>
> I miss a good answer to this situation from the Wikimedia Foundation.
>
> Trump is now promoting harassment and disrespect, already for some time,
>
> What signal is given to the rest of the world if an America based
> organisation is spreading the thought of a harassment free Wikipedia and
> the free word, while the president of the US is promoting harassment,
> disrespect and censorship on a massive scale.
>
> This is just the first week of this president!
>
> I am 100% sure everyone in the Wikimedia movement is willing to make sure
> Wikimedia faces no damage whatsoever, including in WMF, but to me this
> still starts to get concerning.
>
> If we as Wikimedia movement think that free knowledge, free speech, freedom
> of information, etc are important, I would think that the location where
> the organisation is based is that country where liberty is the largest, I
> do not know where this is but it is definitely not the US.
>
> To my impression WMF is stuck in the US, so I do not believe they would
> actually move when the danger grows.
>
> But I think it is possible to make sure risks are spread over the world.
> Certainly as we are an international movement that intends to cover the
> knowledge of the whole humanoid civilisation.
>
> To come to a conclusion, I think WMF and the Wikimedia movement should
> think about a back-up plan if it actually goes wrong.
>
>
> If you do not agree with me: that is perfectly fine, that's your right and
> should be protected.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Romaine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general

2017-01-27 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 7:39 PM, John  wrote:

> Im not sure you are reading section 14 correctly. It makes reference to
> Privacy Act (Privacy Act of 1974) and the privacy policy of the federal
> agencies involved in immigration enforcement and law enforcement agencies.
> IE the government can freely share information between agencies with
> regards to non-citizens. If you look at the Privacy Act, it lists twelve
> cases where data is permitted to be disclosed by federal agencies, with the
> new order it allows all governmental data to be shared between governmental
> agencies. Again none of this pertains to the Civilian sector. The Privacy
> Shield really has nothing to do with the root issue. United States
> governmental agencies sharing information about non-citizens with each
> other. In the context of the actual document it is referencing sharing data
> about non-citizens who are not legal residents of the United States, who
> are illegally in the country.


There are plenty of news reports, available with a moment on Google, that
discuss the possibility that this executive order prevents the Commerce
department from fulfilling its enforcement role in the law that replaced
the Safe Harbor data protection agreement between the EU and the U.S. This
would invalidate the new agreement, jeopardizing the authorization of US
companies to handle data on European residents.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] LGBT+ safety considerations for conference venues

2016-11-09 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 5:08 AM, Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Not going to North Corolina is absolutely fine with me. We do not gain
> anything by going there arguably not to any state in the United States.
> What Wikimania is, is a platform for propaganda for what we have, what we
> do, who we are and how we do what we do. In many countries Wikipedia is not
> the house hold name it is in the USA.
>
> Wikimania is not aimed for the English Wikipedia, it is aimed to further
> our movement. Not going to places is similar to saying that those other
> people, speaking other languages, with an other culture do not matter. They
> do.
>
> We should go to Russia, India, South Africa, China. The people of those
> countries should matter to us, the people we could share the sum of all
> knowledge with.
>
> THAT is what we do, sharing the sum of all knowledge.
>
> When the choice of the venue is only about being safe, we should not go to
> the USA (I do not feel safe there), we should go to Germany, to Switzerland
> and move the office as well. It is not likely to happen, not what I want
> either.
>
> If there is one thing about LBGT, it is that that struggle is still being
> fought. Hiding and keeping away does not work. It does not help the LBGT
> community. More importantly in this context it does not help the Wikimedia
> community. For the latter it is vital to make our message heard.We aim to
> share the sum of all knowledge and many people have not even heard of us.
> Thank,
>   GerardM


I agree with Gerard. I would rather see the WMF spend $200k on security
arrangements to ensure the safety of all participants than only ever
schedule Wikimania in cities subjectively determined to be "safe".
Wikimania has been in China, in Egypt and in Mexico City - these are not
places most would consider "safe" or deeply observant of human and civil
rights. One of many values of having the event in areas with troubled
environments is to contribute to improving those environments - giving more
people access to more knowledge and the values of the Wikimedia movement.
Repeatedly having the event in Frankfurt or Montreal will never accomplish
that goal as effectively.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] Changes to current chapter and thematic organisation criteria

2016-08-20 Thread Nathan
On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 9:20 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> Hi Carlos,
>
> As I mentioned previously, I would suggest that the criteria should also
> apply to existing chapters. If any chapter's status is in doubt as a result
> of the new criteria, then the chapter can be given 6 months to rise to the
> occasion. If chapters still do not meet the new criteria after that time,
> it seems to me that they should be re-classified as user groups until they
> re-apply for chapter status and are accepted by AffCom as meeting the new
> criteria.
>
> Regarding the uniformity of standards, it seems to me that there needs to
> be a common baseline throughout the world. Otherwise, the definition of
> "chapter" becomes highly subjective and is effectively at the discretion of
> the Affiliations Committee. To use an analogy: a hospital that is providing
> reasonably good care for its patients would be considered a good hospital
> whether it is in Louisiana or the Philippines. Likewise, a hospital that
> lacks essential supplies, has a shortage of health professionals, and has
> suffered hurricane damage to its surgery rooms, is a troubled hospital
> whether it is in Louisiana or the Philippines.
>
> To use another analogy, this time demonstrating the problems with
> subjective and varying standards: the criteria for high school diplomas in
> the United States vary so widely that by itself a high school diploma is a
> nearly useless credential without knowing which high school granted a
> particular diploma. It seems to me that we should avoid this kind of
> ambiguity in the Wikimedia community.
>
> While there could be a variety of ways in which a group could be deemed to
> meet the standards for a chapter, such as by saying "a chapter must meet
> four of the following six criteria" or "this particular requirement may be
> met in one or more of the following ways", it still seems to me that the
> criteria for chapter status should be transparent, objective (primarily
> quantitative), and easily understood by all affiliates that wish to be
> chapters.
>
> I realize that this is a complex issue, and I hope that this input will be
> included for consideration as AffCom continues to discuss the criteria for
> chapters and thematic organizations.
>
> Pine
>


What harm is avoided by eliminating the ambiguity you refer to, Pine? How
is the Wikimedia movement damaged by having chapters which may not
universally meet precise quantitative measurements of activity or other
criteria? How is that damage ameliorated by, as you suggest, re-classifying
a chapter as a user group?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Suggesting moderation

2016-07-27 Thread Nathan
I find Trillium's denied e-mail to be off-topic but hardly so objectionable
that a moderator reviewing it should deny it. If it is the case that a
moderator suggested minor stylistic changes (couple days to couple of
days), that seems a bit distasteful and probably not what list members
would imagine a moderator doing.

Delays in processing moderated posts causing them to become untimely is
something that I think is unavoidable, and the solution of course is to not
cause yourself to be put on moderation. The mods are volunteers and have
historically hardly been careless about placing people on moderation willy
nilly.

On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 4:56 AM, Trillium Corsage 
wrote:

> I've been placed in "moderate" status on this list (I criticize the reason
> but it would be a distraction to get into that right now). It's often
> frustrating to receive the "rejected" notice which comes often without
> explanation at all, and sometimes with unexplained explanation if you'll
> tolerate the phrase i.e. "a moderator has found your email would not be
> helpful" (why?).
>
> Once the moderators took like three days to disapprove my email, and
> actually gave the reason that "the conversation has now moved on from that
> point."
>
> Let me discuss the most recent example from last week which was
> frustrating to me. For the sake of discussion I'll copy-paste my email in
> question (it's at least non-offensive in any reasonable sense, and it'd be
> a stretch to call it even disagreeable) at the very end of this email, and
> tell you what happened.
>
> The email was rejected on the following bases:
>
> A) "I may approve this email if you change the subject to reflect the
> content." Now, it was a response to Brigham's farewell message asking that
> he answer about a matter that occurred during his tenure. Yeah, I guess I
> could break up the email chain with a fresh header (so could the moderator)
> but is this truly grounds to moderate? And as I said in the email to the
> moderator, there was a timing issue. By the time I got the rejection
> message, Brigham had packed his desk and exited the WMF HQ no doubt. Note
> also that the moderator says he "may" approve if I do that. Or he may not.
> So he's setting up an iterative process.
>
> B) The moderator then gave me two suggestions on improving my phrasing
> within the email. For example I said "Mr. Brigham leaves in a couple days"
> but the moderator preferred "couple *of* days." Is this truly basis for
> moderation?! Minute preferences of writing style?
>
> C) Then came the insult. The moderator suggested I was "baiting the WMF,"
> and copied his fellow moderators to chime in. So he's now set up my email
> for a "consensus" style of approval. All the moderators must agree it's
> okay. It doesn't move on one or the other them, everybody has to sign off.
> My email (you can read it down below as I said) is not "baiting" (or
> trolling which I'd argue he really meant) it describes things, makes my
> point, refers in detail to past efforts I made to get an answer, and is
> generally polite.
>
> All for your perusal on the Wikimedia-l moderation question. Anyhow, I did
> feel aggravated at the time, and it turned me off to the list in general.
> This email itself will likely be rejected, if it is I'll consider sending
> it direct to the list participants that have commented.
>
> Trillium Corsage
>
> 26.07.2016, 14:58, "Brill Lyle" :
> >  I was on a very active music mailing list for over 10 years and I was
> >  grateful it was not moderated. Moderation can inhibit discussion, even
> when
> >  there are disruptors, and it also requires moderators donate a lot of
> >  volunteer hours. Which I think within the Wikimedia family community is
> >  already being required of many of us. So I would vote against
> moderation.
> >
> >  If an argument / shift was towards moderation, maybe it could be based
> on
> >  edit count and/or contributions? But that seems a bit extreme and awful.
> >
> >  - Erika
> >
> >  *Erika Herzog*
> >  Wikipedia *User:BrillLyle  >*
> >
> >  On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:26 AM, Asaf Bartov 
> wrote:
> >
> >>   A meta-question: I am wondering whether, if one thinks a user on this
> list
> >>   should be moderated, it is better to discuss it privately with the
> list
> >>   admins (who, if convinced, could announce the moderation publicly, or
> not),
> >>   or publicly on this list (explicitly inviting more opinions, being
> >>   transparent about my position regarding moderating the user, but also
> >>   embarrassing the user whatever the outcome).
> >>
> >>   Thoughts?
> >>
> >>  A.
> >>   --
> >>   Asaf Bartov
> >>   Wikimedia Foundation 
> >
> >  ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] Fwd: Improving search (sort of)

2016-07-15 Thread Nathan
How hard would it be to ask for search feedback on search results, perhaps
piloting with some small subset of zero-result searches? For 1/1000 ZRRs,
prompt the user to provide some type of useful information about why there
should be results, or if there ought to be, or what category of information
the searcher was looking for, etc. You'd get junk and noise, but it might
be one way to filter out a lot of the gibberish. You could also ask people
to agree to make their failed search part of a publicly visible list,
although this could of course be gamed.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] With my thanks to everyone ...

2016-07-13 Thread Nathan
Congrats Geoff on your new and extraordinarily challenging role! Best of
luck and thank you for all of your hard work on behalf of the WMF.

~Nathan

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Geoff Brigham <gbrig...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Over the past five years, I’ve been honored to serve as the General Counsel
> and Secretary of the Wikimedia Foundation. This job has been amazing, and
> I’m grateful to everyone who has made it so rewarding. It's now time for my
> next step, so, in the coming days, I will be leaving the Foundation to
> pursue a new career opportunity.
>
> I depart with such love for the mission, the Foundation, the Wikimedia
> communities, and my colleagues at work. I thank my past and present bosses
> as well as the Board for their support and guidance. I stand in awe of the
> volunteer writers, editors, and photographers who contribute every day to
> the Wikimedia projects. And I will hold special to my heart my past and
> current teams, including legal and community advocacy. :) You have taught,
> given, and enriched me so much.
>
> After my departure, Michelle Paulson will serve as interim head of Legal,
> and, subject to Board approval, Stephen LaPorte will serve as interim
> Secretary to the Board. I can happily report that they have the experience
> and expertise to ensure a smooth and professional transition.
>
> The future of the Foundation under Katherine's leadership is exciting.
> Having had the pleasure of working for her, I know Katherine will take the
> Foundation to its next level in promoting and defending the outstanding
> mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. Although I'm delighted about
> my next opportunity, I will miss this new chapter in the Foundation's
> story.
>
> My last day at the Foundation will be July 18th. After that, I will take a
> month off to recharge my batteries, and then I start my new gig at YouTube
> in the Bay Area. There, I will serve as Director of YouTube Trust & Safety,
> managing global teams for policy, legal, and anti-abuse operations. As with
> Wikimedia, I look forward to learning from those teams and tackling
> together a new set of exciting, novel challenges.
>
> For those who want to stay in touch, please do! My personal email is:
> geoffrey.r.brig...@gmail.com.
>
> With respect, admiration, and gratitude,
>
> Geoff
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid editing and the privacy policy

2016-07-01 Thread Nathan
Paid editing is addressed in the WMF terms of service and is a problem that
has confronted or will confront most of the prominent projects in the
movement. An alert to an RfC regarding principles of broader import, and a
small amount of linked discussion, seems to be a perfectly reasonable use
of the list. Wikimedia-L need not be only announcements, messages of thanks
and congratulations, and grousing about etiquette or WMF internal politics.

On Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 7:36 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> Yes, it's a very quiet list. However, I'm an advocate of being mindful of
> scope. I've long advocated for wiki-specific discussions to happen on the
> wiki and/or mailing lists which are best suited to them rather than
> Wikimedia-l unless an issue is escalating to a meta-type discussion. This
> is one of those discussions that, from my perspective, is best suited for a
> different venue. I'm not a list moderator though, so this is just a
> request/suggestion.
>
> Pine
> On Jul 1, 2016 16:20, "David Gerard"  wrote:
>
> > Technically maybe, but wikien-l is pretty much long dead at this point.
> >
> > On 2 July 2016 at 00:14, Pine W  wrote:
> > > Hi Tomasz,
> > >
> > > The Ombudsman Commission's scope, as I understand it, includes
> > > investigations of violations of the privacy policy under certain
> > > circumstances. So far as I know, the OC does not *create or modify* the
> > > policies that it is tasked to enforce, much like how most police
> > > departments don't create or modify the laws that they enforce. Please
> see
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman_commission
> > >
> > > That said, because the scope of this RfC is specific to ENWP, I believe
> > > that the best list for an email discussion would probably be WikiEN-l.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Pine
> > > James,
> > >
> > > The proper body to ask this question is Ombudsmen Commission.
> > >
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman_commission
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > 2016-07-01 8:47 GMT+02:00 James Heilman :
> > >
> > >> Hey All
> > >>
> > >> On the English Wikipedia we are having a RfC regarding what is allowed
> > > when
> > >> trying to address undisclosed paid promotional editing.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Harassment#Can_other_site_accounts_ever_be_linked_to
> > >>
> > >> Specifically we are discussing if this statement is allowed "Here we
> > have
> > >> someone who is buying an article on Anthony LaPine. They have already
> > >> bought an article on HipLink and this sock created it UserJuliecameo3
> > who
> > >> is already blocked."
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard=679657047#Checking_Elance
> > >>
> > >> Or are no external links to other accounts allowed to be linked to
> > >> Wikipedia?
> > >>
> > >> Best
> > >> --
> > >> James Heilman
> > >> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > >>
> > >> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > >> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
> > >> ___
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> ,
> > >> 
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz
> > > http://pl.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Polimerek
> > > http://www.ganicz.pl/poli/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why are articles being deleted?

2016-06-25 Thread Nathan
Experiences described by a new editor are valid and meaningful even if, in
relating them, the new editor shows some lack of familiarity with Wikipedia
customs and established doctrines. It's certainly true that the process of
patrolling pages for quality can be, from the perspective of a newbie
writer, abrupt and off-putting. Thanks for telling us about the difficulty
you encountered, Mitar.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] WMF Board of Trustees appointments and officer positions

2016-06-23 Thread Nathan
Congrats all, and thank you Patricio. I'll observe that it is interesting
that the Board chose Christophe as Chair on his first day as a member, I
think that is unprecedented in the short history of the WMF Board.

On Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 12:02 PM, Patricio Lorente <
patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>
> I am happy to share that as of today, Christophe Henner and Nataliia
> Tymkiv have formally joined the Board of Trustees as affiliate
> Board-selected members. They both bring deep expertise in the Wikimedia
> community, and in their respective fields. I’m confident they will serve as
> excellent contributors, rooted in the values of our movement. You can learn
> more about them in an announcement we made in May:
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/05/24/affiliate-selected-board-trustees-election/
>
>
> Today the Board also voted to appoint Christophe Henner as Chair, and
> María Sefidari as Vice Chair. Both Christophe and María have a long history
> of involvement in the Wikimedia community, and have held leadership roles
> at Wikimedia France and Wikimedia Spain, respectively.
>
> More about Christophe, María, and Natallia is below. I hope you will join
> me in congratulating them on their new positions and wish them success in
> their terms ahead.
>
>
> I would like to thank my friend Alice for working with me in her role as
> Vice Chair, and many thanks to you all for your support during my time as
> Chair.
>
> Patricio Lorente
>
>
> About Christophe Henner
>
> Christophe Henner is the former Chair of Wikimedia France and current
> deputy CEO of Webedia 's gaming division, the
> international digital media group headquartered in France.
>
> He has deep and varied experience across the marketing sector, including
> leadership roles at at Webedia and L'Odyssée Interactive.
>
> Christophe has been an active member of the Wikimedia community for more
> than 12 years. In 2007, he joined the Board of Wikimedia France
>  and has remained an active Board member in
> various positions for the past ten years. He has served as both Chair and
> Vice Chair of the Board of Wikimedia France. During his time on the
> Board, Christophe helped lead Wikimedia France through a significant period
> of growth. This included leading the development of the chapter’s brand,
> and supporting the development of a clear organizational strategy and
> vision for the chapter.
>
>
>
> About Maria Sefidari
>
> Maria is a professor in the Digital Communications, Culture and
> Citizenship Master's degree program  of Rey Juan
> Carlos University
>  at the
> MediaLab-Prado . María
> graduated with a Psychology degree from Universidad Complutense de Madrid
> , and
> later a Master's degree in Management and Tourism at the Business faculty
> of the same university.
>
>
> María started contributing to the Wikimedia projects in 2006, and has
> since served in many different roles across the Wikimedia movement. She was
> a founding member of Wikimedia España
>  and Wikimujeres
> Grupo de Usuarias , and also
> created Spanish Wikipedia's LGBT Wikiproject
> . She has served on
> several Wikimedia governance committees, including the Affiliations
>  and Individual
> Engagement Grants 
> committees. In her time on the Affiliations committee, María served as the
> first Treasurer of the committee, effectively overseeing and monitoring
> disbursement of the committee's budget. Maria served a prior term on the
> Wikimedia Foundation board from 2013 to 2015.
>
>
>
> About Nataliia Tymkiv
>
> Nataliia currently serves as Financial Director of the Centre for
> Democracy and Rule of Law, a Ukrainian media policy and human rights
> nonprofit. Nataliia has a Masters degree in Public Administration and a
> Specialist degree in Records Management and Information Activities.
>
> She has in-depth experience in executive leadership and financial
> management. Prior to her current role as Financial Director, Nataliia
> worked at a manufacturing firm and later, in finance at a construction
> company. Prior to her current role as Financial Director, Nataliia worked
> at a manufacturing firm and later, in finance at a construction company. On
> the Wikimedia projects, she’s been an active contributor since 2011, and
> shortly after became an administrator of Ukrainian Wikipedia
> . She has also been a
> member of the Wikimedia Ukraine 
> community for nearly four years, and has 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on WMF Governance reviews

2016-06-02 Thread Nathan
Marc - just wanted to thank you for using "begging the question" properly!

Chris - thanks for your insight. To Anders' point, perhaps not all insights
offered will be new to everyone. But where some problems or potential
solutions have been identified by some, it will be nice for them to have
reinforcement in a formal expert report. And to the rest of us for whom
board decision-making is opaque, a governance review with a published
report will be highly enlightening.

On Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM, marc  wrote:

> governance consultants are very unlikely to recommend
>> or support (say) live-streaming board meetings to increase transparency,
>> or
>> making community-elected trustees unsackable without a referendum of some
>> kind
>>
>
> Most of what you said is valuable, but I have to point out that you are
> begging the question that those things are a good idea.  They may well be
> -- but if you reach out for expertise with a prejudice on what the
> "correct" advice is, you are wasting everyone's time.
>
> -- Coren / Marc
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-06 Thread Nathan
On Fri, May 6, 2016 at 12:03 PM, Denny Vrandečić 
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
> attorney-client privilege, not to the whole Board or the Task Force.
> * I am surprised to see James state that he was informed at a later point
> that his duty as a trustee is towards the WMF, although that explains a few
> things. He was sitting in the same room when we received legal training at
> our first Board meeting, and he also signed (and, I assume, read) the same
> documents I had.
>
> I am rather sad to see so many assumptions of bad faith. I was hoping that
> by being more open about the events, it would help with transparency and
> healing. It was not easy to have this account published in the first place,
> and now I start to see that it was possibly a mistake.
>
> It strengthens my resolution to stay away from Wikimedia politics, and I
> hope that this will free up the time and energy to get more things done. I
> am thankful and full of respect for anyone who is willing to deal with that
> topic in a constructive manner.



Denny, thank you for your summary of events and your willingness to provide
information that wasn't widely available. I hope you continue to be willing
to do that, even understanding that there is no guarantee that criticism
will not be part of the result. Talking through these things brings up
points of confusion and misunderstanding and helps clear them up for
everyone, and this is a good thing. An example - if the WMF/board hires an
outside law firm, the attorney-client privilege is between the WMF and the
firm; individual employees are not protected against disclosure of
information by the firm to the WMF because the employee is not the client,
the WMF is.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-02 Thread Nathan
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:

> While *some* of research ethics comes from the medical world -
> particularly from the Belmont report and the Western-centric research
> atrocities of the last century - much of it does not. Things like the
> Zimbardo and Milgram experiments have had a marked impact on our
> conceptualisation of appropriate ethics and IRBs, and it is not
> unusual for institutions to even separate out behavioural and social
> studies from medical studies in training, IRB composition and expected
> practices.
>
> And yet the social sciences contain the same duties and
> responsibilities around ethical principles that medical studies do.
> The principles of confidentiality, of transparency to the participant,
> of the participant taking the lead in defining what is and is not
> acceptable. Ethical principles along these lines are a common and core
> part of the IRB process, if you're involving humans, regardless of the
> nature of that involvement. And I note that the current board contains
> (not to single him out, but simply because he is the best example
> Dariusz Jemielniak, full name *Dr*  Dariusz Jemielniak, who is an
> _ethnographer_, one of the social fields of study that pays very close
> attention to these things.
>
> So it is not as simple as "James's experiences were shaped by his
> medical background, other people did not have that". The need for
> ethical principles is enshrined in a lot of fields, including not just
> medicine, but those several other board members have as a background.
> This should have been a known. I agree that there is apparently an
> inadequacy in Board training, but I'm mostly amazed (and disappointed)
> that the people who wrote Denny's statement didn't twig that,
> actually, ethics in these areas are both paramount and much more
> complicated than just "well my legal duty says..." for the
> participants involved.
>
>

Please forgive me if it seemed like I was suggesting that research ethics -
and the centrality of the needs of subjects - were solely sourced from the
medical world. My point is that confidentiality of sensitive information is
an iron law in medicine, where the critical duty is owed to the person who
is the subject of the information. [My familiarity with these laws comes
from the U.S.; I am not specifically trained in the medical confidentiality
regime in Canada, but I suspect its laws are equivalent or stronger.] I
would expect this to be his initial frame of reference when it comes to
respecting the desire of confidentiality from a source providing sensitive
information.

The key point here is that the critical duty that James' owed as a board
member was to the WMF; this duty is is not (solely) a matter of ethics but
a matter of law.  That this was not apparent to all board members upon
joining the board is a flaw in the board training process. I can see how a
misunderstanding or disagreement on the nature of this duty could lead to
difficulty between board members, but it still is a bit of a mystery to me
how it rose to the level of kicking James off the board altogether.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

2016-05-02 Thread Nathan
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Justin Senseney  wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:
>
> > +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
> >
> > "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
> > people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
> > rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
> > be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
> > totally understandable.
> >
> > If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
> > and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
> > that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
> > asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
> > who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
> >
> > The perspective of human subjects research makes a lot of sense here.  A
> lot of research studies are asking the question, can we share data between
> studies now that we have the "cloud" technology to do it? In every case
> I've seen, researchers have to explicitly ask for two consents, one to
> collect the data from the subject, another to share it.  I would expect
> anyone in the medical profession to operate the way James has.
>
> Most internal review boards won't even allow you to ask human subjects for
> the broad ability to share their data, you have to identify the specific
> place it will be shared, before you collect it.  In the US, these rules
> come from Institutional Review Boards.  These IRBs function in a similar
> way to the Board, by providing an independent level of oversight to medical
> research, and are given a wide latitude to go as far as halt research
> studies and punish misconduct, even though they are not medical researchers
> themselves.
>
> I wish the Board had the same respect of confidential data that James has
> shown, and that Institutional Review Boards throughout the research
> community have when it comes to human data.  IRB members aren't necessarily
> medical professionals, they are the same people you would find sitting on
> any board.  So I think it's reasonable for us to ask the Board to treat
> confidential data in the same way any IRB would, the same way James has.
>
> -Justin
>
>
Justin - many of these elements of current research ethics, enforced in
some instances by IRBs, have grown in no small part due to the regulatory
environment around personal health information. The legal framework for
information held by a corporate board member is very different. It may be
that James' approach to confidentiality is drawn from his experience as a
physician, but it perhaps speaks to inadequate board training that he
discovered the import of the different legal environment only after things
fell apart.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-26 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 8:49 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 2:42 PM, Trillium Corsage  >
> wrote:
> >
> > Jimbo responded to arbitrator GorillaWarfare on this list, basically,
> > "yes, I supported with sadness the decision to dismiss Lila."
>
>
> Wait -- seriously??
>

No, it's a false quote. I don't know if Trillium falsified the quote or if
he/she picked it up from a different source. Asked if he supported her
departure, he wrote "I supported it with sadness. The whole thing is a sad
train wreck."

 https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082566.html
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-04-19 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 1:44 PM, Oliver Keyes  wrote:

>
>
> Also, no, the United States is explicitly not a democracy. It's a republic.
> And no, the Wikimedia movement is not a democracy - but it's *also* not a
> dictatorship or a banana republic with a President For Life. Senior
> movement figures with zero substantive accountability is a recipe for
> madness.
>

This "republic" vs "democracy" business is a fallacy I wish people would
stop repeating as if it means something - it doesn't. No one anywhere on
earth hears "democracy" and thinks "ancient Athenian direct democracy" is
what is meant.


>
> On Monday, 18 April 2016, Gerard Meijssen 
> wrote:
>
>
> >
> > Many may request democratic processes but I prefer a greater deal of
> > transparency. When you talk about accountability, it is not so much to
> > people but more related to the extend we achieve what we aim for. When
> you
> > consider where people are and where we have our audience, I find that our
> > results are lukewarm, maybe improving. There are some stellar projects
> and
> > there are some that are in need of an overhaul. The good thing of our
> > movement is that up to a point people can work towards solutions and
> make a
> > high impact without getting sidetracked by "democracy".
> >
>

What people have demanded is transparency. Failing transparency they turn
to democracy as the only way to rein in the non-transparent exercise of
control and influence. The principle of affording the participants of a
group or effort the power to select their leaders is one that transcends
government and is meaningful in most contexts, including Wikimedia.

While I have said for years that Wikimedia is not a governance experiment,
having an accountable leadership is not experimental. If you support
transparency, and can see that folks asking for it have been given the
silent treatment for months on end, then I fail to see why you argue
against using the one lever of control that remains to demand that the
desire for transparency be heard.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] DARPA FOSSS programs of interest

2016-04-13 Thread Nathan
On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 9:53 AM, James Salsman  wrote:
>
>
> Doesn't that mean that the Foundation has the legal standing to see all
> three of those projects published?


Where do you see legal standing being a factor here, and how would the WMF
have it?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] DARPA FOSSS programs of interest

2016-04-12 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 1:54 PM, James Salsman  wrote:

> Re
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/publicpolicy/2016-April/001335.html
>
> 
>
> Are there any reasons that trying to do this might be a bad idea?
>
> __


Because the WMF is not, at least as far as we know, in the business of
covert HUMINT or surveillance technology.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Who runs the Wikimedia Shop ?

2016-03-22 Thread Nathan
FWIW, it's clear that the trademark policy is intended to apply to users
other than the WMF. This is all a bit overblown, considering the tiny scale
of use and money involved.

On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Fæ  wrote:

> Tim, thanks for raising the Trademark Policy.
>
> Joseph, can you point me to where https://store.wikimedia.org explains
> exactly how much of the "donation" is profit going to WMF funds and
> how much is administration and costs (both supplier and WMF costs of
> administration)?
>
> My assumption is that "You truthfully advertise to customers how much
> of the selling price, if any, will be donated to Wikimedia sites" is
> an ethical standard that applies to the Wikimedia Store and Fund
> raising department as much as it is it legally required by the WMF for
> Chapters or other organizations that sell or create products with the
> trademark.
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> On 22 March 2016 at 13:38, Tim Landscheidt  wrote:
> > Fæ  wrote:
> >
>  (I must admit that i tested the job a year ago, the product was fine,
> the shipment fast. A bit expensive for my taste.)
> >
> >>> Expensive? The profit adds funds the WMF, surely.
> >
> >> This is a logical fallacy that many charities fall into, and end up
> >> damaging their reputation in the tabloid press when it turns out that
> >> 80%+ of donations "disappear" in costs such as commercial fees, paying
> >> chugger agencies and bonuses and six-figure salaries for
> fundraising/marketing
> >> directors, rather than going to the intended beneficiary.
> >
> >> Here's a highly likely pragmatic scenario... if, say, a $20 "donation"
> >> to get a WMF merchandise tee-shirt disappeared as:
> >> * $ 12.00 basic transaction and product costs
> >> * $ 6.00 profit/fees to intermediary organizations
> >> * $ 1.80 WMF administration costs
> >> * 20 cents is the outcome "donation" to WMF causes (1%)
> >
> >> Then yes, the transaction adds funds to the WMF, but in a really
> >> crappy way where the system probably cost several times more in WMF
> >> staff time to set up than it will make over many years, comparatively
> >> huge profit margins are going to unnamed parties (at least unnamed for
> >> the purchaser or WMF volunteers), and in a non-transparent way too.
> >
> > Your point is made much more succinct in the Trademark Pol-
> > icy
> > (cf.
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Trademark_policy#policy-commercialmerch
> ):
> >
> > | You may make merchandise with the Wikimedia trademarks for
> > | commercial use, if:
> >
> > | - You obtain a trademark license from the Wikimedia Founda-
> > |   tion;
> > | - You follow our Visual Identity Guidelines; and
> > | - You truthfully advertise to customers how much of the
> > |   selling price, if any, will be donated to Wikimedia sites.
> >
> > The problem is the belief that a charity with a focus on
> > distributing knowledge must have its own t-shirt shop,
> > probably fostered by firm disciples getting free mugs.
> >
> > Tim
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Nathan
We need to distinguish between the personal and private details of
individuals and the policies of the WMF around management of employees. It
should be clear to everyone that employee satisfaction, retention, dispute
management and other issues of personnel management are central to the
controversies of the last few months. It's disingenuous to argue that these
matters must all be off-limits for public discussion simply because they
fall under the umbrella of "HR." Having said that...

The names of the people who have left may be public; whether they accepted
a severance package or not obviously is not and should not be publicized
except willingly by them. It is relevant and useful information for the
rest of us to understand if severance agreements have been packaged with
non-disparagement clauses that could prevent negative but highly topical
and timely information from being released. We can probably infer that this
is the case from the profound silence emanating from most departed
employees, but it would be nice to know for sure if money and benefits were
used to insulate Lila or others from the effects of serious mismanagement.



On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Actually, no, you probably can't ask that question either - because the
> names of the individuals who have departed are pretty much all publicly
> known. (There's even a timeline in which all their names are mentioned,
> linked from news articles and other "external" locations.)  In many
> jurisdictions, it is potentially illegal for employers to disclose such
> information; many would feel it unethical for an employer to disclose the
> departure conditions absent a mutual agreement between the employer and the
> departed.  California human resources law would allow for a civil suit that
> could result in a large settlement, either individually or as a group
> (think high-tech employees lawsuit).  This is an area where "transparency"
> very definitely intersects with the privacy rights of those individuals who
> are directly affected.  Privacy should win.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
> On 14 March 2016 at 12:50, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > It's an easy question to ask in a non-specific way:
> >
> > In the last six months, has the WMF approved severance agreements with
> > departing employees with language that, in effect, prevented them from
> > publicly criticizing the WMF, its management or the Board on matters of
> > public interest?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-14 Thread Nathan
It's an easy question to ask in a non-specific way:

In the last six months, has the WMF approved severance agreements with
departing employees with language that, in effect, prevented them from
publicly criticizing the WMF, its management or the Board on matters of
public interest?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Disabe Media Viewer for non-logged-in users and logged-in users on Wikimedia Commons

2016-03-14 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 10:40 AM, Marc A. Pelletier 
wrote:

> On 16-03-14 10:33 AM, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:
> > Per commons Policy's the RFC is valid.
>
> Then the policy is broken.  It seems more than a little insane to me
> that an opinion poll having had participation of a few % of a small
> community (active commons users) can make a binding decision for an
> entirely disjoint community many hundred times it size with neither
> participation nor even consultation.
>
> At the very least, the opinion of logged out users should be sought or
> at least vaguely estimated in some manner (I can think of several easy
> client-side ways of doing a quick opinion poll of at least a sample of
> them; or a couple of metrics giving hints).
>
> That RfC is akin to asking the print newspaper owners about making new
> rules for all web sites.  While I've no doubt that their collective
> opinions would be very good for them, I'd like something a bit more
> objective.  :-)
>
> -- Coren / Marc
>

Marc, that is how the policies work all over. Non-editing readers have
generally (with some exceptions) not participated in the crafting or
revision of policies or consensus-based decision-making. Anyone who thinks
the reader perspective hasn't been adequately considered should contribute
that point of view to the discussion, but the non-participation of
non-participants can't render all decisions invalid.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Easier browsing of Board minutes, agendas, etc., plus summaries

2016-03-09 Thread Nathan
Great work, Pete, all very interesting and useful. Thanks for dedicating
your time to do this.

On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 11:29 PM, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> As many of you are aware, it's always been difficult to navigate
> information about the proceedings of the Board of Trustees: minutes,
> agendas, specific resolutions, notes, and commentary are split across Meta
> Wiki, WMF Wiki, various mailing lists, etc.
>
> So, I spent the last few days building a set of navigation templates on
> Meta, tidying up page names, summarizing the Board's activities in recent
> years, etc. I hope you will take a look at the before[1] and after[2] pages
> on Meta. (There's still work to be done -- any help appreciated! Speaking
> of which, thank you to MZMcBride and Rillke for helping get a useful gadget
> up and running.)
>
> == The most useful part ==
> In addition to the navigation boxes (which I hope are helpful in themselves
> to Trustees, staff, and any volunteers interested in governance issues), I
> think perhaps the most useful pieces are the Annual Summary pages I put
> together for 2014 [3] and 2015.[4] These aim to capture every resolution
> passed in each year, separated according to those focused on Board
> governance and more general votes. I have also included brief narratives
> about issues that have been widely discussed (e.g., the absence of any
> Advisory Board-related votes in 2015, and the implications of that). I have
> tried to keep this very factual, to keep it short and useful for for
> anybody interested in tracking the information. It could use additional
> eyes, and probably additional links (to significant email messages, etc.)
>
> == Curious observations ==
> This is the deepest dive I've taken into Board proceedings, and as such, a
> few interesting points struck me:
>
> * Yesterday, for the first time, minutes and resolutions from the two
> December 2015 Board meetings were published. As far as I know there was no
> announcement of this; I wonder if in these tumultuous times, this has
> slipped through the cracks. As you will see, there are several significant
> pieces of information in there, and three months is a long time to wait for
> it.
>
> * December 2015: For the first time, we learn that Guy Kawasaki was
> appointed to the Board Governance Committee (BGC). Ordinarily, a committee
> appointment might not be of great interest; however, in this case, the
> appointment came during the same meeting as the one where the BGC nominated
> Arnnon Geshuri and Kelly Battles. If I'm not mistaken, those were the only
> two candidates presented to the full board for a formal vote, meaning that
> the members of the BGC had tremendous influence in appointing those two
> seats. I think it would be worthwhile to hear from the Board whether or not
> Guy had a role in deciding what candidates were presented to the Board. Was
> this appointment fully forward-looking, or was it recognizing work that he
> had already done with the BGC? Did Guy have a role in the formal decision
> of who to present to the full Board?
>
> * December 2015: The resolution establishing the Endowment Fund, which was
> announced in a press release in January, is now referred to on the WMF
> Wiki. However, the text of the resolution has not been published. I suspect
> this is a mere oversight and will be corrected shortly; but this is a
> significant development, and it will be good to see what was actually
> decided.
>
> * December 2015: As we knew, the Board approved the FDC's recommendation.
> But the text in the Minutes and in the Resolution are interesting: (a) Many
> staff and volunteers have praised the FDC's diligence in identifying the
> WMF's performance in relation to the Annual Plan Grant standards. It would
> be interesting to hear from the Board how it takes those comments, but
> there is no mention of that in the Board resolution. (b) There are,
> however, comments about the FDC's take on Wikimedia Germany's request for
> restricted funds for Wikidata. I'm not as familiar with this issue, but it
> appears there is a bit of a power struggle going on between the FDC, WMF,
> and perhaps WMDE over this issue. This is something I hope we can all hear
> more about, as it seems significant to the future of an important Wikimedia
> project.
>
> * January 2016: (No big surprise) Kelly Battles has been added to the Audit
> Committee, and Jaime Villagomez has been appointed Board Treasurer.
>
> * Going way back to August 2014, I noticed an interesting detail. Many who
> follow the Board are aware that Alice Wiegand, who had previously been a
> Chapters-nominated Trustee, lost her bid that year for a new nomination.
> Frieda Brioschi was nominated in her place, and was appointed; Frieda had
> previously been a Trustee some years before. And the Board immediately
> appointed Alice anyway, succeeding Ana Toni, who resigned mid-term. Now,
> for the part I had not noticed before: In the same meeting where she 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Oh the irony

2016-03-08 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> I'm really glad that Guy is able to bring this kind of insight to the Board
> HR committee.
>
> ...
>
> OK, in possibly good news and trying to be fair to Guy, it looks like the
> @guykawasaki bears very little relationship to what Guy Kawasaki the person
> is actually thinking or doing. His twitter feed is basically a string of
> links to alltop.com, which is a content aggregation site (which I think
> Guy
> owns) that takes "cool content" from around the web and displays it to
> people.
>
> You might also notice that many of the stills that "Guy's" twitter account
> posts contain images with a canva.com logo and link through to pages on
> alltop.com that contain notices like "Image credit: Canva.com" (This
> doesn't apply to the infographic, but seems to apply to most of Guy's
> Twitter images). Canva is an image editing app that Guy works for. It's a
> bit weird giving an attribution link to an image-editing app.
>
> In short all of this is a social media marketing campaign which recycles
> second-hand memes and gets people to click on them with the ultimate
> beneficiary being the page-view figures of alltop.com and canva.com.
>
> What does this tell us about what Guy thinks are signs of employee
> discontent? Nothing.
>
> What else does it tell us?
>
> Well, it tells us that he is very very good at the "content game" of
> passing sharebait around the internet and transforming it into maximum
> eyeballs for oneself or one's paying customers, probably lowering the
> average IQ of the internet in the process.
>
> Chris
>
>
>
>
Alltop.com explains how several of its threads (e.g. politics.alltop.com)
grab content in its FAQ, but it doesn't address the "Holy Kaw!" thread.
It's at least possible that "Holy Kaw!" is content grabbed by Guy
"Kaw"asaki himself. The FAQ also confirms, fwiw, that Guy and two partners
do indeed own Alltop.com. Either way, if something gets published under
your name and with your permission, you own it.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-07 Thread Nathan
If the board is choosing not to participate for a particular reason, or
Jimmy is choosing not to release e-mails for a particular reason, then they
should say so. Nothing keeps them from offering that information
themselves. It isn't necessary for other people to speculate on whether the
deafening silence from the board is justified by a non-disparagement
agreement or some other concern about personnel confidentiality.

If that's the case, and it seems unlikely those responsibilities would
prevent the release of any information at all, they could simply offer "We
understand people would like us to comment about issues X, Y and Z but we
can't for reasons A, B and C." Regardless, the board can speak on its own
behalf or not and spectators guessing on the motivations behind their
choices add no new information and certainly can't excuse the gap into
outer space that used to be filled by a person named Patricio.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Leadership changes for Talent, Culture, and Team Practices

2016-03-04 Thread Nathan
Hi Geoff,

Would it be wildly wrong to infer from this message that you are assisting
the WMF by taking on some or all of the duties of the ED?

~Nathan

On Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM, Geoff Brigham <gbrig...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I’m writing to let you know that our VP of Human Resources, Boryana Dineva,
> has decided to move on.
>
> Boryana joined the Wikimedia Foundation last fall and quickly began working
> with the HR team to build a recruiting team, hire a learning and
> development lead, support the creation of a comprehensive wellness plan for
> the upcoming year, and focus HR efforts on engaging with the findings of
> the engagement survey.
>
> Boryana connected on a personal level with many of you. She wanted me to
> pass along her strong support for the future of the Foundation and our
> mission. We thank her for her contributions and wish her well in her future
> endeavors.
>
> Starting today Joady Lohr will lead the Team Practices and Talent and
> Culture department as interim director, joining the c-team. Joady has been
> with the Foundation for 4 years now, and is known and trusted by many
> across the organization. We’re looking forward to supporting her and the
> rest of the team on ongoing projects during this interim period.
>
> The executive team plans to open up a search for a new executive head of HR
> to lead the Talent, Culture, and Team Practices teams right away.
>
> If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to
> Joady.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Geoff
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-03 Thread Nathan
What do we want? We want to understand what board members think about major
issues, we want some sense of the direction of the organization as driven
by the board, we want to be able to see and verify that issues important to
stakeholders throughout the movement are being considered and addressed by
the board. Videotaping or audio recording or broadcasting all board
meetings may impede the necessary work of the board, and lots of reasons
have been offered to support this objection.

So instead - why not ask the board to hold quarterly public meetings? The
WMF engages with the community through the model of public meetings all the
time, and participants have been happy with the opportunity to hear staff
work through issues and offer feedback. Can't we extend that template to
the board, and ask the board to create some opportunities to engage either
with the public or at least in public?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

2016-03-03 Thread Nathan
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 7:50 AM, Chris Sherlock 
wrote:

>
>
> Do you serve on any non-profit boards Chris?
>
> Chris
>


Chris Keating is on the board of the WMUK.

In any case, it seems like there are many deliberative or legislative
bodies that see themselves as responsible to the public which manage to
videotape meetings. More than a few even broadcast them live on public
television. There is always the opportunity to go into a non-public session
for the discussion of confidential information. While this "speak to the
camera" concern (which is the same reason why U.S. Supreme Court oral
arguments are not videotaped) is valid... I think the fear is overblown. A
potential alternative is to have a transcript of the meetings created and
published, which might alleviate some anxiety for the camera shy.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Armenia candidate for the board

2016-03-02 Thread Nathan
Is there any actual connection between Susanna and the high-level
government interest or effort around the Armenian Wikipedia? What I'm
asking is if there is anything here, other than supposition that because
she is Armenian and the Armenian government is interested in Wikipedia that
Susanna must be guilty of corruption and repression by association?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
Jimmy - the limit is a "soft limit" of 30 posts per month. If someone goes
well over you might get an e-mail from Austin or another moderator to cut
back, but otherwise there is no need to ask for an exception.

Chris Sherlock -  It is certainly not "unambiguous" what qualifies in that
statute as a corporate record; feel free to google "corporate record" or
"business record" in search of the many different definitions offered by
various states and federal agencies. My suggestion is that you let this
tangent go.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A quick note about the future

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Jimmy Wales 
wrote:

>
> One of the things that someone asked me privately to discuss is what I
> think of the possibility of James running for the board again.
>
> First, I have no opinion about whether or not he will be eligible at the
> next election.  That's a matter for people other than me to decide.  I
> don't know.
>
> Second, if he is eligible, and if he runs, and if he wins, then I will
> support his joining the board.  Because I've been willing to be vocal
> about what I view as his failures, people have sometimes gotten the
> mistaken impression that this is primarily a personal conflict between
> him and me.  That's not true.  Before the board vote to remove him, I
> told him that I would vote with the majority - because it is my feeling
> that on matters of trust, if he was unable to command the trust of at
> least the majority of other trustees, his position would be untenable.
>
> Third, it may interest you all to know that I did not and would not have
> instigated the meeting in which he was removed from the board.  Indeed,
> I missed an online board meeting where things happened apparently that
> brought this to a head, and in the final meeting with James, I mainly
> inquired "What brought this up now?" as I thought things were settling
> down.
>
> Fourth, having said all of that, I remain very disappointed in James and
> the way he has spun this without coming forward with the community about
> what happened.  He claimed reasons for his dismissal that everyone else
> on the board agrees unanimously are not the reasons.  I haven't seen him
> acknowledge that he was wrong about that, and I haven't seen him own up
> to the things that actually upset people.
>
> There are many narratives being spun by people who weren't there, who
> have made all kinds of assumption that aren't true.
>

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 then
maybe stop talking about it altogether.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Jimmy Wales' potential conflict of loyalties for Wikia Inc. versus WMF

2016-02-29 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:35 AM, Fæ  wrote:

>
> Ownership of Wikia is a relationship where loyalty will be perceived
> by the public as questionable, and there may be indirect financial
> gains, even though there is no traceable direct benefit.
>
>
Fae,

Is there any evidence that this is broadly the case? Are there press
articles, blogs or other sources to support the claim that ownership of
Wikia is seen by the public as leading to divided loyalty? Given what has
been said about the diverging use of MediaWiki from Wikia and the WMF, can
you point to any specific instances where Board-level decisions may present
an opportunity for financial gain for Jimmy or a concern for divided
loyalty?

Are you bringing this up now because you believe that these conflicts are
relevant in some way to the issues causing upheaval in the WMF in recent
months? If so, can you describe how they are related and what role you
think these conflicts have played?  I understand you believe that Jimmy has
written negatively about you in private; do you think this has influenced
your perception of these conflicts or your decision to raise them
repeatedly?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Lawrence Lessig for ... WMF

2016-02-26 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 4:46 PM, Yuri Astrakhan 
wrote:

> I would like to continue the discussion of who, in an ideal case, would be
> a good fit for the ED position.  This person has to fit culturally, share
> movement's values, and be a trusted figure in the time of rebuilding.
>
> Lawrence Lessig seems to have a very strong support in the community, and
> even attempted to run (unsuccessfully) a large organization called United
> States.
>
> Thoughts?


What do you know about his management experience?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation report, July-September 2015

2016-02-24 Thread Nathan
Tilman, are these quarterly reports no longer being released?

On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 7:58 PM, Tilman Bayer  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> please find the Wikimedia Foundation's report for the first quarter of
> this fiscal year at
>
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Foundation_Quarterly_Report,_FY_2015-16_Q1_(July-September).pdf
> .
>
> Quoting below the foreword by Terry:
>
> We are pleased to bring you the Wikimedia Foundation’s Quarterly
> Report for Q1 of the 2015/16 fiscal year, a comprehensive summary of
> how we did on the objectives defined earlier in our quarterly goal
> setting process. We are continuing to optimize the report’s format and
> the organization’s quarterly review process based on the feedback that
> we have received.
>
> This issue includes some new pieces of information and a few format
> changes. Teams have been starting to highlight one key performance
> indicator (KPI) each - with ongoing efforts to identify the best
> possible metrics - and to estimate how much time fell into each of the
> three categories from the 2015 Call to Action (strengthen, focus and
> experiment). We have reorganized the content to present all the
> information that is related to a particular objective in one place
> (description of the goal, measures of success, how we did on achieving
> the objective, and what we learned from working on it), and changed
> these slides to a cleaner, more effective layout.
>
> As before, we are including an overview slide summarizing successes
> and misses across all teams. In a mature 90-day goal setting process,
> the “sweet spot” is for about 75% of goals to be a success.
> Organizations that are meeting 100% of their goals are not typically
> setting aggressive goals.
>
> Terry Gilbey, Chief Operating Officer
>
> --
> A wiki version should become available on Meta-wiki tomorrow, and we
> will also announce the report in a blog post.
>
> --
> Tilman Bayer
> Senior Analyst
> Wikimedia Foundation
> IRC (Freenode): HaeB
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Are we too rigid?

2016-02-24 Thread Nathan
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 2:27 PM, Jake Orlowitz  wrote:

> Oliver wrote:
>
> "The Foundation I would return to is not an organisation with a flat
> structure. In fact, it could be an organisation that looks a lot like
> this one, because I don't believe reporting lines or titles have as
> much of an impact on dynamics as we think they do. What *does* have an
> impact is how we recognise the value of emotional labour, how we
> recognise our implicit biases and advantages, and how honest we are
> with each other: not just in terms of what we *say* but in terms of
> how we *listen*. In other words, the litmus test for me is: what
> happens when the socially and politically weakest person in the
> organisation has an idea?"
>
> ---
>
> My thoughts:
>
> It was always clear that Oliver was a genius, both analytically and
> sardonically superior to most of us.  We always had a leg up on him
> though, because he said some wacky and reckless things as a young lad
> as part of his relentless diatribes.
>
> It has been an enormous privilege to watch him turn into a genius of
> culture and people as well.  To see someone so smart apply the same
> rigor and ferocious focus to thinking about an entire systems (rather
> than only where they fit in it) and all of its links (especially those
> weakest or most vulnerable), is just phenomenal.
>
> It also makes me sad, because we've lost him.  His only kindness was
> leaving just as he was clearly going to surpass us all in both
> intelligence and humanity.
>
> Bye Oliver.  Keep your head way up.
>
> -Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi)
> ___


How will he keep his head up now that you have made it so large and heavy?
;-)

But I agree - though we haven't interacted much, and only years ago, I have
always observed him to have an incisive and insightful mind. It sounds like
the projects will continue to benefit from his presence, so I'm happy to
hear that. Who knows what else the future holds? Maybe in ten years he will
successfully interview for the role of WMF ED.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why we changed

2016-02-21 Thread Nathan
On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 11:56 PM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> Where have you been when the search was on for a new director for the
> WIkimedia Foundation? It was the vision that Lila refers to that made her
> the chosen candidate. The fact that people object, frustrate and sometimes
> sabotage is an unfortunate micro level consequence of what is happening.
>

Most of what I read at that time, and since, has revolved around some
simplistic version of "make the WMF a technology / high tech organization."
For that reason the OP here struck me as the best and most complete
statement of this vision that I have read. If you are aware of a better one
that I have missed (completely possible, even likely!), could you please
provide a link?

Thanks,
Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why we changed

2016-02-21 Thread Nathan
Lila's statement of her vision for WMF is compelling and attractive. If
properly and faithfully executed, it seems like it would make just the
right adjustments to the culture of the WMF and its interaction with and
support of the Wikimedia community. I have long been concerned that a
number of positions at the WMF amounted to sinecures, or at least returned
little value to the projects in exchange for resources expended. It seems
logical to me that such a radical change, even well enacted, would prompt
discontent and departures from the organization.

That said, I'm not convinced that this paradigm shift has been handled well
by the WMF executive team and the board. First and foremost, this statement
from Lila is the best explanation given anywhere that I'm aware of
describing the shift within the WMF. That is not good. Second, it appears
that the work has not been done to get key members of the paid team and
volunteers on board with this process. This is another very substantial
failure.

For anyone who believes that Lila's vision statement is right for the
future of the WMF, these unforced errors should cause serious anguish -
needed changes might be lost or avoided because incompetent execution of
prior initiatives left everyone deeply change-averse.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-09 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:54 AM, Risker  wrote:

> Hello Gerard, I believe the topic of capping costs is a reasonable one
> because, simply put, there are not unlimited resources within the movement.
> Some of us have the financial wherewithal to attend "on our own dime", but
> many of our colleagues from around the world are not in that position.


Let's stipulate that there isn't a lot of empirical evidence proving the
value of Wikimania to the movement. I think the same could be said for tens
of millions of dollars in WMF spending. Considering the comparatively tiny
cost of Wikimania, it makes much more sense to me for the WMF to put its
own operations through a cost/benefit crucible. This is just one more
example of the WMF being much more demanding on money spent outside the
organization than it is on internal spending.

It doesn't appear that the options presented were really fair or that the
conclusions drawn from them can be considered supported; option 1 was the
"give WMF complete control" option, option 2 was "get rid of Wikimania" and
option 3 was "Have Wikimania every other year." I have to suspect that if
there was a "have Wikimania every year, don't give WMF control" option many
would have selected it.

If a different organization decides to host its own Wikimania (and I don't
know that the WMF "owns" the name Wikimania) in 2018, I would happily
support that effort.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why take grants? (was: Can we see the Knight grant application and grant offer?)

2016-02-03 Thread Nathan
On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Spending and fundraising are two sides of the same coin. I remember that it
> was strongly suggested that money had to go through the WMF for all kinds
> of political reasons. At the time it was the Dutch chapter that received
> money. Long story short, after some animosity the WMF now has the whole
> field to itself. Given the animosity and lack of trust at the time I would
> not do any fundraising without an accompanying say so of the money spend.
>
> Liam why did you only react to some of the lines and not others?? Paying
> for a hole in the ground that will be invested 'wisely' but without any
> charm, any pointer why but a rainy day seems stupid. PS It rains a lot in
> the Netherlands.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
>
The Foundation does not and mostly has not discouraged chapters from
developing independent sources of money. What was eliminated was the
diversion of donations to chapters during the annual fundraising drive. To
the extent that people misunderstood the activities of a chapter or the
relationship between the websites and chapters, diverting money from the
WMF to the chapters during the WMF-managed drive was misleading to those
donors.

It was also unnecessarily risky and exposed the WMF to substantial
liability, given that only a fraction of the FDC-era scrutiny was applied
to payment processors and some of these processors obtained hundreds of
thousands of dollars with near-zero institutional development or capacity.
The change also helpfully submerged the sense of entitlement endemic to
chapters who processed payments or proposed to do so.  Again - this does
not mean chapters can't fundraise. They simply have to actually go out and
raise funds, not rely solely on the WMF to vector resources their way.

On the general topic, the restricted grants received by the WMF have a
beneficial effect that we could wish extended throughout its operations:
because it is responsible to the grantor for producing the results demanded
under the terms of the grant, the outcomes are much more likely to be
visible, measurable and significant. The WMF has for over a decade spent
tens of millions of dollars with little to show for it, but the sources of
restricted grants require that those funds be the exception.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Appointment of María Sefidari to Wikimedia Foundation Board

2016-01-29 Thread Nathan
Thanks Maria for agreeing to join the Board in this manner and at this time.

On the subject of advantages vs. disadvantages... I imagine one of the most
important is that a new election may have seen the community elect James
Heilman again, requiring the board to publicly pass over him in favor of
someone else.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was the Wikimedia Foundation's removal of membership in 2006 legal?

2016-01-27 Thread Nathan
On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 8:28 AM, Florence Devouard <fdevou...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> I read you Sarah. Good point. Hmmm.
> > But ianal...
> >
> > I am sure it was discussed back then, but I forgot the details.
> >
> > I contacted Brad on Facebook to suggest him to read the list. Perhaps he
> > might be willing to comment on this ?
> >
> >
> > Flo
> >
> > ​Hi Flo, thanks for doing that.
>
> There's another reference to this in the 22 October 2004 board meeting,
> where you agreed certain changes to the bylaws, including "​A volunteer
> member is not required to complete or sign and send any form to the
> Foundation." [1]
>
> Sarah
>
> 1. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Meetings/October_22,_2004
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Is the question of whether the bylaws ever automatically created an actual
class of members relevant? Is there something in either the bylaws or
Florida law that would prohibit the board from changing the structure of
the organization / eliminating members?

~Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes in the Board

2016-01-27 Thread Nathan
Thank you Patricio and Arnnon, and good luck and best wishes to Arnnon.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message from Arnnon Geshuri to the Wikimedia Community

2016-01-26 Thread Nathan
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] [Board-l] Fwd: WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-22 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 1:21 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:
>
> The identified mistakes/shortcomings of the whole process:
>
> 1. In the background check performed by the HR and the legal department we
> have not had a specific PR check as an immanent part. While it sounds like
> common sense  (doh! I know, although many organizations don't actually do
> that), it seems that each department focused on their own turf mostly- HR
> confirmed the highest expertise, and the legal department confirmed no
> legal threats.
>
> How are we going to address this in the future? We have already prepared a
> modification to the process, including a PR subroutine into the larger
> background check process.
>
> 2. The BGC has failed individually as well, for a rather silly reason. An
> often returning argument has been that we must have known about the case,
> since it is high in google.com results.
> The initial screening was conducted by Alice, Frieda, and me. None of us is
> a native English speaker and our searches included google.de, google.it
> and
> google.pl - none of them included the information about the controversy in
> the top 10 results at the time (btw, the pando article is clearly trending
> up and is in the top 10 results in google.pl now, while it was not even a
> couple of weeks ago).
>


I think this is almost exactly wrong. The lesson here should not be that
the Board failed to take public relations into consideration when co-opting
a new member. The message is that the examination of candidates failed to
turn up really quite substantial allegations of a lack of integrity and
ethical leadership. If your background check process looks for expertise or
criminal history but doesn't examine work experience for serious failures,
then the background check process is broken. Adding a "what will people
think?" 'subroutine' is not a solution.

The question of in what language did BGC members search Google is bizarre
but really a distraction - the Board should ensure that a superior
background check process is in place, and neither the Board members nor the
community should have to rely on Board members Googling in their spare time
to turn up major defects in finalist candidates.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-11 Thread Nathan
On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 5:42 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 10:43 AM, Matthew Flaschen <
> matthew.flasc...@gatech.edu> wrote:
>
>
> > The board had an obligation to fully research both candidates, and insist
> > on more time as needed to do so.
> >
> > Boryana Dineva, the Foundation's Vice-President of Human Resources
> ​, wrote [1] to this mailing list in October 2015:
>
> "Having narrowed down the number in several rounds of review​ ... we are
> meeting with finalists to collect more information and get acquainted over
> this week and next. After that, all finalists will interview with Lila, and
> finally with our panel comprised by the BGC ​[Board Governance Committee]
> ​(and likely also the Board Chair). The BGC will decide and present
> recommendations of chosen candidates to the whole Board. ... I am copying
> Dariusz, our BGC chair, in case he would like to add anything also."
>
> But a few days ago Dariusz said on this list that he wasn't aware of the
> background of Geshuri's that is causing concern, even though it was fourth
> in a Google search for Geshuri's name.
>
> Sarah
>
>
It sounds like Boryana and Lila manage the search until after the finalists
are vetted by staff, and then the last slate of candidates is provided for
the BGC to review. I wonder how many candidates the BGC reviewed directly -
hopefully the number was greater than two. This model suggests that the
failure of vetting rests with the staff and the reliance of the Board on
the staff.

The fact that Dariusz was unaware of the Google issue suggests that the
vetting failure wasn't in not realizing the magnitude of the problem - it
seems the staff missed it entirely. If they were doing even a cursory
review and reference check of the candidates through the very last stage,
it's hard to imagine how that could happen. Perhaps more likely is that the
staff happened upon the issue but didn't forward it to the Board?

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

2016-01-08 Thread Nathan
I hope some day someone will be bold enough to tell the rest of us what
this is all really about. I'm sure I'm not alone (though perhaps in the
minority!) in not having inside staff contacts to provide the straight
dope.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-05 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 6:44 PM, Patricio Lorente <patricio.lore...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> We know that some of you have continued to have questions about the Board’s
> recent resolution. We have put together an FAQ addressing some of the most
> common or important questions. You can view the FAQ here:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/James_Heilman_removal_FAQ
>
> We have also been meeting with the 2015 Election Committee regarding the
> next steps for filling the open community-selected seat. We plan to make an
> announcement on the roadmap for filling that seat by early next week.
>
> Patricio


Patricio, I wish you and your colleagues the best of luck in recovering the
trust and confidence of the many people who supported James' bid to join
the board. It will not be easy.

~Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Please stick to the 30-post limit

2015-12-31 Thread Nathan
The 30 post limit came about in a different era, when the list had problems
at a greater scale. I don't see any issues with post frequency recently
that should have received moderator response. You are referring to GerardM,
but the majority of his posts have been to a single thread. I can't speak
to whether that has interfered with that particular thread, but it
certainly hasn't presented any problems to the list as a whole.

By the way, Erik Zachte keeps statistics:
https://stats.wikimedia.org/mail-lists/wikimedia-l.html

Much easier than skimming through a list of posts and trying to count them
up.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Nathan
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 Nathan
On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 9:06 AM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie)  wrote:

> On Dec 30, 2015 12:33 AM, "Craig Franklin" 
> wrote:
> > but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
> > with the fallout of that decision.
>
> That, at least, was addressed in the text from Jimbo that you quoted:


Not really, why should they expect him to stay silent about being fired
while the Board takes its time drafting a press release? Can't blame James,
especially when his obligation to the board and the foundation was
terminated along with his position. We ought to be able to expect the board
and its members to be prepared for the consequences of their decisions, and
it would be a disservice to the board and the movement to expect less.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Nathan
"Well, tell that to James. He's the one who went public without warning in
the middle of the meeting. You are 100% wrong that this is a decision
*against* the community. I know why I voted the way I did - and it has to
do with my strong belief in the values of this community and the
responsibilities of board members to uphold those values. If a board member
fails the community in such a serious way, tough decisions have to be made
about what to do.--Jimbo Wales
 (talk
) 20:57, 29
December 2015 (UTC)"

Comment from Jimmy, both implicitly criticizing James Heilman for revealing
that he was ejected from the board and suggesting that James failed to
uphold the values of the community in a serious way. Later on Jimmy tries
to walk back the criticism as "merely stating a fact."

James responded by pointing out that he was removed from the board and then
told to leave the room, at which point he posted to the mailing list. The
complaint that he published the decision while the meeting was ongoing is
silly, although I can certainly see why the remaining members would have
preferred to control the narrative themselves.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-29 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Nathan wrote:
> >In any case, its irritating to see people providing cover for the Board's
> >lack of transparency or failure to be forthcoming in a timely manner.
>
> The removal resolution was approved on December 28, 2015, according to
> wikimediafoundation.org. Unlike most Board resolutions, it was publicly
> posted the same day. The posted Board resolution was accompanied by two
> separate e-mails to this public mailing list (one from James, one from
> Patricio) on the same day. What kind of transparency and timeliness are
> you looking for, exactly? What level of explanation would be satisfactory?
>
> >Why not let them make their own excuses?
>
> Excuses for what, exactly? The Chair of the Board announced the decision
> and other remaining Board members have chosen not to publicly discuss the
> issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at least
> in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be able
> to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or without
> cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to simple
> numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to provide
> a fuller explanation of the removal. It seems most prudent to wait for
> that. While this will sound trite, perhaps we could extend a little good
> faith to the members of the Board, most of whom are long-time trusted and
> respected Wikimedians and all of whom take their role seriously.
>
> MZMcBride
>

>

If you aren't sure what I or others are still looking for from the Board,
please refer to the various other posts to this and other threads. I
suspect you've read them already, so I'm not sure why you think it helpful
to pretend like you don't understand.

Asking for the board to be forthcoming isn't an attack or an unreasonable
expectation. No one on the board should be surprised to discover the
subscribers to this list and others have high expectations for
communication and transparency. If they had time to fully consider their
decision to remove James, then they had time to plan for how to communicate
that decision. If they are scrambling behind the scenes to do that now,
then it suggests the decision to remove him was either rash or an
emergency. In either case, that is something many of us would like to know.

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

2015-12-29 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM, Newyorkbrad  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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