Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review

2020-09-11 Thread Paul J. Weiss
To expand on the last part of my previous post, one of the things that
Peter and other posters are doing that is problematic in my eyes is
phrasing their opinions as fact. It is quite clear to me why Dan was put on
moderation. So it is a false statement to say that "this is patently
unclear". I believe that opinion should be stated as such. When I see
opinion being spun as fact, I am less interested in reading the rest of
such a message, and that writer loses credibility in my eyes.

Paul

- Original Message -
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review
From: "Peter Southwood" 
Date: 9/11/20 4:20 am
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" 

In that case, can we please have an explanation of exactly how the relevant
text was found to be inappropriate, as this is patently unclear, and
apparently the reason for all this debate. I have my own speculation, but as
it is speculation, it would be inappropriate to publicise unless there is no
official explanation.
Cheers,
Peter

-Original Message-
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf
Of Asaf Bartov
Sent: 11 September 2020 11:46
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review

No, it is not "forbidden words" that are the problem, and we have no
intention of maintaining a list.

We expect list subscribers to maintain civil discourse, which does include
avoiding vulgarity, and expressing oneself with respect to both one's
interlocutors (or addressees of criticism) and the broader audience.

Happily, this is something more than 99 percent of subscribers manage to do
without effort.

As I have repeatedly clarified, respectful discourse absolutely does not
preclude criticism. Indeed, it is liable to make the criticism more likely
to be heard.

A.

On Fri, 11 Sep 2020, 12:26 Peter Southwood 
wrote:

> Is there somewhere we can refer to the list of offensive and unacceptable
> expressions, and how they are determined?
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf
> Of Anders Wennersten
> Sent: 11 September 2020 10:33
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review
>
> There are many of us on this list who have given the feedback we find
> that expression offensive and unacceptable.
>
> Do not forget the readers of this list comes from may different cultures
> and if you and the people close to you find it "acceptable" it is not a
> valid judgment for all, and why do you want us to leave this list just
> so you can use a language like that. (I certainly would if that was
> accepted as a norm)
>
> The language on this list is English, it means we non-native have to
> adjust our entries to a unfamiliar language. It mean we have to limit
> our means of expression (we will not be experts on nuances). You who
> are native English speaker have all the advantages, would it then be too
> hard for you to adjust you language to what is acceptable to us others?
>
> Anders
>
>
> Den 2020-09-11 kl. 09:31, skrev Benjamin Ikuta:
> >
> > Please, enlighten me.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sep 10, 2020, at 11:39 PM, Ziko van Dijk  wrote:
> >
> >> Am Fr., 11. Sept. 2020 um 08:07 Uhr schrieb Benjamin Ikuta
> >> :
> >>> Is there some context that makes this much worse than it seems, or do
I
> have a deeply flawed understanding of civility?
> >> Well, are you open to consider the possibility that the latter might
> >> theoretically be the case, at least partially?
> >> Kind regards
> >> Ziko
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> a.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review

2020-09-11 Thread Paul J. Weiss
I for one very much appreciate that the moderators put Dan on moderation. I
support sanctions for insulting and rude behavior. Peter--if you are
looking for exact, quantitative criteria, you aren't going to get it. This
is about impact of communication on the receiver, not specific words used
by the sender. I know that I sometimes come across as being uncivil and/or
disrespectful. I appreciate when someone points out a specific example,
because that provides me an opportunity to change to more civil- and
respectful-sounding communication, which will have a better chance of
succeeding (in whatever the purpose of my communication is).

Many posters seem, like Peter, to want quantitative, legalistic, binary
"right/wrong" guidance. Considering the gender identities "man" and
"woman", this preference is more typical of men than women in "Western"
civilization. Many women (and some men) prefer more qualitative,
contextual, nuanced guidance. (I don't know prevalences for other gender
identities.) I think it is important to understand that our personal
preference is not automatically the preference of others.

Personally, I hope the moderators are considering moderation for several
posters beyond Dan.

Paul

- Original Message -
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review
From: "Asaf Bartov" 
Date: 9/11/20 2:46 am
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" 

No, it is not "forbidden words" that are the problem, and we have no
intention of maintaining a list.

We expect list subscribers to maintain civil discourse, which does include
avoiding vulgarity, and expressing oneself with respect to both one's
interlocutors (or addressees of criticism) and the broader audience.

Happily, this is something more than 99 percent of subscribers manage to do
without effort.

As I have repeatedly clarified, respectful discourse absolutely does not
preclude criticism. Indeed, it is liable to make the criticism more likely
to be heard.

A.

On Fri, 11 Sep 2020, 12:26 Peter Southwood 
wrote:

> Is there somewhere we can refer to the list of offensive and unacceptable
> expressions, and how they are determined?
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf
> Of Anders Wennersten
> Sent: 11 September 2020 10:33
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review
>
> There are many of us on this list who have given the feedback we find
> that expression offensive and unacceptable.
>
> Do not forget the readers of this list comes from may different cultures
> and if you and the people close to you find it "acceptable" it is not a
> valid judgment for all, and why do you want us to leave this list just
> so you can use a language like that. (I certainly would if that was
> accepted as a norm)
>
> The language on this list is English, it means we non-native have to
> adjust our entries to a unfamiliar language. It mean we have to limit
> our means of expression (we will not be experts on nuances). You who
> are native English speaker have all the advantages, would it then be too
> hard for you to adjust you language to what is acceptable to us others?
>
> Anders
>
>
> Den 2020-09-11 kl. 09:31, skrev Benjamin Ikuta:
> >
> > Please, enlighten me.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sep 10, 2020, at 11:39 PM, Ziko van Dijk  wrote:
> >
> >> Am Fr., 11. Sept. 2020 um 08:07 Uhr schrieb Benjamin Ikuta
> >> :
> >>> Is there some context that makes this much worse than it seems, or do
I
> have a deeply flawed understanding of civility?
> >> Well, are you open to consider the possibility that the latter might
> >> theoretically be the case, at least partially?
> >> Kind regards
> >> Ziko
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> a.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> ___
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> 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] Board update on Branding: next steps

2020-06-26 Thread Paul J. Weiss
"but with more than 700 respondents it is not methodologically sound to
change the survey now"

This is preposterous and incredibly disrespectful to the community. It is
not methodologically sound to continue a biased survey. If the Board and
WMF truly want a methodologically sound survey, they would immediately stop
the current one, and rewrite a new one, designed with minimal bias. If some
survey asked about ethnicity, and left off "Black/Afican American" as an
option, would you still continue the poorly written survey? As I have said
before, you have staff with survey expertise--use them!

This is yet another sign that those in charge do not truly want to know how
the community feels about the rebranding initiative. Y'all say "Branding
should protect and improve the reputation of the movement". That is
becoming harder and harder to believe. Not stopping a biased survey clearly
damages the reputation of our brand. I wonder if it is time to fork
Wikipedia.

Paul
User:Libcub

At 2020-06-26  04:27 p, you wrote:

Dear all, I want to share with you the next steps of the Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees about the Brand Project. Originally the Board
meeting dedicated to the brand project was supposed to happen no earlier
than October. The expected outcome from the project were the
recommendations on what the rebranding should look like - from changing
fonts/logos to renaming. And if there is going to be a renaming - to what.
Of course, the Board’s role is not in approving a change in fonts, but if a
recommendation to rename was to be made - the Board’s role would have been
to make a decision on that recommendation. The timeline has now been
changed, and the renaming part of rebranding will be discussed in our
August meeting. Moreover, the Board will meet in early July to receive a
briefing about the project and talk about the process between June 2018 -
June 2020. The consolidated materials on what the brand project team has
been working on for a while now will be presented to the Board, and these
materials are also going to be posted publicly. The more-strategic
conversation is planned for the August meeting. Time to prepare the
materials is needed, and the ongoing conversations need to be summarised,
so the Board can have an in-depth discussion about this, before making any
kind of decision. We would like to continue with the survey [1] - we have
discussed the possibility of technical changes to the survey with an
additional option like “no renaming is needed” (not the exact words, mind
you), but with more than 700 respondents it is not methodologically sound
to change the survey now. Staff have confirmed to the Board that responses
to the survey will not be calculated as support for a change. The survey
was only designed to collect feedback on the possible renaming options, not
as a yes/no vote on whether to adopt them. Thus the timeline on rebranding
for the next 6-7 weeks is as follows: * Early July - special Board meeting
with the Brand project team to review and discuss the process so far, and
for the Board members to receive the briefing on discussions happening; *
July - consolidated materials prepared for the July meeting will be posted
publicly after the meeting; * August 5th - the Board meeting on renaming
part of the rebranding, not about the process. The Board will make the
decision about whether to stop, pause, or continue the work on this, within
the framework of a discussion on strategic goals, tensions and tradeoffs,
and potential next steps. * August (after the meeting) - the Board
statement on the next steps about the Brand project. I also want to
acknowledge receiving the Community open letter on renaming [2] that was
posted this week. Thank you for this statement on the position of those of
you who signed. I know there are other perspectives, and that some would
agree with it who have not signed it, and that there are also some who
would not agree. We expect that the Board meetings and communication after
them will address the concerns raised in the letter. Stay safe, antanana /
Nataliia Tymkiv Acting Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees [1]
https://wikimedia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9G2dN7P0T7gPqpD [2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_open_letter_on_renaming *NOTICE:
You may have received this message outside of your normal working
hours/days, as I usually can work more as a volunteer during weekend. You
should not feel obligated to answer it during your days off. Thank you in
advance!* ___ Wikimedia-l
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[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on the rebranding initiative:: Other

2020-06-22 Thread Paul J. Weiss
[From my comments in the rebranding survey]

Other

"We network around our best-known brand to connect the movement together".
That feels like marketing-speak. It is unclear what you are trying to
communicate. I do not think that contributors of non-WP projects want to
"network" around Wikipedia.

The lack of hierarchy in names is detrimental to communication and
understanding of our work.

Paul Weiss
User:Libcub
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[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on the rebranding initiative: Name of WMF

2020-06-22 Thread Paul J. Weiss
[From my comments in the rebranding survey]

Name of WMF

To me a trust implies one party relegating authority over a resource to a
second party, who is expected to manage it well, and return it at some
point to the first party or a third party. I do not see the WMF's role as
including such as a notion. I also do not think that including "Trust"
makes it any clearer that the WMF is where to go for legal issues. (Also, I
do find it ironic that the proposal suggests incorporating the word "Trust"
in the name of WMF, given how low the community trust in WMF is.)

"Wikimedia Organization" does not sound like the name of something, but
rather a general description of it.

"Wiki" is too generic to refer to WMF projects--there are far too many
other wikis in the world. I have to say I am truly astonished to see this
presented as a legitmate option. Various other wiki communities (such as
those at fandom.com) would be understandably furious with WMF for trying to
co-opt "Wiki" for themselves. How could that possibly not be damaging to
our reputation?

I think "Foundation" is a good word to describe what WMF does.

Paul Weiss
User:Libcub
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[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on the rebranding initiative: Wikimedia vs. Wikipedia

2020-06-22 Thread Paul J. Weiss
[From my comments in the rebranding survey]

Wikimedia vs. Wikipedia

Our overall community centers around the current Wikimedia concept, not
Wikipedia. Naming the whole from one its parts is ambiguous, confusing, and
disrespectful to non-Wikipedia projects. The majority of the population of
the United States is white, but it would be absolutely preposterous to
rename the country to the White United States of America, even if that is
how people in other countries (and Americans) think of it.

We are not selling a product or service. I think it is _good_ that some
organizations and people do not know about our plethora of projects, as
that gives us an opportunity to talk with them about the other projects. I
believe that changing the name to "Wikipedia" will make it more difficult
to get outsiders to pay attention to non-Wikipedia projects.

I believe that moving to "Wikipedia" will damage our reputation. In
addition to the reasons above, it will likely alienate at least some of
those involved in non-Wikipedia projects. It could turn the community into
the Wikipedia community, as our other projects fade away.

Paul Weiss
User:Libcub
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[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on the rebranding initiative: "Movement"

2020-06-22 Thread Paul J. Weiss
[From my comments in the rebranding survey]

"Movement"

Please stop calling us a "movement". I am an active Wikipedia contributor,
but I do not feel part of a movement. Know that I feel excluded when we are
referred to as a movement. I would guess that most Wikimedians do not
consider themselves part of a movement. I feel that I am part of the
Wikimedia _community_.

Note that in the English Wikipedia the title of the relevant article is
indeed "Wikipedia community", _not_ "Wikipedia movement" (which is a
redirect). In fact, the word "movement" does not appear in the main text of
the article at all. "Wikimedia movement" is the title of its article, but
it is described as "the global community of contributors to Wikimedia
Foundation projects". A community of contributors is not the same thing as
a movement. I would say that none of the definitions given in the
Definitions section of the Social movement article apply to us.

One significant problem to using "movement" is that some, including the
WMF, exploit the connotations of the word towards social justice, or a
"greater good", as a rationalization for behaviors that a community might
not support (and in many cases our community has indeed opposed WMF's
behavior). Another is the implication that there is basically a core set of
beliefs and priorities that all those involved support. This is clearly not
the case in the Wikimedia community. I also think there is an assumption
that in a movement, there are institutions that those in the movement
explicitly or implicitly authorize to speak for them. Again, clearly this
is not the case in the Wikimedia community overall.

Paul Weiss
User:Libcub
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement Strategy: Recommendations and community conversations launching next week

2020-01-14 Thread Paul J. Weiss
I share the time concerns that Pine and Todd addressed. But my larger
concern is about the purpose of this next community conversation. You say
that the core team will summarize the community input, and then the
community will have a week to "suggest changes to the posted summary so
that it accurately reflects their viewpoints". So it seems that while
WMF wants to know how the community feels about the upcoming strategy
document, it is not giving the community any say, at this point in the
process, of the content of that document. So then why bother having another
community conversation at this juncture? Why take up so much community time
to develop responses to a document that will a priori not change based on
those responses? That seems to be a textbook case of how to get
dissatisfaction and disillusionment. Although I would prefer for the
community to still have a say in things, if the sense is that the document
really is done, maybe it should just be sent to the BOD now, saving 8 or
more weeks of time.  If the community conversation does go ahead, I think
it is very important to make it very clear what will be and won't be done
with the responses, allowing community members to make informed decisions
about how much time and effort to devote to the conversation. It took a
couple of read-throughs for me to realize that there will be a response
summary and suggestions to that document, but no further round of revision.

Thanks,
Paul


At 2020-01-13  11:46 p, you wrote:

I would tend to agree. This process has been ongoing for many months now,
and the community raised substantial concerns about the initial proposals.
Whether deliberate or not, allowing only a week for discussion of the final
product seems an attempt to ram it through. Surely longer than a week can
be allowed for discussion of such a critical item. Todd On Mon, Jan 13,
2020 at 11:25 PM Pine W  wrote: > Hi Nicole, > > After
reading this email, and taking into consideration a discussion that >
happened during the January online meeting of United States Wikimedians, I
> feel that the timeline here is aggressive and likely to result in
problems. > In particular, giving the core team one week to review feedback
and giving > the community one week to review the core team's summary seem
risky at > best, even if everyone is communicating in English. When taking
into > account the need for translations,my guess is that one week is an >
impossibly short timeframe for quality work in these phases of the strategy
> process. > > I suggesting adding at least one more week to the timeframe
for the core > team to review feedback including translations of comments,
and at least > three more weeks for conversations with the community
regarding the core > team's summary. > > I am concerned that this process
may be heading toward a rushed and chaotic > finish. > > Pine > (
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine ) >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-15 Thread Paul J. Weiss
"I think we all generally endorse incremental improvements, instead
of drastic overhauls."

Um, that is clearly not true, since otherwise, for example, the original
poster would not have sent out his message.

For readers, I think many, if not most, would want a look and feel that
works for them, aesthetically and functionally, regardless of how much a
redesign was evolutionary or revolutionary. Many websites have gone through
major redesigns successfully. (And of course some have been utter
disasters, but many of those disasters came about because of poor design,
not just because the design was a significant departure from the previous
design.)

For WMF wikis with very small editor bases, the degree of change may be
less important than the quality of the change. A meaningful change, however
small or large, may enable that community to recruit new editors who were
previously turned off by wiki syntax (or other) complexities.

As a WP editor myself, I would absolutely welcome a drastically different
design, if it were a great design, that facilitated the editing and reading
activities I want to engage in, and was pleasant to the eye. I welcome each
change, regardless of size, that is an improvement.

One side benefit of a revolutionary design change is that it can make
long-term users reassess their use of a website, sometimes discovering a
"new" feature, which has actually been there all along, nevertheless
creating more engaged users. Another, I imagine, is that often there is a
spike in word-of-mouth surrounding a major redesign, which can also have
positive recruitment effects. A third might be that a drastic redesign
would re-level the playing field, so to speak. New editors might be less
subject to poor conduct from some long-term editors who lord their arcane
wiki knowledge over newbies.

Paul
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Chief of Community Engagement to leave the Foundation

2019-11-15 Thread Paul J. Weiss
I find the disbanding of the Community Engagement department at WMF to be
quite concerning. I will go so far as to say that I view it as a mistake
that will have negative impacts well into the future.

For one thing, the structure of an organization is in some sense a
statement of priorities. I believe this move does indeed say to employees,
the community, allied organization, and the rest of the world that the WMF
is now placing less value on engaging the community. Given that many in the
community have been feeling this already, this is not an opportune time to
make this transition, even if it were a good idea for other reasons.

Another issue is the specific placement of individual teams. For example,
you say that returning the Trust & Safety team to the Legal department is
intuitive. It certainly is not to me, and that move in particular is
concerning. The team's homepage on Meta states that it "identifies, builds
and – as appropriate – staffs processes which keep our users safe; design,
develop, and execute on a strategy that integrates legal, product,
research, and learning & evaluation to proactively mitigate risk as well as
manage the overall safety of our online and offline communities when
incidents happen." The legal aspect is only one of many in the team's
purview, and hopefully not a large one.

In my experience, units within legal departments take a very legalistic
view of their work. As one example, many colleges and universities have an
office for students with disabilities. In the US, those that are in legal
or policy departments tend to focus very much on doing the minimum they
have to do under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), rather than
being student-centered. (This is the case here at the University of
Washington.) Compare this to the focus of units for women, students of
color, etc., often hierarchically under student services, who are much more
proactive and supportive.

I definitely do not want Trust & Safety to narrow its focus to ensuring
enforcement & reducing liability. As you know, legal but negative behavior
is a significant threat to the future of Wikipedia and sister projects. The
team needs to be organizationally placed to maximize, not minimize, its
access to resources, the community, and other staff as well as its impact.
Placing it in Legal could, for example, decrease significantly contact and
trust from our community members whose experience with laws is that they
are used as weapons and tools to oppress rather than engendering fairness
and cooperation.

Please, please carefully consider the all ramifications of this
reorganization before it is implemented.

Thank you,
Paul Weiss
Libcub on en.wp

- Original Message -
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Chief of Community Engagement
to leave the Foundation
From: 'Katherine Maher' 
Date: 11/15/19 3:36 pm
To: 'Wikimedia Mailing List' 

Hello everyone,

I am writing to let you know that Val D’Costa, Chief Community Engagement
Officer, is leaving the Wikimedia Foundation. I also want to share some
changes we’re making around how the Foundation organizes staff in the
Community Engagement department.

Val joined us last January, bringing nearly three decades of experience
launching and growing international initiatives in emerging markets. With
the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy as a guide, Val and her team drafted
an ambitious new vision for the work of Community Engagement—focused on
decentralization of power and resources, safe and welcoming spaces,
equitable collaboration, increased language and cultural fluency, dedicated
programs for groups such as women and young people, and expansive
partnerships in service of free knowledge.

With this vision in hand, Val and I both see this as the right juncture for
her to move on to her next professional challenge. While she will be
leaving the position of Chief of Community Engagement, she will remain on
as a consultant to me for a brief period.

I am deeply appreciative of Val’s time with us at the Foundation and want
to thank her for the contributions she has made to the Wikimedia movement.
She has been a passionate and persuasive advocate for our mission and
pushed us to expand our vision of what could be possible for our movement.
I wish her the absolute best in what she does next.

*== What comes next for Community Engagement ==*

I'll be direct -- we are making changes to the CE department structure.

We will not be starting a search for a new Chief of Community Engagement.
Instead, over the course of the next few weeks, the seven teams currently
within the Community Engagement (CE) department will be integrated into the
Foundation’s other departments. By January, all of the teams will have
joined their new departments, and “Community Engagement” will no longer be
a standalone department.

The teams currently in CE will be integrated with other Foundation
departments aligned with executive leadership goals and based on their
scope and